This is one of the truly great British mystery series. Colin Dexter's novels for me are a bit like Shakespeare's plays - better to see them played out in a dramatic fashion than try to wade through all the details on the pages. Dexter obviously likes words, so naturally his famous detective will be a lover of crosswords and puzzles. A cultured, educated man who none the less loves fast cars (his trademark red Jaguar is as well-known an icon as Magnum's red Ferrari), whisky, women (although he doesn't seem very lucky with them), and of course, a good pint of REAL beer.
While a bit too old to do something along the lines of Regan in "The Sweeney", Thaw still brought enormous energy and presence to the Morse role.
His "sidekick", Sgt Lewis, is the perfect counterpart to Morse's sometimes-overly-intellectual approach to policing. In the books, Lewis comes off as rather thick, and at times a bit servile, and Morse seems to treat him accordingly; Kevin Whatley transformed Lewis into more of a sort of "everyman's genius", someone with whom Morse could actually collaborate. "Promised Land", in which the pair travel to Australia, is one of the better ones for seeing how the two relate to each other. The series sometimes amused the real-life police of the Thames Valley, for it raised Oxford's murder rate to ridiculously high levels. Some of the earlier shows moved at the pace of the books... a little sluggish, which when combined with odd camera angles - . through distorting glass objects - sometimes made the viewer feel drowsy. Always a mistake to nod off, though. Morse is usually so overconfident in his suspicions that the real killer goes uncaught, and where Morse goes, murder almost certainly follows.
My favorite episode? "Masonic Mysteries", a real spine-tingler where a man Morse put away years ago comes back to haunt him, and lands the detective in jail for murder. Ian McDiarmid (Star Wars' Emperor) is simply... spooky.
A fantastic series. If you have doubts, watch that episode.
This is and remains one of the best dramas ever to come out of England. The interplay between the characters was always excellent. Some of the best scriptwriting and acting on television. Some beautiful Oxford settings, even though some of the storys were a little far-fetched for a town like Oxford they were always intriguing and filled with twists and turns at almost every opportunity. A wonderful show and probably John Thaw's finest performances of his career. Unique in the world of TV and there will probably never be another show like it. Unmissable any time it comes on. highly recommended.
I'm positive that the world couldn't have imagined just how successful this show was ever going to be when it hit our TV screens way back in 1987, and I most certainly doubt that they expected that it would run into the next century.
Morse is one of only a handful of shows that lasted several seasons while still maintaining throughout great storylines and some truly great acting, which has certainly made Morse one of greatest detectives ever.
John Thaw is superb, and only adds to the fact that Inspector Morse is an essential edition to any detective mystery fan's favourite show line-up.
Back in the year of 1987 Oxford started to get a bad reputation, a reputation they never asked for. And what was the reason that the highly acclaimed and known city of Oxford got this reputation? Because of a grumpy old detective by the name of Inspector Morse. This highly cultural, intelligent detective that fancied a good beer and classical music over anything else in life. Brilliantly casted by John Thaw, one of Britains best actors of all time, shows just what British Television is all about. Quality, through and through.
The people behind the casting of this series has done a terrific job, the human interaction betweeen the characters in this series is nothing short of brilliant. The relationship between Morse (John Thaw) and Lewis (Kevin Whately) is a relationship that one wonders how works. They seem to be from different planets, but yet they manage to interact in such a way that they always ends up sorting the beans. Morse, a man that always carries around large bills always leaves Lewis to pay the bar bill because the bartender has no change for twenties, and that always patronizes Lewis in such a way that you pity him. But in spite of this slightly akward relationship, you do feel the compassion that is between the two. Even though they are highly different, they work so well together. Piecing together the pieces of the puzzle like the whole puzzle was nothing but a story book telling them exactly what happened.
Morse being a loner, living on his own embracing what he loves the most, classic music he in many ways comes of as socially inapt seems and odd match to the family man Lewis. But as you watch this series, you come to understand that it could not have been in any other way. They are a perfect match, which makes the series move along so perfectly as it does. The way the series illustrates just how great detective work is done, and what personal sacrifices the ones doing such work has to endure just leaves you in awe.
If you want good quality television, Inspectore Morse is a first choice by far. Many people get intimidated by the run time that a standard Inspector Morse episode has. But it's the best 100 minutes you can spend in front of the TV if you first are to spend time in front of it.
Thank you John Thaw, for the work you and all the others put into Colin Dexter's works. You will always be remembered.
Inspector Morse had it all: a charismatic lead actor (those blue eyes), a respectable sidekick, interesting storylines, great guest actors and a red vintage Jaguar. From the very episode I saw I was hooked on this grumpy, drinking, intelligent officer of the law.
This is a series I could watch over and over again and is a standard for all other police dramas.
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