Morse Episode, The Daughters of Cain: Review + Locations, Literary References, Music etc. SPOILERS.

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SPOILERS AHEAD!

Where’s Colin?

We see Colin at around the 57 minute mark.

Directed byHerbert Wise. Herbert also directed the Morse episodes; Twilight of the Gods and Ghost in the Machine.

Written by – Julian Mitchell based on the novel by Colin Dexter. Julian also wrote the following Morse episodes;  Death Is Now My Neighbour (1997), Twilight of the Gods (1993), Cherubim & Seraphim (1992), Promised Land (1991), Masonic Mysteries (1990), Ghost in the Machine (1989), The Wolvercote Tongue (1987), Service of All the Dead (1987), The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn. (1987)

First broadcast in the UK on 27 November 1996

SYNOPSIS

The death of a college professor, Felix McClure, may be related to a female escort, Kay Brooks, or to the world of drugs. Thrown into the mix are Ted Brooks a man who abuses his wife and a teacher, Julia Stevens, who has a terminal brain tumour. While Morse and Lewis are attempting to solve the death of Felix McClure the body of Ted Brooks is found in the river Thames. Lewis learns that there is little chance in the near future of any promotion and questions why he is doing the job. As Morse and Lewis try to solve both cases, which may be related, their relationship is tested.

REVIEW.
(warning, this review will contain some spoilers)

Jags out of ten:

MUSIC.

At the beginning of the episode we hear, La Traviata – Prelude to Act 1 by Giuseppe Verdi.

At one hour and 39 minutes at the cremation of Julia Stephens; String quartet in g minor, Op.74, No.3 by Joseph Haydn

LITERARY REFERENCES.

At the five minute mark, Mrs Stephens says to her pupils, “Stand not upon the order of your going,
But go at once.” This is a quote from Macbeth, Act 3 Scene 4.

In the same scene as above Mrs Stevens says to Kevin, “5E. I find you a bit of a blasted heath.” Another allusion to Macbeth. In Act 1,
Scene 3 Macbeth speaking to Banquo says, “Say from whence You owe this strange intelligence, or why Upon this blasted heath you stop our way
With such prophetic greeting?

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At around 9 minutes and 50 seconds Morse says to Lewis when he remarks that newlyweds never got up until 1pm, “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be in bed was very heaven.” Morse paraphrased lines from a William Wordsworth poem, The French Revolution as It Appeared to Enthusiasts at Its Commencement. 

Upon our side, we who were strong in love!
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven!

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In the home of Felix McClure at around the 11 minute mark, Lewis says to Dr. Laura Hobson, “Hell hath no fury.” “Hell hath no fury.” An interpreted line based on a quotation from the 1697 play The Mourning Bride by William Congreve.

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At around 30 minutes and 30 seconds in Morse’s office Morse is about to tell a story about Guy de Maupassant before Lewis interrupts him. Morse says, “There’s a wonderful story by de Maupassant about that. All the girls…

Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant (5 August 1850 – 6 July 1893) was a 19th-century French author, remembered as a master of the short story form, as well as a representative of the Naturalist school, who depicted human lives, destinies and social forces in disillusioned and often pessimistic terms. I’m not familiar with de Maupassant’s work so I can’t be certain which ‘wonderful story’ Morse is referring to.

Thank to Tsjechov who informed me that they believe Morse was referring to Maupassant’s, La Maison Tellier.

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At 57 minutes the pupils are reading from Macbeth. “The time has been my senses would have cooled To hear a night-shriek, and my fell of hair.” This is from Act 5, Scene 5.

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At one hour and two minutes, Lewis is investigating the theft of the knife at the Pitt Rivers Museum. The curator, Jane Cotterell, says “This is the fabled land where myths go when they die.” The curator is paraphrasing James Fenton who said, “You have come upon the fabled lands where myths Go when they die, But some, especially the Brummagem capitalist Juju, have arrived prematurely.” James Fenton was talking of the Pitt Rivers Museum. The quote is from James Fenton’s book of poems called The Memory of War published in 1982.

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At around one hour and five minutes when Morse is interviewing Mrs Stevens he picks up her copy of Macbeth and says, “Tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day” It’s from Act-V, Scene-V.

