Inspector Morse (1987–2000)
12 user 1 critic

Masonic Mysteries 

Morse finds himself framed for murder by an unknown mastermind and suspended as Lewis is seconded to DCI Bottomley, who is in charge of the case.


Danny Boyle


Colin Dexter (characters), Julian Mitchell

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Thaw ... Chief Inspector Morse
Kevin Whately ... Detective Sergeant Lewis
Madelaine Newton Madelaine Newton ... Beryl Newsome
Ian McDiarmid ... Hugo De Vries
Celestine Randall ... Sandra Machin
Roland Oliver Roland Oliver ... Conductor
John Arthur ... Hall Porter
James Grout ... Chief Superintendent Strange
Richard Kane Richard Kane ... Chief Inspector Bottomley
Steven Elliot Steven Elliot ... Officious Constable (as Steven Elliott)
Richard Huw Richard Huw ... Detective Constable Dearden
Iain Cuthbertson ... Desmond McNutt
Mark Strong ... PC Mike Butterworth
Diane Fletcher Diane Fletcher ... Marion Brooke
Ken Drury ... Norman


Morse finds himself the subject of a murder investigation when his friend, Beryl Newsome, is murdered at a rehearsal of the Magic Flute and he foolishly touches the murder weapon. Morse is suspended and DCI Bottomley, with DS Lewis assisting him, is put in charge of the case. Morse feels that he was set-up and looks to his past to see who, among the many criminals he arrested, might now be setting about seeking revenge. When someone scratches masonic symbols all over his car and he is reported for erratic driving, Morse wonders if Masons may somehow be involved. When a large number of his personal items are found in Beryl's apartment, Morse is placed under arrest. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

24 January 1990 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs





Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Oxford Times of 5 September 2013 carried an article on Freemasonry in the city and a retired policeman stated that it had been a policemen's social club when he was a policeman. See more »


Morse's Jaguar has been "keyed" but the damage is clearly just silver tape stuck to the bodywork. The tape isn't even flat and sticks up in several places. Furthermore, when Morse tells Lewis he is taking his car to be resprayed it is almost completely hidden behind a convenient bush. When we get a fleeting glimpse of the car being driven away there is no sign of the damage. See more »


Hugo De Vries: [to Morse] I enjoy being dead - takes the strain out of living.
See more »


References North by Northwest (1959) See more »


The Magic Flute
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1791)
Sung my choir and heard on several recordings including one conducted by Arturo Toscanini
See more »

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User Reviews

Outstanding Plot Development; Some Glitches
21 February 2018 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

I agree that there are a couple things played for laughs here, but the Sherlockian efforts of the bad guys makes this very entertaining. Morse finds himself singled out for a frame-up. When an attractive woman, whom he is interested in, goes to answer a phone call, she is brutally murdered. He holds her in his arms and has picked up a knife, so he immediately comes under suspicion. Of course, it seems that Morse's superiors are always looking for a way to emasculate him. A tiresome, overzealous detective is put on the case. He is a reactionary and doesn't like Morse (or he is the son of Barney Fife) and goes about boobing up the investigation. What is really fun is the variety of ways that Morse is being set up. There's just so much to point to his involvement, and that's the rub. Anyone with a shred of skepticism would find the mass of stuff way too much. The Masons are brought in as a mystical element which adds to the entertainment.

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