Inspector Morse (1987–2000)
8 user 1 critic

The Sins of the Fathers 

The managing director and heir apparent to a venerable family-owned brewery in dire financial straits is found drowned in a vat of his own ale.


Peter Hammond


Colin Dexter (characters), Jeremy Burnham




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Thaw ... Chief Inspector Morse
Kevin Whately ... Detective Sergeant Lewis
Andy Bradford ... Trevor Radford
Trevor Martin Trevor Martin ... Alan Sowden
Paul Mooney Paul Mooney ... Pathologist
Simon Slater ... Norman Weeks
Kamilla Blanche Kamilla Blanche ... Gail
Jean Ainslie Jean Ainslie ... Cleaning Lady
Kim Thomson ... Helen Radford
Noel Johnson Noel Johnson ... Butler
Isabel Dean ... Isobel Radford
Paul Shelley ... Stephen Radford
Lionel Jeffries ... Charles Radford
Alex Jennings ... Victor Preece
Betty Marsden Betty Marsden ... Cynthia Preece


Trevor Radford, Managing Director of the family's Radford Breweries, is found murdered in the brewery. He had been working late one evening mounting a defense against an unwelcome takeover attempt from a rival brewery. There appears to be some disagreement in the family as to whether they should sell out. His brother Stephen, an entrepreneur in his own right, thought the time had come to rid themselves of a losing proposition but their father would like to maintain the family tradition that now spans 150 years. Morse and Lewis learn that Trevor's wife was having an affair with Stephen, so there is always the possibility that there this is a crime of passion rather than greed. They also learn of a long ago claim against the business' assets. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

10 January 1990 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Sgt Lewis's warrant card, which he shows to Mrs Preece, is signed by "Chief Constable K McBain", a tribute to the late Kenny McBain, producer of Series 1 and 2. See more »


As an alibi one of the characters says he was working on The Flying Scotsman (a model of it on his railway) and trying to decide whether to take the train up the coastal route via West Hartlepool to Newcastle or stick with the inland route through Bishop Auckland. The inland route however does not go through Bishop Auckland, it (the main east coast line) goes via York through Darlington then to Durham to Newcastle. Bishop Auckland was/is simply a branch-line leading to the wear valley and east-gate quarry, Stanhope etc. and alternatively a branch-line also up to Barnard Castle, Brough etc but no line direct from Bishop Auckland to Newcastle that flying Scotsman could use. See more »


Chief Inspector Morse: [Cynically to Lewis] Death always makes people close ranks... death... and money.
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Crazy Credits

The episode credits erroneously state that the series is, "Based on the characters created by ALAN Dexter." The original books were written by COLIN Dexter. See more »


References David Copperfield (1935) See more »


La Traviata
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi (1853)
Record played at Radford pool, while Morse is changing a tire, and again at his home.
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User Reviews

director spoils all
30 September 2019 | by lylogronio-896-478464See all my reviews

As many of the other reviewers, I , who really love this excellent series, was appalled and also distracted by this very very bad director, who seemed more keen to show his arty farty vision of how to visualize a detective story then that he was interested in the actors and the story itself. Indeed, lots of glasreflections, windows and extreme and unnecessary close ups; A real bummer, this one !! Sad to say.

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