Endeavour S01 E02 ‘Fugue’: Review, Music, Art, Literary References, Locations etc.

Hello my fellow Endeavourists and welcome to my new post on the Endeavour episode, ‘Fugue’.

This post will contain SPOILERS. I hope you enjoy this post.

fugue noun
a contrapuntal composition in which a short melody or phrase (the subject) is introduced by one part and successively taken up by others and developed by interweaving the parts.
a loss of awareness of one’s identity, often coupled with flight from one’s usual environment, associated with certain forms of hysteria and epilepsy.

Endeavour Series One, Episode Two; ‘Fugue’.

Chronologically this is episode 3.

First broadcast 21 April 2013.

Where’s Colin?


Colin can be seen behind the left shoulder of Phillip Madison at one hour, nineteen minutes.

Directed by Tom Vaughan.

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’.


Evelyn Balfour is found murdered inside a disused railway wagon with the words ‘Un bacio ancora’ (one kiss more) written on the back of the door. Endeavour thinks there is a connection to the Verdi opera ‘Otello’. A second murder, Grace Madison, again appears to relate to an opera, ‘Lakme’ by Delibes, in the way in which she was killed.

Soon Endeavour finds that he himself appears to be a target of the murderer and will find himself forced to re-enact the final scene from Giacomo Puccini’s opera ‘Tosca’, by being thrown off a roof.

Thursday and Endeavour are up against a murderer who is as clever as Morse but far more ruthless. The murderer also kidnaps a young girl and Endeavour and Thursday only have a few hours to find her.

Fred Thursday asks Chief Superintendent Bright to allow Endeavour to help with the case and take him off general duties. Will Endeavour regret leaving his comfortable desk job when confronted with the horrors conceived by the murderer?

(warning, this review may contain some spoilers)

The big question on Morse fans lips before this episode aired was probably, ‘can the third episode be as good as the first two episodes?’ The answer was a resounding yes and this episode is probably the best of the first three Endeavour episodes.

It is interesting that the writer Russell Lewis has titled this episode Fugue as that term denotes Endeavour’s ‘voice’ (i.e. his ideas and conclusions) in not only this episode but in many others. Let me explain. In a musical Fugue you have what is called a ‘counterpoint’. A counterpoint is where multiple melodic lines can be followed independently but together form harmony. A fugue has a main melody that is usually played over and over again that is then followed by other instruments or voices but usually in a different key. Endeavour is the the main melody. He starts with a theory or idea that is not supported by anyone else, especially Jakes and Bright. Then as the story unfolds the others, usually Thursday first, begin to harmonize with Endeavour’s theories and ideas until they may all be ‘singing’ a different note but they are all making a beautiful sound that helps solve the case.

This lone voice with no harmonies will be a part of Endeavour’s life in the police force for many years. Even the older Morse of the original series could not find harmony with either Lewis or Strange on all his cases.

The episode moves along at a cracking pace but never feels rushed or akin to many of the crime shows that feel the need for multiple quick edits to maintain the viewers interest. Many modern crime shows try to treat us like a cat watching a beam of light by moving it around quickly hoping we won’t realise it’s only a simple everyday cheap torch creating the light show.

This episode crammed in three murders, the introduction of three new characters in the shape of Thursday’s family and a kidnap but still allowed us time to inhale the atmosphere of the sixties and the interesting characterisation and story that unfolded in one hour and forty minutes.

Fred Thursday has ‘adopted’ Endeavour probably due to the fact that Fred knows his son will soon be off to join the army and he needs another male figure to bond with. It was interesting that when Endeavour falls asleep on Fred Thursday’s settee he places his own coat over Morse and not Endeavour’s own overcoat. Psychologically this could be seen as Fred needing to wrap Endeavour up in his own fatherly love. Fred is attempting to protect Morse. To be a good dad, it is critical for a father to guide his son into right actions and help him live a life centered on serving others. Morse never got this from his own father and though Fred is unaware of Morse’s family background he may instinctively feel that Morse’s childhood was not a happy one.

A performance that has I believe been under-rated by many Endeavour fans is that of DS Peter Jakes played sublimely by Jack Laskey. I do wish this character had been retained in the later series as I think he is a good opponent and counter weight to Endeavour’s character. While Morse is cerebral, Jakes is instinctive. Where Morse is a good detective Jakes is a good policeman. Jakes and Endeavour’s relationship caused conflict within the Oxford police station and that I believe is what is sadly lacking in the more recent episodes. Even Bright in the more recent episodes has become a less astringent character.

If there was a fault with the episode it was the lack of purpose and motive for the killings. I understand that most serial killers kill for the sake of killing and many of their victims are chosen at random but the reasons for killing Grace Madison and Evelyn Balfour seemed trite and unconvincing.

