Inspector Morse

Inspector Morse was a television series starring John Thaw and Kevin Whately, based on the books by Colin Dexter.

Regular QuotesEdit

  • Various women: I can't go on calling you 'Inspector'. What's your name?
  • Morse: Morse, everyone just calls me 'Morse'


  • Morse: (exasperated) LEW-IS!


  • Morse: You've done it again, Lewis! [Said when Lewis unwittingly helps Morse solve a mystery through a casual passing remark.]


  • Morse: An orange juice for you, Lewis. You're driving.


  • Morse: (slightly irritated) Yes, thank you, Lewis(!)


  • Max: I couldn't possibly say!
  • Morse: Come ON, Max!

First Series, 1987:Edit

Episode 1. 'The Dead Of Jericho'Edit

  • Morse: Lewis, Sophocles died two and a half thousand years ago.


  • Lewis: Hello, my name's 'Lewis', Mr Richards, we've never met...
  • Morse: What did you say?
  • Lewis: I was just saying to Mr Richards...
  • Morse: But you HAVE met ...!

Episode 2. 'The Silent World Of Nicholas Quinn'Edit

  • Morse: I do hope that this isn't one of our sordid cases, Lewis


(The Professor is surprised to learn that Morse never married)

  • Morse: No-one would put up with me - I play my records too loud


  • Morse: I've gone and arrested the WRONG man!


  • Morse: No, that's not 'Morse's Law'. 'Morse's Law' is there's always time for one more pint ... except there isn't.

Episode 3. 'Service Of All The Dead'Edit

  • Morse: Oh, grow up, Morse!


  • "The House of The Lord should be daily swept and garnished"

Second Series, 1988:Edit

Episode 4. 'The Wolvercote Tongue'Edit

  • Morse: And the rich do so hate answering questions!


  • Serving Wench: (making a grand gesture) A messenger attends without, My Lord!
  • Theodore Kemp: Hm?
  • Wench: (slightly irritatedly and in a stage whisper) You're wanted on the 'phone!


  • Lewis: (commenting on Mrs Downs): Fine woman, that! Full of life!
  • Morse: And YOU the married man (!)
  • Lewis: Ah, I don't mean THAT. You've a one-track mind, you!
  • Morse: Yes, I want to know who killed Theodore Kemp.


  • Morse: People's lives, Lewis. People's lives. And loves. It was love's old sweet song all along!


  • Lewis: I think I'll just pop down and see Aunt Cissy.
  • Morse: (laughs)
  • Lewis: Aahh, you don't want us to do my back in again do you ?
  • Morse: You do what you like Lewis. I'm going to stay and look at the water for a while.
  • Lewis: (gently mocking) You. Water?
  • Morse: If anybody wants me, they'll find me looking at fish. Through the bottom of a beer glass!

Episode 5. 'Last Seen Wearing'Edit

  • Morse: Have you ever thought about the person who designed the sports skirt? Somebody sat down and drew a fantasy and made it compulsory uniform. I can never watch Wimbledon without thanking that man.


  • Chief Supt. Strange: Are we having a depression?
  • Morse: No, ...we are NOT having a depression!


  • Max: Think of it like losing your finest recording of the 'Ring Cycle'
  • Morse: Yes, but I've still got it on cassette!


  • Mr. Craven: It's time to get your shoes dirty!


  • Chief Supt. Strange: I'm the Superintendent. If one of my officers orders a constable to bring him whisky in a coffee-mug, I get to hear about it. It's my job!


  • Lewis: What about Mr. Craven?
  • Morse: Mr. Craven was at a lodge-meeting - fifteen minutes away from Clare Baines - with a list of witnesses as long as your arm. And as you know the Masonic arm is very long indeed!

Episode 6. 'The Settling Of The Sun'Edit

  • Morse: Beer is food
  • Lewis: It is, for you!


(Not a classic episode of Morse)

Episode 7. 'Last Bus To Woodstock'Edit

  • Morse: Go home, Lewis. Kiss your children. See your wife


  • Max: You can have a good relationship with a corpse


  • Morse: Cat got your tongue, Lewis? Getting all too much for you, is it? A coded letter; stolen money; violence.
  • Lewis: You forget one thing, Sir. Sex


  • Morse: Let's get out of here. I hate the smell of hospitals
  • Lewis: It's about time I bought you a pint
  • Morse: It's long overdue, Lewis ... long overdue

Third Series, 1989:Edit

Episode 8. 'Ghost In The Machine'Edit

  • Morse: Get an ambulance to Hanbury House as fast as you can! Some fool in a sports car just drove into a tree!


