History Main / InspectorMorse

21st Apr '13 9:36:03 PM mlsmithca
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[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MorseLewis200x_3511.jpg]]
''"Coded messages, murder - right up my street. It's not a bad way to start the day."''

''Inspector Morse'' was a British DetectiveDrama based on a series of novels by Colin Dexter, which ran from 1987 to 2000. Set among the dreaming spires of [[{{Oxbridge}} Oxford]], it starred John Thaw as the grumpy, intellectual and beer loving Chief Inspector Morse, and Kevin Whately as his cheerful Geordie sidekick Sergeant Lewis. During the course of each episode, the pair would investigate a murder, which would often involve complex university politics, bright but emotional students and the opportunity for Morse to utilise his love of classical music, literature and cryptic crossword puzzles.

The show was immensely popular in Britain, and John Thaw's portrayal of Morse is generally considered one of British television's most iconic characters. Still repeated fairly frequently on [=ITV3=].

Sergeant Lewis later received his own spin-off in ''{{Lewis}}''. A {{prequel}}, ''{{Series/Endeavour}}'', set in 1965 and starring Shaun Evans as the young Detective Constable Morse, aired in 2012; it has been renewed for a series airing from April 2013.
----
!!!This show provides examples of:
* AfraidOfBlood: Morse has quite a distaste for gore and won't look at fresh corpses unless he absolutely has to. Being a murder detective, he sometimes does have to.
* AlwaysMurder
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: A pretty literal example occurs in "Masonic Mysteries" when the BigBad tries to murder Morse by setting his flat on fire while he sleeps. After surviving the attempt, Morse finds out that the device that started the fire was concealed in a tape of a notoriously bad version of ''Theatre/TheMagicFlute''. Amusingly, Morse seems more annoyed at the notion of having that recording in his collection than he does the attempt on his life or the near-destruction of his flat.
* BetterManhandleTheMurderWeapon
* {{Bowdlerize}}: With the series often being broadcast during the day, this can happen quite heavily. In particular, the initial daytime edit of "Service of all the Dead" was severely chopped up to remove a subplot which involved a ten year old boy being murdered, rendering the end product barely coherent (fortunately, more recent versions of that episode just remove the reveal of the boy's corpse).
* BritishBrevity: While each season is between 3 and 5 episodes long, each episode is an hour and forty minutes!
* CartwrightCurse
* CoolCar: Morse's red Jaguar Mark II.
* CreatorCameo: Series creator Colin Dexter would make a cameo in every episode.
* DaChief: Chief Superintendent Strange veers into this on occasion... in a very British way, of course.
* DiegeticSwitch / LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn: Both are employed throughout the series, usually by way of Morse's love of classical music.
* DistaffCounterpart: Dr. Grayling Russell is loosely this to Morse. While she has a different job and is significantly younger than Morse, she has a similar personality, a love of classical music and opera, and an EmbarrassingFirstName.
* EmbarrassingFirstName: [[spoiler: Morse's first name is Endeavour]]
** "You poor sod."
* EurekaMoment: Often supplied by a passing comment from Sergeant Lewis.
* [[spoiler:FamousLastWords: [[{{TearJerker}} "Thank Lewis For Me"]]]]
* InspectorLestrade: Sergeant Lewis (Although, in later series, he sometimes found the right answer before Morse and even once successfully hid the truth from Morse to spare Morse's feelings)
* IrregularSeries
* NeverOneMurder
* NeverSuicide: Subverted in that Morse often makes a point of investigating suicides.
* NoNameGiven
* TheNotLoveInterest: Morse is too ... ''Morse'' to be exactly paternal, but Lewis still manages to be his MostImportantPerson, to the point that he [[spoiler: leaves a third of his estate to Lewis]] and Lewis finds that one of the few pictures in Morse's house is of himself and Morse in front of Morse's [[CoolCar Jag]].
* ObviouslyEvil: Played with; characters who ''behave'' in an Obviously Evil manner are generally innocent, but characters who are played by actors well-known for playing villains almost always turn out to be murderers, or at least accomplices.
* OldCopYoungCop: Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis.
* OvertookTheSeries: Originally averted by mixing adaptions of the novels with original plots, but [[spoiler: since the death of Morse, the spinoff series ''{{Lewis}}'' has obviously ended up doing this.]]
* {{Oxbridge}}
