ENDEAVOUR: ‘Muse’ S5E1; Review, Music, Locations, Literary References etc.

Hello fellow Endeavourists and welcome to my first review of the new series. There is a lot to get through so let’s get cracking.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Endeavour Series five, Episode One; ‘Muse’.

Chronologically this is episode 18.

First broadcast 4th February 2018.

Where’s Colin?

The newspaper is being read by George Fancy in Lewis Peek’s first scene in the police station.

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Directed by Brady Hood: No connection to any other Endeavour, Lewis or Morse episodes.

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’.

SYNOPSIS

As excitement gathers around the forthcoming auction of a long lost but now discovered Faberge egg the local police have to deal with a murder and a possible attempt to steal afore-mentioned Faberge egg.

The murder of a former boxer seems tied to the underworld until the death of a Lonsdale Don possibly throws cold water on that theory.

With a new police officer joining the ranks at Cowley, George Fancy, the merging of the Oxford police force into Thames Valley Constabulary, the return of Joan Thursday and so much more, the city of Oxford has become a little more complicated for Endeavour.

REVIEW.
(warning, this review may contain some spoilers)

A review is one person’s opinion. A review should always be honest. A review should never be swayed by your liking for the character, the actors or one’s history with the Morse universe. A review should never be a piece of sycophancy based on one’s belief that the main actor is dishy or that it may be seen as heresy to negatively criticize a beloved programme. I think you can see where this is going.

The episode was obvious, unoriginal and almost became that most hated of things; dull. The only reason it managed to stay out of the dull camp was due to the acting, music, locations and cinematography.

I believe that Russell Lewis is so busy dreaming up where to insert his film, literary and Lewis and Morse references that he forgets to pay attention to the rest of the script. Really Russell? Another women scorned story. Another scene where Endeavour and Thursday almost come to the same conclusion at the same time.

There were hints and undertones that Ruth Astor and Eve Thorne were lesbians. If this was what Russell had in mind then shame on him. Too often lesbians are seen in films and TV shows as man hating murderers.

With the superfluous addition of George Fancy the episode was too ‘busy’ for lack of a better term. There are too many cooks (read police officers) and they are spoiling the Cowley broth. The character of George Fancy did not add anything to the milieu of the Endeavour world.

He appeared to be a cipher for all that Endeavour hates about men and his own deeply repressed feelings about women. It is possible he was written into the series to allow Endeavour to be seen becoming what John Thaw’s Morse becomes; irascible, short tempered, intolerant and a misanthropist. However if my theory is correct it could have been achieved without the addition of a new character.

With so many characters it only achieves the dilution of screen time for Fred and Endeavour. We viewed the original Morse to watch the characters of Morse and Lewis. We viewed Lewis to watch the characters of Lewis and Hathaway. Did we enjoy the occasional inclusion of other characters, yes we did. But FIVE main characters, six if you count Trewlove. Sorry Russell but it feels like another distraction from what the show is about, Endeavour Morse.

The show is thankfully still watchable and this is due in no small part to Shaun Evans and Roger Allam. They are of course masterfully helped by the beauty of Oxford, the sublime editing and the inclusion of some great music. The direction was workmanlike but I assume the director is limited in what he can do within the budget and time constraints but it wouldn’t hurt to employ something a bit more imaginative when directing scenes.

There is still a nice dollop of humour to be heard but some of the dialogue wouldn’t have been out of place in The Sweeney, John Thaw’s 1970s cop show. For instance, when Morse and Thursday are talking to Eddie Nero the owner of the gym, Fred says;

“You’re a third division shakedown artist and fourth rate ponce. Always were, always will be. If there is any comeback over Joey I’ll have your cobblers for a key fob”.

I also predict we will not see much of Joan Thursday judging by the scene she and Morse had together. They circumvent any talk of the events from the last episode of the last series. Her pregnancy is only mentioned via a euphemism of her having had a ‘fall’ and that’s why she was in hospital. This conversation is I believe a way of clearing out any romantic possibilities between Joan and Morse and allow him to move on to other affairs of the heart during the up and coming episodes. Russell Lewis, the writer, has a way of clearing away characters without any real closure to those people. Look at Morse’s poor old ex girlfriend Monica Hicks. The end of that romance and character was never fully dealt with and all we got was her reappearing oh so briefly in the Lazaretto episode to tell Morse to treat future girlfriends better.

