ENDEAVOUR: ‘Passenger’ S5E3; Review, Music, Locations, Literary References etc.

Hello Morsonians and Endeavourists and welcome to my third review of the fifth series of Endeavour. I hope my post finds everyone well. I would like to write a huge thank you for all your support. Ultimately this blog wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for all the readers of this blog. Thank you for your continued support and to those who are visiting for the first time, welcome. I hope you find many articles of interest within my blog. I would also like to thank all those who not only leave comments but point out references, locations etc that I miss. I love this as it makes it a much more a collaborative blog. On that note if anyone wants to write a post about any subject within the Morse universe please do so and forward it to me via the ‘contact me’ button at the top of the page.


Endeavour Series five, Episode three; ‘Passenger’.

Chronologically this is episode 20.

First broadcast 18th February 2018.

Where’s Colin?

A lovely tribute to Colin. Employee of the month? Perversely he was our employee. We handed him our hard earned cash and he wrote many excellent books for all of us. 🙂

Directed by Jim Field Smith . This is Jim’s first connection with the Morse universe.

Written by Colin Dexter (characters), Russell Lewis (written and devised by). Russell has written all the Endeavour episodes. He also wrote;

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’.


The story arc of this series continues with the theft of goods and the killing of the van driver. The Robbery Squad from London think it is connected to Eddie Nero but the Oxford police believe otherwise.

While Thursday, Strange and Endeavour were attending the theft and murder George Fancy is dealing with a missing person’s case. A young woman, Frances Porter, has been missing for a few days and is being reported missing by her husband and her sister.

While George is seconded to the robbery squad, Endeavour is left to deal with missing person. After the dead body of Frances Porter  is found Oxford Mail’s Dorothea Frazil tells the police that she believes that Frances’s death may be connected to a death four years previously.

While the lads from the robbery squad cause disruption in Cowley police station in more ways than one the unknown gang who are pushing there way into Eddie Nero’s patch are causing even more confusion and mayhem in Oxford.

(warning, this review will contain some spoilers)

I am going to start this review by writing that I enjoyed the new episode. At no time did I find myself, unlike during the first two episodes of the series, being distracted by my recent bids on Ebay. This episode was more akin to episodes in the original Morse series, slow paced but never plodding. But, (i’m afraid there is a ‘but’) there were still many aspects of the episode that were missteps and some poor writing by Russell Lewis. Hold your breath folks we are going in at the deep end.

I am going to run through what I believe are missteps and poor writing in no particular order. Well, there is some order as I will be relating the following from my notes. Anyway I digress. The episode contains yet another stereotype in the trainspotter/train enthusiast character. Russell’s belief, as is so many other peoples, is that trainspotters are ‘sad’ individuals with no other life beyond their love of trains. Of course they are written as invariably living with their mothers. The stereotype is that all those who live with their mother are sad, lonely individuals with no ability to interact with women. I live with my mother and have done so for almost 12 years. Why, because I am her full time carer and living with me was a better option than throwing her into a nursing home. (Deep breath Chris and move on).

Thursday tells Morse that he is his ‘best man’ after Endeavour assumed he would be part of the team investigating the robbery and murder. Endeavour is his ‘best man’ but he puts him on the case of a missing person and not a robbery and murder????? Quite ridiculous. I understand that Thursday didn’t want Endeavour to have to deal with the yobs from robbery but it still didn’t ring true.

The husband and wife decide to kill her sister and then flee the Oxford area to Brazil before any pictures of her sister appears in the newspapers so alerting friends and colleagues that the woman found dead was not Noel Porter’s wife but actually his sister in law.  However, she, Frances Porter, goes wandering around Oxford when she should be keeping her self hidden from any possibly sightings. Which is what happens when she is spotted by
Anoushka Nolan her co-worker. Really Russell? You thought this made sense. It certainly doesn’t make sense to me. Does it make sense to anyone else?

One of the worst pieces of bad writing is the scene when DI Ronnie Box has a go at WPC Shirley Trewlove. Russell has previously written WPC Shirley Trewlove as being a strong female character who can hold her own in all situations. But in this particular scene she cowers from DI Ronnie Box and then jumps back when he goes to punch her and she has to be saved by the MALE characters. Russell wrote her into the show as a way of shoehorning in a strong female character to answer all the questions about why so much TV and Film are testosterone led in the present day. The one chance he had to show what a strong female character he is and resorts to the damsel in distress scenario. The scene should have been along the lines of Ronnie Box attempts to punch her, Trewlove either kicks him in the groin or restrains him by grabbing his arm and twists it. She turns to her stunned ‘male’ colleagues and says something like, ‘self-defence classes’. The camera then focuses on George Fancy who is visibly thinking that he will have to watch out in future how he treats Trewlove.

