ENDEAVOUR: ‘COLOURS’ S5E4; Review, Music, Locations, Literary References etc.

Hello and welcome to a new post and a review of the fourth episode of the fifth series. I should have pointed out the following sooner but better late than never. When you write your first comment on any post it has to wait for approval from me. Once approval has been given then all your subsequent comments will be published immediately.

Approval of the first comment is simply to stop any unsavory comments being left. Thankfully in the years I have been writing the blog I have only had to disallow one comment due to racist language. I NEVER delete comments or not approve them just because they criticize me or don’t agree with my opinion. As I wrote in my first review of the new season, the review is just my opinion. I never write that it is the correct or only opinion. As with ALL reviews it is just one person’s opinion. In the case of this blog it is my opinion. Nothing more, nothing less.

I have some good news. I will be upgrading my blog soon and part of that upgrade will include a forum. The forum will allow for everyone to discuss anything related to the Morse universe. I am hoping to incorporate a live facility into the forum. This would mean that you guys can write messages to each other in real time within the forum.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Endeavour Series five, Episode four; ‘Colours’.

Chronologically this is episode 21.

First broadcast 25th February 2018.

Where’s Colin?

Mr Dexter looking very good in uniform.

Directed by Robert Quinn . This is Robert’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’.

SYNOPSIS

After a fashion shot at an army base one of the models, Jean Ward, is found murdered. One of the soldiers whose job was to protect the models during their time at the army base is Sam Thursday, Fred’s son. Suspicion falls on him and Oswald a black soldier who was also under instruction to protect the models.

Soon after another murder occurs but Endeavour is unsure if there is connection especially in light of the two murders having a different modus operandi.

Suspicion falls on the  Nazi sympathizer Lady Bayswater whose step daughter was the model, Jean Ward. With her step daughter dead she would inherit everything.

With Win Thursday putting pressure on Fred to retire, their son under suspicion for murder and Joan getting arrested at a protest, all is not well in the Thursday home.

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

I want to simply write the following for my review and nothing more; A dull, obvious, trite episode. A storyline full of holes and coincidences that can be piled as high as any Oxford College rooftop. But of course I cannot write this without justifying my criticism.

I know this is a boring way to write a review but just let me list some of my problems with the episode. How many do you agree with?

Coincidences:

  • Jean arrives at the army base where Dr. Laidlaw just happens to be on that day.
  • Dr. Laidlaw happens to look out of the window as she arrives.
  • Dr. Laidlaw happens to see Jean kiss a black man.
  • Dr. Laidlaw happens to have a rifle all packed and ready to fire in his room at the army base.

WHAT?

  • What did Farridge the photographer hope to find when he returned to the army base? Marcus X thought maybe he was hoping to find something to find Jean’s killer. But what???
  • Why would Dr. Laidlaw go to a Hairdressers to get advertising photos of Jean? Why not ask the advertising agency or the model’s agency or the company she was advertising.
  • Laidlaw has all that Fascist regalia in his rooms at university and NOBODY bats an eye???? No one at the university had a problem with the Nazi memorabilia.
  • So, the reason for killing Jean was out of unrequited love. She spurned him so he took revenge. That is four revenge stories in a row.
  • What was the point of Joan’s storyline. Joan is now superfluous to the Endeavour series. She and Endeavour will never have a relationship.
  • Sam Thursday has not been mentioned in an Endeavour episode since series 3, episode 4, ‘Coda’. Suddenly there he is again and the Thursdays are concerned for him. The Thursdays have acted in the last few series as if they only had a daughter.
  • George Fancy has gone from being a cocky lad who loves a pint and the ‘birds’ to being as nice as everyone else at the police station. I was hoping this character would be not unlike DS Peter Jakes and so be a more typical police officer and young lad. A counter balance to Endeavour.
  • Laidlaw manages to shoot McDuff with a one shot but when aiming at Morse it appears he couldn’t hit a barn door.
  • Yet again another life an death ending to the episode. Another big dramatic ending.
  • Surely everyone realised the ending when Fancy was trapped in the minefield.
  • Once again Russell is beating us over the head with his politics. Once again force feeding today’s world into the series. In George Orwell’s 1984, O’Brien defines the future as, “a boot stamping on a human face — forever.” That is what we as viewers of future episodes of Endeavour will have to endure. Being kicked in the face with one man’s need to politicize a series.

It would be a similar feeling as this;

I’m not saying the politics are not relevant of the time but at least make the references more subtle. Marcus X??? Really? I have played video games that have had more depth, subtlety and creativity than this episode.

Because there are so many characters in the series many of them are becoming two dimensional. Crime shows need to be a two harder or three at the most. There are exceptions like Hill Street Blues, all the CSIs etc but they have 24 episodes per series to allow the characters to become three dimensional.

In this episode Trewlove only had to stand around looking pretty and be told how lovely she is by Bright. Strange and Fancy have almost become ciphers within the series.

A real bugbear for me, NO classical music in this episode at all. The number of classical pieces has diminished as each series goes on. Classical music was played in the original series not only because Morse enjoyed it but the music was part of his character. This was why you very rarely heard any other type of music.

I love a lot of different genres of music from Bach to Bacharach but one reason I loved Morse was due to the classical music. Pop music within a series about Morse just grates on me.

I am not even going to get started on Morse smoking cigarettes even if they are French ones. And don’t get me started on the stereotype Scotsman. In all my life I have never used the words Polis (Police), Laddie, Lassie or Bonnie. I know some Scots do but we as Scots are forever being betrayed on TV and Film as extras from Brigadoon.

Once again multiple murders, three in all. Here is another list (I love lists so bear with me)

The Original Morse Series:

The Dead of Jericho – One Murder

Dead on Time – No Murders.

Last Seen Wearing – No Murders

Fat Chance (No Murders)

Last Bus to Woodstock – One Murder.

Deceived By Flight – Two Murders.

Promised Land – No Murders.

Cherubim and Seraphim – No Murders.

The Wench is Dead – No Murders. If you don’t count the flashbacks)

Yes, there were a few episodes with more than one one murder but they were few and far between. Also, the original Morse series was nearly 15 minutes longer than the Endeavour series.

The positives are the same as always, the acting, cinematography, editing etc. But a series cannot live on these things alone.

I am going to stick with my prediction I mentioned after the first episode. Fred Thursday will retire maybe to work with his brother. He and Win will move out of Oxford and maybe even Joan as well. Surely Russell Lewis will stop the will they won’t they with Joan and Endeavour after this series. If he does her character is redundant so I believe she will no longer appear in the following series. If those series are commissioned of course.

I feel I should apologise for yet another negative review but if I did it wouldn’t be an honest or heartfelt apology. With two more episodes left I am praying that that they allow the series to finish on a high.

Episode Jag Rating – out of 10.

THE ARMY SCENES.

This section is an update to my original post. This section is to illustrate the continuing poor writing and the shipshod work done by the production crew. I have received numerous comments about the poor attention to detail the scenes involving the army were. Many of these comments come from those who were soldiers.

I always thought the inclusion of a minefield seemed ridiculous especially one that wasn’t fenced off in any way. It also seemed nonsensical that the regiment was moving out to Germany in a few days but they were either going to leave the minefield active or leave the minefield for someone else to deactivate.

My knowledge of army regulations and procedures is limited so I didn’t question anything about the military aspect of the episode. In light of the comments I received I decided I had to take the unusual step of adding this section. After reading all these comments I am seriously thinking of reducing the score to three out of ten. Russell Lewis the writer has to take the blame for the minefield story but the production need to take the blame for all the other inaccuracies. Was it lack of time? Lack of money or just lack of taking any pride in the job they were doing.

Below are direct quotes from the comments I received.

John Fuller Stephens wrote;

“As an ex cavalry man I too was struck by all the glaring mistakes military speaking. L/cpl Thursday with no chevron on jacket or shirt and a beret worn in a fashion that would have seen him parading behind the guard for ever and a day.

Chatting to the colonel like they were old buddies from way back when. The wearing of stable belts with no 2 dress, never happened in the British army i served in.

But the most glaring mistake for me was the little armoured vehicle we see in one scene. It was a CVR(T) Scorpion, an armoured reconnaisance vehicle. Used by an armoured reconnaisance regt not by light infantry. Light infantry are exactly that, the clue is in the title, LIGHT INFANTRY. Apart from that is the fact that those vehicles didn’t come into service with the army until 1972, four years after the event.

Incidentally, a regt would have two colonels. Battalions were , are, commanded by a lt colonel. But every regt also has a colonel who, as shown, is a staff officer with the red tabs and staff cap badge. We can excuse his presence as his regt is being amalgamated so he is there to give support. I say amalgamated as the regt is apparently to cease being but are about to depart for Germany on posting. So going under a new name although we are not told this fact.”

Rob wrote;

“I was in the Army (Royal Engineers) in the late 1960’s and the Researcher’s attention to all details concerning Military matters was, at best, Woeful. Countless thousands of former service people would have spotted the Mistakes immediately, as I did. That whole Minefield Scenario was unbelievable Nonsense. All of it.”

Gee wrote;

“Just about everything was wrong with the scenes in the barracks. A live mine field in Oxfordshire WHAT RUBBISH. Also truck (did not look like 3 tonner) drove away without tail gate up.”

Scumspawn wrote;

“…the black soldier answering back to his CSM…no..no..no.would just never have happened..not then and probably not even now..if by any chance he had inquired ” what are my type like ) I’m paraphrasing here he would have immediately been double timed to the cells and charged with insubordination…but it’s a moot point as I was in the Green Howerds not long after this episode was set in and it would have been like back answering God.
Then the open combat coats and walking around with hands in pockets by the soldiers only if they had wished for their feet to not touch thr ground and had wanted to mark out the parade ground with white paint and a toothbrush.”

That is only a few I have received.

MUSIC

The music Fred and Win dance to is The Tango Passion by Daryl Griffith.

The next piece of music is played when Endeavour is in Claudine’s bed.

Next up is the music played during the scenes when the photographer taking photos of models at the military base.

After Jean gets changed the photographer takes more photos while the following music is playing.

Picnic Scene with Claudine and Endeavour. On the radio the following is playing.

The following music is played when DCI Thursday & Endeavour go to speak to Marcus Williams.

When Morse visits the beauty parlour the following song can be heard on the radio.

After McDuff attacks Endeavour he is taken to his room by Major Coward. The Major sings to McDuff while he is trying to sleep. The song he is singing is old Scottish folk tune, ‘Flowers of the Forest‘.

NO CLASSICAL MUSIC AAAAAARRRGGGGHHHHHHHHH. 

LITERARY REFERENCES.

Near the end of the episode McDuff is standing on the stairs looking at the regiment regalia. He recites part of a poem.

The sand of the desert is sodden red, –
Red with the wreck of a square that broke; –
The Gatling’s jammed and the colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed his banks,
And England’s far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of schoolboy rallies the ranks,
“Play up! play up! and play the game!”

This is part of a poem by Sir Henry Newbolt titled, Vitai Lampada, (the torch of life).

The full poem is;

There’s a breathless hush in the Close to-night –
Ten to make and the match to win –
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and the last man in.
And it’s not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame,
But his Captain’s hand on his shoulder smote
“Play up! play up! and play the game!”

The sand of the desert is sodden red, –
Red with the wreck of a square that broke; –
The Gatling’s jammed and the colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed his banks,
And England’s far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of schoolboy rallies the ranks,
“Play up! play up! and play the game!”

This is the word that year by year
While in her place the School is set
Every one of her sons must hear,
And none that hears it dare forget.
This they all with a joyful mind
Bear through life like a torch in flame,
And falling fling to the host behind –
“Play up! play up! and play the game!”

I took issue on Twitter with Russell Lewis about a Scotsman quoting a poem about England, English schoolboys and Cricket. I asked why he didn’t chose a Scottish war poet or at least a poem that is about Britain’s part in the wars. He was kind enough to answer. Here is the conversation.

Me: Scotsman quoting a poem about; England, English Schoolboys, Cricket? Why not quote a Scottish war poet.? A poem that uses England to mean Britain. It doesn’t. It’s insulting to all those who were British but not English and fought and died at Battle of Abu Klea.

Russell: Because with the ending of the Regiment it was the sentiment of one generation passing on the torch to the next that brought the verse into McDuff’s mind.

Me: I understand that. But for example, Charles Sorley’s ‘When you see millions of the mouthless dead’ is just as powerful. And if I thought a bit longer I could come up with other examples of Scottish war poetry that would have been just as appropriate for the scene as Newbolts.

Russell: The Sorley is a terrific poem – but does not contain the same sense of the torch being passed, which is why I used the Newbolt.

Me: I love the Newbolt poem. But like many war poems there is that underlying theme of England fighting the wars when of course it was the British. See Kipling, Brooke, Sassoon etc for examples. I’m sure Hamish Henderson wrote a poet along the same theme but damned I can remember it.

Russell: A given — but distaste for the imperial should not deter us from seeking the universal. Change every instance of England in The Soldier to Iceland or Scotland, and it moves no less. Because it’s a love-letter to ‘home’, wherever that might be. The pillow calls. Warm regards.

Me: This is nothing to do with Imperial revisionism. It is simply about using a poem that refers to Britain and not England especially in light of it being spoken by a Scotsman. Anyway, thank you for taking the time to answer my little rant.

Russell: Twitter as ever an imperfect medium for discussing much beyond the cuteness of puppies, but thank you for taking the trouble to share your thoughts on the matter. Best and warmest regards.

He’s right regarding Twitter being an imperfect medium.

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When Thursday and Major Coward meet at the end Thursday says to the Major, “Parade’s End.” I’m guessing this a reference to  Ford Madox Ford‘s  tetralogy of novels collectively titled Parade’s End. One of the main themes through the four novels is  the psychological result of the war on the participants and on society. A great series of books and well worth a read. One of my blog readers, Layne Aingell, noted that Roger Allam starred in the British TV series based on the novels.

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During the same scene above, the Major says, “And as long as the colours remain and one man left to see they don’t fall to shame.”

He is paraphrasing a line from a short story by Talbot Mundy,  ‘The Soul of a Regiment’.

SO long as its colors remain, and there is one man left to carry them, a regiment can never die; they can recruit it again around that one man, and the regiment will continue on its road to future glory with the same old traditions behind it and the same atmosphere surrounding it that made brave men of its forbears. So although the colors are not exactly the soul of a regiment, they are the concrete embodiment of it, and are even more sacred than the person of a reigning sovereign.”

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When the Major drives off Thursday quotes a few lines from the first verse of a poem to Endeavour, Naming of Parts by Henry Reed.

Today we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And tomorrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
Today we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighbouring gardens,
And today we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
For today we have naming of parts.

ART

In the hallway of the military building Endeavour looks at this painting on the wall.

Dr. Rex Laidlaw tells Endeavour that it is drummer Hawkins who received the Victoria Cross after saving the colours.

The painting above is actually a small scene from a larger picture.

The painting is called The Battle of Isandlwana, painted on the 22nd January 1879 by Charles Edwin Fripp.

The painting illustrates one of the worst disasters suffered by the British Army in the late nineteenth century.

In a coercive move to ‘persuade’ the Zulus to cooperate in a federation of British colonies and Boer republics in South Africa, a field force under Lieutenant-General Lord Chelmsford entered Zululand in 1879. On 20 January a temporary base camp was established under the distinctive hill of Isandlwana. Two days later, Chelmsford marched out part of his column to find a reported concentration of Zulu forces. Just after midday, the remaining garrison, mainly six companies of the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot (later the South Wales Borderers), was attacked by about 25,000 Zulus. The garrison attempted to form an extended firing line some distance forward and at right angles to the camp, but this was soon outflanked. Attempting to fall back, the troops were forced to form several small squares, and fought to the death. The official casualty return listed 858 Europeans and 471 Africans killed.

LOCATIONS

The Oxford Debating Society location is the actual Oxford Union.

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The next location is outside Claudine’s flat.

This is Ship Street, Oxford which has featured in previous episodes of Endeavour.

The army barracks are Kneller Hall in Twickenham.

Image result for Kneller Hall in Twickenham

Kneller Hall is a mansion in Whitton, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It houses the Royal Military School of Music, training musicians for the British Army.

Endeavour and Claudine are having a picnic.

This looks like they are in the Botanic Gardens as that is Magdalen College you can see in the background.

I believe it must have been filmed within the red circle.

The hairdressers where the protesters are well, protesting.

This was filmed in Hemel Hempstead.

