Inspector Morse

Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions

Quotes (56)

  • Morse: (To Lewis) You're one of those people who has breakfast, aren't you?

  • The book that Murdock, and later Morse, was reading was Oedipus the King, by Sophocles.

  • Anne: You know, I don't know your first name. Morse: That's right! Anne: So, what is it? Morse: I don't use it. Anne: Well, don't be silly. Morse: It was my parents that were silly. Anne: Well, what do your friends call you? Morse: Morse.

  • Morse: I sometimes - sometimes - get things arse about face.

  • Lewis: We should have arrested Donald Martin straightaway. Morse: Why? Lewis: Morse's Law. You said there's a fifty-fifty chance that whoever finds the body did the deed. Morse: That isn't Morse's Law. Morse's Law is "There's always time for one more pint".

  • Dr Thomas Bartlett: (after admitting that he thought of going to see 'Last Tango in Paris') I was wondering if I shouldn't tell my wife. Morse: Tell her what? That you didn't see the film? Adultery in the heart is not really the same as adultery. Or who shall 'scape whipping?

  • Philip Ogleby: A woman would get in the way of my work. That's my excuse, what's yours? Morse: Oh, no woman would put up with me - I play my records too loud. Philip Ogleby: You could get her earplugs.

  • Morse: It's a very funny thing, but as soon as someone doesn't want to discuss something, I do.

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Notes (68)

  • Music: Vivaldi - Gloria (at the start of the episode)

  • This episode was watched by approx. 14 million viewers.

  • This episode is based on Colin Dexter's 5th Inspector Morse book, The Dead of Jericho (1981), although it was not his first about Morse. As with all the Inspector Morse episodes based on books by Dexter, there are changes - notably in names, such as Anne Scott in the book becoming Anne Stavely on the screen.

  • This episode was rated 15 in both the UK and Ireland.

  • James Grout's irritable character, Strange, was planned to appear only once but he later returned in episodes 5, 9, and 15 before becoming a regular from series 5 onwards. And when Morse dies in The Remorseful Day it is Strange, not Lewis, who is at his bedside.

  • This episode is based on Colin Dexter's third Morse book, The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (1977).

  • Rated PG in the UK and 12 in Ireland

  • This episode is based on Colin Dexter's book Service of All the Dead (1979).

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Trivia (8)

  • Locations Oxford locations The White Horse, Broad Street (Morse and Anne have a drink here after choir practice) The Bodleian Library area: Clarendon Building, Sheldonian Quad, Radcliffe Square, (Morse walks Anne home) Mansfield Road (Morse walks Anne home) Jericho locations Combe Road (Used as Canal Reach) The Bookbinders Arms * (Morse and Lewis go for a drink after Morse gets caught breaking into Anne's house) Canal Street (Morse enters the phone box to see directory open at "police") Walton Street (George cycles home) Magdalen College (Ned's school apartment) Gill & Co Ltd, Wheatsheaf Passage (The key cutting shop) * Known now as "Old Bookbinders Ale House"

  • In this episode, we see some details of Morse's bank account on a computer screen, and the account is called "E. Morse". This is long before Morse's first name, Endeavour, is at last revealed.

  • Towards the end, when Papas is watching television, Sidney James is on screen in the movie Carry on Cowboy.

  • A viewer in Norway writes:

    "In Twilight of the Gods Morse refers to a library as "the libary". This is a pronunciation-mistake I don't believe Colin Dexter would approve. Or perhaps it was deliberate? Morse is quite a moody, shifty person, but he's certainly prudent on spelling and grammar."

  • A close up on Geoffrey Owens' computer screen reveals three spelling mistakes in the article he is writing - cliams (claims), benifits (benefits) and icluding (including).

  • The final Oxford location for Morse: he collapses with his heart attack in the quad of Exeter College, Oxford.

  • The late Ailish Hurley, who appears as the waitress serving coffee to Morse and Dr Sandra Harrison at the Randolph Hotel, Oxford, was in real life the manager of the hotel's bar. She was also a friend of Colin Dexter who encouraged him to continue with the Morse books. During filming, the production team and stars of Inspector Morse usually stayed at the Randolph Hotel, and Dexter arranged for Ailish (like him) to play a cameo role in The Remorseful Day.

  • John Thaw said of the end of Morse - "I didn't want the television Morse to end like Frank Sinatra - doing an endless series of farewell concerts."

Allusions (8)

  • Morse's advice to Dr Bartlett, "Adultery in the heart is not really the same as adultery. Or who shall 'scape whipping?" is an allusion to Shakespeare's play Hamlet - Polonius: My lord, I will use them according to their desert. Hamlet: God's bodikin, man, much better. Use every man after his desert, and who shall 'scape whipping?

  • The detective novel on which this episode is based probably has the most complicated storyline of any of Colin Dexter's many books, with a string of murders, conspiracies, sub-plots, and other crimes as well.

  • The first murder victim in this episode is killed by being knocked out and dropped into a vat of beer. Morse draws the parallel with the killing of George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, in 1478, who according to tradition was drowned in a butt of malmsey on the orders of his brother, King Edward IV.

  • When Morse says "I was meant to pick up the knife! It's handle was toward my hand", and McNutt replies "You can leave out the literary flourishes, Morse", the reference is to the dagger speech in Shakespeare's play, Macbeth: Macbeth: Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee - I have thee not, and yet I see thee still! Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible To feeling as to sight, or art thou but A dagger of the mind, a false creation, Proceeding from the heat-oppressèd brain?

  • Harry Field, Senior: Beware all thieves and imitators. The following is attributed to the sixteenth century German artist Albrecht Duerer: "Beware, all thieves and imitators of other people's labour and talents, laying your audacious hands upon our work."

  • When Morse says "To make an end is to make a beginning", he is quoting from T.S. Eliot's poem Little Gidding - "What we call the beginning is often the end And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from." Or, as the poet Seneca puts it, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.”

  • The title of this episode is an allusion to a passage in Christopher Marlowe's play The Jew of Malta (circa 1589) - "Thou hast committed Fornication: but that was in another country, And besides, the wench is dead."

  • As Morse and Lewis are having a drink and watching the sunset, Morse quotes from A.E. Housman's poem 'Easter Hymn' - Ensanguining the skies How heavily it dies Into the west away; Past touch and sight and sound Not further to be found, How hopeless under ground Falls the remorseful day.