The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn. An Overview: Music, Art, Literary References, Locations etc.

silent world quinn

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

dquinn

Directed by Brian Parker

Written by Julian Mitchell

Jag Rating (out of ten)

Please feel free to leave any comments. There is a link at the bottom of the page.

Synopsis

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.

Review

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.

lewisSneering

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.

lasttangoLast Tango in Oxford?

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.

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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).

Cast

Barbara Flynn as Monica Height (Born Aug 5th 1948 –        )

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Micahel Gough as Philip Ogleby (Born November 23rd 1916 – Died march 17th 2011)

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Clive Swift as Dr. Bartlett (Born February 9th 1936 –        )

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Frederich Treves as Don of Lonsdale College (Born March 29th 1925 – Died January 30th 2012)

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Peter Woodthorpe as Max ((B. Sep. 25th 1931 – D. Aug. 12th 2004)

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Anthony Smee as Roope (Born 1950 –      )

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Roger Lloyd Pack as Donald Martin (Born February 8th 1944 – Died January 15th 2014)

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Phil Nice as Nicholas Quinn (Born Unknown but here is his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/philniceuk )

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Elspet Gray as Mrs Bartlett (Born April 12th 1929 – Died February 18th 2013)

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Arthus Cox as Noakes (Born 7th April 1934 –      )

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Philip Voss as the Coroner (Born 1936 –      ) ( I included Philip as he had a recurring role in Morse)

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Gabrielle Blunt as Mrs Evans (Born january 8th 1919 –  Died: August 6, 2014    )

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Denyse Alexander as Cinema Manageress (Born June 28th 1931 –        )

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Stefan Schwartz as Richard Bartlett (Born 1st may 1963 –      )

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Saul Reichlin as the Sheik of Al-Jamara (Born Unknown)

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Diana Blackburn as the lip reading teacher (Born Unknown)

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Music 

(The times are set as hh/mm/ss, i.e. hours, minutes and seconds).

00h04m57s

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).

00h11m29s

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).

00h45m30s

Morse visits Roope in his rooms at the college and tinkles something on the piano but unfortunately I have no idea what it is.

00h49m20s

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).

01h22m25s

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).

ART

Let us start with the paintings on the wall of the room where there is a party to welcome the Sheik of Al-Jamara.

nicholas-quinn-11

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;

brasenose-college

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.

unknown artist; James Ley, 1st Earl of Marlborough, Lord High Treasurer (1624-1628); Brasenose College, University of Oxford; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/james-ley-1st-earl-of-marlborough-lord-high-treasurer-16241628-221741

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.

unknown artist; Alexander Nowell, DD, Benefactor, Principal (1595), Dean of St Paul's; Brasenose College, University of Oxford; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/alexander-nowell-dd-benefactor-principal-1595-dean-of-st-pauls-221739

The painting in the middle is William Smyth, Bishop of Lincoln, Founder, Chancellor of the University (1500–1503) by an unknown artist,

unknown artist; William Smyth, Bishop of Lincoln, Founder, Chancellor of the University (1500-1503); Brasenose College, University of Oxford; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/william-smyth-bishop-of-lincoln-founder-chancellor-of-the-university-15001503-221742

The painting second from the left is Richard Sutton (d.1524), Knight, Founder by an unknown artist.

unknown artist; Richard Sutton (d.1524), Knight, Founder; Brasenose College, University of Oxford; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/richard-sutton-d-1524-knight-founder-221743

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.

unknown artist; Sir Thomas Egerton (1539/1540-1617), Viscount Brackley, Baron Ellesmere, Commoner, Lord Chancellor of England (1603-1617), Chancellor of the University (1610-1617); Brasenose College, University of Oxford; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/sir-thomas-egerton-153915401617-viscount-brackley-baron-ellesmere-commoner-lord-chancellor-of-england-16031617-chancellor-of-the-university-16101617-221752

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.

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Next up we have two painting s on the wall of Ogleby’s house at 42 minutes and 40 seconds.

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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.

venice

The second one is to the left of the first painting on Ogleby’s wall.

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This is another Turner painting; ‘Ancient Rome; Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus‘

Ancient Rome; Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus exhibited 1839 Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851 Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N00523

The next painting is a much simpler regarding its identification. It is on the wall of Roope’s College rooms wall.

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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.

lowry

We now move onto a poster on Monica’s wall in her office which can be seen clearly at 01h23m57.

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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;

dilley

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.

nicholas-quinn-16

venice-the-grand-canal-looking-north-east-from-palazzo-balbi-to-the-rialto-bridge-jpglarge

LITERARY REFERENCES

Philip Ogleby not only works at the Foreign Examinations Board but also sets crosswords under the pseudonym Daedalus.

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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.

00h42m04s

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.

00h56m18s

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.

1h37m38s

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).

Locations.

The Botanic Gardens where Lewis watches Roope meeting Dr. Bartlett.

botanicgardens

http://www.botanic-garden.ox.ac.uk/

Where Lewis first watches Roope then follows him

exetercollege

Homepage

The Jericho Tavern next to the Studio 2 cinema.

jericho tevern

The Jericho Tavern today. The cinema is the blue building on the right.

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Author: Chris Sullivan

After having looked after my mum for some 11 years she is now unfortunately in a nursing home. I'm afraid her dementia worsened as did her physical capabilities. So, for the first time in 21 years I find myself no longer caring for anyone. Apart from my mum I was also a single parent to two children and also looked after my dad who had Alzheimers, (he died in 2005). So, I have decided to return to University to try and get another degree this time in English Literature. (My other degree I got some 30 years ago is one in Ecological Science). After a year at college I have passed all grades and now will start Edinburgh University in September 2019. A busy time ahead made even busier by my writing a book on the TV series, Lewis.

60 thoughts

  1. Are you sure about the music at the 1h22m mark? I’ve scanned through all four movements and I cannot find what, in the show, sounds like a cello solo. If you can link a YouTube video of the piece used, I would appreciate it.

    1. Hi Joe. Thanks for reminding me to update this as I meant to do it sometime ago. You’re right it isn’t Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 6 Pathetique. I believe it might be a Mozart concerto. beyond that, i’m not sure. .

      1. The extract is the opening of the Largo from Handel’s Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major HWV 313.

      2. AB (who seems to have an amazing knowledge of classical music) is correct. Handel’s Concerto Grosso no 2 (Largo) Not played on the cello however but the viola da gamba.

  2. Do you know what the music is being played during the scene when Roope goes to meet Bartlett at the botanic gardens? Thanks

    1. This soundtrack first occurs in “The Dead of Jericho” during the scene where George Jackson waits to collect the money from the telephone booth. I can’t think of other episodes that share a similar soundtrack, but perhaps there are? At any rate, this particular soundtrack isn’t featured on any of the _Morse_ soundtrack discs where a selected number of tracks from various episodes are given titles other those of the episodes themselves.

  3. I wonder if the Tavern still sells traditional ales. Maybe now they are sold more in England so a tavern doesn’t need to advertise that it sells them. I remember reading about the real ale movement a while ago. Do you know whose picture that is above Morse’ shoulder in Monica’s office?

  4. Rewatching Morse after finishing Endeavor series 4 for the second time. Some of the actors look familiar. I was wondering if you would be able to cross reference the Morse episodes with the Endeavor/Lewis episodes so we can see all reacurring actors from the Morse side as well. Thanks for all you do! I am always excited to read your reviews after watching each episode.

  5. Chris, you must have eagle eyes. I would never have been able to find the 1724 Canaletto from what can be seen in the episode, but you’ve somehow done it!

  6. I wouldn’t call Morse a confirmed bachelor, but perhaps the phrase has a different meaning in Australia.

    1. He doesn’t seem very confirmed, since he tries to find women and build relationships, but they never work out for him.

  7. IMDB now has Phil NIce DOB as January 29th 1959. Still working as an acotr he’s most recently been in Citizen Khan.
    He also appeared in Goodnight Sweetheart (alongside Nicholas Lyndhurst) as George Formby! Amongst much other work

  8. Morse;s butter remark on contemplating “Last Tango” is smutty innuendo but only if you know enough about the movie.

    1. Indeed; the writer is also having a little chuckle by making butter a clue as to why Quinn’s death was definitely murder, ie the shopping bag contained salted, not unsalted butter.

  9. Film posters inside the cinema manager’s office: Bambi (Disney, 1942), Paris, Texas (Nastassja Kinski, Harry Dean Stanton, directed by Wim Wenders, 1984)

  10. I noted that Morse has a black eye early in the episode, which has cleared up by the final scenes, anyone know what that was all about?

  11. The interior of Quinn’s house looks like it is one of the houses in Beauchamp Lane – I used to go to No. 12 (also called wye cottage)

      1. My bad, *Beauchamp* lane – post code OX4 3LF, round the corner from the Templar shopping centre

  12. I always liked this one, especially with Michael Gough as the inquisitive, sharp-witted Ogelby.

    Sadly, Clive Swift (also known as Richard, Hyacinth Bucket’s husband in Keeping up Appearances) died in February of 2019.

    I’m glad they nixed the “gather all the suspects in one room” sequences after this episode, although this one does have a twist in that Morse reveals the wrong solution to the gathered cast–not something that would ever happen to Poirot! Then again, in the next episode, Service of All the Dead, a scene like this was impossible since there were almost no suspects left to gather by the end of the episode.

  13. Clive Swift who played Dr Barlett died on 1st February 2019. He became very well known for his role as Richard Bucket, husband of the domineering Hyacinth in the sitcom ‘Keeping Up Appearances’.

  14. It cannot be “Phil Nice as Nicholas Quinn”, you need to correct that.
    Regarding the episode, the premise is very weak. Either Quinn read lips correctly, so he would not accept the poisoned sherry from Donald Marti or he didn’t and Donald Martin would have had no reason to kill him.This is not a very good episode.

    1. I’m sorry Adrian i’m not sure what you mean by ‘It cannot be “Phil Nice as Nicholas Quinn”’.

  15. I am sorry to say Adrian, but I disagree with you very strongly in this instance. The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn, is one of my favourite Inspector Morse episodes. The many elements that laid the foundations for the Morse series, and made it so watchable, are evident in this episode.

    There are moments of humour between Morse and Lewis. There are a number of pub scenes. Bribery and corruption committed by eminent Oxford academics, are featured, which has been depicted many times over, subsequently, in the Morse universe. Dexter used his own experience of being partially deaf, and having to learn to lip-read, which was portrayed by the murder victim, Quinn. Dexter also used his experience of working in an examination syndicate, and of course, the syndicate is the main workplace of the murder victims and suspects, in this episode.

    The theme of Morse being unlucky in love is moderately included, Morse and Monica flirt, fairly gently with each other, and there is not much more of it afterwards, although Morse comforts her in hospital, after the death of Ogleby. Lastly, Morse met a kindred spirit, in Ogleby, a fellow batchelor, intellectual, and crossword lover, in fact a crossword setter, and one who appears to like his whisky. Before he was killed, Ogleby had taken it upon himself to investigate Quinn’s death, and the corruption rumours related to the syndicate, not that he gave anything much away when he spoke to Morse, who he was more than a match for. The theme of Morse enjoying, crossword solving, was thus first portrayed in the Morse series, in this episode.

    Furthermore, according to David Bishop in his excellent book, “The Complete Inspector Morse”, Colin Dexter himself no less, said this was his favourite adaptation of the entire series. In addition, Bishop stated, that this episode was remarkably faithful to the original novel, which showed the strength of source material provided by Dexter. Bishop’s final word on this episode was, that he thought Thaw and Whately had settled into their roles, and the pairing seemed to have existed forever, despite this being only the second Morse episode made for television.

    Regarding your views, Adrian, on the premise, or motive behind the murders being weak, I also disagree with you. Nicholas Quinn, wrongly believed Bartlett was behind the examination cheating and corruption, mistakenly lip-reading the name Doctor Bartlett for Donald Martin. Quinn then tells Ogleby, his suspicions. Why do Martin and Roope conspire to kill Quinn, then, I hear you ask, if Quinn thought it was Bartlett that was guilty of corruption?

    My answer to that would be, Martin and Roope, know Quinn is beginning to be suspicious, and asking some awkward questions about allegations of bribery and corruption in the syndicate. Quinn realises George Bland, his predecessor, who is overseeing the examinations in the Arab world, is corrupt, and that he would need a fellow corrupt friend or friends in Oxford, who would be overseeing the question papers, so that person or persons could then pass the information on to Bland. Martin and Roope therefore decide to kill Quinn, to end his investigation of their corrupt practices. However, in an elobrate manner, perhaps typical of Oxford academia, they go about framing Bartlett for the murder, through the specific placing of a cinema ticket, thus creating an alibi for themselves, and a supposed time and place of death for Quinn, that was actually false. They were hoping the police would not be able to ascertain properly, where and when, Quinn was killed.

    Could the police, led by Morse and Lewis, see past the intended framing of Bartlett, which made it look like he had killed Quinn, because, he the little bespectacled permanent secretary of the syndicate, was supposedly the corrupt party, when as we know, he is not. Obviously, Morse and Lewis do see past this devious trick, and eventually solve the case, when Morse realises the accidental mistake Quinn had made, with his lip-reading. Finally, I should add that Martin also killed Ogleby, as he was carrying out his own investigation, not quite believing the information, Quinn had given him, that Bartlett was possibly guilty of corruption.

    Anyway, this is my understanding of the episode, that has been excellently reviewed above by Chris, and I hope it possibly answers your question, in some way, Adrian.

  16. On further reflection, perhaps I leapt to explanation, a bit too quickly. Martin and Roope did not deliberately frame Bartlett for the murders, initially, because they did not know until Morse’s investigation, who Quinn had accused of being corrupt. Quinn had only told two people his suspicions, he had directly told Bartlett that he suspected him, and he had confided his thoughts about Bartlett, with Ogleby.

    However, clearly Martin and Roope knew that Quinn was becoming a possible thorn in their side. They obviously felt guilty enough about their crimes, and worried they would be uncovered. Therefore, they decided to kill Quinn, to prevent him getting closer to the truth, of who had been revealing syndicate examinations secrets, to Bland in the Arab world. The deliberate framing of Bartlett only came later, as a kind of ruse, when Roope set up a meeting with the permanent secretary in the Botanic Gardens, to fool the police, when he was being followed by Lewis.

    I should have also made clearer, with Quinn being very deaf, he did not hear the fire drill at the syndicate, and he was lured to Martin’s office, which is where he was killed. However, Martin and Roope tried to make it look like Quinn had died later that day, after going to the cinema, by placing the cinema ticket in Quinn’s jacket. Roope of course, drove Quinn’s car to Quinn’s house, and left his body there, hoping to create the impression that Quinn committed suicide in his own house.

    In addition, Roope bought some shopping, attempting to pass it off, as if Quinn had been shopping, on the day he was killed. Quinn couldn’t have been shopping though, because he was already dead. The shopping discovered by Quinn’s cleaning lady, was thus another ploy or red herring used by Roope, to push back the time of Quinn’s actual death. The cleaning lady, however saw through this deceitful manoeuvre, as the shopping purchased contained salted butter, and Quinn only bought unsalted butter.

    Hopefully, I have now made the plot of this episode, clearer to you, Adrian, and sorry for any confusion earlier.

  17. “..mistakenly lip-reading the name Doctor Bartlett for Donald Martin.” This is an incredible stretch. In the lip reading class the instructor points out confusion between T and D. Also points out that P , B and M are difficult to lipread. There is no way to make Bartlett into Martin.

    Roope is not part of any plot, Morse just falsely accuses him. Martin did the (wrong) shopping as well as the transport of Quinn’s body.

    “Martin also killed Ogleby, as he was carrying out his own investigation, not quite believing the information, Quinn had given him, that Bartlett was possibly guilty of corruption. ”

    I agree that Martin killed Ogleby but , knowing how tight was Ogleby with the info pertaining to his investigation (he tells Morse nothing), how would Martin find out that Ogleby was investigating?

    Sorry, this episode stinks.

  18. Hello Adrian. You are very much entitled to your own opinion about this episode. I would just like to say, thank you for taking the time to read my comments, and for replying, so quickly today. In these worrying times, it is a privilege to have a civilised debate about certain episodes, in the great series that was, Inspector Morse.

    Nevertheless, I have to pull you up on two statements, that you made above, Adrian, and that relates to the lip-reading, and the role of Roope, during the first murder. In fact, Roope was Martin’s accomplice, with regards to the Quinn murder, which I will explain, a little more fully, later. In terms of the lip-reading, here is a passage from Colin Dexter’s novel, on pages 284-285, where Morse explains to Lewis, why Quinn made his accidental mistake:

    “I told you the key to this case lay in the fact that Quinn was deaf. And so it was. But I kept on thinking what a marvel he must have become at lip-reading, and I overlooked the most obvious thing of all: that even the best lip-reader in the world is sometimes going to make a few mistakes; and Quinn did just that. He saw Roope talking to the sheik, and he read a name wrongly on his lips. I learned from the lip-reading class that the commonest difficulty for the deaf is between the consonants “p”, “b”, and “m”, and if you mouth the words “Bartlett” and “Martin”, there’s very little difference on the lips. The “B” and the “M” are absolutely identical, and the second part of each of the names gets swallowed up in the mouth somewhere. But that’s not all. It was Doctor Bartlett, and Donald Martin. Just try them again. Very little difference to see; and if you put the two names together, there’s every excuse for a deaf person mixing them up. You see, Roope would never have called the Secretary “Tom”, would he? He’d never been on Christian name terms with him, and he never would be. He’d have called him “Bartlett or “Doctor Bartlett”. And the Sheik would almost certainly have given him his full title. But Martin – well, he was one of them; one of the boys. He was Donald Martin.”

    This little extract convinces me that, Quinn could easily have mixed up the names Doctor Bartlett for Donald Martin. Notwithstanding, the author, Dexter, had personal experience of being partially deaf, so I am quite certain, his understanding of the problems of lip-reading, is highly proficient, and undoubtedly better than my own. I will leave the last word on the lip-reading issue to David Bishop, and this comes from his excellent book, I used in my previous comment yesterday, “The Complete Inspector Morse”, and here it is:

    “Dexter obviously took to heart the old adage that writers should write about what they know. For just like Nicholas Quinn himself, the novelist is partially deaf and once worked at an examinations board – in Dexter’s case, the Oxford local board. This gives the novel invaluable authenticity”.

    In relation to your comment, Adrian, that “Roope is not part of any plot, Morse just falsely accuses him, Martin did the (wrong) shopping as well as the transport of Quinn’s body”, this is not true, Roope was a key accomplice for Martin, in the Quinn murder.

    It is correct to say, that Martin killed Quinn, and put his body in Quinn’s car, during the fire drill, while everyone else was out of the building. Martin and Monica Height, who were having an affair, went to the cinema, later that afternoon. Martin and Monica then left the cinema early, before the general exodus, it would lessen the risk of being seen together, after all Martin was married. They went their separate ways home, except Martin probably called in on the syndicate briefly, and left his own cinema ticket in Bartlett’s room, for Roope to pick up. Martin must have written a very brief note – “Stick it in the pocket”, and put it with the ticket, and Quinn’s car keys. Martin must have then gone home, and made sure somebody saw him during the vital period that happened next, when Roope was performing his part in the crime. Some of these insights I found, through reading the novel, and perhaps the episode does not fully explain, everything satisfactorily.

    The next stage of the crime, featured Roope, arriving in Oxford, later that afternoon by train, supposedly with the intention of leaving something for Bartlett, in his office. In reality, once he had escaped from a conversation with the caretaker, Noakes, he pretended to be Quinn, and drove the dead man’s car home. Naturally, as we know, Noakes through the window, thought he saw Quinn driving home. Roope, then left Quinn’s body in Quinn’s house, and bought groceries to push back the time of Quinn’s passing. The cinema ticket was of course, another ruse, to fool the police, regarding the time and place of Quinn’s death.

    My final point will be to answer, why did Roope take a part in Quinn’s death? We must remember that in the novel, Roope is a member of the commitee which decides, on the appointments to the syndicate. Anyway, Roope was also the person who colluded with Bland to sell syndicate examination secrets. Clearly, Bland needed someone in Oxford, where they wrote the questions, to be in, on this examination cheating, and Roope must have been bribed by the wealthy Sheiks, to be the British link of corruption. However, Roope was not a permanent member of the syndicate, and he needed someone at that workplace to go along with him, in this crime. This obviously was Donald Martin, who must have also foolishly succumbed, to bribery by the Arabs.

    Hopefully, the plot of this episode is a little clearer, Adrian. I must admit it is a rather labyrinthine plot, full of twists and turns. Nonetheless, I previously found the novel and episode enjoyable. However, at the end of the day, if you don’t like this episode, Adrian, I can perhaps see why, it is quite convoluted.

  19. I should have also said, another reason Roope took up his part in the crime, as Martin’s accomplice, was because according to the novel, he looked a little like Quinn. They both had beards, and both came from Yorkshire. Hence, when Roope drove Quinn’s car home with Quinn’s body in the boot, the caretaker, Noakes, thought he saw Quinn drive out of the syndicate car park.

  20. I promise, this is my final comment, regarding the discussion above with Adrian. I just forgot to mention, to further his disguise as Quinn, Roope wore Quinn’s jacket, when he drove Quinn’s car back to Quinn’s house, where he left the body, which had been in the boot. This clearly further convinced Noakes, to think he had seen Quinn from a distance, through the syndicate window. In addition, of course, Roope placed the cinema ticket in the pocket of Quinn’s jacket, that he was wearing while doing his wicked part, in this elaborate murder plot.

  21. Thank you, James
    This clears a lot of my confusion: “Some of these insights I found, through reading the novel, and perhaps the episode does not fully explain, everything satisfactorily.”
    Not having access to the book, I had to use the episode and the episode made things very unclear, hence my reaction. I could swear that Quinn’s keys and anorak were still there when Ogleby came out of the closet (pun unintended). I might be wrong, this is why I thought Roope had nothing to do with it. I’ll see if I can see the episode again. Either way, thank you for all your work.

  22. That’s not a problem Adrian, thanks for your reply. In fact, you got me thinking, whether I understood every apect of the plot. It is a rather intricate storyline, and if you forget, or miss certain details, in the novel or episode, you can easily come to the wrong conclusion.

  23. I think a lot depends on the director, if certain parts are glossed over or just missed, the whole story goes awry. I like watching Morse/Lewis but I much prefer Midsomer Murders, I think they get better directors.

  24. Hi Adrian. I have managed to quickly watch the start of this episode. Quinn left his jacket in his own office, after being lured to Martin’s room, where of course, he was killed by Martin, with the poisoned sherry. Martin later, left Quinn’s house and car keys, as well as the cinema ticket, in Bartlett’s office, for Roope to pick up. We then see, Ogleby sneaking about Bartlett’s office, noticing the keys and cinema ticket, and he drew the ticket into his diary.

    Roope enters the syndicate building and talks to the caretaker, Noakes, asking if anyone was in. Noakes replies that Quinn must be the only one around, his car is in the car park, and they go to Quinn’s office, where they discover his anorak on the back of the chair, but there is no sign of Quinn. Roope then heads over to Bartlett’s office. Hearing voices in the corridor, which led to Roope bursting into Bartlett’s room, Ogleby hides in the closet, as you put it Adrian. Roope leaves something for Bartlett, but he also picks up the two keys and the cinema ticket. Once Roope exits the office, Ogleby emerges from his hiding place, and curiously discovers that the keys and cinema ticket are no longer on the desk.

    Roope then appears to ostensibly leave the building, not wearing an anorak, with Noakes alongside him. However, a few moments later, we see someone getting into Quinn’s car, with an anorak on. Roope must have doubled back into the syndicate building, making sure Noakes did not see him, to fetch Quinn’s anorak. Noakes sees someone at a distance, from the window, wearing Quinn’s anorak, getting into Quinn’s car. He therefore, automatically assumed he had seen Quinn, walking to his car, and driving away.

    Hopefully eveything is a lot clearer now, regarding the plot of this episode, Adrian. Maybe, you will even be able to possibly enjoy it, although as I previously said, you are very much entiled to your own opinion.

  25. I’ve just realised, I missed the letter “t”, out of the correct spelling which is “entitled”, as I accidentally wrote “entiled”, above, sorry about that.

  26. Hopefully, this will be my last comment on the discussion above with Adrian. When I mentioned, Roope must have doubled back to fetch Quinn’s coat, I should have then said, he went to “Quinn’s office”, to get the anorak, while avoiding being noticed by Noakes. Possibly, this is a statement of the obvious, so sorry about that, and sorry for being a little long-winded, with all my comments.

  27. Something is still not right: “Roope bursting into Bartlett’s room, Ogleby hides in the closet, as you put it Adrian. Roope leaves something for Bartlett, but he also picks up the two keys and the cinema ticket. Once Roope exits the office, Ogleby emerges from his hiding place, and curiously discovers that the keys and cinema ticket are no longer on the desk. ”

    Why would Quinn’s car keys and anorak be in Bartlett’s office? It doesn’t make any sense.
    How would Roope know that the movie ticket he swipes is good for the “plant”?

  28. Thanks for the reply Adrian. You are certainly asking some good, inquisitive, detective-like questions, as we forensically examine the plot line of this episode.

    To answer those questions, Martin left Quinn’s house and car keys, as well as the cinema ticket in Bartlett’s office, because he clearly knew Roope’s schedule that day. He must have known Roope’s official business, was to drop some paperwork off in Barlett’s office, after getting off the train, later that afternoon. The episode does show Roope, leaving the said paperwork for Bartlett. However, at the same time, he picks up the two keys and the cinema ticket, left by Martin on Bartlett’s desk. Martin also knew Bartlett had a meeting with heateachers in Banbury, so he would not be at the syndicate building.

    Two questions arise, from what I have just mentioned. Why not leave the keys and cinema ticket, in Quinn’s room, where the anorak was? Secondly, your question Adrian comes to mind, how would Roope know that the movie ticket he picks up, is useful enough, to “plant” in the coat?

    Martin was trying to make it look like Quinn was still alive, particularly with the coat on Quinn’s chair, in Quinn’s office. Nonetheless, given the impression they hoped to falsely convey about Quinn, that he was alive, it would be very unlikely, a living and breathing person, would leave their house and car keys, blatantly on the desk. Martin thus, decided to place the keys and cinema ticket in Bartlett’s office on the desk, with a little note, explaining to Roope what to do with the ticket. As after all, Roope was officially, going to visit Bartlett’s room, later that day, and Bartlett was definitely out, which I previously mentioned.

    These two questions I just asked, can perhaps be answered in a better way, through the following passage in the novel, on pages 290, 291 and 292, where Morse is explaining the case to Lewis:

    Morse – “I don’t think Studio 2 figured in the original plan at all – though I may be wrong, of course. The original idea must have been to try to persuade any caller at Quinn’s office that he was there or thereabouts during the Friday afternoon. It was all a bit clumsy, but just about passable – the note to his typist, the anorak, the open filing cabinet, and so on. Now, I’d guess that Martin’s nerves must have been pretty near breaking-point after he’d killed Quinn, and he must have breathed a huge sigh of relief when he managed to persuade Monica to spend the afternoon with him: the fewer people in the office that afternoon the better, and being with Monica gave him a reasonable alibi if things didn’t go to plan. As I say, I don’t think that there was the remotest intention of planting the torn half of a cinema ticket on Quinn’s body. But remember what happened. Martin and Monica decided to lie about going to the cinema; and Martin himself gradually began to take stock of the situation. He must have realised that the elaborate attempt to convince everyone that Quinn was alive and well at the Syndicate was pretty futile. No one’s there to be convinced. Bartlett’s not there – he knows that; he himself and Monica are not there, either; Quinn is dead; and Ogleby is out lunching with the Oxford University Press people, and may not go back to the office at all. So. He gets his brainwave: he’ll get Roope to put the cinema ticket in one of Quinn’s pockets.”

    Lewis – “But when – ?”

    Morse – “Just a minute. After leaving the cinema – by the way, Martin lied to me there, and I ought to have noticed it earlier. He tried to stretch his alibi by saying he left at a quarter to four; but as we know from Monica they both left just before the film was due to end – at about a quarter past three. Obviously they’d want to get out before the general exodus – less risk of being seen. Anyway, after leaving the cinema, they went their separate ways: Monica went home; and so did Martin, except that on his way he called in at the Syndicate, at about 3.20, found no one about – not even Ogleby – and left his own cinema ticket in Bartlett’s room for Roope to pick up.”

    Lewis – “But Roope wouldn’t have known – ?”

    Morse – “Give me a chance, Lewis. Martin must have written a very brief note – “Stick this in the pocket”, or something like that – and put it with the ticket and keys. Then, about ten minutes later, Ogleby got back, found everyone else out, and decided that this was as good an opportunity as he’d get of poking around in Bartlett’s room; and he was so puzzled by what he found there that he copied out the cinema ticket into his diary.”

    Lewis – “And then Martin went home, I suppose.”

    Morse nodded.
    Morse – “And made sure, I should think, that somebody saw him, especially during the vital period between 4.30 and five o’clock, when he knew Roope was performing his part in the crime”

    Hopefully, I have answered your questions Adrian, and everything is a bit clearer, as the murder plot is quite elaborate. I must confess, I do not claim to be an oracle over all things related to this episode. However, with Chris having currently suffered a major bereavement, with the loss of his mother, I have tried my best to explain the intricate details of this Morse story.

  29. What I was trying to say in my final sentence above was, with Chris’s understandable absence from his own website at the moment, I am sorry if I haven’t been able to answer your questions Adrian, as well as perhaps, Chris would be able to. Hopefully however, you are happy with my attempt, at answering them, and thank you Adrian, for reading my comments.

  30. “Martin thus, decided to place the keys and cinema ticket in Bartlett’s office on the desk, with a little note, explaining to Roope what to do with the ticket. As after all, Roope was officially, going to visit Bartlett’s room, later that day, and Bartlett was definitely out, which I previously mentioned.”

    But this is even worse, since Ogleby got to Bartlett’s room earlier, he saw the keys, the ticket and the anorak, he would have ALSO have seen the note from Martin to Roope. Now, not only is the TV episode bad, it is the novel as well. I truly appreciate your help and the amount of effort.

  31. That is not a problem Adrian, I am more than happy to help. It would be good to find out what Chris thinks, when he is able to, of your analysis and those potential flaws in the plot.

    Using Bartlett’s office turned out just as bad, but of course they didn’t know that Ogleby, would be sneaking about in that room. Should Martin have left the note, keys and cinema ticket in Quinn’s room? Possibly, but as Quinn was “supposedly” in his office, with his car in the car park, they were worried, somebody would go to Quinn’s room, and obviously, find the note, keys and cinema ticket. Therefore, they chose Bartlett, who was out on official business at a headteachers’ meeting, and Roope was heading to Bartlett’s room anyway. However, perhaps foolishly, they hadn’t put into the bargain, that somebody else would visit Bartlett’s office, namely Ogleby.

    At the end of the day, sometimes, murderers and accomplices make silly mistakes, which is why they get found out by the police. In certain cases, criminals try to cover their tracks, through deception, and creating false alibis, but if anything they make things worse for themselves. The crimes they thus committed, are even easier to solve, than they would have been, if they hadn’t attempted all sorts of devious tricks, to cover up the initial main crime or murder.

    That is all for now, and thanks for your reply, Adrian.

  32. I keep wondering, whether I have explained the plot clearly. Basically, after killing Quinn, Martin tried to convey the impression that Quinn was still alive. He tried to achieve this, through leaving Quinn’s anorak on the chair in Quinn’s office, through leaving a filing cabinet open, and possibly, through leaving Quinn’s office door, slightly ajar. There was also, the small matter of Quinn’s car left in the car park. The idea, Martin was attempting to convey, was that Quinn had just popped off, perhaps, for a bite to eat, and he was within walking distance, not that far away.

    Therefore to leave the note, keys and cinema ticket in Quinn’s room, was ruled out, because someone could think Quinn was there, knock, and hear no answer, but still explore inside the office, and discover the incriminating evidence. Thus Martin, decided to place the note, keys and cinema ticket in Bartlett’s office, as Bartlett was out on official business. Martin, still in a bit of a blind panic, since committing the murder, obviously didn’t think anybody would thus go into Bartlett’s room, and Roope, would soon be visiting Bartlett’s office, anyway.

    Little did they know, somebody else, belonging to the syndicate, namely Ogleby, would sneak about Bartlett’s office. As he was already carrying out his own investigation, before the police inquiry had even started. Morse actually says to Lewis, the whole murder plot was a bit clumsy, and consequently, Martin and Roope were eventually found out to be in league together, as the murderer and accomplice.

  33. I apologize going on about this subject for far too long, you must be getting fed up with me Adrian. Perhaps, this is the effect of the lockdown on me! When I said, Martin left the note, keys and movie ticket in Bartlett’s office, he did not though, move Quinn’s anorak, that stayed in Quinn’s room. Martin also placed Quinn’s body in the boot of Quinn’s car. Later on, of course, Roope picked up all the items in Bartlett’s office. Roope was then shown, leaving the syndicate building, without Quinn’s coat, while talking, or saying goodbye to Noakes. However, he must have then doubled back, without being seen by Noakes, to fetch Quinn’s anorak from Quinn’s room. Thus, the second time Roope exited the building, now wearing Quinn’s coat, Noakes thinks he sees Quinn, at a distance, from the window, getting in Quinn’s car, and driving off. I would say therefore, that was a clever piece of deception by Roope. Sorry if I have repeated myself, and this should be at last, my final comment.

  34. “I said, Martin left the note, keys and movie ticket in Bartlett’s office, he did not though, move Quinn’s anorak, that stayed in Quinn’s room. Martin also placed Quinn’s body in the boot of Quinn’s car. Later on, of course, Roope picked up all the items in Bartlett’s office. Roope was then shown, leaving the syndicate building, without Quinn’s coat, while talking, or saying goodbye to Noakes. However, he must have then doubled back, without being seen by Noakes, to fetch Quinn’s anorak from Quinn’s room. Thus, the second time Roope exited the building, now wearing Quinn’s coat, Noakes thinks he sees Quinn, at a distance, from the window, getting in Quinn’s car, and driving off. I would say therefore, that was a clever piece of deception by Roope. ”

    Yes, this makes sense, thank you, James, for your patience. It is a convoluted and not very credible solution but it is free of the contradictions that were bothering me. We are done with this episode, I truly hope to “meet” you again on the next one. I am a mathematician , you see, and logic is part of my job. Me and my wife love Morse, Lewis, Endeavor and watch them religiously, 3 times a week. The lockdown has some benefits 🙂

  35. Hi Adrian. It’s always a pleasure to talk to a fellow enthusiast of the Morse universe, as Chris calls it. Thank you for replying so promptly, to my attempts at answering your questions. Sorry, I couldn’t explain things in a clear manner, sooner than I did, but we finally got there in the end. As you say, I look forward to discussing more of Morse, Lewis and Endeavour with you, sometime in the future. Hope you stay safe and well.

  36. While I am in the corona capital of the world, SWFL, I have been reading reviews and comments from the Morse episodes which I missed because I discovered Morse and Chris’ wonderful website late in the game. I now have all the Morse discs and watched them several times. But I must admit even though I watched this episode 3 times it is still very confusing to me. Until you explained things, James and Adrian,I didn’t realize the full parts played Martin and Roope. In the end it is still, to me, a very, and too, intricate and puzzling episode. But I still like ALL the Morse episodes for one reason or another.

    1. Kathleen,

      Actually I was the one only asking the questions, James did all the explaining. This is one of the most complicated episodes, the logic is hanging on a thread but in the end we arrived to a satisfactory explanation (see James’ final post). In the times of the pandemic, these are good mental exercises that keep our minds sharp.

      1. Yes, and I have more Morse posts to read and to fully digest James’ explanations.

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