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I would like to say a big thank you for the many people who showed support regarding the recent changes in my life as mentioned in my previous post. Thank you very much it has been helpful and gratefully received.
Normally this post would just contain information on the art, music and literary references of an episode but as I have now caught up to the last episode I wrote a review for then each post from here on in will be a complete post; i.e. it will include a review, pub locations, scene locations, cast members, art, music, literary references and other miscellaneous items of interest. So, with a large intake of breath here we go.
Who Killed Harry Field?: Series 5, Episode 3.
Chronologically this is episode 18.
First broadcast in the UK on 13 March 1991.
This episode is not based on a Colin Dexter novel.
Here is Colin at the one hour and four minute mark. Sad to think that he will never make another cameo appearance in person.
Directed by Colin Gregg: Colin also directed Death of the Self.
Written by Geoffrey Case: This was the only episode written by Geoffrey.
Harry Field, a frustrated artist and bon viveur, has been found dead at the bottom of a viaduct. How his body got there is a mystery as there is no evidence of any car or bike near by.
Meanwhile Sergeant Lewis is thinking of looking for promotion and is trying to decide the best way to approach Morse about the subject. Lewis is looking to get promotion through the Police Transport Department which Morse belittles as boring and a step back into uniform.
Suspects regarding Harry’s death are many and to add to Morse and Lewis’s woes they enter the murky world of art forgeries.
Lewis and Morse slowly begin to make sense of what happened to Harry and as they progress they find that each painting they encounter paints a thousand words.
(warning, this review may contain some spoilers)
Let us get the obvious question out of the way first, did I enjoy the episode? The answer is a resounding YES! It is an episode that will always find a place in my top ten favourite episodes of the Morse series.
Like almost all of the Morse episodes every actor plays their part sublimely. The episode contains some of the UKs finest actors; Geraldine James, Ronald Pickup and Freddie Jones. Each actor appears to relish their roles and I suppose which actor wouldn’t having been added to that collegiate of actors who can add Inspector Morse to their résumé.
In a few previous episodes, most notably Masonic Mysteries, it has become apparent how much Morse not only relies on Lewis but why losing him would be a bitter pill to swallow. In this episode that possibility, Lewis leaving to work in another department, weighs heavily on Morse and so much so he tries to adapt his behaviour toward Lewis by congratulating him on having done a good job. It also becomes apparent in this episode that Lewis holds Morse in high regard and would be a wrench for him to leave behind his working relationship with Morse.
Each episode of Morse, especially the last four or five, has wonderfully pushed the Lewis and Morse relationship forward and this episode was no different.
As in so many Morse episodes, but not all, the cinematography is excellent and one gets the impression that the cinematographer was trying to occasionally create shots that are reminiscent of paintings. For example my main picture at the top of the page looks like a Constable.
In this episode it is wonderful to watch Morse being more than his usual irascible,curmudgeonly self. We see what kind of things make Morse laugh out loud: joke genealogy. Very few things made Morse laugh out loud and we have seen via the Endeavour series that he very rarely laughed out loud. One reason for Morse’s inability or reluctance to find humour in anything will become apparent in episode 21, Dead on Time.
My reasons for not allowing this episode a higher score are admittedly few but they are reasons that cause me concern. Firstly, is the lack of any answer as to why Morse isn’t sleeping. I understand it has no affect on the plot and subplots of the episode but Morse’s insomnia is mentioned a few times in the episode.
Secondly, if Tony Doyle has lustful thoughts about teenage girls then why was he having an affair with 40 something Helen Field? Was it simply to spite Harry? Sex is just sex?
Thirdly, how in hell did Harry Field Senior manage to kill Paul Eirl from the back of a car with such a large spike? Why would Paul Eirl allow him into the car? Even if Harry Senior talked his way into the car why would Eirl allow him to sit in the backseat of the car? Harry Senior had to have been in the back seat to kill Eirl.
Troubling inconsistencies but certainly do not distract from what is a good episode.
Who Killed Harry Field? is an enjoyable romp through not only the vagaries of the working class and Middle England but the indiscretions and pomposity that exists in the art world. Throw in Morse’s fear of losing Lewis to the Transport police, his anger at not being able to charge Harry’s murderer and another titbit about Morse’s past (he enjoyed the art of heraldry when he was younger) and we have an episode that should fit into most people’s top ten Morse episodes.
Episode Jag Rating – out of 10.
This episode has more jazz music than classical. The first piece of jazz music is at the very beginning of the episode. It is by Fats Waller singing Ain’t Misbehavin.
Interestingly John Bishop writes in his excellent book The Complete Inspector Morse that Barrington Pheloung the composer and arranger on the Morse series created a musical facsimile of the above piece, right down to the original’s out of tune notes. As David wrote, “a forgery in a story about a forgery”.
Morse is driving toward Paul Eirl’s house while he and his lawyer, Roger McMill are riding quad bikes through the estate.
The music being played over the scene is the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No.15 in B flat major K.450.Allegro by Mozart.
This same Mozart piece is played again at 1 hour and 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Morse puts on a cassette in his car after interviewing Jane Marriot, Harry’s model.
After Morse has talked to Helen Field about her affair with Tony Doyle there is a reprise of the Fats Waller, Ain’t Misbehavin’ music.
Lewis enters Harry Field senior’s house to interview him. The music being played is a section of Johann Sebastian Bach’s St Matthew Passion.
While Morse and Lewis are visiting Harry’s studio, Morse takes the painting that was damaged by acid from the its easel and reads the Latin phrase written on the back, ‘Lignum Crucis Arbor Scientiae’. Morse translates the phrase as ‘The wood of the cross is the tree of knowledge’.
This phrase has, of course, religious connotations. The wood of the cross may refer to the cross that Jesus was crucified on. It could also refer to the tree in the Garden of Eden. In the Bible’s first chapter, Genesis, there is one tree that God tells Adam and Eve not to eat from, “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”.
In Judaism before Adam and Eve ate from the tree evil only existed in a state of ambiguity. After Adam and Eve ate from the tree good and evil become mixed and evil become a more distinct entity.
While Lewis is interviewing Tony Doyle at the school where he works, Tony asks Lewis if he agrees with George Bernard Shaw that those who can, do and those who can’t, teach.
The exact quote is “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.” However, Shaw’s quote is a corruption of Aristotle’s quote, is a corruption of Aristotle’s ‘those that know, do. Those that understand, teach.” Aristotle saw happiness, fulfilment and a sense of civic duty all arising from education, and felt that “those who educate children well are more to be honoured than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well.”
As Morse leaves Harry’s studio for the last time at the end of the episode Morse says on a voice over, “Beware, all thieves & imitators of other people’s labour & talents, laying your audacious hands upon our work“. This is a quote from the German painter Albrecht Dürer. (1471 – 1528).
Morse and Lewis are in the car on their way to the pub. Lewis has asked Morse how it felt to be right all along. “Frustrating” is Morse’s answer. Lewis being the optimist he is says that they have time on their side and may still be able to prove Eirl killed Harry. Morse replies, “The road goes on and on and others follow it who can.”
I’m wondering if this is an allusion to “The Road Goes Ever On” in the novel The Lord of the Rings. There are quite a few versions of the song not only in The Lord of the Rings but in the Hobbit. The second version of the song has the first four lines;
The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
Let others follow it who can!
There is a lot of paintings in this episode. I have done my best to identify a many as possible.
The first painting we see is at the beginning of the episode in Harry’s studio. It is a pastiche of a Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780–1867) painting.
The original is called The Grand Odalisque.
At around seven minutes and 57 seconds as Morse is walking around Harry’s studio he passes this painting.
The above is Harry’s version of Francisco Goya’s (1746 – 1828) La Maja Desnuda.
During the same scene as above Morse passes this painting.
This is a pastiche of Olympia, by Edouard Manet (1832 – 1883)
Still within the same scene there is this painting below.
The above is a pastiche of a René Magritte (1898 – 1967) painting.
The painting is called The Dangerous Liaison.
Morse visits Helen Field during Harry’s wake. In her bedroom there is a painting of Helen as a young woman.
The above is a pastiche of a Henri Matisse (1869 – 1954) painting, Carmelina.
