Hello everyone and welcome to my review and overview of the Morse episode, The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn. This was one of my first posts so it is not as comprehensive as my later posts. But, I am returning every so often to add more information to this post.
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Originally aired in the Uk on 13th January 1987
Book published on May 5th 1977
Colin Dexter appearance appears at 1m38s as a party guest. Standing next to Colin is Julian Mitchell who wrote the screenplay.
Directed by Brian Parker
Written by Julian Mitchell
Jag Rating (out of ten)
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Nicholas Quinn, a hard of hearing academic, ‘overhears’, via his ability to lip-read, an apparent attempt to sell the answers to the examinations set by the Foreign Examinations Syndicate for whom Nicholas Quinn worked. Subsequently, Nicholas Quinn is found dead having apparently committed suicide. But Morse is convinced it is a case of murder and with cryptic clues, crosswords and puzzles being part of the plot, Morse is in his element.
Another great episode and one that moved the series along nicely. The Morse and Lewis relationship is beginning to form into an recognizable partnership of the acolyte and the master. I love the scene where Morse forces Lewis to pour sherry for both of them to prove his theory of why Nicholas Quinn’s apparent suicide was murder. It is such a good scene because it begins with Lewis sneering like an errant schoolboy when told he has to drink sherry to him then looking incredulous when Morse tells him he is dead. Then Lewis becomes impressed by Morse’s reasoning as to how Quinn was murdered.
Lewis doesn’t want to drink sherry.
Like episode one this episode is full of great British character actors and it also includes the lovely Barbara Flynn whom I had a huge crush on…………………………….sorry drifted off into a pleasant reverie there. Moving swiftly on. Amusingly, the episode includes a rather prudish impression about the the film Last Tango in Paris and in particular categorizing it as a pornographic film. It isn’t a great film but is certainly not pornographic.
Again as in the first episode we had an Agatha Christie type setting when Morse calls for a meeting of all the Syndics and during that meeting he questions Monica Height and arrests Dr. Bartlett. Personally, I found the scene superfluous and I can only assume that the episode writer, Julian Mitchell, was alluding to the previous book/TV detectives either ironically or as a nod in admiration to their work.
I liked the character of Ogleby, played by Michael Gough, and it is easy to imagine that he and Morse would have become friends. One can see those two confirmed bachelors sitting around on an evening, drinking the best whisky, solving crosswords and putting the world to rights.
I wasn’t convinced by the ending when Morse is attacked by the murderer, (I won’t say who for those who may not have seen the episode) it just didn’t ring true though of course the murderer may have simply lost all sense of right and wrong by this time. However, I do like Lewis standing over Morse as he is being strangled and asking, “Need a hand sir”? Morse’s reply is wonderful, “Get the bastard off me.”
As a bit of fun here is a picture of Morse’s living room. let us watch over the coming months how that will change.
Memorable Line – Morse says “The trouble with my method Lewis is that its inspirational and as a result I sometimes, sometimes, get things arse about face.”
Literary Quotes – ‘Who shall escape whipping” (1h37m38s) Hamlet to Polonius in Hamlet Act 2 Scene 2. The exact and full quote is ‘Use every man after his desert and who shall ‘scape whipping’. In context this has Polonius saying that he will use the players as they are deserved (desert) to be used. Hamlet responds that Polonius should go out of his way to treat them far better (for if people were to be treated as they deserved, few would escape whipping).
(The times are set as hh/mm/ss, i.e. hours, minutes and seconds).
The first piece of music is played while Morse is claiming to be doing paper work but is actually attempting to complete a crossword. The music is ‘Der Freischutz (the Marksman)‘ by Carl Maria von Weberand (1786-1826 (music) & Friedrich Kind (1768-1843) (libretto).
We are back in Morse’s house where we finding him washing his hair. The music is Symphony in D minor by the Belgian composer Cesar Franck (1822-1890). He was born at Liège, in what is now Belgium (though at the time of his birth it was part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands).
Morse visits Roope in his rooms at the college and tinkles something on the piano but unfortunately I have no idea what it is.
The next piece is when Morse visits Dr. Bartlett at his house and finds Dr Bartlett’s son, Richard, air conducting to the German composer Richard Wagner’s (1813-1883) ‘Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’. (The Master-Singers of Nuremberg).
We are back in Morse’s house where we find him completing a crossword until he is interrupted by a phone call from Lewis. The extract is the opening of the Largo from Handel’s Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major HWV 313. The German born George Frideric Handel was born on the 23 February 1685 and died on the 14 April 1759.
An interesting note about a piece of music composed by Barrington Pheloung. A blog reader, A.B., wrote to me sometime ago that he had noticed that a piece of music played over the section where Lewis is ‘tailing’ Roope’ to the Botanic Gardens to meet Dr. Bartlett (01h19m50s) had also been used in the previous episode ‘Dead of Jericho‘. In that episode it was played over the scene when Jackson goes to collect the money left there by Richards. (00h49m03s).
Let us start with the paintings on the wall of the room where there is a party to welcome the Sheik of Al-Jamara.
I believe the scene was shot in Oriel College but as for the paintings on the wall I’m afraid I cannot identify any of them. However, I have written to Oriel College to ask if they can verify it is a room in Oriel College and whether they can help with the identification of the paintings. Fingers crossed I get an answer.
I have received an answer from Oriel College and they kindly told me that it wasn’t their college but was in fact Brasenose College. So I Googled the college and viola found a picture of the room in which the party was held, Brasenose Hall;
After a bit of detective work I have more information about the paintings. To the far left is a painting of James Ley, 1st Earl of Marlborough, Lord High Treasurer. The artist is unknown.
Next up is the painting second from the right. This is Alexander Nowell, DD, Benefactor, Principal (1595), Dean of St Paul’s by an unknown artist.
The painting in the middle is William Smyth, Bishop of Lincoln, Founder, Chancellor of the University (1500–1503) by an unknown artist,
The painting second from the left is Richard Sutton (d.1524), Knight, Founder by an unknown artist.
The final one is the painting to the far right. This is Sir Thomas Egerton (1539/1540–1617), Viscount Brackley, Baron Ellesmere, Commoner, Lord Chancellor of England (1603–1617), Chancellor of the University (1610–1617) by an unknown artist.
In Nicholas Quinn’s house at 14 minutes and 25 seconds there is a small painting behind Morse. My first thought was a work by Charles Warren Eaton as it has the tonalist quality of one of his landscapes but if it is I can’t find it when searching the artist on Google. So for the moment it is unidentified.
Next up we have two painting s on the wall of Ogleby’s house at 42 minutes and 40 seconds.
The first above is a very bad print/reproduction of Joseph Mallord William Turner’s (1775-1851), 1840 painting of ‘Venice seen from the Giudecca Canal’.
Here is the original.
The second one is to the left of the first painting on Ogleby’s wall.
This is another Turner painting; ‘Ancient Rome; Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus‘
The next painting is a much simpler regarding its identification. It is on the wall of Roope’s College rooms wall.
This painting is ‘Canal and Factories’ by the English artist Laurence Stephen Lowry (1887–1976). Lowry is famous for painting scenes of life in the industrial districts of North West England. Below is the original.
We now move onto a poster on Monica’s wall in her office which can be seen clearly at 01h23m57.
It is a poster advertising an exhibition of the Spanish artist Ramon Dilley (1932- ) at the Galerie du Carlton in Cannes. The original image is below;
At 01h29m Morse is in Dr Barlett’s office after arresting him. On the wall is a small painting which I cannot identify as yet with any certainty. It does look like it could be a very bad print or reproduction of ‘Venice: The Grand Canal, Looking North East From Palazzo Balbi To The Rialto Bridge‘ 1724 by Canaletto. (Real name, Giovanni Antonio Canal 1697-1768). See painting below.
Thank you to Nancy who identified the poster in Monica’s office to Morse’s left.
The poster was to advertise a play, Love for Love by William Congreve.
The leg coming out of the bedchamber has been added.
Philip Ogleby not only works at the Foreign Examinations Board but also sets crosswords under the pseudonym Daedalus.
Michael Gough as Philip Ogleby.
Daedalus was written about by both Greek authors Homer and Ovid. He is probably best known as the father of Icarus and Iapyx. He is also very well known, as is mentioned in the episode, as the creator of the Labyrinth on Crete, in which the Minotaur (part man, part bull) was kept.
While Morse is interviewing Philip Ogleby he asks Ogleby if it was Monica who had told him he was a bachelor. Philip replies that he had looked up Morse and so there was no need to “Cherchez la femme“.
Cherchez la femme is an expression first used in the 1854 novel ‘The Mohicans’ of Paris’ by Alexandre Dumas, ( Dumas is of course better known for writing ‘The Three Musketeers’). The phrase Cherchez la femme literally means, ‘Look for the woman’. The phrase has come to mean over the years as, no matter what the problem, a woman is often the root cause.
Morse and Lewis are standing outside the cinema after the death of Ogleby. Morse says, “No human action happens by pure chance unconnected with other happenings” Lewis finishes the quote, “None is incapable of explanation.” The quote is attributed to Dr. Hans Gross, one-time Professor of Criminology at the University of Prague. Hans Gross is believed to be the creator of the field of criminalistics and is to this day seen as the father of Criminal Investigation.
Dr Bartlett is discussing with Morse if he should tell his wife about visiting the cinema to see the ‘pornographic’ film ‘Last Tango in Paris’. Morse tells him that adultery of the heart is not really the same as adultery and ends by saying “Who shall ‘scape whipping”
This is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Hamlet says it to Polonius in Hamlet Act 2 Scene 2. The exact and full quote is ‘Use every man after his desert and who shall ‘scape whipping’. In context this has Polonius saying that he will use the players as they are deserved (desert) to be used. Hamlet responds that Polonius should go out of his way to treat them far better (for if people were to be treated as they deserved, few would escape whipping).
The times are based on the British DVDs. The times stated are not exact but are within the minute the location appears.
Start of episode –
The reception party for the Sheik of Al-Jamara is held at Brasenose College. Brasenose is referred to as Lonsdale College.
Morse walks through Brasenose College talking to Frederich Treves.
Morse visits Brasenose College to talk to Roope in his rooms.
The arrow marks where Morse is standing in the above screenshot.
Roope is in his rooms at Brasenose College
Roope spots Lewis.
Lewis follows Roope through Brasenose College.
Lewis exits Brasenose College into Radcliffe Square looking for Roope.
Lewis still chases Roope but we are now in Exeter College.
The door that Roope is going through leads from Exeter Fellow’s Garden to Brasenose Lane.
Lewis runs through Exeter Fellow’s Garden.
Lewis watches Roope from the raised part of the Exeter College Fellow’s Garden. Roope is walking down Brasenose Lane toward Radcliffe Square.
The Botanic Gardens where Lewis watches Roope meeting Dr. Bartlett.
The Jericho Tavern next to the Studio 2 cinema.
The Jericho Tavern today. The cinema is the blue building on the right.
When Lewis and Morse visit the cinema to talk to the manager there are, of course, film posters on the walls.
On the left is a poster for the 1985 American black comedy film directed by Martin Scorsese, After Hours.
Behind the manager is a poster for the Disney film Bambi.
On the right is the poster for the wonderful Wim Wenders 1984 film, Paris, Texas.
Barbara Flynn as Monica Height (Born Aug 5th 1948 – )
Micahel Gough as Philip Ogleby (Born November 23rd 1916 – Died march 17th 2011)
Clive Swift as Dr. Bartlett (Born February 9th 1936 – )
Frederich Treves as Don of Lonsdale College (Born March 29th 1925 – Died January 30th 2012)
Peter Woodthorpe as Max ((B. Sep. 25th 1931 – D. Aug. 12th 2004)
Anthony Smee as Roope (Born 1950 – )
Roger Lloyd Pack as Donald Martin (Born February 8th 1944 – Died January 15th 2014)
Phil Nice as Nicholas Quinn (Born Unknown but here is his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/philniceuk )
Elspet Gray as Mrs Bartlett (Born April 12th 1929 – Died February 18th 2013)
Arthus Cox as Noakes (Born 7th April 1934 – )
Philip Voss as the Coroner (Born 1936 – ) ( I included Philip as he had a recurring role in Morse)
Gabrielle Blunt as Mrs Evans (Born january 8th 1919 – Died: August 6, 2014 )
Denyse Alexander as Cinema Manageress (Born June 28th 1931 – )
Stefan Schwartz as Richard Bartlett (Born 1st may 1963 – )
Saul Reichlin as the Sheik of Al-Jamara (Born Unknown)
Diana Blackburn as the lip reading teacher (Born Unknown)