The photo above is the copyright of Shaun Evans Online. @ShaunEvansInfo.

The filming took place on The High Street in the Old Town of Hemel Hempstead.

The shop to the left was used as the Hairdressing Salon.

Next is the building where Morse and Thursday visit to interview Marcus X.

Some more nice photos from Shaun Evans Online. @ShaunEvansInfo.

The building used for the headquarters of Marcus X and his group of protesters is known as Holywell Music Room.

Image result for music room oxford

Thanks to David Howkins for the location of Lady Bayswater’s home.

The location is Hall Barn in Beaconsfield.

Thanks to John Burling and and Stephen Long for pointing me toward the location of the rest of the army base used in the episode. The location is RAF Halton. Royal Air Force Halton or more simply RAF Halton is one of the largest Royal Air Force stations in the United Kingdom, located near the village of Halton near Wendover, Buckinghamshire

Image result for RAF Halton

Image result for RAF Halton

I have been told by one of my blog readers,Davey Shephard, that the location of what was referred to as  ‘murder town’ in the episode is actually Bordon and Longmoor Military Camps in Hampshire. Davey also said ” the houses are real, there is even a sewage system to crawl through. All great fun when you’re 19 or 20 but not for real I suspect. They used to tell us we could expect a 60% casualty rate if we ever had to really do it.”

John Fuller Stephens also wrote “looked like Longmoor but wasn’t 100% sure. Never actually went there until I left the army but went afterwards as a reservist.”

 

Image result for longmoor training camp

This looks like the buildings shown in the screenshot above. The photo is titled, Airsoft Longmoor.

PUB LOCATIONS

No pubs in this episode.

Actors who appeared in the Endeavour Series 5, Episode 4 ‘Colours’ and/or Morse or Lewis.

No actors appeared in this episode and/or a Morse or Lewis episode.

CONNECTIONS OTHER THAN ACTORS TO THE LEWIS AND ORIGINAL MORSE SERIES

No connections were obvious to me.

Miscellaneous

The announcer at the dance attended by Fred and Win says that they the Thursdays learnt dance at the Stuart-Hargreaves Dance Studio in Bicester. This is a reference to the British sitcom Hi-de-Hi! Yvonne and Barry Stuart-Hargreaves were former ballroom champions who now taught dance at a holiday camp.

Image result for Stuart-Hargreaves hi di hi

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Before Fred and Win start their dance Fred says, “Here’s looking at you.” This of course is a reference to the film Casablanca.

———————–

Marcus X using an ‘X’ as his surname is a nod to the Malcolm X African-American human rights activist.

Image result for malcolm x

Assassinated: 21 February 1965.

Clare, one of my readers informed me that Malcolm X actually made a speech at the Oxford Union in 1964. In found a video of said speech.

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The army unit in the episode is the Oxfordshire Light Infantry. There was an Oxford Light Infantry up until 1908 when the regiment’s title was altered to become the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.

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Near the beginning of the episode we see McDuff staring at the regiment flag. On the flag are the names of battles.

Kabul could relate to many skirmishes the British had in Afghanistan in the 19th century. Britian and Russia were forever at loggerheads to gain control of it and India.

Mons will be referring to  the Battle of Mons. This was the first battle fought by the British Army in World War I.

Somme. The Battle of the Somme was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British and French empires against the German Empire. It took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916. More than three million men fought in this battle and one million men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history.

Djebel Djaffa Pass. This must be referring to the Battle of Longstop Hill (1943). A hill known as Djebel Djaffa was taken by the British from the Germans. The first to be captured intact by the British.

The Medjez Plain was part of The Tunisian Campaign (also known as the Battle of Tunisia) during WW2.

Longstop Hill. See above.

Waterloo. The Battle of Waterloo is probably one of the most famous battles in the history of warfare.

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Is the character of CSM Davies a nod to the actor Windsor Davies who played Battery Sergeant Major Tudor Bryn ‘Shut up’ Williams in the sitcom It Ain’t Half Hot Mum?

Image result for davies aint half hot mum

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Jean Ward’s real name was Creighton-Ward and that was the full name of Lady Penelope of Thunderbirds.

Image result for Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward.

Thunderbirds was a children’s TV programme of the 1960s.

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The Battle of Mboto Gorge mentioned by Dr. Rex Laidlaw to Endeavour while he looks at the paintings on the wall. Mboto Gorge is a reference to the excellent sitcom Blackadder in particular the Blackadder Goes Forth series. Edmund Blackadder was hailed as the ‘Hero of Mboto Gorge’ in 1890, where he had faced “ten thousand Watutsi warriors armed to the teeth with kiwi fruit and dry guava halves”

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The character of Lady Bayswater real name Charity Mudford is alluding to Unity Mitford. An English socialite best known as a devotee of Adolf Hitler. Both in Britain and Germany, she was a prominent supporter of Nazism and fascism, and formed part of Hitler’s inner circle of friends. The Mitford sisters were a fascinating family. A fascinating and worthwhile read is The Mitford Girls: The Biography of an Extraordinary Family by Mary S. Lovell.

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One of the characters is called Collier. A reference to to James Bolam’s character, Terry Collier in the sitcom The Likely Lads and What ever Happened to the Likely Lads. After the original series in the 1960s Terry had joined the army.

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When Strange and Morse visit Dr. Laidlaw they find him ‘wargamming’ with toy soldiers. Strange asks what battle he is replaying and Dr. Laidlaw replies the Battle of Cannae second Punic War. Click here to read more about the battle and the war.

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Thursday and Endeavour visit Lady Bayswater to ask questions about her step daughter. She says that she is being persecuted. Thursday tells her that her fascist husband should have been hanged along with Spode.

Roderick Spode was a character in the Jeeves and Wooster novels by P.G. Wodehouse.  Spode was a leader of a fictional fascist group in London called The Black Shorts.

Image result for roderick spode

Roderick Spode, as played by John Turner

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Rebecca Saire, who plays Hazel Radowicz the hairdresser, is in real life the wife of Roger Allam.

Husband and wife.

One of blog readers, Josephine, noted that Endeavour’s smoking was mentioned in a previous episode. “Morse smoking French cigarettes: there was a reference to him smoking French cigarettes as a student, in Rocket.”

Chris Lowe made some valid points regarding the episode. “we have now reached 1968, by which time the Race Relations Act 1965 already gave Thursday the power to prosecute the hairdresser for a racist notice. No UK army base would have its own minefield. Apparently, the “regiment” – which was actually of platoon strength – had two colonels one major and a lieutenant. Two colonels (one a fully fledged staff colonel) in one regiment would never happen. It seemed, though, that this “two colonel” motif was a straight, but misunderstood take from the classic movie, “Tunes of Glory”; and this was echoed in the Major’s treatment of, and final farewell to, the alcoholic and heroic Korean war veteran.”

THE MURDERED, THEIR MURDERER/S AND THEIR METHODS.

Jean Ward murdered by Dr. Rex Laidlaw. Stabbed with a bayonet.

Justin Farridge shot by Dr. Laidlaw.

McDuff shot by Dr. Laidlaw.

CAST

Shaun Evans as DS Endeavour Morse

Jules Robertson as Debating Society President

Caroline Goodall as Lady Bayswater

Marcus Griffiths as Marcus X

Ian Pirie as Lt. Col. McDuff

Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday

Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday

Ray Sesay as Pte. Oswald

Leo Hatton as Jean Ward

Jack Bannon as Sam Thursday

Greg Austin as Kit Hutchens

Sam Marks as Justin Farridge

Lee Armstrong as Pte. Collier

Claire Ganaye as Claudine

Anton Lesser as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright

William Scott-Masson as Col. Champion

James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn

Sean Rigby as DS Jim Strange

Dominic Carter as CSM Davies

Robert Portal as Maj. Coward

Steven Elder as Barker

Lewis Peek as DC George Fancy

Dakota Blue Richards as WPC Shirley Trewlove

Rebecca Saire as Hazel Radowicz

Sara Vickers as Joan Thursday

 

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.

95 thoughts

  1. I watched this episode with some friends who had never seen the show and I was embarrassed by how poor it was. Ridiculous plot and trite dialogue. Russell Lewis seems more concerned with shoe-horning in more and more ‘meta’ tv references as well as his ill-disguised politics. Of course the acting is still good and there was a touching moment at the end with Fred – Roger Allam is about the only thing keeping me watching at the moment.

