Inspector Morse (1987–2000)
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Last Seen Wearing 

When Morse is assigned a cold case of a runaway teenager from school, he suspects that the girl's been murdered.


Edward Bennett


Colin Dexter (novel), Thomas Ellice (screenplay)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Thaw ... Chief Inspector Morse
Kevin Whately ... Detective Sergeant Lewis
Peter McEnery ... Donald Phillipson
Suzanne Bertish ... Cheryl Baines
Glyn Houston ... George Craven
Frances Tomelty ... Grace Craven
Peter Woodthorpe ... Max
Fiona Mollison Fiona Mollison ... Sheila Phillipson
Philip Bretherton ... David Acum
James Grout ... Chief Superintendent Strange
Melissa Simmonds ... Valerie Craven
Nicholas Pritchard Nicholas Pritchard ... John Maguire
Elizabeth Hurley ... Julia
Michele Winstanley Michele Winstanley ... Fiona (as Michèle Winstanley)
Julia Sawalha ... Rachel


Morse and Lewis investigate the disappearance of teenager Valerie Craven who vanished some six months previously while walking home from her exclusive girls school. Morse is the third detective assigned to the case and is convinced that the girl is by now dead. However, the girl's parents receive a note, purportedly from Valerie. Suspicion falls on a number of people, including fellow students, men named in her diary and some of the teachers at her school. When one of the teachers is killed, the missing persons enquiry becomes a murder investigation. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery








Release Date:

8 March 1988 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The school at which Morse finds David Acum, the French teacher departed from the school in Oxford, is St John Baptiste de la Salle School. It is named after Jean-Baptiste de la Salle (1651-1719), in the Roman Catholic Church the patron saint of teachers. He is credited with bringing the start of a structured educational system to the ordinary people of France. His mother was Nicolle Moët, a relative of Claude Moët, founder of Moët et Chandon, the Champagne producers. He set up the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, the first to have no priests in its membership. It is known in the United States as "the Christian Brothers", but should not be confused with the "Congregation of Christian Brothers", a teaching order founded in Ireland in the nineteenth century. See more »


When Miss Baines falls over the edge of the stairs, it is quite clearly a dummy that is dropped. See more »


Chief Inspector Morse: Have you ever thought about the person who designed the sports skirt? Somebody sat down and drew a fantasy and made it compulsory uniform. I can never watch Wimbledon without thanking that man.
See more »


Edited into Inspector Morse: Rest in Peace (2000) See more »


Flight of the Valkyries
Composed by Richard Wagner
Morse plays a recording of it.
See more »

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User Reviews

More Triangles Than a Geometry Classroom
16 February 2018 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

When Morse and Lewis are brought in to a girls' school to deal with the disappearance of a young woman, Valerie, he must wade through a myriad of relationships. There is a kind of pecking order that develops in the posh academic world. There are also sleeping arrangements that develop. He also must butt heads with a rich contractor who has little time for his family but who still demands results in finding the girl. These episodes are very long and the pace is often plodding. But Morse continues to be a fascinating character. He has been deemed the drunken detective because of his affinity for a pint or two every so often. It would seem that his supervisor has him on a very short rope, ignoring the accomplishments and being more interested in procedure. Lewis is constantly being challenged by his embracing of protocol. Yet, early on, we see him becoming more and more impressed by the great detective. There are a couple of really good villains in this episode (one in particular) and they are what moves things along.

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