Author: Chris Sullivan

After having looked after my mum for some 11 years she is now unfortunately in a nursing home. I'm afraid her dementia worsened as did her physical capabilities. So, for the first time in 21 years I find myself no longer caring for anyone. Apart from my mum I was also a single parent to two children and also looked after my dad who had Alzheimers, (he died in 2005). So, I have decided to return to University to try and get another degree this time in English Literature. (My other degree I got some 30 years ago is one in Ecological Science. Firstly I have to complete an intensive year at college which starts at the end of August 2018. If I pass the college year I will then be able to go straight into Edinburgh University. A busy time ahead made even busier by my writing a book on the TV series, Lewis.

15 thoughts

  1. Hi Chris

    I read this article by Mr Hitchens a few days ago on one of fan sites particularly American which l had previously been less than flattering about ( uncritical myopathy! ….)

    They were less than happy at his blaise trite and inconsequential remarks about the series and l have to say l am in complete agreement with them ( shock horror! ) l just wish the scripts were better the build up slower and RL takes a back seat or this series is going nowhere as it continues to haemorrhage viewers at an alarming rate!

  2. Is it true that if the viewing figures drop ITV won’t commission a new series?

    Perhaps it’s time to bring on board new writers!

    1. Hi Clare l cannot say what ITV will do. I think that there must be a trade off between viewing figures commercial revenues ie advertising figures and renewal sorry but I’m cynical: the point l was making was viewing figures are on the wane l think there are reasons for that and it had nothing to do with the quality of the acting! Apparently uk tv figures are on the increase due to the weather ( the beast of… and storm Emma (Endeavour??) one hopes vvvv cold until after the series concludes..

  3. An interesting article although methinks he doth protest too much — well, OK, what I really mean is that he’s overthinking this a bit too much (in my humble opinion). I am thoroughly enjoying “Endeavour” (as I did ‘Morse” and “Lewis”). As a viewer, I just sit back and enjoy the stellar acting and the gorgeous scenery as well as a good story as it unfolds. I realize that to some, the occasional historical inaccuracies are bothersome but I’m just here to enjoy the journey not to count the pebbles along the way.

  4. So agree just enjoy the programme stop picking holes in every episode. One comment Morse near the edge of a roof Morse didn’t like heights . seriously in 47 now I down my teenage years climbing frogs mouth now I could not got to the edge. People change over time. Endeavour is a brilliant programme fiction not real stop picking holes please .

  5. Hi Lynne

    Apologies if you think my critique is inappropriate… but l ‘m just re watching the Daughters of Cain as l type l agree Endeavour is ‘good but Morse is better! It’s slower! And it’s better written and it has less holes in it! Regards

  6. I think that particular review is ridiculous, preposterous even. Sounds like Waldorf and Statler only they were funny. Come on.

    Can we all please please please go back to what this was all about??? Like, about, entertainment? We all seem to have lost our way.

    Can we please go back to Mr. Colin Dexter’s Morse, this awkward police officer, always out of time and fashion no matter what the time or fashion was? The awkward person that wouldn’t belong to anyone but with whom we all feel a connection, an endearment.
    Then this lovely prequel that was created to get to know Morse better, to understand him better, why he became the Morse he became. So, for heaven’s sake, what are we talking about? Can we forget, ALL forget, about the details, the references, the cleverness, that the stories seem to be suffering from, for a moment? Can we just leave this competition about who is the cleverest? Can we all, ALL, WRITER AND VIEWERS, please leave all that, and get back to those roots.

    I do find the details interesting and indeed part of the background of the stories. But for me they don’t have to be 100% accurate. They play a part in the story, not the other way around. This is fiction, not a documentary.
    Were it a documentary, all details should be 100% correct – as far as available data allow.
    For an entertaining story in an interesting historical background, it suffices to paint the picture of the background and show the feel of the times. The (politics of) the sixties can be an entourage for Endeavour, but it should not be the other way around.

    To me, all that matters about Morse, Endeavour, in the end, is emotion. Endeavour Morse, capturing my heart. The stories need to be coherent, appealing, human, understandable. There is no need for them to be wild and fantastic and full of action, that is really not what this is all about. They don’t have to be 100% accurate either, and they may leave some (some!) loose ends to be tied by my imagination – that’s ok. But they do have to be about Morse. Too much distraction – be it by politics, by other (too many) characters, by an over complicated or even a couple of over complicated story lines finding an anti-climax in a too simple solution – has the risk of making it just another who-dunnit. What’s the point of Morse, if it isn’t about Morse?

  7. Typically bitter stuff from Hitchens. I’m sorry he hates anything vaguely”left” and that he feels Endeavour is an example of such. It has to reflect the world at the time but it is also entertainment. Why is he taking it so literally? Hitchens just doesn’t like it because it doesn’t fit with his world view.

  8. Steady on, folks.

    We can hardly blame Peter Hitchens for not being devotee of the Morse franchise in the way that we are, and consequently for being somewhat blasé in his evaluation of it. It wasn’t as a fan that he penned his piece, but as someone with first-hand experience of the places and times depicted in the latest series, and on that account I think his article is certainly interesting.