I am also trying to understand why the doctor rented a room to only blast out classical music but never actually live there. Yes, Cronyn was trying to create the illusion of a Mr Nimmo but it seemed unnecessary. Endeavour never returned to that room to investigate further.

The kidnapping of the child was also a little too melodramatic but thankfully it was played out well and didn’t grate too much.

My last gripe and it is a small one is the rather obvious anagram of Keith Miller being ‘I’m the killer’. Maybe only obvious to boring crossword fans like myself and also with writing this blog I am always on the lookout for such tricks.

Thankfully all the above gripes did not detract from what is a superb episode and as always kudos to all those involved.

Episode Jag Rating – out of 10.


There is a lot of classical music in this episode, which always pleases me, so let’s get started.

As in the previous episode this episode opens with Great Mass No. 18 in C Minor K427 Kyrie by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791).

At two minutes and fifteen seconds we find the character Phillip Madison at the piano playing Ludwig van Beethoven‘s (1770 – 1827) Piano Sonata No. 14 C-minor op. 27 No. 2 Moonlight Sonata.

We hear the Beethoven piece again at 19 minutes and 48 seconds again being played by the character Phillip Madison in his home. The piece is heard again though very slightly at around the 31 minute mark. The piece is also heard again when Madison plays at his recital at the one hour and 18 minute mark.

At around the four minute mark Endeavour is in his flat listening to a section of Giuseppe Verdi’s (1813 – 1901) opera Otello, Act IV: Mia madre aveva una povera ancella…Piangea cantado…Ave Maria.

At 23 minutes and 30 seconds we hear the beautiful and haunting Lakme: Sous le dôme épais, (The Flower Duet) by  the French composer Léo Delibes (1836 – 1891).

At just before 29 minutes we find Endeavour sitting on the floor in his flat listening to Verdi’s Otello again. It is still act four but this time the section is Ave Maria, piena di grazia.

At around the 33 and a half minute mark we get a short burst of Vissi d’arte, vissi d’armore (I lived for my art, I lived for love) from Tosca by the Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (1858 – 1924).

At around thirty eight minutes in the scene when Endeavour and Thursday enter Nimmo’s house. When Thursday turns on the electricity we hear the death scene from Verdi’s Aida playing somewhere inside the house.

As Endeavour drives around Oxford looking for the kidnapped girl we hear a section of act 3 from Tosca. In the video below the music used in this scene starts at around five minutes and 15 seconds.

At one hour and 13 minutes Endeavour answers the phone to hear another piece of music from Puccini’s Tosca, The Firing Squad scene from the end of act three.


In Dr. Cronin’s office on the wall behind him is what looks like an Edo period (1615- 1858) Chinese print based on Japanese paintings.

Also in Dr. Cronin’s office is this painting.

The painting is a very poor reproduction of a Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal was his actual name, 1697 – 1768) painting, ‘Grand Canal Looking North from near the Rialto Bridge’.

Literary References.

At about one hour and eight minutes during the autopsy of Dr. Cronyn, DeBryn says “Physician heal thyself“.

The phrase comes from the Bible, Luke 4:23 (King James Version):

“And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.”

This is the only literary phrase I noticed.


First location is that of Dr. Cronin’s office shown at two minutes and 39 seconds.

The above looks to be crescent road of Parktown. They have obviously taken out the parking lines etc in post production.

Next up we have the railway yard where Evelyn Balfour‘s body is found.

Thanks to Francois and John for helping to identify this location as Buckinghamshire Railway Museum.




Up next we have the pub where Strange and Morse meet up at 26 and a half minutes.

For the life of me I cannot identify this pub. I don’t think I have ever visited it and it is very distinctive. Anyone know?

The next location is that of Fred Thursday’s house.

This house is in Courthouse Road in Finchley, London.

At just over 54 minutes Endeavour makes his way to investigate who has requested the score for the Snow Maiden by Rimsky-Korsakov. He visits the Bodleian Library.

At 54 minutes Endeavour chases after the suspect through the Bodleian Library and then out to the side of the building.

The above is to the side of the Sheldonian Theatre.

At one hour and one minute Morse realises where the kidnapped girl is being held, St Michael at the North Gate a church in Cornmarket Street.

But the location used is not St Michael at the North Gate Church in Cornmarket Street. The location is in Queen’s Lane.

The church is actually St Peter-in-the-East.

After the drama of rescuing the kidnapped girl the police and Endeavour are mulling over what happened the previous night.

The above is Queen’s Lane near to where St Peters to the East Church stands. Queen’s Lane has been used many times in Endeavour, Lewis and Inspector Morse.

