Intriguing. Suspenseful. Twisting. Vengeful.
Jeffrey E Ellis | Naperville, IL USA | 07/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In "The Day of the Devil" we find our self-assured bachelor, Inspector Morse, confronted with a serial rapist and murderer who escapes the mental hospital. To make matters worse, this criminal is also a master of disguise, resourceful, and deadly. After abducting an innocent housewife, he begins to make his demands on the police and Inspector Morse.
Morse's sleuthing is consistently frustrated by the murderer who remains one step ahead of him at every turn. But as he and Lewis methodically follow the trail of evidence and build their case, another set of facts and relationships begin to emerge. There are accomplices and help from unexpected sources.
The writers dismiss the issues of devil-worship and the occult as they toy with the theme in this episode. The mysterious quickly gives way to the ridiculous and for an uncharacteristic moment, the plot becomes sloppy and poorly written.
All in all, though, this is an interesting episode in an engaging series.
William J. Thor | Vero Beach | 01/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An episode that hits the ground running - wire to wire action; and because the action is non stop there really isn't time for the personal Morse and his idiosyncrasies, which is disappointing, but then again this is a very different Morse than we usually get and we can appreciate the change of pace because the story is so well done. Excellent turns by James Grout (Superintendent Strange,) and J. Richard Griffiths (Cannon Appleton.) This is a thriller with two big twists, both saved for the closing scenes, and they do twist and surprise. A first rate Morse entry."
To the Devil a Daughter
Junglies | Morrisville, NC United States | 05/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of my favourites of all of the Morse series, this is more of a treatise on the relationship of men to women as opposed to the superficial concerns with satanic worship which permeate the plot.
All of the usual attributes of a good Morse yarn are here for viwers to enjoy, the calm piecing together of the disparate clues and evidence, the thought that looks into motive and intent and the characteristically typical Oxford outlook for our Chief Inspector.
The villain at the centre of attention is a clever serial rapist who is a Satanist, and his escapee from a high security medical facility. At the other end of the spectrum is a timid female psychologist who is overlooked by any of the male company she happens to be in and a female police officer who befriends her, a woman with strong feminist views and who is a tower of strngth in an emergency.
As the plot unfolds we are given an insight into Morse's own romanticised views of women and his apparent perception of them as the weaker sex, although I do feel that there is a much more complex side to this which is oft overlooked.
As the mystery unfolds, the satanic aspects recede into the background and the vengeful determinism of a strong female persona is thrown very much into the fore.
A very clever and thoughtful episode which casts a great deal of doubt upon the simplistic views of men as strong and women as weak stereotypes which continue to dominate in many societies. Including this one."
Morse battles a Satanist cult, with several souls hanging in
Mary Whipple | New England | 08/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When a dedicated Satanist escapes from a high security mental institution, Inspector Morse and Sgt. Lewis enter the case, and when a local woman is abducted by the escapee, fears for her life arise. The suspense is almost palpable as the patient, whose female psychiatrist unwittingly provided the vehicle by which he escaped, uses a series of clever disguises to terrify the Oxford area. The manhunt becomes more and more tension-filled as information about the patient's past crimes combines with new information about his possible involvement with a satanic cult in Oxford.
The church, Oxford University, researchers on the occult, and local bookstore owners all figure in the mystery. The psychiatrist finds her own life in such peril that she is granted round-the-clock protection, yet the murderer manages to elude police and become the suspect in a bizarre murder.
John Thaw as Morse and Kevin Whately as Sgt. Lewis continue the fine acting that has made this series such a long-time success with viewers. Keith Allen, as John Peter Barrie, the escaped patient, is eerily menacing, often using his eyes to convey his disguised identity to the viewer, and Harriet Walter, as Dr. Esther Martin, provides the sympathetic concern one would expect of a psychiatrist, however naïve she might be. Richard Griffiths, as Canon Humphrey Appleton, conveys the gravitas one would expect of a member of the clergy, along with good sense in the search for the escapee.
In this episode the cinematography (Colin Munn) is especially important in the creation of atmosphere, with dramatic scenes taking place at night and in ill-lit, closed places. The contrast of light and dark with the addition of dramatic, well-placed color give intensity to scenes of satanic worship, despite the hint of tongue-in-cheek humor. Beautifully focused throughout, this episode maintains its tension right up to the shocking conclusion, one of the best endings of all the Morse episodes. First-rate Morse. n Mary Whipple