Hello and welcome to my overview of the first episode of the first series of Endeavour. I’m sorry I have taken so long to post this but I have been kept busy by other aspects of the life.
And speaking of those aspects I am off on holiday again next week and I will be visiting Oxford. I am hoping to do some filming and in particular I am hoping to film the route of the Morse pub crawl I wrote about in this post, Inspector Morse Pub Crawl.
This post will contain SPOILERS. I hope you enjoy this post.
Endeavour Series One, Episode One; ‘Girl’.
Chronologically this is episode 2.
First broadcast 14 April 2013
Colin Dexter makes his appearance at 42 minutes and 40 seconds in the dining hall.
Directed by Edward Bazalgette.
Written by Colin Dexter (characters), Russell Lewis (written and devised by). Russell has written all the Endeavour episodes. He also directed;
Lewis (TV Series) (screenplay – 4 episodes, 2010 – 2012) (story – 1 episode, 2006)
– Fearful Symmetry (2012) … (screenplay)
– Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things (2011) … (screenplay)
– Falling Darkness (2010) … (screenplay)
– The Dead of Winter (2010) … (screenplay)
– Reputation (2006) … (story)
He also wrote the Morse episode, ‘The Way Through the Woods’.
Not only is the viewer confronted with three murders but is also introduced to three new characters who will play a big part in the forthcoming four series, one of whom is familiar to fans of the original Morse series, PC Jim Strange.
Secretarial student, twenty-year old Margaret Bell, is found dead in her flat. It appears at first to be a heart attack but further investigation leads to a different conclusion. Shortly after this death a Dr Cartwright, a partner of Margaret Bell’s G.P. Bill Prentice, is found dead in a public convenience. Is there a connection?
Thrown into this mix of new characters and murders Morse has to contend with a spate of Post Office robberies and a phoney gas meter reader who is stealing the contents of the afore-mentioned meters.
However, Morse’s biggest problem maybe his new boss Chief Superintendent Bright who has taken a dislike to the young Morse and seems determined to not only undermine him but remove him as Thursday’s bagman.
(warning, this review may contain some spoilers)
When the original Morse was first aired there was in the UK only five channels. Nowadays with so many channels and subsequently so much choice any new show has to engage a viewer very quickly. With so much choice and so many good shows competing for our attention the viewer has to be willing to invest their time and effort into a new show.
It is a huge commitment on the viewer’s part to be willing to make room in their life for a television show. The fear is that the show one has committed to and invested in will be cancelled. Television companies have become ruthless when it comes to cancelling shows after a first series or even a pilot. Gone are the days when a show would be allowed to grow and mature to eventually find a wide audience.
After watching the excellent pilot episode and then the first episode of the first series I was willing to commit my time to watching Endeavour. I was willing to invest my time safe in the knowledge that this show would be able to continue the Morse legacy.
The pilot episode had already shown what an excellent and delightful choice it was to employ Shaun Evans and Roger Allam as the two main protagonists. When it came to choosing a new actor to play the newly assigned Chief Superintendent the producers once again proved how astute they are in their choices. Anton Lesser is a great actor with a tremendous CV; ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Wolf Hall’ and ‘The Hollow Crown’ to name but a few.
The introduction of Sean Ribgy as Jim Strange and Jack Laskey as DI Jakes to the series was again another great piece of casting. I hope that in the fifth series of Endeavour that Sean Rigby is given a bigger part to play as I believe he was under used in the fourth series. I want to see Jim Strange’s character grow beyond a catchphrase.
The Endeavour character already shows signs of what he will become and embody when he is older and a Chief Inspector; a dislike of authority, quietly seething and a passion for the underdog especially when it is a woman. For the older and higher ranked Morse he can at least vent his anger on Lewis but for the moment the young Endeavour has to control his anger when dealing with Thursday, Bright and Jakes.
When Thursday confronts Endeavour outside Pamela Walters house, Morse can be seen teetering on the edge of anger his fists opening and closing as if getting ready to enter a boxing match. Morse keeps his hands behind his back not only out of respect for a fellow and higher ranked officer but it also appears as a way of containing his overpowering need to get angry.
One feels that Shaun Evans’s Endeavour is still considering if the police force is a good fit for him. Though we know that he does remain in the police force Shaun Evans can still convince us that he could resign at any moment.
