Monday, January 25, 2010

Inspector Morse (1987-2000)

For the last few weeks I've been watching this wonderful series on DVD. I had never heard about Inspector Morse before and as far as I know this has not ever been shown on this country. The box set contains all 33 episodes, from The Dead of Jericho to The Remorseful Day - where the main hero finally passes away.

Inspector Morse, played brilliantly by John Thaw, is a highly intelligent man and very Oxford. [The series is set in Oxford, U.K.] He listens to classical music - especially Wagner's, does crosswords, owns a red Jaguar, goes to the pubs, is an art lover, and never marries. Although he joins the choir in church, Morse is not religious. This is interesting, because here if you are not religious, why bother to go to the church at all? Is in Oxford, only in a church we can join a choir? Morse, whose first name is deliberately hidden, although it finally comes out in one of the last episodes, is also an arrogant man. He looks down on his subordinate, Sergeant Lewis, who is not as intelligent as he is; although deep down inside he realizes that he needs the loyal Lewis. I always think that Lewis, who always does the leg-work, is always too tired that he doesn't have time to think and leave it to Morse to solve the puzzle. Compared to other detective pairs (Holmes - Dawson, Poirot - Hastings, Barnaby - Troy), Lewis is much cleverer.

My favourite episode is "Second Time Around", where the murder of a little girl in the past comes back to haunt them. Through the 13 years, we can see the development in the crime world. Criminals are getting cleverer and meaner. In the first episodes, "only" 2 people dies appr. per episode, some of them by suicide. In the last one, there are at least 5, including our hero. My parents once said that years ago, one single murder in a city made a big news all over the country for months. Now every day there are a couple of murders happen.

After 33 episodes, the melancholic soundtrack has grown on me. Referring to the title, it contains Morse code. The box set has English subtitles for hearing impaired, so this series is a good way to learn English. I feel mine is getting worse day by day. Morse's English is Oxford, which has a high standard. My English teacher in junior high school said that it was the same to use who or whom as object, but to Morse, it is a big mistake - the correct one is 'whom'. I guess Lewis's teacher learnt from the same source as mine :-) I want to add that the title is wrong, because Morse is not an inspector, but a chief inspector.

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