Inspector Morse (1987–2000)
7 user 2 critic

Last Bus to Woodstock 

A young blonde hitches a late lift from a bus stop and ends up dead in a pub car park.


Peter Duffell


Colin Dexter (novel), Michael Wilcox (screenplay)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Thaw ... Chief Inspector Morse
Kevin Whately ... Detective Sergeant Lewis
Anthony Bate ... Bernard Crowther
Terrence Hardiman ... Clive Palmer
Fabia Drake ... Mrs. Jarman
Jill Baker ... Jennifer Coleby
Holly Aird ... Angie Hartman
Paul Geoffrey ... Peter Newlove
Peter Woodthorpe ... Max
Ingrid Lacey ... Mary Widdowson
Shirley Dixon ... Margaret Crowther
Ian Sears Ian Sears ... John Sanders
Perry Fenwick Perry Fenwick ... Jimmy
Shirley Stelfox ... Mrs. Kane
Jenny Jay Jenny Jay ... Sylvia Kane


Morse and Lewis investigate the murder of a young woman, Sylvia Kane, found dead in a pub car park. She was last seen at a bus stop asking for the times of the bus to Woodstock and was to meet as friend at the same pub where she was found. She had accepted a lift from someone in a red car and the police find an envelope on the dead girl addressed to Jennifer Coleby, a co-worker. This leads Morse to uncover a complex set of social inter-relationships and eventually, the girl's killer. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

22 March 1988 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


This is the last episode featuring Peter Woodthorpe as pathologist Max. See more »


Vass Anderson is billed as "Mrs. Bentley" instead of Mr. Bentley in the credits. See more »


Chief Inspector Morse: Now drink that, Lewis. Loosen some brain cells.
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User Reviews

"It is a pretty nasty night out"
30 November 2006 | by kiwikwiSee all my reviews

"You're going to like this one. Quite a puzzle", says Max in this adaptation of Colin Dexter's first novel. Quite right: A girl is dead, and in her purse is a mysterious envelope, empty but for a coded letter, reading "Take this, please."

One of the best Morse episodes, Last Bus to Woodstock has a plot that twists and turns, keeping both Morse and the viewer stumped until the last moment, when the dreadful truth sinks in.

Gender roles and loneliness are the recurring themes that serve as the foundation for this visit to Oxford: Among the dozens of characters introduced, all but two live hauntingly lonely lives, coping as they may -- through drinking, gambling, sex and adultery.

The first exception is an old miss Marple type. She has learned to deal with the loneliness, or even appreciate it. The second exception is Angie, a young and amiable English literature student, who has yet to face the harsh facts of life. Of course, her innocence can't last, and eventually she gets her unpleasant rite of passage into adulthood.

As often with Morse, the conclusion is only half satisfying: Although the case is closed, there's no sense of justice being fulfilled, only lives ruined, a little more misery in an already miserable world. The Inspector Morse series never drew the nicest picture of society, but in this episode, it seems particularly grim.

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