Here’s hoping the next episode is better but with so many characters now within the show it means less time for Endeavour and Fred.

However, as a postscript, I wonder if maybe Russell is working toward ending the fifth series with Fred retiring and Strange moving on to another police force. This would make sense in bringing in George Fancy as a sidekick to give us the viewer six episodes to get to know Fancy and future episodes in the sixth and seventh series being based around Endeavour and Fancy with a new DCI in the shape of a character called McNutt.

Episode Jag Rating – out of 10.

 

MUSIC

The first piece of music is at the very beginning of the episode. It is by the German composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809 – 1847). The piece is called Elijah, OP.70 No.1 – Help Lord wilt though destroy us.

Up next a bit of Shirley Bassey with the song Big Spender. This is played during the routine by ‘Delilah’ otherwise known as Paula Ellis.

George Fancy is listening to music in the car while he is supposed to keeping a low profile while watching a suspect. The song is Let’s spend the night together by The Rolling Stones.

While Endeavour is sifting through Joey Sykes belongings at the police station he is listening to Italian opera composer, Giuseppe Verdi. In particualr he is listening to act one: Follie! Delirio vano é questo from La Traviata.

Near the beginning of the episode after we see Endeavour attending the purse snatching there is a party going on elsewhere with the music of The Zombies being played. The song is Time of the Season.

While Adrian Croxley is getting ready for his ‘date’ he turns on the radio. The music that plays is Gnossienne No. 2 ( Avec étonnement ) by Erik Satie.

The Endeavour series has used Satie’s work frequently. Most notably at the beginning of the episode, ‘Game’. During that scene he is thinking of Joan while attending a recital of Satie’s piece Gnossiene.

LITERARY REFERENCES.

Bright and Thursday are talking of the new merger and Thursday wonders what will happen to those at the Oxford station. Bright answer, ” Ours is not to reason why”.

Bright is paraphrasing a line from The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Someone had blundered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

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When removing the worker’s tool from Sikes’s ear, Max says, “What a good boy am I“. This is a reference to the the nursery rhyme, Little Jack Horner.

Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating his Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said, “What a good boy am I!”

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During Endeavour’s first conversation with the artist Pickman, he is telling Morse that he is designing covers for a book at the moment (more of that later in the miscellaneous section). He says’ Thus doth the rent man make cowards of us all”‘ He is paraphrasing Shakespeare. The line “Thus conscience does make cowards of us all“. is from Hamlet.

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Endeavour and Morse are interviewing  Dr. Adrian Croxley in his greenhouse he relies to Fred’s question about Dr. Grey stag do, “What passing bells.

What passing bells is a line from the poem Anthem For Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen.

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
— Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.

ART

In Pickford’s studio Endeavour points out Pickford’s attempt at recreating Édouard Manet’s painting Olympia with Eve Thorne as Olympia.

Below is the original.

 

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In Eve Thorne’s book The Golden Age of Classic Christian Art, Endeavour flicks through the pages. He comes across this painting.

The painting above is The Blinding of Samson, 1636 by Rembrandt.

He next looks at a page with this painting.

This painting is called ‘Jael and Sisera’, by Artemisia Gentileschi.

Jael or Yael is a woman mentioned in the Book of Judges in the Hebrew Bible, as the heroine who killed Sisera to deliver Israel from the troops of King Jabin.

He then flips to this painting.

This is a painting by Caravaggio titled Judith Beheading Holofernes.

Judith Beheading Holofernes tells the Biblical story of Judith, who saved her people by seducing and beheading the Assyrian general Holofernes. Judith was an example of man’s misfortunes at the hands of scheming woman.

LOCATIONS

Our first location is the place that the Faberge Egg is being exhibited and then auctioned.

The location is Exeter College. The exterior shots are also Exeter College.

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Next location is the exterior of the Chemist/Optician where Endeavour meets Joan.

Unfortunately I cannot identify this location. If anyone knows please let me know either via comments or use the ‘contact me’ option at the top of the page. An update. Thank you toPauline and a few others for pointing me in the direction of this location. It is H H Dickman (yes they used the real name of the place, which is unusual) a chemist in Berkhamsted.

The actual full address is 224 High St, Berkhamsted HP4 1BB.