* PutOnABus: The series' original pathologist, Max was mentioned as having been forced to retire after suffering a stroke between the second and third seasons, while his replacement, Dr. Russell, vanishes without a trace after the third season.
** Adele Cecil, who becomes Morse's girlfriend near the back end of the series, disappears in the final episode with only a brief comment that she had decided to move to Australia and break off their relationship. [[spoiler:It turns out later in the episode that Morse very likely cheated on her with a woman who eventually became the final murder victim he ever investigated]].
* RetCanon: Dexter has admitted he prefers the TV series portrayal of the young, Geordie Sergeant Lewis to the elderly Welshman he used in the novels.
* SesquipedalianSmith: [[spoiler: Morse himself]]
* SignificantAnagram: Constantly. Colin Dexter is a major crossword fan and often included anagrams of important character's names.
* SmallReferencePools: Completely averted due to both Morse and the show's writers having an extensive knowledge of classical music, leading to some obscure references that [[GeniusBonus only a few fans will get]].
* {{Spinoff}}: ''{{Lewis}}''.
* TelevisionGeography: Morse was seemingly able to walk between Oxford landmarks which are in reality several miles apart in a matter of seconds.
* TheCoroner: There were three regular ones -- Max in Series 1 and 2, Grayling Russell in Series 3, and Laura Hobson in the specials -- and a variety of one-off ones in Series 4-7.
* WhamLine: The penultimate line of the series, delivered to the just-apprehended murderer by Lewis: "[[spoiler:Inspector Morse is DEAD]]!"
* WomenAreWiser: Played straight with Dr. Russell, who is consciously depicted as being much more focused, knowledgeable and sensible compared to her predecessor, Max, and even Morse himself to a certain degree. Defied by the much quirkier Dr. Hobson.
----
!!!Episodes of this series provide examples of:
* ClearMyName
* ClimbingClimax: In the episode 'In Service of all the Dead', Morse chases the murderer up a church tower.
** Note that Morse is not only [[AfraidOfBlood]] as noted above, he's also got a serious fear of heights.
* ConMan: 'Death of the Self.'
* DangerTakesABackseat
* DidTheyOrDidntThey: Morse and Emma Pickford.
* DisconnectedByDeath: In 'The Wolvercote Tongue'.
* DownerEnding: ''The Remorseful Day''. Oh '''''[[ManlyTears God]]''''', ''The Remorseful Day''.
* EverythingIsOnline: In 'Masonic Mysteries', a villain manages to hack the police database, alter Morse's file and frame him... after having taken a single computing course while in prison. However, Lewis does point out that the internet is only one possible way he did it, and that as a notorious con-man he may have been able to trick someone into giving him physical access to the system.
* HistoricalInJoke: In 'The Daughters of Cain', the Morseverse equivalent of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_Church%2c_Oxford#History Christ Church]] is called "Wolsey College".
* InfantImmortality: Averted - in 'Dead on Time', we see the death of a baby in a flashback.
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: 'The Wench is Dead,' 'Greeks Bearing Gifts.'
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: The murderer in "Happy Families" actually says this out loud after it turns out that [[spoiler:Lady Balcombe, her main accomplice, disregarded the warning not to tell her supposed (and emotionally disturbed) long-lost daughter of their relationship, resulting in Balcombe being stabbed to death]].
* NaughtyBirdwatching: George Jackson in 'The Dead of Jericho'.
* NeverGiveTheCaptainAStraightAnswer: 'In Service of all the Dead', after Lewis spots a corpse from the top of a belltower, he tells the elderly and exhausted Morse to 'come and see for himself'.
* PlayingAgainstType: [[TheGoodLife Richard]] [[WatershipDown Briers]] as the evil master of Lonsdale College.
* RoomFullOfCrazy: In 'Masonic Mysteries' and 'Fat Chance'.
* ScarpiaUltimatum: In 'Death Is Now My Neighbour', a female character agrees to sleep with an Oxford Don if he'll give her husband the position of master. Afterward he laughs at her and says [[ILied he never had any intention of making him master]], since the husband had already slept with the don's wife.
* SpanishPrisoner: Or in this case, a Russian Bride.
* TheMaster: The Master of Lonsdale College in 'Death Is Now My Neighbour'.
* ThisIsWhatTheBuildingWillLookLike: The college that Baydon plans to endow in 'Twilight of the Gods'.
* WrongGenreSavvy: In the very first episode, Morse becomes convinced he is in a modern day retelling of a Greek tragedy. 'Sophocles did it'
* YoungerThanTheyLook: It's amazing to realize that John Thaw was only 45 in the first series. It's the white hair.

