Inspector Morse (1987–2000)
8 user 1 critic

The Wolvercote Tongue 

During an exclusive tour an elderly woman dies suddenly and the priceless piece of Medieval jewellery she was going to donate to a local museum vanishes.


Alastair Reid


Julian Mitchell (screenplay), Colin Dexter (story)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Thaw ... Chief Inspector Morse
Kevin Whately ... Detective Sergeant Lewis
Simon Callow ... Theodore Kemp
Kenneth Cranham ... Cedric Downes
Roberta Taylor ... Sheila Williams
Peter Woodthorpe ... Max
Robert Arden ... Eddie Poindexter
Christine Norden ... Laura Poindexter
Bill Reimbold Bill Reimbold ... Howard Brown
Helena Stevens Helena Stevens ... Shirley Brown
John Bloomfield ... Phil Aldrich
Mildred Shay Mildred Shay ... Janet Roscoe
Jane Bertish Jane Bertish ... Marion Kemp
Christine Kavanagh Christine Kavanagh ... Lucy Downes
Cherith Mellor Cherith Mellor ... Fiona Hall


Morse and Lewis investigate the death of Laura Poindexter, an American tourist who is part of an exclusive tour group visiting Oxford. Missing from her personal effects is her jewelry, including the Wolvercote Tongue which she was going to donate to the Ashmolean Museum. The pathologist determines that she died of natural causes, but Morse feels there's something not quite right. The mystery deepens when Theodore Kemp, the Ashmolean's expert on the Wolvercote Tongue, is found dead and Mrs. Poindexter's husband goes missing. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

25 December 1987 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?


The lute song played at dinner is John Dowland's 'Flow, My Tears' from 1596. See more »


At the beginning of the episode when Laura and Eddie Poindexter arrive at their hotel room, the door opens outwards into the hallway. When we see the shot of Laura Poindexter lying dead on the floor, you can see the door closing as someone leaves the room and the door closes from the inside. When Morse and Lewis leave the room with the coroner, the door once again opens outwards into the hallway. See more »


[first lines]
Sheila Williams: This street's called St. Giles and there's been a fair here every September since the Middle Ages. The whole road is blocked for days.
Shirley Brown: Well, how do people get around?
Sheila Williams: They walk.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The character name Shirley Brown and the actress Helena Stevens were the wrong way round in the credits. See more »


Referenced in Endeavour: Trove (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

The Wolvercote Tongue
27 January 2006 | by erh83See all my reviews

A first class episode from Morse's earlier years on television. A great intricate story well acted and directed. This story was based on an idea by Morse creator Colin Dexter before he turned it into a book a few years later entitled 'The Jewel That Was Ours'. Stand out performances by Kenneth Cranham and of course John Thaw and Kevin Whately make this one to watch out for. Though the story begins slowly (as always with Morse) it then moves quickly to an unforeseen and very exciting conclusion.

As one might expect with Morse, this is well worth your time with the beautiful views of Oxford matched with a calibre of drama which they simply don't produce anymore.

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