Endeavour Series five, Episode six; ‘Icarus’.
Chronologically this is episode 23.
First broadcast 11th March 2018.
I’m not 100% sure but… This is during the scene when Thursday and Strange are interviewing Blackwell.
Directed by Gordon Anderson . This is Gordon’s first venture into 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 the disappearance of a teacher at Coldwater school Morse is sent in as a substitute. Division is concerned Ivory’s disappearance is linked to the deaths of two police officers.
Meanwhile the rest of the team continue to investigate Cromwell Ames and Eddie Nero. George Fancy is given the task of tailing Ames.
Trewlove is given the role of being Morse’s wife while he plays the part of teacher. Will Morse be tempted by Trewlove’s womanly wiles?
(warning, this review will contain some spoilers)
My review this week consists of two videos.
Something I forgot to mention in my video review is the anticlimax regarding the Ames and Nero story line. It was ridiculous the way this story line was ended. It didn’t go out with a bang but instead it went out with a whimper. It gave me the impression that the gangster story line was written to allow the death of Fancy to happen. Nothing more, nothing less.
I am assuming that Russell knew well in advance that the series was being renewed. Why? Because surely he would not have ended the series in the way he did. Surely he would not have been so cruel as to have Fancy killed by an unknown assailant and we never got to find out who killed him due to the series not being renewed. Of course Russell may have found out weeks ago or months ago and he and the production team wrote a second ending for Fancy and also filmed a second ending in case the series was not renewed.
Personally I believe the new series was given the nod months ago. There was a probably a rider in the contract that said something along the lines of, if the fifth series has less than blah blah amount of viewers then it will be cancelled. But if it achieves figures similar to the fourth series, which it did, then a new series is guaranteed.
I should also point out that I haven’t been working on the blog post exclusively for three days. I was working on my Lewis book, a novel and writing a speech for an up and coming event in April.
Episode Jag Rating – out of 10.
The music from the beginning of the episode is Johann Michael Haydn’s (1737 – 1806) Requiem in c minor (for Fürsterzbischof Sigismund von Schrattenbach) The section you hear in the episode is from the beginning of the Requiem at 3 minutes and 42 seconds.
The music playing as the police enter Eddie Nero’s snooker hall and discover the shoot out is He’ll Have to Go by Jim Reeves.
When Alun Bodnar first meets Morse he says to Morse. “Welcome to Saint Bastards. Ye who enter here, all hope abandon” He is paraphrasing ‘Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.’ This is a translation of the Italian phrase, “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate”. These words are an inscription that Dante reads as he passes through the gate of Hell. This is part of Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy. The Divine Comedy represents the journey of the soul toward God.
Morse tells the class to read Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Lines 225 to 230. Daedalus and Icarus. Daedalus is Icarus’s father. We all know the story of Icarus who attempted to fly with wings made of wax and feathers by his father. But on flying to close to the Sun the wax melted and Icarus fell to the sea and drowned. The lines Morse tells the pupils to read are ‘he took his path [went] higher. The vicinity of the sun softens the fragrant wax, the chains of the feathers; the wax melted: he shook his bare arms and lacking oarage he takes up no air, and his mouth shouting his father’s name is swept up in the blue sea, which takes its name from him.’ (oarage mean the action of oaring). The Icarian Sea near Icaria, an island southwest of Samos is named after the place where Icarus drowned.
The above is a book of poetry by Rudyard Kipling. Rather ironically the collection has a poem titled, ‘ A Ballade of Bad Entertainment’.
Morse comes across young Nero reading The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius. The Twelve Caesars chronicles the public careers and private lives from Julius Caesar and Augustus, to the decline into depravity and civil war under Nero.
Stanlow is in bed reading.
A Nation of Immigrants by the then U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy. The book highlighting the contribution of immigrants at a time when the country was locked in a debate about the direction its policy should take. Sounds similar to a situation we have in the USA and UK today.
Three of the schoolboys meet Trewlove in the woods. Bodnar appears and tells the boys to leave. Rackway says to Bodnar “Qui non nobiscum adversus nos est“. This means He that is not with us is against us.
Morse is in Rose Cottage near the end of the episode and picks up the Kipling collection of poetry.
As you can see he is looking at the poem ‘The Overland Mail‘.
IN THE name of the Empress of India, make way,
O Lords of the Jungle, wherever you roam.
The woods are astir at the close of the day—
We exiles are waiting for letters from Home.
Let the robber retreat—let the tiger turn tail—
In the Name of the Empress, the Overland Mail!
With a jingle of bells as the dusk gathers in,
He turns to the foot-path that heads up the hill—
The bags on his back and a cloth round his chin,
And, tucked in his waist-belt, the Post Office bill:—
“Despatched on this date, as received by the rail,
“Per runner, two bags of the Overland Mail.”
Is the torrent in spate? He must ford it or swim.
Has the rain wrecked the road? He must climb by the cliff.
Does the tempest cry halt? What are tempests to him?