<<|BritishSeries|>>
----
<<|CrimeAndPunishmentSeries|>>

to:

[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MorseLewis200x_3511.jpg]]
''"Coded messages, murder - right up my street. It's not a bad way to start the day."''

''Inspector Morse'' was a British DetectiveDrama based on a series of novels by Colin Dexter, which ran from 1987 to 2000. Set among the dreaming spires of [[{{Oxbridge}} Oxford]], it starred John Thaw as the grumpy, intellectual and beer loving Chief Inspector Morse, and Kevin Whately as his cheerful Geordie sidekick Sergeant Lewis. During the course of each episode, the pair would investigate a murder, which would often involve complex university politics, bright but emotional students and the opportunity for Morse to utilise his love of classical music, literature and cryptic crossword puzzles.

The show was immensely popular in Britain, and John Thaw's portrayal of Morse is generally considered one of British television's most iconic characters. Still repeated fairly frequently on [=ITV3=].

Sergeant Lewis later received his own spin-off in ''{{Lewis}}''. A {{prequel}}, ''{{Series/Endeavour}}'', set in 1965 and starring Shaun Evans as the young Detective Constable Morse, aired in 2012; it has been renewed for a series airing from April 2013.
----
!!!This show provides examples of:
* AfraidOfBlood: Morse has quite a distaste for gore and won't look at fresh corpses unless he absolutely has to. Being a murder detective, he sometimes does have to.
* AlwaysMurder
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: A pretty literal example occurs in "Masonic Mysteries" when the BigBad tries to murder Morse by setting his flat on fire while he sleeps. After surviving the attempt, Morse finds out that the device that started the fire was concealed in a tape of a notoriously bad version of ''Theatre/TheMagicFlute''. Amusingly, Morse seems more annoyed at the notion of having that recording in his collection than he does the attempt on his life or the near-destruction of his flat.
* BetterManhandleTheMurderWeapon
* {{Bowdlerize}}: With the series often being broadcast during the day, this can happen quite heavily. In particular, the initial daytime edit of "Service of all the Dead" was severely chopped up to remove a subplot which involved a ten year old boy being murdered, rendering the end product barely coherent (fortunately, more recent versions of that episode just remove the reveal of the boy's corpse).
* BritishBrevity: While each season is between 3 and 5 episodes long, each episode is an hour and forty minutes!
* CartwrightCurse
* CoolCar: Morse's red Jaguar Mark II.
* CreatorCameo: Series creator Colin Dexter would make a cameo in every episode.
* DaChief: Chief Superintendent Strange veers into this on occasion... in a very British way, of course.
* DiegeticSwitch / LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn: Both are employed throughout the series, usually by way of Morse's love of classical music.
* DistaffCounterpart: Dr. Grayling Russell is loosely this to Morse. While she has a different job and is significantly younger than Morse, she has a similar personality, a love of classical music and opera, and an EmbarrassingFirstName.
* EmbarrassingFirstName: [[spoiler: Morse's first name is Endeavour]]
** "You poor sod."
* EurekaMoment: Often supplied by a passing comment from Sergeant Lewis.
* [[spoiler:FamousLastWords: [[{{TearJerker}} "Thank Lewis For Me"]]]]
* InspectorLestrade: Sergeant Lewis (Although, in later series, he sometimes found the right answer before Morse and even once successfully hid the truth from Morse to spare Morse's feelings)
* IrregularSeries
* NeverOneMurder
* NeverSuicide: Subverted in that Morse often makes a point of investigating suicides.
* NoNameGiven
* TheNotLoveInterest: Morse is too ... ''Morse'' to be exactly paternal, but Lewis still manages to be his MostImportantPerson, to the point that he [[spoiler: leaves a third of his estate to Lewis]] and Lewis finds that one of the few pictures in Morse's house is of himself and Morse in front of Morse's [[CoolCar Jag]].
* ObviouslyEvil: Played with; characters who ''behave'' in an Obviously Evil manner are generally innocent, but characters who are played by actors well-known for playing villains almost always turn out to be murderers, or at least accomplices.
* OldCopYoungCop: Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis.
* OvertookTheSeries: Originally averted by mixing adaptions of the novels with original plots, but [[spoiler: since the death of Morse, the spinoff series ''{{Lewis}}'' has obviously ended up doing this.]]
* {{Oxbridge}}