  2. Exellent review again , sure to inflame the uncritical myopathy of social media based fan sites (as your last review did.. ) for me or should l say pour moi as least we or l was/ were spared the continuing will they won’t they tryst of morse / la thursday and thank heavens for that if only for a week l feel better already!

    At least Mr Lewis can clearly write dialogue for french actresses whilst he struggles with scottish ones!

  3. I am beginning to think that Mr Russell Lewis is turning endeavour into how many references of the week can we push it into one story it does not leave very much in the way of what call Fan Theory territory, there has to some space for the people make their own ideas up of want happened. And not a paint by numbers caricature 60s policeman.

  4. I liked the Parade’s End reference, as Roger Allam is in that miniseries as well. And I realized I was getting old when Roger Allam was the hot one, and not Benedict Cumberbatch. 😉

  5. Given comments I’ve read elsewhere I was beginning to feel a tad mean regards my own thoughts on this series but they are similar to your own particularly this latest episode and the first. The Joan sorry is boring now however well acted and it’s a bit tiresome to have Morse nearly peg it every episode, 3 times in this one.. And who with a modicum of sense would run into a live minefield when the nearby trees would be safer and provide better cover? (and I dint think remembering the steps Fancy took is an excuse fro that one). The acting is sublime as always but the writing is less than it was….

  6. Hello Chris, thank you again for your thorough research.

    I have to say, much to my regret, that I agree with you on many points, although I did not find this a boring episode. I thought it was entertaining enough. Laidlaw chasing Morse wasn’t very well done, it lacked speed and tension, and Morse would never have been so stupid to walk into that mine field. But still I thought it was enjoyable. The guest characters did a very good job too.
    You missed another coincidence: of course it had to be Laidlaw stepping on a mine, not Morse. Laidlaw constantly missing him was a bit simple but maybe that was a nod to Bond ;))) ?

    Morse smoking French cigarettes: there was a reference to him smoking French cigarettes as a student, in Rocket. That makes it plausible to me that he might enjoy having a taste again when his lover smokes them (plus, if you don’t smoke yourself but your lover does, a kiss tastes like kissing an ashtray).

    I loved to see Sam again, I also found it very strange why nobody ever mentioned him all those previous episodes! And now it appears he has been just around the corner all that time.

    Well, no point in repeating all your other points saying how much I agree. May I just take two out:
    first: the MUSIC!!! The lack of Morse music! You hit the nail right on the head, classical music is very much a part of Morse’s character. And it is SO important for the atmosphere. It is one of the things that has always set these series (Inspector Morse and Endeavour) apart from all the rest. But now it’s just period pop songs. If I want that, I might as well watch the umpth repeat of Heartbeat.
    second: politics. Yes it was a very turbulent time and it would be unrealistic to ignore the signs of the time. (Although they were ignored e.g. in Monica’s and Trewlove’s case). And sadly there are parallels to today’s political climate. I can see that. It is only right to pay attention to them and, if they are part of the plot, even focus on them. But I don’t need them spelled out, literally. I’m not stupid. And I don’t want a lecture on political correctness every time I watch my favourite detective. Where is the subtlety that used to be a trade mark of Endeavour? Gone with the music?

    What strikes me in many of the stories is that there is so much material that could provide a real motive for murder, an interesting motive for murder, and yet in the end it is just a jealous lover and/or, like you say, revenge. We are given so many clues and background characters but most of them are left lying around unused, forgotten, unanswered, yet the killer is some overreacting jealous character. It is almost as if Mr. Lewis is writing this great story trying to fit in some wonderful ideas, but in the end doesn’t know how to tie them up, time is running out and then quickly takes an easy way out.

    I still love the show for all the positive reasons you mentioned. I realise that if you make 23 stories, they can’t all be equally good. But since S2 some essential, basic things have changed, which makes the later series very different. Less enchanting, less special, less Morsey, to me at least. But on the other hand, there seems to be a new audience for them, some of them only started at S3 and don’t even know any of the background. What can I say? I think it’s just a damn shame. But I will keep watching, and enjoying yet missing. Or missing yet enjoying.

    1. Hi Josephine – you are so right (and Chris) the absence of the classical music is deafening ! And so missed – it was such a part of the original series and up until this series of Endeavour- it gave it such its trademark atmosphere and highlighted (beautifully) in Endeavour how much of an enigma he is and different to others in the force and his time. I read somewhere that the writer and producer didn’t want the show to become a “jukebox” show – but yet he has been the creator of exactly that ! A la Heartbeat.

      1. Wow what a stupid remark that producer made. He obviously has no idea about the Morse legacy. Never in my all my years watching and rewatching Morse and Lewis did I think that i was listening to a jukebox show. But I do now when watching this series.

      2. Did they say that indeed? Where did you read that? If Russ Lewis did say that it almost seems as if he is ready to kill the character.

  7. Hi Chris – I typed up a comment but my computer shut down so not sure it went through – if so please delete one of them.

    I have the same opinion as you of this Ep – have to be careful though as I gave up and didn’t watch the last 40 mins. Usually, I stream the episode and watch a day after broadcast and avoid any reviews or comments so I can view with fresh eyes. Unfortunately I went on to a FB fan site before I viewed. I saw a comment there re:Morse explaining why he had failed to pick up Thursday as “something came up” – I thought no way – that can’t be right. I remember seeing a Bond movie when I was about 13 way back in 1978 and when Roger Moore delivered that line (or similar) literally the whole audience groaned – I could not believe that they had Morse utter such a cheesy and schoolboy howler (and rather sexist even in 1978) line such as this. It was all downhill for me from there.

    The second was that most of the FB comments focussed on naked Morse – there were some that offered other comments (good and bad) but those that offered anything negative were rudely shut down and told to stop watching and get off the site. It put me off so much I have left the group now – will try and keep talking to the adults.

    Re: Joan agree – I think that a lot of her scenes may have been cut – I saw lots of photos of her filming this Ep and unless the scenes were in the last 40 mins must not have made it. I think that a lot of scenes may have been cut to focus on the affair. Sorry I maybe jaded but it didn’t work for me – in my opinion Morse seemed like a teen having his first sex rather than an adult man having a relationship (purely physical or not) – i was expecting someone to say “oh la la” at any moment. It came nowhere near as realistic as Monica/Morse. They have definitely gone for titilation over content.

    For me everything was so “hit you over the head with a crowbar” rather than clever – characters very one dimensional- including Morse – still liked Thursday though his man knowing that his time is up was well done.

    next Ep seems to be punting, more picnics and Bond-like espionage in London (and no doubt more bed frolicking) so am sure it will entertain lots judging by the FB comments as long as there is naked Shaun Evans (and I love the actor) all is well with the series but I don’t have high hopes (for me)

    1. I don’t mind seeing more of Shaun, he is a beautiful man. But not just for the sake of seeing him, it has to go with the story. Endeavour is a young attractive single man in the late sixties, who has finally decided to enjoy the chances he is offered, I find that perfectly understandable and in line with the Morse character in the novels. He is not a monk. I had hoped though that his French girlfriend could be a real girlfriend, someone adding something to his personal life that we might get to see, and not “just sex”.
      But Shaun’s wonderful and subtle talent for making a character, making it a real person, which made Endeavour a success, is more important, and under-used in the later series. I would like to see a lot more of that. A better use of his special acting talents would do the series more good than showing more of his physical attractions. People who want that kind of thing can turn to Grantchester or Poldark.
      Perhaps it is a choice of what kind of audience they want to attract. What kind of audience they think would increase viewing figures. Because, sadly, it’s not quality that counts when it comes to deciding if there will a new series.

      1. I agree – I love Shaun he is gorgeous and don’t get me wrong have no problem with love scenes – for some reason they felt to me that they were there simply for the purpose of the naked Shaun and the sex scenes there was no build to the relationship- they were at the debate and next minute in bed. Like you I definitely miss the subtelty and understatement of the earlier character. . I have only read two of the novels and everyone keeps referring to the womanising as fitting that but didn’t everyone start watching because of the TV Morse and Lewis – not the novels ? Well I did – also except for Strange none of the Endeavour characters are in the books (the two I have read) so I can’t see connecting it back. If you read the FB fan site comments everyone suddenly seems to have read the novels and using that as their new bible – but I seem to remember that he was also into porn and could be most unpleasant (nothing against porn) ?

