Sadly, the eighth season of Morse proved to be the final season for one of the most popular detectives of all time in the history of Broadcasting.
There are five episodes in this series, and they are all very good indeed.
The Way Through The Woods is one of my favourites. Morse becomes involved in a case against the wishes of his Superintendent Strange (James Grout, I could never understand why Morse allowed Grout to constantly address him as "Matey") A prisoner is killed by another prisoner, but before dying he admits to 4 murders, but not the 5th. This sets Morse and Lewis off onto a trail of twists and turns which eventually strains their relationship on more than one occasion when Lewis fails to agree with Morse about a missing girl whose body may lie in some nearby woods. A body is then discovered in the woods, but is proved to be a male. This makes the case even more bizarre ending in a shocking twist which almost costs Lewis his life. A great episode.
In The Daughters of Cain, both Morse and Lewis investigate the murder of a retired University member who has been stabbed to death. The case becomes rather complex as the academic world closes its ranks causing Morse too many headaches until the case is finally solved. A bit ponderous at times, but theres enough good material to keep Morse fans happy.
Death Is My Neighbour is also a good episode. Morse's love interest is played by the delightful actress Judy Loe who becomes rather attached to the grumpy old detective. Has Morse found his match at last? Well, see the episode and find out. Morse and Lewis investigate the death of a young physiotherapist Rachel James who has been shot dead. Another murder takes place 24 hours later and it becomes apparant that Rachel James had been shot by mistake. This sounds like a rather complex case, but do bear with it, it does have a rather good ending. Look out for the veteran actor Richard Briers who plays Sir Clixby Bream, a rather nasty piece of work who is eventually driven out of Oxford by non other than Morse himself and told never to come back.
Morse is ill in bed recovering from an operation, so he spends his time reading about a case which took place during Victorian Times. The Wench Is Dead is a brilliant yarn about a married woman whose body is recovered from the Oxford Canal in 1859. As Morse reads more and more, he becomes more convinced that the wrong man was sent to the gallows and he sets out to prove it. Something quite different here which will please lovers of good crime stories.
And now for the Finale: The Remorseful Day. A fine episode indeed, it stands out as one of the finest ever made. Some viewers may not agree of course, but I think it is. Morse has recovered from his operation and is back at work and discovers that Lewis is heading an investigation into the murder of Yvonne Harrison which had happened almost a year previously. It turns out that Morse did know a lot more about Yvonne Harrison than he cared to admit, much to the consternation of both Lewis and Superintendent Strange. The case is solved when tragedy strikes. The ending is profoundly moving, and music lovers will recognise the haunting music from Faure's Requiem, and Wagner's Good Friday Music from his opera Parsifal.
The box set ends with a fine tribute lead by James Grout as he looks back over the years of dealing with Morse on his numerous cases. A most moving end to a wonderful series.