Pamela Williams | Saginaw, Texas USA | 08/14/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is the episode which introduces Morse to Lewis and inaugurates their partnership as crime solvers. Viewers also become acquainted with Morse's tendency to fail at forming lasting relationships with women. As an introductory mystery, this entry in the series is good, but not spectacular. For example, a blackmailer is murdered, even though the reason for this drastic measure is not completely clear or convincing--- since the wife of the person being blackmailed already knows the relevant salacious details. Additionally, Sergeant Lewis displays at least one behavior which was inconsistent with the development of his personality/character in the later episodes. Lewis, always something of a moralistic Boy Scout at heart, commits an act of doubtful legality (without the slightest protest) by willingly searching offices without a warrant and without the permission of the occupants. In any event, despite the aforementioned shortcomings, this entry in the series was still entertaining and far better than almost anything on commercial television."
With this as the first episode, it's no wonder the series wa
Mary Whipple | New England | 10/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Dead of Jericho, the first episode of the video series of Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse, gets the series off to a roaring start! Filled with local color, an atmosphere of intimacy, wonderful photography, and the best music ever for a mystery series (choral, piano, and opera selections), it completely involves the reader in the action and stimulates interest in the lives of Inspector Morse and Sgt. Lewis. The talented John Thaw, as Inspector Morse, is a man who is passionately interested in music, crossword puzzles, and beer at the pub, but he is also interested in finding a woman who shares his interests. In this episode, he has made the acquaintance of Anne Stavely, a woman who sings in his chorale and whom he would like to get to know better.
Anne, however, has a painful past history, and she is reluctant to begin a relationship with Morse. Before Morse finds our more about this, however, Anne Stavely is found hanging in her apartment. Several plots unwind simultaneously as Morse investigates Anne's death and tries to find who might have wanted to kill her. A neighbor has been peeping through the window at her; her boss's wife suspects he has been having an affair with Anne; a young druggie with money problems steals money from Anne. The producers, however, let the threads develop on their own, leaving the action unclear at first and forcing the viewer to become involved and draw conclusions about how or whether these plot lines may be connected.
This series changes the character of Morse and Sgt. Lewis from the book, where Morse is actually younger than Lewis, and Lewis is more adept at police procedure. Here Lewis (Kevin Whately) is the perfect foil to Thaw's Morse, less educated and proud of it and willing to do the leg work for Morse. In this episode, Morse is actually a candidate for police superintendent, with Inspector Bell as his rival. Max, the coroner, makes an appearance and highlights Morse's queasy stomach in the face of bloodshed and death. Elegantly produced, with wonderful on-location shots of Oxford neighborhoods and homes, the series starts with a terrific mystery, involving a woman Morse cares for and develops in surprising, dramatic ways. A worthy debut for a terrific series! n Mary Whipple
J. C. Phelps | 01/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"John Thaw is superb in the lead character. This first installment depicts the new relationship between Morse and Sgt. Lewis, and how they come together. In this early episode, Morse is as unorthodox in his approach to solving homicides as he is throughout the series. Sgt. Lewis just begins to get as idea of what his job will be like working (and drinking) with the Chief Inspector."
Number One, With Introductory Material -- A Great Start
William J. Thor | Vero Beach | 01/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Perhaps the strongest asset of the Inspector Morse series is its plot variations; with other mystery series the M O is repeated from one adventure to the next - however with Morse you don't know what to expect from one story to the next; although there are some repetitions there are a multitude of variations, adding strength to each episode and the anticipation of what will this particular entry offer. "The Dead of Jericho" is entry number one of the video taped thirty-three episode great mystery series. The events that take place throughout this installment foreshadow many of the situations and circumstances we will encounter time and again during the run of the series, i.e.: Intellectual and cultural activities; thwarted romance; various forms of sexuality; the by play between Morse and Lewis; the amicable jousting of Morse and Max; the confrontations between Chief Superintendent Strange and Morse; and let us not forget those sudden plot twists and surprises. If you haven't experienced Morse, make this your first choice - to set the stage, so to speak. If you have already experienced Morse - see this next as it will recall some of your favorite elements of this series and add to your enjoyment. If you are a Morse veteran, see this episode and start all over again - yes - it's that good! You already know what to look for in this entry as it literally is the table setter for this series. Our music for this entry features chorale; all the other items listed above come into play, and off hand this may be the only episode they all do. Enough said. Enjoy!"