"Masonic Mysteries" (1990)
★ ★ ★ - Very Good
While I think I'm pretty knowledgeable about Danny Boyle, I forget his extensive television work before Shallow Grave. This is an episode of the BBC series Inspector Morse, often cited as the best of the series. It's easy to see why. I love a good Moriarty story, where our hero finally meets his intellectual equal. After stumbling onto a murder scene, all clues point to Morse, but we know it can't be him and follow the hunt for a master criminal jailed by the Detective. While this is a consistently good series, Boyle's talent puts this one on a whole other level, up there with the best of Sherlock. While it's still television and can't compete with his cinematic style, the hyper-edits are present along with some clever suspense scenes, surprises that pop more than any other time in the series and the clever casting of similar-looking people that muddy the suspects. It's worth mentioning that Ian McDiarmid is one of those people, and while his voice is distinct, its tone is shared by the rest of the suspects. Really well done.
Except for one line of dialogue referenced in the Pilot, this episode stands completely on its own if you choose to watch it.