There are many threads running through this episode and they are all untangled satisfactorily by the end of the episode. The post office raids are never solved but this element was there as not only a red herring or a MacGuffin but to allow the killer to remain unknown to the audience for a little while longer.
The denouement regarding Endeavour’s explanation of who the killer was and also the Reverend’s elaborate code to name the killer was a little theatrical but the actors made it work. However, can someone tell me what a blackboard was doing near the altar. Did the Reverend not only foresee his own death but also Endeavour’s need for a visual aid.
(UPDATE 16/12/2018) A subscriber to my website, Kathy, kindly commented on why the blackboard would be situated in the church;
“One thing I found in visiting very old churches in rural England and Wales, and from watching a very good BBC series called “Churches: How to Read Them” that did the same though for different reasons, is how many of these places have no additional space, like a parish hall, for such activities as meetings or Sunday school classes. Instead, people simply pull up a pew, so to speak, or commandeer a side chapel or some other similar space. Which means you can easily find things like blackboards tucked away in corners for easy accessibility when they’re needed. (In more than one episode of “Churches: How to Read Them,” you can see a colorful felt board in the background while the host discussed things like medieval carvings, and in one case there was a list of rules the kindergarten Sunday school class had created for itself, full of things like “No shouting” and “”Be kind” hanging from the wall in a church tower room the host explained had once been used as a parish courtroom and jail!) So I really had no problem with the fact of a blackboard in the church. It’s position? I could explain that away easily enough, since the priest was trying to send Morse a message with it and wanted to make it as prominent as he could.”
Thank you Kathy.
I think what helped make the above mentioned scene that little bit more pleasurable was Sean Rigby as Jim Strange and his reaction to Endeavour telling Thursday and Bright it was thanks to Strange that he was able to decipher the code.
The slight smile by Endeavour is delicious as he watches Strange trying to work out what he said or did that helped solve the code.
There are times when Endeavour embodies the ‘Lewis’ role and that embodiment will rise to the surface every so often during the episodes and series to follow. However for those of us who have watched the original series we know that Morse has forgotten what it was like to be a low ranking officer.
Another great episode that set the bar very high for the forthcoming episodes.
Episode Jag Rating – out of 10.
At the start of the episode we hear Mozart’s Great Mass No. 18 in C Minor K427 Kyrie sung by Sarah-Jane Brandon.
I couldn’t find a version with Sarah-Jane Brandon singing but here is another wonderful rendition.
The above piece is reprised near the end of the episode at 1 hour and 21 minutes.
At 18 minutes and 42 seconds we hear a piece familiar to those who watched the pilot episode of Endeavour. It is Janis Kelly singing Hab’mir’s gelobt from Der Rosenkavalier. This piece was played in the pilot episode supposedly sung by one of Endeavour’s favourite singers, Rosalind Calloway (Stromming was her married name) who went on to sign one of his albums which we also see in the pilot episode.
This piece of music was also heard in the Morse episode, ‘Promised land‘.
Endeavour is seen reading Moriarty’s Police Law. It’s full title is ‘Moriarty’s Police Law: An Arrangement of Law and Regulations for the Use of Police Officers’.
Cecil Charles Hudson Moriarty, CBE, OBE, CStJ (1877–1958) served as Chief Constable of Birmingham from 1935 to 1941, and his manuals and books on police procedures became essential guidebooks for police in the United Kingdom.
When we are introduced to Chief Superintendent Bright he makes a speech to his officers on how things will change. During that speech he says, “but when there are breaches of procedure or Spanish practices…” The term Spanish Practices is a United Kingdom expression that refer to irregular or restrictive practices in workers’ interests. Typically, these are arrangements that have been negotiated in the past between employers and unions.
During the same speech Bright says, “I want you to regard my appointment as a tabula rasa“. ‘Tabula rasa’ is a Latin phrase often translated as “blank slate” in English.
While Max, Morse and Strange are in Margaret Bell’s bedroom investigating her death Max DeBryn quotes two lines from an Alexander Pope poem, ‘An Essay on Man’. “Hope springs eternal in the human breast; Man never is, but always to be blessed.”
Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blessed:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
– Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man
Morse asks Dr. Prentice if all was well at home regarding the Sloan family. Dr. Prentice replies, “Only the wearer knows when the shoe pinches.” This idiom means that no one except he or she who is experiencing it knows the cause of a trouble or difficulty. His or her behaviour is not understood by others because they are unaware of the motive behind it.
