Hello Endeavourists and welcome to my review of the first episode of the new sixth series.
As always let’s get the boring bits out of the way first,
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So, onwards to the review.
Endeavour Series six, Episode one; ‘PYLON’.
Chronologically this is episode 24.
First broadcast 10th February 2019.
Colin’s picture was around the one hour and 52 minute mark, (that includes the adverts in the time as well).
I was actually more emotional about seeing this picture of dear old Colin than I was about the actual episode.
Directed by Johnny Kenton. (No connection to 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’.
It is the July 1969. As for the gang of four, Morse, Bright, Thursday and Strange, they have all been demoted apart from Strange who has been kept busying shuffling papers.
A girl has gone missing is found in a field by Morse. Morse wonders if it is linked to a missing girl some three years before in 1966. But his ideas and help are not wanted by the new sheriff in town, Ronnie Box.
Sergeant Morse (in uniform) has been stuck working in the sticks looking for missing horses and keeping the peace at village fetes.
The main suspect for the kidnapping and murder of the schoolgirl is found to have a past in relation to Fred Thursday.
A second kidnapping puts more pressure on everyone.
(warning, this review will contain some spoilers)
Apart from what I mentioned in the video there are a few other things that niggle me. Firstly, Max is usually on the ball when it comes to diagnosing how someone is killed but he misses that Ann Kirby was killed by a car. Surely if she was hit by the car on her side then those bruises plus all the others she would have had from dropping to the ground would have had Max realising what had caused her death.
Secondly, will Endeavour ask why he was suddenly promoted? IF he finds out it was due to a lie and a lie that involved pretending he was part of a Mason Lodge, how will he react?
The will they or won’t they of Joan and Morse is becoming even more tiresome than before. The viewer has been cheated in respect to how the last episode, ‘Icarus’ ended. Endeavour goes to see Joan and says he would like that cup of coffee after all and then in this episode we find she says, no! She is too busy.
Episode Jag Rating – out of 10.
First up is only a few sconds into the episode. It is Led Zeppelin and What is and What Should Never Be.
A little problem with this song being used in the episode that is apparently set in the summer of 1969. This track I believe was released in October 1969. I have been reliably informed that a live version was played in June 1969. In regard to this track Mike Dudley in the comments section related an interesting fact. Mike wrote; “One thought about the Led Zeppelin music over the opening section… A sub-plot, or suggestion about what is going on, is a reference both visually and in the script, that abduction by a paedophile might have been the reason for the death. There is also the predilection of the photographer and ‘those of a like mind’ for very young girls. If you listen to the lyrics of ‘What Is And What Should Never Be’, it is clear that the song is about a much older man talking to a younger girl – “pretty baby”. It is a matter of public record that at the height of their fame whilst in the USA, at least one member of the band – Jimmy Page – was in sexual relationships with girls young enough to have caused accusations of statutory rape…”
Thank you Mike.
Next up is when Strange arrives at the police station where Morse is stationed.
It is from the opera Turandot: Signore, ascolta by Puccini.
This piece of music was used in the pilot episode of Endeavour; First Bus to Woodstock.
At just after 10 minutes Morse is driving through country lanes and is day dreaming about Joan and George Fancy. The piece was specially written by Matthew Slater the composer responsible for the music in the Endeavour series. The pianist was Ben Dawson. Ben Dawson @noswadneb
Next up we have music played after the scene with Box turning up at the field where the dead girl has been found. Morse leaves and goes back to his station to write up his report.
The piece is Spem In Alium by Thomas Talilis.
Next we have the music that is playing when Morse arrives at the squat (or to be more exact the house that Morse will eventually live in). The music is by the wonderful and seminal band Velvet Underground. The song is What Goes On.
Up next is music played during the scene of the village fete. The piece is Symphony No. 9 in D Minor Op. 125 “Choral”: II Molto Vivace by Beethoven.
Next up we have another choral piece, I’m not 100% sure about this one but I think it is “Miserere mei, Deus” composed by Allegri. It is played during the hanging scene and Morse is reading his notes and remembers what was said about two choirboys smoking cigarettes behind the altar.
