Endeavour: Series 4, Episode 2 ‘Canticle’. A review with Literary References, Locations Info’ etc !!SPOILERS!!


Hello to all my American friends who are finally seeing the new series of Endeavour.

!!SPOILERS!! !!SPOILERS!! In this post I will be not only reviewing the episode but also looking at the locations, music, literary references and other interesting facts and trivia within the episode. So, if you haven’t seen the episode, look away now.

Endeavour: Series 4, Episode 2. Canticle.

Canticle – A hymn or chant, typically with a biblical text, forming a regular part of a church service.

First shown on the 15th January 2017 in the UK.

Chronologically this would be episode 15.

Directed by Michael Lennox. The director Michael Lennox has mostly worked on documentaries and short films.



It’s 1967 and it’s the height of flower power. It is also a year that sees the release of the influential Beatles album Sgt’ Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band and 1967 famously become known as the Summer of Love.

While Morse, Fred and Win Thursday continue to try and come to terms with Joan’s disappearance the world keeps spinning and at this time it spins to the beat of a band known as Wildwood.

Wildwood (a mix of Pink Floyd and The Beatles) are a band on the brink of breaking into America. Like most bands of that particular era they experiment with drugs, sex and Indian mysticism. Also like other bands they have their fare share of arguments and groupies in the shape of Pippa and Emma.


While the band are on the rise so is the movement to control the use of bad language and blasphemy on television in the shape of Mrs J. Pettybon. Mrs Pettybon, a thinly veiled nod to Mary Whitehouse, runs the campaign to ‘Keep Britain Clean’ helped by her daughter Bettina and the Reverend Golightly.


A young bricklayer, Finch is found dead but it is apparent he was moved from the place where he was killed. Finch was last seen at Mapplewick Hall partying with the group Wildwood who have rented the property for the summer.

Meanwhile, Mrs Pettybon has been receiving death threats and Endeavour is tasked with being her bodyguard. The death threat is carried out but the intended victim remains alive and well.

Fred Thursday and Endeavour Morse not only attempt to deal with the murders but also try to come to terms with a world they bare becoming less able to recognise.


I have been a fan of the Morse universe for almost all of it’s 30 year life span. In all those years there is one adjective I have never used when writing or talking about all three series within the Morse universe. That adjective never reared it’s ugly head even when I watch my least favourite Morse episode, ‘The Wench is Dead‘ or my least favourite Lewis episode, ‘Counter Culture Blues‘ or the ridiculous Endeavour episode ‘Prey‘. That adjective is BORING. This episode was boring.

The fourth series has gone from the sublime first episode ‘Game‘ to the ridiculous and tedious second episode ‘Canticle‘. The opening scenes of the first episode of the fourth series were beautiful, haunting and remarkably moving. The opening scenes of the new episode were grating, boring, derivative and included a song that was insipid.

A note to the writer Russell Lewis, we as viewers know the series is set in the 1960s. We know it is the time of flower power. We know 1967 was the summer of love. We know it was the year that The Beatles released their sublime album, ‘Sgt’ Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.’ We the viewers do not need all this shoved down our throats. The series as a whole has gone from the 1960s setting only being used in a subtle discreet way never impinging or saturating the episodes, to the 1960s setting force fed down our collective throats.

Why Mr Lewis did you believe it was a good idea to have Emma attempt to kill Endeavour? I don’t believe there is a single viewer who is not aware that John Thaw played the older Morse in 33 episodes. For that reason we ALL know Endeavour will be neither killed maimed or seriously injured. For that reason the scene was bereft of drama, tension or suspense. Hands up all those who hadn’t anticipated DS Strange and Fred Thursday stopping Emma. Not one hand in the air. On the subject of Emma as the hysterical, jealous killer; boring and obvious and prosaic.


The direction was turgid and was at odds with the, as always, excellent cinematography. The direction lacked…well direction. The pacing of the episode was poor and this added to the tedium that pervaded the episode.

Mrs Pettybon was a cartoon caricature of Mary Whitehouse (with a voice not unlike Margaret Thatcher) who must be spinning in her grave. Sylvestra Le Touzel who played the irascible Mrs Pettybon did her best with the part but was let down by the lack of depth in the character and Mrs Pettybon’s cartoon qualities.

Jim Strange and Trewlove’s character’s are being, in my opinion, under written and so become under used. This is more true for WPC Trewlove who for the last two episodes pops up like a meerkat to point Endeavour in the right direction with either her knowledge of the Kinks or chess.


But the actors Sean Rigby and Dakota Blue Richards have to take some of the blame for not being standouts in the episodes. Max DeBryn’s character played by James Bradshaw has very few scenes but the excellent Bradshaw grabs those scenes by the throat and makes them his own. When Bradshaw is in a scene one finds themselves watching him and not the main stars even when he doesn’t have any lines. Kudos Mr Bradshaw, Peter Woodthorpe would be proud.


The episode did have some redeeming qualities. The acting by the main cast was as always superb. Anton Lesser like James Bradshaw controls any scenes he is in. Where Bradshaw steals his scenes with a wonderful brashness and strong personality, Lesser takes control of his scenes with a quiet, serene but powerful undercurrent of authority.

There were two outstanding scenes from an acting point of view. Firstly, Shaun Evans during the poisoning scene (I would have liked to have seen this scene expanded with images within Endeavour’s hallucinations) and secondly Roger Allam and Caroline O’Neill‘s scene in the family living room when discussing Joan or not as was the case.

As for the phone call at the end of the episode, I believe that it was Joan or the woman we see with the tarot cards. I don’t believe it was Bettina Pettybon. I think she is a red herring to muddy the waters if you will pardon the mixed metaphors. As for the woman with the tarot cards I still cannot put any possible name to her.

It will take more than one poor episode to stop me watching. The acting still makes the series watchable but the writing and direction of this episode have let the team down. Hopefully, next week’s penultimate episode of series four, ‘Lazaretto’ will wash away those dirty feelings of shame I have on having to use that particular adjective. Please Mr Lewis do not make me contaminate any future posts with that disagreeable, contentious adjective that should never be part of the vocabulary associated with our lovable detective.

So my rating for this episode is 3 jags out of ten.



As most of you will know Colin Dexter will not be appearing in the series four episodes due to ill health. However the producers have made sure that he appears in the episode in one way or another. In this episode Colin’s picture appears in the newspaper shown near the end of the episode.



The first piece of music we hear is one that was written by Matthew Slater and Russell Lewis. The song is sung by Sharlette who plays the singer, “Mimi”. Click here to read Damian Michael Barcroft’s interview with Sharlette.

First up is during the first scene at Mapplewick Hall. The song is Turn Into Earth by the Yardbirds.

Next up we have the genius that was Jimi Hendrix. The song Red House is being played when the band appear at the studios to appear on the TV show Almanac.

Another classic sixties song is playing on Anna-Britt Clark’s radio, I Feel Free by Cream.

Endeavour is pouring over the photos he found of Barry Finch, Nick Wilding and Pippa.. The music is String Quartet No. 14 In D Minor D.810, “Death and the Maiden”: I. Allegro by Franz Schubert.

And lastly we have a classical piece, Verdi’s Messe di Requiem.


Nick Wilding asks Endeavour if he has read Huxley and that he wants to see what is beyond the door. This is a reference to the novelist Aldoux Huxley probably best known for the excellent novel Brave New World. Huxley wrote a novel in 1954 that would influence many bands in the 60s, The Doors of Perception.


This book has a connection with the Morse episode, Cherubim and Seraphim. More about that later.

The novel Justine by the Marquis De Sade is seen being read. Justine, or The Misfortunes of Virtue is a 1791 novel by Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, better known as the Marquis de Sade. De Sade is infamous for his erotic works.

Scratched on the album by Wildwood, Boys and Girls Come Out to Play, are the letters and numbers YEMKTTHL 4099.


The letters are an acronym to a line in Oscar Wilde’s poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol. ‘Yet each man kills the thing he loves’.

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard.
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word.
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!

The number 4099 alludes to Oscar Wilde’s prisoner number.


The location of where the dance number takes place is New College, Holywell St, Oxford OX1 3BN.


The opening dance scenes are filmed in New College.


Endeavour walks into the Front quad where the dance scene is being filmed.


The band’s manager is standing waiting for Endeavour and Trewlove.

This is the cloisters of New College.

The next scenes with the manager talking to Trewlove and Endeavour are within the cloisters shown in the above picture.


Also during the opening scene we see people gathered around Mrs Pettybon’s campaign bus. The bus is parked in Radcliffe Square near Radcliffe camera.



Next up we have the location where the group Wildwood are occupying for the summer, West Wycombe Park, West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England.

Image result for West Wycombe Park, West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England,

This location was also used in the Lewis episode, Whom the Gods Would Destroy, Series 1, Episode 1, 2007.


Connections to the Morse and Lewis series.

Thursday and Morse discuss the marijuana found at the college. Morse tells Thursday that he would never use drugs as he “likes to keep a clear head’. Thursday replies, “You put enough beer away.” “Beer is brain food” replies Morse. I’m sure in the original series Morse says this exact line but all I can remember is John Thaw’s Morse saying, “Beer is food” in the episode, Settling of the Sun.

One of the characters, Nick Wilding I think, asks “How can love be dirty” when talking of homosexual sex. I wonder if this is referencing the Lewis episode, Life Born of Fire. Will McEwan commits suicide and leaves a DVD to be played later during a Gay Rights parade. Will says “Love is never wrong”.

Hannah Long who writes and runs the excellent blog http://longish95.blogspot.co.uk about all things related to crime drama, thought she remembered that there was a connection with a Morse episode regarding Aldous Huxley‘s book ‘The Doors of Perception‘. ( Mentioned above in under the heading ‘Literary References’).

I checked the episode Cherubim and Seraphim where Hannah believed there might be a connection and she was right. Here is the conversation between the coroner Dr Heywood, Morse and Lewis when discussing a boy’s suicide.

Morse – “Are you suggesting this boy…”

Dr Heywood – Did an Aldous Huxley.”

Lewis – “Huxley? Is that Brave New World.”

Morse – I think Doctor Heywood is thinking more of the ‘Doors of Perception’, Lewis.”

Dr Heywood – “Heaven and Hell actually.”

Morse – “When Huxley was dying of cancer he got his wife to inject him with LSD. He had this notion, you see, that he would enter the next life in a state of euphoric bliss.”

Interesting Facts and Trivia.

It might just be me but I thought the song by Wildwood, Jennifer Sometimes sounded a bit like Pink Floyd’s See Emily Play. The song Jennifer Sometime is a nod in the direction of 2 60s hits, Jennifer Juniper by Donovan and Jennifer Eccles by The Hollies.

The character Julian Calendar is of course based on the 1960s DJ and TV host, Simon Dee.


David Reed as Julian Calendar


Simon Dee

With all the homosexual undertones through the episode I believe the name Mapplewick Hall was an allusion to the American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Robert was famous for his homoerotic photographs.

The hotel room where Reverend Golightly is found dead was called the ‘Cooke Suite‘.


The spelling is incorrect but could this be referencing Captain James Cook Morse’s father’s favourite historical figure and whose boat HMS Endeavour the baby Morse was named after.

The Wildwood album cover Morse looks at in Finch’s room looks a bit like Pink Floyd’s


album cover to their LP, Piper at the Gates of Dawn.


Ok only a little but…

The Wildwood manager mentions a song called He Loves You. A simple allusion to The Beatles She Loves You.

Another Beatle reference is the poster in Finch’s room on the wall.


The poster on the right hand wall looks remarkably like The Beatles album cover art for the film A Hard Days Night.

John Molloy has added other references to the Beatles in this episode;

The amount of characters in both the fore and surname of Ralph Spender, the manager of The Wild Wood, is exactly the same as Brian Epstein who was the manager of The Beatles.
Anna-Britt says she is not allowed to make public her marriage to one of the group. Cynthia Lennon said something similar concerning her and John.
Mrs Pettybon’s daughter is called Bettina. When in Hamburg in their early days The Beatles were close to some of the barmaids at the Star-Club. John struck up a friendship with one of them named Bettina Derlien who was known to the English musicians as Big Betty.
2 members of The Wild Wood are said to have been at school together, Nick and Chris. Paul and George attended the same school albeit in different years.


Again this is probably my fertile imagination but Russell Lewis loves his film references. One of my all time directors is Alfred Hitchcock and my third favourite film of his is Vertigo. (My first is North by Northwest and my second favourite is Rear Window)

In the film Vertigo one of the characters played by Kim Novak, (if you know the film you will understand why I have written ‘one of the characters’) has a particular hairstyle that becomes a clue if you like.


Kim Novak in Vertigo.

In one scene the camera is placed at the back of Mrs Pettybon and her hair is out of focus. Then when Endeavour leaves the room the hairstyle comes into focus.


The hairstyle of Kim Novaks became known as the Vertigo style.

Nick Wilding is quite obviously based on Pink Floyd‘s original singer Syd Barratt. Barratt’s behaviour became erratic and unpredictable, partly as a consequence of his reported heavy use of psychedelic drugs, most prominently LSD. He experienced hallucinations, disorganized speech, memory lapses, intense mood swings, and periods of catatonia.

The Dudley Jessop story regarding his downfall after being accused of obscenity by Mrs Pettybon seems to be an allusion to the famous OZ trials back in the 1960s. Oz was a satirical magazine that found itself in the middle of an obscenity trial, twice.

An interesting cultural reference was noticed by Graham Barratt a friend on Facebook; the colourful umbrellas used by the dancers in the musical number at the beginning of the episode.


Graham wondered if the umbrellas were a reference to the colourful umbrellas that appeared so often in the Patrick McGoohan series The Prisoner.


The Prisoner was, as Graham pointed out, first aired in 1967.

Another subscriber John Molloy has taken it further regarding the similarities between Endeavour and The Prisoner series.