The final scenes, Phillip Madison’s recital and Thursday and Morse on the college roof was filmed at Trinity College.

Actors who appeared in the Endeavour Series 1, Episode 2 ‘Fugue’ and/or Morse or Lewis.

Apart from Roger Allam there was only one actor who appeared in this episode and an episode of Morse and that is Robin Soans. Robin played Ivan Straker who was the librarian in the Endeavour episode. In the original Morse series he played Alisdair McBryde in the episode The Way Through the Woods, (One off special episode and chronologically the 29th episode. Aired on the 29 November 1995)


Robin Soans as Ivan Straker in ‘Fugue’.

robin soans

Robin Soans as Alisdair McBryde in ‘The Way Through the Woods’.

An actor who connects to other Endeavour episodes is Hugh O’Brien. He appears in four episodes of Endeavour as a guest at a recital, Home, Rocket, Fugue and Girl.

hugh o brian

Hugh O’Brien.

Of course as mentioned in my previous post Greg Bennett who plays a Police Constable in this and other Endeavour episodes also appeared in three other Lewis episodes. I think this is him on the left below in the ‘Fugue’ episode.

vlcsnap-2016-02-16-09h17m39s91Greg Bennett as a PC.

In this episode we now for the first time get to meet Fred Thursday’s wife, Win. Win Thursday is played by Caroline O’Neill who appeared in the Lewis episode, ‘And the Moonbeams Kiss the Sea’.


Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday.


Caroline O’Neill as Susan Chapman sitting between the dishy Hathaway and the incomparable Lewis.

Laura Rees who played Faye Madison in the Endeavour episode also turned up in a Lewis episode, ‘The Great and the Good’.


Laura Rees as Faye Madison in the Endeavour episode, ‘Fugue’.


Laura Rees as Beatrice Donnelly in the Lewis episode, ‘The Great and the Good’.


In the ‘Fugue’ episode Endeavour says’ “There is a wickedness in this”. I think this was also said in a Morse episode either ‘Day of the Devil’ (Series 7, Episode 2) or maybe ‘Fat Chance’, (Series 5, Episode 2). I could be wrong but the phrase rang a small bell with me. If anybody can help let me know.


At four minutes Roy Adamson, the builder, pulls out a bottle of after shave from his drawer. The after shave is called Amore Propre which means ‘a sense of one’s own worth; self-respect’.


At 16 minutes and 45 seconds Endeavour looks into the teapot at the home of Grace Madison believing that she was poisoned. He says to Dr DeBryn, “If that’s the tea the chimps drink then i’m a Chinaman“. The reference to chimps and tea will be understood by British people of a certain age. Morse is referring to adverts from the 1970s. Here is one of them.


At about 17 minutes Morse and Thursday are at the police station and a funny conversation takes place;

Thursday – “One of these days i’ll send you out for a routine inquiry and it’ll turn out to be just that. But I won’t hold my breath. You would find something suspicious in a saints sock drawer”.

Endeavour – “I didn’t know you spoke Italian”.

Thursday – “More under my hat than nits”.


At around the 32 minute mark Bright brings in the psychiatrist Dr Cronyn as an expert to help the police. While discussing his thoughts he talks about other serial killers and cases: Starkweather, bodies in the swamp at Fairvale and De Salvo in Boston USA.

Charles Raymond “Charlie” Starkweather was an American teenage spree killer who murdered eleven people in the states of Nebraska and Wyoming in a two-month murder spree between December 1957 and January 1958.

The ‘bodies in the swamp at Fairvale‘ might be a reference to Alfred Hitchcock’s great movie Psycho and Norman Bates. The film was based on a novel by Robert Bloch. The novel was loosely based on the real life serial killer Ed Gein. Gein had exhumed corpses from local graveyards and fashioned trophies and keepsakes from their bones and skin. He also killed two women.

De Salvo refers to Albert DeSalvo the Boston Strangler.

An interesting piece of information has come to me via the comments section. John told me that “what made (the episode) all the more an entertaining jaunt was making out the oblique nod to Stephen Knight’s conspiracy theory about Jack the Ripper, the first modern serial killer, with the revelation of the true identity of the killer as Mason Gull (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_the_Ripper:_The_Final_Solution)

Thank you John.



Shaun Evans as DC Endeavour Morse

Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil

Lavinia Bertram as Grace Madison

Laura Rees as Faye Madison

Will Featherstone as Phillip Madison

Geoffrey Streatfeild as Dr. Daniel Cronyn

Lex Shrapnel as Roy Adamson

Kelly Price as Evelyn Balfour

Iain McKee as Lionel Balfour

Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday

Jack Laskey as DS Peter Jakes

James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn

Anton Lesser as Chief Superintendent Bright

Sara Vickers as Joan Thursday

Jack Bannon as Sam Thursday

Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday

Robert Blythe as Farmer Oakshott

Sean Rigby as PC Jim Strange

Joanna Horton as Linda Snow

Robin Soans as Ivan Straker

Sarah Crowden as Miss Thornhill (Left) & Claire Vousden as Miss Crane (Right)

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.