Morse is interviewing Sir Edmund Sloan and in particular he is asking about Sir Edmund’s daughter Pamela. Sir Edmund says that they used to call her “La Gazza Ladra.” La gazza ladra opera semiseria in two acts by Gioachino Rossini, with a libretto by Giovanni Gherardin. Translated La Gazza Ladra means thieving magpie.
While intervewing Rev Monkford about his whereabouts, the Reverend says that he was writing a sermon based on Matthew chapter seven, verse seven. This relates to the Bible verse that is “”Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you..”
Morse meets Sir Edmund in the college quad and asks him about Margaret Bell’s possible boyfriend Brian Powell. Brian was typing up Sir Edmund’s memoirs. When Morse mentions that Margaret Bell was dead Sir Edmund says that explains the errors Brain had made, “Well the latest pages he turned in were awash with typographical lacunae.” Lacunae means an empty space or a missing part; a gap. In the context of typographical, lacanae (lacuna is the singular) the phrase means a typographical error. A mistake made in the typing process (such as a spelling mistake).
Morse is reading to Pamela who is in bed, “She saw the helmet and the plume. She looked down to Camelot. Up flew the web and floated wide, the mirror cracked from side to side. ‘The curse has come upon me’ cried the Lady of Shalot.” These lines are from The Lady of Shalott (1832) by Alfred Lord Tennyson. The full verse that the quote above comes from is;
She left the web, she left the loom
She made three paces thro’ the room
She saw the water-flower bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She look’d down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack’d from side to side;
‘The curse is come upon me,’ cried
The Lady of Shalott.
DI Jakes says to Morse, “It’s not Gideon’s way I know but its what gets them up the steps.” I am not completely certain what this references. I am assuming it’s a reference to the Bible and ‘The Gideon’ is where God takes weak, humble, sometimes fearful people and uses them to do wonderful things.
Bright and Thursday march into the Rev. Monkford’s church to confront Endeavour. Bright wants to know what he is doing in the church. Endeavour says that he knows who the killer is. Bright replies, “What’s this? More threadbare Legerdemain? Legerdemain means deception or trickery.
Endeavour finds no one on guard outside Margaret Bell’s house. Endeavour enters the house and hears a toilet flushing. (It turns out to be our first meeting with Jim Strange). In the hall hangs a painting;
This is a painting called Still-life with Fruits, Parrots and White Cockatoo, by Jakob Bogdány. Bogdány is a Hungarian painter and the above painting was painted sometime in the 1710s.
Behind Morse there is a cubist painting but unfortunately I cannot identify it.
Next up we have two paintings which can be found in St Edmund Hall, Oxford University.
The painting to the left of Endeavour is The Right Reverend Herbert Henry Williams (1872–1961), Principal (1913–1920), Bishop of Carlisle (1920–1946) and painted by Reginald Grenville Eves (1876–1941).
Next we have a painting which can be seen on the wall at the top right of the photo below.
This is a painting of The Right Reverend Daniel Wilson, Vice-Principal (1807–1812). The artist is unknown.
The first scene of the episode is of a famous and well used location in episodes of Morse, Lewis and Endeavour.
The street is Broad Street. The bus in the above picture is indicated by the red arrow in the photo below.
Next up we have a location used in the montage of scenes used at the beginning of the episode. Dr Cartwright is seen driving up to a street and then entering a post office.
The black car is being driven by Dr. Cartwright. This took a LOT of detective work but I eventually managed to work our where this location is.
The address is Long Lane, Glebe Ave, Ickenham. Though the colour of the building above the shops is a different colour one can only assume that they were painted recently or more probable is that the colour was changed in post production.
The funeral directors was unchanged.
Next up is at the one minute and 50 second mark. Pamela gets on a bus as Morse gets off.
Endeavour first visits Rev Monkford at around the 37 minute mark. This location is St Mary the Virgin Church, Hambleden, Buckinghamshire.
Up next is the location of the college where Sir Edmund Sloan teaches. The location is St Edmund Hall dining room and quad, Oxford University.
The White Horse pub in Oxford has turned up in many a Morse and Lewis episode and Endeavour is no different. It turns up three times in this episode.
