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
See full technical specs »

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 »


The radio announcer twice mispronounces the Oxford region of St. Aldates as St. Algates. See more »


Victor Preece: [to Morse] When I come out, I'll get you too.
[leaves with constables]
Detective Sergeant Lewis: I shouldn't worry about it, sir. By the time he comes out, you'll be long gone.
Chief Inspector Morse: You're wasted as a copper, Lewis. You should have joined the Diplomatic Service.
See more »

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.
See more »

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User Reviews

No Beer Puns: I Promise
20 February 2018 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

The story opens with a man struck from behind as he inspects a room in a brewery. His body is then thrown into a vat full of mash. Apparently, Morse is put on the case because of his fixation for a pint or two. He finds himself at the home of the victim, a very rich man who was in charge of the family brewery which may soon be sold to a big beer company, Farmers. It turns out that this is a 150 year old operation and the family has grown into mega-snobs. Everyone seems to be lying in some way and there is infighting all over the place. Of course, this will not be the only murder as is usually the case with Morse episodes. Duplicity and also incompetency abound here.

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