The Service admits not a “but” or and “if.”
While the breath’s in his mouth, he must bear without fail,
In the Name of the Empress, the Overland Mail.
From aloe to rose-oak, from rose-oak to fir,
From level to upland, from upland to crest,
From rice-field to rock-ridge, from rock-ridge to spur,
Fly the soft sandalled feet, strains the brawny brown chest.
From rail to ravine—to the peak from the vale—
Up, up through the night goes the Overland Mail.
There’s a speck on the hillside, a dot on the road—
A jingle of bells on the foot-path below—
There’s a scuffle above in the monkey’s abode—
The world is awake, and the clouds are aglow.
For the great Sun himself must attend to the hail:—
“In the name of the Empress, the Overland Mail!”
Morse reads the following at Fancy’s funeral.
Say not the Struggle nought Availeth
BY ARTHUR HUGH CLOUGH
Say not the struggle nought availeth,
The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been they remain.
If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
And, but for you, possess the field.
For while the tired waves, vainly breaking
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.
And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light,
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
But westward, look, the land is bright.
Thank you to Ivan Limon who pointed out this interesting reference, “A nice literary reference came when Mr. Blackwell asked Morse if he remembered “Old Wilkie” from a previous school and later confronted Morse with the fact Old Wilkie had never heard of him. “Old Wilkie” was the nickname off Mr. Wilkins from the Jennings books by Anthony Buckeridge set in Linbury Court School.”
The location for Coldwater school is Reading School, Erleigh Rd, Reading RG1 5LW.
The pet store where Eddie Nero and his wife are looking to buy a puppy is the Oxfam bookshop on Turl Street, Oxford.
It’s not the first time the Oxfam bookshop has been used as a location in the Endeavour series.
Thursday looks into the shop window to see Fancy buying jewellery. This is an antiques shop on Turl Street. The same street that the Oxfam bookshop is on. In fact the antiques shop is next door to the bookshop.
Morse and Thursday sit in front of Merton Field looking toward Merton College.
Thank you to a friend on Twitter, La Gazza Ladra who pointed me toward this location.
The location used for the pub after the funeral of George Fancy is the The Elephant Inn, 283 Ballards Ln, London N12 8NR.
Here are some photos taken during filming. I think the photos are the copyright of North Finchley Council.
Thank you to T. Lucas who pointed me toward the location of Eddie Nero’s snooker Hall.
The location is Blue Boar Street, Oxford.
Thank you to Mark for telling me about our next location, the cemetery and crypt where Endeavour finds Roundtree.
This crypt is known as The Colquhuon Mortuary Chapel, Brookwood Cemetery, Surrey.
To read more about this chapel click here.
Mark wrote that “it was hidden in a very large Rhododendron thicket, Now cleared about 18 months ago. But still not a easy place to find. The plaque was added by the film crew. The Crypt needed some repair before the filming as part of the floor had collapsed.”
It looks like they have used the same pub as used in previous episodes of the fifth series, The Royal Standard of England, Forty Green, Beaconsfield.
Actors who appeared in the Endeavour Series 5, Episode 6 ‘Icarus’ and/or Morse or Lewis.
Felix Scott as Mr. Blackwell. He also appeared in the Lewis episode ‘And the Moonbeams Kiss the Sea’ (Series 2, Episode 1) as Franklin.
I think this is him as the police officer.
Thank you to Geoff Edwards who noted that Michael Simkins who played the headmaster Baldwin Mackenzie was also in Lewis.
Michael was in the Lewis episode, The Point of Vanishing (Series 3, Episode 3)
In the Lewis episode he played Manfred Canter.
CONNECTIONS OTHER THAN ACTORS TO THE LEWIS AND ORIGINAL MORSE SERIES
None that I noticed.
The school where Morse is assigned is Coldwater. There is a 2013 film named Coldwater that details the abuse of juvenile inmates in a privatized American wilderness reform facility. A tenuous reference but the boys at Coldwater were being physically abused.
While Morse and Thursday stare toward Oxford, Fred says “It doesn’t seem much like proper coppering to me. Tomorrow’s World.” The last two words may be an oblique reference to the BBC TV show ‘Tomorrow’s World’ which ran from 1965 to 2003.
When Morse first comes across some of the boys bullying another boy he asks what is going on. The first says “natural selection” a reference to Charles Darwin who popularised the term “natural selection”, contrasting it with artificial selection, which is intentional, whereas natural selection is not. The next boy says “survival of the fittest”. Not a Darwinian phrase as many think but a phrase that originated in Herbert Spencer’s Principles of Biology. The third says what ‘Mensch und Ubermensch‘. Übermensch is German for “Beyond-Man”, “Superman” etc. The phrase comes from Friedrich Nietzsche’s 1883 book Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Menxch means ‘man. Mensch und Ubermensch is a reference to George Bernard Shaw’s play Man and Superman.
This equation also appears later.
Morse mentions the equation being called The Rifleman’s Rule. Click here to read more about it.