If Trewlove were in a similar situation on the streets of Oxford and seeing as she does patrol on her own, would she run away if a thief she is trying to apprehend decides to try and punch her? Of course not. It was a scene that Russell Lewis should be ashamed of in my opinion.

Once again during the episode Russell Lewis continues to insult the viewers intelligence by repeating information that has only just been said in the previous scene. After Frances Porter confesses and all is revealed in detail the next scene involves Endeavour, Thursday et al going over all the same details with Bright, him being the catalyst for this repetition. And by the way would a WPC really be part of these meetings in the 1960s?

The killings can be seen as the same motive as in the previous two episodes, revenge. Though it was primarily about the money Frances Porter made it clear it was also about revenge against her sister who was her mother’s favourite. Three revenge motives in three episodes? That is lazy writing.

Can anyone tell me the point of the attempted killing of the station master’s wife by the trainspotter? It was a completely unnecessary storyline and character. Why did he decide to kill again after four years? Why the station master’s wife? Just because he wouldn’t let him on the platform without a ticket? The usual dramatic chase and death at the end of the episode were superfluous to the the episode as a whole. Yes, mention the death of the schoolgirl in 1964 but it wasn’t necessary to solve that murder. Also if you were keen eyed you would have solved the murder within the first two minutes of the episode. Or at least it would have been obvious when later in the episode Morse is looking at pictures of the murdered schoolgirl.

I paused this shot knowing that there was a reason it was given such prominence. I memorised what was in the drawer and that help me solve the schoolgirl’s murder halfway through the episode.

In twenty episodes of Endeavour we have had 59 murders. In thirty-three episodes of the original Morse series there were 53 murders. Need I say more.

There are many other little niggly problems with the episode but I will finish with the one below.

Finally, (thank heavens I hear you say) how can Joan afford that flat in the middle of Oxford on a part time wage? I know she is flat sharing but it would need to be ten people sharing to make it affordable on a part time wage.

What made it a better episode than the first two? Well beyond the usual great acting, cinematography and editing there was some fine writing in the episode. I think this is what disappointments me more about this fifth series than anything else; Russell Lewis is a good writer and has written some beautiful episodes and scenes but has become complacent. The scene that stands out is the one with Joan and Endeavour on the rooftop. It wasn’t exactly subtle as to what the subtext was referring to but it was still a wonderful scene and well acted by Shaun and Sara.

I have uploaded it to both Youtube and Dailymothion.

This scene alone made the episode better than the previous two. However, (oh Chris please no however I can hear you shout) I do hope that this is the final scene between Joan and Morse as I don’t want the relationship to turn into a soap opera will they or won’t they situation.

Up on the roof. #Endeavour 5 | FILM 3 #BehindTheScenes. @SaraLVickers #ShaunEvans and @JamieCairneyDOP behind the camera. Copyright is owned by Nasir Hamid.

A big thank you to Jean who after a conversation on Twitter with Paul Cripps ( Production Designer on Endeavour  ) found out that the above scene “was actually filmed at Exeter College. ”

Thanks Jean.

Although the appearance of the robbery squad didn’t really add anything to the episode it was an interesting inclusion. On British TV, cop shows were beginning to move away from the cuddly and cosy shows like Dixon of Dock Green and into more grittier police shows. The robbery squad known as the Flying Squad were also beginning to show great results with their ideas of fighting fire with fire as far as catching criminals was concerned.

I thought Jamie Cairney (director of photography) done a wonderful job and had some of the best cinematography of the series so far. It is Jamie’s first venture into the Morse universe and I for one hope it is not his last. There were some shots in the episode that I thought were clever but not pretentious. In particular we had shots from inside vehicles, a lock-up and an oven. These shots reminded me of the kind of shots you get when a film camera is placed at the back of a mortuary’s body storage cabinet before the drawer with the body is pulled out. (I am sure there is a technical name for this but damned if I can think what it is).