As one of your contributors comments the opening shots are reminiscent of the 1960s series The Prisoner. I submit there is far more in Endeavour to date than just the opening shots in Canticle to draw parallels between the 2 series.
Both series commence with resignation on the mind of the title character. The Prisoner actually resigns whereas Endeavour refrains.
Both title characters drive distinctive cars from the 60s. Endeavour has the Mark 11 Jaguar, the Prisoner a Caterham 7.
Both series are set in places with fine architecture to admire; Oxford and Portmeirion.
Both title characters repeatedly display contempt and disrespect for higher authority.
Both title characters are intolerant of wrongdoing.
The outdoor chess board and pieces in Game echo a similar scene in The Prisoner episode Checkmate where human beings are used as chess pieces.
In early episodes of Endeavour the number on the door of his bed-sit in Parktown is 6. In The Prisoner the title character was allocated the number 6.

Thank you John.


Paul Higham, one of my blog readers, pointed out a connection between Dr Bakshi’s meditative words to Nick Wilding and a couplet form a Beatles’ song, ‘Tomorrow Never Knows.

Dr. Bakshi says, “Clear your mind of all things/ Let go of all earthly attachments. Become a leaf on the river. You are drifting downstream towards nothingness. It may feel like death but it is not dying.

The Beatle lyric is: “Turn off your mind relax and float down stream
It is not dying, it is not dying.”


John Molloy noted, WPC Trewlove observes that The Wild Wood could not be supporting The Kinks on an upcoming American tour because the latter group were banned from the USA. At 1 hour 3 minutes or so Endeavour and Thursday are rowing across the lake searching for Nick Wilding. The name on the stern of their rowing boat is Victoria which was the title of a hit by The Kinks.


D. Nichols in the comment section made this interesting observation.

My biggest complaint though is the weird fake-out to avoid having Morse actually trip LSD. I think it’s appropriate and period-correct for all the cops to be terrified of acid mostly based on misinformation, and certainly being accidentally dosed in a high-stress situation would be a bad time– especially for a man like Morse who’s not always comfortable with what’s rattling around in his head. That on its own is a recipe for a nasty trip with lingering trouble. But the alternative here is bizarre– jimson weed, henbane, and mandrake root? Those are all deliriants, and nasty ones too. You couldn’t pay me to take any one of those, much less all three together. Physically they’re objectively much more dangerous than a tab of acid, and I would say mentally a much worse time (though obviously these things vary etc).

So its crazy to me that Thursday would be relieved to hear Morse had taken that cocktail rather than acid– and weird to me that Russell Lewis would write it. They should both know better– jimson weed is another name for Datura stramonium, which was used as a literal poison back in Fugue!”

Cast of Canticle.


Kajsa Mohammar as Anna-Britt Clark


Pearl Chanda as Bettina Pettybon


David Reed as Julian Calendar


Phil Rowson as Steve Carter. Phil appeared in the Lewis episode Entry Wounds (2014) playing the character Ian.


Jonathan Barnwell as Christopher Clark


Matthew Needham as Dudley Jessop


Ella Hunt as Emma Carr


Michael Fox as Ken Wilding


Rebecca Lacey as Mrs. Finch


Dario Coates as Lee ‘Stix’ Noble.


(Left) Sophie Simnett as Pippa Leyton


David Sturzaker as Ralph Spender


Sylvestra Le Touzel as Mrs. Joy Pettybon. Sylvestra also appeared in the Lewis
episode The Mind Has Mountains (2011) as Caroline Eagleton.


Shaun Evans as DC Endeavour Morse


Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday


Anton Lesser as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright


Sean Rigby as DS Jim Strange


James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn


Paul Bown as Rev. Mervyn Golightly


Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday


Dakota Blue Richards as WPC Shirley Trewlove


Sagar Arya as Dr. Bakshi. Sagar played a doctor in the  Lewis episode The Gift of Promise (2011)

I hope I haven’t upset those who enjoyed the episode but I have to give my honest personal opinion. I am still looking forward to the third episode in the series and i am sure it will be back on form. Thank you all as ever for your support which is very welcome. Take care.


Author: Chris Sullivan

Up until a few years ago I was my mum's full time carer. She died in, 2020, of Covid. At the moment I am attempting to write a novel.

83 thoughts

  1. Do not need to apologiza Chris; you’re our Guide, eyes and ears, especially for those , like us, who live away and know nothing about week, month, or year when to watch Endeavour series 3 or 4¡¡.
    Thanks God for having you there¡¡

  2. Thank you so much Chris. You have no peer in your analyses of Endeavour. There are other competent reviewers, but no one else takes the time to do such a thorough, detailed overview and analysis.

    I liked the episode a little more than you did, but the trite caricatures of the Pettybons were really off-putting. There were so many WTF moments in this, but Mrs. Pettybon and Bettina were particularly brutal throughout the story. I love you??? Really? I also hated the late reveal that Jessop saw Emma in Pettybon’s dressing room. There’s just no way that Jessop wouldn’t have mentioned this when he was first being questioned by the police. It’s just an insipid, insulting plot device. How does the band just get in a car and drive away with the manager? No penalty whatsoever for moving the dead body?

    I thought the Morse-Thursday dynamic was great again, and Max’s retort to Strange was just perfect. “What a lyrical child you must have been.” The music and scenery were terrific as always, and saved the episode for me.

    Even a bad Endeavour is better than most of what’s on the screen here in the US, but this was my least favorite out of the entire run.

    Thanks again Chris, and I look forward to a return to form in episode 3 – and to reading your analysis.

  3. No need to apologise! Though I wasn’t actually bored watching this episode, I think this is a fair and balanced review and I agree that some parts of “Endeavour” are disappointing. Maybe the lead actor’s heart isn’t really in it?

  4. Hi Chris, I’m sorry and surprised that you are so disappointed with Canticle. Unlike Janice I think your review is very unbalanced (not like you tbh) making it more negative than the episode deserves. I think it was a great episode although not the best. I read another comment saying Mrs. Pettybon’s character was overdone, but a character with such extreme ideas IS overdone in real life (we don’t need to look far) so it was fitting. Emma being the murderer out of pure hatred and jealousy seemed somewhat far fetched. Some of the episode especially in the middle lacked a bit of speed (no pun intended!). But that is the worst I can say about it. Morse being in danger: of course we know he will survive, so I think it is one of the great achievements of the actors and producers to STILL make these scenes tense and exciting. Of course, in the end it’s all a matter of taste and no more than anyone’s opinion. In my opinion, everybody was in great form. This episode had one of the highest viewer numbers yet so it can’t be all bad. Hope you like the next ones better. And it will take more than one bad review to unfollow you☺

    1. Hi Josephine. Thanks for commenting and your interesting view of the program. As you wrote it is all down to a person’s opinion and that is all a review is, an opinion. I wonder never try and arrogantly write that my opinion is the correct opinion. However, veiwing figures are never a good barometer of quality as quantity doesn’t always mean quality.

      1. Actually, the problem with knowing that Morse will survive is negligible, because in a great deal of literature and drama you know that the hero will survive.

