Morse Episode ‘Fat Chance’: Music, Art and Literary References.

Hello Morsonians and welcome to my post about the music, art and literary references in the episode Fat Chance.

To read my review of this episode which includes things like pub locations, click here. I have of course added the information from this post to the review which was written some time ago.

Once I have finished with each series I will post a downloadable excel sheet for each category; music, art and literary references. This would allow everyone who downloads said excel sheets to print them off for personal use. Hopefully, having these print outs next to you while you watch the episode will be of help in identifying your favourite pieces of music from all three series. In the same vein the downloadable excel sheets will I hope help in your enjoyment and appreciation of the art and literary references used in all three series.

Of course I am not infallible (I know I was shocked to realise that trait in myself😉 ) so if you should spot an error or omission then please let me know and I will update my post with the new information.

The time of the pieces of music et cetera are based on the British DVD versions of the shows. However, the times shown should not be to dissimilar from other countries versions or should be easy to pinpoint what I am referring to and when.

Fat Chance. Series 5, Episode 2.
Chronologically this is episode 17.


First up at the beginning of the episode we have the character Dinah Newberry singing ‘Laudate Dominum’ a Mozart aria from Vesperae Solemnes de Confessore.

The above piece of music is heard numerous times through the episode. The ‘voice of Dinah Newberry is the wonderful Janis Kelly. Who is she? She is the wonderful opera singer who not only sings many of the soprano pieces used in many of the Morse, Lewis and Endeavour series but also provides the voice for those actors playing singers.


Janis Kelly

The Glasgow born actor and singer is the voice of Rosalind Stromming in the Endeavour Pilot episode. She is the voice in Endeavour singing from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, ‘Un bel de’ (One Beautiful Day).

In the  Endeavour pilot episode she is also the soprano voice at 27m42s singing ‘Signora, Ascolta’ from Puccini’s Turandot. (This piece can be found on the CD Inspector Morse Volume 2 also sung by Janis Kelly and used in the Morse episode ‘The Death of the Self’ first aired 25th march 1992. Yes guys, THAT episode).

Also from the Endeavour episode the soprano is Janis Kelly singing ‘Terzettino ‘Soave Sia Il Vento’ by Mozart. (This piece can be found on the CD Inspector Morse Volume 2 also sung by Janis and used in the Morse Episode ‘Happy Families’ first aired 11th march 1992)

Janis Kelly’s voice is also heard in the following episodes of Morse:

  • The Day of the Devil’ first aired 13th January 1993. She was the soprano voice singing ‘Adieu Notre Petite Table’ from Manon by Jules Massenet. This piece can be found on the CD Inspector Morse Volume 3).
  • The Death of the Self’ first aired 25th March 1992. Janis is the voice of Francis Barber’s character Nicole Burgess.
  • Cherubim and Seraphim’ first aired 15th April 1992. Janis is the soprano singing ‘Che Faro Senza Eurydice’ by Von Gluck. This piece can be found on the CD Inspector Morse Volume 2.
  • Absolute Conviction’ first aired on the 8th April 1992. Janis sings ‘Mitradi Quell’ Alma Ingrata by Mozart. This piece can be found on the CD Inspector Morse Volume 2.
  • Masonic Mysteries’ first aired on the 24th January 1990. Janis sings ‘Bei Mannern’ – Welche Liebe Fuhlen’ by Mozart from The Magic Flute. This piece can be found on the CD Inspector Morse Volume 3.
  • Promised Land’ first aired on the 27th march 1991. Janis sings ‘Hab’mir’s Gelobt’ from Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. This piece can be found on the CD Inspector Morse Volume 3.
  • Second Time Around’ first aired 20th February 1991. Janis Kelly sings ‘Senza Mamma’ from Suor Angelica by Puccini. This piece can be found on the CD Inspector Morse Vol. 1.


The next piece of music is heard when  Morse and Lewis are driving to the scene of Dr. Hazlett’s death. Playing in the car is Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 7 in F Major.


Laudate Dominum is heard again during the scene when Dinah Newberry is sitting in her room crying, eating ice cream and Irene is banging on her door.


We return to Dinah Newberry’s room as Morse visits to talk to her. As before Laudate Dominum is playing.


Laudate Dominum plays again as we see Morse at home and he phones Emma to ask about Dinah Newberry.


Morse is at home entertaining his new love, Emma Pickford. While they sit in the garden music is playing. That music is Venetian Gondola Song (Opus 19, No. 6 in G Minor) by Mendelssohn.

Lastly, we have Bach’s ‘Well Tempered Clavier’ Book Two Prelude and Fugue in F sharp. This music occurs when Morse finds Boyd and then drives back to find out if Hilary Dobson has won the chaplaincy.



As Victoria Hazlett’s body is taken out of the college building the Rev Boyd shouts out “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft“.

No surprise that this quote is from the Bible: Samuel 15:22 and 15:23 (King James Version).

At 22 minutes and 25 seconds Morse says, “For some we loved, the loveliest and the best“. This is from The Rubaiyat By Omar Khayyam. The quote is from verse 22 (there are over 100 versus). The full verse is;

‘For some we loved, the loveliest and the best
That from his Vintage rolling Time hath prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to rest’.


Hilary and Emma are discussing the revelations of what was found at Rev Boyd’s home. Emma also asks about Dinah. Hilary replies that she will turn up one day in her all “too too solid flesh.”

This quote is from Hamlet and spoken by him.

Hamlet Act 1 Scene 2:
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!

At 1 hour and 27 minutes when Morse says to Boyd that it is ironic that he is now surrounded by women he replies;

BOYD: “Devour thy living with harlots”.

No surprise that this quote comes from the bible, Luke 15:30 The King James version;

“But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.”



Morse is walking through the chapel Lance Mandeville when he then walks over to a painting on the wall.

This painting is called St James of Compestella and was painted by El Greco 

Doménikos Theotokópoulos, most widely known as El Greco, was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. Born: 1541, Heraklion, Greece died: 7 April 1614, Toledo, Spain.


Morse and Lewis are discussing the case in their office in the police station. Behind Morse is a poster advertising Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.

Below is a version of that poster.

Below is a reproduction of the painting used on the poster.

It was painted by Jean-Honore Fragonard in 1767 and the painting is called The Swing.


Up next we are in Morse’s house. This is the same scene mentioned above in the music section where he phones Emma. In Morse’s hall is a print.

It is obviously a print of a painting by Claude Monet. It is one of the many paintings created by Monet of water lilies in his garden at Giverny. Which one the above print is I cannot say for sure. Monet painted a series of 250 paintings of water lilies between 1840–1926.

So, we  come to the end of another post in the art, music and literary references of the Morse series. The next post, about the episode ‘Who Killed Harry Field?’ will be slightly different. Originally I had written some posts as reviews with pub locations etc until I hit upon the idea of writing about the art, music and literary references as well. So I stopped the reviews and started on my series of posts about the music etc.

With ‘ Fat Chance’ I have now caught up to my last review and locations posts. That means that my next post will not only have the music, art and literary references but also a review with pub locations, scene locations, cast etc etc. So, until then take care. Love, peace and harmony.

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. UPDATE: My mum died from Covid-19 on the 6th May 2020. 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. I am now in second year having passed all the requirements in first year.

2 thoughts

  1. Thank you for your research into the music featured in “Fat Chance”. I will now hunt down a disc for a friend of mine who is not well. Laudate Dominum is sure to offer hope and courage to my dear friend.

    1. Sorry to read that your friend is unwell. I hope the wonderful Laudate Dominum helps in some way.

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