Inspector Morse (1987–2000)
18 user 1 critic

Service of All the Dead 

The members of a church who attended a particular service start to die one by one.


Peter Hammond


Colin Dexter (novel), Julian Mitchell (screenplay)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Thaw ... Chief Inspector Morse
Kevin Whately ... Detective Sergeant Lewis
Angela Morant ... Ruth Rawlinson
John Normington ... Lionel Pawlen
Maurice O'Connell Maurice O'Connell ... Harry Josephs
Judy Campbell ... Mrs. Rawlinson
Michael Hordern ... Doctor Starkie
Peter Woodthorpe ... Max
Norman Jones ... Chief Superintendent Bell
James Griffiths James Griffiths ... Paul Morris
Chrissy Iddon Chrissy Iddon ... Brenda Josephs
Karl Francis Karl Francis ... Taffy
Michael Goldie Michael Goldie ... Jimmy (as Michale Goldie)
Michael Fenner Michael Fenner ... Detective Constable Mitchell
Bev Willis Bev Willis ... Denman


Morse and Lewis investigate the murder of Harry Josephs, a warden at St. Oswald's church who is found dead immediately after a church service. The initial focus is on a tramp who attended the service but the autopsy reveals that Josephs died of an overdose of morphine. When others who attended the same service are killed - including the vicar Lionel Pawlin, the church organist Paul Morris, his 12 year old son and Harry Josephs' wife Brenda - Morse suspect that everyone who attended that particular service is in danger. However, the solution to the case revolves around deceit and mistaken identity. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

20 January 1987 (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?


When Morse examines the diary, he refers Lewis to the curious incident of the dog that did nothing in the nighttime. He is referring to the Sherlock Holmes story Silver Blaze by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. See more »


The word "defence" is spelt the American way with an 's' (defense) during the closing credits. See more »


Chief Inspector Morse: I shall never understand these religious types.
Max: That's because you have no soul, Morse.
See more »

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User Reviews

Too Many Balls in the Air
13 February 2018 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

There was something rather endless about this episode. Part of the problem was that we had characters misidentified. When a man is found stabbed in a church, Morse is brought in. This quickly leads to him becoming enamored with a woman who is employed by the church. She is in control of cleaning and sprucing up the church. It is obvious that she also participates in other ways. As time goes by, we begin to have a series of murders or suicides, all of which are connected. What is interesting is that the service that began all this was never announced to the congregation but there were thirteen participants. A negative factor, to me, was Morse's hurried relationship with the woman. Still, even though this was not the best episode, it still is superior to most of its kind.

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