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Morse returns from interviewing Mrs Stevens and meets Lewis in their office around the one hour and seven minute mark. Lewis is talking about the missing knife and Morse says, “Is this a dagger I see before me.” This is from Macbeth. The actual line is, “Is this a dagger which I see before me,”

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Morse and Lewis are standing on a road bridge over the Thames river when Lewis says, “Hell hath no fury.” “Hell hath no fury”, an interpreted line based on a quotation from the 1697 play The Mourning Bride by William Congreve.

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At one hour and 13 minutes Morse, in the Pitt Rivers Museum examining the drawer of knives, says, “Your mind lay open like a drawer of knives.” As the curator says it is a quote from a poem by Philip Larkin; Deceptions.

And light, unanswerable and tall and wide,
Forbids the scar to heal, and drives
Shame out of hiding. All the unhurried day,
Your mind lay open like a drawer of knives.

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Of course the title of the episode, The Daughters of Cain is a biblical reference, of sorts. In the modern canonical Amharic Ethiopian Orthodox Bible: Henok 2:1–3 “and the Offspring of Seth, who were upon the Holy Mount, saw them and loved them. And they told one another, ‘Come, let us choose for us daughters from Cain’s children; let us bear children for us.’

Also, Biblically undocumented transgressions by Cain’s descendants are then summarily drafted in standard Christian theology as the source for evil and violence. And thus they are seen as willing partners, who helped spawn the Nephilim race of giants-via the copulation of the degenerate daughters of Cain with the enlightened sons of Seth.

Morse mentions the Daughters of Cain and Cain’s killing of Able when he and Lewis are leaving the Pitt Rivers Museum at around one hour and 15 minutes.

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Morse and Lewis visit Mrs Stevens in hospital at around the one hour and 22 minute mark. The first thing she says is, “Double, double toil and trouble. Fire burn and caldron bubble.” Part of the Song of Witches in Macbeth. She continues to use lines from the Song of Witches.

In the same scene she says, “‘Out damned spot.” This is of course spoken by Lady Macbeth in relation to the killing of King Duncan.

Again in the same scene she quotes Lady Macbeth, ““Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia.”

Julia also says, “It will have blood, they say. Blood will have blood.” Spoken by Macbeth. Blood will have blood comes from a phrase meaning that a murder will avenge another murder.

ART

In Felix McClure’s home at the 15 minute mark we see on the right a bronze statue of Venus De Milo.

The Venus de Milo is a 204 cm (6.69 ft) tall Parian marble statue of a Greek goddess, most likely Aphrodite, depicted half-clothed with a bare torso by Alexandros of Antioch. To the left of the statue looks like a model of part of the Parthenon.

LOCATIONS.

The episode opens with a shot looking over Oxford.

After the opening shots overlooking Oxford it cuts to outside the hospital.

This is St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey, Surrey.

—————————————————–

1 minute and 34 seconds

This is Wadham College.

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Two minutes and 10 seconds.

This is Wadham College Dining Hall.

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At around the four minute and 25 second mark we see the outside of the Brooks’ home.

This house is in the Carpender’s Park area of Watford, North London. Unfortunately, I can’t find the actual house. I spent about an hour searching using Google street view but to no avail.

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At seven minutes we get another view over Oxford.

————————————————–

At seven and a half minutes we see the outside of Felix McClure’s home.

Unfortunately, I cannot find this location. I know it’s in the St Giles area of Oxford but…

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At 12 and a half minutes we see Mrs Brooks coming out of the hospital after visiting her husband.

This is Harefield Hospital, Hertfordshire.

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14 minutes – Morse is walking with Brownlee.

This is Christ Church.

————————————————

Morse is on his way to the college at around the 17 minute an 20 second mark.

Morse is driving down Magdalen Street with the Martyr’s Memorial in the background.

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After the above scene Morse is seen driving into the Pitt Rivers Museum.

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31 minutes – Morse with Brownlee again.

This is Christ Church. This is the entrance to Peckwater Quad.

Where Morse and Canterbury are walking is Canterbury Quad which can be entered via Canterbury Gate which looks onto Oriel Square.

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After Morse’s talk with Brownlee he meets Morse and they walk to the car at about 34 minutes and 30 seconds.

This is Oriel Square.

———————————————-

Ashley and Kay attend a party. About 38 minutes.

This is Bolney Court, Bolney Road, Lower Shiplake, Henley. I’m not sure the exact location but I think it is the property below.

————————————————

Lewis visits Ashley at around the 40 minute mark.