  5. Hi Chris, sorry I was a little impatient at first.
    There are always a lot of reviews around which I just take or leave, like you say they are merely people’s opinions. But I really appreciate your blog and all the work you put into analysing all the details, and getting people involved in the Morse universe. I also always enjoy reading your reviews, even if I don’t always agree but after all that’s not what they are about. But this review seems so undeservedly harsh and grumpy and really not like you that I was genuinely surprised. The episode was different, surely, but very much Endeavour. I also prefer the darker episodes and I think Game was brilliant, even perhaps such a strong opening to the new series that it is difficult to match anyway. But to say that Canticle was that bad, or even just bad? Still, even the worst/any worst episode of Endeavour is 10 times better quality than most of the other television shows. I agree with what you say about quality vs. quantity, but in this case I’d say they do go hand in hand. Excited to see what next Sunday will bring us!

  6. I just saw a Morse where he tells Lewis to drink up (a pint) because it will loosen his brain cells!! You know what I thought after the show? Wouldn’t it have been cool if the band was Midnight Addiction, the band in Counter Culture Blues? That gentle, sweet man in CCB could have been the Nick Wilding character. I think the dance at the start, and Wildwood at the estate were two sides of that period. There were those perky singers, and there were those who were ‘mellow.’ I like your connection with Life Born of Fire. I think the episode touched on so many things about that period, and I think did it quite well. But then, I’m a fan of Prey, and Counter Culture Blues is one of my favorites. ;<)

  7. Two things. One, I thank you for the Cream video. Never seen it, and so loved that band.
    Two, I just started watching Who Killed Harry Field, and the actor who played Harry was Bone in Counter Culture Blues.

  8. You are right , Nan…Trevor Byfield was Harry Field as well as Bone.I love CCB, and also the Wench is Dead, the book, though slightly different, is excellent….but I love the tv version, in my Morse Top Ten.!! That Cream video was a real gem , bands didnt do promo videos then….I was a fan of the group and still follow Eric Clapton… OH Chris, I also was taken back a bit with your view on Canticle…admittedly not one of the best, but it has some priceless moments…will What Day is it..? ..ever be topped.?! If we all thought the same thing/had same views, what a boring ( that word again) world it would be.

  9. Superb overview of the series, which I must admit I am loving. I too noted the Pink Floyd references, especially the link to Syd Barrett’s LSD usage which led to him being “left out” of the band when he became “difficult” In essence the Floyd were a Cambridge band, so Wildwood were the Oxford equivalent. I think the episode superbly portrayed the hazy, lazy days of 67 superbly.

    1. I don’t think this episode is one of the best, but I loved the band and the ultra-60s feeling. These things were happening and it’s fun for Endeavour to cross paths with characters like this. Different than the usual Oxford dons, students, and everyday residents.

    2. Yeah the band took Syd to go and see a therapist, which I believe was mentioned in this episode. David Gilmour says they took him to see “Ronnie”… who it turns out was enfant terrible RD Laing… Dx

  10. Chris,

    I almost feel guilty in pointing out, considering the time and work you put into this excellent site, but the picture you have captioned for Nick Wilding is actually Dario Coates as Lee ‘Stix’ Noble.

    I wonder if the Dr. Bakshi character is named for the counter culture animator Ralph Bakshi. Also, the meditational babble to which he subjects poor Nick bears more than a passing ressemblance to the lyrics of “Tomorrow Never Knows” by the Fab Four.

    The “How can love be dirty?” line is said by Dudley Jessop and Morse’s witty retort is a re-working of Woody Allen’s “Is sex dirty? Only if it’s done right.”

    1. Never apologise for pointing out errors, Paul. As much as I like to believe I am infallible, i’m not 😉 I will update the info as soon as I can. I have never heard of the animator but it would seem very likely the Doctor was named after him. I will have a listen to the doctor’s ‘babble’ and see how much of a likeness it bears to the Beatles song. Thanks Paul. Anthing that adds interesting info to my blog posts is always very welcome.

  11. I agree mostly with your review of this episode, though I actually liked the scenes with Bettina and Endeavour, she recognised a deep loneliness in him – even though he denied it – as she was really lonely too. Loneliness and regret are, to me, the defining aspects of the Endeavour Morse character.
    One question though – did I miss something? How did she know where he lived?

    1. I agree with this, as with the comment on Jan 21 2021 by David Thomas, about the encounters between Bettina and Endeavour. Those few minutes of this episode are what you later will remember. What lingers is the desperate loneliness in Bettina’s expression when she tries to reach out to Endeavour.
      Lovely captured in the sentence: “Mr Morse, I don’t suppose I could ask you to open my window… for me?”
      Did she only mean the window as such, or was there a deeper meaning in the question? Even though I know she is a fictitious character, I sometimes wonder what happened to her after she left. Where did she go, where did she spend her nights? Did she ever find what she was looking for?

      The above comment was written some years ago but I just reread a few reviews of the Endeavour episodes. And what did I find if not a mystery within the mystery. How did Bettina know where to find Endeavour at home?
      Well, as true detectives we can establish the facts we know. Bettina knew, or assumed, that Endeavour lived in Oxford, she also knew he worked as a Detective constable and that he lived alone. The obvious question is; could he have been in the phone book?
      I don’t think she could obtain his home address from the police, so what if Endeavour gave it to her? We don’t know how, and when, they said goodbye at the hotel. Maybe she asked for the address and he gave it to her if she needed someone to talk to.
      Bettina follows her mother on a campaign and will soon leave Oxford so he might think she will not be in touch. And later when Bettina knocked on his door he didn’t ask how she knew where to find him, but on the other hand he told her she shouldn’t be there.

      Another thing that sticks out from this episode is the hypocrisy that takes place behind closed doors when the reverend is singing the pop song for himself, eating chocolate in his pyjamas. It seems Mrs Pettybon had more than one traitor in her camp, so to speak.
      Subtle masterpieces like those two examples, Bettina and the reverend, are typical for the Endeavour drama and something, if carefully watched, you can spot in most episodes.

  12. I’ve only recently started watching Endeavour, and now am watching Morse. Having watched them in this order, something sticks out at me like a sore thumb.

    Endeavour being spiked with drugs goes against something he said in one of the episodes of the original Morse series.

    In the 1992 episode, “Cherubim and Seraphim,” Lewis and Morse are bantering about the sixties and “sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.” During this convo, Morse says something along the lines of never having tried drugs for fear of what angels/demons he might see – or something like that.

    For them to have young Endeavour experience the drugs and the demons seems a poorly researched boo-boo that grates on my nerves. I am loving the Endeavour series but disappointed by this “mistake.”

    1. Well spotted. I will have a look at the episode and get the exact quote and add the contradiction you point out into the post. Of course it could be argued that Morse wouldn’t intentionally take drugs and the drugs were forced on him in the Endeavour episode.

  13. Think you are being a bit hard on this episode.

    Has anyone noticed yet that the name Fred Thursday is a play on the name Joe Friday of “Dragnet” fame?