Mike Carter a blog reader emailed me with some lovely memories of H.H. Dickman; ” I had the pleasure of knowing Alan, who was born in 1915, through a business relationship for a couple of years when I worked in Berkhamsted from 2000 to 2002, and he was still dispensing into his eighties. While I have not been into the shop since that time, Alan prided himself on the original equipment and displays still in the premises. This included an enema ‘machine’ which obviously hadn’t been used for many years.” Thank you Mike.

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We have our only pub scene in this episode.

This pub is The Royal Standard, 78 London Rd, Oxford OX3 9AJ. Thanks to Françoise Beghin for this identification.

 

 

 

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Next up we have the location of the Alhambra Guest House where Sikes lived.

The location of the scene where Joan and Endeavour walk together is Grove Walk which can be found off Merton Street.

This is the gate where they say goodbye. Joan walks off up Merton Street to the right as we look at the picture.

© Copyright Steve Daniels

The location of the first dead body, Joey Sikes is Old Church Lane in Berkhamsted.

Thank you Jennifer Tufnell for the above location info.

Eddie Nero’s Boxing Club is actually Repton Boxing Club in Bethnal Green, London.

Image result for Repton Boxing Club in Bethnal Green, London.

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Up next we have the Windmill location where Pickford and his wife lived.

The location is Great Haseley Windmill in Oxfordhshire, Postcode: OX44 7LX.

Thank you to Françoise Beghin for identifying the above two locations.

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The next location is where Morse and Thursday walk out of what is supposed to be the telephone exchange.

This location has been used many times in Morse, Lewis and Endeavour. It is Brasenose Lane, Oxford.

Actors who appeared in the Endeavour Series 5, Episode 1 ‘Muse’ and/or Morse or Lewis.

Robin McCallum who played the Master in the episode,

appeared in the Lewis episode One For Sorrow (Season 9 | Episode 2) as a doctor.

CONNECTIONS OTHER THAN ACTORS TO THE LEWIS AND ORIGINAL MORSE SERIES

Thank you to another of my wonderful blog readers, Bebe Larson who spotted this connection. The Lewis connection is when Cassie Pickman tells her son, Alec, not to eat the grass? In ‘Falling Darkness’ (Season 4 | Episode 4) Alec Pickman, played by Rupert Graves, was one of Laura Hobson’s housemates at uni. Well spotted Bebe.

Alec Pickman, played by Rupert Graves

As an update my good friend Mark Bargrove pointed a connection of the above painting to the episode of the original Morse series, Who Killed Harry Field?. In that episode, as in this one, Harry portrays his muse/model as Olympia. See below. Well spotted Mark and shame on me for not thinking about it. Getting old people, getting old. 🙂

Miscellaneous

Who would have thought Jim Strange could play the trombone.

Strange plays The Last Post on the trombone.

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After Jim Strange’s playing of the trombone, Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright tells his attending force that the motto of the Thames Valley Constabulary is Sit pax in valle tamesis. He says that Morse will translate but he is busy elsewhere. So in the absence of Morse ( 😉 ) I will translate the Latin phrase;  ‘Let there be Peace in the Thames Valley’.

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In 1968 Thames Valley Police was formed by the amalgamation of Berkshire Constabulary, Buckinghamshire Constabulary, Oxford City Police, Oxfordshire Constabulary and Reading Borough Police.

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Is Joey Sikes a nod to the famous Dickensian character Bill Sikes from the novel Oliver Twist? Bill wasn’t a boxer but certainly a criminal.

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Standing over the dead body of Joey Sikes, Fred mentions having seen Sikes box. He states that he was on the same card as the main event of Bruce Woodcock and Freddie Mills. This was an actual boxing match of 1949. Here is a picture of a ticket for that event.

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While discussing the attempted theft of the Faberge Egg with Dr. Grey Endeavour thinks the whole thing is rather ‘Simon Templar‘. This is a reference to Roger Moore’s character The Saint from a 1960s TV show.

Roger Moore as Simon Templar aka The Saint.

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Jim Strange and Endeavour are sharing a flat in the hope that both can save to each buy their own flat.

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Win Thursday has herself a new hair-do.

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During a discussion with Dr. Adrian Croxley about Dr Grey’s wife, Croxley says to Endeavour, “She would have to be a very Messalina to keep Robin down on the farm“. This is a reference to Valeria Messalina, the third wife of the Roman Emperor Claudius. A powerful and influential woman with a reputation for promiscuity, she allegedly conspired against her husband and was executed on the discovery of the plot. Her notorious reputation arguably results from political bias, but works of art and literature have perpetuated it into modern times.

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The artist’s model, Eve Thorne, in the episode is referred to as Pickford’s model. ‘Pickford’s Model‘ is a short story by the writer H.P. Lovecraft. You can read it by clicking here.

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On first meeting Gerard Pickman the artist he apologises to Endeavour for being late by saying “A bigger slash“. Slash is a British colloquialism for going for a pee. The bigger reference is to a painting by the British artist David Hockney titled A Bigger Splash.

The painting was completed in 1967.

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During the same conversation Pickman mentions that he is designing the cover for the Kent Finn book, ‘Just for Jolly’.

We met Kent Finn in the Endeavour episode ‘Game’.

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I personally believe that the character of Kent Finn is the future Hugo DeVries, Morse’s nemesis in the episode, ‘Masonic Mysteries.

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While in the flat they share Strange tells Morse that he will get the cribbage board out once Hughie Green is done. Hughie Green was a famous TV personality on British television in the 1960s and 1970s.

His most famous programme was a talent show called Opportunity Knocks. 

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As my friend David Bishop pointed to me on his Twitter account there is the touch of the film Bladerunner about the scene in the stripper’s dressing room.

The scene in the excellent Bladerunner film starred  Joanna Cassidy as Zhora the ‘exotic’ dancer and Harrison Ford.

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Lefty Townsend tells Endeavour and Fred that he hopes to get Paula (aka Delilah) a summer season with Englebert. I assume this is a reference to 1960s crooner Engelbert Humperdinck.

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After the discovery of Simon Lake’s decapitated body, Endeavour searches his wardrobe and discovers an invitation.

In the middle of the invitation it reads, “On the occasion of the passing of the Mock Turtle”. The Mock Turtle is a character in Lewis Carroll’s superb book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The Mock Turtle is an assemblage of creatures, therefore not a real turtle as his name rightly suggests.

Other characters from Carroll’s book are mentioned on the invitation; Mad Hatter (though he is never referred to as ‘Mad’ in the book only as ‘The Hatter’.) and the Gryphon.

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When Endeavour has finished interviewing Eve Thorne at the police station she tells him starts to ask Morse what kind of girl he likes. She figures he is a watcher, “A spy in the house of love” as she puts it.

This is a reference to Anaïs Nin’s underrated novel A Spy in the House of Love published in 1954.

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While talking to Endeavour in her flat, Eve Thorne mentions that the model for the Monet painting was not a ‘tart’ but an artist in her own right,  Victorine Meurent. Endeavour replies “Did Pickman tell you that?” She replies, “I read it, in a book.” I wonder if this a reference to the Morse episode Happy Families. When the reporter in that episode asks Morse how he came to solve the murders he replies, “I read it in a book.”

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It is mentioned that the art thief The Shadow has previously stolen the Lugash diamond. This diamond is a reference to the Pink Panther films. One of my blog readers Paul Higham spotted that The Shadow’s other theft, the dagger of Sultan Mahmud, is from the film “Topkapi”. Not a great film but it does star the wonderful Peter Ustinov.

 

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Eve Thorne ha received an Easter egg bought from Richardson’s supermarket. This supermarket was featured in the Endeavour episode, “Arcadia”.

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Paul Higham also noticed these interesting items;

Thursday mentions that Lefty Townsend once worked for Lew and Leslie, meaning Lew and Leslie Grade Ltd. aka the Grade Organisation aka the future Lord Lew Grade and his brother Leslie, the father of the future chairman of both the BBC and ITV Michael Grade.

I wondered if Simon Lake’s love of gliding might be an oblique nod to the original “The Thomas Crown Affair“. ( I think Paul is right about this as the Steve McQueen film was released in 1968). The film has the wonderful song The Windmills of Your Mind which plays during the glider scene.

Equally the relationship between Eve and Ruth is very similar to that between Cathy and Simone in “Mona Lisa”.

Thanks Paul and well spotted.

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Thank you to a blog reader, Virginia Betts who noticed the following. When the artist, Pickman, and Endeavour meet for the first time Pickman says, “It’s for the cover of a Kent Finn paperback — Just For Jolly.” The phrase ‘just for jolly’ was used by Jack the Ripper in a letter to the police. He promised to ‘cut the lady’s ears off just for jolly’ if he had more time and indeed did cut Stride’s ear, suggesting the letter was genuine.

 

THE MURDERED, THEIR MURDERER/S AND THEIR METHODS.

Dr. Robin Grey. Murdered by Ruth Astor. Stabbed in both eyes with a steak knife.

Simon Lake was killed by Ruth Astor. He had his throat cut.

Joey Sikes is murdered by Ruth Astor. She shoots him three times.

Adrian Croxley is stabbed to death by Ruth Astor.

CAST

 

Anton Lesser as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright.

Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday

Sean Rigby as DS Jim Strange

Shaun Evans as DS Endeavour Morse

James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn

Roger Barclay as Dr. Robin Grey

Dakota Blue Richards as WPC Shirley Trewlove

Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil

Robin McCallum as Master

Lewis Peek as DC George Fancy

Mark Arden as Eddie Nero

Sara Vickers as Joan Thursday

Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday

Rhys Isaac-Jones as Spencer Bell

Samuel Crane as Dr. Tancred Howlett

David Newman as Dr. Adrian Croxley

Tom Durant Pritchard as Simon Lake

Nathalie Buscombe as Cassie Pickman

Tom Wisdom as Gerard Pickman

Emily Barber as Lucy Grey

Cassie Clare as Paula Ellis

Geoffrey McGivern as Lefty Townsend

Charlotte Hope as Eve Thorne

Antonia Clarke as Ruth Astor

Victor Gardener as Joey Sikes

 

Author: Chris Sullivan

With the death of my father a few years ago I have became my mum's full time carer. I am also in the process of writing a book on the TV series, Lewis.

45 thoughts

  1. Great review, as ever. I have to agree, if Russell put as much thought and time into his plots as he does with his Easter Eggs, I’m sure I would enjoy the films a lot more! Looking at the guest cast, I only recognise Mark Arden, and he is not exactly a house-hold name. When you think of the stellar guests in the old days of Morse compared to now… budget cuts??

    1. Hi Graham. Not only Morse attracted big name actors but Lewis as well; Alison Steadman, David Warner, Peter Davison, Tim Pigott-Smith, Ronald Pickup and Juliet Stevenson to name but a few. It mat well be down to budget cuts but the way to solve that is have fewer main characters.

  2. Agree that the episode was dull and a bit clumsy at times: compare Endeavour’s willingness to understand other’s positions and,for example the way he initially welcomed and supported Trewlove with the bizarre way he treated Fancy from the start.

  3. I thought the Morse getting splashed in the face by Eve was a reference to Evans character Sean Higgins in the movie Cashback who is constantly splashed in the face by women he asks to go to bed with him.

  4. I liked the episode more than you did I think but agree with many of your points – too many characters now

    I think that Morse and Thursday are going to be together less and less – I had already thought that he will retire or die and they are weaning us off seeing them always together.

    Re: Joan – I have a soft spot for her and their relationship but I can’t understand going through all of that last series just to drop it – so thought she would only be in the one episode to finish it but Sara Vickers is in every episode so they must be going to do something with her as she has never been in every episode in a series before – maybe more to do with her Dad ? I hope it is for Morse and her but as he has a new French lady later so struggling to figure out why she will be in each episode?

    It is still better than most of the other stuff on Tele.

  5. Your comment “While talking to Endeavour in her flat, Eve Thorne mentions that the model for the Monet painting was not a ‘tart’ but an artist in her own right, Victorine Meurent. Endeavour replies “Did Pickman tell you that?” She replies, “I read it, in a book.” I wonder if this a reference to the Morse episode Happy Families. When the reporter in that episode asks Morse how he came to solve the murders he replies, “I read it in a book.” Here Endeavour uses the same phrase but in different circumstances. In the Morse episode he uses it as a final put-down to the sarcastic reporter played by Rupert Graves who is constantly ridiculing Morse for being too cultured rather than solving crimes, and the book is the key to solving the crime. The younger Endeavour Morse is perhaps just setting out his bookish credentials alongside those of those of Eve Thorne who is evidently clever herself – after all, in the end they could not charge her with anything other than the knowledge of the murders.

    1. Hi Jon I actually mentioned that phrase “I read it in a book” in my post. It is in the miscellaneous section. I don’t think the CPS would waste their time on charging Eve. As you wrote she wasn’t fully aware of what her friend was doing until just before Croxley’s murder.

  6. I agree with most of your comments…I didnt really enjoy it…some of the earlier magic has gone….Ill watch it again, but that will be it I feel….lets hope next weeks ep is better.

  7. Hi Chris, as always I am impressed by your summary of references, music, actors, locations, etc. etc. I am just a simple enjoyer of the show, indulge in it’s beauties and don’t bother too much about all that; tbh not even about the stories… I just love watching the show! But I really appreciate your blog as a source for anything I would want to find out about it.
    I appreciate your review is your personal opinion. Here is my personal opinion just as an exchange of thoughts. As much as I love Endeavour and admire Shaun Evans, I’m not blind for weaknesses.

    I agree on some points in your review and in the comments above, but I think it’s a bit too harsh in general. I really did enjoy MUSE and I think it was a worthy opening of the new series. Even if the story wasn’t as multiple layered as others, or perhaps BECAUSE it wasn’t, it felt very true to Colin Dexter’s novels. Much closer to his novels than rather far-fetched stories like Fugue, Neverland, Ride, Prey, Harvest, for example. I thought it was a great tribute to him.

    I totally agree there are too many fixed characters now, indeed resulting in less time and depth for the two main characters. It all feels much more rushed than previous series but I already felt that in S3 – although S4 was better. I wouldn’t mind if Fancy would replace Trewlove who I find a bit wooden, but by the looks of it he doesn’t. By the way, to me it seems perfectly natural that Morse’s attitude towards him is different than towards Trewlove, since Trewlove wasn’t assigned to him as his responsibilty. She has always been merely one of his colleagues. I like the Fancy character but I had hoped he would be a bit of a nasty one, a bit like Jakes in the first episodes, instead of another good guy.
    There are some great characters around like Max, Dorothy, Strange and Bright, who can be explored further, and of course there’s Joan and Win, and what about Sam? But with only more new characters being introduced there won’t be enough time to do that or even go more into Endevour and Thursday. Which is probably one of the reasons why Sue Jefferies, in her comment above, feels that “the magic has gone”. I have felt the same, for some time now. It all feels a bit rushed.

    I totally agree with you that there are so many references and clever angles etc. etc. that the actual story is overlooked, there is so much going on that needs attention, that there is just not enough time anymore to let the emotion of the moment, of the characters, sink in.
    But I still thoroughly enjoy the show and think it is one of the best things on television, combining fantastic camera-work, fabulous acting, attention to detail, tension and fear, feel-good and darkness, in a heartwarming cocktail.

    As for Thursday, I thought both his lines and his acting were too thick, too heavy. The odd clever reference and strong one-liner, yes, great, but in this episode he only spoke in terms like that, not like a normal person would. I think both Russell Lewis and Roger Allam overdid it.

    I also don’t like how characters or dramatic events (like Neverland, or, this time, Joan’s personal drama) are mainly ignored. Not every question gets an answer, okay, but just giving them a slight reference without offering any reasons at all, is unrealistic. Also the question of Joan being so angry with her parents, hurting them by not sending any word in S4 which really didn’t make any sense, remains unanswered. I’m glad she’s back because she puts a sparkle in Morse’s life, but I hope it won’t get too soapy again. From what I’ve seen of filming and trailer, it won’t, thankfully.

    I loved the funny turn of the Strange/Morse household but it was strange that it didn’t get any explanation. Surely some more good jokes could have been derived from that situation. When we last saw Morse in S4 he had his own flat, since then he got a raise I assume, being promoted to Sergeant, so why could he not afford his own flat anymore?

    I don’t think they can afford to lose Fred Thursday – they still could have in S2, but not after that. So, I keep wondering where and when McNutt will come in… which will be the end of Thursday, and Endeavour??

    Finally, I was, I am, appalled, APPALLED, by the lack of effort from ITV (and Mammoth Screen) to give Endeavour proper publicity. Fans found out about the air date around 20th January, but ITV didn’t confirm it till 24th Jan., 10 days before the air date! The trailer took another 2 or 3 days, and was hardly shown. I have only managed to see it via links to youtube and dailymotion a.o. via your blog. The publicity is always bad, but this year it was outrageously bad.

    I am looking forward to next Sunday and hope you will enjoy that more and we can exchange some more thoughts.

    1. Chris,

      Great work as usual.

      Just a few more references I spotted.

      The Shadow’s other theft, the dagger of Sultan Mahmud, is from “Topkapi”.

      Thursday mentions that Lefty Townsend once worked for Lew and Leslie, meaning Lew and Leslie Grade

      Ltd. aka the Grade Organisation aka the future Lord Lew Grade and his brother Leslie, the father of the

      future chairman of both the BBC and ITV Michael Grade.

      I wondered if Simon Lake’s love of gliding might be an oblique nod to the original “The Thomas Crown

      Affair”.

      Equally the relationship between Eve and Ruth is very similar to that between Cathy and Simone in “Mona

      Lisa”.

      The Beserkers’ behaviour at Shiplake Chase is also very similar to “The Riot Club”.

      I’m sure the scene with Eve cradling the dying Ruth is based on another work of art because it’s so

      carefully staged and framed, but I don’t know which one.

      I’ve found that the previous series have usually had one outstanding episode, one terrible one and two

      average ones. I don’t know how this will play out over this series’ six episodes.

      I’d put “Muse” in the average category, though the scene with flatmates Morse and Strange was

      outstanding.

      Paul

      1. Hi Paul. Great work and thank you for putting these observations forward. I have added them to the post. As far as the scene of Eve cradling Ruth, I thought the same thing but damned if I can think what it is. I can’t get away from thinking it is a painting from the Renaissance period. I am going to keep thinking about it and hopefully my brain will come up with an answer.

    2. Hi Josephine. I agree with so many of your points. You speak the truth regarding “Thursday…both his lines and his acting were too thick, too heavy.” I also thought the same but decided I had made my point regarding what a poor episode it was. It is very strange the lack of publicity and personal appearances for series 5. For series 4 there was a plethora of interviews both on TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. Very strange.

    3. Hi Josephine, I had some thoughts about what you wrote.

      1. I don’t think that Joan was angry with her parents and that’s why she didn’t get in touch. I think she quickly took up with the married man who was paying for her flat and she was ashamed. She didn’t want them to know unless or until she could present herself as being in a good position, and she didn’t want to lie or she believed she would not be able to keep up a lie if she tried.

      2. Morse had his own flat but it was a basement flat in a dodgy neighborhood that had had break-ins. Also he gave money he had been saving to Joan. At the end of S3 he had been called into the bank about his overdrafts. So perhaps he thought he was better off sharing for a while to get on a better footing.

      1. Thank you Justine. Yes your explanation about the flat situation makes sense. Still I’m a bit cross with Joan 😉 she could at least have phoned to say she was all right but wanted to be left alone.

  8. Hi Chris,
    I really enjoy reading your blog, especially the music references. Did you notice the Lewis connection when Cassie Pickman tells her son, Alec, not to eat the grass? In ‘Falling Darkness’, Alec Pickman, played by Rupert Graves, was one of Laura Hobson’s housemates at uni.
    Thanks for all your devotion to this blog.
    Bebe

  9. The rose was the calling card for the fictional art thief called “The Shadow” but it was a monogrammed handkerchief that was the calling card for another fictional art thief: Hercule Flambeau in GK Chesterton’s Father Brown mysteries. Flambeau first made his appearance in GK Chesterton’s short story “The Blue Cross” in 1910.

  10. Pickman is also the name of a character in the video game Fallout 4. He styles himself an artist, who kills raiders and arranges the bodies in gruesome tableaus. The game’s protagonist investigates this at Pickman’s gallery.

  11. Some interesting views here. While looking through the press pack, in the cast list for Railway, we have DS Patrick Dawson…cant remember the Morse story he was in…interesting.!!…Many Thanks for such a huge amount of research you do for your blog, a pure labour of Love.!!!

  12. I thought the crime in this episode was ridiculous along with how everyone reacted to it. Why weren’t these men on guard after the first or second murder. Why wasn’t Ruth concerned about her dear friend Eve being accused.

    I think Morse perceived Fancy as a threat– he had taken Morse’s desk and was completing a crossword in pen. He didn’t want Fancy to be Thursday’s new protege.

    What I thought was notable about Joan’s conversation with Morse– she doesn’t know that he knows she had a miscarriage and he didn’t tell her that he knows. Neither of them being honest with the other does not point to any future closeness.