  8. Apologies for typos in my comment (it hugely annoys me, should have checked it properly before posting)
    Agree with you Maria, criticism can’t be countenanced in some quarters.. Pointless engaging in discussion if that’s not permitted.

    1. That’s a very good point Maria! Indeed, we all started watching it because of the Morse TV-series and not the novels. The unpleasantness does come back in Inspector Morse and we see a little bit of it already in Endeavour. And, absolutely, re characters… e.g. where is McNutt? ;))
      I must admit I have a couple of disappointments to swallow about the new series, but there are still plenty things to enjoy and I want to keep looking at it with a positive eye. I still love the idea of the young Morse and it still has so much quality to offer. The stories are the weakest link. I can only hope they will go back to the essence again.
      Chris you may perhaps think I am/we are using your blog as a chatbox… sorry for that. Maria if you like to chat a bit more with me, are you on twitter? then you could tweet me @shaunevansonly.

      1. Hi there – I am on twitter and think I follow you already – I was also on a popular FB site but have left as it seems that some on there don’t know what site they are on – it is a Morse, Lewis and Endeavour Appreciation site – any slightly negative reflection or referral back to the Morse series can elicit some nasty responses. I am MaSull on twitter – but am not a big twitterer so tend to be an observer rather than contributor !

        Looking forward to when you have your forum up and running Chris (think I may have been hogging your blog incorrectly)

  9. Only found your blog by chance a couple of weeks ago. I enjoy reading it so thanks for taking the time. Agree with all your comments on this one but did at least find the episode entertaining. I have one question, does anybody know where the photoshoot was taking place? Some sort of military ‘village’ for war games I guess. I have a photo from an earlier series and would like to know it’s location too. Thanks again, Simon.

    1. Hi Simon and welcome to my blog. I tried to find the location but had no luck. I am going to continue searching for it. If you come across the location let me know so I can update my blog post with the info. Thanks

    2. I just left a post regarding your question in fact Simon.

      It is Bordon in Hampshire. Used as a training centre for FIBUA (fighting in built up areas). The ‘village’ really exists, with many houses, roads and a sewage system.
      See my post below dated 28th Feb 1:52

  10. Hi Chris, the army accommodation blocks have a distinctive tall and narrow shape. I tried to view on Google maps the other buildings at Kneller Hall and they don’t look this look whereas the buildings at RAF Halton do.
    Steve

  11. Like your blog, so very thorough. A few thoughts based on your review –
    It is harder to hit a moving target. Morse was running. On the other hand it is quite easy to hit the stationary McDuff. Agree the minefield was odd choice to escape through. Killer had an alibi for first murder unless McDuff was mistaken? Killer had a weapon handy to murder Jean? A stretch. This was killing based on wrath over rejection in favor of many other men. Murder in Passenger was driven by envy and greed primarily not revenge as it was in first two episodes. Watched Game last night. Since then the quality is a bit lower in the plots. I would like plots without brutal murders. Colours parallels with Oxford City Police merger. Morse is the last of his “regiment” there when Thursday retires. Weird Sam was not discussed much around Thursday household or with Morse for so many episodes. Some random observations. I do look forward to watching this program, as I like the young Morse character. We have a few things in common.

  12. Excellent review Christopher. I’d also like to add that the Army scenes were grating to me. The soldiers with their field jackets hanging open addressing senior officers just did not ring true to the actual British Army. On another point, Morse did smoke in the books written by Colin Dexter and was often trying to quit so his smoking isn’t out of character, and in fact I see some of Morse’s personality and proclivities in Endeavour to be more like the Morse in the books than in the original Morse series.

    1. That’s very true regarding the book version of Morse. I have no knowledge of army etiquette so was unable to comment on that. I was wondering if Sam should have some stripes or something on his uniform to designate his rank. If you are aware of any other mistakes regarding the army let me know and I will add it to the post.

      1. Thanks for your site ..very informative and a good balance of comments from contributors.
        Well it’s a good job I can type with one hand as my others still holding my nose ..phew did this episode stink..not the acting , that was as usual top notch..but the script…as you pointed out the race relations board had banned discriminatory signs such as the one in the hairdressers window well before 1968.
        Then the black soldier anwering back to his CSM…no..no..no.would just never have happened..not then and probably not even now..if by any chance he had inquired ” what are my type like ) I’m paraphrasing here he would have immediately been double timed to the cells and charged with insubordination…but it’s a moot point as I was in the Green Howerds not long after this episode was set in and it would have been like back answering God.
        Then the open combat coats and walking around with hands in pockets by the soldiers only if they had wished for their feet to not touch thr ground and had wanted to mark out the parade ground with whitepaint and a toothbrush.
        I was almost cringing for them waiting for them too be eviscerated by a sergeant or passing officer .
        That was just some of the military points that bugged me along with the minefield adjacent to barracks and if such a thing had existed a lack of decent warning notices wasn’t the only thing wrong.
        I will say this about the pistol thing many ncos and privates I knew personally had weapons that had been confiscated but not registered handed in ..one corporal I knew had a trunk of weapons from all over the world …a lot which were russian and had been gifted to rebels in many parts..also Japanese..American..etc he even had mills bombs and the detonators for them as well as a large collection of various rounds for the weapons including an AK rifle..a lot did…I also remember my dad telling me there were a lot of guns in private hands including schoolboys well into the fiftys and early sixties after the war..souvenirs from the many battles.
        I knew the doctor had done it as soon as he looked out of the window ..and then it was just a matter of waiting to see how he was discovered..the son giving his father a salute was way over the top for the show I thought .perhaps a nod and a quiet ok ..but not the captain oh my captain bit. I’d like to add that I thought the lad who played Freds son did give the impression he could very well be his son..good bit of casting and acting..theres more I could pull and pick at but despite it all I always say rather some bad Morse than no Morse at all.
        Got all the references except for the Spode one…I just plain did not hear it…well my one finger is getting fatigued now so I’m off to stick it in ice..once again thank you for this excellent site.

      2. Just about everything was wrong with the scenes in the barracks. A live mine field in Oxfordshire WHAT RUBBISH. Also truck (did not look like 3 tonner) drove away without tail gate up. Too many stupid errors in this episode. Only started watching series started back at first series and binge watched over last two weeks. Had really been enjoying it up to last couple of episodes.

  13. HiChris, yes some of it was filmed at
    RAF Halton the red brick buildings. I went there when I went on Inspector Morse Society weekend and we visited the museum that’s there too

  14. First timer here so go steady! In this episode, like James above, I thought it was farfetched that when Laidlaw spots his ex and decides to attempt a reconciliation but then thinks “I know, I will take along this Nazi bayonet that I happen to have brought with me from my college rooms just in case I get slapped in the face.”.

    As for Fred making a loan to his brother (although I don’t think it is completely clear this has occurred), I reckon this is going to be his undoing. Let’s face it. when have you ever seen a TV drama with the words “you’ll get it all back, with interest, promise” be anything other than a portent for disaster! No, I reckon good old Fred Thursday is going to be led astray and find himself on the wrong side of the thin blue line.

    Just as aside, the house where Mrs Zacharides was murdered in Lazaretto is in my road. There were trucks and vans and many people on the day of filming. It’s a popular spot as Tom Barnaby “lived” in the house next door.

    1. Hi Mark and welcome to my blog. That is a great point regarding Fred Thursday. I never thought of that as a possible storyline. So, could Fred be forced to leave the force rather than just retire. Food for thought, Mark.

  15. A question from me. Could anyone see a reason why Claudine had to be a friend of Joan’s ? They seem to have no relationship – I thought that there would be interaction / something but no – unless that will be covered in the next episode. The only link I can see is they both have red doors to their apartments – lol.

    1. Not really. They may not have been actual friends, just someone she got to know and thought “that could be someone for Morse”. And the way it turned out, him not wanting to be matched, then finding a click with the girl Joan had in mind for him… Maybe it was just a way to show that Joan apparently does know him pretty well. A nice touch, in that light.

  16. I’m hacked off by this writer pushing this Century’s (and his) PC Left Wing Liberal Agendum, which he has gone OTT with, in this Episode. ITV must have borrowed him from the BBC to Pen this Series. I was in the Army (Royal Engineers) in the late 1960’s and the Researcher’s attention to all details concerning Military matters was, at best, Woeful. Countless thousands of former service people would have spotted the Mistakes immediately, as I did. That whole Minefield Scenario was unbelievable Nonsense. All of it. The Acting was up to it’s usual high standard but this Episode’s Writing and detailed Research Fails should have those responsible… Court Martialled!