  14. I did not see this episode first time around but watched it last night on ITV4. Nobody has mentioned it in my trawl of the web today, (Note to self: Get a life and get out more!) but it reminded me greatly of Steve Winwood and Traffic. They were a Cotswolds band and owned a cottage out in the country where they played undisturbed.There were disagreements mainly between Dave Mason and the rest of the band about musical direction where Mason was more pop and hippy whereas the rest were progressive rock. This was very similar to Wildwood’s disagreements about the type of music to play. Also it is not a great leap from Winwood to Wildwood. The clincher was at the end when Reggie Bright referred to the band as “Hellions”. A curious expression as it is an Americanism for a rowdy or mischievous person, particularly a child. The Hellions was the name of the band that Jim Capaldi and Dave Mason formed in Worcester in 1963. Both later went on to play in Traffic.

  15. I’ll add a snippet of thoughts I’ve had regarding The Wildwoods… I think overall they are a pastiche of a number of bands, and references here to the Beatles, Pink Floyd and Traffic all make sense. I also picked up something that nagged at me in the character of Anna-Britt, the apparently foreign-born wife of Chris (she makes a “you English” comment and has a slight accent of some sort, though she doesn’t speak enough to nail it down). It rang strangely familiar, and then I googled on a hunch… Rod Stewart had a relationship Britt Ekland, who was born Marie-Britt Eklund. Stewart was very active in the time period portrayed in Endeavour, and slightly after that (1970-75) was in the group Faces, which had a song called “Cindy Incidentally.” I suspect the writers pulled bits and pieces of rock n’ roll trivia to pull together the Wildwoods and make them believable, even familiar. Just my two cents.

  16. Hi! Always enjoy your blog. Just finished watching this episode (in the USA) and was disappointed. I almost turned off my tv. Now I see I wasn’t the only one. I just didn’t care about the case or the characters.
    A couple of comments:
    *Hitchcock is one my favorite directors as well. My favorite is Rear Window. Excellent film.
    *I am finding Endevour’s relationship with Trewlove a little hard to believe. If I remember correctly, old Morse was a little old fashioned about women. When the first female pathologist (Dr. Graylin) started working with him, he seemed put off (as in what is this woman doing here). So, I’m having a hard time seeing young Morse work side by side a female and act so differently from his older self (more open minded and accepting). What do you think?



    1. Hi Karla. Yo make a good point in regard to Morse’s relationship toward women. The older Morse was at times rather old fashioned in his thoughts about women but never misogynistic. It wasn’t that he didn’t think women should be in positions of power but he didn’t think a pathologist was a suitable job for a woman. He did agree with the ordination of women in the clergy as he made plain in the episode Fat Chance. It’s possible his views changed as he got older ad a little more disillusioned.

  17. I didn’t find this episode as boring as you did, but I did think some of the characters rather stereotypical. I must say, though, that I was touched by the scene in which Fred Thursday comforts the distraught, high Morse. As tense and angry as Thursday has been around Morse since his daughter took off, a fatherly concern and tenderness came through. Found that worth the offbeat “suspense” of a threatened Endeavour.

  18. I kind of agree and disagree about the episode Chris

    Rather enjoyed the beginning as it was rather different fore a Endeavour/Morse style but equally was appropriate in the context of the times it was set.

    I agree about the Mrs Pettybon character and being thinly disguised Mary Whitehouse, I think (although admittedly well before my time) she probably seems a caricature because we’ve got so much more liberal (or most of us have) that someone like her seems more extreme and one dimensional than she might have done at the time, she could have have been given a slightly softer hint somewhere but unlike you I wonder whether Le Touzel herself is partly to blame for how she comes across – I accept she’s working from a script but the very best can tease out something from it.
    Or maybe one has to accept some people are so firm in their belief’s and so narrow in their views they simply come across as fools and nothing can really be done if they simply have their path and their path alone.

    I think it’s better than Pray, not sure it was boring but I accept it wont go down as a classic.

    I rather like DBR’s portrayal or Trewlove but as is mentioned earlier on Morse when in danger – because we know what ultimately will become of him he is in a sense a hamstrung part along with to a degree De Bryn (I agree on his acting he’s superb) and Strange too though I think he was married.

    An interesting possible future post could maybe focus on Jim STrange in Endeavour and laterly in Morse, as aside from “Matey” comment I find him rather unlikely in Rigby’s portrayal to rise to what he ultimately will.
    He seems closer to an old fashioned bruiser Cop rather than a political animal that you’d have to beocme the chief superintendent (is that right?) that he ultimately becomes

    Loving the reviews as ever but I did up to a point enjoy this one

    1. Hi Tom. I think you have hit the nail on the proverbial head on writing “Or maybe one has to accept some people are so firm in their belief’s and so narrow in their views they simply come across as fools and nothing can really be done if they simply have their path and their path alone.” This sentence mirrors to a tee certain people in America at the moment.
      I think Jim Strange is one of those policemen who through his contacts via a group like the Masons will become politicized. Jim Strange’s journey to being a Chief Superintendent would be an interesting one.

  19. I suspect too much time and effort was spent on background research, though in at least one way not enough, and too little on writing and editing.
    The rock band house scenario has never worked, that I have seen, and it doesn’t here. The band does not convince, though the song is not too bad. The attempt to show them “at work” fails dismally.
    There must have been some quick re-writing late in the day, given the garbled and gabbled explanation of what was in Morse’s tea and why, after someone pointed out that it is quite some time after someone has taken LSD before they notice that they are not in Kansas any more, and that they will not then do all that much, certainly not double up in pain and fall about all over the place, as the script required.
    This was a “let’s bundle up all that Mary Whitehouse, sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll thing in one episode” exercise, which was fun in its way, but messy. But not nearly as big a shambles as a Father Brown episode that looked like it had been improvised with what came to hand when for reasons unknown the script had to be junked at the last moment. Some great over-acting in that one though.
    All the same, I enjoyed this episode, not so much for the crime as for the dynamic between the ongoing characters.
    Early on, somebody suggested that six episodes in the series was too ambitious, and it looks like they were right.

  20. One thing I found interesting about this episode was the use of jimson weed in Morse’s tea. Jimson became the drug of choice for a brief while in my high school in the late ’70s–only briefly, I think, because even amongst callous, bored, and thrill-seeking teenagers, it was deemed too dangerous after too many people had too many severe experiences that led to emergency hospitalizations. One reason for its popularity, though, was its cheapness. As in, it grew wild where I lived and was thus probably free for most people. I mentioned that it was now in use to my parents, and was told it was growing in our chicken yard! The chickens seemed to do alright, though.

    I may have even been doped with it, to a far, far lesser degree than Morse was. I had a reaction to … something … after eating lunch at school one day that wasn’t hallucinogenic but sure was odd–my speech didn’t work properly, etc. It could have been a couple of things, but given how jimson was running so wild in school at the time, that was the first thing that came to mind.

  21. I just watched this episode and nearly fall asleep. The beginning was difficult to endure, especially the “music”. Tedious, boring, you name it. Only the end woke me up – Morse in distress. And Thursday’s fatherly behavour towards Morse and the question “Which day is it?” and the following answer… But that is not enough. I will mark the episode as “sleeping pill”.

  22. I found this episode hard to endure. It acted like a sleeping pill on me. I made a cross over it and will never watch it again – a waste of time.

