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The Modern Guide to The Thing Before Preppy

Sunday, February 26, 2017

10 Favorite Moments of Inspector Morse - Season 3, Episode 1: Ghost in the Machine

Screenshots taken from Inspector Morse - Season 3, Episode 1. Screenshots are the copyright of ITV Studios.
Below are just some of the enjoyable moments in Inspector Morse - Season 3, Episode 1: Ghost in the Machine.  This may be the easiest Morse episode to recommend.

1 . From her first scene, ​Patricia Hodge owns the role of Lady Hanbury, including the perfect "distant graciousness" shown to a local publican with the line, ​"I'll give you a lift," and later followed by, "The police have really gotten it in for our kind."

2. Another star is Wrotham Park, which serves as Hanbury Hall <>

3. The first dialogue between Morse and Lewis, after listening to an aria, establishes their relationship perfectly:

Detective Sergeant Lewis: I liked that, it was good. What was it?
Chief Inspector Morse: That, Lewis, was Maria Callas.
Detective Sergeant Lewis: Was it from "Cats"?
Chief Inspector Morse: No it most certainly was not.
Detective Sergeant Lewis: The wife wants to go to "Cats". Don't know why, she's allergic to them.

4. The conversation between Lady Hanbury and Lewis establishes a few more dynamics.  Lady Hanbury expressed her disdain for some explicit paintings that were stolen.  Then:

Lewis: Well, they're not like these modern things, are they? I mean, you can see what they are meant to be.
Lady Hanbury: All too clearly, alas. Fortunately, the burglars shared your sergeant's taste, Inspector.

5.  ​ When Morse wants to learn more about the handyman, he asks, spotting a tie from Harrow, "​Do you have the right to wear that tie around your neck, or is it just something to keep your trousers up?"

6. ​ ​The au pair uses, sounding so innocent, when the questions are getting too uncomfortable, the time honored technique of pretending not to understand with,  "Sorry? It is your accent. I am not familiar."

7.  Many Morse episodes include long, uncut "walk and talks," including one in this episode between Morse and the Master on Oxford grounds.

8.  Bernard Lloyd gives a marvelous performance as Professor Edward Ullman, including the scene that begins with his description of the victim's explicit art collection as "​debauched, insipid, sentimental calendar art for eunuchs."

9. ​The most funny, and easiest to miss, line in the entire episode belongs to Mrs. Maltby:  "​I didn't think the nursery was very tidy but it never is these days. The French don't seem to understand about putting toys away, if you get my meaning."   Of course, she is referring to the au pair's willingness to pose starkers.

10. Morse describes the publican's service as "​Sour. I didn't mean the beer," when scowling at social envy.
The Delightful John Thaw as Morse


  1. This is a memorable episode. The Morse series is a favorite.

  2. Loved Morse. And Endevour is not a bad prequel.

  3. "'ll never get on if you can't master your subjunctives." I'll watch this again for the 3rd or 4th time right now, so timely of you to offer us this alternative to the vulgarities of this prime of all prime time nights. Cheers!

  4. Inspector Morse is my all-time favorite PBS Mystery series. That was a golden era of PBS.

    1. I agree. Lewis is good, some of the Miss Marple are good, but Morse is the best.

    2. Also, isn't Wrotham Park where Gosford Park was filmed? Wonderful film if you like English mysteries.

  5. Oh Morse! I love my Morse! It's so nice to know others feel the same way. And I love Patricia Hodge, especially as the severe Phyllida Erskine-Brown on Rumpole of the Bailey and then seeing her funny side on Miranda. (Sometimes this blog posts my comments as "Susan" and sometimes as "Susan McBrayer." Go figure!)

  6. I've not watched any of it. Sounds like I'm missing something. I'll see if I can get some of the issues on DVD from Amazon. Thanks for the recommendation.

  7. Devastating cheekbones on Hodge. This episode is in my second of five tiers, the first of which includes Deceived by Flight, Secret of Bay 5B, Silent World of Nicholas Quinn, Last Bus to Woodstock, and my three all-time favorites, Death is Now My Neighbour, Dead on Time, and Cherubim and Seraphim.

  8. I've come across this series but never heard any reviews. After your episode highlights and the comments, I may have to give it some consideration. Being that my shelves are overflowing with DVD sets, it's probably a good idea to check the library first.


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