* PutOnABus: The series' original pathologist, Max was mentioned as having been forced to retire after suffering a stroke between the second and third seasons, while his replacement, Dr. Russell, vanishes without a trace after the third season.
** Adele Cecil, who becomes Morse's girlfriend near the back end of the series, disappears in the final episode with only a brief comment that she had decided to move to Australia and break off their relationship. [[spoiler:It turns out later in the episode that Morse very likely cheated on her with a woman who eventually became the final murder victim he ever investigated]].
* RetCanon: Dexter has admitted he prefers the TV series portrayal of the young, Geordie Sergeant Lewis to the elderly Welshman he used in the novels.
* SesquipedalianSmith: [[spoiler: Morse himself]]
* SignificantAnagram: Constantly. Colin Dexter is a major crossword fan and often included anagrams of important character's names.
* SmallReferencePools: Completely averted due to both Morse and the show's writers having an extensive knowledge of classical music, leading to some obscure references that [[GeniusBonus only a few fans will get]].
* {{Spinoff}}: ''{{Lewis}}''.
* TelevisionGeography: Morse was seemingly able to walk between Oxford landmarks which are in reality several miles apart in a matter of seconds.
* TheCoroner: There were three regular ones -- Max in Series 1 and 2, Grayling Russell in Series 3, and Laura Hobson in the specials -- and a variety of one-off ones in Series 4-7.
* WhamLine: The penultimate line of the series, delivered to the just-apprehended murderer by Lewis: "[[spoiler:Inspector Morse is DEAD]]!"
* WomenAreWiser: Played straight with Dr. Russell, who is consciously depicted as being much more focused, knowledgeable and sensible compared to her predecessor, Max, and even Morse himself to a certain degree. Defied by the much quirkier Dr. Hobson.
----
!!!Episodes of this series provide examples of:
* ClearMyName
* ClimbingClimax: In the episode 'In Service of all the Dead', Morse chases the murderer up a church tower.
** Note that Morse is not only [[AfraidOfBlood]] as noted above, he's also got a serious fear of heights.
* ConMan: 'Death of the Self.'
* DangerTakesABackseat
* DidTheyOrDidntThey: Morse and Emma Pickford.
* DisconnectedByDeath: In 'The Wolvercote Tongue'.
* DownerEnding: ''The Remorseful Day''. Oh '''''[[ManlyTears God]]''''', ''The Remorseful Day''.
* EverythingIsOnline: In 'Masonic Mysteries', a villain manages to hack the police database, alter Morse's file and frame him... after having taken a single computing course while in prison. However, Lewis does point out that the internet is only one possible way he did it, and that as a notorious con-man he may have been able to trick someone into giving him physical access to the system.
* HistoricalInJoke: In 'The Daughters of Cain', the Morseverse equivalent of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_Church%2c_Oxford#History Christ Church]] is called "Wolsey College".
* InfantImmortality: Averted - in 'Dead on Time', we see the death of a baby in a flashback.
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: 'The Wench is Dead,' 'Greeks Bearing Gifts.'
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: The murderer in "Happy Families" actually says this out loud after it turns out that [[spoiler:Lady Balcombe, her main accomplice, disregarded the warning not to tell her supposed (and emotionally disturbed) long-lost daughter of their relationship, resulting in Balcombe being stabbed to death]].
* NaughtyBirdwatching: George Jackson in 'The Dead of Jericho'.
* NeverGiveTheCaptainAStraightAnswer: 'In Service of all the Dead', after Lewis spots a corpse from the top of a belltower, he tells the elderly and exhausted Morse to 'come and see for himself'.
* PlayingAgainstType: [[TheGoodLife Richard]] [[WatershipDown Briers]] as the evil master of Lonsdale College.
* RoomFullOfCrazy: In 'Masonic Mysteries' and 'Fat Chance'.
* ScarpiaUltimatum: In 'Death Is Now My Neighbour', a female character agrees to sleep with an Oxford Don if he'll give her husband the position of master. Afterward he laughs at her and says [[ILied he never had any intention of making him master]], since the husband had already slept with the don's wife.
* SpanishPrisoner: Or in this case, a Russian Bride.
* TheMaster: The Master of Lonsdale College in 'Death Is Now My Neighbour'.
* ThisIsWhatTheBuildingWillLookLike: The college that Baydon plans to endow in 'Twilight of the Gods'.
* WrongGenreSavvy: In the very first episode, Morse becomes convinced he is in a modern day retelling of a Greek tragedy. 'Sophocles did it'
* YoungerThanTheyLook: It's amazing to realize that John Thaw was only 45 in the first series. It's the white hair.

