ENDEAVOUR: S6EP2, APOLLO. Review + Locations, Literary References, Music etc. SPOILERS

Hello Endeavourists and welcome to my review of the SECOND episode of the new sixth series, APOLLO.

I have all week off from college so I decided to work all through most of the night and today to get this review finished so I can concentrate on relaxing and catch up with all those little chores that keep getting put off. But mainly just going to do my best and relax.

As always let’s get the boring bits out of the way first,

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Endeavour Series six, Episode Two; ‘APOLLO’.

Chronologically this is episode 25.

First broadcast 17th February 2019.

Where’s Colin?

Is this supposed to be Colin?

If yes, guys stick to photos, drawings and sculptures.

Directed by Shaun Evans. (I’m sure this guy has some connection to the Morse universe but damned if I can think what it is. Think, Chris. Think).

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’s the time of Apollo 11. Launch date 16th July 1969 and landed on the 20th July 1969.

A Professor Adam Drake, heartthrob and genius is killed in a car accident along with his most recent date, Christine Chase. Professor Drake is a bit of a lady’s man you see. But, Christine was already dead when the car crashed.

Endeavour is now back in a suit and has now been placed back into the Detective Sergeant post. Ronnie Box and Jago don’t like Endeavour and really don’t have much time for Fred Thursday either.

Endeavour is told to keep things simple in regard to the car crash which Box puts down to a murder/suicide.

Will Endeavour keep things simple. What do you think.

(warning, this review will contain some spoilers)

Episode Jag Rating – out of 10.

The two scenes that helped get that 5 Jag rating.

Wonderfully acted. The scene could have fallen into sentimentality but the actors prevented that happening.

Lovely scene and as I have written below I believe this will become Morse’s iconic red jag by the end of this series.

I am really disappointed that many on Facebook cannot see the value of having a character such as Ronnie Box and Alan Jago in the Endeavour world. The series needed a bad guy. It needed a villain we will love to hate.

For the last few series is was becoming like a love in in the Cowley police station. I liked Jack Laskey as DS Peter Jakes. I missed him when he left. Jakes was the dissenting voice that raged against much of the sycophancy that was being aimed at Endeavour. The Endeavour series needed that.

I doubt that Box or Jago will be leaving anytime soon and if that’s true I for one am happy about it.



The first piece of music we hear is at the opening of the episode as we see Endeavour sitting in his room at the police station house living quarters.

Che Gelida Manina from Puccini’s La bohème.

Libretto and translation.

Che gelida manina, What a frozen little hand,
se la lasci riscaldar. let me warm it for you.
Cercar che giova? What’s the use of looking?
Al buio non si trova. We won’t find it in the dark.
Ma per fortuna But luckily
é una notte di luna, it’s a moonlit night,
e qui la luna and the moon
l’abbiamo vicina. is near us here.
Aspetti, signorina, Wait, mademoiselle,
le dirò con due parole I will tell you in two words
chi son, e che faccio, who I am, what I do,
come vivo. Vuole? and how I live. May I?
Chi son? Sono un poeta. Who am I? I am a poet.
Che cosa faccio? Scrivo. What do I do? I write.
E come vivo? Vivo. And how do I live? I live.
In povertà mia lieta In my carefree poverty
scialo da gran signore I squander rhymes
rime ed inni d’amore. and love songs like a lord.
Per sogni e per chimere When it comes to dreams and visions
e per castelli in aria, and castles in the air,
l’anima ho milionaria. I’ve the soul of a millionaire.
Talor dal mio forziere From time to time two thieves
ruban tutti i gioelli steal all the jewels
due ladri, gli occhi belli. out of my safe, two pretty eyes.
V’entrar con voi pur ora, They came in with you just now,
ed i miei sogni usati and my customary dreams
e i bei sogni miei, my lovely dreams,
tosto si dileguar! melted at once into thin air!
Ma il furto non m’accora, But the theft doesn’t anger me,
poiché, poiché v’ha preso stanza for their place has been
la speranza! taken by hope!
Or che mi conoscete, Now that you know all about me,
parlate voi, deh! Parlate. Chi siete? you tell me who you are.
Vi piaccia dir! Please do!