  • Lewis: Was it from 'Cats'?
  • Morse: No, it was not from 'Cats'!
  • Lewis: Oh, the wife wants to see 'Cats'. Don't know why, she's allergic to them.


  • Morse: It's people like them (the Hanburys) who think people like us are there to keep the servants in order.


  • Morse: Keep tugging at your forelock, Lewis, and we may be back in Oxford by lunch-time
  • Lewis: (after having been pulled up by Morse on a grammatical error on aprevious occasion): Shouldn't that be 'might'?


  • Dr. Russell: I'm Max's locum.
  • Morse: Where's Max?
  • Dr. Russell: In the Radcliffe, unfortunately. A slight stroke. Nothing serious.
  • Morse: But you're a...a...
  • Dr. Russell: (interrupting) A pathologist, yes(!)


  • Morse: Grayling...like the fish?


  • Morse: Too much sang froid


  • Morse: We're being led up the garden path, Lewis. A very picturesque garden and a very pretty path


  • Morse: The people who live in places like this think that the rules don't apply to them


  • Morse: Oh, God! What an inheritance!

Episode 9. 'The Last Enemy'Edit

  • Morse: How does one address a pathologist first thing in the morning?
  • Lewis: (to Dr. Russell) Don't worry about him. He's got tooth-ache


  • Miss Burn: You know Oxford. A back-biting, parochial little town


  • Lewis: (to Dr Russell) What's a nice girl like you doing in a job like this?
  • Dr Russell: How do you know I'm a 'nice girl' ?


  • Dr Russell: (talking to Lewis about Morse) You like him, don't you?
  • Lewis: He's one of the best


  • Morse: I have a good memory, but a prosaic mind


  • Canal worker: What is it that you're looking for, exactly?
  • Morse (tacitly): A head


  • The New Testament: "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is Death."

Episode 10. 'Deceived By Flight'Edit

  • Morse: I stumble about. That's what I do. Sometimes I stumble in the right direction


  • Roland Marshall: Morse. My God ... it's 'Pagan Morse' !


  • Morse: Would you keep an eye on my car? It's the red 'Jaguar' across the road


  • Morse: People are dying out there. Even cricket has to come to a stop


  • Lewis: I have to, er, y'know (use the Gents')
  • Morse: (imitates Lewis) Yer knaa. I even bet you give it a number where you come from
  • Lewis: Actually, we do

Episode 11. 'The Secret Of Bay 5B'Edit

(An everyday story of murder and multi-storey carparks)

Fourth Series, 1990:Edit

Episode 12. 'The Infernal Serpent'Edit

  • Milton's 'Paradise Lost': (Book 1) "Th' infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile stir'd up with Envy and Revenge, deceiv'd the Mother of Mankind ..."


  • Morse: You've just earned yourself a drink, Lewis.
  • Lewis: Aw, it's lentil soup in the canteen today
  • Morse: It's too warm for lentil soup!


  • Lewis: Taxonomy? Sounds like stuffing. Stuffing umbrellas?
  • Morse: Taxonomy means "a classification". The Master was making a joke.


  • Mrs Copley-Barnes: There was a Serpent in our house, coiled around the foundation

Episode 13. 'The Sins Of The Fathers'Edit

  • Lewis: You'll never believe this, Sir. We have to visit a brewery!


  • Butler: Your name, Sir?
  • Morse: Morse
  • Butler: Rank?
  • Morse: And that's relevant, is it?
  • Butler: It is if I'm to announce you...


  • Lewis: The last shall be first and the first shall be last
  • Morse: Very good, Lewis. I'm impressed. Where did you learn that?
  • Lewis: At Sunday School
  • Morse: And what is the relevance?
  • Lewis: It means that one day I'll be Chief Inspector and you'll be Sergeant


  • Mrs Radford: So, Morse, must the evil that men do live on after them?


  • Morse: That's it, Lewis! You're a genius!


  • Lewis: Do you fancy a pint, Sir?
  • Morse: You know, Lewis ... I don't think I do

Episode 14. 'Driven To Distraction'Edit

(Featured music by Marian Montgomery)

  • George: The electrics are up the chute, for a start
  • Morse: This car is pre-electric!


  • Morse: That's our man, alright
  • Lewis: Who?
  • Morse: Boynton. We know who - all we have to work out now is how and why
  • Lewis: What evidence have you got?
  • Morse: Not a shred


  • Lewis: You can't arrest the man just because you don't like him
  • Morse: More's the pity!


