Inspector Morse (1987–2000)
6 user 2 critic

Ghost in the Machine 

A vanished baronet and the theft of some of his collection of erotic art is investigated by Morse and Lewis.


Herbert Wise


Colin Dexter (idea), Julian Mitchell (screenplay)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Thaw ... Chief Inspector Morse
Kevin Whately ... Detective Sergeant Lewis
Amanda Hillwood Amanda Hillwood ... Dr. Grayling Russell
Patricia Hodge ... Lady Hanbury
Clifford Rose ... Dr. Charles Hudson
Bernard Lloyd ... Professor Edward Ullman
Michael Godley Michael Godley ... Sir Julius Hanbury
Michael Thomas Michael Thomas ... John McKendrick
Patsy Byrne Patsy Byrne ... Mrs. Maltby
Irina Brook ... Michelle Réage
Lill Roughley Lill Roughley ... Betty Parker
Robert Oates Robert Oates ... Ted Parker
John Elmes John Elmes ... Roger Meadows
John Cater ... The Dean
Rainbow Dench Rainbow Dench ... Georgina Hanbury


The disappearance of Sir Julius Hanbury - and the theft of several of his erotic paintings - provide a new puzzle for Morse to solve. Assisted by DS Lewis, Morse interviews everyone at Hanbury House and it is in the course of searching the grounds that he finds Sir Julius' body, appropriately enough, in the family mausoleum. The pathologist notes that he was the victim of a frenzied attack but the lack of blood at scene leaves the police to conclude that he murdered elsewhere. Sir Julius was a candidate to become the Master of an Oxford college and was known to have a have had a bitter rivalry with another candidate for the position. When Roger Meadows, a friend of the Hanbury's au pair, is killed in a car accident, Morse concludes that that he too was murdered. Jealousy, revenge and greed all play part in the deaths. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

4 January 1989 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Morse says "Ego in Arcadia vixi" at the end, then loosely translates it to mean that even the Garden of Eden had its serpent. Literally, the phrase means 'I lived in Arcadia', where the 'I' (Ego) is interpreted to be the devil or some personification of evil. Arcadia is interpreted to refer to an idyllic setting in Greek and Roman mythology inhabited by mirthful, carefree gods and spirits, and often compared to a Garden of Eden, hence Morse's translation of the phrase. See more »


Before the MGB crashes it's quite a clean example. Once it's crashed and is lying on its side it has large rust holes at the ends of the sills. See more »


[arriving at Hanbury House]
Chief Inspector Morse: Restored of course - look at that window.
Detective Sergeant Lewis: All that stonework, must take months to do the pointing.
Chief Inspector Morse: You're not a bloody mason, are you?
Detective Sergeant Lewis: No such luck - I might have been a Chief Inspector by now if I was.
Chief Inspector Morse: "Were", Lewis, if you "were". You'll never get on if you can't master your subjunctives. Keep touching your forelock, we may be back in Oxford before lunch.
Detective Sergeant Lewis: Shouldn't that be "might"?
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Solid Story
28 April 2015 | by goldberry-90-44341See all my reviews

The mystery itself is unmemorable, but that's okay. Instead, we get more of a focus on the characters. This episode pares it down to the basics - lots of Morse and Lewis banter, a reasonably-paced investigation, not too many suspects, a crazy-complex solution (but, for once, fairly comprehensible.) Max has made his exit, and Morse's first multiple-episode love interest has appeared in the person of Dr. Russell. She is a sort of Laura Hobson prototype, but doesn't get too much time here, since this is really a buddy- cop episode.

Lewis, usually Morse's long-suffering dogsbody, manages to not only get in quite a few zingers at his grumpy boss, but essentially solve the case. He refuses to let favoritism (towards, say, beautiful rich women) cloud his vision. Thaw and Whately are at their best here, having by now established a solid rapport. Also very good is the chilly lady of the manor.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed