In Inspector Morse no crimes are ever committed on Oxford's notorious Blackbird Leys estate, instead they all happen in country manor houses or within...... more
In Inspector Morse no crimes are ever committed on Oxford's notorious Blackbird Leys estate, instead they all happen in country manor houses or within the walls of the ancient colleges. The series provides all the period cosiness of an Agatha Christie costume drama but in an apparently modern setting. Morse is a contemporary detective with all the nostalgic appeal of Poirot or Sherlock Holmes. John Thaw's Chief Inspector is the antithesis of his previous detective role, The Sweeney's hard-nosed Jack Regan: Morse the irascible opera lover is an anachronistic throwback, driving a classic car, listening to Wagner on LP, quaffing real ale in country pubs or single malt at home, and quoting poetry whenever occasion arises (at least once or twice an episode). His much put-upon sidekick Segeant Lewis (Kevin Whateley) is the bemused ordinary copper who acts as a foil for his artistic and academic passions, and not incidentally allows the writers to explain any possibly obscure or learned references to the TV audience. With plots of crossword puzzle-like intricacy, top-drawer thespian guest stars, loving views of quintessentially English Tourist Board Oxfordshire countryside, and literate screenplays from such luminaries as Malcom Bradbury, the show was a sure-fire hit across middle England. In 1994, after four successful series, John Thaw moved on to other projects (initially, the disastrous A Year In Provence) but always left the door open for more Morse. "The Remorseful Day" is, however, positively his final appearance. The story opens dramatically with a montage of kinky sex and murder, before settling down into a leisurely exploration of leads that might or might not be red herrings. More murders follow, naturally, as the story adds yet more twists. But this time things are different: Morse, on the very eve of retirement, is gravely ill. Convalescing at home he consoles himself with birdwatching and a newly acquired CD player, but he is more than usually irritable and relations with Lewis, who is impatiently awaiting his own promotion to Inspector, are strained. Could Morse himself be the murderer? Certainly, Chief Superintendent Strange (James Grout) is worried. The ultimate resolution of the case takes second place to the show's finale, which will however be no surprise to anyone who has read Colin Dexter's novel. This is a poignant and dignified end to the casebook of a much-loved detective. --Mark Walker
Advantages: Some tense and dramatic moments Disadvantages: Too long at 2 hours
...Director: Ben Drew
Ill Manors is a gritty urban crime movie written and directed by Ben Drew (better known as rapper Plan B). It follows the different lives and stories of several people living in a grimey area of London. It has a bit of a hip hop musical feel to it ? the movie is regularly punctuated by different tunes and raps that reflect what is going on in the story. It also has a bit...
Advantages: Great for conferences Disadvantages: Not overly romantic...if you want romance!
...becomes Junction 42 of the M1
Exit the M1 at Junction 36 and follow the signs for A61 Sheffield. After half a mile, turn left onto Church Lane and Tankersley Manor is on the right.
If travelling by train, it is about 3 / 4 miles from Barnsley train station and costs about £9.
When we drove in through the large gates, what struck me initially was the number of car parking spaces...
Advantages: Experience the life of nobility Disadvantages: Pricey
...approximately 45 minutes along the A30 to Honiton, which is famous for being one of the great antique towns in the South West. Here you can spend a pleasant afternoon admiring the style, craft and antique items, although we narrowly avoided leaving with a pair of armchairs strapped to the car room.
From Honiton, we returned back to the Manor to enjoy the local ale and for a wonderful dinner. The property...