  • Lewis: You go trampling about, don't you. You think you're so clever, but sometimes you're a bloody fool!

Episode 15. 'Masonic Mysteries' (Episode directed by Danny Boyle.)Edit

(Featured music from 'The Magic Flute' by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)


  • Morse: You'd better start by rolling your trouser-leg up, Lewis. DCI Bottomley is a grand master, a grander master that I.
  • Lewis: (to Bottomley) Like a game of chess, do you, Sir?


  • Morse: With a man like deVries, you have to look INSIDE the coffin!


  • Lewis: Is there anything that you want?
  • Morse: Yes. Bring me the libretto of 'The Magic Flute'
  • Lewis: Libretto?
  • Morse: 'Little book'. It's in the album box-set
  • Lewis: How about clothes?
  • Morse: You think that I'm going to be here for that long?


(Morse is kneeling on the floor with de Vries holding a pistol to his head)

  • Hugo deVries: You're sweating, Morse. It's most disagreeable.

(The door-bell rings)

  • Hugo deVries: (emotionless and interrupted in full flow) Who is that?
  • Morse: My sergeant.
  • Hugo deVries: What is it with you English policemen? Going around in pairs like some low comedians.


  • Lewis: (admiring DeVries' Jaguar) Nice car!
  • Morse: (dismissively) Rubbish, these new models. No class.


  • Hugo deVries: I like being dead. It takes the strain out of living.


  • Hugo deVries: I am Zoroastaros; YOU are Monostartos!


  • Morse: Toscanini? Arturo Toscanini? That's the WORST recording of 'The Magic Flute' there's ever been! I wouldn't even let it in the house!


(After Bottomley's invitation to join the 'Masons)

  • Morse: No, I don't join groups. I'm even thinking of leaving the choir.


  • Morse: (to Lewis) Go and see it! You'll love it...it's got a dragon.

Fifth Series, 1991:Edit

Episode 16. 'Second Time Around'Edit

  • Lewis: (Noticing Inspector Hillian's drinking) The way he knocks it back, it's a wonder he lived to collect an OBE.
  • Morse: People in glasshouses ...
  • Lewis: (Looking in his own glass) This is only a little light wine, Sir.
  • Morse: I know what it is.
  • Lewis: And it's only me second glass!
  • Morse: Sanctimony, Lewis (shaking his head).


  • Constable: I was over the way ... and there was this car...
  • Morse: I take it from all the...excitement that you got its number.
  • Constable: Yes, Sir.
  • Morse: Then deal with it in the normal way. That's quietly, with a certain amount of control.


  • Morse: Well, I think I'll go for a walk. What about you?
  • Lewis: I could start work on the reports, Sir, if you want.
  • Morse: Good man.
  • Lewis: I mean, only if you want.
  • Morse: Well, why not. Procrastination is the thief of time, since we're swapping proverbs.


  • Mrs Dawson: Patrick thinks you're a very good detective. A poor policeman, and a very good detective.
  • Morse: Really. Well I suppose half a compliment is better than none.


  • Morse: Different policemen have different methods, Mrs Lapsley


  • Frederick Redpath: My name is Frederick Redpath. It has been for the last eleven years.


  • Morse: Get on with it, Lewis!
  • Lewis: Detective Chief Inspector Dawson, I'm arresting you for the murder of John Mitchell. You do not have to saything, but anything you do say may be given in evidence.


  • Lewis: I think you could have let her win the chess, Sir.
  • Morse: That's the worst kind of deception, Lewis


  • Lewis: That badge of yours. Why did you keep it?
  • Morse: Vanity, I suppose. It was my first public speech.
  • Lewis: Did you win?
  • Morse: No. We lost.

Episode 17. 'Fat Chance'Edit

  • Lewis: [Enquiring after the chain-smoking female priest] Who, cigar and cassock?


  • Lewis: She's a bit, you know ... holier than thou ...
  • Morse: She IS a bit holier than thou, Lewis!


  • Sister: And what, may I ask, are you doing with my patient?!
  • Morse: Thames Valley Police. My name's Chief Inspector Morse. (shows warrant card)
  • Sister: Am I supposed to be impressed?
  • Morse: I'm making a few enquiries...
  • Sister: Then you can make them to thin air - outside the gate!
  • Morse: I could compel you to comply.
  • Sister: I'd like to see you try. I am commanded by a higher authority than the Thames Valley Police!


  • Lewis: She lied to you, Sir.

Episode 18. 'Who Killed Harry Field?'Edit

  • Harry Field's answering machine: Hello, this is Harry. Health, Wealth and Happiness! Leave a message - for God's sake!


