The BEST Episodes of Inspector Morse

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jan 15, 2020

Network: ITV1

Inspector Morse is a detective drama based on Colin Dexter's series of Chief Inspector Morse novels. The series starred John Thaw as Chief Inspector Morse and Kevin Whately as Sergeant Lewis, as well as a large cast of notable actors and actresses.

Dead on Time

#1 - Dead on Time

Season 6 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 26, 1992

Morse investigates the apparent suicide of a terminally ill Oxford don and finds he has a personal connection with the family. As the case develops, Lewis worries that Morse's professionalism is being undermined.

star 8.81
151 votes
Directors: John Madden
Writers: Daniel Boyle
Second Time Around

#2 - Second Time Around

Season 5 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 20, 1991

The mysterious death of a former deputy police commissioner brings Morse into reluctant contact with an old rival, Ch Insp Dawson. Morse and Lewis, in uneasy tandem with Dawson, spot a link with the unsolved murder of a young girl 18 years earlier. To find the latest killer they have to unravel the first case again.

star 8.55
240 votes
Writers: Daniel Boyle
The Death of the Self

#3 - The Death of the Self

Season 6 - Episode 3 - Aired Mar 25, 1992

The strange death of an Englishwoman abroad takes Morse and Lewis to the city of Verona in northern Italy. Morse takes delight in open-air opera in the Roman amphitheatre and falls under the spell of Nicole Burgess, a glamorous opera singer. But Lewis is home-sick.

star 8.39
148 votes
Directors: Colin Gregg
Writers: Alma Cullen
Absolute Conviction

#4 - Absolute Conviction

Season 6 - Episode 4 - Aired Apr 8, 1992

Morse and Lewis investigate the affairs of three people in prison for fraud, when one of them is murdered, and they are surprised by what they find at HMP Farnleigh, an open prison. Then someone tries to kill one of the two surviving fraudsters.

star 8.39
118 votes
Writers: John Brown
Who Killed Harry Field?

#5 - Who Killed Harry Field?

Season 5 - Episode 3 - Aired Mar 13, 1991

An artist, fun-loving drinker and raconteur, Harry Field seems like a man after Morse's own heart. But when Morse and Lewis investigate his mysterious death, they discover that he was not such a lovable rogue.

star 8.38
203 votes
Directors: Colin Gregg
Writers: Geoffrey Case
Masonic Mysteries

#6 - Masonic Mysteries

Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired Jan 24, 1990

Morse finds himself at the top of the suspect list when his lady friend, Beryl Newsome, is stabbed at a dress rehearsal for the local amateur dramatic society's production of The Magic Flute. Then Lewis starts uncovering more incriminating evidence, and Morse becomes the target of direct attacks. Who is it that wants to get at Morse so badly?

star 8.38
238 votes
Directors: Danny Boyle
Writers: Julian Mitchell
Greeks Bearing Gifts

#7 - Greeks Bearing Gifts

Season 5 - Episode 4 - Aired Mar 20, 1991

When the chef at Lewis's favorite Greek restaurant is found murdered, and a baby goes missing, Oxford's close-knit Greek community closes ranks. Matters aren't helped when Morse has a bad-tempered exchange with the shipping millionaire who owns the restaurant.

star 8.37
235 votes
Writers: Peter Nichols
The Sins of the Fathers

#8 - The Sins of the Fathers

Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 10, 1990

Morse investigates the murder of Trevor Radford, managing director of the family-owned Radford's Brewery, who was attacked and killed while working late. Morse becomes immersed in the implications of a hostile take-over bid by another company. Then Helen Radford goes to the brewery to look for her missing husband Stephen and finds him also murdered.

star 8.36
180 votes
Writers: Jeremy Burnham
Happy Families

#9 - Happy Families

Season 6 - Episode 2 - Aired Mar 11, 1992

Business tycoon Sir John Balcombe is found murdered at his country house, Balcombe Castle, with no signs of a break-in. As a result, the dead man's wife and sons come under suspicion. Morse finds that the family is strangely untroubled, and several of his prime suspects have flawed characters and dark secrets - and then the Balcombe family suffers another killing. Meanwhile, Morse has to cope with journalists who try to turn his own personality into a story - and he also suffers from an unhelpful Chief Superintendant, covering for the station's usual boss, who puts pressure on him to crack the case in a hurry. In the end, though, Morse is vindicated and his various tormentors get their comeuppance.

star 8.33
144 votes
Directors: Adrian Shergold
Writers: Daniel Boyle
Last Seen Wearing

#10 - Last Seen Wearing

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Mar 8, 1988

The schoolgirl daughter of rich parents has been missing for six months. Morse believes she has been killed, and his investigations show curious goings on at the missing girl's school. But before Morse can unravel the mystery, he finds another.

star 8.17
145 votes
Writers: Thomas Ellice
The Secret of Bay 5B

#11 - The Secret of Bay 5B

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Jan 25, 1989

Playboy architect Michael Gifford is found strangled in his car, and the only clues are a car-park ticket and his diary. Morse and Lewis uncover a love triangle involving the murdered man, and the list of suspects grows. Meanwhile, Morse considers asking Grayling Russell for a date.

star 8.10
180 votes
Writers: Alma Cullen
Fat Chance

#12 - Fat Chance

Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired Feb 27, 1991

Morse finds himself attracted to a female cleric when he is called upon to investigate the suspicious death of a woman deacon. St Saviour's College is about to appoint Oxford's first ever female chaplain, and emotions are running high among the more conservative clerics, but Morse & Lewis find it hard to believe such feelings could lead to murder.

star 8.09
178 votes
Directors: Roy Battersby
Writers: Alma Cullen
The Dead of Jericho

#13 - The Dead of Jericho

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Jan 6, 1987

Morse is passed over for promotion and gets a new working partner in the shape of Lewis, who is not sure what to make of his new boss. Their first case together is a murder, when Anne Staveley, who was Morse's friend in a choral society, is found hanged in her house in the Jericho area of Oxford. The death looks like suicide, but Morse has his own reasons for treating the case as a murder investigation. A parking ticket and Oedipus the King, by Sophocles, come to his assistance.

star 8.08
344 votes
Directors: Alastair Reid
Writers: Anthony Minghella, Colin Dexter
The Settling of the Sun

#14 - The Settling of the Sun

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Mar 15, 1988

Oxford is shocked when a a Japanese student dies in what seems to be a brutal ritual killing. Then Morse finds he has unwittingly given all his suspects a watertight alibi.

star 8.07
199 votes
Directors: Peter Hammond
Writers: Charles Wood
Deceived by Flight

#15 - Deceived by Flight

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired Jan 18, 1989

Morse investigates when the annual match of the Claret's old boys' cricket eleven is brought to an abrupt end by the sudden death of a team member - and it seems that cricket was the last thing on their minds.

star 7.97
187 votes
Writers: Anthony Minghella
The Wolvercote Tongue

#16 - The Wolvercote Tongue

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Dec 25, 1987

Laura Poindexter, a rich American tourist, dies in the Randolph Hotel, Oxford, apparently from a heart attack, but Morse suspects foul play. Laura was due to return a historic jewel to an Oxford museum, and it has gone missing. Then Dr Kemp, who is a womanizing historian, dies of a fall, Lucy Downes is crushed to death in a telephone box, and Dr Kemp's widow appears to take a fatal overdose of Paracetomol.Morse believes the deaths are all linked.

star 7.96
148 votes
Writers: Julian Mitchell
Last Bus to Woodstock

#17 - Last Bus to Woodstock

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Mar 22, 1988

A young secretary is found dead in a pub car park. Morse suspects murder and uncovers a complex web of relationships - passion and corruption, lies and unhappiness.

star 7.91
107 votes
Writers: Michael Wilcox
The Infernal Serpent

#18 - The Infernal Serpent

Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Jan 3, 1990

Morse investigates a tangled web of university intrigue which surrounds the baffling murder of Dr Julian Dear, a college don and famous environmentalist who was killed just minutes before he was due to give a controversial lecture. It seems that the most respectable of academic families can have skeletons in the cupboard, and Morse has to put his job on the line to get at the truth.

star 7.91
180 votes
Directors: John Madden
Writers: Alma Cullen
Twilight of the Gods

#19 - Twilight of the Gods

Season 7 - Episode 3 - Aired Jan 20, 1993

A nasty but very rich business man and a world-famous opera singer are in Oxford to receive honorary degrees from the Chancellor of the University. However, the ceremony has to be abandoned when a sniper opens fire on the procession of dignitaries. The singer is seriously wounded, but was she the intended target?

star 7.85
120 votes
Writers: Julian Mitchell
Promised Land

#20 - Promised Land

Season 5 - Episode 5 - Aired Mar 27, 1991

The search for a retired 'supergrass' takes Morse and Lewis from Oxford to the Australian outback. Strangely, Lewis is less at home down under than Morse himself is.

star 7.80
204 votes
Directors: John Madden
Writers: Julian Mitchell
Service of All the Dead

#21 - Service of All the Dead

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Jan 20, 1987

Morse investigates murder on hallowed ground. A quiet country church is an unlikely setting for the killing, and a Vicar and his voluntary helpers are the unlikely suspects. Among them is Ruth Rawlinson, whom Morse is attracted to. Then it appears that a serial killer is at work.

star 7.70
162 votes
Writers: Julian Mitchell
The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn

#22 - The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 13, 1987

Someone at Oxford's Foreign Examination Syndicate is selling exam secrets. Nicholas Quinn, a member of the board, overhears something he shouldn't know about and is soon found dead at his cottage, poisoned with cyanide - but Nicholas was deaf. Then crossword compiler Philip Ogleby has his skull smashed in. During his investigations, Morse is attracted to Monica Height. She works for the Syndicate and may be mixed up in the corruption which led to Quinn's murder, and perhaps to Ogleby's as well.

star 7.70
214 votes
Writers: Julian Mitchell
Driven to Distraction

#23 - Driven to Distraction

Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired Jan 17, 1990

The apparently motiveless murder of two young women points to a psychotic killer. Morse's speculations on what they might have in common leads him to a local garage owner, Jeremy Boynton, who knew them both, and who arouses his suspicions and dislike. Convinced that Boynton holds the key to the crime, Morse begins to hound him, despite having no firm evidence. Morse is also faced with the possible oss of his beloved red Mk II Jaguar.

star 7.64
244 votes
Writers: Anthony Minghella
The Last Enemy

#24 - The Last Enemy

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 11, 1989

A body is found in the canal and the only clue to its identity points to a connection with one of the university's colleges. It happens that intense rivalry for one of the most prestigious posts in the university has led to murder. But which one of the highly respected contenders is the calculating killer?

star 7.64
161 votes
Writers: Peter Buckman
The Day of the Devil

#25 - The Day of the Devil

Season 7 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 13, 1993

Morse and Lewis hunt a violent rapist who has escaped from prison. They find themselves drawn into an under-world of satanists, and some of them seem more respectable than others.

star 7.57
116 votes
Writers: Daniel Boyle