So, at last series five has a good episode and let us hope that it continues. Now I have cheated a little regarding a jag score. I have gone back to the other two episodes and reduced their jag score to five. The reason for this is simple. I wanted to give this episdoe one more jag than the previous two episodes. However, I don’t believe this episode deserves a seven out of ten but does deserve a solid six. I hope you don’t mind me doing this.

Episode Jag Rating – out of 10.




Not much classical music in this episode sadly. Another reason the episodes are disappointing. Anyway first up is Sunshine of Your Love by CREAM.

Next we have Piece of My Heart by BIG BROTHER & THE HOLDING COMPANY.

Next we have Can’t You Hear Me Knocking by THE ROLLING STONES played when Endeavour goes to Joan’s housewarming.

Next is Draw Your Brakes by SCOTTY. This is playing when Strange and Thursday visit the Shebeen.

When Trewlove encounters Lloyd selling at the market we hear Baba Boom by The Jamaicans.

At about 51 minutes Endeavour is at Cowley police station listening to music. It is Ludwig van Beethoven’s (1770 -1827) haunting Moonlight Sonata.

When Fred and Morse talk to  Marty Bedlo at his shop, Alice’s Marmalade Cat we can hear Janis Joplin singing Piece of My Heart.


At around the two minute mark the train enthusiast is reciting W.H. Auden’s poem Night Mail.

This is the Night Mail crossing the Border,
Bringing the cheque and the postal order,

Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,
The shop at the corner, the girl next door.

Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb:
The gradient’s against her, but she’s on time.

Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder,
Shovelling white steam over her shoulder,

Snorting noisily, she passes
Silent miles of wind-bent grasses.

Birds turn their heads as she approaches,
Stare from bushes at her blank-faced coaches.

Sheep-dogs cannot turn her course;
They slumber on with paws across.

In the farm she passes no one wakes,
But a jug in a bedroom gently shakes.

Dawn freshens. Her climb is done.
Down towards Glasgow she descends,
Towards the steam tugs yelping down a glade of cranes,
Towards the fields of apparatus, the furnaces
Set on the dark plain like gigantic chessmen.
All Scotland waits for her:
In dark glens, beside pale-green lochs,
Men long for news.

Letters of thanks, letters from banks,
Letters of joy from girl and boy,
Receipted bills and invitations
To inspect new stock or to visit relations,
And applications for situations,
And timid lovers’ declarations,
And gossip, gossip from all the nations,
News circumstantial, news financial,
Letters with holiday snaps to enlarge in,
Letters with faces scrawled on the margin,
Letters from uncles, cousins and aunts,
Letters to Scotland from the South of France,
Letters of condolence to Highlands and Lowlands,
Written on paper of every hue,
The pink, the violet, the white and the blue,
The chatty, the catty, the boring, the adoring,
The cold and official and the heart’s outpouring,
Clever, stupid, short and long,
The typed and the printed and the spelt all wrong.

Thousands are still asleep,
Dreaming of terrifying monsters
Or a friendly tea beside the band in Cranston’s or Crawford’s:
Asleep in working Glasgow, asleep in well-set Edinburgh,
Asleep in granite Aberdeen,
They continue their dreams,
But shall wake soon and hope for letters,
And none will hear the postman’s knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?


No art to speak of unfortunately.


The main railway station where the station master worked;

This is Ropley Station, on the Watercress Line, Mid Hants Railway.



Next we have Fred Thursday’s home.

The address is 10 Ramsey Road, Headington.


The scenes where the robbery and murder took place may also be at or around the Mid Hants Heritage Railway.


Our next location is the boutique, Alice’s Marmalade Cat.

The above was filmed in Beaconsfield Old Town.

The empty shop was the location of Alice’s Marmalade Cat.

2 Windsor End, Beaconsfield to be exact.

The pictures below where taken during filming and are all the copyright of Anita Ross Marshall.


The next scene is when Endeavour first meets our railway enthusiast Cedric Naughton.

Here is the station in all it’s glory.


Thank you to Francoise Beghin for this location info.

This is Wood Street in Wallingford.

Box and Dawson are parked just about where the white car is parked in the above photo.


Up next we have the location where Joan’s flat is.

This is Museum Road, Oxford. 

Very handy for all the good pubs.

Here is something you may like about the above scene.

BehindTheScenes contact sheet, Oxford, July 2017. Some frames from my Rolleiflex, HP5 film in rapidly fading light. This is the copyright of Nasir Hamid. http://www.simplyoxford.com/



The pub location is the same as used in last week’s episode.

