Inspector Morse (1987–2000)
8 user 1 critic

The Day of the Devil 

A sociopathic but clever murderer who believes in the occult escapes from prison and returns to Oxford, and it is up to Morse to stop him.


Stephen Whittaker


Colin Dexter (characters), Daniel Boyle (as Daniel Boyle)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Thaw ... Chief Inspector Morse
Kevin Whately ... Detective Sergeant Lewis
Keith Allen ... John Peter Barrie
Harriet Walter ... Dr. Esther Martin
Patrick O'Connell Patrick O'Connell ... Jack Vaizey
Anthony Hunt Anthony Hunt ... Young Porter
Lloyd McGuire ... Clough
John Bleasdale John Bleasdale ... Desk Sergeant
Aran Bell Aran Bell ... PC Pringle
Richard Graham ... PC Cobbs
James Grout ... Chief Superintendent Strange
Susan Ellen Flynn Susan Ellen Flynn ... Waitress
Patrick Drury Patrick Drury ... Frank McTeer
Peter Attard ... Mack Shaw
Wayne Norman ... Larry Broomfield


When John Peter Barrie escapes from a maximum security mental institution, the police assign all available resources to finding him. Barrie is a dangerous sex offender known as the Devil's Disciple. Morse is assisted by Barrie's psychiatrist, Dr. Esther Martin. Barrie contacts Morse and they begin a deadly game of cat and mouse. When Morse refuses to play the game Barrie's way, the madman kidnaps a woman and demands that Dr. Martin be held for a future exchange. As the investigation proceeds, Morse believes Barrie has accomplices in the area but after a local cultist is killed, he realizes he has been looking in wrong direction all along. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

13 January 1993 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Near the beginning, when the female doctor is carrying her shopping, the location is Hyde Heath, Buckinghamshire See more »


[Strange wonders what sort of texts Heironymous St John's shop sells. To Morse's amazement, Lewis shows off his newly-acquired knowledge of the Occult]
Detective Sergeant Lewis: [glibly] Oh, exegeses on ancient grimoires, I should think, sir.
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Toccata and Fugue in D Minor for organ, BWV 565
by Johann Sebastian Bach
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User Reviews

One of Morse's finest challenges.
23 April 2017 | by Sleepin_DragonSee all my reviews

This stands out for me as one of the best episodes in the Morse collection. Very much darker and more harrowing then the usual Morse stories, this one contains some very dark and sinister moments, and is without doubt the creepiest episode of Morse. So much subject matter, Domestic violence, Devil Worship, deceit, religion, and plain old good versus evil.

The story itself is wonderfully complex and intricate, as the episode moves along the plot is untangled in a hugely effective way. The principle characters are all fantastically realised, none more so then the lead villain John Peter Barrie, incredibly well performed by Keith Allen.

Some hugely powerful scenes, the emotional one between WPC Curtis and Esther Martin where she discusses her childhood memories of her brothers and the motorbike. The encounter between Barrie and Canon Appleton, the fear Richard Griffiths realistically portrayed was fantastic. The terrifying appearance at the ceremony, and of course the final showdown.

Superb characters, a fabulous story, all you can say is that 'they don't make 'um like this any more.' Brilliance 10/10

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