55 thoughts

  1. First, I love this reference series, Christopher. Thank you so much for all the time and care you take to write and research these articles. I am sure this takes weeks of work and meticulous research.

    All the references to the humanities in “Endeavour” are one of the reasons I love this series, and I love it even more when those references themselves are clues and subtexts and not just empty nods.

    “Fugue” is one of my favorite episodes of Endeavour. And it has one of my favorite lines in all of TV-dom: “find something worth defending…” This might seem sappy on the surface; however, when and if the Things Worth Defending are threatened or absent, both Thursday and Morse loose their sense of purpose and ability to deal with life. Their Things are their essentials; their work suffers, so justice and others suffer consequently. One of the qualities I admire most of British TV is how writers can discuss the importance of life’s essentials without crossing the boundary of being overly sentimental. And American TV hasn’t figured out to do this yet. It is either jaded or Hallmark greeting card in tone and presentation.

    What has to do with the post? The humanities (ie the references) not only are the life saver for Endeavour; he uses them as tools to save actual lives.

    I wonder if there’s a subtle reference to Harry Lloyd’s famous climb scene in “Safety Last” (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEcTjhUN_7U) when Endeavour climbs the roof and ledges of Trinity College towards the end ( similarity in body language, clock references, etc) although Harry is running from the police in this film where Endeavour obviously LOL is the police.

    1. Hi Amanda. It is very possible that there was a reference to the Harold Lloyd scene as the writer Russell Lewis does appear to have that quirky sense of humour. I like your comment, “The humanities (ie the references) not only are the life saver for Endeavour; he uses them as tools to save actual lives”.

  2. My most favorite episode from the entire ENDEAVOUR Series. Your ‘favourite scene from the episode’ is also my absolutely most favorite one from the Series. The pure joy I felt when I found the exact roof top location at Trinity when I visited… Thanks for the superb post!

  3. Im very pleased that you nailed the church .correctly……I still thought it was St MichaelsI , went there in May. I didnt attempt to climb the tower….I wanted to see the Boccardo Prison gate.., so bought a postcard……

  4. These reviews make rewatching the episodes almost mandatory, many thanks. @Amanda DeWeese – the frantic music being played at the recital did the scene (safety first tribute) no harm at all 🙂

  5. I have some reservations about your definition of a fugue. Strictly speaking a fugue is a form of counterpoint consisting of two or more voices, where one voice announces what is known as a subject and then, other voices enter in turn with the subject at a different level. Bach wrote many of them, most famously the 48 Preludes and Fugues, two volumes in each of the twelve minor and major keys. I also think you make too much of the meaning of the title. In psychiatry it takes on the meaning etymologically closer to its Greek meaning, “to flee”. A fugue state is a condition of the mind where the sufferer flees from reality. I think it is being used loosely in its musical sense in this episode; more strictly in its medical.

    One other thing that I would like to mention – and it is both a literary and a musical reference is Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado. We hear no music from this 1885 work which is their best known one, but we hear reference to the “List song” – “I’ve got a little list”. That song, sung by the character Ko-Ko – correctly identified in the episode – appears in the first act of the opera. HOWEVER, what we see on the screen is the opening of Ko – Ko’s second act song, “On a tree by a river.” You have to be sharp eyed and a real opera fanatic to get this.

    Is this an anomaly – a production manager nodding – or is it a subtle clue? I’m not sure. I’d be fascinated to hear other thoughts.

    Because, although we hear the third act of Tosca playing, it is plain from what the killer says on the roof of the college at the end that it is the SECOND act of Tosca that he is interested in – and that his clear target was Thursday linking the detective in the killer’s “fugue” state with Scarpia the villainous police officer in Tosca and the scene in the second Act of Tosca where she kills him.

    Until I turned on the subtitles I missed Boccardo syllogism – thinking I hear Mikado, and struggled with the connection. The only one I could make – and this is a little fugue state of my own – in Ruddigore (the next opera GIlbert and Sullivan wrote) the character Roderick Murgatroyd complains that Sir Ruthven – who is trying desperately to convince his ghostly ancestors that he has committed his daily crime (to escape the fate of a curse) punctually every day.

    Sir Roderick says, “These arguments are all very well, but when they are reduced to syllogistic form they do not hold water”.

    And unfortunately this Ruddigore link to Endeavour fugue doesn’t either.

    1. Let me clarify … Until I turned on the subtitles I missed Boccardo syllogism – thinking I hear Mikado, and struggled with the connection. The only one I could make – and this is a little fugue state of my own – in the – ha-ha – SECOND act of Ruddigore (the next opera GIlbert and Sullivan wrote) the character Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd is trying to convince his ghostly uncle Sir Roderick that he has been committing his daily crime (to escape the fate of a curse) punctually every day.

      Sir Roderick says, “These arguments are all very well, but when they are reduced to syllogistic form they do not hold water”.

      And unfortunately this Ruddigore link to Endeavour episode doesn’t either. But does my view that the Mikado visual of Ko Ko’s second act song is a director nodding hold water – or is it just another clue?

  6. This is great. All of the Oxford location photos are an added bonus. I’ve added Park Town to the list of places I want to visit on my trip to Oxford later this summer.

  7. > In the ‘Fugue’ episode Endeavour says’ “There is a wickedness in this”.

    Thursday says this after DeBryn explains that Mr. Nimmo had been immured.

    This reminded me of a quote from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: “Disguise, I see thou art a wickedness,
    Wherein the pregnant enemy does much.” Which is very apt because the killer is among them disguised as Dr. Cronym.

  8. I have been a fan of the Morse series for years and recently strated watching Endeavour. Googling a few things after I watched this episode led me to discover your blog and it has been nothing short of a revelation. I have enjoyed your writing and found your analysis absolutely riveting. Looking forawrd to reading the Morse reviews when I have more time.

    As for this particular episode, I have to disagree with you and with the majority of comments. I thought this was by far the weakest of the 4 I’ve watched so far. I generally find the concept of serial killers rather lame, as it doesn’t require the writers to come up with a motive for the killings. I also find the association between being a murdering psycho and some sort of a forensic genius who can outsmart the police quite unbelievable and it seems to be based mainly on popular culture rather than reality.

    Lastly, there are so many things in this episode that made no sense to me to the point where I found myself rolling my eyes with disbelief. For example, the choice of victims seemed to follow not one, but two different patterns that just happened to coincide. And, after being so specific about who he kills, the decision to kill Thursday just because he’s a police officer whose name starts with F seems ridiculous. I also couldn’t figure out how the killer knew that Thursday would be alone on the roof? Since he was only interested in killing him by throwing him off the roof, it seemed quite the coincidence that Thursday would turn up alone on that roof.

    1. Hi Patrick. Thank you for your lovely comments regarding my website. I hope you continue to find other things of interest here. You make some good, salient points regarding this episode especially in regard to choice of victims and Fred being on the roof from where the killer wanted to throw him. Always great to read another view of an episode and another person’s opinion that is different from mine. As I have said many times in the past, my reviews are just my opinion. I never state it is the correct opinion or the only opinion. I enjoy reading people’s comments especially if they are not only diametrically different to my own but they back it up with their reasons why they believe my opinion was wrong. It always gives me pause for thought. Thank you Patrick and I look forward to your future comments.

  9. Fugue was an highly intriguing episode necessitating more than one sitting for me as I couldn’t make heads or tails of the killer’s motive. What made it all the more an entertaining jaunt was making out the oblique nod to Stephen Knight’s conspiracy theory about Jack the Ripper, the first modern serial killer, with the revelation of the true identity of the killer as Mason Gull (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_the_Ripper:_The_Final_Solution). However, I admit I was surprised you neglected to mention this tidbit in your review Chris. Surely I’m not the first to have noticed this am I?

    1. Hi John. I was not aware of that name being used as a possible Jack the Ripper. Thank you John I will add it to the post.

  10. Fun bit that I think would be right up your alley—a bit of trivia about this episode via IMDB:

    The inspector’s last name, translated into Morse Code, reads as ” – – / – – – / . – . / . . . / . ” Impressively, this code is precisely reflected in theme music written by Barrington Pheloung, and is easily identified at the end of S1 Episode 2 (Fugue). In the final scene, as E. Morse looks on the sunset over the quad, bells begin to chime. Next, violins can be heard beginning a loop of the musical version of letters M.O.R.S.E., playing on a frequency of 329.63 Hz (tonal E in music). Soon, a masterful orchestration is woven in, diversifying this subtle nod to cryptography. Considering the content of the episode, this thematic and compositional brilliance is perfectly placed.

  11. I wonder where the interior shots of The church (St Peter-in-the-East) were taken? Not there as it is now the library for St Edmund Hall.

  12. I am glad that there have been recent queries on this long-ago episode. I have gone back and am now watching from the beginning again. Do you have any idea whether the actor playing the piano is proficient enough as a pianist to have “mimed” the playing of the instrument?

