ENDEAVOUR: ‘CARTOUCHE’ S5E2; Review, Music, Locations, Literary References etc.

CARTOUCHE: a carved tablet or drawing representing a scroll with rolled-up ends, used ornamentally or bearing an inscription.

Hello Morsonians and Endeavourists and welcome to my review of the second episode of the fifth series. Hope fully you have recovered from my rather unflattering review of the first episode. For those who haven’t read it and for those who have I have updated the post many times since I posted it with a lot of new information regarding locations etc. Click here to read that post. To paraphrase Endeavour, ‘I must warn you, it’s a post-mortem review’.


Endeavour Series five, Episode two; ‘Cartouche’.

Chronologically this is episode 19.

First broadcast 11th February 2018.

Where’s Colin?

He was a bit harder to spot this episode. I never noticed the photo until the second viewing.

UPDATE: 31st July 2021

Two of my website subscribers, John and Cheryl think they may have spotted a second reference to Colin Dexter in the Endeavour episode Cartouche. The scene is around the one hour and thirteen minute mark. Eddie Nero is in his boxing club speaking on the phone to DeVere. There is a portrait above and to the right of Eddie. What do you think?

Directed by Andy Wilson. Andy also directed the Endeavour episode ‘Sway‘, Series 2 | Episode 3.

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’.


A former detective sergeant is found dead in his flat from what appears to be at first natural causes. However, Dr. DeBryn discovers that he was poisoned and another poisoning soon follows. Meanwhile the local cinema is preparing to welcome some famous Hollywood actors and directors to promote their latest film.

Endeavour is still finding it hard to warm to George Fancy but George finds a friendly ear in the form of Trewlove. At Fred Thursday’s house we discover he has guests, his brother and his wife and daughter.

In the background to the above racist attacks have been carried out at properties owned by the local gangster, Eddie Nero.

(warning, this review may contain some spoilers)

If you have read my review of the first episode of the fifth series you will know it was anything but flattering. So, I am sure you are wondering if this episode is going to fare much better. It won’t. Though the episode was slightly better it was still below the standard of previous episodes of early series.

It would seem that I am not alone in thinking this as the viewing figures for the episode dipped below five million as did the first episode. I believe this is the first series of Endeavour where the figures have been less than five million.

Of course they have not yet counted those who watch on catch up etc but it is worrying. We all know that shows are judged on their viewing figures. If the figures dipped to around the 4 million mark there will be the chance ITV will cancel the series.

So, my problems with this episode are numerous. The motive was the same as the first episode, Muse, revenge. Both episodes were based on a huge coincidence. In ‘Muse’ the coincidences were that the three men who raped Ruth Astor used the services of Eve Thorne via the telephone exchange where she worked. Also it was a huge coincidence that one of those men, Simon Lake, happened to visit Oxford to try and sell the Faberge Egg so having all three rapists in Oxford at the same time.

In ‘Cartouche’ the big coincidence was the actor and director Emil Valdemar visiting this little cinema in Oxford to promote his film.

Another problem is the writer Russell Lewis continuing to insult our intelligence by his over use of exposition and repeating information of events that had gone before. The meetings with Bright seem to be nothing more than exposition and over explanations of past events.

How many more times is Russell Lewis going to put Endeavour in a dangerous situation. The original series did not need to use such low level tactics of explosions, gunplay, multiple murders, etc etc. The original John Thaw was loved because of its intelligent story telling, slow pacing and plots and stroylines that grew organically. What the writers of the original series also never did was try to shoehorn in current world events in to the show to make political points. Russell Lewis continues to do this all to often.

Another big problem was Russell Lewis’s all to obvious references to what Endeavour will become in his later years. The prescient remarks were about as subtle as a brick to the head.

Endeavour: “How does someone start a policeman and end up a thief?”

Thursday: “Well, you know as well as I do, that given the right circumstances, anybody’s capable of anything. Plus, he had no family to keep him on the straight. Lot to be said for family.

Endeavour: And what if you don’t have any? Do you think that’s how you end up your days? Alone in some two-bob kip, nothing but a bottle for company?

What is worse is that Endeavour found in Beavis flat the same LP he was playing earlier in the episode and that Beavis also liked completing crosswords. Too much Russell, too much.

As I wrote in my previous review, I write honestly. As much as I love the Morse universe I could not in all consciousness write dishonestly. I understand that my honesty may lose me some blog readers but I would rather that happened than me writing a fawning review. I dislike what I often read on Facebook and Twitter where many people would never write a negative word about the series no matter how bad it was. This is either done out of a loyalty to the show, a fear of upsetting other fans or the worst reason because they cannot see beyond their love for Shaun Evans.

I like to believe that you my blog readers would feel cheated and angry if I wrote dishonestly.

My penultimate criticism is that old, lazy ploy used by soap operas of overhearing something important. Three times is was done in the episode; when Leslie Garnier overheard Ronald Beavis and Commissionaire Edmund Gordon from the rooftop; the usherette Betty Perksie overheard De Vere and Leslie Garnier talking and Endeavour overhears Eddie Nero talking to De Vere. Admittedly Endeavour followed Nero but just happens to hear relevant information relating to the case.

I will finish my negative criticism by moaning about the lack of scenes involving Trewlove and the still superfluous role of George Fancy. (please Russell Lewis don’t have Trewlove and Fancy become a couple. If you do the whole country will hear me scream).

So, enough negative criticism. Let us get on to what was good about the episode. Of course the acting was excellent as always. The direction, cinematography and that under-rated talent editing were top notch. (These were all let down by the poor special effects at the end of the episode during the burning down of the cinema). However if the effects were being done to emulate the likes of the Hammer Horror films then well done the special effects team.

The episode had some lovely touches in the shape of having the ‘mummy’ film using Mammoth as their film company. (Morse on that later in the post). My two favourite scenes involved Fred Thursday. The first was when he met Chief Superintendent Bright in the restuarant. Fred gets ruffled when trying to decide what to call Reginald Bright and is thankful for Jim Strange’s interruption. Secondly is when he is telling Endeavour of his love for Saturday morning shows when he was young and his love for Laurel and Hardy. (My brother and I attended Saturday morning shows in my youth. Loved them).

I literally laughed out loud.

I enjoyed seeing Phil Daniels as Fred’s brother but I am still trying to figure out the reason for his appearance. I am going to speculate that Fred retires and joins his brother in his business.

One of the reasons for that speculation is my belief that Fred will retire at the end of this series and that Jim Strange will be moved to another station. I wrote about this in my previous review and it may have been unsuspectingly verified by Shaun Evans in his interview with BBC Radio Oxford. (Click here to listen to that interview). In that interview he said that at the end of the series they all go there separate ways when the Thames Valley merger happens.

Does Bright also move on? Does McNutt replace Fred? Let us hope ITV allows these questions to be answered by not cancelling the series.

I am also looking forward to the conclusion of the story arc involving Eddie Nero.

When Russell Lewis spends time writing about the characters and less about film references and the like he is an excellent scribe. As I said last review . Please Russell forget the film references etc and concentrate on the characters and storyline.

I hope next week’s episode ‘Passenger’ is better and that the series ends on a high. That ‘high’ also goes for the viewing figures.

Episode Jag Rating – out of 10.




The first of music is near the beginning of the episode where we find Morse in his flat. The music is from La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi an Italian opera composer . The piece is Libiamo ne` lieti calici.

When Morse and Carol Thursday walk off together we hear the song The Girl From Ipanema.

The Girl From Ipanema sung by Astrud Gilberto.




While standing over the body of Ronald Beavis Dr. DeBryn says to George Fancy, “There are more things in heaven and hell, Horatio.” This is a quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Well said, old mole! canst work i’ the earth so fast?
A worthy pioner! Once more remove, good friends.
O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.


Thank you to Tim who noted that Valdemar and Curwen are also characters from stories by Edgar Allen Poe ( The Strange Case Of Monsieur Valdemar) and HP Lovecraft (The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward).


No art to speak of in this episode.


Our first location is the cafe where Ronald Beavis is seen.

This cafe is in the Covered Market, Market St, Oxford OX1 3DZ.

Above is the entrance to the market from The High Street.

Here are some pictures of the above scene being filmed. These and others can be found at the brilliant website http://www.simplyoxford.com/



The first arson attack.

This was filmed on the corner of St. Anne’s Road and Gathorne Road Headington.

Below are photos taken by Stephanie of Oxford found on her Flickr account during the filming of the arson scene.




Our next location is Fred and Win’s house.

The address is 10 Ramsey Road, Headington.

Below are more photos from Stephanie of the above location.


Next up is the location of the Roxy Cinema.

This is the Old Carlton Cinema, Essex Road, Islington, London. Renovation work on the building finished in 2015.

The former Carlton Cinema, in Essex Road

The original features are said to have been restored

Thanks to Jean who pointed out tthe the interior shots  with the audience at the Roxy Cinema was filmed at The Broadway Theatre, Catford, London, which used be Lewisham Town Hall.


The next location is where Carol Thursday and Endeavour meet for the first time.

This is St Mary’s Passage, High Street, Oxford.

Of course the phone booth was put there by the Endeavour crew.


Endeavour and Fred visit the Pitt Rivers museum. Museum Of Natural History, Parks Rd, Oxford, OX1 3PW.

Carol waiting for Morse outside the Sheldonian Theatre, Broad St, Oxford OX1 3AZ.

They next visit The Radcliffe Camera.

Up next on Endeavour’s lightning tour of Oxford is Hertford Bridge, often called “the Bridge of Sighs”.


Thank you to Francoise Bergen who pointed out this location.

The above is where the ex policeman, Ronald Beavis, is found dead. The address is 8 King Edward Street, Oxford.


We see George Fancy stand outside The Bear.

But we don’t see him inside the pub only entering it.

We did find George Fancy drowning his sorrows when he has a visit from Trewlove.

I misidentified this pub. It should be The Royal Standard of England, Forty Green, Beaconsfield HP9 1XS.

The same pub mentioned above is also the location for when Endeavour and Fred talk to Eddie Nero.


Actors who appeared in the Endeavour Series 5, Episode 2 ‘Cartouche’ and/or Morse or Lewis.


Robin Weaver as Molly Copperstone

Robin Weaver appeared in the Lewis episode Beyond Good and Evil. In that she plays Pamela Carson.


The next actor is Alan David who played the projectionist Lambert Kegworth.

Alan David as Lambert Kegworth

He appeared in the Morse episode Twilight of the Gods as Sir Watkin Davies.

Alan David as Sir Watkin Davies

David Shaw Parker as Commissionaire Edmund Gordon was also in a Morse episode.

David Shaw Parker appeared in the Morse episode Deceived by Flight as a Forensic Sergeant.

David Shaw Parker as a Forensic Sergeant.



When Endeavour is explaining how he believes Beavis was murdered he asks Strange to take a drink of orange juice.

Endeavour hands Strange a straw and he pierces the carton and starts to drink. Endeavour then says “I just killed you.” This is reminiscent of a scene from the original Morse series, ‘The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn’.




Endeavour’s first scene is set in his flat listening to music. In particular he is listening to a recording of La Traviata by Rosalind Calloway.

Of course we met Rosalind in the pilot episode of Endeavour.

Flora Montgomery as Rosalind Stromming


The Pharaoh’s Curse mentioned in the episode is probably referencing the Tutankhamun curse. The belief in a curse was brought to many people’s attention due to the sometimes mysterious deaths of a few members of Howard Carter’s team and other prominent visitors to the tomb shortly thereafter. Carter’s team opened the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922, launching the modern era of Egyptology.


When Endeavour enters Beavis’s flat Dr. DeBryn greets him by saying, “We meet again Nayland Smith.”

Denis Nayland Smith was Fu Manchu’s enemy. Denis Nayland Smith was a kind of Sherlock Holmes character. They were characters in books by Sax Rohmer.


When Endeavour first visits The Roxy on the cinema screen is news of protests of the Immigration Bill 1968. The Commonwealth Immigrants Act amended the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962, further reducing rights of citizens of the Commonwealth of Nations countries (as of 2010, comprising approximately 1.9 billion people, including New Zealand, Australia, The Republic of India, Islamic Republic of Pakistan (which included East Pakistan province), some African nations including Nigeria and many Caribbean islands) to migrate to the UK.


After the first arson attack Bright and Thursday are discussing the incident. Bright says, “The River Tiber foaming with much blood.” This is reference to Enoch Powell’s infamous speech of April 1968. British Member of Parliament Enoch Powell addressed a meeting of the Conservative Political Centre in Birmingham, UK. His speech strongly criticised mass immigration, especially Commonwealth immigration to the United Kingdom and the then-proposed Race Relations Bill, and became known as the “Rivers of Blood” speech, although Powell always referred to it as “the Birmingham speech”. The expression “rivers of blood”, which did not appear in the original speech, is an allusion to a line from Virgil’s Aeneid quoted by Powell (“As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with much blood”). He was later sacked by Edward Heath the Conservative party leader.


During a scene in the mortuary Endeavour asks DeBrn if he likes horror films. Dr. DeBryn replies “Cruelty, torture and Kensington Gore.” Kensington Gore is the name of two thoroughfares on the south side of Hyde Park in central London, England. The streets connect the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal College of Art, the Royal Geographical Society and in Kensington Gardens the Albert Memorial. The area is named after the Gore estate which occupied the site until it was developed by Victorian planners in the mid 19th century. A gore is a narrow, triangular piece of land. Chris also mentioned in the comments, “Kensington Gore is most likely (a reference) to the fake blood used in the film industry.”


Abby Wilson plays the usherette Betty Persky. Betty Persky – the real name of Lauren Bacall.

Image result for lauren bacall


In this episode there are two characters named ‘Valdemar’ and ‘Curwen’. These names reference the great actor Vincent Price. He played character s in two films with the afore mentioned names in, respectively, ‘Tales Of Terror’ and ‘The Haunted Palace.


When Morse and Thursday visit The Roxy we see this poster for The Vengeance of She.

Here is the actual poster of the film.

It was made by Hammer Films as a loose sequel to the 1965 hit execrable film She.


During the above mentioned visit, Fred talks about what he watched when he was a kid going to the Saturday morning show at his local cinema. He mentions Maroon cartoons. Of course, Maroon Cartoons is a fictional animation feature production studio located in Los Angeles, California from the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit.


He also mentions the western film hero Tom Mix.


Fred also mentions the wonderful Laurel and Hardy. In particular he says, “B I It me. Bit me”.”


The scene is from the 1932 film Helpmates.


When Endeavour takes Carol to the cinema during the showing of the new horror film she mentions the actor Jason Curwin who has walked in. Endeavour of course has no idea who she is talking about. She replies, “The blind violinist in Two Weeks In August. With Diana Day. We have of course met Diana Day in the Endeavour episode, Trove, series 2, episode 1.

Diana Day was a beauty queen hoping for fame and fortune. Looks like she may have found it.


Is it just me or did it not seem strange in the preview for the new up and coming film The Pharaoh Rises that they showed one of the main characters being killed and what looked like the death of the ‘mummy’.


During the above scene Charlie is asking Fred for a loan. Fred asks, “No-one’s leaning on you? The twins? The twins he is reffering to are the Kray Twins, Reggie and Ronnie. A pair of ruthless gangsters who terrorised London in the 1960s.

Image result for kray twins


When Endeavour and Thursday are interviewing Emil Valdemar he mentions that during filming of the original film he shot many years before they had ” returned to the studio (and) were using properties loaned to us by Hearst.” This is a reference to William Randolph Hearst. He was an American newspaper tycoon and business man who made his mark in the erly years of the 20th century. His life was famously portrayed in the excellent film Citizen Kane. The film of course was directed by the genius Orson Welles.


Interesting to see a Mammoth logo at the beginning of the film being shown at the cinema.

Of course Mammoth Screen is a UK-based independent production company. Mammoth It produces drama for key UK broadcasters, especially ITV.

Thank you to Paul Higham for the following points of interest;

The character of blonde starlet Veronique Carlton is inspired by Veronica Carlson – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0138040/

I also think that Zoltan Xarkoff is a nod to King of the B movies Samuel Z Arkoff – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0035098/

Equally, the Roxy cinema’s orange squash Wahakari, means “Cheers” in Maori, as the real Kia-Ora of fond memory is a greeting wishing good health.

Edmund Gordon says he came over to the Roxy from the Stoll Moss circuit, a reference to the Moss Empires Group which in its day was the largest chain of variety theatres and music halls in the UK.

Chief Superintendent Bright’s quote to Thursday, “except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain”, is from Psalm 127:1.

Thanks Paul.


Thank you to Ronnie Whitehead who pointed out the following: ‘There was another link to the Carry On series in Cartouche. Morse states that Leslie Garnier had an alibi as last year he was away doing a stint onboard a cruise liner called the “Happy Wanderer”. The Happy Wanderer is the name of the ship in Carry on Cruising.’

Two of my blog readers Mary and Ken Gallacher identified the film poster on the wall on the left.

The film being advertised is The Devil Rides Out based on a Dennis Wheatley novel. Ken wrote that the film was one of Hammer Horror film studios most successful films.


Thank you Ken and Mary.


Bert, one of my subscribers and friends, noticed the following film reference. Fred’s brother and wife are called Charlie and Paulette. Bert believes, and I agree with him, that this is a reference to Paulette Goddard and Charlie Chaplin. Paulette Goddard appeared in Charlie Chaplin’s film, Modern Times.

Is this Shaun Evans as the archaeologist in the film shown at the beginning of the show. I think so.



Ronald Beavis murdered by Edmund Gordon. Method, poisoned with strychnine.

Leslie Garnier murdered by Edmund Gordon. Method, poisoned with cyanide.

Armand De Vere is shot by Edmund Gordon.

Liam Flynn stabbed by an unknown assailant.


Iain Stuart Robertson as Ronald Beavis

Pano Masti as Pop Gallo

Sophia Capasso as Guilia Gallo

Alister Hawke as Liam Flynn

James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn

Dakota Blue Richards as WPC Shirley Trewlove

Lewis Peek as DC George Fancy

Robin Weaver as Molly Copperstone

Simon Dutton as Armand De Vere

Anton Lesser as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright

Luke Hornsby as Kenneth Bullings

Sara Vickers as Joan Thursday

Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday

Emma Rigby as Carol Thursday

David Shaw Parker as Commissionaire Edmund Gordon

Linette Beaumont as Paulette Thursday

Phil Daniels as Charlie Thursday

Abby Wilson as Betty Persky

John McAndrew as Leslie Garnier

Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday

Betty Denville as Veronique Carlton

Michael Levi Harris as Zoltan Xarkoff

Steven Flynn as Jason Curwin

Donald Sumpter as Emil Valdemar

Mark Arden as Eddie Nero


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. An excellent review as always, and you make some interesting points I myself am not to sold on DI Fancy it does appear they are trying to make it too much like Morse and Lewis once again and not Morse as a young man. I have a feeling that they brought Thursday’s brother into it so that at some point he has to go back to rescue from something him and that is how he leave the series. My hope is that they have not strayed too far from the source material and forgotten about many of the characters that are peppered throughout the original Morse series. The series should end with Thursday retiring Bright remaining on see through the transition to Thames Valley, and as you said strange being transferred to another station and in the close in five minutes Morse shaking hands with McNulty as they walk into the station

      1. He can’t afford to retire now. The money Fred loaned to his brother was his and Win’s retirement fund.

  2. I’m absolutely blown away again by the fact that you have already been able to compile all these information, and also by your expertise and generosity to share. Glad to know I’m not alone in thinking that I would rather prefer Endeavour being a Morse with a pen rather than a James Bond with a gun.

    FYI: It seems the interior scenes with the audience at the Roxy Cinema was filmed at The Broadway Theatre, Catford, London, which used be Lewisham Town Hall. https://twitter.com/KCLKW/status/963565904008130560

    Also, Matthew Slater himself was the one who actually played the instrument! Although I’m not sure whether he made a recoding on the theatre organ in the Catford Broadway or somewhere else. https://twitter.com/Matt_Slater/status/963109790015741952

    Thank you so very much as always!

  3. Okay – I didn’t mind last weeks – flaws and all – but have to be honest really disliked this one. Great visually, acted etc but really hated the Carol Thursday storyline – so tacky, cliched and then he lied to Joan so now the Morse character has really lost something for me. My question – does the writer think women are interchangeable ? – I used to think he had a high opinion of them. Also felt it veered off to Midsome Murders territory – something that Inspector Morse nor Lewis never did.

    Also Chris – I never get when you love a series that some people feel you can’t give a bad review – in fact it is because I have such a high opinion of a show that I feel let down when it is way below standard – if I wasn’t a fan or admired the show I wouldn’t care less if it is good or bad. I don’t dare post on some sites my honest opinion as I have seen some people savaged for it!

  4. I appreciate your honest and well-grounded reviews. I do have a great love for Shaun Evans, but I hope I still retain my critical faculties. I liked this episode better than the previous one, but I did think another revenge story was a bit much. (The first episode, I just didn’t like the bizarre methods of killing and ultimately I couldn’t accept that a traumatized rape victim chose such outre methods of killing.) I enjoyed the cinema setting.

    I also thought the Morse-Carol subplot was a good thing. After the temptation, rejection and frustration that he’s been through recently with Joan and Eve, I thought it was realistic that he tried for some uncomplicated fun. We have seen him hop into bed with other women pretty readily, just not lately. Especially after Eve’s question “How long has it been?” I think he thought “I had better indulge myself or else one of these days I’m going to succumb to temptation when I really, really shouldn’t.” But then, it turns out it was complicated after all: his bit of fun is Thursday’s niece and Joan’s cousin! This was so awkward and funny, and it also reinforced the theme that Morse can’t ever have what he wants, whether it’s a happy family life or even just a simple one night stand.

    I also thought the Thursday-Joan scenes were strong. Poor Fred! When Joan was away he couldn’t help Win with her anxiety and despair, and now Joan is back and Win is content (I assume neither of them have told her anything of what Joan was up to), but he doesn’t know how to make it right between Joan and himself.

    Re your other comments, I’d argue that the modern age of Egyptology began in the early 1800s with the discovery and then the deciphering in 1822 of the Rosetta Stone. Archaeologists were exploring in the Valley of the Kings in the 1800s and early 1900s leading up to the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb because of the great interest in Egypt and the pharoahs.

    1. Justine – interesting comments – although (and I could have missed a couple of eps) only Alice and Monica but he was in a relationship with her so different – for some reason the fact that he scored with Thursdays niece and Joan’s cousin was a bit icky to me – but aside from that just didn’t like the Ep it is always great acting and love the leads as well. I also think the Joan – Thursday scenes are strong – not sure where they are going with it.

      Will have to take yours and Chris’ more informed opinions on the Egyptology part – have been there but limited knowledge.

    2. I think you are correct regrading the beginning of the modern age of Egyptology. It probably does start in 1822 with Jean-François Champollion deciphered hieroglyphs. Have you read The Keys of Egypt: The Race to Read the Hieroglyphs by Lesley Adkins and Roy Adkins? Fascinating read.

    3. Very well said you all above, as much as I love Shaun Evans and I know this show makes him very happy and proud, that doesn’t stop me from being critical, and indeed it does mean that we care. Although on twitter I am a bit careful because I noted that a lot of people loved both Muse and Cartouche and I don’t want to go into a debate there about what was good or bad about it. I just don’t give all those cheering comments a favourite.
      “Not everything has to be better than it is” but this was my all time least favourite episode. I have to re-watch it and hope I will like it better then. I have sort of grown into liking Ride and Prey so there is hope. I have now accepted the fact that after S2, the poetry is gone. I know they have to move forward and apparently there is still a big, but different, audience for Endeavour. Final viewing figures for Muse were 7mio so that it really good, and I’m glad. I hope the same will happen with Cartouche and S6 will get the green light. I agree with Chris that Russ Lewis is putting the series in danger by wanting to be too clever and making his own political point again and again, although completely ignoring the macho world that policing was in those days and pretending that Trewlove would not have to face sexist remarks and behaviour. Fancy was the first one to actually make a sexist remark to her but I don’t think that behaviour will last, he is too nice. I had rather hoped he would be a difficult one, stirring things up a bit.
      I thought it was good to see Morse behaving like he did, it was a natural thing to do for a batchelor/2 single people. I thought it was in the spirit of Colin Dexter’s novels where Morse always has an eye for women and for any opportunity to have even a one-night stand with a nice woman.
      I hope in next episodes we will find a bit more of the atmosphere of Inspector Morse and the first Endeavour series again: a bit less of the action please, a bit more subtlety and well, just, Morse. He deserves better.

  5. It’s almost more entertaining reading your blog than watching the show! Well done. Just one small correction – the pub interior, which appears in many Endeavour episodes, is in fact The Royal Standard of England, a country pub in Forty Green, Beaconsfield, Bucks. I have drunk there and it is like a living museum.

      1. Chris,

        I think you’ll find that Max’s reference to “Kensington Gore” is to theatrical blood rather than to a part of London 🙂

        The Mammoth Pictures logo sound is a reference to RKO Radio but with the actual Morse morse code.

        The character of blonde starlet Veronique Carlton is inspired by Veronica Carlson – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0138040/

        I also think that Zoltan Xarkoff is a nod to King of the B movies Samuel Z Arkoff – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0035098/

        Equally, the Roxy cinema’s orange squash Wahakari, means “Cheers” in Maori, as the real Kia-Ora of fond memory is a greeting wishing good health.

        Edmund Gordon says he came over to the Roxy from the Stoll Moss circuit, a reference to the Moss Empires Group which in its day was the largest chain of variety theatres and music halls in the UK.

        Chief Superintendent Bright’s quote to Thursday, “except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain”, is from Psalm 127:1

        On a bit of a tangent, seeing Armand De Vere’s obvious pleasure in eliminating the rats with wings, I couldn’t help but think of the great Tom Lehrer’s jolly ditty “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhuMLpdnOjY

        I felt that in this episode the parts were greater than the sum, especially all the stunning Art Deco.

  6. As always an exellent review. Perhaps someone could be kind enough to pass on your critique ( and your review of Muse ) to Mr Lewis. As far as l recall Morse was written by a number of different writers and l think this is part of the problem with Endeavour lt has become to much of a one man? band. I think it is a similar problem that Lewis also suffered from! At least Endeavour at long last got the girl albeit the wrong Thursday… l imagine for some!!

  7. Hi Chris, my only criticism of your otherwise excellent review is giving as many as six Jags to this tripe! In my opinion this is the worst episode I can recall from all three series. A ridiculous plot, full of coincidences, slower paced than ever, overly political with, as you say, very unsubtle views from the writer. Even the normally excellent acting seemed a bit off; Shaun Evans’ performance was strained as if he thought the material was sub-standard,unless he is just tiring of playing the character. This episode also wins the “Fugue Award” for most obvious killer – nothing to do with deduction, but as soon as the character made the racist comments about Arabs I knew he was the killer. You can’t make comments like that on modern day TV without being a wrong un!

    As I have stated on a facebook thread elsewhere, why does there have to be a mercy dash at the end of every episode to try and add some drama to proceedings? I’m sure this is done to divert your attention from any weak plotting as it usually comes after the denouement of the mystery. as you say, Inspector Morse rarely had to go to such lengths as the plots were better. Looking back, it was Russell Lewis himself who started this practise with his invented and far-fetched climax to The Way Through The Woods in 1995.

    Look at the classic Morse episode Second Time Around where you are almost subconsciously drawn into a debate on the rights and wrongs of capital punishment and then compare to the un-subtle preaching on display here.

    To be honest I almost hope this is the last series of Endeavour as it appears Russell Lewis is completely out of ideas as is starting to tarnish the legacy of the previous two series. I now wish they had carried on with a Hathaway spin off instead.

    Overall, I can only hope things pick up with the remaining four episodes, but this has been a disappointing series so far.

    1. Hi Graham. You are spot on regarding Edmund making the racist comment. I had the same thoughts as you but then believed that it was too obvious. How wrong I was. Again you are spot again regrading Second Time Around. An excellent episode with as you said that doesn’t force the issue of capital punishment down your throat. We are on the same wavelength again as I was also thinking ‘why didn’t they write a spin off for Hathaway’. Russell Lewis said in an interview that the reason he hasn’t let anyone else write episodes is because he doesn’t like to have to rewrite and edit other people’s work. I think it is all down to a very obvious case of vanity and ego.

    2. Hi Graham, I am a bit puzzled why you refer to three series. We have had Endeavour (pilot), plus four series before this one. “Pilot” and S1 and S2 having a very different pace and atmosphere – which I much preferred – than S3, 4 and (so far) 5.
      Like Will Hey above says perhaps Russ Lewis writing all the stories is part of the “problem”. On the other hand there seems to be a new audience that likes the new style. I do want series 6 but it might be refreshing and do the show a lot of good to get some other writers in, who won’t overdo it with all too many fanciful references and nods, leave out their personal political opinions, and give us back the magical melancholy world of Morse.

      1. Hi Josephine; apologies for the confusion, when I said all three series, I meant Inspector Morse, Lewis and Endeavour. On a positive note, I enjoyed very much last night’s episode “Passenger”

    3. My wife called out the doorman as the killer early on, as you did. I can’t say I caught on so quickly.

  8. Excellent review Christopher. I’m at pains to find anything to like in this season so far, but until I read your review I couldn’t figure out why. Thank you again

  9. I’m very new to the morse world, been brought over by my wife, so this is an interesting site which I will explore more fully.
    If I could just add one piece of info, beside the She poster is a poster for “The Devil Rides Out”, and adaptation of dennis wheatley classic horror novel and regarded as one of hammers finest films.

  10. Hi Chris
    My hubby and i were chuffed to notice the other film poster on the Roxy walls (to the left of She ( is The Devil Rides out) from the book by Dennis Wheatley. It is one of our favs and we meet friends every year in Elstree for a Dennis Wheatley convention. We have the pleasure to stay at the hotel which featured in the film and also in Terry Thomas / Alistair Sims School for Scoundrels.

      1. Just discovering that we both sent seperate comments in to you Chris in reference to the DW film poster!! That’s so funny – an hour or so apart lol !!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your piece and the posts following it. What a lot of effort you put in.

  11. I have to say, when I finish an episode, the first thing I think is, “I can’t wait for Chris’s review!”Thank you for taking the time to not only review, but inform. Enjoy all you find in an episode. Hope Russel Lewis figures out what needs to be done to keep this series going.

  12. With reference to my previous comment – l fondly remember the original run of Morse in a format that had not hitherto been tried namely a two hour slot l’m currently re-watching it on catch up. I find Endeavour tragic by comparison two hours is too long to be one persons personal vanity project in addition to other people’s comments too many shoe-ins drowning in a sea of nostalgia laden twaddle no sense of urgency and a chronic lack of publicity( l have yet to see a trailer on tv compared to some other shows) l also don’t like being played by writers either.

    It’s all a bit of a mess currently with the will they won’t they where are we all going with this scenario. l still haven’t worked out the connection in a forthcoming episode with a certain soap drama of the 1960’s. Oh guess what l can’t be bothered l’ll just rewatch Who killed Harry Field :- Morse at his very best! Great script! Oh and Toby Jones father too boot! Oh joy! ( at last)……

    1. What a coincidence – I just watched that very Morse episode yesterday – was one of my faves. Agree re: the will they won’t they – old Morse just had relationships with women – sometimes the character was in it for a few episodes. So either have that with Joan (what I was hoping) or not – I guess Lewis had that with Laura right through the series until it resolved in the last series. I just didn’t like this episode much and Chris has captured the reasons so well. I feel it is trying to attract a different type of audience now.

      1. With regard to your last point re a different type of audience presumably one that doesn’t have to think too much! (Apologies) In ….. Harry Field we find Morse laughing out loud (twice) and Lewis get’s the best throw away line! What’s not to like! Great script. Great acting!

  13. Post-script! Having finished watching …. Harry Field it’s the excellent Geraldine James who has the best throwaway line which involves whistling what suspiciously sounds like the theme music to Dixon of Dock Green and I’ve just spotted the future lnsp Lynley’s future real life wife ( Apologies for being tortuous )

  14. Frankly speaking, I was just shocked after watching the episode, though it is entertaining enough.
    First of all, it is looking more like a soap opera. Certainly we are curious about the relationship of the
    characters, yet we want to see them solve the mystery and do their job. Also, I just could not figure out how the killer could have pulled the trigger with the kind of prosthetic arm he has. And I have been bothered by Thursday’s comment that Valdemar must be 80, because if at the end of WWI (1918) he was 19, then 50 years later he would be only 69 or at most 70. So, my best guess is that Thursday was being sarcastic or making fun. It is distracting.

  15. While I largely agree with all the criticism, I still prefer bad episodes of Endeavour to good episodes of practically everything else. As I have said here before, I dearly appreciate the respect to the Morsiverse, and love the fact that characters we see ‘later’ put in regular appearances.

    I dearly want every episode to succeed and be successful; I love Allam & Evans and think they usually do great work.

    However, I agree there are too many characters to keep track of, and too few episodes one can reasonably figure it out for ourselves, other than the obvious “he/she looks dodgy” “he/she is too famous to not be a major murderer” etc.

    Ultimately, my problem with E is the same as with most of L – most episodes lack the sheer majesty of most episodes of M. Now admittedly I have seen my favourite Ms many times, but the best episodes stay in mind forever.

    One of the geniuses of Morse is that the episodes were often slow but never plodding; they were explicable if you concentrated hard enough, and the ‘slowness’ emphasised the final act – those amazing moments when the penny drops for Morse and there is sudden excitement and often great peril. Same too with body counts – most Morse episodes only featured one murder or at most two; it only ever featured one true serial killer (‘Driven to Distraction’) while both E & L are littered with corpses, and we seem to have a serial killer every other week. But sadly commercial realities are so horrendous they perhaps feel they have to do this to stop us going off to Netflix and the rest.

    And perhaps for the same reason we have vast amounts of female murderers, when as we know the reality is that women commit very few murders. The plots in E are at least less convoluted than the more ludicrous Lewis’s, where we were forever dealing with weird identity changes and whole bunches of stuff that no watcher on first viewing could ever reasonably guess at.

    But finally, I will come back to my original point. We forget, but there were some duff episodes of the original Morse (‘The settling of the sun’ anyone?), and thanks to Endeavour we have seen some great episodes (‘Rocket’ perhaps being the best in my view) and I feel that the series still has enough in it to make great episodes in the future.


  16. This episode gave me a little insight on the enigmatic Mr. Bright. I’ve felt that he must have had a daughter he lost, either by death or estrangement. When he mentions his wife is volunteering with unwed mothers, I wondered if maybe this hypothetical daughter had gotten pregnant and ran away, or died after an abortion.

  17. Thank goodness I found this blog. I have read through all the comments and am relieved to find that others are also suffering the disappointments I have had during the last three episodes.
    During the first two series I was riveted..visually, emotionally and intellectually. And then…something was not right; something slipped.
    On a simple level and observance easily noticed; the back music was not as it was. It was always important in Morse and it appeared to be so in the early Endeavour. It somehow encapsulated the moodiness, the sadness and the wistful longing of the young Morse. And then we got snatches of modern music which seemed to be used as a sort of shorthand to set the period. And then the music petered out… just snatches that didn’t suggest any mood or purpose.
    And secondly…just too many characters. I thought I was just poor at holding all the details but it’s not that. Some of them just don’t need to be there at all…almost pointless.
    And I don’t care about a complicated plot; that was never why I watched Morse and then Endeavour. It is the character and how he relates to people, how he tries to shape his life and manage it when it’s not working out. A high point for me was the death of his father as he sat by his bedside and the nuanced relationship with his sister. None of this ‘action’ said anything about the outcome of the plot…but it said so much about Endeavour.
    Now, we rush from scene to scene with characters that I largely don’t care for in a seedy Oxford that we have been unaware of before.
    And the character of Morse has changed… somewhat embittered and jaded before he has had the time to be so. I don’t think we need to rush the change from wistful and hopeful to hardened drinker quite so rapidly?
    And Bright seems to be there simply to pull ends together and point out to the audience what we night have missed. I almost cannot stand it….but I will hang in there for the next episode and hope we will have dispensed with all the unnecessary irritations that have crept in.
    Someone said it was moving into Midsomer Murder territory. I understand that completely; if Endeavour just becomes another pot boiler with a crop of unlikely bodies, it will lose this viewer.
    I’ve never cared about who did it, but how Endeavour worked it all out. I will watch this next episode and hope for a rebirth!

    1. Hi Arwin. Welcome to my blog and thank you for such a thorough first comment. You are not alone in hoping that the series will not only get better but will not fall into the generic cop show that saturate today’s tv channels.

  18. Hi Chris. Thanks for the review. I have an odd question. In the office in the Roxy Cinema is an amazing art deco sunburst clock. I love it! Would you know if this is actually in the cinemas in Islington or Catford? I’m now on a mission to find something similar 🙂

  19. Very sad to see Endeavour has become a version of Heartbeat meets Midsummer Murders. Series 5 is torcherous viewing and a pale imitation of the homage to Mr Thaw that the programme began with. The snippets of music clunkily layered over changing scenes are painful statutory quota/series of murders before anything can be solved ar by no means doing justice to a magnificent casting of the man who represented just how soul shattering a “career” in law enforcement can become.
    I would rather watch young Endeavour join the flying squad and get a Cortina on two wheels around docklands for ten minutes.

  20. I am delighted so many have posted on point and insightful and thoughtful views. I agreet an earlier love interest (?Momica Hicks?} was too abruptly ended, THANKS for reviving my interrest in the series.

  21. As per usual, good job! I definitely appreciate your honesty. You are quite right. What would be the point otherwise. And according to wikipedia the viewing numbers for this episode are indeed the lowest ever. I liked how you pointed out all the coincidences, overheard conversations and cheesy special effects in your commentary. I also agree that Russell Lewis political posturing has become tiresome. I didn’t understand why they played that radio broadcast about MLK’s assassination at the end of last episode. Nobody’s forgotten. America has an entire holiday to commemorate his life’s work. The show was over. It seemed to spoil the mood. I also agree with you about how they have too many cast members. That scene with Bright at the station house where everyone stands around trying to solve the crime was “bloody” ridiculous. To me it suggests that they don’t think Shaun Evans is capable of holding our interest.

    As an American I have one additional complaint. There were two scenes this time where the British dialogue became unintelligible. First when Fancy was suggesting his idea at the station house. And then again when Carol was talking to Morse at the beginning of their second date about mistakes or something. Yes it’s British and British people obviously can understand it but everyone else clearly makes an effort to tone things down a bit. Shaun Evans even created an entire wholly understandable accent just for the show.

    I liked your book recommendation for The Keys of Egypt. I’ve always been a big fan of Egyptian artifacts. I have even managed to make a once in a lifetime visit to the Great Pyramid.

  22. I will admit, “Muse” was probably my least favorite Endeavour so far (although I have a background on women artists and guessed what was happening before Morse did, which never happens). And I have no problem with critiques of anything I love. I enjoy dissecting my favorites!

    But I have to disagree here. I got a big kick out of “Cartouche.” maybe not as one of the best episodes of this particular show and the canon itself, but there were so many great details and moments of humor handled so expertly by the cast. I’ve watched this one more than once out of sheer enjoyment.

    I do agree, however, that trying to focus on so many characters dilutes things a bit. But I trust that all of this is leading somewhere. With 6 films instead of the usual 4 there’s a little more time for diversions.

  23. Have read everything with interest. Can anyone enlighten me to who the Inspector Antwill was who appeared in the credits. I’ve watched it a couple of times now and am no wiser.

  24. Two references to “Rocky Horror Picture Show”:
    “Late Night Double Feature” is printed on the sign outside the theater.
    We see a couple dressed as Brad and Janet attend the show.

    1. I should have included that this occurs during the opening credits between “Roger Allam” and “Anton Lesser”. Brad and Janet arrive late and sit to the left of our first victim while he enjoys his orange squash. The reference is anacronistic (1975) . Are their costumes a complete coincidence? Am I seeing patterns in inkblots? I don’t know how to attach screen captures for comparison.

  25. I agree with the consensus. Just watched this in the states. Too politically preachy- I watch the Morse and Endeavour shows to get away from the chaotic politics in US- and there are too many bodies! Still love them though, although Inspector Morse and John Thaw are incomparable, even though Shaun Evans is superb (and suoer cute)I’ve learned many British expressions by googling them!

  26. There were a few things that jumped out at me on rewatching this episode:

    1. Man, was there some clunky dialog!

    2. I really enjoyed the scene of the four Thursdays and Bright in the restaurant, though I don’t think I even noticed it particularly the first time. What made it so good wasn’t just Fred Thursday’s discomfiture, but the way Bright seemed to genuinely enjoy his interaction with Charlie, and not (or at least not only) in a slumming-with-the-little-people way. I think it gave us so real insight into Bright, who I think is one of the best-drawn characters in this series. Not too many shows will let a character be pompous and status-conscious and ultra-traditionalist in some ways, and at the same time be brave and fair and genuinely concerned with justice. You see why the detectives leapt to his defense in an earlier episode when someone from County said something disparaging about Bright…but also why they sometimes roll their eyes behind his back.