    1. Hi Rob and welcome. It’s sad to read that production team got the military aspect so wrong. I did wonder about there being a live minefield but knowing nothing about the army I didn’t like to question it. Thanks for you input Rob.

  17. Chris, I can understand the review comments but in general, I enjoyed the episode, mainly because of the superb acting. The issue I have is with the representation of the Army. It didn’t ring true and I felt that the writer has limited or no experience of army life. As for the mine field! I am pretty certain that we have never laid mine fields in the UK outside of WW2 and certainly not in a regimental base.

  18. Josephine – I tried to reply to your question re: where the jukebox reference was made – but could not leave a direct reply. The comment was in the press pack – the interview with Russell Lewis – he says that they have tried never to make the show a jukebox so that using music of the time is rare – not sure he has seen his own episode ! Hopefully given the talent they use – Barrington Pheloung for one – the classical feel will be back – although I feel that this maybe lost on the some of the audience they are trying to attrat now so they don’t feel it necessary.

    1. Thanks Maria. It doesn’t add up does it? But people can change their mind or indeed sacrifice an idea for the sake of increasing viewing figures. Let’s just hope it was a one off.

  19. I found the episode entertaining, but it was full of quite a few holes. The minefield + gunshoot chase with Endeavour was a bit pointless – we know he’s not going to get blown up so there is little tension. It would have had more tension if Fancy had been doing the chasing, or Sam had got involved.

    It is a shame we hadn’t heard more from or about Sam before, considering he had been in the Army for a period of time now, so got past the basic training that meant that it was understandable why we didn’t hear anything about him in series 4. I thought the scenes between him and his father were well played.

    Many of the military things were incorrect, did they detract from the story possibly not, but I think it is an eye to detail that detracts from what has normally been quite a high production value. The minefield could be explained as a training area, but that doesn’t completely sit right with me because the area was grassed so how was it mowed if it is mined – and there were no signs of sheep to keep the grass down as there is on some WW1 sites which still have live ammo and can’t be cleared – and I know that H&S didn’t exist in the form it does now, but I’m sure back then IF an Army base ever had a minefield as a training area, it would have had barbed wire or some sort of surround with more than a little sign.

    I am concerned that Russell Lewis is starting to lose his way with it; he needs to give his project up and allow other writers to have a say. This worked well for the Morse and Lewis series.

    One correction to the above Murders list – Silent World of Nicholas Quinn had 2 murders: Quinn himself by cyanide laced sherry and Ogleby by the poker or something similar.

  20. Just to add to what I stated earlier about the NCOs with weapons they collected I meant to add in bayonets and flares etc.

  21. Marcus x is probably based on the real life Michael X, black revolutionary who is a character in the Bank job. A good movie if you haven’t seen it.

    I agree it was so obvious who the killer was.

    Writing 6 episodes is too much for Russell alone and the quality suffers.

  22. As an ex cavalry man I too was struck by all the glaring mistakes military speaking. L/cpl Thursday with no chevron on jacket or shirt and a beret worn in a fashion that would have seen him parading behind the guard for ever and a day.

    Chatting to the colonel like they were old buddies from way back when. The wearing of stable belts with no 2 dress, never happened in the British army i served in.

    But the most glaring mistake for me was the little armoured vehicle we see in one scene. It was a CVR(T) Scorpion, an armoured reconnaisance vehicle. Used by an armoured reconnaisance regt not by light infantry. Light infantry are exactly that, the clue is in the title, LIGHT INFANTRY. Apart from that is the fact that those vehicles didn’t come into service with the army until 1972, four years after the event.

    Incidentally, a regt would have two colonels. Battalions were , are, commanded by a lt colonel. But every regt also has a colonel who, as shown, is a staff officer with the red tabs and staff cap badge. We can excuse his presence as his regt is being amalgamated so he is there to give support. I say amalgamated as the regt is apparently to cease being but are about to depart for Germany on posting. So going under a new name although we are not told this fact.

    John ex QRIH

      1. Did anyone notice the foreshadowing when the major kissed the dead Scottish colonel? When Morse dies Lewis kisses him in a very similar way.

  23. I wonder if I might be able to help a little.

    The abandoned village where the first victim is found is in Bordon in Hampshire. It is a FIBUA complex (fighting in built up areas). I recognised it immediately from TA infantry days. The vehicle Morse hides behind when shot at was clearly provided by the film company but all the houses are real, there is even a sewage system to crawl through. All great fun when you’re 19 or 20 but not for real I suspect. They used to tell us we could expect a 60% casulty rate if we ever had to really do it. Umm!

    I am so glad I got the Blackadder reference right.

    I didn’t mind the story myself but was disappointed the minefield scene at the end – far, far too obvious and that’s two murderers in succession we’ve seen die in the final moments rather than be taken into custody.

    Marcus X was also too obvious a name to use I feel – no subtlety at all, we’re supposed to have to think about things aren’t we, that’s one of the beauties of the show (or should be).

    I agree fully with the thoughts over Joan’s character. She does now seem to be becoming fast superfluous. I was also struck very early on in the episode by a feeling that Thursday’s character is being prepared for retirement. I don’t know how I would feel about the show if it were to continue without him.

    1. It’s a shame Joan’s character has become superfluous or allowed to become superfluous? as there was always possibilities with this character especially when you consider that we are still some twenty years or so from The Dead of Jehrico which introduces tv viewers to Morse. If he can have a relationship with Monica or a la française then of course the possibility exists. I seem to recall the older Morse mentioning their was someone he had to let go perhaps……

  24. I’ve just discovered your blog, and I’m in awe at the level of detail you’ve gone into. It’s fascinating to learn that the barracks scenes were shot at RAF Halton: my dad was stationed there in the 60s and I lived there from age 5-8, though I don’t remember much about it. My brother was born in the base hospital.

    Flicking through the many comments, I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought it was downright bizarre for an army base to have its own live minefield. What on earth would be the point of that?

    There’s one other reference that no one seems to have picked up on. The fact that the photographer, a committed anti-racist, was called ‘Farridge’ suggested that the writer was having an oblique dig at the similarly-named former UKIP leader.

  25. Feel free Chris to use what you want.

    Thanks also to Davey who has confirmed the location of the training area. I said to my wife that it looked like Longmoor but wasn’t 100% sure. Never actually went there until I left the army but went afterwards as a reservist.

    John

  26. Hi Chris
    I have different viewpoint on what they are setting up for the next series. I think Fred Thursday won’t leave the force after all, as he’s lent his life savings to his brother, who will lose it all, so Fred will have to continue working. There won’t be time for him to practice with poor Win before the next round of the dance competition.
    Really appreciate your detailed reviews of the episodes

  27. Regarding Morse smoking (or not smoking), I watched “GIRL” (series 1, episode 1) last night, and Morse offers another character a smoke from a packet that he has in his jacket early in the episode. Also noticed that Fred Thursday had a picture of a woman on his desk that was not Caroline O’Neill (“Win Thursday”) who doesn’t turn up until the next episode.

    1. I assumed he bought the ciggies specifically for the purpose of finding out if the student was the one in the murdered girlfriend’s room the previous night.

  28. Well done as always Chris.

    I was also a bit disappointed in this episode. I won’t rehash all that’s been said about the poor execution of the military scenes in this episode except to say that there truly is no excuse for it. There are so many capable military historians available, both professional and amateur (as demonstrated by our little group here), that it displays a complete lack of respect for the intelligence for the audience.

    It may not be a popular viewpoint, but I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing the last of Joan Thursday. Frankly, I’ve never seen any of this supposed sexual tension between her and Morse. Certainly Morse has mooned over her and even shed a few tears but, unless I’ve completely missed something, I have never once seen Joan give any indication that she thinks of Morse as anything more than a friend/brother. No stolen glances, no heavy sighs — nothing.

    1. You make a good point MJB. Joan seems drawn to the “bad boy” types– Jakes, Paul Manafort, the married cad she was seeing in Leamington. I think that Morse yearns for the secure cozy home that he sees Thursday enjoying (and that he lost as a child when his mother died, or perhaps never had due to his father’s gambling), and the last thing Joan wants is her mother’s life, married to a working-all-the-time detective.