  13. I just rewatched this brilliant episode and really enjoyed it. I realised that the college at the end is in reality a mixture of footage filmed at 2 different colleges. The octagonal lawn scenes were filmed at Jesus college, the rest at Trinity.

    1. Sorry David but Jesus College has square quad grass areas and Trinity has the octagonal quad lawns. Jesus has two large square lawns and one quad has four almost square sections divided by paths.

  14. Thank you! But, but, but…
    I was hoping you would address my question: WHO was it that Morse couldn’t save? It’s clear up there on the roof that Morse knows EXACTLY who/what the killer is talking about.
    And I don’t! Did I miss something? Since nobody else here has mentioned it, I wonder if maybe I’m the only person on earth who doesn’t get this.
    Or will we find out more in a later episode? Thanks

    1. In the final minutes of this episode, on the roof, Dr. Cronyn calls Endeavour Spoletta. Some of us might recognize Spoletta as the right-hand man to Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca. In the opera Tosca evades Spoletta and throw herself to death while the music is played tutta forze, as loudly as possible.
      Before they leave the roof Thursday tells Endeavour to go home and to put his best record on, loud as it would play, which I see as a reference to this opera’s last act. Dr. Cronyn also tells Endeavour he knows who Endeavour couldn’t save and for me that can be no other than Rosalind from the Pilot episode. Rosalind became Endeavour’s Tosca.
      Let me finish with a few thoughtful words. In respect for Chris and his family I was hoping we could wait with further comments until he’s with us again. This is his page and we´re only here as his guests and it doesn’t feel right to use it when he’s not here. Let’s wait for Chris to come back. Take care, everyone.

  15. There is a wickedness in this” spoken not be endeavor but Fred Thursday while talking to Bright in his office….

  16. We just watched Fugue tonight. Found this website when looking to check if Rosalind was the one Endeavor could not save. Looks like others thought as we did.

    Question – is Chris back yet? Will this blog continue?

  17. Thanks for your excellent exposition of this episode. I’m new to the series and enjoying it immensely. I appreciate the effort in tracking down the locations, esp. since I have not been to England. I have one item to add to your extensive analysis. In addition to the real life killers you mentioned, there is a clear reference in the show to the Zodiac Killer, active in the 1960s-1970s, here in California. Zodiac sent a letter whose final pages included the “Little List” song from the Mikado.


  18. I just watched this episode again. One of my favorites despite the unanswered “I know who you couldn’t save.” Originally I was thinking existentially, that he couldn’t save himself – from loneliness, alienation, and his lack of fitting in with society. And then I thought about Calloway, but I don’t think there was enough of a personal relationship there despite his idolization of her. But now my thought is that the person Morse couldn’t save is his mother. He was very young when she died and, as seen throughout other episodes, especially the pilot, he loved her deeply. I can only imagine how devastated he was when she died (presumably from illness) and there was nothing he could do about it. I guess anyone of those possibilities could be the answer.

    1. Kathleen, I agree that it is Endeavour’s mother that is the one he could not save – how could he, he was only 12 years old. Fred Thursday will be another, presumably dying violently at the hands of a conspiracy, with or without involvement of evil Freemasons in Oxford. Hopefully the members of Fred’s family will be spared, in particular Win and Joan, in contradiction to Todd’s threats against Endeavour’s friends and family (in “Trove”), who has only his younger half-sister (or step-sister?) Joycie as his family and who is alive in the Morse series. It seemed to me that this threat was a little too quickly dismissed by Fred and then Endeavou. But maybe this is too obvious as to how Fred will be eliminated and never mentioned by Morse, as also being someone Endeavour could not save. Hopefully it will be too long now (a year or two) until we find out how Russell Lewis concludes the Endeavour series.

  19. I found your website whilst trying to identify filming locations. Its a fascinating resource – thank you.
    Lex Shrapnel who plays the philandering builder is the son of John Shrapnel who played Dr Julian Storrs in the Morse episode “Death is Now My Neighbour” and who played Morse in Radio 4 adaptations

  20. I will now place a link from Damian Barcroft’s website, containing his interview with Endeavour writer, Russell Lewis, all about the “Fugue” episode, excellently reviewed above by Chris. The link also features another interview with Russell, on the subject of the following episode, “Rocket”. I regard “Fugue” as a great psychological thriller, while “Rocket” is much lighter in tone, but still a worthy contributor to the Morse universe.
    Here is this fascinating link:


  21. Endeavours tears welling in his eyes at the end of this episode nearly broke my heart. But I also could not understand why Thursday never thanked him for risking his life by climbing up to the roof, thereby saving his life? Also why did Bright not acknowledge his succes when he left the roof?