The Royal Standard of England, Forty Green, Beaconsfield HP9 1XS.


Actors who appeared in the Endeavour Series 5, Episode 3 ‘Passenger’ and/or Morse or Lewis.

Edwin Thomas  who played the murderer Noel Porter appeared in the Lewis episode Down Among the Fearful.

Edwin Thomas as Reuben Beatty.


The character of Patrick Dawson of the Robbery Squad is a nod to the same character in the Morse episode, ‘Second Time Around‘. (Click here to read my review of that episode).

The character of Patrick Dawson appeared in the Morse episode, ‘Second Time Around‘. That episode involved the murder of Mary Lapsley. In that episode Patrick Dawson was played by Kenneth Colley. To read my review of Second Time Around click here.


Coincidentally Kenneth Colley appeared with John Thaw in an episode of The Sweeney, Season 2, Episode 6 Trap (6 Oct. 1975).


Another trainspotting murderer was in the Morse episode, Sins of the Father. Click here to read my review of that episode.


Alex Jennings as Victor Preece 


Another connection to Sins of the Father is Radford’s beer. When Endeavour comes home to find Fancy and Strange eating a Chinese meal he asks where his Radford beer is. Radfords was the name of the brewery mentioned in the afore-mentioned episode.


At around four minutes Endeavour goes to collect Fred. He talks to Sara and Win in the hallway. Fred is upstairs. They both call up to Fred but he doesn’t answer. We can hear water running. After no reply from Fred Win says to Endeavour, “He can’t hear over the taps.

This is reminiscent of two scenes in previous episodes, ‘Lazaretto’ and ‘Harvest’ both from series four. In ‘Lazaretto’ Endeavour is collecting Fred. Fred calls up the stairs to Win but she doesn’t answer. In ‘Harvest’ Endeavour is standing in the Thursday’s hall bringing Fred up to date with the case. menawhile Win is watching television. Morse says goodbye to Win but she doesn’t answer. Fred says, “She gets lost in her programmes.”


The arrival of the Robbery Squad otherwise known as The Flying Squad was a lovely nod to not only John Thaw. The nickname for The Flying Squad was The Sweeney. The name was derived from the Cockney rhyming slang Sweeney Todd (Flying Squad). Of course John Thaw starred in the excellent 1970s TV show The Sweeney.

Image result for the sweeney

In case you haven’t seen it here is a video I created that mixed Morse and The Sweeney TV shows. But first is the original titles of the Sweeney series.


All British people of a certain age will have noticed this reference to an old soap opera of the 1960’s, 1970s and I think 1980s.

Crossroads was a much loved soap opera starring Noele Gordon.  “The Crossroads Motel” was located on the outskirts of the small village of King’s Oak, which is on the outskirts of Birmingham. Before the above scene we see Morse driving past a sign for King’s Oak.


Was Gidburys alluding to Cadburys or is that too obvious?

Or is it a more subtle reference to the excellent sitcom The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. The company he worked for was Sunshine Desserts.


Up next,

Gibbet was an early guillotine, or decapitating machine, used in the town of Halifax, West Yorkshire.


At about the 48 minute mark Fred and Win are sitting on the couch watching TV. Win says, “What time are the Minstrels on?” The Minstrels she is referring to are the Black and White Minstrels. A horrible TV show from the 1960s and 1970s. Even as a very young person I hated this show but was never sure why. It involved white people blacking up. Enough said.


At about fifty minutes the station master has just arrived home. His wife notices he has hurt himself. He replies “Caught some old Tommy Brock”. Tommy Brock is a reference to the character of the badger from a story called The Tale of Mr Tod by Beatrix Potter.


On the wall of the Shebeen we can see the flag of St Andrew.

St Andrew is not only the patron saint of my homeland, Scotland but also Barbados. Jennifer  English has corrected me on the flag, “the flag on the wall of the Shebeen is the flag of Jamaica. While it does have a saltire, it is a gold saltire, with 2 black sections and 2 green sections.” Thanks Jennifer.


Thank you to Lee Sylvester for the following information.

” the location of the abandoned railway station at Gibbet’s End is Quainton Road at the Bucks Railway Centre. Norborough comes from a 1967 Avengers episode called A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Station. From the list of stations on the line given by the railway enthusiast I can identify two from a St Trinian’s Film (the railway robbery one from 1966) which are Pudham and Hamingwell Halt. Chadwick Station is from a short detective story from 1951 called The Adventure of the Lost Locomotive. And an Agatha Christie one – Whimperley Station from Dead Man’s Mirror.”

Thanks Lee.


Endeavour visits Lillian Conway at the home for the aged.

Sundowning is a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. It’s also known as “late-day confusion.” If someone you care for has dementia, their confusion and agitation may get worse in the late afternoon and evening.


Burridges the big department store gets two mentions in the episode. One is when Fancy notices stolen toasters from Burridges in Lloyd’s lock-up. Secondly, is when Win mentions she is taking Joan their to buy a lamp. The Burridges store was prevalent in the Endeavour episode “Sway”.

Thank you to Hazel Braden who pointed me toward the following photographs.

The pictures were found at https://www.facebook.com/BucksRailCentre/posts/1419541498133851


I’m assuming that Hammond and Sons Hauliers is a reference to a British TV show of the 1970s called The Brothers. Primarily the show is about Robert Hammond’s three sons Edward, Brian and David who inherit the family trucking company and try to run it after Robert dies.


The first murder victim.

Jilly Conway strangled by Noel Porter and ably assisted by his wife.

Burt Hobbs Beaten to death by unknown assailants.

Anoushka Nolan strangled by either Noel Porter or his wife. Probably Noel Porter.

Lloyd stabbed by Cromwell Ames.

Cedric Naughton commits suicide by train.


Judy Clifton as Lilian Conway

John Biggins as Burt Hobbs

Shaun Evans as DS Endeavour Morse

Anton Lesser as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright

Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday

Colin Mace as Mr. Hammond

Celeste Dodwell as Anoushka Nolan

Jacob Fortune-Lloyd as Don Mercer

Simon Scardifield as Cedric Naughton

Rosalie Craig as Jilly Conway

Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil

Lewis Peek as DC George Fancy



Edwin Thomas as Noel Porter

James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn

Justin Edwards as Station Master Paterson

Dakota Blue Richards as WPC Shirley Trewlove

Lizzy Watts as Heather Paterson

Mark Asante as Lloyd Collins

Hadley Fraser as Marty Bedlo

Simon Harrison as DI Ronnie Box

Sara Vickers as Joan Thursday

Leon Stewart as Ferdy

Lydea Perkins as Frances Porter


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.

42 thoughts

  1. Don Mercer did indeed remind me of a more awful version of Tony “rushed off our feets-ville, Arizona” Webster from The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. Others have pointed out that the Rolling Stones song “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” heard at Joan’s house-warming party, was actually released three years AFTER the events portrayed in the episode (presumably June, 1968, since RFK’s assassination is mentioned at the end of “Passenger”).

  2. I have been wanting for your review of this episode, as we think on the same line about the writing. There does seem to be a few too many coincidences sometimes. It was a little bit of a odd this at one point I thought endeavour would find the first Dead girl in the train rather than at the station. and the Station Master himself would play a rather large part than did. The most shocking thing about interaction wpc trewlove I think that like you said she was written as an independent woman and has been on several self-defence courses.But here she’s shown as powerless. Almost descending into Life on Mars territory and the fact that Strange took several minutes to stand up from his desk and not stand between them, if memory serves strange did box at one point. Or are they big bad the series, I know that Trewlove and Fancy are going to be the item within the show, but she saw the record belong to Endeavor but left it there on the market stall and when they were at the lock up she could have told him about then it not a big thing I know but to would be nice. And I am missing something at the end the baby is called George and the last shot it’s of the name of the street which is Station Road I sure they is link to.something I just not sure want.

  3. I really enjoyed this – and again Chris – your review hit on the pros and cons of the episode so well (some of those points I had not noticed – going to go back and have another look) – I absolutely agree that the trainspotters / adult living with their Mum as an obvious “psycho” a little offensive but I can’t blame the writer entirely as he is certainly not the first with this one – I lived with my Mum until I was 30 and never felt that I was a borderline potential killer. Nor did anyone treat me that way.

    Sorry Chris – I am one of the shouters! Re: Joan and Morse – that scene was beautiful and seems to be the stand out with a number of others on blogs/reviews. I feel that we have been through so much to just leave it would be odd. And, for me, their scenes often a hightight of that episode. However, as Morse meets the French girl outside of Joan’s party and she is the romance that is in Ep 4 and 5 – and the friend that Joan mentions to set Endeavour up with – it seems that Morse is destined to sleep with everyone connected to Joan – her cousin, her friend – etc. I think it may be left sadly.