      1. Thank you Justine. Exactly my point. I was loathe to make my post a long-winded rant, but I was thinking along the same lines as you. Paul Marlock, DS Jakes and Ray Morton were all polar opposites to her father — a man of integrity.

    2. Actually if you look at series 1, 2 and 3 there were – she was always stealing glances and flirting (not so much from his side) but agree – I just don’t see it now and struggle to see why we have gone through series 3 and 4 just to leave it go nowhere. I wonder what has happened – maybe she wants to leave the series.

      I felt these great actors were let down by the story and dialogue – the only exception was Allam but even he was set a challenge to cut through.

      I watched Home again earlier today – Except for the character names it could be a totally different show – that amazing Oxford in snow and beautiful searing music at the start!

      1. Maria, I’ll go back and re-watch the first few seasons, however, what I remember are various scenes such as towards the end of “Sway” where she offers to refill Morse’s drink rather than dance with him and towards the end of “Harvest” where encourages him to go for the job at the Met and leaves him as he is on the phone.

        I would expect a liberated young woman of the 60’s to be more forward and obvious with her affections via casual touching, double entendre, etc.

        I completely agree with you regarding “Home”. Frankly it’s one of my favorite episodes.

      2. Well, at the end of Harvest, she was pregnant with another man’s child. So I think she felt that, as difficult as her circumstances were, she was just NOT going to saddle him with that and she ought to encourage more distance between them.

  29. I agree with your low opinion of the episode. The faults in depicting military life were so glaring that they bothered me– and I’m an American university professor with no connection to any military environment!

    I think the issues with the mysteries are
    (1) we are too often given zero reason to care about the victims. Partly because there are so many as Chris has noted and partly because there is just no attention paid to this aspect of making a compelling crime story.
    (2) what made the first two seasons very engaging was Morse’s struggle against the police force. He was always putting forth what seemed to be outlandish theories or noting discrepancies that the others dismissed. By this point everyone respects him because he’s been so successful in solving crimes. That makes sense but it also drains away some of the tension.

    1. Justine,

      Couldn’t agree more with your points above. In fact, I had to chuckle at one point during “Muse”.

      At about 1:08:30 while Morse is in a meeting with Mr Bright, Thursday, Strange and Fancy, Morse mentions his idea about the Philistines putting Samson’s eyes out and Bright says: “And the rest?” to which Morse replies: “Oh, I don’t know.” The look on Brights face is priceless. It was as if he expected Morse to have everything neatly wrapped up.

      I must admit that, being from the US like yourself, I generally miss the UK “inside” jokes or references.

      1. Chris,

        I think Charity Mudford is more closely modelled on Unity Mitford’s sister Diana. Diana was married to Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British Union of Fascists, in 1936 in the drawing room of Josef Goebbel’s house in Berlin with Hitler in attendance. Diana and Oswald were also both interned during WWII. She also uses the term “non-u” which was popularised by yet another Mitford sister, Nancy.

        Lady Bayswater also refers to Moira running up gambling debts at Bixby’s club, a nod to the episode “Ride”.

        Dr. Laidlaw mentions two officers, Stewart and Burnaby, in his account of the battle of Mboto Gorge. Sir Herbert Stewart led the British forces at the battle of Abu Klea in the Sudan in 1885, during which the Victorian legend Colonel F.G Burnaby was killed. This is believed to be the action referred to in the second verse of Newbold’s Vitai Lampada which is quoted by McDuff.

        When Claudine asks Morse “No regrets?” and he jokes “How French” I assume he is referring to Edith Piaf’s “Non,Je ne regrette rien” -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3Kvu6Kgp88

        The armoured vehicle used in the photoshoot is an FV433 Abbot 105mm Self Propelled Gun.

        Finally, possibly one inference too far, is Private Oswald’s surname an oblique reference to his role as a patsy for the murder of Moira? – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbR6vHXD1j0

        Keep up the excellent work.

  30. Hi Chris

    Just to point out it was me who used the phrase ‘ uncritical myopathy of social media based fan sites ‘ and not your good self! As l don’t do social media one hopes this will get picked up by those two ladies who feel that l have upset them! Further l prefer The Hawk in the Rain by Ted Hughes coming as l do from his neck of the woods! Regards All!

  31. Hello Chris, I’ve read through your review and the incredible details you provide, just great to read. A few posters here and elsewhere seem to think that Joan and Morse will never connect romantically. Their timing is awful, but she clearly showed interest in him, even the look in her eyes in many scenes. If I was him, that signal is clear. Plus their frequent interactions, being flirtatious, smiling, confidences, etc., much more than friends. Without saying it outright, he too has made it clear that he cares about her, especially in Coda, Lazaretto, and Harvest. Too simple for her to say he proposed out of pity, she should know better, knowing him, that he doesn’t express his feelings well, and that he truly cares about her, even willing to protect her and draw her captor’s gunfire in Coda. There’s unspoken love there. So Lewis has pushed this story line five seasons, probably what a couple of years in real time? They’re both older now. Does she regret trying to fix him up with her french girlfriend in Passenger? A relationship we know in Colours will not last. Do you think he will write Joan and Morse together or not here at the end of series 5? As for matching up couples though, do you think Trewlove is a better love interest? Perhaps if they did not work together? Also, if Thursday retires as is being hinted strongly in Colours, doesn’t that cut down on any impediment of seeing his boss’s daughter? A lot of questions, sorry, but you get this show better than anyone I’ve read. Thanks, Jim

    1. Hi Jim. I don’t think Morse and Joan will ever get together. I believe Joan will be written out after this series as her character is no longer necessary to the series as a whole. It would only make sense to include her character in future series IF she and Morse became an item. The whole will they won’t they has been going three years within the time frame of the series. I don’t think Trewlove and Morse as an item will ever happen either and personally i hope it never does. I don’t think Fred would mind if Joan and Endeavour hooked up as he likes and admires Morse. I think Fred and Win would be delighted if their daughter became involved with the reliable Morse. I’m glad you enjoy my blog and i hope you continue to so.

      1. Hi Chris – I agree that I think Joan will be written out but I get where Jim is going -why the long, long focus on it to go absolutely nowhere with it -not even a kiss? It seems bizarre. when the press pack came out in January, Russell Lewis said that Joan’s journey as a character would be central to this series because of where she was left in series 4 – if he thinks her few scenes is “central” not sure what secondary would be. She is little more than a passing extra. Why was she even signed up for all 6 episodes?

        I thought that she would have a huge focus in the Colours episode – heaps of fan pics during filming of scenes that were completely cut so she has one small insignificant scene. I think something else must be going on with the actress or some other motivation. Or maybe it just part of the poor writing?

        Trewlove and Morse ? Maybe if Fancy meets a sticky end at the end of the series. But I don’t think I could cope with another series of “will they/won’t they” with a different character.

  32. Hi Chris
    Thank you for yet another comprehensive, honest and interesting review; I’m finding myself eagerly checking emails from Tuesday onwards to see when you have created your latest blog entry!
    I agree with you about the disappointing lack of classical music in the latest programme, let’s hope this week’s episode reinstates the tradition. Finally, your Miscelleneous section this week is particularly entertaining and your ability to spot a cultural reference never ceases to amaze! Thanks again for the great work.
    Sarah

  33. I stumbled across this blog because my phone pointed me towards it. In the days of Google looking at your history and suggesting sites every now and again I like the virtual Big Brother watching me.

    I’d like to offer a few counter arguments to a lot of the criticism that I found on this page.

    First of all, I independently have felt this series isn’t quite up to the enormously high standards of the first four. With that, I am still thoroughly enjoying it.

    I think it’s pretty fatuous to criticise the numbers of murders; if you start to wonder about that, the whole premise of the Morse world falls apart. There are an insane number of deaths in little old Oxford, so quibbling over there being too many per episode doesn’t seem sensible.

    As far as minor historical inaccuracies such as mine fields go, I watch just about any programme or film and the utterly terrible way technology, and computers especially, are portrayed, these inaccuracies you mention pale into nothing, The last Bourne film is a prime example of the total and utter nonsense that goes on with computers, but people just accept it because it’s fiction. Likewise here, it’s not a documentary, it’s fiction.

    There are regularly in films and TV things like falling into freezing water and fighting for minutes (rather than what actual happens when you fall in freezing water) or the way fight scenes go on and on, where no human being could take that level of punishment, yet people just accept all of the above.