Who could Endeavour be thinking of while listening to this? Mmmmmmmm


Three and half minutes into the episode we get Benjamin Professor Adam Drake in a car and plays an eight track cartridge of, once again, a Led Zeppelin track, Whole Lotta Love

Thank you to Sean Evans (no not thee Shaun Evans) who commented on the above Led Zeppelin track, “Whole Lotta Love was on the Album: Led Zeppelin 2 as track 1. Not released until 22nd October 1969. Although, same as last week, the track was broadcast on John Peel’s Top Gear show this time on Sunday 29th June.
So how it could be heard via 8 track is a mystery unless… that clever cohort of scientists did a bootleg recording and managed to get it onto an 8 track cassette.”

Thanks Sean who is not Shaun.


Thursday comes home to find the record player playing. It’s a song by Dinah Washington, Mad About The Boy.

One bloody piece of classical music! One!!!!


When Thursday and Endeavour interview Mrs Humbolt at the tennis courts she remarks, “I never heard anything more grotesque. It was an academics’ wine and cheese, not The Masque Of The Red Death!”

The Masque of the Red Death is a short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. It was also a film is a 1964 horror film directed by Roger Corman and starring Vincent Price based on the short story.


When Strange and Thursday are interviewing the Slayton’s about where they were when Eric Gidby apparently committed suicide, Hildegard says’ “A solitary supper and then I took Jacqueline Susann to bed.” Strange thinks she is admitting she is a lesbian.

Strange’s reaction is priceless. Jacqueline Susann was an American writer and actress. Her first novel, Valley of the Dolls, is one of the best-selling books in publishing history


Morse talks to Joan at her office about Flora Humbolt.

He tells her she looks, “Very “Soviet milk yields are up this quarter, Comrade. It’s very Doctor Zhivago.” He is of course referencing the film that starred Omar Shariff and Julie Christie and based on the novel by Boris Pasternak. He says that she looks like the actress who played Julie Christie’s daughter.

Lara’s daughter in the film is seen at the end of the movie and is played by the British actress Rita Tushingham.


In the same scene Morse and Joan have a little spat,

Joan “You know, you can be a real prick sometimes.
Endeavour “Oh.Nice language. Thank you, Emily Dickinson.”

Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886) is a wonderful American poet.


Thanks to Justine who noted, “In the scene with Thursday and Bright that you have a clip of, they talk about the Apollo mission and Bright says “Man’s reach, Thursday.” This is a quote from a Robert Browning poem: “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”

The Browning poem is, ‘Andrea del Sarto’. Andrea del Sarto was an Italian painter from Florence, whose career flourished during the High Renaissance and early Mannerism.


Thank you to Alexis who pointed out this biblical reference, “A reference made by the Windqvist’s housekeeper might be a little opaque to many of us since we aren’t as familiar with biblical characters as past generations were. She says that Mr. Windqvist was a “right Hosea.” I think she was referring to his wife’s behavior as God told Hosea, “Go, take a harlot wife.” (Hosea 1:2).’ Thank you Alexis.


Thank you to Mary Anne who pointed out when Bright says that the pelican has become “an albatross around my neck,” he’s of course alluding to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”


Thanks to John and Cheryl who noticed the following literary reference; “at 1 hour 18 minutes when Fred says to Endeavour: ” They also serve…” The full quotation is ” They also serve who stand and wait ” and comes from a poem by John Milton entitled On His Blindness.”


This is in the Humbolt’s house. The painting on the wall is I believe a Lucien Freud.

If it is I can’t find it anywhere on Google. So, that means I can’t put a name to it. There is so little art in the Endeavour that I thought I should at least mention this even if I can’t find the name of the painting.


The first shot of the episode. Atlas & Hercules holding up the world.

This is a sculpture on the top of the Radcliffe Observatory.


Second location at about two and a half minutes into the episode.

This is High Street, Great Missenden, HP16 0AA

Thanks to Françoise for the information.


Next we have, well come on we all know what this location is (and if you don’t you will may have your Morse Club Card taken from you and torn up) but for the uninitiated it is Hertford Bridge, often called “the Bridge of Sighs”, is a skyway joining two parts of Hertford College over New College Lane in Oxford.