This piece was also used in the original Morse episode ‘The Infernal Serpent‘.
The above is played again a little later when Endeavour is in his office comparing a picture with one of Ann Kirby on the wall.
The Matthew Slater piano piece is reprised when Endeavour is leaving the rural station for the last time. I asked Matthew if he had a name for the piece but the best he had was sadly 7:02. I put forward Morse’s Reverie as a possible name for the piece.
A literary reference if only a visual one. Anne Kirby reading Anna Sewell’s wonderful children’s book Black Beauty.
Endeavour is looking through the items that were in Stanley Clemence’s possession. In particular those belonging to Ann Kirby. We see a book.
The first clue that something isn’t correct. Ann was reading Black Beauty not this book Ride Like The Wind by A. Oldbury, which by the way is not an actual novel. Of course we find out that she had stopped at the mobile library to change her books.
There as mention of Reverend Charles Dodgson otherwise known as Lewis Carroll. The man who wrote Alice In Wonderland and many other wonderful novels. Interestingly, a connection to Lewis Carroll in the episode was pointed out to me by one of my readers, Paula. The use of the name ‘Alice Band’ for a headband came into use soon after the publication of Lewis Carroll’s novel, “Alice in Wonderland”, referring to the band Alice wore on her head to hold her hair back.
Thank you to Nicolas who pointed out this literary reference.
“Alfred Skynner – Horse Slaughterer & Glue Boiler – Dealer in Bonemeal and Hides – Kennels Supplied can be seen on the side of the van above. Nicolas pointed out this is a reference to George Orwell’s Animal Farm: “Alfred Simmonds, Horse Slaughterer and Glue Boiler, Willingdon. Dealer in Hides and Bone−Meal. Kennels Supplied “ Well spotted Nicolas and thank you.
The Degas figurine that Endeavour notices on the mantelpiece of Dr Lester Sheridan that helped solve the case of the missing girl,
is based on an actual Degas sculpture.
It’s a Bronze sculpture, named ‘The Little Fourteen Year Old Girl’
One of my readers, Suzy passed on the following information regarding the statue;
“The National Gallery of Art in Washington has the original of the statuette – and there it translates the original title, ‘La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans, as ‘Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. The notes point out, in reference to the original model ‘ ….her working–class background was typical of the Paris Opera school’s ballerinas. These dancers were known as “petits rats de l’opéra,” literally opera rats, presumably because of their scurrying around the opera stage in tiny, fast–moving steps. But the derogatory association of the name with dirt and poverty was also intentional. Young, pretty, and poor, the ballet students also were potential targets of male “protectors.” Degas understood the predicament of the Little Dancer—what the contemporary reviewer Joris–Karl Huysmans called her “terrible reality.” ‘
So, an interesting link with the story.”
Our first location is right at the start of the episode when we see two children walking along a street. Then we are introduced to Bright taking part in a road safety film.
The scene was shot in Blakesley Avenue in London.
The church behind Bright is St. Benedict’s Abbey Church on the corner of Blakesley Avenue and Marchwood Crescent.
Of course, the traffic lights were props.
The next location is where Stanley Clemence is standing in a doorway. Thanks to one of my subscribers, John, this has been identified as in the High Street, Hemel Hempstead old town. From close to the Rose and Crown pub.
The third location is the girl’s school, Banbury Junior School. A huge thank you to Rob one of my subscribers who recognised the school.
It is Dundale Junior School in Tring Hertfordshire
This location is where Endeavour is stationed.
This is Pyrton Village Hall, Pyrton, Watlington, Oxon, OX49 5AP.
Thank you to Coco for help in finding this location.
Up next we have the church called St Christophers.
The church used was St Mary’s Church in Pyrton, Oxfordshire.
Only the exterior of this church was used. The interior was St John the Baptist ,Aldenham,Hertfordshire.
Thank you to Coco for help in finding this location.
The location of the Thames Valley Police Station is,
The St Cross Building, University of Oxford. It contains the English Faculty Library.
The three photos above are the copyright of Daria Dorothea. @DariaDorothea
Next we have the Social Work Department building.
By the way is it just a coincidence that the chap in the blue suit in the background looks like Colin Dexter.
This next location has been used in Morse, Lewis and Endeavour. Off the top of my head (because I don’t want to spend hours scouring all 66 episodes. Anyway, knowing me I would start watch an episode and enjoy it so much I will watch it all and then forget why I was watching it in the first place). From the original Morse it was quite prominent in Dead on Time.
In the Lewis series it is the scene of a brutal murder in the episode Allegory of Love.
The Lewis episode One For Sorrow also used the location.
It was also used in the Endeavour episode, Game where a body is found floating under Magdalene Bridge over the Cherwell.
The location in question is Addison’s Walk in Oxford and Magdalene Bridge runs off at a 90 degree angle.
Dr. Lester Sheridan has been stopped by traffic and now brought into custody. Morse and Strange are seen in a university quad striding toward Sheridan’s rooms.
This is Magdalen College. The large tower structure in the background is Magdalen Chapel.
A few minutes later Thursday and Endeavour are talking. Thursday tells Morse that the past is the past. They are standing again in Magdalen College.
The mobile library’s location has been identified thanks to Coco. Coco you are a star.
The position of the mobile library and Endeavour’s car. The location is Church Lane, Aldenham, Hertfordshire.
It is opposite the location of the church that was use for the interior shots. St John the Baptist ,Aldenham,Hertfordshire.
Mick Haynes being interviewed by Strange and Morse. This is also Church lane in Aldenham like the location of the mobile library and the church used for the interior shots, St John the Baptist ,Aldenham,Hertfordshire.
For information as to maps see above for the location of the mobile library.
Two pictures taken during filming.
Where Dr. Lester Sheridan took his ‘models’. This is Langleybury House and Film Centre, Kings Langley.
I apologise that I haven’t managed to do my usual due diligence in regard to finding locations but I have so much else on that 20 plus hours working on the post was sufficient. Of course if any of you can help please let me know either in the comments section or contact me using the ‘contact me’ option at the top of my website. That also goes for any other section of my review post.
No pubs in this episode.
Actors who appeared in the Endeavour Series 6, Episode 1 ‘PYLON’ and/or Morse or Lewis.
We have Simon Hepworth who played the horse owner Mr Tingwell.
Simon also appeared in the Morse episode The Remorseful Day as Simon Harrison, Coincidentally the name of the actor who plays Ronnie Box.
Next we have Richard Price as a Parent at Fete and was uncredited. Unfortunately I don’t know who he was at the fete so can’t provide a picture. Anyway, Richard appeared in two episodes of Lewis; The Point of Vanishing (2009) as a Passerby on Bike (uncredited) and Life Born of Fire (2008) as Photographer (uncredited). Sorry Richard that I can’t pick you out. But hey you have the honour of appearing in one of my posts. 😉
Now we have Jesse James Sims as a Horse Hand also uncredited.
He also appeared in the Endeavour episode, Quartet (Series 5, Episode 5)
CONNECTIONS OTHER THAN ACTORS TO THE LEWIS AND ORIGINAL MORSE SERIES
There is a scene in Pylon, when Morse meets Thursday to hand over his report, that reminded somewhat of a scene in the Morse episode, ‘The Way Through the Woods‘, with DCI Johnson and Morse.
Another tenuous connection to the original Morse series are the wheat fields. I am sure i’m not the only Morse fan who thought of that connection. The wheat-field possibly alludes to the lovely scene in the Morse episode Who Killed Harry Field? I doubt that was something Russell Lewis was thinking of when writing the scene. Then again…
Not a connection to Morse or Lewis but a connection to a previous Endeavour episode, the Pilot episode to be exact. After Endeavour and Thursday visit the farm run by the Skynner’s and face then the truth of how Ann was killed, Ronnie turns up and says to Morse, “Who’s a clever bastard?” A similar thing was said by Arthur Lott, Thursday’s corrupt bag man before Morse.
Simon Harrison is the name of the actor who plays Ronnie Box. The character Simon Hepworth played in Remorseful Day was also called Simon Harrison. Thanks to Danny for that observation.
First up we have the strange spelling of a Pelican Crossing in the episode. Well it was originally called a Pelicon Crossing but is now referred to as a Pelican Crossing.
I’m assuming it was to put a little joke into the scene. Putting the contraction ‘CON’ into the phrase. It’s a con what has happened to Bright and the rest. It was a con who killed George Fancy? As the Americans say ‘i’m spitballing’ here.
There are also Puffin crossings, Toucan crossings, Panda crossings and HAWK beacons.
Here is one of the originals and also with an ice cream van included.
The lollipops given to the children,
are called Zooms.
I wonder if the use of the surname Kirby (the surname of the little girl who is found in the field), is a nod to 1960s singer Kathy Kirby.
There are a few mentions of Prince Charles’s investiture. Charles became the Prince of Wales.
I may have been doing this too long as I begin to see references in everything.
The number plate reads AYW. In the wonderful film The Princess Bride they would say ‘As You Wish’ which meant the same as I love you.
I’m trying to find a connection or reference in regard to Mr Tingwell’s name. It’s unusual. The only decent reference I could find was to the Australian actor Charles Bud Tingwell.
However, I can’t figure out the what or why Russell Lewis would use the name.
Max is in the field examining the dead girl’s body. Fred says to him about Ronnie Box, “He’s come from robbery”. Max replies, “Not the Lucie Clayton?”
He is alluding to the Lucie Clayton Charm Academy.
There was quite a few mentions of various parts of a church; the Transcept, Nave, etc. So, I thought I would add a church plan for all to see. I am rather peculiar when it comes to religion and churches; I am a anti theist but I live my life in a christian way (note the small ‘c’). However, I love church music and church architecture. I have spent many a happy hour or two walking around Cathedrals and Churches.
The Vicar also mentions that the Offertory box had been forced. The offertory box is where parishioners place money. These come in all shapes and sizes.
We had a look at what would become John Thaw’s Morse’s house.
It looks like the house that the John Thaw, Morse lived in but it is not. We did see this house already in the Endeavour episode, Girl.
The above scene is from Masonic Mysteries.
This is what Morse’s (John Thaw) house looks like now, 28 Castlebar, West Ealing. London.
The number to phone to let the property is Oxford 66517 as can be seen in the first house photograph. 66517 is the name of train.
A reference to the Endeavour episode Passenger? Very tenuous. 😉
There is a scene at the fete where a young boy is standing at the edge of a mirror.
This is a reference to the British comic actor, Harry Worth. At the beginning of his show we would see harry doing what the boy is doing creating the illusion that both his legs are in the air.
Regarding the village fete, what was Joan doing there? If anyone who Morse knows is going to be there it should be Dorothea Frazil. As a reporter she could have been there as the village fete is close to where Ann Kirby was found. Her appearance was crowbarred in to the scene so we could have another will they or won’t they scene. This is obvious by her about to tell or ask something of Morse before he hears the mother shout out.
The police officer who was sitting outside the door of Stanley Clemence, supposedly watching him, can be seen reading the Beano, A British comic paper, while pretending to be reading a newspaper.
When the police officer realises Stanley has gone he runs into the room.
Is the policeman deaf? We all know what a noise Venetian blinds can make when moved normally. Did Stanley have access to a knife or scissors? Again we all know how bloody difficult it is to break Venetian blinds and probably close to impossible by hand alone. And why would he need to cut them? Push them up and then go out of the window.
After the abduction of the second child, Rosie Johnson, Ronnie Box, Morse, Thursday are in the police station. Ronnie says to Morse, “Listen, this kiddie was taken out from under the nose of you and Johnny Morris here, so I’ll have no lectures.” He refers to Bright as Johnny Morris. Johnny Morris was a beloved British television presenter of the 1960s and 70s. of shows like Animal Magic. Situations would be Johnny with an animal and he would do the voice of the animal in comedic way.
In the same conversation Ronnie Box describes the car as a Vanden Plas, two tone. Vanden Plas is the name of coachbuilders who produced bodies for specialist and up-market automobile manufacturers.