This is Seven Barrows Stables, Lambourne, Berkshire.

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Morse meets Kay Brooks at the railway station about 42 and a half minutes in.

I’m assuming this is Oxford Station.

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Around 48 minutes the police officer finds Ted Brooks bicycle.

This of course is Radcliffe Square with the famous Radcliffe Camera in its centre.

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At 53 minutes Mrs Stevens is at her school marching the kids onto a bus to travel to Stratford Upon Avon.

I remember reading that that this was a Marston Ferry School, Oxford but I cannot find any school with that name. Any schools on Marston Ferry Road in Oxford don’t match the two areas shown in the pictures above.

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At 55 minutes we return to the Pitt Rivers Museum. Kevin is returning the knife.

See above for details.

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At around 56 and a half minutes we see Morse drive over Magdalen Bridge.

And then he drives down Cowley Road.

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We are at the doctor’s surgery. The receptionist calls out Ted Brooks name but he, of course, hasn’t turned up for his appointment.

This is probably a studio set.

————————————————————-

Ted Brook’s body is found.

I believe this is City of Oxford Rowing Club on the River Thames based on Meadow Lane, Oxford.

——————————————————–

At one hour and nine minutes, Kevin steals a car.

This location may also be in the Carpenden’s Park area of Watford where the Brook’s house is located.

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Near the end of the episode Morse attends Julia Steven’s funeral.

I couldn’t find this location.

PUB LOCATIONS.

Morse and Lewis discuss promotions and such like.

This is the The Crown Inn, High Street, Bray, Berkshire.

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Morse and Lewis are back in the pub at about 36 minutes and 33 seconds.

This is also the Crown Inn.

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Kay and Morse visit a pub around the 48 minute mark.

This is the Victoria Arms, Mill Lane, Old Marston, Oxford, Oxfordshire.

Actors who appeared in The Daughters of Cain and/or Endeavour or Lewis.

First up is Gabrielle Lloyd who played Brenda Brooks.

Gabrielle turned up in the Lewis episode, The Gift of Promise (2011), as Eileen Norman.

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Bernard Brown played Felix McClure.

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Bernard also turned up in the Sins of the Fathers Morse episode as Wheatly.

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Next is Lynn Farleigh who played the curator, Jane Cotterell.

Jane also turned up in the Endeavour episode, Nocturne.

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Next is the actor who played Kay Brooks, Amanda Ryan.

Amanda turned up in the Lewis episode, Wild Justice playing Gina Goffe.

CONNECTIONS OTHER THAN ACTORS TO THE LEWIS, ORIGINAL MORSE SERIES AND PREVIOUS ENDEAVOUR EPISODES.

When Morse is visiting the museum for the first time he is told that the shrunken heads are the most popular items.

This makes a tenuous connection to the Lewis episode, Expiation. In that episode Hugh Mallory (played by James Wilby) tells his children that their late mother would visit the museum to look at the shrunken heads. The mother thought the shrunken heads looked like she felt.

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Morse returns from interviewing Mrs Stevens and meets Lewis in their office around the one hour and seven minute mark. Lewis is talking about the missing knife and Morse says, “Is this a dagger I see before me.” This is from Macbeth. The actual line is, “Is this a dagger which I see before me,” Morse also quotes the same line in the episode Masonic Mysteries.

Miscellaneous.

At around the 3 minutes and 20 second mark we see Morse in his natural habitat. I have been trying to figure out what the poster he has on the wall in background is advertising. It has to be an opera, but which one? The whiskey bottle is Glenfiddich.

A big thank you to Nancy and Sloan who recognised and identified the poster. It is La Traviata, a Royal Opera poster.

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Wadham College stands in for Wolsey College.

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At around eight minutes and 25 seconds we are in Strange’s office. On the wall above a picture of a submarine is this…

The Admiralty Constabulary was a police force in the United Kingdom formed under the Special Constables Act 1923 which existed from 1949 to 1971. The Admiralty Constabulary is recruited from the Royal Marine Police, Admiralty civil servants, mostly ex-Royal Navy, and the Royal Marine Special Reserve. Another element of Strange’s life never alluded to in the Endeavour series.

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About 30 minutes and we are in Morse and Lewis’s office. On the wall a poster.

It’s a poster advertising the Verdi Festival.