The two thugs run into this building being chased by Box and jago.

They are running down New College Lane into Hertford College.


After visiting Max in the mortuary Endeavour and Thursday visit the Radcliffe Observatory..

See above for details of the Radcliffe Observatory.


Morse and Thursday visit another observatory.

This is UCL Observatory at Mill Hill in London. 553 Watford Way London NW7 2QS.


The location of Heaviside Studios. Unidentified. UPDATE 18th November 2020. A huge thank you to Peter Robinson who identified the building below. It is BRE Bucknalls Lane Bricketwood Watford WD25 9NH. Peter also told me that the location was used in the wonderful film, Dam Busters.

No idea where this is. Looks like an industrial estate. The original Thunderbirds, Stingray etc were created is now an industrial estate in Slough.

This is the buildings that once housed Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s 21st century films. Buildings now part of a large industrial estate.

Here is an interesting film about the studios.


Endeavour and Thursday talk to Humbolt about his car brakes being tampered with.

This is Keble College, Oxford.


We again see the outside of what is supposed to be the Social Work Department. The building is part of Hertford College.


Up next is the home of the Humbolts. Unidentified



The home of the Wingqvists. A huge thanks to Mark who kindly contacted me to let me this location. Mark is an architect and recognised it as Quilter House, Green Lane, Prestwood, Buckinghamshire, England. It is now called Clayton House. The architect was Peter Aldington.



The above pictures were taken some time ago and that is why the door is a different colour. Thank you again Mark.


The Humbolts said they were in Christchurch Meadows. But probably not.

I think they are sitting in Merton Field going by the buildings behind them and the distance from them.

The bench, put there by the film crew, is probably about where the white mark is on the field.



Van Horne’s Institute. Thanks to Julia and La Gazza Ladra I have found the location.

It is on Canterbury Road, Oxford.


The last location where we find Endeavour sitting in his car.

This is of course in front of Radcliffe Camera, Oxford.

Thanks to Ian who mentioned in the comments section that what was supposed to be the magistrate’s court,

is in fact the entrance to Keble college library the entrance door to the library can be seen on the right.


Thank you to Tom who pointed out that the car crash scene was filmed at Longcross Film Studios test track.

Tom said that the test track is used by film and TV companies and in particular is used by car magazines.


No pubs again like last week’s episode.

Actors who appeared in the Endeavour Series 6, Episode 1 ‘PYLON’ and/or Morse or Lewis.

Sophie Winkleman played Regan Peverill in the Lewis pilot episode, 2006.



None that I could see unless you count the foreshadowing in Max DeBryn’s parting words to Endeavour and Thursday as they leave his company, “Inspector. Morse.”


Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love was used a s the theme tune to the BBC’s Top of the Pops. Top of the Pops, also known as TOTP, is a British music chart television programme, made by the BBC and originally broadcast weekly between 1 January 1964 and 30 July 2006.  The Led Zeppelin track Whole Lotta Love was use as TOTP’s theme from 5 November 1970 to 14 July 1977. Update 19th Feb’ 2019. Guy in the comments section pointed out that the version used for Top of the Pops wasn’t the Led Zeppelin original, it was a cover by Alexis Korner’s Collective Conciousness Society. A man of my years should have known that, 🙂


So is Dr. Larry Humbolt named after Humboldt County, California, populated by a mix of hippies and rednecks and one of America’s most unique farming communities, with around 30,000 people (more than a fifth of Humboldt’s population) involved in growing marijuana. 😉 Or Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt (14 September 1769 – 6 May 1859) a Prussian polymath, geographer, naturalist, explorer, and influential proponent of Romantic philosophy and science.


Dr. Larry Humbolt talking to Professor Adam Drake at the party says, “You might have made more of the part played by British know-how. No Tom Bacon, no fuel cells. No fuel cells, no moon.” Tom Bacon, full name Francis Thomas Bacon (1904 – 1992), was an English engineer who developed the first practical hydrogen–oxygen fuel cell.



While talking to the car mechanic Endeavour asks if there was a log book, (Your V5C, also known as a car log book, is proof that you are the registered keeper of the stated vehicle). The mechanic replies, “Worthy of Nevil Shute.