Morse tells Thursday that the blue Alice band was not in Stanley’s stuff when he was there. Thursday tells Morse to stay out of it and puts it no uncertain terms, “You get caught with your tit in the wringer on this one, – I won’t be able to help you.” This line comes from one of my all time favourite films, All The President’s Men. John Mitchell, Attorney General of the United States (1969–1972) under President Richard Nixon, tells Bernstein I think it was, “You tell your publisher–tell Katie Graham she’s gonna get her tit caught in a big fat wringer if that’s published.”
Thursday is talking to Ronnie Box about the blue Alice band and how fortuitous it was that it turned up. Thursday then tells Ronnie that Stanley’s father always said that it wasn’t him that killed his wife. Thursday says, “In the end, it was a young DC, my old bagman, Arthur Lott, found the hammer he’d used, concealed in the cistern of the outside lav at his address.” The inference being that Lott planted the hammer.
Thursday is talking about the policeman we met in the pilot episode of the Endeavour series.
Thursday in the pilot found out that Lott had been taking money from Richard Lovell the man who was having sex parties with young girls. So, Lott was corrupt for a long time.
Lovely to see Max out of his usual habitat.
Fred, Ronnie and DS Alan Jago are interrogating Gilbert Sipkin. Thursday punches him with his left hand which would mean he is a southpaw. However, when he returns home his right hand is bruised.
Of course, he could have used his right hand later but…
After talking to Max where the dead girl is found, Ronnie Box says to Thursday, “See you back at the factory.” That same term was used by John Thaw as Jack Regan in the wonderful 1970s TV show, The Sweeney.
Simon Harrison is the son of Noel Harrison who sung a version of the song Windmills of Your Mind which was used in the film The Thomas Crown Affair.
The first trailer for the new Endeavour series used that song but was sung by Dusty Springfield.
Thanks to Charlie for this piece of info; The rural police car had the registration “264 Hz”. That’s a musical reference, as its a frequency – and happens to be the frequency that tuning forks are tuned to!
Endeavour says to Strange as he is leaving the police station, “If I knew you were coming I’d have baked a cake.” Is this a reference to the 1950s and 1960s song of the same words Morse spoke?
FRED THURSDAY’S WORDS OF WISDOM.
1. “Is that what you want? You get caught with your tit in the wringer on this one.”
2. “And if we’ve got to nudge the jukebox to get the penny to fall?”
THE MURDERED, THEIR MURDERER/S AND THEIR METHODS.
The murdered girl Ann Kirby.
Of course not murdered in the true sense. Probably not even manslaughter. The car driver who hit her is Maggie Skynner.
Stanley is found in the church by Morse.
Stanley Clemence overdosed on spiked heroin.
Anton Lesser as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright
Simon Harrison as DCI Ronnie Box
Aston McAuley as Stanley Clemence
Mike Grady as Ernest Croglin
Ava Masters as Ann Kirby
Ed Coleman as Wizard
Fiona Skinner as Karen Kirby
Khali Best as Mick Haynes
Sean Rigby as DS Jim Strange
Shaun Evans as Sergeant Endeavour Morse
Colin Tierney as Assistant Chief Constable Bottoms
Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil
Hugh Sachs as Reverend Postill
Katharine Bubbear as Maggie Skynner
Simon Hepworth as Mr. Tingwell
Tom Canton as Alfie Skynner
Sara Vickers as Joan Thursday
Roger May as Dr. Lester Sheridan
Elizabeth Wells as Emily Bayard
Richard Riddell as DS Alan Jago
James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn
Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday
Daniel Boys as Joseph Kirby
Alison Newman as Viv Wall
Holly Giles as Laurel Skynner
Adam De Ville as Gilbert Sipkin
Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday
Lindsey Campbell as Rhapsody Dickenson
I will be streaming live on Twitch Saturday 16th February at 9pm GMT. If you are unsure how to find me on Twitch then see my post about it all by clicking HERE.
To read and listen to my review of the ICARUS episode, series 5, episode 6 then click HERE.
To read all my other reviews of the Endeavour series then click HERE.
I hope you enjoyed my review + post. Take care.