    Lol – Joan’s flat and cost – can’t blame the writer for that – can’t think of how often that is in a series – Friends come to mind – an amazing huge apartment in New York and not one of them had a job that would pay basic wages!

    A great and thorough review Chris ! Love going back to the Ep and finding the points you have highlighted.

    1. From the Sticky Fingers LP. Strange that they’d have made an error with the music as this doesn’t seem to be something that happens often.

  4. I sound like a broken record: My hats off to you for providing another superb article! I’m one of those who await to see “what would Chris say” after each episode. Thank you.

    Just in case, especially since it’s one of your favorites as well as mine: The roof-top-at-Joan’s-flat scene was actually filmed at Exeter College. Here are the links to the short Twitter convo I had with Mr P Cripps:





    I eagerly look forward to reading your next installment.

  5. A lovely review, thank you. Just wanted to add some details – the location of the abandoned railway station at Gibbet’s End is Quainton Road at the Bucks Railway Centre. Norborough comes from a 1967 Avengers episode called A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Station. From the list of stations on the line given by the railway enthusiast I can identify two from a St Trinian’s Film (the railway robbery one from 1966) which are Pudham and Hamingwell Halt. Chadwick Station is from a short detective story from 1951 called The Adventure of the Lost Locomotive. And an Agatha Christie one – Whimperley Station from Dead Man’s Mirror.

    The Crossroads appearance was just bizarre though. It had the exact same signage as the fictional motel had in the 1960’s, the same faux-leather studded reception desk, an obvious Jill Richardson lookalike as the receptionist and a mention of a housekeeper called Mrs T – which is Amy Turtle one of the show’s legendary characters. I’m just wondering if Morse is in a coma with a TV and radio nearby and he’s mixing reality and fantasy! If they would have left it at the road sign to Kings Oak then this would have been a nice nod but I think it was taken too far.

    And finally, steam train? June 1968? Incredibly unlikely, almost impossible in the Oxford/Midland regions.

    1. Thanks Lee for all the additional info. I will add it to my post. It’s ridiculous I didn’t notice the Avengers reference as i watched that particular episode only a few weeks ago.

    2. Not just unlikely impossible steam ended on the western region in 1966 even the diesel was wrong a southern region class 33 yours truly a train spotter.

  6. Thank you for your episode reviews and annotations.

    I have to take issue with your criticism of Thursday’s decision not to send Endeavour with the Robbery Squad as implausible. Thursday had to play second fiddle to the Robbery Squad in the investigation, which I imagine left him feeling humiliated. So he was in no mood to assist their efforts by lending his best man to their team. Not particularly laudable behaviour by Thursday, but understandable.

  7. Thank you Chris for another great review, and like others I preferred this episode to the other two in the series (though not as good I still enjoyed them.)

    It’s difficult to discuss the Joan/relationship when you know from Morse that he ends up alone in the end. The only thing I would say is that I’d like him to have a relationship which lasts longer than one episode – but maybe that doesn’t make good telly, even though we seem to be working through the years with the US assassination references.

    Finally, I hooted with laughter at the Kings Oak / Crossroads references with the Jill Richardson lookalike behind the check in counter – and her reference to Mrs T (Amy Turtle, the cleaner in Crossroads) not cleaning room nine. Priceless!

    1. I agree re Morse’s love life. I’ve read Shaun Evans’ interview where he says he wants Morse to be deliriously happy– for a brief time. He did have the relationship with Monica but he never seemed giddy or even happy or smitten at all. It was such a relationship of convenience. I would love to see him get everything he thinks he wants and to have that snatched away. How could that not be brilliant telly!

      P.S. Both Dr. King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated in 1968 so we’re still in the same year.

      1. Justine-I think your wish is going to be granted with the French girl -Claudine – she is in 2 eps -3 if you count her brief appearance in Passenger – and from the trailer Morse seems very giddy -dancing in public -lots of bedroom scenes-I am disappointed as when I read that comment by Shaun I was hoping that would be Joan but alas no the romantic French win again!

  8. For those interested there are a number of articles about ghost trains out there! Apparently they still run them! Eg Leeds – Snaith! Personally l thought it was a reference to the movie with Arthur Askey, and the use of a charachter with the name of Porter reminded me of Oh Mr Porter a rather fine example of the comedic genius that was Will Hay ( no relation ) and had a little to do with trains ‘ next train gone’ chortles.