    You have to remember that the vast majority of people wouldn’t know (or care) about things like mine fields or soldiers open coats, in what is a hugely ridiculous basic premise of a cerebral, beer-swilling detective where murder and corruption are rife, where university colleges have incredible levels of crime and criminals leave clues that only scholars of the classics would ever solve. Morse is a ludicrous (and wonderful) character, so picking at the seams like has gone on here is nonsensical.

    It’s interesting hearing about your thoughts on what Mac said. I lived in Scotland for seven years and have definitely heard laddie and lassie used a lot. Polis I’m not so sure about, maybe you should blame Rebus for that! 😀 Things like the music, well, I have thought a few times recently how great to hear music of the times as well as classical, although I do agree that there was too little classical this time.

    I love the Joan/Morse relationship, I think it’s wistful, tender and I always get the impression that he wants her, but feels he shouldn’t because she’s Thursday’s daughter and that she probably feels the same way. I have always thought they want each other, but shouldn’t and it makes them both sad.

    I seem to remember in the original Morse series, when he was walking around a garden with someone telling another character he’d been in love once and just once. I may be misremembering that of course, but I keep wondering whether that is Joan. Or whether we’ll find out who she is if it’s not Joan.

    I doubt Fred will leave, I think the series needs him. He’s a magnificent character and integral to the series. It seems very likely to me that it’s heading toward him having to stay on, I hope I’m right about that because I think he’d be a massive loss.

    Finally, my partner thinks the death village is in Imber.

    Anyway, just my thoughts and defence of a programme that I think is superior to anything else made in the UK and my favourite of the three Morse universe series, even if it’s dipped a little this series. Keep up the good work, sorry to have rambled for so long! 🙂

    1. Hi Robert, welcome to my blog. Thank you for thorough and comprehensive comment. Regarding Morse walking around a garden maybe the episode is Death is now my Neighbour with the character Adele Cecil. However, I don’t remembering him mentioning being in love only once. However, the one love for Morse is Susan who me meet in the wonderful episode Dead on Time. We met Susan’s mother in the Endeavour episode Lazaretto. Remember Robert, Russell Lewis the writer and the person who devised the idea of the Endeavour series created the character of Joan not Colin Dexter.

  34. I was very disappointed with this story, it never held my attention, and I feel I wont watch it again….this is from someone who normally watches each story at least half a dozen times…….I felt I didnt really care any more. Go back to the pilot ep, or Girl…wonderful writing, proper characters you really cared for, great relationship with Fred and Endeavour…. Wonderful seeing the young Morse come alive before our eyes…so many perfect touches….. With Colours, I got tired of what people call Wimsy…..are we now conciously looking for others shows/films references now..?? .. Lazaretto for me started the daft business Ive come to hate…the Carry on references etc. And still its “Miss Thursday “…??? Even Strange calls her Joan , she him.. “Jim”…!!! Time she went…Sorry to moan, but I dearly love this series and feel its falling apart….Oh and there really was a battle of MBoto Gorge….( google it)…not just a Blackadder ref.!!

    1. Sue – coulbn’t agree more. I think this Ep has had the same effect on a number of people. For me series 5 has completely lost its way (Passenger excluded) this last Ep the just the proof.

      I liked last series (could have done without the Carry On references) started to wobble but still good – the Morse/Joan scenes had an understated sadness that fit with the later Morse it still had some classical music (such a cornerstone of the early series and Morse) – is Morse no longer in the choir ? I loved those scenes in both series. Instead of the choir next week he is a competitor in “it’s a knockout” and is running around London taking on Cold War spies!

      I love the actor but wonder if he has too much influence over the series now ( he is associate producer and Lewis has said he has a lot of input into the storylines) I feel he is bored and doesn’t want be in Endeavour anymore but something completely different – don’t blame him but go and do that. That is not to say his acting is still not great. I think the writer wants the audience to want Joan to go -either that or he has no idea how to write a relationship arc.

  35. The journalist Peter Hitchens posted a very interesting (and, like your own, pretty excoriating) review of this same episode the other day:

    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2018/02/1968-as-i-remember-it-and-how-it-is-portrayed-in-the-tv-series-endeavour-.html

    His memories of the real Oxford of 1968 are well worth reading, as is his speculation on whether the character of “Kit Hutchens” might have been inspired by his late brother Christopher.

    Keep up the great work, Chris. You bring enormous pleasure to many of us through your site.

  36. IIf I’ve missed it, apologies, but don’t think anyone has commented on “Remains of the Day”, resonances of which struck me in this episode. The butler, in deliberate? denial about the politics of his employers??

      1. The butler who works for Charitie Mugford….
        Another thing that struck me was the name that the Hon. Moira chose for her modelling career – Jean… which seems an unlikely choice, but which reminds me of Jean Shrimpton….

      2. I started a comment and it disappeared…. so forgive me if it’s appeared somewhere else – I can’t find it…. Re Endeavour and classical music, or lack thereof… Seems to me that we’ve often seen Endeavour, sitting in flat on his own, drinking whisky, doing crossword, and listening to Wagner, “heavy” classical music. He seems a young man old before his time. More recently, tho, he’s been behaving like a young man of the 60s – girlfriends, albeit short-lived, and now a love affair, or sex affair, (depending on which one of them you believe!), drinking wine at a picnic lunch, and generally behaving more like a young man… Hence, the change in music….. for now, anyway…. What do you think?

        Incidentally, “Jean Ward” was nagging at my mind – Jean obviously equals Shrimpton; and Ward? Well, a prominent 60s figure was Dr. Stephen Ward…..And Simon Ward, I think, 60s’ actor? Didn’t he have daughters who were models/actresses…?? Just a thought….

  37. I’m sure it’s been mentioned but why o why did they have to shoehorn in a reference to “Mboto Gorge”. That made the whole thing utterly ridiculous. You could almost hear the Fourth Form sniggering in the background.

  38. Surely you’d have to me a massive Black Adder fan to get that reference, I presume you don’t get to remember that sort of thing from 1989 by just watching it a couple of times ? I had no idea what Mboto Gorge was and I’m guessing most fourth formers wouldn’t either, or do they all watch Black Adder nowadays ? . Didn’t get a lot of the other references either which is why I pop in here and catch up with all the stuff I missed.

  39. I just discovered your blog and I am very interested in trivia!! My contribution is that the wargames that Laidlaw was playing reminded me of the character of “Callan”. The first episode of Callan, “A Magnum for Schnieder” featured wargames heavily… and it aired in July 1967.

  40. Not sure if this has been picked up by others. But early in the episode when the CSM is talking to the black private, the private addresses the CSM as”Colour”.

    Now from my Army Cadet and later RAF days, “Colour” is short for Colour Sergeant – one rank below CSM, who is always addressed as “Sir”

  41. Thanks to the inclement weather I re-watched ‘Dead on time’ yesterday, and realised that the location of Morse and Claudine’s ‘dejurner aux herbes’ is the same location as where Lewis finds Morse two days after Susan’s death. I wonder if there is some significance in the contrast between Morse’s lunchtime frolic in the 1960s and the mournful point he returns to in the 1990s. Might he have taken Susan there too when he was with her?

    Thanks for the information about the music: I had wondered whether that was Francoise Hardy singing. ‘Tous les filles et les garcons’ has always reminded me of Endeavour…

  42. Thanks for the locations information! And just to add, not just a nod to Malcom X, but a reference to his real life visit to Oxford for debate at the Union (a little earlier, in 1964)

    1. Hi CW. I never knew that. Thank you, I will add that info in to the post. I also found a video of Malcolm X making that speech.

  43. “Why would Dr. Laidlaw go to a Hairdressers to get advertising photos of Jean? Why not ask the advertising agency or the model’s agency or the company she was advertising.”

    Because 1. The agency is probably in London, 2. The photos might not be free from those sources, and/or 3. Most importantly, getting the photos from the agency or similar might send up a red flag, whereas if he gets them from the salon Jean and her agent (and others) never find out about it.

    I, too, miss the classical music. Doesn’t feel quite like Endeavour without it. But I did laugh at the Jeeves & Wooster reference.

  44. Nobody has pointed out that if Dr Laidlaw is re-enacting Cannae of the 2nd Punic War, why are the figures on the table Napoleonic? Check out the first camera shot as Morse and Strange come into the room – they are definitely not Romans!

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