The Best Episodes of Inspector Morse

Last Updated: Dec 10, 2018

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.

Second Time Around

#1 - Second Time Around

Season 5 - Episode 1

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 8.29
70 votes
Writers: Daniel Boyle
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Masonic Mysteries

#2 - Masonic Mysteries

Season 4 - Episode 4

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 8.16
67 votes
Directors: Danny Boyle
Writers: Julian Mitchell
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The Day of the Devil

#3 - The Day of the Devil

Season 7 - Episode 2

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 8.09
54 votes
Writers: Daniel Boyle
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The Death of the Self

#4 - The Death of the Self

Season 6 - Episode 3

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 8.09
58 votes
Directors: Colin Gregg
Writers: Alma Cullen
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Last Seen Wearing

#5 - Last Seen Wearing

Season 2 - Episode 2

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 7.97
77 votes
Writers: Thomas Ellice
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Absolute Conviction

#6 - Absolute Conviction

Season 6 - Episode 4

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 7.96
53 votes
Writers: John Brown
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Happy Families

#7 - Happy Families

Season 6 - Episode 2

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 7.95
54 votes
Writers: Daniel Boyle
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Driven to Distraction

#8 - Driven to Distraction

Season 4 - Episode 3

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 7.92
72 votes
Writers: Anthony Minghella
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Deceived by Flight

#9 - Deceived by Flight

Season 3 - Episode 3

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 7.91
70 votes
Writers: Anthony Minghella
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Fat Chance

#10 - Fat Chance

Season 5 - Episode 2

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 7.90
60 votes
Directors: Roy Battersby
Writers: Alma Cullen
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Dead on Time

#11 - Dead on Time

Season 6 - Episode 1

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 7.87
61 votes
Directors: John Madden
Writers: Daniel Boyle
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Deadly Slumber

#12 - Deadly Slumber

Season 7 - Episode 1

The owner of a private hospital is found murdered in his car, after a series of anonymous threatening letters. Suspicion falls on a retired book-maker whose daughter suffered severe brain damage as a result of negligence during an operation some years before. Morse spends a lot of effort in investigating the possibility that the dead man was criminally negligent, and concludes that he was. While he does his best to bring the killer to justice, Morse does not seem very troubled that at the end of the day he is unable to nail him.

star 7.86
56 votes
Directors: Stuart Orme
Writers: Daniel Boyle
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The Secret of Bay 5B

#13 - The Secret of Bay 5B

Season 3 - Episode 4

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 7.84
66 votes
Writers: Alma Cullen
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Last Bus to Woodstock

#14 - Last Bus to Woodstock

Season 2 - Episode 4

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 7.83
70 votes
Writers: Michael Wilcox
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Promised Land

#15 - Promised Land

Season 5 - Episode 5

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
61 votes
Directors: John Madden
Writers: Julian Mitchell
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The Infernal Serpent

#16 - The Infernal Serpent

Season 4 - Episode 1

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 7.80
64 votes
Directors: John Madden
Writers: Alma Cullen
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The Sins of the Fathers

#17 - The Sins of the Fathers

Season 4 - Episode 2

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 7.80
63 votes
Writers: Jeremy Burnham
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Twilight of the Gods

#18 - Twilight of the Gods

Season 7 - Episode 3

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 7.77
56 votes
Writers: Julian Mitchell
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The Ghost in the Machine

#19 - The Ghost in the Machine

Season 3 - Episode 1

Morse investigates the reported theft of erotic paintings belonging to Sir Julius Hanbury, a local baronet who is one of those standing for election as the new Master of Courtney College, Oxford. As well as the pictures, Sir Julius himself has also disappeared. Morse finds Sir Julius's dead body, and at first it looks like murder, but the new police pathologist, Dr Grayling Russell, believes he killed himself. Then there is another death which is undoubtedly a murder - but how is it connected with the late Sir Julius Hanbury?

star 7.75
75 votes
Writers: Julian Mitchell
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Greeks Bearing Gifts

#20 - Greeks Bearing Gifts

Season 5 - Episode 4

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 7.72
64 votes
Writers: Peter Nichols
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Cherubim and Seraphim

#21 - Cherubim and Seraphim

Season 6 - Episode 5

Morse's step-niece commits suicide, and he takes compassionate leave. He starts to research her past to find the reason for it, and this confronts him with the generation gap. His investigation into the young girl's death leads him into an alien world of teenage hedonism: house parties, raves and designer drugs.

star 7.66
53 votes
Directors: Danny Boyle
Writers: Julian Mitchell
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The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn

#22 - The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn

Season 1 - Episode 2

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 7.64
115 votes
Writers: Julian Mitchell
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The Wolvercote Tongue

#23 - The Wolvercote Tongue

Season 2 - Episode 1

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 7.62
81 votes
Writers: Julian Mitchell
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Service of All the Dead

#24 - Service of All the Dead

Season 1 - Episode 3

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 7.57
89 votes
Writers: Julian Mitchell
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The Settling of the Sun

#25 - The Settling of the Sun

Season 2 - Episode 3

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 7.57
79 votes
Directors: Peter Hammond
Writers: Charles Wood
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