  • Morse: (Reads) Lignum crucis arbor scientiae... the wood of the cross is the tree of knowledge.


  • Morse: Hello, Harry - I got your note.


  • Lewis: Tired, Sir?
  • Morse: Yes, Lewis.
  • Lewis: Why's that, then?
  • Morse: Lack of sleep.


  • Morse: Here we are again, Lewis. Piecing together the last moments of a total stranger.


  • Lewis: A Vincent 'Black Shadow' motorcycle, registration number Oh Ay Eff ...
  • Radio: (Static)
  • Lewis: Well, black...obviously!


  • Ian Kerr: Right, what have you got for me?

(Kerr cues up a slide of a painting)

  • Ian Kerr: What's this?
  • Morse: A Whistler.
  • Ian Kerr: It's awful...where did you get it?
  • Morse: At a wake!

Episode 19. 'Greeks Bearing Gifts'Edit

  • Jerome Hogg: You must know her...the face that launched a thousand clips. That's a technical TV term.
  • Morse: I rarely watch.


  • Morse: Watch the mouth: it gives away what the face is trying to hide
  • Strange: Is that one of your quotes?
  • Morse: Quotations. Lord Byron.


(speaking about a Greek replica ship)

  • Tuckerman: Wouldn't you think they'd simply jump at the chance to show it abroad. Think of the media blitz there'd be!
  • Morse: Perhaps they're afraid they'll never get it back.
  • Tuckerman: The Frogs got the Mona Lisa back after it'd been to New York.
  • Morse: The Italians didn't.


  • Tuckerman: This is the time of the high-fliers, Inspector. Only the brain-dead stay on the ground.
  • Morse: Ever heard of Icarus?
  • Tuckerman: No, why? Did he work for me?
  • Morse: I meant on your wanderings through antiquity. A mythical figure. The first bird-man. Flew too near the sun. Melted the wax on his wings, fell from the sky, and was drowned. In the Aegean.


  • Morse: Almost operatic. Greek Tragedy. You should try the Classice sometime, Lewis. Sex is never simple there: there's pleasure, then there's payment. Retribution.

Episode 20. 'Promised Land'Edit

  • Morse: They don't spell Australian beer with four X's out of ignorance!


  • Ann Harding: You're a bastard, Morse.


  • Lewis: ...and my name's Robert. My friends call me 'Robbie'.
  • Lewis: How old are you, sir?
  • Morse: I forget, Robbie.

Sixth Series, 1992:Edit

Episode 21. 'Dead On Time'Edit

  • Strange: You said it was suicide, Morse. Then some GP comes down from Ben Nevis, waving some pages of A4 - and everything changes!


  • Morse: It was Mrs. Fallon I knew - before she became Mrs Fallon. We were engaged to be married.


  • Susan Fallon: Did you hate me ...?
  • Morse: Hate you? My God, Susan...


  • McGregor: It's a Sergeant Lewis, Master William! Fa' th' polis!

Episode 22. 'Happy Families'Edit

  • Charlie's Photographer: What's that music?
  • Charlie: That's Mozart, Charlie.


  • Morse: I was precise and I was courteous.
  • Superintendant Strange: You were bloody superior!


  • James Balcombe: You haven't been saying silly things, have you Mummy, to the police?


  • Morse: It's something that I read in a book!


Morse: I've never been taken off a case in my life!


Morse: Take my picture NOW! Take it NOW!

Episode 23. 'The Death Of The Self'Edit

  • Russell Clark: You're not in the chorus yet, but you're part of the show.


  • Lewis: What is again, Sir?
  • Morse: (enunciates clearly) 'Una grappa di secco' for me - and 'una bierra' for you


  • Morse: When I'm ready, Mr Clark. I'll speak to you when I'm ready.


  • Morse: Faking it until the end, Clark?

Episode 24. 'Absolute Conviction'Edit

  • Morse: We go directly to Jail!


  • Mrs Cryer: Apparently, the British public like their widows in black.


  • Morse: (to Cheetham) To you, it's 'Sir', sonny!


  • Sgt Cheetham: Chasing a madman around a greenhouse - what a waste of time!
  • Bennett: A queer one, is our Morse!


  • Morse: I'm sorry - it isn't beer, it's coffee. But then again, it isn't coffee!

Episode 25. 'Cherubim & Seraphim'Edit

'Cherubim slogan: 'PROTECT ME FROM WHAT I WANT'

'Cherubim' answerphone message: If it's good news, leave me a message - if it's bad news, don't bother!


