Inspector Morse

Season 7 Episode 7

The Wench Is Dead

5
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 11, 1998 on ITV
8.8
out of 10
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22 votes

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Episode Summary

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Morse collapses during a conference on Victorian crime and is admitted to hospital. To pass his time in bed, he reads a book about the famous Oxford Canal Murder of 1859. A young woman was found dead in the canal, and the local police believed she was the victim of four rough boatmen who were carrying her by barge to London. A murder trial resulted in two of the men being convicted and hanged. Morse becomes convinced there was a miscarriage of justice and he enlists the help of a young police recruit, as Lewis is away on a training course. They trace the physical evidence from the crime, which is still stored in a local archive, and subject it to modern forensic tests. The results lead Morse to unearth an insurance fraud which was the motive for the framing of the boatmen - a fraud which is confirmed by a visit to a neglected grave in Ireland.

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Judy Loe

Judy Loe

Adele

Guest Star

Juliet Cowan

Juliet Cowan

Joanna Franks

Guest Star

Sarah Lam

Sarah Lam

Susan Ho

Guest Star

James Grout

James Grout

Chief Superintendent Strange

Recurring Role

Clare Holman

Clare Holman

Dr Laura Hobson

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (1)

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • 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."

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