Talk:Inspector Morse

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Death of versus the death of Sherlock Holmes[edit]

It should be noted that Arthur Conan Doyle did not kill Sherlock Holmes in the last book. The last story chronologically is "His Last Bow", which plays in 1914. In that story he is retired and does one more service for England. The last story written is "The retired colourman", which plays much earlier.

However, Sherlock Holmes did die (at least Dr. Watson deduced so) in "The final problem", by falling down the Reichenbach Falls in a death struggle with his arch-enemy, Professor Moriarty. The next story (written about three years later) shows that he did not fall down, but that it only was set up by Holmes.

We can call this die-and-revive as the first case of the Bobby-Ewing-Effect :-)

Anyway, not knowing about Inspector Morse, I feel not qualified enough to edit this article. Can anybody else do that? RedMabuse User:Conversion script 15:51, 25 February 2002 (UTC)

I think the point in the article is that Conan Doyle kill Holmes in what was _supposed_ to be the last book, and then revived him.
I'm also going to propose that since Morse's first name is a secret up to the end of the last book, (and a source of speculation until Dexter revealed it) that it is not printed at the top of the article, for the benefit of people who are working their way through the series.
D.J. Clayworth User:DJ Clayworth 16:24, 23 July 2003 (UTC)
I've been told (which is to say, that what I'm about to say is non-authoritive!) that Conan-Doyle wanted to get out of the Holmes stories so he killed Holmes off. But the readership of the Holmes stories were so persistent that Conan-Doyle was essentially forced to bring Holmes back.
I'm not sure how Morse's author felt about Morse's death, but unlike Holmes, the stories (and the TV episodes) clearly show Morse in physical decline, his diabetes out of control and exacerbated by his heavy drinking. I think it would need cryogenics and cloning to bring Morse back, and without John Thaw to act the part on TV, I'd just as soon Morse not be resurrected.
Atlant 17:13, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  • Definitly...unless Morse was faking his death...but that doesn't seem in character. More likely we might see a paper delivered by the Author on who actually killed the woman in 'The Remorseful Day'. Pydos 16:01, 3 October 2005 (UTC)

First name Endeavour[edit]

I don't think it's necessary for the first name to be removed. It was originally announced amid great fanfare in the pre-publicity for Death Is Now My Neighbour, before anyone had actually read the book. If the author didn't consider it a spoiler, there seems no reason for wikipedia to. User:Bonalaw 12:07, 24 June 2004 (UTC)

I was going to move the first name past the spoiler warning, but I found other website have right up front, so I guess we'll leave it. My reasoning was, for people who know it, they know it, and for people who don't why tell them. WikiDon 01:02, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

Morse Code in the Music[edit]

I was told that the name of the killer occationally appears as morse code in the theme music my Pheloung, somewhat distorted to fit the musical rythm. The one exception was an episode where Morse's secret first name was encoded though telegraphists from the British signal service could not figure it out. It is an amusing story, can it be verified? I can so far only see references to an Radio interview with the composer. If true, why not add it here? User: 20:26, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

That is what I have read and heard, but since I don't know Morse Code, they could be telling me to bugger off and I wouldn't know it. WikiDon 01:02, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

The rhythm of the opening music spells M-O-R-S-E in International (aka "Morse") code. Barnaby the Scrivener (talk) 13:50, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I saw an interview with the composer (on a programme about Morse), where he said he had encoded Morse's name into the theme music of the show. However, this was not using morse code (as this was too obvious?). Instead it was 'music notation' or some such. Don't remember last bit properly (which is whay source is probably such a big thing). It was definately some sort of music coding and not in morse. Dannman (talk) 17:04, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

Of course the composer used music notation to notate the music, but that is an entirely different form of 'coding'. The theme music definitely contains the Morse code for Morse: -- --- .-. ... . (etc.) It is in a high pitch which stays the same all the way while the other instruments play the main melody at the same time. See also Inspector Morse (TV series)#Music and the reference there. Bever (talk) 02:34, 20 November 2016 (UTC)
It's is his first name. Morse's First name is in music coding/notation. The first name ia actually music. That Morse appeared in Morse is illrelevant. Dannman (talk) 04:32, 20 November 2016 (UTC)

The Jag[edit]

The link here about Morse's fab Mk 2 jag takes you to the Jaguar page, not straight to the one about the car. I've tried to change this but someone changed it back. Please don't! I'm trying to find a picture and then i'll write the MK 2 page and link it her properly. It is the iconic car of Morse after all. Pydos