  • Supt. Strange: Kids are like Special Branch. You don't know what the blighters are up to!


  • Supt. Strange: Teenagers are like creatures from another planet.
  • Morse: I'll ask Lewis - he has children


  • Morse: If you're going to retire, Holroyd, just go ahead and do it!


  • Morse: No-one can imagine another's pain, Robbie


  • Morse: What's that..? Play that bit again, Lewis. That's the Hallelujah Chorus! ... conducted by Sir Adrian Boult!


  • Morse: It's 'magpie music' - a bit here, a bit there...

Seventh Series, 1993:Edit

Episode 26. 'Deadly Slumber'Edit

  • Michael Steppings: I didn't kill that man, Mr Morse


  • Chief Supt. Strange: Get youself down there, matey. And give him hell!


  • Dr Feltham: Why is it, Chief Inspector, that doctors make the worst patients?


  • Michael Steppings: You could go anywhere you wanted to.
  • Morse: Yes. But what would I do when I got there?


  • Chief Supt. Strange: There's one thing I don't understand! Why haven't I met this Steppings? Anyone 'nouveau riche' is only too quick to knock on the door of society these days.
  • Lewis: You mean, you've never come across him at the Lodge, Sir?
  • Chief Supt. Strange: Not exactly, Serg... (to Morse) And what exactly is SO funny?
  • Morse: Nothing. I was just reflecting on Sergeant Lewis' view of polite Oxfordshire society!


  • Morse: If Michael Steppings was monstrous, he was MADE monstrous!


  • Mr Neally (solicitor): My client just sat there and confessed?
  • Morse: Yes.


  • Lewis: Shame to waste them, Sir. Red roses - one of the most expensive flowers around
  • Morse: I sent her some once before. They had a much higher price-tag!

Episode 27. 'The Day Of The Devil'Edit

Episode 28. 'Twilight Of The Gods'Edit

(contains the famous/infamous "knob-head English policeman" quote)

Pagodas in the park, yet!


  • Gwladys Probert: I'm sorry, luvvy. You sound like you're giving the weather forecast.


  • Lewis: Sergeants aren't allowed to think. Not in the Thames Valley Police

Specials, 1995–2000:Edit

Episode 29. The Way Through The WoodsEdit

Episode 30. The Daughters Of CainEdit

Episode 31. Death Is Now My NeighbourEdit

  • Adele Cecil: This anagram, "around eve" — I've tried and I've tried, but all I can come up with is "Endeavour". And no-one's called Endeavour, surely?
Morse: I told you — my mother was a Quaker, and Quakers sometimes call their children names like 'Hope', and 'Patience'. My father was obsessed with Captain Cook, and his ship was called Endeavour. Why aren't you both laughing?
Lewis: You poor sod!
Adele Cecil: I'm not calling you "Endeavour".
Lewis: Call him "Sir". He likes that.
Adele Cecil: Oh, no, no,— I'll stick to "Morse", like everyone else.
Morse: [Raises his glass of beer.] Cheers!
Morse: That which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Episode 32. The Wench Is DeadEdit

  • Chief Supt. Strange: Hello Morse, bearing up are we?
  • Morse: Trying too.
  • Chief Supt. Strange: You got a temperature?
  • Morse: Everyone's got a temperature.
  • Chief Supt. Strange: Not like that they haven't.


  • Chief Supt. Strange: So you two are hum, ah Morse always did fancy clever women.
  • Mores: I think it frets the saints in heaven to see how many desolate creatures on the earth have learnt the simple dues of fellowship and social comfort, in a hospital.

Episode 33. The Remorseful DayEdit

  • Woman: What's your first name?
  • Morse: Inspector.


  • Morse: Isn't it your round?
  • Lewis: You think another one's a good idea?
  • Morse: Think! That's why I want it, to think! I don't drink for pleasure.
  • Lewis: You are alright aren't you sir?
  • Morse: Better off than Harry Repp I suppose. At least I'll have a retirement, bird watching, Wagner. You know you really should persevere with Wagner Lewis. It's about important things, life and death, regret.
  • Lewis: Cheer up Sir, It's a lovely evening. Look at that sunset!
  • Morse: Ensanguining the skies. How heavily it dies. Into the west away; Past touch and sight and sound. Not further to be found, how hopeless under ground. Falls the remorseful day. (A. E. Housman)


  • Chief Supt. Strange: He always was an independent sod!


  • Lewis: Goodbye, Sir

External linksEdit

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Last modified on 21 April 2014, at 20:55