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 unsavoury 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 the only opinion. As with ALL reviews it is just one person’s opinion. In the case of this website it is my opinion. Nothing more, nothing less.


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 at 37 minutes.

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’.


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.

(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?


  • 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 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 and 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 header 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 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.


This section is an update to my original post. This section is to illustrate the continuing poor writing and the ship shod work done by the production crew. I have received numerous comments about the poor attention to detail in the scenes involving the army. 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 reconnaissance vehicle. Used by an armoured reconnaissance 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 regiment 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 the ground and had wanted to mark out the parade ground with white paint and a toothbrush.”

That is only a few I have received.


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.

The Crystals singing Then He Kissed Me.

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‘.



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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


The Oxford Debating Society location is the actual Oxford Union.


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.


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.


No connections were obvious to me.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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”


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.


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.


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.


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

Also in regard to the above one of my subscribers, Clark, noted the following: “Thursday says “Spode and Webley”…..”The first depiction of Mosley and the BUF in fiction occurred in Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel, Point Counter Point, where Mosley is depicted as Everard Webley, the murderous leader of the “BFF”, the Brotherhood of Free Fascists, and comes to a nasty end.”


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.”


Good point from subscriber John Molloy, “Given the several mentions of Fascism in this episode we suggest it is more than a coincidence that the name Oswald for the soldier initially thought to have killed the model is the same as Oswald Mosley, the once leader of the British Fascists.” John also added, “Why are there no scenes showing any detective checking Laidlaw’s claim that he is married with 2 children? He advances this as a reason why he has put his relationship with Moira behind him and to deflect any suggestion he has a motive for killing her. Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis would have promptly investigated this claim if they were investigating the model’s murder. Instead it is left to nearly the end of the episode for the Doctor’s lie to be discovered by Endeavour.”


Cheryl Molloy noticed the following, “At 28 minutes Cheryl noticed Lady Bayswater saying that her step-daughter had run up huge debts at Bixby’s Club in Bayswater. This is a reference to Josh Bixby in Ride.”


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

Justin Farridge shot by Dr. Laidlaw.

McDuff shot by Dr. Laidlaw.


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

Up until a few years ago I was my mum's full time carer. She died in, 2020, of Covid. At the moment I am attempting to write a novel.

128 thoughts

  1. Sharing a link that was posted on the fan page today after Colours finally aired in N America. Interesting article and comments from Peter Hitchens:
    It was brilliantly done as usual – simply gorgeous production and so loaded with information – historical & otherwise. But

  2. Strongly disliked this episode for all the reasons Christopher stated and more. Ridiculous really and no comparison to the quality of the first 4 series. How many times is Endeavour going to be wounded?? It hurts to see an episode as poor as this one because I love the show!

  3. Marcus X seems pretty clearly based not on Malcolm, but on Michael X, whom in 1965 the OBSERVER called “the authentic voice of black bitterness,” and who was later the first non-white person to be charged and imprisoned under the UK’s Race Relations Act.

  4. I saw in Lady Bayswater more of a reference to Diana Mitford than to Unity – Diana being the wife of Oswald Mosley, through whom she had step-children, etc. Of course “Charity” is a nod to “Unity”, and both sisters were ardent Nazis. I do agree: the Mitfords are a fascinating family!

    1. Yes, just like the character in this episode, Diana Mitford Mosely was married In Goebbels’ house and Hitler was in attendance. She was a publisher in the 1960s and wrote a column in the Tattler, and was a fascist till the end. Her sister, Unity, worshipped Hitler and was his mistress. She died from the after effects of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in1948.

    2. I came here to say the exact same thing. Diana Mitford is a better fit than Unity. Hitler attended the wedding of Diana Mitford and Oswald Mosley. According to all the books I have read on the subject (and I have read many) Diana was a bigger fascist and and anti-semitic than Oswald.

  5. The picture that Morse takes apart, the one with the “model wife” and 2 children, he takes it apart and sees that the people are cutouts put in front of a house… the boy sure looks like an old photo of Prince Harry to me! No?

  6. Lots of nonsense, didn’t like Endeavour smoking así all! However seeing Fred and Win dance was worth the price of admission.

  7. And in an episode about a changing society, and the politics of racism and fascism there’s no comment about Farridge/Farage?

  8. I remembered Mboto Gorge from Blackadder Goes Forth, but believed it was a real battle. That it’s purely a Blackadder reference delights me–suggests, if you think about it, that Morse and Blackadder live in the same parallel universe (along with, per references in other episodes, Inspector Clouseau and Roger Rabbit).
    Also, I know you take issue with modern political issues being wedged in, but–have those issues become less relevant in your country or mine, a year on? When this aired, wouldn’t “PM Johnson” have been a laugh?

