Monday, June 8, 2015
'Inspector Morse: Last Seen Wearing' DVD: More Classic British Who (and Why) Dunit
This post on the BFS Entertainment, which offers North Americans the best of British television, DVD release "Inspector Morse: Last Seen Wearing" is the latest in a series of reviews of BFS "Morse" releases. These articles began with the general overview of the uber-epic BFS 25th Anniversary "Morse" set of which "Seen" is the second set.
The three feature-length episodes in the "Seen" set comprise three of the four episodes in the second series (my people call them seasons) of this seven series classic British mystery series. The exceptional intelligence, observational skills, and myriad of quirks makes this titular police detective the Sherlock Holmes of the 20th century.
The episode titled "The Wolvercote Tongue" gets this second set of episodes off to a first-rate start. The titular item is an effectively priceless jewel that a wealthy ugly American brings to the Oxford turf of Morse. The simultaneous events that drive the subsequent action are the collapse of the woman on her hotel room floor and the disappearance of the jewelry.
As is typical for "Morse," the central investigation reveals illicit affairs, multiple motives and suspects, and the subsequent demise of central characters. A nice bonus this time relates to the hilarious whining by members of the tour group of which the jewelry owner is part and the disdain for those individuals by their tour guide.
The second episode, which shares its name with the set itself, revolves around a cold case regarding the disappearance of a teen girl several months before Morse takes on the tasks of determining her fate and the person or persons responsible for that outcome. The illicit affairs this time are both particularly illicit and numerous. One clue regarding the nature of some actual and suspected relationships is that the episode will get the The Police song "Don't Stand So Close to Me" stuck in your head.
This trifecta of episodes ends with a particularly clever and historically relevant one in which a femme fatale involves Morse into the action by preying on his weaknesses that include a strong love of crossword puzzles. This aptly named adventure, which is known as "The Settling of the Sun," involves very symbolic acts that are associated with a Japanese student with a yen (of course, pun intended) for studying in Oxford.
The excellence of these episodes (as well as all of the 33 "Morse" episodes) extends well beyond the entertainingly clever stories and perfect acting of star John Thaw and the entire cast, which typically includes at least one notable British actor as a guest star. The shot-on-location Oxford scenes are spectacular, and the overall production makes the roughly 90-minutes of each sail by.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Morse" is encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.