  23. I don’t understand how Morse got poisoned. He entered the house where Emma sat with a pitcher of lemonade and some glasses. He poured himself a glass from the same pitcher she was using. Would he have carelessly poured it into a used glass that had residue of drugs in it? Or was she sitting there with a pitcher of poisoned lemonade just waiting for someone to come in and drink it? Other people have said it was in his tea. I watched it twice and there was no scene where she made him tea.

    I also don’t understand why Thursday said it’s a good thing it wasn’t LSD. He seemed to think it would make someone permanently insane. He thought jimson weed, mandrake and henbane were safer?

    1. I assumed the ‘poison’ was in the pitcher of lemonade. She didn’t pour from the pitcher but Morse did. So, one has to assume that she made her own then a second batch with the poisonous ingredients which she then decanted into the pitcher. Was she planning on killing herself at some point? Had she planned to kill someone else but Morse was unfortunate to appear at that moment? But what you pointed out are some of the problems I have with the Endeavour series.

  24. I’m just catching up with Endeavour now they’re showing the episodes on ITV3. Agree with your analysis of it- though agree with everyone else- a bad Endeavour is still better than the best of most other things on TV. I also agree that CCB was one of the worst of Lewis -though I enjoyed ‘Prey.’ I quite enjoyed the opening scene, but, for my money, the episode failed to maintain my interest in the life of the band- the characters just didn’t seem developed enough. Also, I was still confused by the end – why did Emma kill the vicar? Something I did pick up on was that when Emma was saying at the end that Morse would take his worst and best moments into the afterlife, we saw him looking down over a staircase and I thought this was a reference to the episode where he was in the girls’ school and a girl who was murdered went over the bannister.

    1. I know, a bit late to the party, but just saw this episode last night! Our whole family have recently discovered the Endeavour series (some of the early episodes were playing with Japanese subtitles on the GYAO! streaming service), and so I just purchased Season 4 for us on YouTube. (Why does YouTube not have any seasons after 4? We will have to order Blu-rays from now on… Expensive!) We’re loving it so far. In fact, we like young Morse much more than old Morse. Old Morse was so arrogant and cantankerous! Young Morse is so sweet, kind, and polite. We’re kind of baffled how this character is supposed to eventually turn into the other character…?

      I grew up very obsessed with the Beatles, so I found the myriad references really hilarious! When the drummer had a tantrum, I shouted “I’ve got blisters on my fingers!” I couldn’t get over how much Michael Fox resembled Paul McCartney, esp. when he put on the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ jacket, haha. So I was not bored at all. I also recently saw the first episode of the original ’60s version of The Prisoner, and immediately thought of The Village when I saw the song & dance routine with multi-coloured brollies at the beginning. 🏖️ BTW – nice catch of that Vertigo hairstyle closeup! Brilliant. I haven’t seen any of Hitchcock films yet, so that was really interesting.

      @Helen Brown – Emma didn’t actually kill the Vicar on purpose. She left laxative-laced chocolates 💝 as a nasty ‘gift’ for Mrs. Pettybon, because Pettybon objected to Wildwood’s songs and tried to get them banned, which angered Emma. Remember: At the post-mortem, Dr. DeBryn revealed that the only reason the Vicar died was due to his poor health (in particular, he had very weak kidneys), and when he ate a bunch of those chocolates, the amount of laxative he ingested had a lethal effect on him, whereas for a healthier individual, it would have only caused… ahem, a few days of seriously loose bowels. 💩

      Now, I am curious to know if one can be charged with murder when someone dies due to an act that was intended as a prank. Does anyone know? Though, I suppose that depends on the prevailing laws of the particular country, region, and year / era.

  25. I love your explication of details of this wonderful series and send my condolences for our loss of Colin Dexter. I own a set of the original series DVDs that finally came out a few years ago and know the advantage of a bad memory in dotage will be enjoying them all over again as if they are new!
    I saw Canticle tonight, having missed the series earlier on PBS here in the states due to work and commuting to another state.
    The tarot cards have been driving me crazy, however if you don’t know what it is about, noone does and we’ll all find out. I wondered about the phone call.
    I faithfully bought issues of the original English Nova magazine when in high school and, naive, thought that England was progressive. Being very. old. now I know better and enjoyed the references in the script, some a bit jarring to recall.
    In reality those days must have been much more cataclysmic to culture, identity, and economics on your island than here where the transition from total war to peace was leavened with prosperity, not to speak of no bombing, although there were other impacts.
    Again, thank you.

    1. Aww, the photo of Colin in the newspaper is captioned “Local Man Wins National Crossword Competition.” Sweet.

  26. This is my fave episode, enlivened and enlightened by Trewlove’s knowledge of pop culture.

    And why not Emma? Drugs do strange things to people. She’s also free of her parents and any need to work. She’s spoilt and inhabiting a heightened, selfish existence.

    I don’t think it’s that Yardbirds song playing when we join the band at the manor. It’s guitar only. Anyone?

    Would love a video of Jennifer Sometimes. The Wildwood were quite believable. I can remember those heady days of the first Britpop.

    1. Hi Elizabeth and welcome. If you are outside the UK the music is usually different from the original British version of the show due to copyright reasons.

  27. Thank you for this great review which I completely agree with and which made me laugh out loud a number of times (e.g. Trewlove “pops up like a meerkat” is so on the mark).

    I re-watched this episode last night. You’re right, it is boring, as evidenced by the number of times I paused it to be distracted by something else.

    I wonder why The Wildwood got off so easy. The newspaper headline should have been The Wildwood and Their Manager Charged With Moving Corpse In Drug Death Shock. Considering how many of the plots of Morse / Lewis / Endeavour lay waste to entire families, Oxford colleges, etc., this lack of consequence is tepid.

    Also I thought it was interesting to have a gay theme in the year 1967 when homosexuality was decriminalised in England.

    1. Hi Sloan. I’m glad you enjoyed my review and it is always nice to know I have made someone laugh.

  28. Just an FYI, being a huge Phil Collins fan I first became familiar with “Tomorrow Never Knows” from Face Value. Having researched the song when I was much younger I also knew it was Beatles song and I love the Beatles so I knew right away what Dr. Bakshi was saying was paraphrased from that song. I mention this because you’ve mentioned Phil Collins in another post somewhere and I didn’t know if you were familiar with his cover. Even though I love the Beatles I like Phil’s version better. Hopefully that statement doesn’t draw too much ire from anyone else that may see it.

    1. Hey, Caroline – that’s so funny, because, before I ever got into the Beatles, I was also a huge Phil Collins / Genesis fan back in the ’80s! 😸 So my first version of ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ was also the one on _Face Value_. I personally prefer the original Beatles version, now that I’ve heard it – but I agree that Collins’s version is not bad at all! I believe most (if not all) of the lyrics Lennon used for the song were taken from _The Tibetan Book of the Dead_, as he was (like many Western hippie-type people were) starting to get into Eastern mysticism in 1966.

    1. Elimination purposes from the previous threats? When threatening letters/packages are received that is what the police used to do.

  29. As said previously over the past two years, thanks tremendously for your website. Your comments, and replies from others that you stimulate, add so much to my enjoyment, first of Morse, now of Endeavour.
    Being able to see you as a friend in this enthusiasm, I have the added pleasure of very nearly totally disagreeing with you in the case of this episode. I do agree that the beginning was boredom itself, and jarring. I agree that the role of Mrs Pettybon was such a caricature, in dialogue, in situations in which she was placed, in failure to provide any rounding of character. It would have strangled any good actress. But I did not find the episode boring for three main reasons.
    I thought there was great tenderness revealed in the Endeavour-Bettina relationship. Her desperation to escape, her reaching out to him, and his bewilderment in how to respond kindly, and whether he could admit his own loneliness. For me it left a more powerful image of his loneliness, and thereby of the person he will become in ‘Morse’, than any other episode I know other than that very last minute in 1:3 ‘Rocket’.
    Also I like the way that Wildwood were portrayed. Not being a member of the sixties rock scene, I cannot say how authentic it was. But it was successful in portraying human individuals behind the public persona of a successful rock band, fearful, bickering, disagreeing due to character or to difference in vision, angry with each other but seriously dependent on each other.
    Finally, I like the character of Dudley Jessup, including Morse’s introduction to him as a person in shock following a serious beating. I regret that relationship wasn’t further developed.
    By the way, surely the criticism of how WPC Trewlove is underwritten is a criticism of the series rather than of this episode.
    I’d give it 7 Jags if not 8.
    You know you like someone’s company and contribution when you enjoy disagreeing with them.

    1. Hi David. You are correct in regard to Trewlove. I think I do mention her being underwritten in quite a few review posts. I do love when someone disagrees and intelligently backs up their reasons for not agreeing with my opinion. I love the way the comments section has become a forum and people feel so at ease to disagree with my reviews etc. I believe that if everyone was agreeing with me it would make a very boring comments section.

  30. Thanks for all of your excellent work on here Chris. It encouraged me to watch the Morse episodes, although I always preferred Endeavour. Probably a little young for Morse at the time.

    Anyway I found your review interesting. The core plot and the tangential Pettybon nonsense were poor. However there were some excellent developments in the relationships. In particular Bright really showed more patience with Morse and Anton Lesser was, as you say, superb.

    The Trewlove character showed promise early on and showed a combination of intelligence and ability to undertake”basic coppering” that eluded Morse. But instead of this being developed, it withered on the vine. None of this is a criticism of the actor, with DBR being underutilized. I did enjoy the Meerkat comparison though.

    Your point about the lack of jeopardy with the Morse character is true, but it can be difficult to write a prequel. I accept that there has to be a certain level of latitude as Endeavour is treated as its own series.

    1. Hello Peter. Thank you so much for your kind comments. You are so right regarding the Trewlove character.

  31. Chris, I feel your pain at this episode to the point that it is the single episode in the entire annals of ‘Morse’ that I am unable to re-watch. I say that as one who would without hesitation choose Morse/Endeavour as my favourite viewing of all time, including cinema. However, I wasn’t bored, as you were, but irritated. Much of this distaste has to do with the caricature of Mary Whitehouse: the writing smacks of a wish to give her – though long dead – a good kicking, and the performance is at best one-dimensional and lacking in either empathy or sincerity. i’m loath to blame Le Touzel entirely, but anyone who has ever attended a church service of any kind must surely know that even back in the 1960s no-one over the age of six put their hands together in prayer.

    It was just plain lazy to have caricatured her thus, and that laziness undermines the entire premise of the episode to the point that I just don’t find it believable. If you like, it was ill-conceived, or is fatally flawed, and, dammit, that somehow diminishes Morse.

    I heard Mary Whitehouse speak in a debate in 1970 or ’71 when i was a ‘Fresher’ at Lancaster University, and my overwhelming impression (despite myself being a rebellious teenager in the the 60s) was of her sincere concern for the welfare of children and young adults. It’s simply wrong to imply that her views stemmed from either sanctimoniousness, prurience or revulsion at all things sexual (she had five children, for goodness’ sake!) It’s all too easy to ignore the fact that her stance was the direct product of professional involvement as a teacher of art and sex education, and of the rapid social changes which she observed impacting most heavily on her own pupils. Was it really too hard to even attempt to convey some of that sincerity, born of experience in dealing with the young, even if the writer/actor deem it to have been misplaced?

    Furthermore, Whitehouse was one of the few public figures back then who was at all concerned about child abuse, lobbying hard for the parliamentary bill that became the Protection of Children Act 1978. For that alone, she is owed a debt of gratitude. Oh, the irony that she paid a heavy price in terms of ridicule for the ire she directed at our national broadcaster, the BBC, which has since been shown to have protected and enabled a certain bleached blonde DJ/presenter.

    I’m a usually huge admirer of Russell Lewis’s work, but this weak and thoughtless characterisation is the most obvious illustration of a few (not just in the Morse canon, but in Kavanagh, Wycliffe and Agatha Christie’s “The Pale Horse”) where I feel that it’s all too obvious that he was only seven years old at the very end of the Swinging Sixties, and doesn’t entirely ‘get’ the background against which were set the changes in social mores he’s attempting to illustrate.

    As ever, the immaculate portrayals of Bright (Anton Lesser) and De Bryn (James Bradshaw) are redeeming features, but they alone couldn’t be expected to save this travesty.

  32. Once again, thank you Chris for your great website. It is surely a lot of work to dive so deep into every epsiode and that just shows how much you care about this show. I highly appreciate your honest reviews. In my opinion if you criticize something, it doesn`t spoil the fun, for me it adds to the fun by providing food for thought. It is a joy that after watching an episode of Endeavour, I know I can come here and dive deeper into the episode and enjoy it even more with all the background information. Love it.

    One reference I noticed:
    The jackets the Wildwood were wearing when performing on the TV show “Almanac” immediately reminded me of the jackets “The Libertines” were wearing on the album cover of their “best of” album. I thought they were almost identical.

    Another thought:
    When Morse and Thursday find the drugged Nick leaning against the column of the little “temple” with the fire in the background at around 1h2min. Nick reminded me of the greek god Pan (Nick does have a flute with him in this scene, doesn`t he?) and I thought they might have aimed for that resemblance. Or a sylvan spirit or something like that. Anyway, I loved that scene and its spooky atmosphere. It looks so beautiful, almost like a painting.

    1. Hello Carolin. I googled The Libertines album and yes they do look very similar to what Wildwood are wearing. I think The Libertines were heavily influenced by sixties and seventies music. I looked at the scene with Nick and yes I can see the similarity.

  33. I enjoyed the Aldous Huxley reference. The band “The Doors” even named themselves after his essay “The Doors of perception”. The expression “the doors of perception” was originally used in a poem by William Blake. Huxley took those words and named his essay after it.

    The name “Wildwood” reminded me of the character “Mag Wildwood” from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. I’m not sure if this counts as a reference, though 😀 The movie came out in 1961, so a few years earlier than the year of “Canticle”. I remember that Mag Wildwood was pretty intoxicated at Holly Golightly’s party and passed out because of it in the movie. I don’t recall what she was like in the book, though.

    What I didn’t get about this episode:

    Emma killed Barry because she was jealous. She was in love with Nick and wanted Barry out of the way (at least that’s how I understood it) so she had a better chance of being with Nick. Then the next logical victim would have been Pippa with whom Nick also slept, wouldn’t it? But instead she poisoned Nick, the man she is supposed to be in love with? I can’t wrap my head around that part. I can only guess that maybe her behaviour can’t be explained logically because she was on drugs.

  34. Morning Mr. Sullivan, just binged all of Inspector Morse/Endeavour (I’ll watch Lewis eventually, but…silly as it is to say, its too soon. Need to grieve a little lol) and now am tearing through your blog. What a labor of love! A wonderful resource, thanks so much.

    While I like this episode more than you did, I felt like there were many missed opportunities. One was, as you said, the very little amount of time to Morse’s trip and the aftermath. Fantastic performance by Mr. Evans and Mr. Allam (my heart broke when Thursday was trying to calm him down and couldn’t). For a man like Morse who lives a life of the mind, retreating into his thoughts, to have the inside of his own head suddenly become an unsafe place would have been devastating. It could frankly have been a series-long arc, like with his PTSD after being shot in Home, especially if he’d been forced to confront some of those lingering memories/problems he’s suppressing.

    (now, at least, we know why Morse is such a hater when bringing up Huxley’s last requests in Cherubim and Seraphim)

    My biggest complaint though is the weird fake-out to avoid having Morse actually trip LSD. I think it’s appropriate and period-correct for all the cops to be terrified of acid mostly based on misinformation, and certainly being accidentally dosed in a high-stress situation would be a bad time– especially for a man like Morse who’s not always comfortable with what’s rattling around in his head. That on its own is a recipe for a nasty trip with lingering trouble. But the alternative here is bizarre– jimson weed, henbane, and mandrake root? Those are all deliriants, and nasty ones too. You couldn’t pay me to take any one of those, much less all three together. Physically they’re objectively much more dangerous than a tab of acid, and I would say mentally a much worse time (though obviously these things vary etc).

    So its crazy to me that Thursday would be relieved to hear Morse had taken that cocktail rather than acid– and weird to me that Russell Lewis would write it. They should both know better– jimson weed is another name for Datura stramonium, which was used as a literal poison back in Fugue!

    1. Hello and welcome to my website. Thank you so much for your lovely comments regarding my website. I hope you continue to find something of interest. I have to agree that a PTSD arc would have been interesting. Very interesting comment on the difference between the cocktail Endeavour was given and acid. If you don’t mind, I am going to add your comment regarding the drugs.

      1. Ha ha sure! I’m hardly an expert, just made me think about my misspent youth…there’s tons of things in that scene that don’t make any sense, but most of them I forgive because its television. I just can’t imagine Morse wouldn’t be able to taste the homemade extract in a glass of lemonade, especially if it came on that strong and that fast…but I choose to believe he’s too much of a gentleman to tell a young lady (one who offered him hospitality) that her drink is nasty lol.

  35. Either Russell Lewis failed to do even the most superficial research or the “suits” got at the script before shooting. Strange things do seem to happen, one episode of Father Brown made no sense at all. The cast were enjoying themselves immensely, and I am sure something had gone seriously wrong and the whole thing was improvised.

  36. Have to disagree–I thought this was a terrific episode. Great character development, tight plotting, and it nailed the period perfectly. And the Make-Believe song wasn’t pointless pop nostalgia–Lewis was describing Emma and her murderous self-delusion. (The 60s had a _lot_ of those “I’ll immolate myself as a person if the perfect man I love will only marry me” songs that female artists got stuck singing. 🤮🤮And the ’67-’68 time was when Valley Of the Dolls hit big–all about women pointlessly sacrificing themselves for unavailable/cold-hearted/hopeless men.) As far as Emma and the lemonade goes, the whole pitcher was poisoned, so she was probably planning to kill off everyone connected with The Wildwood in one grand Jim Jones-type gesture. My guess is she finally saw just how disposable she and Pippa was to the band (the way they were shut out from caring for Nick), and they were just more folks telling her she wasn’t worthy.

  37. About that colorful opening number: the musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg came out in 1964. Maybe there’s a bit of that in there too?

  38. “Justine” was not the Marquis’s work but the first of The Alexandrian Quartet by Lawrence Durrell, very much of that time.

    1. De Sade DID write a novel called Justine, which is a sex novel where the sex scenes are set in a frame that purports to be moral. I think this was the novel that made Napoleon stick De Sade in jail for a long time.

      1. Yes I know that, but the book Morse picks up is definitely the Durrell.

    2. Pippa is reading from the De Sade as Morse approaches and later Morse mentions De Sade to Emma at the end. The cover does have Marquis De Sade above Justine. Durrell’s Justine was slightly earlier 1957 although the Quartet was of the time.

  39. One little detail that has always piqued me in this episode is the telly name of the ‘Simon Dee’ character: JULIAN CALENDAR. Very droll.
    All I could think of was a very oblique reference to Hathaway’s Gregorian chant playing in his car! Bit of a stretch of course.

  40. “The opening scenes of the new episode were grating, boring, derivative and included a song that was insipid.” This song is about the Joan-Endeavour relationship throughout the series. Joan and Endeavour “make believe” they can find happiness and normality through each other throughout the series. Morse never finds normality and I doubt Joan did either. When it comes to relationships with women, Morse is definitely in the “make believe” category throughout both the Endeavour series and the Morse series.

    I made a list of all the Endeavour episodes I did not care for and I am watching them all again. As I type I am watching Canticle for at least the 5th or 6th time. This episode gets better each time I watch it.

  41. I wonder where the hotel scenes were shot? The inside with the stain glass are stunning.

  42. Certainly not a great episode, but I wouldn’t have given it as low as three jags rating. I guess when that rating was first given then the travesties of later episodes weren’t known.

    It really annoyed me when I watched it that there was supposed tension that Morse was either going to get stabbed or have some mental impairement from the drugging at the end. It all seemed so pointless, even after wondering why he was poisoned at all.

    In The Remorseful Day Morse has an argument with Lewis about drinking and he says “Think? That’s why I want it – to think. I don’t drink for pleasure!”. Is this the quote you were thinking of?

  43. I like the opening line from the manager – “Can I offer you a cigar” – the strongest Pink Floyd reference, and very funny. As with much crime writing, it’s the telling rather than the plots. I believe Russell Lewis is at his best when playing these games, such as in Ride with all the Great Gatsby allusions.

    1. Yeah it’s a delight to spot them isn’t it? I’ve already mentioned the 2nd episode of the final series where there’s a Floyd “Good Manners Don’t Cost Nothing” line from the police who are about to beat up Morse on his way back from Blenheim Vale to meet Joan. I spotted a Steve Hackett reference (ex Genesis) in one for gawds sake. Pretty niche. You can build up a good picture of favourite bands films even a fondness for Philip Larkin poems. It’s nice to feel how much he is enjoying himself with all these almost involuntary references. Dx

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