I see you have changed it. You are right about the link, and I will keep an eye on it, SqueakBox 16:47, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
The link Pydos originally wrote was [[Jaguar_Mark_2|Jaguar]] as in this diff, the current one pipes to Jaguar (car), I'd welcome the addition of the Mark 2 article and would be happy if it 'went red' awaiting its arrival. Alf melmac 17:17, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the support guys...but it's happened again!!! It will stay red for a little while, i'm just trying to find a picture under the fair use policy. I'm watching this page now so i an have a word with the culprit. Pydos 12:51, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

Da dah! A picture under my nose all the time! Assuming no-one changes the link it's there in all its glory. Possibly needs some tidying up however. Pydos

I'm belatedly catching up on the novels. It's a Lancia in Last Bus to Woodstock ... but by Death is now my Neighbour it IS a Jag. I'll try to dig up a link on the change .... says that the books were changed to reflect the series (maybe even retroactively for reprints). Alanf777 (talk) 19:15, 4 February 2013 (UTC) : "In Colin Dexter's books, Morse originally drove a classic Lancia. But a Jaguar was chosen when the TV series began in January 1987 and Dexter changed Morse's car to a Mk II in subsequent reprints of the earlier novels." -- I'm not sure where to put that. Too detailed for the lede. Also, the reprint statement seems wrong: My Pan paperback LBTW is dated 2007, and has Lancia. Alanf777 (talk) 19:24, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
HA! I just got hold of "Riddle of the Third Mile" (6th novel) ... and it's a JAG! 1983 vs 1987 for the start of the TV series! Doggonit : on p 56 and 146 it's a Lancia. "Jag" jumped out at me as I was thumbing through it in the library, but now I can't find it at all. Metro, Mini, Daimler ... False alarm : just a passing Jag on p 151 Alanf777 (talk) 18:04, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

The Jewel That Was Ours[edit]

In a 1998 episode of “Quote, Unquote” which aired on BBC 7, Julian Mitchell says that The Jewel That Was Ours was actually based on his screenplay for “The Wolvercote Tongue”, and not the other way around as this article currently states. Quoting:

Well, there's quite a story attached to this. Colin Dexter wrote a certain number of novels, but there weren't nearly as many novels as there were television plays about Inspector Morse, and this is one that was sort of half-and-half. He wrote a short story, and I then turned this into a full-length, two-hour television play, which was called “The Wolvercote Tongue”, which he then wrote up as a novel, without, I may say, any credit to me. [hems] But then, that's fair enough because he invented the characters in the first place. (From round 5, if I'm counting right. Since the BBC did not identify the precise date this episode originally aried, perhaps someone else can identify it from the panelists: in addition to Mitchell the others were Ian McKellen, Claire Rayner, and Hilary Spurling.)

(Mitchell then went on to answer the question put to him, which was about the poem opposite the copyright page in the book.) 121a0012 03:02, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, true. I noticed that error in the article earlier but didn't have time to correct it and it got forgotten about. Incidentally, it came up as a question on Mastermind this week as well. --Bonalaw 10:24, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Neutral encyclopedic language[edit]

Hi all. Nice article. Its preferred viewing for myself so I'd appreciate it if other editors point out my bias if it becomes noticeable on the article. I will work on making the writing more neutral [1]. Collaboration is welcome. AlanBarnet 06:50, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Misogyny - sources?[edit]

I don't disagree, but the generalisation that "some feminist critics" have argued this needs more evidence than a link to a one-liner in one review. Gordonofcartoon 12:03, 17 July 2007 (UTC)


The simple thing in that this should be moved to Inspector Morse (character), Inspector Morse becomes a disambig page and the Novels area split into their own article, as he was part of them. Simply south (talk) 01:29, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Im not sure about why this request has been posted. The television show has already been split into its own article. There is not enough info here to support two smaller ones. It also makes little sense to make readers search through too many pages to find the info that they want. You also need to be aware that "character" articles are being deleted or merged left - right - and center as non-notable or original research. Thus, I would support leaving the page as it is. MarnetteD | Talk 00:15, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Split into three[edit]