    Better episode non consolidated viewing figures are up on cartouche 4.34 m to 4.6m and down on muse.

    Re the Morse La Thursday tryst the saga of will they won’t they and why are we still pursuing this l bet we’ll have to suffer at least one more episode of longing knowing glances and Poorly scripted dialogue before at long last Russell Lewis puts them and us out of our collective agony! I seem to think the french actress is only in episodes 4 and 5 unless of course there are others inhabiting 1960’s oxford.

    On a final note enter soapbox! The idea that Lewis can equate men who care for an elderly parent as l do like you is gratuitously offensive at best and thoughtless too boot! I am l must say without murderous intentions towards anyone even Russell lewis at what can be only be described as a careless conjoint! Shame on him! Exit soapbox

  9. I agree with you that this was the best episode of the series, but that they are still forcing the issue too much with unnecessary melodrama. I was interested to see Patrick Dawson – by my reckoning this would be five years before the Mary Lapsley case and presumably if he is introduced then logic would dictate that Charlie Hillian would have to appear as well?

  10. Hello Chris, lovely to read your comment again.
    Passenger was indeed a wonderful episode, it felt like coming home to Endeavour. Why apologise for fiddling with your Jag-rating? It’s your blog! 😉
    What you say about the script may all be true but I just don’t care… I have read most of Agatha Christie’s novels and even there found more than one loose end. Still enjoyed utterly to read them again and again, just for the feel of them, the atmosphere! I don’t know exactly who is responsible, ultimately, for the atmosphere in the Endeavour episodes. Is it the director? Then Jim Field Smith did an outstanding job, can he please please please come back again. Is it the music? I’d say, yes, for a great part. Matt Slater does a good job and I loved his interpretation of Satie’s piece in Game, but overall I prefer Barrington Pheloung’s Morse music, to me it does for a great part determine the atmosphere.
    I will forgive Russ Lewis his fanciful stories and loose ends and unlikely lines, I would forgive any mistake in any detail (not that I’m clever enough to find any), as long as the atmosphere is right. And it was, in Passenger, it was spot on. This was the Endeavour that I fell in love with, that I can indulge in, without thinking or rationalising. Ten Jags from me. May the rest of series 5 be like this, mistakes and gaps and loose ends and all. I am happy.

  11. Howdy! I love your reviews. I too have spent the last day wracking my brain trying to figure out why Cedric tries to kill the station master’s wife. I cannot figure out a purpose to it either!

    Also, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Abigail Thaw as Dorothea but she’s turning into a little exposition fairy. She pops up in the middle of nowhere with necessary information that absolutely no one asked for and then disappears again. At least let’s have Endeavour work for it by searching her out or something.

    Hey, I do have one little correction: the flag on the wall of the Shebeen is the flag of Jamaica. While it does have a saltire, it is a gold saltire, with 2 black sections and 2 green sections.

  12. Hi Chris,

    Wonderful amount of information in such short order.
    Completely agree regarding the scene between Trewlove and Box, it didn’t work for me either.

    Earlier on when Mr Bright is introducing the robbery squad element to the episode there is a conversation between Bright and Thursday about his promotion.
    Have I missed something from last weeks episode? It seemed to be thrown out there and then left to go cold.

    Thanks again for all your hard work and time.

  13. As a rail enthusiast I was disappointed to see SR colours rather than GWR in the ‘Oxford’ area. The Glos & Warwicks railway is closer to Oxford and just as lovely.

  14. my guess for trying to kill the station master’s wife is the new killings stirred up his murderous desires. she was a woman he had probably seen often so perhaps the obvious target and a supposedly easy target at that being heavily pregnant. she wasn’t too surprised to see him in the kitchen so he was known her.

    honestly though Russell was just tying up the loose ends.

  15. I think the reason that Cedric Naughton killed Linda Gresham, the school girl, in 1964 was because Linda had the musical talent that he lacked (his mother wanted him to the a concert pianist, 22:03). Mrs. Gresham, the nurse at Sundown, Home for the Aged, mentions to Endeavour that Linda’s music teacher was Mrs. Naughton (1:14:37), at which point Endeavour drives off in haste to save the station master’s wife.

  16. In I think the very first series of Endeavour am I correct in thinking there was an allusion to Harry Palmer with the spy who warned them off a case …can’t remember the episode name but has been bugging me for quite awhile I remember he was tall with glasses and was cooking a fancy meal and he had a cockney accent.

