We might have moved forward almost a decade, but there’s still Inspector Morse and the episode Death Is Now My Neighbour. Here’s a McGann – I always assume Paul as a starting point, but this is Mark with a fetching pony tail. Every time I see a man with a pony tail like this, I think of the Smack the Pony sketch where they’re talking happily to a man at a bar, then he turns round and they see his pony tail and they start retching.
He’s clearly a lothario, this Geoffrey Owens, as he’s waving at all the women in white dressing gowns fetching their milk at precisely the same time. We later learn he is a reporter for the local paper.
Well, not all the local women have white dressing gowns. But she’s going to be an eyewitness as she sees something through the bushes.
One of the women is shot dead, through her kitchen window. But nobody saw the shooter.
In one of the colleges, there’s an election going on to elect a new Master. The outgoing master is played by Richard Briers, playing a very slimy but superficially genial type.
Roger Allam plays one of the contenders, Denis Cornford.
The other contender is Dr Julian Storrs, played by John Shrapnel, so it’s a face-off between two great voices.
The murdered woman had an unsigned valentine from an admirer.
Further investigation reveals the card came from Storrs, who was romantically interested because, he says, his wife is a heavy drinker. His wife Angela is played by Maggie Steed. She’s appeared in loads of things, but I couldn’t quite remember why she was familiar, and I think it was her appearance as the producer of Acorn Antiques that stuck with me.
There’s another connection to the same road, as Adele Cecil (Judy Loe) once had an affair with Cornford, the other candidate for Mastership.
Angela Storrs reads the news about the murder on Ceefax.
Nice use of the zoom function to make it easier for viewers to read.
Cornford’s new wife, the much younger Shelly, and American, is approached by outgoing master Sir Clixby Bream (Briers) who wants her to do something. He doesn’t say outright, and I think we’re meant to presume he wants sex (she calls him a creep) but this could be misdirection. Whatever it is, she doesn’t want to do it. But he tells her he won;t support her husband’s bid to be Master if she doesn’t do it.
The case gets complicated when Geoffrey Owens, next door neighbour of the first victim, is found shot dead. This despite there being a constant police presence in the vicinity. And when Morse notices there’s no number 13 in the road, he now believes that the first victim, at number 17, was killed in error – she was shot through a window blind, and also had a pony tail. The real target was Owens at number 15.
Morse discovers that Owens had a side business blackmailing people with secrets he’s dug up. There’s a clue with initials. DC leads to Denis Cornford, CB to Sir Clixby Bream, but AM eludes them until Morse links it to a woman who was accused of murdering her philandering husband, but who was acquitted. He later finds that AM – Alice Martin – changed her name to Angela, and is now Mrs Storr, wife of Julian, the other master candidate.
So it turns out it was sex that Bream was after. Yuck. And to make it even worse, after it’s over, he tells her he had no intention to support her husband for Master, and that husband Denis had slept with Bream’s wife and ruined his marriage, so this was all revenge. I’m finding it hard to accept Richard Briers as such a horrible creep, but he’s playing it perfectly. I hope he’s the next victim.
Oh dear, I’ve cursed it. Shelly asks her husband about his affair with Bream’s wife, then has to admit sleeping with Bream to help him. Rather than get angry at Bream, Cornford’s reaction is to call her a filthy tart, yell that he wants to kill her, then chase her to the staircase, where she tumbles down the stairs and dies. He’s a fucking idiot in several senses of the word.
Her fall was seen by a student, so Morse knows it was an accident. Although it wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t flown into a rage. He’s all remorse now but he’s definitely culpable.
After following a dead end – that Adele Cecil was known by Owens as ‘Della’ and might have been the DC in his clue, Lewis figures that DC is actually Angela Storrs’ daughter Diane Cullingham. Which information and some digging around in a hotel in Bath, whre the Storrs were staying on the night of Owens’ murder, leads them to find that the murderer was Angela Storr, having left the hotel that night in her daughter’s car, and her daughter stood in for her mother, in bed when breakfast was delivered, giving her an alibi, but the giveaway was that Diane had ordered a hearty breakfast, but Angela was diabetic and had a very specific breakfast order.
Morse and Lewis talk to the odious Clixby Bream, who, now that both Cornford and Storrs have dropped out of the Master race (no, not that type of Master Race) is looking forward to staying on as Master. But Morse warns him that he’d better stick to his plan for retirement, otherwise they’ll reveal his part in Shelly Cornford’s death. So he’s not dead by the end, but at least he doesn’t get away with it entirely.
And Morse even manages to pursue a successful romantic relationship, as he’s hit it off with Adele Cecil, and has even given her a clue to his first name – which she correctly works out is Endeavour (his father was a fan of Captain Cook) and there’s quite a sweet coda, where this is revealed to both Adele and Lewis, and Morse expects them to laugh, but Lewis’ response is “Poor sod.” Morse and Adele even get to have a romantic break at the hotel in Bath at the end, which is a nice change of pace.
After this, there’s the very start of a party political broadcast by the Liberal Democrats. The tape ends shortly after it starts.
- trail: Blind Men
- Cinderella on video
- BT – Dervla Kirwan
- Oil of Ulay
- Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire Puddings – Tracie Bennett and Annette Badland
- PC World
- Motorola StarTAC
- trail: Dover
- Nissan Almera – Sweeney Parody with Phil Cornwell
- Cable & Wireless
- Evening Standard
- Kodak Advantix
- The Most Relaxing Classical Album in the World Ever
- Baxter’s Soup
- Wash & Go
- Lottery Results
- HP Deskjet
- Oil of Ulay
- Royal Mail
- New Pure Moods
- One 2 One – Vic Reeves
- British Beef
- Ariel Futur
- Maria Callas – The Voice of the Century
- Kellogg’s All Bran Bite Size
- trail: Thief Takers
- Campbell’s Soup
- Citroen Xsara
- trail: Carlton Sport