    1. Hi Wendy, I thought the same thing about Thursday and in the episode Fugue when the little girl is saved only because of Endeavour, no one mentions or thanks him for that, not even her parents. Thursday seemed to take the credit for it. As for Bright, he seemed to have something resentful about Endeavour from the very beginning and he never seems to get that Endeavour solves all the crimes! Thursday at least does acknowledge that and there have been episodes where Thursday, without actually saying the words, realizes how Endeavour saves the day (Coda, for example). Despite all, I love all the characters for different reasons.

  22. The credits at the end give the name of the killer as “Dr. Daniel Cronyn / Marcus Gull” (not Mason). “Mason Gull” was not the name of the man identified as Jack the Ripper. It was Sir William Gull, who was a Mason. Morse first works out the connection between the victims as EGBDF, but later announces that the killer is killing anyone with a connection to the trial that found him ‘guilty but insane’. [That appears to be the motive others have been looking for.] He could have killed them in any order, but, fortunately for Morse, he was killing them in the order of the notes on the lines of the treble clef. I say ‘fortunately’, but it turned out to be no help in finding the last victim. Faye was logically the one he should have killed; Fred had nothing to do with the trial.
    I, too, would like to know if William Featherstone is a pianist. Certainly, his impression of playing the various pieces was a lot better than most.
    Would Morse have found the ‘snow maiden’ if Cronyn/Gull had not explained the bocardo syllogism to him? I have learned that ‘bocardo’ is a mnemonic (like ‘Every Good Boy Deserves Favour’ – I was given ‘Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit’.) You can find an explanation here: https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/17935/how-do-i-use-the-barbara-celarent-etc-mnemonic. It seems that it is only the vowels [O-A-O] that matter. There are 18 other words to remember, each with three vowels in the appropriate order. Sometimes it seems it would be easier to remember the three vowels in their various orders.

    1. Hi Bert, I believe Thursday was targeted because he took the place of the policeman who arrested Cronyn (or I think his real name was Miller?) since he had died and Cronyn was obsessed with getting everyone on his list. And I was taught Every Good Boy Deserves Fun!

      1. Hi, Kathleen. The real name of ‘Cronyn’ was Marcus Gull (according to the credits). Gull (as Cronyn) told the police that the name of the murderer was ‘Keith Miller’, which is an anagram of ‘I’m the killer’. Gull /Cronyn murdered the real Cronyn and then arranged for acid to drip on his face so that he could not be identified. Since he was killing people related to those who took part in his trial, I suppose any policeman would do, and Fred happened to be handy and his name began with F. But when did anybody ever classify people by their first name?

  23. Hi Chris – many thanks for your superb website / blog(?) For some time I’ve been wondering if the Dr. Daniel Cronyn character (Endeavour s1 episode 2 “Fugue”) becomes Hugo de Vries (Morse s4 episode 4 “Masonic Mysteries”) who wants to destroy Morse in revenge (for what I was never quite sure) would answer my puzzle if it were so !

    1. Hi Babs and welcome to my website. Rather coincidentally myself and others on my live Endeavour streams have discussed who we believe is Hugo DeVries. We came to the conclusion it is one of three; Daniel Cronyn otherwise known as Mason Gull, Kent Finn the writer from the episode, Game and Ludo from the eighth series. Hope that helps.

      1. Ludo from the seventh series – unless you know more than you are letting on?………

      2. Chris, I have just discovered your website… better later than never I guess… and very good it is too. In eager anticipation of the return of Endeavour to our screens I have been catching up on some favourite episodes to wet the appetite. Fugue is just perfect Morse / Endeavour despite its faults and Daniel is Hugo DeVries for me.

        Looking forward to reading your updates during season 8.


  24. The title page of the music that was left at the Oxford Mail was ‘СНЕЖНАЯ КОРОЛЕВА’ [SNEZHNAYA KOROLEVA], which means “Snow Queen”. Everywhere I’ve looked says that Rimsky-Korsakov composed a piece called Снегурочка–весенняя сказка [Snow Maiden – Spring fairy tale]. ‘Snow Queen’ appears to be a ballet, based on Hans Andersen’s fairy tale using music from Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘Snow Maiden’. The earliest date that Google has found for “snow queen” and “rimsky-korsakov” is 2018. Can anyone explain the discrepancy?

    1. As Morse and his colleagues are looking at the sheet music of Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera as part of their investigation, the name of the composer in Russian is misspelled on the cover page. The title of the opera is misleading as well: it reads Snezhnaya Koroleva, which means Snow Queen in Russian. However, the real title of the opera is Snegurochka – Vesennyaya Skazka. Snegurochka, correctly referred to as such by Morse, is a Russian fairy tale character that has nothing whatsoever in common with a Snow Queen (no such character exists in Russian folklore, by the way). The opera’s title is habitually translated into English as The Snow Maiden – A Spring Fairy Tale.