Fred Thursday about to eat his sandwich.
The White Horse Pub.
Morse and Strange are back in the pub at 52 minutes.
At the one hour mark we are back in the village of Hambledon.
As an aside, the large tree has now gone and been replaced with a sapling.
Up next is the house where Pamela Walters lives.
This is Holywell Street in Oxford.
Next up are two verbal connections to the original Morse series. The first is when Thursday and Morse are in the pub at 1 hour, 3 minutes and 56 seconds. Endeavour is about to leave in a rather foul mood when he turns to Thursday and says
Morse – “I’m a good detective”.
Thursday – “And a poor policeman. No one can teach you the first. Any fool can learn the second”.
This exchange refers to the Morse episode ‘Second Time Around‘ (Series 5, Episode 1). In that episode Morse has joined Detective Chief Inspector Patrick Dawson’s wife Catherine for dinner at the Randolph Hotel;
John Thaw as Morse and Ann Bell as Catherine Dawson.
Catherine Dawson – “Thank you for agreeing to allow my husband to stay in Oxford, it was very good of you. Charlie meant a great deal to him.”
Morse – “I’m bound to say it was against my better judgement. We’re not exactly bosom friends. I don’t like the idea of not being trusted to do my job.”
Catherine Dawson – No, no you’d be wrong to believe that Inspector. Patrick thinks you’re a very good detective. Poor policeman but a very good detective.”
Morse – Really? Well, I suppose half a compliment is better than none.”
The second verbal clue and I know it’s rather tenuous but it is a link of sorts. In the Endeavour episode ‘Girl’ Morse is discussing with the Reverend Monkford about his bike and how it ended up next to a crime scene, (at 38 minutes and 45 seconds). The Reverend Monkford is also, like Morse, a fan of crossword puzzles but admits to being rather flummoxed with the crossword he is currently trying to solve. Endeavour helps him by telling him to concentrate on 11 down the clue for which is, ‘Running over a dune is an effort’. Answer, Endeavour. It’s an anagram of ‘over a dune’. How does this relate to a previous Morse episode? Well, in the Morse episode, ‘Death is now my Neighbour‘ ( a Special and chronologically episode 31), Adele Ceil played by the beautiful Judy Loe asks what Morse’s Christian name is. Morse is reluctant to tell her but instead gives her a cryptic crossword clue, “A whole life’s effort has revolved around Eve”. Answer, Endeavour, an anagram of ‘around Eve’.
The fragrant Judy Loe with John Thaw in ‘Death is now my Neighbour’.
Another very tenuous link but all the same a link in the Endeavour episode, ‘Girl’. When Morse enters his flat we get a close up of his name on the side panel of the door. Above and below are two other names, ‘Gant’ and ‘M. French’.
There is a Matt Gant who worked as a Production Designer on this and three other Endeavour episodes, ‘Home, Rocket and Fugue. But he hasn’t worked on either Morse or Lewis. However, an M. French has done just that. The Dressing Props on the Endeavour episode ‘Girl’ was a Matt French who also worked on four episodes of Lewis as a stand in props; – ‘Falling Darkness‘, (Series 4, episode 4), ‘Your Sudden Death Question‘ (series 4, episode 3) ‘Dark Matter‘ (series 4, episode 2), ‘The Dead of Winter’ (series 4, episode 1).
One last thing regarding the subject of miscellany. When Endeavour confronts what he thinks is the bogus gasman he shows him his warrant card.
Is the folded piece of paper on the left contain his address and phone number? There is no Pulsey House in Oxford though there is a Pusey House but that certainly couldn’t be his home address.
In the Endeavour episode Girl, (Series 1, Episode 1) Endeavour is sent to a house by Thursday to look into the death of a girl. It’s where Endeavour first meets Strange.
This is the house that Endeavour will eventually buy in the episode Degüello.
Actors who appeared in the Endeavour Series 1, Episode 1 ‘Girl’ and/or Morse or Lewis.
Apart from Roger Allam there were four actors who appeared in this Endeavour episode who also appeared in Morse and/or Lewis series.
Firstly there was Albert Welling who played Wallace Clark in the Endeavour episode. He also appeared as Chris Stoneley in the Morse episode ‘The Last Enemy‘, (series 3, episode 2).
Albert Welling (Born on February 29, 1952) as Wallace Clark in the Endeavour episode ‘Girl’.