This should be split into three

There is definitely enough material to build a fictional character article for Morse, considering that Inspector Lewis already has one, and Morse is a popular character. The novel section is large enough to make an article in itself. The Inspector Morse fictional universe should be built, because the Inspector Lewis (TV series) is part of that fictional universe, and so an overview article should be built on the entire thing, novels, radio-plays, and both TV series. (talk) 07:11, 1 July 2008 (UTC) (talk) 22:53, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Please see my comment above. These should not be split off. Fiction articles come under special scrutiny for notability and for verifiable sources to back up claims made on their pages. What you are proposing will also have problems with WP:OR as they will be your interpretation. You might get away with character though that info should stay on this page too. This page is about the novels so there is no need for a second one. Franchise is meaningless as the series is over. "Fictional Universe" pages come up for deletion more often then not and there is almost no way to save them today. Maybe four years ago but not today. Please do not split up this page. MarnetteD | Talk 23:17, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
The comment above talks about the content currently on the article, not about any possibility of expansion. Considering the amount of Morse material around, such expansion is definitely possible. Since Morse is a popular character, such expansion is not overly unlikely. I can certainly accept that "Inspector Morse" should be the article about the book series. As for fictional universe articles, there is no standard for that, some very notable ones are deleted, some very non-notable exceedingly unknown ones are kept. Law & Order franchise has not been deleted, nor has Battlestar Galactica. Though even without a franchise article, the book series and the character should be two different articles, because the character occurs in the TV series. In lieu of a franchise article, a dab page can be placed at "Inspector Morse", but a franchise article would be better. (talk) 04:56, 2 July 2008 (UTC)


Just for the record, Joyce is his HALF-sister not his step-sister, there is a difference: Half-siblings you share the same parent; Step-siblings come from different previous relationships from both sides and are only related socially by their parents' marriage. Carla

The statement: "Morse is ostensibly the embodiment of white, male, upper-middle-class Englishness, with a set of prejudices and assumptions to match. He may thus be considered a late example of the gentleman detective, a staple of British detective fiction. This background is in sharp juxtaposition to the working class origins of his assistant, Lewis ..." is utterly wrong. Morse was a taxi-driver's son who won scholarships to grammar school and Oxford. (talk) 21:43, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree that that sentence needs reworking. Alanf777 (talk) 04:58, 6 February 2013 (UTC)


"the surname of the killer is taken from those of winners of the weekly Azed solving competition".
What does this mean exactly? Specifically, what is a "solving competition". There is an Azed crossword every week in the Observer. Thirteen times a year (first sunday of each month plus Christmas), the crossword is accompanied by a clue-writing tie-breaker. I don't know if the murderers' surnames come from the weekly or monthly winners, but this bit needs to be rephrased. Carmody (talk) 16:59, 12 December 2008 (UTC)


I done a fairly large set of searches to see if there is type listed already 'in print' - no such objects found. The episode guides say that Death is Now my Neighbour is the episode where he "gets diabetes". I will watch that episode to see if is mentioned on screen, if it is, I'll reference it with minutes marking, unless someone beats me to it.--Alf melmac 17:24, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for taking the time to do this Alf. I was just trying to prevent an edit war of IP's changing the number back and forth. All my books are in storage which is why I can't check them. My DVD's are accessable but I probably won't have time to get to them 'til after the holidays. If you have the time I am wondering if the type might be mentioned in the last episode The Remorseful Day. Cheers and thanks again. MarnetteD | Talk 20:07, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Meh, the episode guide is wrong. Diabetes is the reason Morse solves the puzzle - two very different breakfasts - one for a diabetic - were ordered at the hotel the murderess stayed in, but no mention of Morse's diabetes there. Will try TRD tomorrow.--22:24, 12 December 2008 (UTC)


Is there anyone willing to research the fact that Morse suffers from acrophobia - a fear of high places? Elwin Blaine Coldiron (talk) 05:02, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Well, he says that in Service of all the Dead. Not sure if there's any other significance? Bob talk 08:59, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
The Third Mile ... Ch 8 1st page (p57 my copy) " addition to incurable acrophobia ..." Alanf777 (talk) 04:51, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Upper middle class?[edit]

Morse is clearly lower middle class, this needs changing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:12, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

He's upgraded in the TV series (opera, singing, single malt... : in the book he takes The Times only for the crosswords, and drinks blends) Borderline British class system#Middle middle class and British class system#Upper middle class Maybe compromise on middle class? He wasn't born into wealth, but went to a private school Stamford School and Oxford -- both on scholarship, and though he didn't graduate he is generally accepted in Oxford society as if he had. His income is safe, maybe even comfortable (house and car) but he's always cadging beers off Lewis. In short, NOT lower middle class, arguably upper. Alanf777 (talk) 05:49, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

I can see what you're saying, but his family are entirely lower middle class. If you're the first person to go to university (whether it's Oxford or Hull) in the mid-20th century, you can't be middle-middle class as they would mostly be university educated (and unlikely to bet on the horses or take their son shooting on the common as Morse's father did in the recent episode of Endeavour). His awkwardness, the fact his father was a taxi driver, all place him firmly in the lower middle class. And the fact he went to a private school is inconsequential because a lot of lower middle class people send their children to private school (especially if a scholarship is available). If he were upper middle class he would have a lot more savoir-faire, he wouldn't speak with that accent, his father would be an upper sort of professional (doctor, senior clergyman, executive). Arguably he could be in the lower rungs of middle-middle class but given the occupations that his family would have to be in for that (Clark, businessman, teacher, etc), I think he's far closer to the self-employed lower middle class. If he had children they could be upper-middle class, but his traits are those of his background which was lower-middle class. If we can't agree on this, then I've no problem with compromising on middle class (talk) 08:06, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Lyn Thomas (see below) describes Morse as middle class, but she specifically refers to Lewis as lower-middle-class. Both came from working class backgrounds, but (TV) Geordie Lewis ends up, via post-war social mobility, as LMC (local school, redbrick university, Sergeant) while Morse ends up MMC+ (ironically, he went to school in Lincolnshire, only 50 miles from Geordie-land) Alanf777 (talk) 19:47, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
The statement is about Morse, not about his background - and it is being used to justify describing him as a "gentleman detective", so lower middle class wouldn't work. To be honest, the whole paragraph seems to be unsourced anyway. -- Ian Dalziel (talk) 08:22, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
"To be honest, the whole paragraph seems to be unsourced anyway." -- I'm inclined to agree with that (but I don't have time to research a rewrite). Alanf777 (talk) 19:26, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
I found a couple of books/articles talking about Morse (vs The Archers) and class : -- which refers to this book by Lyn Thomas (sample chapter linked) (mainly about the class of the fans, but relating their reaction to Morse's class) -- Sample chapter, p75 : might be some REFS in there. Alanf777 (talk) 18:17, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
The latter is also the basis of a stand-alone article -- : based on all the above I'm going to take out upper (and not distinguish between lower-middle,middle-middle and upper-middle. Personally, I now put Morse near the top of middle-middle) Alanf777 (talk) 19:18, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Article unfocus[edit]

This article reads as if it started out being chiefly about the book series, but somewhere along the line morphed into an article about the character. It is full of inconsistencies: which Morse is under discussion exactly? I propose two articles, one about the character (a new page), and another about Colin Dexter's books (this page). Complementing existing articles about the various tv series.

The character is currently presented as an older guy, but with the Endeavour tv series that simply isn't true - unless you're specific about which fictional universe you're talking about (book, old show, new show).

His name was kept a secret until a point in time... but the new series is called exactly that secret, so does this really hold true?

The "Habits and personality" section needs expansion to cover his younger years.

The info box specifies first and last appearance, but this covers the books only. But it still lists "portrayed by" - which has nothing to do with the books. There should clearly be three sections (or three boxes?) one for each fictional universe.

Finally, I note how the Inspector Morse template links to the category of "Inspector Morse". Clearly a sign a "main" article is missing. And wanted.

PS. I did read the split proposals back in 2008. I will refrain on commenting about the situation then, but now (in 2014) I can say that the risk of a page such as "Inspector Morse (character)" being spuriously deleted should be slim to none. Besides, if the information were at risk of being removed on a new page, it should stand the exact same risk of being removed here.

CapnZapp (talk) 23:24, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Yes the older proposal of three separate articles about the novel series, the TV series and the character would seem to be an appropriate response, with the "Inspector Morse" article becoming a discussion of the series of novels. With regards to a character article, I must admit with notable exceptions such as Kenneth Widmerpool, I do find character pages to be almost universally awful since they often just end up retelling incidents, often uncited. Are you proposing to make the split or is this just an observation on the quality of the article? Bob talk 23:52, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Confused and confusing Wiki entry[edit]

Inspector Morse is a literary character who has appeared in television dramatizations. In multiple places in this article, he is described by referring to the television series, as if there were no difference between the two. I think it's reasonable to say that the people who have added such information have not read the books. To make any sense, the character should be described from the books, with any difference between books and television episodes noted. For instance, in the books, Morse smokes cigarettes - or is trying to quit. Television Morse does not.

MarkinBoston (talk)

Don't get the age reference[edit]

The article states "Morse is also middle-aged in the books". I'm not sure if it is intended but to me that reads as if it's saying "unlike in the TV series". I admit "middle-aged" is a loose concept but John Thaw was in his 40's and 50's when he played the character, very much what I would consider "middle-aged". Unless a point of contrast that I'm missing is being made here this needs to be rephrased but I'm no expert on the series so I thought I should discuss it before making any changes. Keresaspa (talk) 00:42, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

I noted the same sentence but read it as "... also ... as in the TV series". Bever (talk) 02:50, 20 November 2016 (UTC)