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At around one hour and five minutes when Morse is talking to Mrs Stevens she says, “The number of times I’ve had her in here weeping and showing her bruises like it was St Crispin’s Day.” It is a day most famous for the battles that occurred on it, most notably the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.

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Behind the scene’s photos.

Copyright T Carlton.

Copyright T. Carlton.

Sorry for the poor quality.

—————————————————

We see Julian Mitchell the writer of the episode at the funeral of Julia Stevens.

He’s the tall man with the beard behind Brenda.

British Phrases/Colloquialisms

When Brooks shouts at around the four minutes 50 second mark, “Bugger Mrs Stevens, I want my tea.” Tea is a name used in many parts of the UK to refer to dinner, a late afternoon, early evening meal.

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At around 31 and a half minutes Morse is walking with Brownlee discussing the dead student Rodway and his friend Ashley Davies. Brownlee mentions that Ashley Davies was ‘rusticated.’ Rusticated means to suspend (a student) from a university as a punishment (used chiefly at Oxford and Cambridge).

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In the same scene Brownlee mentions that Ashley Davies could have got his ‘blue‘. The Blue is the highest honour granted to individual sportspeople at the University of Oxford and is a highly sought-after achievement for Oxford student athletes.

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At around the one hour and 18 minutes Morse is talking to Brenda about Ted’s murder of Felix McClure. She says, “He came home and took his Mac off.” ‘Mac’ is an abbreviation of MacIntosh. A Macintosh is a raincoat.

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At around the one hour and 33 minute mark Morse and Lewis are discussing who should be arrested. Lewis thinks Brenda should be but Morse says the CPS wouldn’t go for it. The CPS in England is Crown Prosecution Service. In Scotland the equivalent of the CPS is Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

In the same scene Morse says that the women would be defended by the likes of Helena Kennedy. Helena Ann Kennedy, Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws, QC, FRSA, Hon FRSE, is a Scottish barrister, broadcaster, and Labour member of the House of Lords. She was Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford from 2011 to 2018.

THE MURDERED, THEIR MURDERER/S AND THEIR METHODS.

First victim, Felix McClure stabbed with the ceremonial knife.

Killed by Ted Brooks. Felix found out Ted was still dealing drugs and that he would report him.

——————————————————

Next victim is Ted Brooks.

Stabbed by the ceremonial knife. But who killed him? Kay or Julia? Morse speculates he was dead before Julia and Brenda went to the theatre.

CAST

Clare Holman as Dr. Laura Hobson

James Grout as Chief Superintendent Strange

Gabrielle Lloyd as Brenda Brooks.

Phyllis Logan as Julia Stevens

Bernard Brown as Dr. Felix McClure

Benjamin Whitrow as Brownlee

Tony Haygarth as Ted Brooks

Shane Hickmott … Kevin Costyn

Dominic Brunt as Detective

Lynn Farleigh as Jane Cotterell

Amanda Ryan as Kay Brooks

Nadim Sawalha as Dr. Hassan

Jason Riddington as Ashley Davies

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Author: Chris Sullivan

Up until a few years ago I was my mum's full time carer. She died in, 2020, of Covid. I am now about to start my third year year at Edinburgh University studying for a second degree this one being English Literature. My other degree is in Ecological Science. At the moment I am attempting to write a novel.

7 thoughts

  1. This is one of my favorites so I would rate this at least an 8. In my opinion, the story line is excellent, the women characters keep you enthralled with their acting abilities as well as conjuring up an ingenious revenge plan that kept me guessing as to how this will all end. It may not have all the directing flourishes but I loved the literary references, the music and the justified (in my opinion) ending. As Morse says, they were clever and cleverest of all by being dead. I did especially enjoy the father/daughter kind of interaction between Morse and Kay. And of course there is Shakespeare! Thanks Chris for your, as always, comprehensive review. I always look forward to all of your reviews.

  2. Good to read your review. I rate this one a little higher than you. It’s a bit padded in the middle (the scenes with Lewis at the race track are too long) but it’s a fascinating premise, with some terrific acting (Phyllis Logan, Tony Haygarth). I found the ending a bit unsatisfactory when I first watched it many years ago, but I now enjoy the low-key, open ended conclusion.

    1. Hi Stephen. I read some years ago that it was thought to be in Carpenter’s Park, South London. But there is no Carpenter’s Park in London. Carpender’s Part was the closet in name. I also went around the streets via Google street view and there is similar types of houses to the one I was looking for.

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