Albert Welling as Chris Stonely in the Morse episode ‘The Last Enemy’
The second of the four actors is John Flanagan who plays Mr Greaves in the Endeavour episode and Tony Mangold, a college porter, in the Lewis episode, ‘Generation of Vipers‘, (Series 6, episode 2).
John Flanagan on the right as college porter Tony Mangold in the Lewis episode ‘Generation of Vipers’.
The third actor is Bill Geraghty who played the gasman Watkins in the Endeavour episode and Jackson in the Lewis episode, ‘And the Moonbeams Kissed the Sea‘. (series 2, episode 1).
Bill Geraghty (D.O.B. unknown) as the gasman, Watkins in the Endeavour episode ‘Girl’.
Bill Geraghty as the bookmaker in the Lewis episode, ‘And the Moonbeams Kissed the Sea’.
And lastly we have Greg Bennett who played a Police Constable not only in this episode of Endeavour but also in the episodes, ‘Trove‘ (series 2, episode 1), ‘Home‘ (series 1, episode 4), ‘Rocket‘ (series 1, episode 3), and ‘Fugue‘ (series 1, episode 2). He also appeared in three Lewis episodes, again, as a Police Constable, ‘Indelible Stain‘ Series 6, episode 4), ‘Generation of Vipers‘, (Series 6, episode 2) and ‘The Great and the Good’, (Series 2, episode 4).
Greg Bennett (D.O.B. unknown) as a PC in the Endeavour episode, ‘Girl’.
Greg Bennett as a PC in ‘Generation of Vipers’.
Jim Strange, who makes his first appearance in this episode, appears in sixteen of the Endeavour episodes having not appeared in the pilot episode. The character of Jim Strange appeared in 22 episodes of the 33 episode Morse series as Chief Superintendent Strange.
– The Remorseful Day (2000)
– The Wench Is Dead (1998)
– Death Is Now My Neighbour (1997)
– The Daughters of Cain (1996)
– The Way Through the Woods (1995)
– Twilight of the Gods (1993)
– The Day of the Devil (1993)
– Deadly Slumber (1993)
– Cherubim & Seraphim (1992)
– Absolute Conviction (1992)
– The Death of the Self (1992)
– Dead on Time (1992)
– Promised Land (1991)
– Greeks Bearing Gifts (1991)
– Who Killed Harry Field? (1991)
– Fat Chance (1991)
– Second Time Around (1991)
– Masonic Mysteries (1990)
– Driven to Distraction (1990)
– The Last Enemy (1989)
– Last Seen Wearing (1988)
– The Dead of Jericho (1987)
In the Endeavour series the character is played by Sean Ribgy, (Born on August 15, 1989), matey and in the original Morse series he was played by James Grout, (Born: October 22, 1927 – Died: June 24, 2012).
James Grout as Chief Superintendent Strange. (We never learned of his first name in the original Morse series).
Sean Rigby as firstly PC Strange then in series 3 he is promoted to DS Strange.
The second of the two characters who make an appearance in Endeavour having been in the original Morse series is Charlie Hillian. As I wrote above the character is only referred to in this episode but was seen briefly in the Morse episode, Second Time Around: Series 5, Episode 1.
Maurice Bush as Charlie Hillian. (Died: 1999) in the original Morse series.
Jonathan Hyde as Sir Edmund Sloan.
Alan Morrissey as Denis Bradley
Shaun Evans as DC Endeavour Morse.
Fiona Ryan as Margaret Bell
Will Richards as Brian Powell.
Dominic Taylor as Dr. Frank Cartwright.
Luke Allen-Gale as Derek Clark.
Albert Welling as Wallace Clark.
Sophie Stuckey as Pamela Walters.
Jonathan Guy Lewis as Rev Monkford.
Olivia Grant as Helen Cartwright.
John Flanagan as Mr. Greaves.
Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday.
Anton Lesser as Chief Superintendent Bright.
Jack Laskey as DS Peter Jakes.
Sean Rigby as PC Jim Strange.
James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn.
Mark Bazeley as Dr. Bill Prentice.
Billy Geraghty as Gas Man ‘Watkins’.
Well we have come to the end of another post. I hope you enjoyed the post. As I said above I am going on another holiday next week so my next post may not appear until August 9th or 10th.