  13. Is ‘just for jolly’ a reference to the letter sent to the police in 1888, via the press, supposedly by Jack the Ripper’ after he killed Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddows in the double murder. He promised to ‘cut the lady’s ears off just for jolly’ if he had more time and indeed did cut Stride’s ear, suggesting the letter was genuine.

  14. I do enjoy this series but I can’t help but wonder if the producers are under pressure to up the body count. If you look at the early Morse episodes (apart from Service Of All The Dead) you rarely get beyond two deaths per episode, but we seem to have an ever growing death rate in Lewis and now Endeavour – at times it feels as though it’s impossible to reach an ad break without another corpse appearing! . Not only that, but there seems to be an obsession with rather unlikely literary motives rather than the more human failings of greed, jealousy and anger to which most of the original series murders could be attributed.

    1. I agree, the creators of a series always feel they have to do more, more, more, which inevitably disrupts the original charm of the show. Why not a show where they just have to solve an “ordinary” murder, lots of dead ends, lots of frustration, but every death matters. It doesn’t have to be a serial killer every time.

  15. Chris, very nicely done as always. Thank you for your all your efforts.

    Something that has bothered me from last season’s “Harvest” episode that I was hoping to see addressed in this episode was:

    Where did Morse go after he visited Joan in the hospital?

    It appears to be early morning when he arrives at the hospital, and yet, we don’t see him again until he arrives at the station house very late at night (I assume it’s the same day as he is still in the same clothes).

    He’s not wearing a tie, which he most certainly would be if he was going for an interview at Tintagel House. He seemed to have left the hospital with such purpose that I would have sworn he was going after Ray.

    In fact, at about the 6:00 mark of “Muse”, when Bright wanted to talk to Friday about the “Morse situation” I thought for sure we about to find out. Just another loose end?

  16. A question, if I may: my understanding is that ‘Harvest’ (episode 4, Series 4) is set in September 1967, with Morse being promoted to DS and given the St George medal immediately following the the events in the radiation plant. Bright reads out a letter about Morse’s promotion/medal at the same time as reading a newspaper article recounting the events at the plant. In this, the timing is at the very latest, only a few days or so after the drama at the plant, given the newspaper reference. Episode 5 is set as 1 April 1968. This is 6 months after Morse’s promotion. So why does every character refer it as if it is a new occurrence?

    And how did he actually become DS if his exam papers were lost? Does promotion come with the medal?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Tina. Firstly, the promotion was for his part in the saving the nuclear plant. The promotion was a bonus on top of the medal. Any reference to Endeavour’s promotion is mentioned to remind us the viewer that he has been promoted and is now equal with Strange. At least that is my opinion.

  17. For some reason it’s not letting me reply to Josephine’s comment above.

    >Still I’m a bit cross with Joan 😉 she could at least have phoned to say she was all right but wanted to be left alone.

    I agree! As a mother of three daughters aged 19 to 23 I feel for her parents. Not knowing must be absolute torture. But I think that Joan doesn’t understand how cruel it is and her head is just a mess from everything that happened at the bank and then the situation she gets into in with the married man.

  18. Well done as usual. I’m now watching Series 5 and should be able to be all caught up before episode 6 is broadcast in the UK. Personally, I kinda liked this episode. I liked the glider and the windmill and the Triumph motorcycle. I agree that the glider is probably a nod to the original 1968 Thomas Crown Affair film. I liked how all the murders were tied into biblical paintings. Thanks for locating everything. I will add the windmill, the pub and the Grove Walk to my list of things to see and do in Oxford.

    Too my mind, Endeavour (the character) is definitely getting more prickly. But there’s a fine line. When does prickly become rude?

    A good writer will use one character to highlight/dramatize various aspects of another character. In this case, when Fancy fails to log that stuff Endeavour is miffed but he takes the blame for it when Thursday brings it up. This extra work helps him locate a clue, but it also helps show that Morse is a team player.

  19. BTW – You produce a staggering amount of useful info for each episode. It would be great if there was a wiki to go with the blog. This would allow all your info to be categorized for easy reference. Pubs, music, paintings, locations, actors, etc. You need an intern!

    1. Thanks cappy. I will soon be upgrading my blog which will give me more options, like the forum I mentioned in my post. It will also allow to better organize my blog.

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