    If “Endeavour” continues to brings you real pleasure, then long may you continue to enjoy it. Whatever anyone else may say, you’re always free to pay no attention. But it’s a part of life that things we love will come in for criticism, often by those keenest to love them also, but frustrated not to be able to do so. And in that latter group will have to go some of us Morse devotees who just cannot warm to the latest incarnation of our hero as he has been brought to life by the “Endeavour” production team, especially in the most recent series.

    The signature feature of the original “Inspector Morse” which won it so many admiring fans was its quite remarkable quality, right across the board. Not that the quality of the writing, acting and direction didn’t vary more than a bit even then, but on whole it was an astonishing piece of television, set off by an abundance of classical and incidental music, art and architecture, and poetic and literary allusions, often of surpassing beauty. And at the centre of the whole ensemble, of course, was John Thaw’s brilliant interpretation of Morse, and his fractious but paternal relationship to the good-natured Lewis. Without question, television of the very highest quality, which many of us have been savouring ever since – for longer, in fact, since it ended in 2001 than the 14 years it ran for in the first place!

    “Lewis” in turn managed to sustain at least some of what made “Inspector Morse” so watchable. But “Endeavour”, alas, appears conspicuous to many of us by the absence of that quality in the original that made it what it was. And it’s hardly meaningful to praise quality in the first place if one is just as content to overlook its absence.

    The lack of attention to detail, telling though that is, isn’t its principle failing. This is that the characterization, dialogue and storylines are all frequently implausible – not to mention tediously coloured by contemporary political sensibilities – to the extent that the result doesn’t come close to recreating the feel and atmosphere of 1960s Oxford. Granted that neither “Inspector Morse” nor “Lewis” faced the challenge of being set in a time other than their own, but the creators of “Endeavour” have chosen to take up that challenge, so it’s entirely reasonable to point out that the result leaves much to be desired.

    The failure to recreate the times in which a story is set would be a grave weakness in any series (and is a common enough one nowadays, the imaginative horizons of the current generation of television writers and producers being seemingly unable to extend to a recent past that, in many respects, is utterly unlike our own). But in a production bearing the “Morse” name, we’re entitled to take special exception. After all these years of watching, I think we’ve earned the right to be critical.

    Now of course, many admirers of the latest “Endeavour” outings will disagree. And in that case, as I said, long may you to continue to enjoy it. You may even, if you wish, put our dissatisfaction down to the grumblings of crusty, never-satisfied purists, for whom any latter-day incarnation of our favourite character would fall short!

    But being armchair critics, even harsh ones, is borne only of our enthusiasm to see justice done to Colin Dexter’s creation. And at the end of the day, it’s all part of the fun of sharing the Morse universe…

    1. You have a point and so does Chris when he complains about details being wrong. Like you say we are all here out of enthusiasm for the Morse saga, and for the fun of sharing, but that doesn’t make us all blind for its faults.
      But there is a big difference between Chris, or any of us here, being critical, and this guy.
      Firstly, Chris writes a review about each and every episode. He doesn’t present it as the truth but as his own opinion and whether he likes an episode or not, he always tries to be fair and comments about both the good and the bad sides. Secondly, he uses his own blog for his reviews so they are usually just shared with other Morse lovers.
      This guy Hitchins is just negative for the sake of being negative. O.k., so he was there and knows the differences between reality (I envy him for such a great memory btw) and the show. But I think the makers of Endeavour know that too. They should be allowed some room for artistic freedom.
      As much as there may be to criticise, I don’t think anybody here is criticising for the sake of criticising. Mr. Hitchins gets paid for criticising, but in this case he sounds very unprofessional. He just sounds like a totally biased, angry man who got out on the wrong side of the bed, needed something to have a go at, and decided that it should be Endeavour. Sadly it is printed and read by a lot of people. I think something like that has no value as a critic, even if it may be technically right about some points. To pay any attention to it is too much honour.

    2. I agree with what you say, Simon. Hitchens is not a fan and has his own view. I think it’s interesting to hear from someone who was present at the time. I’m old enough that I’ve seen a lot of changes. If a show were set in the time and place that I was a kid or I went to college, I would LOVE to see that and be transported back to those days, and any imperfections would bother me.

      As for criticisms and dissatisfaction with the current series, I wish I could love it but they have set a high bar. I’m interested if/when Chris adds the forum function to the site, we can talk about which episode is the very best. I have a few strong favorites and would love to hear what others think.

  9. Did anyone else notice the contrast – Joan being given special treatment by the police and let off by Strange following her involvement in the demonstration – and in the very next scene, Trewlove observing that Oswald was being detained in the cell overnight based upon very little evidence – were we witnessing prejudices within Strange’s character in this episode?

    1. I think Strange has always been very conscious of people with connections of whatever sort, and he gives them better treatment.

  10. ..and did anyone notice the character of Kit Hutchens portrayed by Greg Austin in the episode Colours Christopher (Kit) Hitchens educated at Balliol College Oxford was none other than the older brother of this Peter Hitchens. Strange! Pardon the pun

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