At 37 minutes and 40 seconds Morse visits his friend Ian Matthews to ask his opinion on a Whistler supposedly forged by Harry.
The actual painting is a James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903) and is titled, Caprice in Purple and Gold, The Golden Screen.
Morse revisits Harry’s studio. He looks at the painting below and says, “Hello Harry“.
This is a pastiche of a Rembrandt (1606 – 1669) titled, Self-Portrait.
At 52 minutes and 50 seconds Morse visits Paul Eirl’s mansion. Morse stands in a large room (this is actually the dining room of Brocket Hall). On the wall is a large painting.
The painting is by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723 – 1792) and the subject is George, Prince of Wales who would later become George IV.
At 58 minutes Morse again visits Ian Matthews who shows him a painting of the apparently only known painting of the Italian painter Giovanni Bellini (1430 – 1516) by Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1528).
There is no such painting of Bellini by Dürer. The actual painting the above is based is by Dürer but the painting is titled Saint James the Apostle.
Someone has reversed the image and added other elements to disguise the real painting ever so slightly. All for the good of the storyline.
The next slide Ian Matthews shows Morse is a drawing supposedly by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696 – 1770)
Though this certainly looks like a line drawing by Tiepolo I could not find the actual drawing above. This could be a case of someone in the art department of the show creating it themselves based on drawings by Tiepolo.
At 1 hour 13 minutes Morse returns to Paul Eirl’s mansion to question the staff. While there he looks at the painting that was painted by Paul Cezanne (1839 – 1906), commissioned by Paul Eirl’s father. It’s the painting on the right.
The painting is a Paul Cezanne and is titled The Chateau Noir.
The building is in Aix, France It was painted in 1899. Chateau Noir was then a recently constructed neo-Gothic castle designed to mimic aged ruins. Cezanne painted the Chateau numerous times between 1900 and 1906.
The picture to the left of The Chateau Noir in the screen capture above is another Cezanne. This one is called Road Curve in Montgeroult.
The scene captured in the above screen cap was filmed in the Morning Room of Brocket Hall.
At one hour and 26 minutes and 45 seconds Ian Matthews is at Harry’s studio with Morse. Ian is flipping through Harry’s paintings.
The one at the front is a pastiche of a Giovanni Bellini and is titled, Lady Combing Her Hair. See below.
The next painting Ian looks at is below.
This is a pastiche of a Henri Matisse painting. The original is titled, Reclining Nude.
Up next is a pastiche of the French painter Pierre Bonnard (1867 – 1947).
The actual painting is called Model in Backlight.
At 1 hour and 29 minutes Morse and Lewis visit Harry Field Senior’s house. There they see on a wall a painting of Harry as a child with his mother.
The above painting is based on a painting by Giovanni Bellini, Madonna and Child with Pear.
Take a look at this clip below from the episode and see if you can spot something odd about it.
Did you spot it? Four times the painting changes behind Harry Field Senior. Films and TV shows occasionally include continuity mistakes but four times in the one scene? I believe the continuity errors were intentional. Why the errors? All the paintings behind Harry Senior are fakes. Talking of fakes.
Visiting Helen Field to inform her of Harry’s death we can see that the street name is Keatings Way.
The street Keating’s Way is an inside joke referring to Tom Keating (1917-1985), the infamous art restorer and forger.
This episode is the only Morse, Lewis and Endeavour episode where the title is a question.
Below is a video of my three favourite scenes form the episode. For those not fluent in Geordie I have used subtitles.
Here we have a photograph of Harry doing his Marlon Brando ‘Wild One’ impression.
Mildred: Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?
Johnny: Whadda you got?
We learn in this episode that Morse can speak fluent German.
Time – 21m16s and 1h42m40s
Morse and Helen Field visit a pub.
Morse and Lewis visit the pub.
The pub today is called the Auberge du Lac.
Location – Brocket Hall, Welwyn AL8 7XG
Time – 27m32s
Lewis wants to discuss with Morse his thoughts on trying to get promotion.
Pub – Victoria Arms, Old Marston Mill Lane Old Marston Oxfordshire OX3 0QA.
