This coming Saturday - January 6th, 2007 - is exactly twenty years since the first TV appearance by Oxford's most famous fictional detective, Inspector Morse. To celebrate this anniversary, ITV1 today begins a run of Morse repeats at four in the afternoon. It seems the channel is screening all 33 televised tales, which were based on the characters and stories created by author Colin Dexter. But that's not all. ITV3 is broadcasting three Morse episodes on Saturday, along with the Super Sleuths: Inspector Morse documentary first shown last year. Be warned that if you watch that, I appear on screen being interviewed about a minute into the documentary. Shocking stuff.
And there's more Morse-related TV matters in the works. Last year's Lewis spin-off was one of 2006's most successful drama shows. There are three more episodes being prepared for broadcast in the next few months, again starring Kevin Whately as Inspector Lewis, slowly emerging from the shadow of his mighty mentor. The one-off tale was a real treat and the production team have upheld the Morse tradition of employing strong, intelligent writers to create the scrippts for the new batch of Lewis, so hopes are high.
In other news, ITV3 has commissioned Visual Voodoo to make Inspector Morse's Musical Mystery Tour. This 60-minute documentary will look at the soundtrack of the show and how it became such an integral part of the programme's popularity with critics and viewers. Expect interviews with composer Barrington Pheloung, alongside directors, writers and actors from the BAFTA-winning series.
If all that Morse-related activity has whetted your appetite for more, you could always my tome about the phenemenom, The Complete Inspector Morse. It covers both the original novels and the TV series, and even includes a full chapter on the Lewis spin-off. For a series of best-selling novels and a TV show that's attracted a global audience of a billion people, there are remarkably few books about Morse in print. British readers can order The Complete Inspector Morse here, while American visitors to this blog can order it here. Enjoy!