  25. The document that was delivered to the Oxford Mail would have been identified as the property of the Bodleian Library. Morse had to solve two anagrams of “Bodleian Library” before he goes there to ask who had requested the score, rather than seeing that the score came from the Bodleian Library and going straight there. Morse asked the librarian if anybody had requested the score for the “Snow Maiden” (by) Rimsky-Korsakov. The librarian asks if he means the Western score. Morse mumbles “Mm-mm”. Does anybody know what is meant by “the Western score”? As opposed to what? If the Western score means one in Roman characters as opposed to one in Eastern, Cyrillic, characters, then Morse should have said “No”.

  26. There’s no mention here of Morse happily traversing the rooftops to save Thursday, yet in Service Of All The Dead, Morse sr tells Lewis he’s scared of heights. Is this just another case whereby Morse jr and Morse sr differ (eg jr not knowing German, sr being fluent), or did some incident cause Morse sr’s acrophobia?

    1. Hi Paul. I believe that the viewer is to believe that the rooftop incident in Fugue is what leads to his acrophobia.

      1. Thanks for the reply, and each to their own, although I personally would have thought the rooftop antics in Fugue leading to Morse’s acrophobia seems tenuous at best. He managed to deftly and competently scour the rooftops above Trinity College, and both Morse and Thursday survived the stand-off with Gull without a scratch. Given Morse sr’s reaction in Service Of All The Dead, where he keels over due a severe acrophobic reaction, I would have thought something far more traumatic must have occurred…

  27. What is the music when Endeavour is recovering, after being ‘slashed ’ in the Bodleian library, in the bedroom in Fred Thursday’s house at around one hour 9 minutes?

    It’s interesting as it’s when he is to leave the job at the door and that question ends the episode. It’s ‘modern’ classical.

  28. In the final scene, Mason Gull tells Morse that he knows who Morse couldn’t save. Who was that person?

  29. Having watched and enjoyed this episode a number of times I have some questions…..
    Who shut the door or the railway carriage locking Morse inside? How did the person know if and when Morse would return there?
    I wonder what happened to the real Dr Cronyn’s patients? It would be normal practice for a psychiatrist to manage good endings for the work with their patients or refer them on to another psychiatrist.
    I wonder how Phillip Madison became a patient of the fake Dr Cronyn?
    How did the murdered track down the Snow family? It worked out well after he did that someone in the family had a first name that started with ‘D’.
    I wonder why Phillip’s aunt (Grace Madison) didn’t smell the poison in her tea. Morse noticed and said “If that’s the tea the chimps drink then I’m a Chinaman“.

  30. I just watched a repeat of ‘Fugue’ on ITV3. At about one hour from the start, we see Morse staring at the Martyrs’ Memorial, which led him to remember that the Bocardo Prison was where the Martyrs were kept prior to their execution. His conversation with Jakes and Thursday, a few minutes later, goes like this: “I knew there was a Bocardo connection to Oxford, but I couldn’t place it until I passed the Memorial on The Broad.”
    “The Martyrs’ Memorial?” asks Thursday. Morse does not reply, but we have seen the Martyrs’ Memorial, so we know that that is what he was referring to.
    The problem with this is that the Martyrs’ Memorial is not on The Broad. The Martyrs’ Memorial is positioned at the intersection of St Giles’, Magdalen Street and Beaumont Street, to the west of Balliol College. [Wikipedia] Morse would have known this, and so would Thursday. Although Thursday moved to Oxford from London, if he knew enough about Oxford to know that the Martyrs’ cell-door was on display in the Church Tower of St Michael at the North Gate, he would surely have known where the Martyrs’ Memorial stands. There is a stone cross in the middle of Broad Street (known as The Broad) opposite No. 8, supposedly marking the site of the execution of the three martyrs, but it is not certain that this cross marks the precise spot where the fires took place. It is known that Cranmer watched the burning of the others from [the] Bocardo (the city gaol at the North Gate, beside St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church). [oxfordhistory.org.uk]

  31. Hello Chris, What an amazing piece of research you have put together. Just watched Fugue for the…I have lost track of how many times my wife and I have watched this episode. At the end of the episode Morse asks Thursday how he “keeps it at the door”. Thursday has to do it to preserve and take care of his family. Morse says “I thought I had found something…” Thursday replies “Music… Go home. Put on your best record…”. What did Morse think he had found? Do we know in that instant? Is it music that he had found and the particulars of this case have rattled that? I’m still unsure having watched this episode numerous times. Thanks!

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