When Morse is reading out the boy’s names from the class register they answer ‘adsum’. Adsum means ‘I am here.’ During the same scene Nero says of Roundtree who has been expelled as ‘abest.’ This is the third-person singular present active indicative of absum. Abest is latin for ‘missing’.
When Morse is looking to find out if Brett Nero is related to the gangster Eddie Nero he finds the above document. His address is given as 15 Iskander Lane, Oxford. There is no such address. Iskander is a name that was given to Alexnder the Great but is also the name given to short-range ballistic missile system produced and deployed by the Russian.
The names of the pupils, Aggravine, Babcock, Clunchfist are all rather Dickensian or a nod to the Alan Bennett play The History Boys. Probably more a nod to Dickens but history boys could be an allusion to the future of Cowley police station and all those who sail in it. However I thought the whole episode reeked of a rip off of the Lindsay Anderson film ‘If’. That film saw pupils shoot staff and parents. Also of course Rudyard Kipling wrote the poem ‘If’ and Kipling is writ large in the episode. On checking IMDB I saw that there is a pupil called Rowntree in the film ‘If’. (If you can’t guess I am sighing as I write this).
Left to right; Bobby Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jnr. All assassinated. Mmmmm could this be a case of foreshadowing.
The matron asks for Morse’s help dealing with Stanlow. Stanlow tells Morse that Mr Ivory “… used to call me “Dak”, sir. I think it’s short for “Daktari“. It’s a programme on the television about a vet in Africa. Hands up all those who remember Daktari. My hand is up.
One of my blog readers, Carol, wrote this comment to me; ” I’ve been wondering if Trewlove is a reference to Frank Thornton’s character in Last of the Summer Wine: Herbert Truelove. He called himself “Truly of the Yard”. Such a coincidence that Trewlove has put in for the Yard!”
Of course the play the boys are rehearsing is Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Ivory’s shirt had 23 puncture wounds. The number of knife wounds suffered by Caesar.
Oh Russell you scamp. You always have to shoehorn in your modern political references mustn’t you.
The plaque reads ‘Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world’.
Morse looking Ivory’s wallet. He comes across a card for Magdalen Cabs. We first came across the cab firm in the episode Muse (Series 5, Episode 1). The taxi firm is a front for Eddie Nero’s illegal prostitute ring.
In this episode we find out why Bright was so fond of Trewlove. Bright and his wife had a daughter, Dulcie, and by all accounts she died young. Possibly died due to malaria. This revelation let’s us know why Mrs Bright keeps herself so busy with voluntary work etc.
Thank you to Michael Stephenson for the following information; “One major reference I think you missed however is ‘Unman, Wittering and Zigo’, a 1958 radio play by Giles Cooper, later adapted as a film with David Hemmings. The play follows a new teacher at a minor public school (Mr Ebony – compare with Mr Ivory in Endeavour) taking over a form from the previous master who has died in mysterious circumstances, and slowly coming to suspect that his pupils murdered him. There are some Endeavour scenes almost directly lifted from the play, such as Morse finding the bloodstained wallet in the desk during roll call, and many of the pupils’ names are also very reminiscent of the very odd names from the play (where aside from the title characters, there are boys called Cloistermouth, Bungibine and Cuthbun). It’s an excellent play, very atmospheric, and is available on youtube.
Also, the Radio 4 comedy, Bleak Expectations, which parodied Dickens plots, featured a boarding school called St. Bastards!”
Davey Shephard noted two excellent points of interest. Firstly in regard to Fred talking about his move to Oxford from London and how it was like going from black and white to colour. Davey noted that BBC2 broadcast its first colour pictures from Wimbledon in 1967. By mid 1968, nearly every BBC2 programme was in colour. Six months later, colour came to BBC1.
Davey’s second point of interest is that Lily Lesser who played Ravenna Mackenzie.
is Anton Lesser’s daughter.
Photos from the wonderful Blog http://www.simplyoxford.com
All rights are of course the photographers.
THE MURDERED, THEIR MURDERER/S AND THEIR METHODS.
Roundtree. Killed by John Ivory or Heroin overdose?
George Fancy shot by ?????????
Don’t even ask me how many others were killed in snooker hall. I was forever losing count. Let’s just write that the body count in this episode was high. 😉
John Ivory stabbed by Mrs. Seymour
Lewis Peek as DC George Fancy.
Shaun Evans as DS Endeavour Morse
Anton Lesser as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright
Andrew Buckley as Alun Bodnar
Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday
Mark Arden as Eddie Nero
Dakota Blue Richards as WPC Shirley Trewlove
Aldo Maland as Stanlow
Anson Boon as Brett Nero
Lily Lesser as Ravenna Mackenzie
Caroline Martin as Kate Ivory
Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday
Sean Rigby as DS Jim Strange
Michael Simkins as Baldwin Mackenzie
Felix Scott as Mr. Blackwell
Madeleine Worrall as Mrs. Seymour
Phil Daniels as Charlie Thursday
James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn
Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil