344 of 348 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2009
We were uncertain about buying this set only because of the crticism expressed by an earlier reviewer concerning picture quality and handling problems.
We have now watched the first 4 episodes and have no doubts at all. It is excellent. Let's face it these early episodes were made over 20 years ago they are not going to be in HD but they are fine - we have a 37 inch TV screen so any flaws would be easily seen.
I have no difficulty extracting the DVD's from the cleverly designed cases, and I am no spring chicken. The cunning packaging means all 33 DVD's take up no more shelf space than say about 5 single DVD's.
If you enjoyed Morse when it was first shown in the 1980's & 90's, or have been introduced to him on the subsequent repeats DO BUY THIS SET.
207 of 214 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2010
I hesitated from buying this down to the review at the top of the list. It should be removed, and here's why.
1) Morse: If you're even thinking about buying Morse there needs no backup as to why you'd want a set. Morse needs no selling, it is sheer genius crime TV from all angles.
2) The packaging. The other reviewer must have had a dud. The middle bits 'do' depress, and there's plenty of room to slide a thumb under from one side to finish it off. The disc doesn't even get close to bending. My dad has serious arthritis and even he can do it no problems. Do not stop buying on account of the disc fixing.
3) The rest of the packaging is fine and a little ingenious. I recently bought my parents the massive DVD collection (which was essentially all the series seperately released bundled into one foot long box. That, as it happened, was perfect for them as they liked having something 'showy' to display it in. And it did/does look good in there. This version is much cheaper looking, and basically constructed. But it's still perfectly nice looking - and for the space saving it's much more suitable to me.
4) The quality of the 're-mastering'. Again, the person who reviewed this before must be using a HD flat screen telly. Possibly quite a big one. If you view this on a normal telly (what might now be called old fashioned - i.e. one that isn't HD, isn't flat screen and uses the old tubes) then the quality of this DVD, even the early ones, is crystal clear. Sadly, on the 'new amazing quality TV's' anything that isn't Blu-Ray looks fuzzy. That's down to the scaling of the image. These early episodes are going to come out on your screen just as good, or bad, as non-HD live telly is currently coming out on your telly. Accept that, and you'll be fine.
All in all, this is an amazing collection, in a very useful size, and fantastic quality, considering it comes from nearly 30 years ago.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2010
The must-have present for Morse fans.Perhaps my favourite detective series with Morse's love of good beer,crosswords,and classical music plus Oxford as a background .I always park in Jericho , (the scene of the first version) and walk through the streets. It's one of my luxuries to select a DVD at my leisure with a tipple of choice then relax for hours. For me no other detective series has the appeal and sophistication so it had to be Morse. John Thaw was a seasoned and well-loved actor , Kevin Whateley continues in " Lewis " , the double-act never failed to entertain. Recommended viewing for all Morse fans ,particularly as the series is not often seen on our screens now. All you need now is a good supply of beer,crisps ,savouries and uninterrupted viewing for maximum enjoyment.
397 of 419 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2008
It is wonderful to have the complete works of Inspector Morse, housed within a nicely presented, space saving package. This box set is about a quarter of the size of the previous complete incarnation of Inspector Morse, and for many, this will be very welcome indeed. Add the fact that there are over three hours of very interesting documentaries, at a price which is also a quarter of its previous cost; surely it all seems too good to be true? Well, yes, and no.
Many, if not most people, who are considering the purchase of this set already know the virtues of this incredible series; therefore, my review is not based on what most buyers will already know, which is - Inspector Morse, as far as tv drama is concerned, is right at the top of the list for high quality entertainment. It has a timeless appeal (and yet, hardly a mobile phone in sight), which will last for generations to come. It is suffused with beautiful nuances, ingenious subplots and a soundtrack which pricks at the subconscious, evoking almost sad, distant memories, particularly for those who grew up with the partnership of Morse and Lewis. It has been the brunt of many half decent imitations over the years - although it has never been bettered.
For content quality, it gets five stars, no question. It is the packaging which comes under criticism - and it is this, together with some criticism over the re-mastering, which has given rise to the omission of one star. I will now explain in detail. Crammed within a simple, glossy cardboard box, you are left with two plastic containers, each housing around ten discs. Each disc is attached to one of five plastic plates - with a disc each side (back to back), attached to a normal, central hub. The discs are very difficult to prise off the plate - almost to the point where the disc is bent in two. This is due to the fact that all of the holding, central hubs are hard, fast plastic. You can't push down in the normal manner, whereby each disc rises so you can then take it out nicely at the edge. In the end, to save breaking the discs - you will end up having to go through a slow, laborious process, which involves gently edging each disc out (longish nails will help in this instance). The criticism here is based on practicality - and it is worth mentioning because the packaging is definitely something which will not suit everyone (especially if you have limited mobility of the hands, for example). So, it is worth bearing in mind.
The other matter, which is the re-mastering, is also worthy of note. The box says `digitally restored with full picture and sound restoration'. I'd shiver to think what the first dozen or so episode transfers were like on previous releases, because the picture quality on quite a few of these episodes, is substandard, to say the least. The sound cannot be faulted, for its part - however, the picture quality is so poor that in some instances, it's almost like watching a smudged, slightly spoilt, oil painting; a bit like that movie, starring Robin Williams - where he walks into the world inhabited within a painting, created by the protagonists deceased spouse - What Dreams May Come, I think it's called. Perhaps I'm over dramatising the issue here; however, when watching these (as already mentioned, the first 10-12 episodes), and looking at the statement on the box - it will make you laugh. It's a con; a marketing ploy - possibly to appeal to those who already have the previous complete works. These 1987 -1999 transfers aren't even in the same league as late 60's, early 70's Columbo episodes. Really!
Oh, also; another thing which is quite annoying - please forgive me for nit picking - is the incorrect naming of pieces of music within the subtitles. On many instances - the subtitle will say `Mozart Piano Concerto' when it's really one of the Opus 54 Quartets, by Joseph Haydn; or, `Bach Suite' when again, it's clearly the music of Joseph Haydn, and `Handel`, when it`s Bach. These mistakes, which would have existed on previous releases, have not been rectified - therefore, one can deduce that there never was a complete restoration of any kind, whatsoever.
So, take it as it is. Even with its faults, this set is simply amazing to trawl through on lazy afternoons. Although I've been fairly critical with regard to the technicalities of this set - taken as a whole however, it is still a bargain at the price, and it will give you many hours of pleasure, for many years to come. Highly recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2012
Nothing produced on television has ever emotionally moved me like "Inspector Morse." As an American I can think of only one TV production that is a peer to "Morse" and that is Peter Falk's "Columbo." I won't compare "Homicide" and "The Wire" to "Morse" because "Morse" is not a cop drama. "Morse" is a true detective drama that is combination morality play and romantic drama (no, I don't mean kissy-kissy--I mean epic good and evil). Like the Colin Dexter novels on which they are based, each film is constructed with archetypal characters confronting Jacobean and/or Shakespearean themes of love, death and revenge, all the while leaving it to the audience to decide for themselves the value of the choices made by the characters including, and most importantly, Morse and Lewis. Additionally, this series launched the careers of some of my generation's greatest British filmmakers (i.e., John Madden, Danny Boyle, Antonia Bird and Adrian Shergold, to name a few). I can think of only "Cracker" as another British series to have such a great impact on modern television and cinema. As an American fan I am both awed and embarrassed that my country, which gave birth to the medium, could never have a single series to spawn such greatness. That's why I guess I have to admit that it's my inner Brit that emerges whenever I see "Morse" or more precisely John Thaw as "Morse." There's nothing about being American that connects with Thaw's "Morse," because he is the quintessential British protagonist: brilliant, charismatic, erudite and flawed as hell. And Morse does nothing to hide any of these qualities to anyone including his enemies. This is how he can be vulnerable while seemingly invulnerable against the craziest madman. None of these complexities appear in any American T.V. hero, because American T.V. is too obsessed with reality or banal escapism. "Inspector Morse" has the power to transport us out of our own world while presenting us with questions that make us reflect on the human condition. It's both fun and awakening.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2012
I bought this as a complete set in the NTSC version and I found out it was really crappy and of which I ALSO paid a crappy price in USD! For the Inspector Morse - Complete Collection Starring John Thaw, Kevin Whately, Colin Dexter and James Grout (Feb 14, 2006) $429.99 (USD) is what they charge. Every DVD that I had would have garbled scenes quite often throughout each of the movies, so it was to the point where you couldn't really watch the movie and enjoy it. Also, there was no closed-captioning on the set I had in the NTSC version. I also tried to send it back to the retailer I bought it from and they said I'd have to pay for the shipping and handling back to them and to be aware I wouldn't get reimbursed for the sh/hand. I finally decided to buy and try a multi-region DVD player so I could watch the UK version on my TV set as I live in Canada and so far of what I've seen in the movies so far, (about 6 I've seen),the quality is a MAJOR improvement -- plus closed-captioning (sub-titling) IS AVAILABLE! My only regret is that I didn't buy the multi-region DVD player sooner!! By the time you pay for the multi-region DVD player AND the UK PAL version of the Complete Morse set, it is MUCH cheaper and worth what you pay for. As for what you pay for this set in NTSC version, I wouldn't try and resell it to anyone. The best place for this set is in the garbage!
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2010
Despite reading other reviews giving less than posiitve feedback I decided to buy this set. Taking into consideration the age of the earlier episodes the quality isn't going to be as sharp as the later ones. This in no way has detracted from the viewing pleasure that I have had. We are all aware of the high quality of the shows both in acting, stories and soundtrack and after all this time the early ones , some of which I had missed, still stand out as excellent viewing. The price is unbeatable I think and I have had no problems removing dvd's from the holders. All things being taken into consideration, a great buy.
51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2008
Morse is one of those classic series that never seems to date and had a fantastic cast. Chief Inspector Morse played by the now late but brilliant John Thaw previously known as tough cop Reagan on the Sweeney. And Kevin Whatley as long suffering Lewis who nine times out of ten solves the crime before Morse. Then there is James Grout who played the gruff Chief Superindentant Strange who also suffers Morse's moods. This series has a feel like no other crime drama set in sleepy Oxford with Morse driving his classic Mk2 Jaguar. He also mulls over a Murder in a Pub ,over a Pint of ale with Lewis dragged along. The guest cast is also well planned and played though the 33 feature length episodes. They are very slow moving and nothing like the glitzy American shows of the 1990's. This new slimmer boxed set is a must buy for fans and if you shop around this can cost under £40. There are three documentarys included about the making of the series but there are no commentaries.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This box set is beautifully presented, and is considerably smaller than the previous version of it, due to its use of slim-line DVD cases. The DVDs are rather tightly packed, and not that easy to extract from the cases, but that's a minor concern. The set contains every Morse episode - generally three per DVD - plus a small photograph gallery with each episode.
The production values of Morse are generally very high, but there are a few episodes in which you can see the entire film crew reflected in a window behind Morse and Lewis. The stores based on Colin Dexter's novels are arguably better than those knocked together by script writers, but that's just my opinion. The stories are uniformly of excellent quality - gripping mysteries to the very end.
I found the picture quality a bit variable. That may be due to the original 16mm film being a bit grainy, or due to the transfer to DVD, but it is there nonetheless. The sound quality is good throughout.
Overall, it offers 59.5 hours of timeless entertainment, and at £29.97 (at time of writing) it equates to 50 pence per hour, which seems like good value to me.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 11 November 2013
After reading the various negative reviews regarding the case and picture quality, it was with some trepidation that I opened Amazon's box and played the first disk. The criticisms of the case are justified. It wasn't 'til I had read the reviews again that I managed to get access to disk 1. Whoever designed the case must have used lateral thinking to design an innovative product. As with all innovations, you win some and lose some. This is a loser, however it is not a show-stopper. Regarding the picture, I've had no problems watching with either the "aspect" or the grain. My TV automatically selected the correct aspect, and the grain is not a problem. In fact, in at least one case, it adds atmosphere. I'm talking about episode 3, which looks as if it could have been directed by a young Ridley Scott. The darker scenes with a lot of contrast look particularly good - on my cheapo 32" flat screen anyway. In summary, if you're a fan of Morse and value-for-money, go for this set.