      1. Thank you for the information it’s a good feeling to have it confirmed.
        Lot of deep knowledge on this site.
        Great stuff.

      2. No, Chris, I think it is John Light’s mysterious special agent, in the Pilot episode to whom your correspondent refers, rather than the Michael Caine/Alfie character in “Sway.” “This is what Harold says………..”

  17. I assume what folks mean by “Russell just tying up the loose ends” is Endeavour also solving the cold case of Linda Gresham’s murderer being Cedric Naughton?

  18. Thanks for another great review Chris!

    I would offer that the more usual meaning of ‘gibbet’ rather than some sort of Yorkshire guillotine is a pole from which criminals are hung after being hanged, if you see what I mean, ostensibly to deter others by showing them how they might meet their own Gibbet’s End.

    Also, your version of W. H. Auden’s wonderful Night Mail seems to be slightly lacking, for instance missing an entire verse, thusly:

    “Letters of condolence to Highlands and Lowlands
    Notes from overseas to Hebrides”

    And finally, the similarly composed frames you wonderfully pulled together above (shot from inside the van, etc.)–although it’s usually applied to dimming light on the periphery, I suspect the term vignetting could perhaps also fit the bill here.

  19. I think there was a reference to ‘Morse’s law’ (‘There’s a 50% chance that however was the last to see the victim alive is the murder’, Masonic Mysteries) where Friday tells Mercer ‘you were the last so see her you’re half-way to the dock in my book’.

    For what it’s worth, I thought that the scene where Box threatens Trewlove was spot-on. If she had restrained or hit Box in self defence it would have been too cartoonish, and, besides, would have probably seen her dismissed. Given the institutional power that Box would have relied on, as well as the misogyny Trewlove and other women would have faced in workplaces in the 1960s (and beyond), her actions shows her courage in speaking truth to power. She does take two or three steps back, and then stands still, even when Box comes closer. She looks him in her eye, and coolly justifies what she’s done and tells him that he’s unfit for duty, and that she’s ‘not the crying type’. Weinstein and #metoo shows that the power in these everyday situations make what Trewlove did very courageous.

    Look forward to next week’s review!

    1. I agree about the Trewlove scene. I did feel it showed the unity of the station. They will need that unity as they get swallowed up by the division changes. They all came forward and were shocked at Box’s actions, including Bright.

  20. Further to Gibbet’s End- in my neck of the woods a gibbet was a gallows: the train signals bear a passing resemblance to this and, of course, the victim was strangled… by possible a ‘ligature’ around the neck of material or hands.

  21. I have to agree with your and everyone else’s comments about this series – eps 1 and 2 were very disappointing, but this episode is sending the series in the right direction! I would have loved Morse and Joan to get together – the ramping up of the tension between them in the previous series was tortuous! – but I think it won’t happen now.

    I really miss Barrington Pheloung’s use of music in this series – is he still involved with the show? I agree that they are adding in more 60s music to set the scene, but the previous series have also had lots of classical music/opera as background music or to provide atmosphere, but it is sadly lacking in this series, I feel.

    I worked out the ‘twist’ about the wrong sister quite early on, I thought it was signalled quite heavily from the start. Who would go to the Police in those days about a missing person and omit to take a photograph with them?! It’s not like they could look her up on Facebook or something.

    I really enjoy reading your critique of the episodes, and all the facts and references you explain – if I am watching it and don’t ‘get’ something, I think ‘Chris will explain that on his blog’!

    I have just watched episode 4 – a triumphant return to the quality of previous series, I felt – and can’t wait to read your blog post of it when it’s done 🙂

  22. In my capacity as a Train Spotter can I just make the point that there were not, in fact, any steam locomotives working in Oxfordshire in 1968!! Aside from that the episode was brilliant as ever and the information in this article is fascinating. Also thanks for the confirmation that Gibbets End was Quainton Road – there has been a lot of discussion about that amongst the carriage cleaning team at the Bluebell Railway!

  23. Just watched this episode. I’ve never noticed before the film & tv references in the show but this time the Crossroads & Reggie Perrin’s Sunshine Desserts were so obvious I started looking for others. Surely we had Dorothy’s Red (ruby) Shoes from the Wizard of Oz in there too?

  24. I think this was the best episode of the series because they cared about the murder victims, they weren’t just treated as mysteries to be solved but as people who had been killed.

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