  9. Viewed this episode again recently. It was better than I remembered on first viewing- though a little too much was crammed in. I can’t recall why the photographer went back to the army base- what was he looking for? Maybe it’s been explained already but it seemed odd.
    Win mentions Joan being involved with Oxford Free School in an earlier episode- that’s not explored here nor is her attendance at the protest.She would’ve been in the pictures which Morse & Thursday looked at, whatever about any cover-up of her subsequent arrest. It seems like scenes were cut here and with them any developing parallels between Joan and her father. What I mean is – Fred fought against facism and still rages against intolerance. He remains deeply affected by his experiences. One could say that Joan is now taking up the same fight in the only way that’s open to her. All this was very much sidelined.
    I think Lady Mudford’s house was used in Downton Abbey-was it the home of older chap who left Edith at the altar?

  10. Super interesting detail in the critique! Not knowing all that and watching it naive, picked up on the emotions, primary of which forq me was an intense nostalgia for integrity – both of individuals and institutions. The regiment cared about its mascot Colonel, albeit crippled by PTSD. Fred Thursday cares about his son and believes in him. He cares about Britain not being fascist. In fact, he is am emotional touchstone for honesty, integrity and respect – for helpless people unable to protect themselves; and for people’s honest and intelligent observations. Conversely, he also has contempt for bullies. Like his son says, he’s a good cop. I didn’t mind all the coincidences and wrong things which I did notice (the unmarked, unfenced minefield definitely affected the suspension of disbelief but I could see how it worked for plot and character development – Morse telling Fancy off in a spiteful bit of bad temper and Strange calmly pulling him back with “Time and a place for that, Morse”), I was along for the ride.
    Though the revenge motivation gets a bit repetitive after a number of episodes. Also, the plot mechanics requiring failure of development of the murderer’s character, otherwise we would figure out who it was. Then they can be saddled with any peculiar back story or perversion.
    I also love the way that whatever Morse sees is salient. We don’t know why that tiny glasses frame screw is the linchpin clue, but the fact that Morse has spotted it makes it so. He really does have a 6th sense.

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

    The Union Jack is a flag. Lt-Col McDuff is staring at the Regimental Colour.

  12. The last time we saw Sam was when he went away in season 3 “Coda” and his last scene was with his father at the bus station and the last thing his father said to him was:
    “Sam! Don’t volunteer for anything.”

    The first appearance of Sam after that is now in “Colours” and his very first scene (at minute 5) shows the following dialogue:
    “Corporal Thursday, I want three volunteers to escort a civilian party up to High Wood.”
    Sam: “I`ll do it, Sir.”

    1. To be fair, it looks like he’s being what we would now call ‘voluntold’. With all the episode’s various military inaccuracies (and I speak as someone who didn’t even join the CCF, let alone the real armed forces), this surely is one thing they got right – surely no NCO would turn round and say no to a request like that from an officer?

      1. I totally agree that saying “No” probably wasn`t an option and it would have been unrealistic had he refused. But I think it was a nice touch that they tied Sam`s last appearance in “Coda” and his first appearance after all that time now together somehow.

  13. So does Lady Bayswater get the inheritance or not? And who was Jean’s real father?

  14. I watched this one last night, and I’d give it about 6 Jags, mostly because of the Father & Son scenes between Fred, and Sam. Like many boomers, I had a trying relationship with my Dad (made worse when he became a “Born Again” Christian), so pretty much any series that has Father and Son scenes make me very emotional. I like feeling those emotions, because I miss my Dad enormously.

  15. I have a memory of an episode of another show with an almost identical plot, except it ended with the murder having something to do with the regiment protecting the name of one of ít’s leaders being a coward. Does anyone else ?

  16. “What was the point of Joan’s storyline.”

    We all know NOW the purpose of the storyline was the beginning of a set-up of her character with a personal (n0n-daddy) connection to Jim Strange.

    1. But it didn’t serve that purpose – there was no romantic spark – actually just a rather unpleasant side of Strange favouring her because she is the bosses daughter…..from memory the inference was that the others in the protest were charged whereas Joan was let off ?

      I saw behind the scenes shots of him driving her home and I think this may be the scene that was cut that both Sara and Sean referred to in their interviews with Damian Bancroft – which they cut because they wanted to keep the Morse/Joan thing going.

      So I agree with that comment – with the cuts her storyline didn’t have a point – except I guess to demonstrate her change in direction and commitment to causes etc?

  17. I wondered if Claudine’s name was inspired by the heroine of the series of novels by Colette – but then it’s not such an unusual name. Morse’s comment that she is “just a girl” is also how he described Carol in ‘Cartouche.’ I suppose after Susan, anyone else is “just a girl.”

  18. I just wanted to say that your research and time and effort you put into to every single episode of all three series this being my favorite is amazingly done and wanted to thank you as a fan I’ve learned so much

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