    3. Someone on another blog speculated that Joan will wind up marrying Strange, based on their familiarity with each other in this episode. I don’t think they will, for a number of reasons, and I especially don’t think their familiarity in the station is a giveaway. I imagine Joan practically grew up in that station house, and knows everybody there to a greater or lesser degree of intimacy, so why not Strange as well? We’ve also seen how Thursday takes a paternal interest in the young men under his command. I can imagine him bringing the young constable home for a home-cooked meal or something like that, before Morse came along, and he and Joan getting to know each other that way. So yes, there was some intimacy there, but I didn’t see it as the least bit romantic. Still, stranger things have happened and I’ve been known to have been wrong before….

    4. How did I miss before that Morse was royally hung over on the morning after his tete a tete with Carol? Strange certainly picked up on it, and seemed kind of bemused by the whole thing. It’s interesting, in retrospect, to realize how much Morse drinks, in this and the original series, but to think of how little we see it affect him. For that reason, it was good to see him pay the piper for once. And yes, I DO think that a once-in-a-blue-moon pick-up like this is in character for Morse, at least in this stage of his life. We’ve seen beautiful women thrown themselves at him before (which is getting tiresome, by the way) but he couldn’t pursue it because of line-of-duty issues. He had none of that here, She’s gorgeous, she’s fun, she’s willing, he’s “a young man” (as he insists), it’s 1968….why not? As Carol said herself, “Not everything has to be bigger than it is.”

  27. Wait a minute . . . Fancy and Trewlove in a pub? Did we not get that scene in the US?

    1. There appears to be various scenes in the fifth series episodes that have been edited out in the US. But this is not unusual.

    2. I am watching in the US in 2023, via PBS Passport streaming service. No scene with Fancy and Trewlove in a pub.

      1. PBS cuts out entire scenes of Endeavour episodes – In the pilot, for instance, the chap who works in “defence of the realm” isn’t included at all !

  28. I love what a commenter said about your blog pieces being as good as the show! And I’ve noticed what someone else said about the lack of music. I really, really didn’t like this episode. SPOILER coming up. I think I remember that Thursday told his brother that he had to check with Win, of course, before giving an answer to the money request. Now the real SPOILER Later in the show we find out that he did NOT talk to his wife first. Another really great write-up Chris. Boy, I sure didn’t like the ep!

  29. Thank you very much for the review. I understand the show a lot better know. I have a few questions:

    Who was behind the arson of the apartment building and the immigrant help center? Was it Eddie Nero trying to get insurance money?

    Who killed Liam Flynn? And why?

    Thanks again!

  30. Re-visiting the episode of Cartouche the other night, which is one of my favorites in no part due to the art deco style of the fictional Roxy theater I’m inclined to suspect that Armand De Vere is a possible nod to Edward De Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, and the leading candidate in the Shakespeare authorship debate.

    I must, as well, admit to an outburst of laughter each time Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright hears a shortened form of his name like “Reggie” by Assistant Chief Constable Clive Deare in the second season finale, Neverland, or “Reg” by Charlie Thursday in this episode! How he hates hypocorism!

  31. Great review. Thanks.
    Incidentally (or coincidentally) Valdemar and Curwen are also characters from stories by EA Poe ( The Strange Case Of Monsieur Valdemar) and HP Lovecraft (The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward).

  32. Hi Chris, Just wondering if you will be reviewing Series 2, 3 of Endeavour and there are about 9 episodes of Morse that haven’t been reviewed, either by video or in writing. I am not one for social media so I don’t know if you have reviewed them on either your twitch or facebook page. I rely on your website – I’m old school! I know you are super busy but I’m just curious if that is planned for future posts.

  33. As Valdemar is seemingly a homage also to Boris Karloff. Gordon’s reference to his platoon could also be a reference to a Karloff movie called The Lost Patrol from 1934. Karloff plays a soldier who goes mad and gets killed by machine gun fire.

  34. Two things:
    1. “She” was, if I’m not mistaken, also written by Sax Rohmer
    2. Valdemar mentions Hearst, and you pointed out the connection between Hearst and Citizen Kane; HBO here in the US made a film called _RKO 281_ about the making of Kane. In it, Walt DIsney is portrayed by…Roger Allam. No cheese and pickle sandwiches from Mrs Disney, though.

    1. SHE , KING SOLOMON’S MINES ETC were all written by H Rider Haggard, fine, but rather imperialist boys’ adventure stuff. Stirring for the right age, but hardly politically correct anymore.

      1. Political correctness and wokeness are the stuff of nightmares. Next they will want to ban books because of wokeism and political correctness. O! Wait! They are already doing that.

  35. I was pleased to find that the Roxy Cinema was one I remember visiting in my childhood in the fifties in Islington, the Carlton. Thanks to your help in helping my memory.

  36. You note: ”

    “The Pharaoh’s Curse mentioned in the episode is probably referencing the Tutankhamun curse.”

    Indeed the opening movie-within-a-movie references the famous dialogue when Tutankhamun’s tomb was first opened. Carter, peering into the dark through the slight opening, was asked, “What do you see?” and responded, “Wonderful things!” The film gies the first line, but not the second. This line is so famous that 3 of the people watching it tonight answered the screen with “Wonderful things!” Not quite the audience participation of Rocky Horror Picture Show . . .

  37. Hi Chris – not sure if anyone else has mentioned this in the comments, but the reference to Kensington Gore is most likely to the fake blood used in the film industry, rather than the actual Kensington location.

    1. Thank you Chris. It is possible that it is a reference to fake blood but I think it could be both. I have added your thoughts to my post.

  38. I can’t disagree about the silliness of this episode. But one thing I liked was near the end, when Fred is rescuing Morse (though this was Morse in danger again, which happens too often), they looked like two soldiers, one helping the other from the battlefield. This chimed with the theme of the experience of war, and the tiny reference to Fred’s and Charlie’s brother who was killed in the war was quite touching, I thought.

    Valdemar’s plea that he was nineteen when he gave the fatal order prompts me to recommend John Lewis-Stempel’s book ‘Six Weeks’ which is about the experiences of young officers in the First World War. Six weeks was the life expectancy of a junior officer after arriving at the front. I also thought of the play ‘Journey’s End’.

    On the confectionery counter at the cinema, I spotted boxes of Good News and (I think) Clarnico Peppermint Creams 😊

      1. Apparently, the café used in Absolute Conviction is also used in Cartouche.

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