Remember the Time Inspector Morse Got Into Acid House and Raves?

This Danny Boyle directed episode of the Oxford based detective series is a masterclass in how to get outdoor raves just right.
March 21, 2016, 10:55am

Sandwiches for dinner. Viennese whirls. Pots of tea. Grey skies. School tomorrow. Uncut lawns. Blankets. Mildew. Conservatories. Unread Observer supplements. Wisteria. The Archers. The faint but cloying realization that life will never work out the way we'd hoped. Welcome to Sunday nights across the country. The only thing that makes the most dispiriting part of the week even semi-bearable is Sunday night telly, our digital comfort blanket, that HD bubblebath we ease ourselves into after another terrible week starts all over again. The TV we want on Sundays falls into two categories. The first is your standard Countryfile or Antiques Roadshow trip into misty-eyed nostalgia for the way things were before we all lived inside our smartphones and things weren't 1954. The second is the good old fashioned mystery murder.


Yep, on Sunday nights what we really crave—after the biscuits are finished and we've promised ourselves that next week we'll be good, next week we'll go swimming a few times, next week we'll eat quinoa and carob—is a drawn out police investigation into a murder that takes place in a nice quiet town where murders happen like clockwork. Usually a murder that involves a rogue crocodile or a contaminated packet of prawn cocktail crisps or an over-chlorinated public swimming pool. Said murder is eventually solved by a veteran detective and his younger, brasher, greener partner. Along the way we'll follow twists and turns and remain really confused until the very end and when the penny drops and we found whodunnit and we all go to bed feeling marvellous about ourselves and the world because the former professor with a fixation on a former student who killed said student's former lover by stoving her head in with a feather duster is where he belongs — behind bars!

The undisputed king of solemn Sundays was the sorely missed John Thaw. As the iracsible Inspector Morse he lit up our screens for 13 years, solving 33 murders during his time in Oxford. Morse, to put it bluntly, was the big dog, the main man, the fucking daddy. A body turns up in the woods doused in Dr Pepper? Morse knows why. A randy librarian's remains have turned up in an out of town fancy dress shop? Morse is on it. The runaway son of a notorious rockstar's been caught with a few dead dogs in his attic? Morse'll sort it. Just look at him.

Now, you might be wondering why we're talking about Inspector Morse. I'll tell you why we're talking about Inspector Morse. We're talking about Inspector Morse because there's an episode of Inspector Morse where Inspector Morse himself delves into the murky world of acid house raves.

The Danny Boyle directed episode "Cherubim & Seraphim" first broadcast in 1992, is an absolute gem. There are huge outdoor parties! Drugs! Teen suicide! And, famously, "on one occasion, when listening to some homemade acid house music, Morse becomes excited as he spots a sample of the "Hallelujah Chorus" on headphones."


Forget Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore and all those identikit documentaries about the second summer of love that tell us the things we already know while showing us footage we've already seen and songs we never need to hear again, "Cherubim & Seraphim" is the real rave deal, because "Cherubim & Seraphim" is a (relatively) accurate representation of how middle England dealt with the emergence of a generation of youths who wanted nothing more than to experience a sense of freedom. By taking lots of drugs. In fields.

Now, we don't want to give away the whole plot because that'd defeat the point of watching it. Settle in this Sunday, though, with the video below. And yes, we know everyone in it has slightly sped up voices, but that's actually quite funny so get over it.

No, I can't believe that all happened either!

Follow Josh on Twitter