<<|BritishSeries|>>
----
<<|CrimeAndPunishmentSeries|>>
[[redirect:Series/InspectorMorse]]
15th Apr '13 9:09:58 PM Getheren
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Added DiffLines:

** Note that Morse is not only [[AfraidOfBlood]] as noted above, he's also got a serious fear of heights.
14th Apr '13 2:41:34 PM john_e
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* TheDanza: In ''Endeavour'', [[http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2012-09-03/exclusive-a-behind-the-scenes-report-on-the-new-series-of-inspector-morse-prequel-endeavour Constable James Strange]].



* OldCopYoungCop: Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis. In ''Endeavour'', Inspector Thursday and Constable Morse.

to:

* OldCopYoungCop: Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis. In ''Endeavour'', Inspector Thursday and Constable Morse.



* MythologyGag: In ''Endeavour'', the question of whether Morse's girlfriend at university was called Wendy (as in the books) or Susan (as in the series).
14th Apr '13 2:32:49 PM john_e
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Sergeant Lewis later received his own spin-off in ''{{Lewis}}''. A {{prequel}}, ''Endeavour'', set in 1965 and starring Shaun Evans as the young Detective Constable Morse, aired in 2012; it has been renewed for a series airing from April 2013.

to:

Sergeant Lewis later received his own spin-off in ''{{Lewis}}''. A {{prequel}}, ''Endeavour'', ''{{Series/Endeavour}}'', set in 1965 and starring Shaun Evans as the young Detective Constable Morse, aired in 2012; it has been renewed for a series airing from April 2013.
14th Apr '13 1:58:49 PM abec
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Sergeant Lewis later received his own spin-off in ''{{Lewis}}''. A {{prequel}}, ''Endeavour'', set in 1965 and starring Shaun Evans as the young Detective Constable Morse, aired in 2012; it has been renewed for a series airing in June of that year.

to:

Sergeant Lewis later received his own spin-off in ''{{Lewis}}''. A {{prequel}}, ''Endeavour'', set in 1965 and starring Shaun Evans as the young Detective Constable Morse, aired in 2012; it has been renewed for a series airing in June of that year.from April 2013.
27th Jan '13 12:36:00 PM OlfinBedwere
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Added DiffLines:

* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: The murderer in "Happy Families" actually says this out loud after it turns out that [[spoiler:Lady Balcombe, her main accomplice, disregarded the warning not to tell her supposed (and emotionally disturbed) long-lost daughter of their relationship, resulting in Balcombe being stabbed to death]].
26th Jan '13 6:58:53 AM OlfinBedwere
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* DistaffCounterpart: Dr. Grayling Russell is loosely this to Morse. While she has a different job and is significantly younger than Morse, she has a similar personality, a love of classical music and opera, and an EmbarrassingFirstName.



* TheCoroner: The show went through several, although Max from the first two series is the most well remembered.

to:

* TheCoroner: There were three regular ones -- Max in Series 1 and 2, Grayling Russell in Series 3, and Laura Hobson in the specials -- and a variety of one-off ones in Series 4-7.
* WhamLine:
The show went through several, although Max from penultimate line of the first two series is series, delivered to the most well remembered.just-apprehended murderer by Lewis: "[[spoiler:Inspector Morse is DEAD]]!"
8th Dec '12 3:32:29 AM Scoutstr295
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* PutOnABus: The series' original pathologist, Max was mentioned as having been forced to retire after suffering a stroke between the second and third seasons, while his replacement, Dr. Russell vanishes without a trace after the third season.

to:

* PutOnABus: The series' original pathologist, Max was mentioned as having been forced to retire after suffering a stroke between the second and third seasons, while his replacement, Dr. Russell Russell, vanishes without a trace after the third season.



* RetCanon: Dexter has admitted he prefers the TV series portrayal of the young, Geordie Sergeant Lewis to the elderly Welshman used he used in the novels.

to:

* RetCanon: Dexter has admitted he prefers the TV series portrayal of the young, Geordie Sergeant Lewis to the elderly Welshman used he used in the novels.



* SignificantAnagram Constantly. Colin Dexter is a major crossword fan and often included anagrams of important character's names.
* SmallReferencePools: Completely averted due to both Morse and the show's writers having an extensive knowledge of classical music, leading to some obscure references that [[GeniusBonus only a few fans will get.]]

to:

* SignificantAnagram SignificantAnagram: Constantly. Colin Dexter is a major crossword fan and often included anagrams of important character's names.
* SmallReferencePools: Completely averted due to both Morse and the show's writers having an extensive knowledge of classical music, leading to some obscure references that [[GeniusBonus only a few fans will get.]]get]].



* DidTheyOrDidntThey: Morse and Emma Pickford

to:

* DidTheyOrDidntThey: Morse and Emma PickfordPickford.
2nd Nov '12 3:26:42 AM TheProfessor529
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* {{SignificantAnagram}} Constantly. Colin Dexter is a major crossword fan and often included anagrams of important character's names.

to:

* {{SignificantAnagram}} SignificantAnagram Constantly. Colin Dexter is a major crossword fan and often included anagrams of important character's names.
21st Oct '12 5:24:26 AM OlfinBedwere
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Added DiffLines:

** Adele Cecil, who becomes Morse's girlfriend near the back end of the series, disappears in the final episode with only a brief comment that she had decided to move to Australia and break off their relationship. [[spoiler:It turns out later in the episode that Morse very likely cheated on her with a woman who eventually became the final murder victim he ever investigated]].
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