Pub Today –
Info – http://www.victoriaarms.co.uk/home
Time – 25m50s and 47m46s
Harry’s bike is found at this pub.
Pub – The Crooked Chimney, Cromer Hyde Lane, Lemsford, Welwyn Garden City AL8 7XE
Pub Today –
Info – http://www.vintageinn.co.uk/thecrookedchimneywelwyngarden/
Paul Eirls Mansion.
The actual mansion is Brocket Hall, Lemsford, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.
The school where Tony Doyle works.
The location is Nicholas Hawksmoor School, Green Street, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.
Harry Field’s model Jane Marriot’s house.
Shenleybury Cottages, Shenley, Hertfordshire.
In one of Harry’s paintings there is a water tower which Lewis tries to find and relate to Harry’s model Jane.
Lewis finds the water tower and Jane.
Blenheim Mews, Shenley, Hertfordshire, England, UK.
(water tower in Harry Field’s painting)
Blackwell Bookshop where Helen Field works.
Blackwell’s Bookshop – 48-51 Broad Street, Oxford.
Morse visits the College of Arms to attain some information about heraldry.
City of London Club, 19 Old Broad Street, London
At 37 minutes and 25 seconds Morse visits his friend Ian Matthews to get his opinion on a pastiche of a Whistler. The location is used again when Matthews tells Morse about Albrecht Dürer and the Eirl’s father’s collection.
The location is the Holywell Music Room is the city of Oxford’s chamber music hall, situated on Holywell Street in the city centre, within the grounds of Wadham College. Holywell St, Oxford OX1 3SD.
Here it is from the outside.
Next location is when Matthews hands Morse a postcard of the Matisse painting.
The location used is Wadham College, (front quad) Parks Road, Oxford.
Morse and Lewis talk to Harry Field Senior about Paul Eirl’s father’s collection.
The location is I believe the Ashmolean, Oxford but I have to say I am not completely sure about the location.
Next location is where Harry Field’s body is found.
The location is Cherry Tree Lane over the trackbed of the dismantled Hemel Hempstead to Harpenden railway (The Nickey Line). Harry’s body is on the dismantled railway line beneath Cherry Tree Lane.
Next up we have the scene where Lewis is following Tony Doyle and one of his pupils.
Below is the route that is taken.
Next we have the scene where Lewis and Morse discuss Tony Doyle and if he might be Harry’s killer.
Trevor Byfield (Born: 20 October 1943) as Harry Field
Trevor also starred in the Lewis episode Counter Culture Blues as Bone.
John Castle (Born: January 14, 1940) as Tony Doyle.
Geraldine James (Born: July 6, 1950) as Helen Field.
Nicola Cowper (Born: December 21, 1967) Jane Marriot.
Steven Payne as Sergeant Taylor
Andy Mulligan as Gordon Collins.
Helena Lymbery as Barmaid
Sean Cranitch as Patrol Man (he is the one who found Harry’s bike).
David Belcher (Born: 1939) as Landlord
Maureen Bennett as Val Lewis. ( I think this was the first time Maureen had been credited in the Morse series. She appeared as Val four times.
Val Lewis / Wife
– Greeks Bearing Gifts (1991) … Val Lewis
– Who Killed Harry Field? (1991) … Val Lewis
– Fat Chance (1991) … Val Lewis
– Service of All the Dead (1987) … Wife
Philip Locke (Born: 1928 Died: 2004 age 76) as Freddie Mortimer.
Veronica Lang as Julia
Ronald Pickup (Born: June 7, 1940) Ian Matthews
Ronald Pickup also appeared in the Lewis episode Wild Justice as Fr Moreno Mancini.
Freddie Jones (Born: September 12, 1927) as Harry Field Senior
Vania Vilers (Born: 1938 Died: 2009 age 70) as Paul Eirl
Jeremy Clyde (Born: March 22, 1941) as Roger McMill
Dicken Ashworth as (Born: July 18, 1946) as George Drummond
Anna Patrick (Born: 1962) as Eirl’s Secretary
Stephan Grothgar as Carl (as Stephen Grothgar)
James Grout as Chief Superintendent Strange
So, we come to the end of another post. I hope you not only enjoyed the post but found it helpful. Take care everyone.