Nevil Shute Norway (1899 – 1960) was an English novelist and aeronautical engineer.


In the same scene as above the mechanic refers to the people responsible for the dodgy car, “Which is no surprise, seeing as he bought it from the Winsome Welshmen.” Thursday adds, “Dudley and Dunstan.”

In the excellent 1960s film School for Scoundrels the dishonest car salesmen called themselves the “Winsome Welshmen”, Dunstan played by Dennis Price and Dudley played by Peter Jones.


Again during the same scene above we see a black jag.

This is the car that Endeavour drove Fred around in for the previous series apart from the pilot which had the licence plate UFF 325. I’m thinking that this car could become Morse’s iconic red jag. This could be how he was able to afford such a car on the wage of a Detective Sergeant. Watch this space! If i’m right feel free to congratulate me on a great observation. If i’m wrong feel free to laugh.

Tom and Karen in the comments made an excellent point in regard to the Jag. They felt the Jag was a metaphor for the Cowley ‘gang’ being broken apart. I have to admit that this makes more sense than my overly romantic notion about the red Jag.

Update 19th Feb’ 2019. Tom in the comments pointed out to me that the iconic red Jag with the distinctive number plate was actually seen in the pilot episode.

Damn me and my romantic notions of seeing the red Jag s in the Endeavour series. That and my all too often senior moment in forgetting the Jag appeared in the pilot episode.


Is this an allusion to Scientology?



Of course Jeff and Hildegard Slayton are based on Gerry and Sylvia Anderson the makers of such shows as Thunderbirds, Stingray etc. In this story Geoff and Hildegard are brother and sister but the Anderson’s were man and wife. Sylvia Anderson was the voice of  Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward in Thunderbirds.

(Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)



Since this episode is about the scientific community I am wondering if the puppet studio is named after Oliver Heaviside, an English self-taught electrical engineer, mathematician, and physicist who adapted complex numbers to the study of electrical circuits.

Gerry Anderson’s puppets were fitted with miniaturised electronic components.


In the background is a model of a house.

This is a replica of Lady Penelope’s house from the Thunderbirds series. That might also be a puppet of Lady Penelope on their desk.



When Morse and Thursday first meet the brother and sister team Hildegard and Jeff Slayton, Jeff refers to his new show as “Bonanza in space.” This is how the original Star Trek was described as in the 1960s.


In one scene involving the puppets Luna is said to be mute. This will be a reference to Marina, a mute mermaid in the Gerry Anderson show Stingray.




The institute leader is called Gabriel Van Horne. A Patrick Van Horne is best known for starring in the film Swingers. This episode is about a group of swingers so…


During a scene between the Humbolt children the little boy asks for butterfly kisses. This is where two people flicker their eyelashes together. This reminded me of the film starring Kevin Costner, The Untouchables. In that film Kevin Costner’s character Eliot Ness has butterfly kisses with his daughter.


Mrs Gidby, when being interviewed by Endeavour and Thursday, says that her husband when he goes off by himself, “When the black dog was on him.” Black dog is an oft-used phrase to mean depression and was thought to have been first used by Winston Churchill.


Endeavour is talking to Dorothea and she says, “Jim Strange is poking about this spate of heroin deaths. Eddie Nero’s game, wasn’t it?” So Strange is still looking to find George fancy’s killer though no one else seems interested.


Morse is talking to Flora Humbolt about Adam Drake.

She says that her mother called Adam, “Un ami de la maison.” Which translates as ‘a friend of the house’.


During the sequence where the Dinah Washington song Mad About The Boy is playing we hear Adam Drake ‘s voice on a recording say the words, “Tell the truth and shame the devil.” These exact words were said by Fred in the episode Pylon when he was trying to determine if he should hand in the case with the bloody hammer in it into evidence.


Mark B mentioned a reference I should have seen as I am a fan of the British radio show. Mark wrote Maybe “Mrs Trellis is a reference to the regular correspondent from “I’m sorry I Haven’t A Clue”. Something of a busybody, her usually inappropriate and unintentionally hilarious letters are read out at the beginning of each show.” I wager you right Mark and I can imagine Russell Lewis also being a fan of the show.


Some people were asking about the white desk in Van horne’s office. I asked Paul Cripps the set designer on Endeavour about it and he said it is a Maurice Calka Boomerang desk. It also comes in other colours.


Kris and Terry, two of my readers, spotted a lovely connection to the Apollo missions. Donald Kent ‘Deke’ Slayton was NASA’s Director of Flight Crew Operations at the time of the moon landing. Slayton was the surname of the brother and sister who ran the puppet film company.



Another of my website readers, Andy, noticed an error in the scene where the children are looking up at the sky. “When the children are lying on the bench towards the end, the girl points out constellation Orion in the night sky. Orion is only visible in winter whereas the episode is set in the summer, presumably shortly before the moon landing on July 20th 1969.


Thank you to Tom who pointed out that the car crash scene was filmed at Longcross Film Studios test track. Tom said that the test track is used by film and TV companys and in particular is used by car magazines.


Thanks to Garry Webb who pointed out this error on the paperwork: a misspelling of ‘constabulary.’


Thanks to John and Cheryl for the following;

“You refer to Adam Drake driving his own car at 3 minutes. We also see it at 19 minutes and at 1 hour 8 minutes. I suggest he bought it from Teddy Samuels, the car dealer from the Pilot episode. This is because when in Pilot you see the shot of Endeavour looking at Morse’s iconic red Jag on Samuel’s forecourt adjacent to it on the left is what I believe to be the same two seater sports car painted with 2 colours that is used by Drake in this episode.”



On visiting Professor Drake’s rooms Morse picks up a book. It’s title is How To Live A Happier Life. Fred remarks “Maybe he never finished it.”

Endeavour makes a joke, “Funny.” says Fred, “There’s a compere spot going down the Legion, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.”

(The ‘Legion’ refers to the British Legion. The British Legion is a British charity providing financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants. They have places where they can meet and socialise. They will have clubs where they can socialise and there they may hold events like Bingo or entertainment in the form of singers, comedians etc.)


Eric Gidby. Shot by Hildegard Slayton.


Christine Chase.

Died from a fall.


Professor Adam Drake.

Hildegard Slayton cut the brake line and removed the brake fluid and tried to make it look like it was Eric Gidby. That was because he believed that Isobel Humbolt, who owned the car Adam was driving, was the person responsible for the death of his first wife. But it wasn’t it was the registered keeper of the rear part of the car. The front and the back were welded together apparently by one of Eddie Nero’s men.



Michael Parkhouse as TV Anchor

Sophie Winkleman as Isobel Humbolt

Sasha Willoughby as Flora Humbolt

Katie Faye as Christine Chase

Benjamin Wainwright as Professor Adam Drake

Sargon Yelda as Dr. Larry Humbolt

Oliver Chris as Dr. Elliot Wingqvist

James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn

Shaun Evans as DS Endeavour Morse

Richard Riddell as DS Alan Jago

Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday

Simon Harrison as DCI Ronnie Box

Sean Rigby as DS Jim Strange

Sara Vickers as Joan Thursday

Charlotte Bradley as Mrs. Trellis

Ross Boatman as Mac Honeydew

Alice Orr-Ewing as Natalie Wingqvist

Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday

Anton Lesser as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright.

Robert Hands as Eric Gidby

Terenia Edwards as Marilyn Gidby

Blake Ritson as Gabriel Van Horne

Mary Stockley as Hildegard Slayton

Matthew Cottle as Jeff Slayton

Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil

Alison Newman as Viv Wall


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.

135 thoughts

  1. The music cue when the police said a car was available was suggesting that the red jag was going to be unveiled, but not to be.

    I didn’t particularly enjoy the episode either. Second week running where the first body wasn’t a murder plus a car accident involved in the storyline.

    I’ll be surprised if Thursday has had anything to do with Fancy’s death; I’m sure though there is more than meets the eye to Box and Jago and there will be relevation that isn’t necessarily how it appears. I wondered if Strange didn’t want to discuss things in front of Thursday because wanted to run through his theory and findings with Morse before sharing it with the chain of command.

  2. Thanks for the recap. There is one typo: “Morse is talking to Flora Humbert about Adam Drake.” should be Humboldt.

    Box and Jago are up to their eyeballs in something crooked, maybe the heroin trade. I think they’re responsible for Fancy’s death. George wouldn’t have gone into that bar except on orders. Strange told him to stand down, so who could have gotten him to defy Strange’s order but another copper.

  3. Hi Chris, Rita Tushingham played the adult daughter of Lara and Yuri in Dr. Zhivago shown (if my memory is accurate!) in the beginning of the film when she is passing through a work station in a vast stream of female mine workers. The half brother of Yuri, a General played by Alec Guinness, is hoping to find her. I immediately recognised the Endeavour reference and “The Girl” – Joan’s headscarfe being the link. I now feel like rewatching Dr. Zhivago as a result of this! Suzanne.

  4. Re: Doctor Zhivago – Rita Tushingham played the grown-up daughter in the framing sequences of the film.

    I wonder if the phrase “Tell the truth and shame the devil” will turn up in all four episode this series (just as the advertising poster was seen in various states of neglect during series 2.) We shall have to wait to find out. 🙂

  5. I can’t fault Shaun, he did visually tie threads together in his director role and the scene with Bright/Thursday was a standout. Jim Strange is coming to the fore and Morse continues to be that guy you can talk to, if you’re looking to actually have a conversation. The problem, as it has been for some time now, is the writing. ITV3 replayed “Sway” – that was a good episode, you were involved with the story and the people. With Pylon and Apollo, other than the main characters (Morse, Bright, Strange, Thursday), there’s no empathy by the audience for the storyline or the players. Russell Lewis needs to involve us back into the Morse universe, make us care.

    1. I know nothing about cars but you have to ask yourself why that scene was included. It wasn’t just a nostalgic nod to the car they both drove around in. I’ll still go with my prediction. Little errors regarding make and model have been made in the series before. Only time will tell.

      1. HI Chris, Great review as always. Wasn’t the iconic red Jag already shown in an earlier Endeavour episode on the forecourt at a used car dealer that Fred roughs up? That car had the classic 248 RPA number plate. I think the Black jag in this episode was an allusion to the broken bonds between the past at Cowley and the present.

      2. Oh bugger. You’re absolutely right. It was shown in the pilot episode in the garage forecourt. I will let my romantic notions in regard to that iconic car get in the way. Well i’m off to hang my head in shame and update my post in no particular order.

      3. I think Tom may be right – I felt the Jag was a metaphor for the Cowley ‘gang’ being broken apart, and seem to remember seeing the red Jag in an earlier series?

      4. You could both be right. Certainly the car’s metaphorical value in relation to series six’s changes are more valid than my theory. However, the romantic in me is still hoping that it turns into Morse’s red jag.

      5. Hi Chis,
        I agree with Justin i think your prediction with the car is wrong. If you recall in one of the earlier episodes of Endeavour he visits with Thirsday a garage forecourt and sat on that forecourt was a Burgundy Mk2 Jag registration number 248RPA which was for sale. I think this Jag might be a little red herring in this episode.

  6. Thanks again for such a heartfelt review Chris. I can’t imagine how you get it out so quickly. I appreciate your knowledge and insights greatly, so hope I’m not being out of place in saying that I think you were a bit too harsh this time around. Obviously for you the episode was not engaging, but my main criticism is that there was only one piece of classical music! Apart from that I thought it had much to recommend it. Wonderful photography, effective lighting, great acting. And what I always find in Endeavour, those small subtle moments that say so much – a glance, a short phrase, a gesture – these are all there to lift this show above the level of any average crime series.

    Like you, I thought the conversation between Bright and Thursday was superb, in the economy of both the script and the acting. I feel very touched when Bright removes his spectacles at times like this, thus emphasising his vulnerability (I’m reminded of a similar scene in Prey when he was baring his soul to Truelove}. I loved the ending of this little scene when the glasses go back on, he gives a little shrug, then up and out with his head held high.

    Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen as much television as you have, but I didn’t find similarities with previous plots tiresome. The interaction of such different characters, the contrasting settings (the whiteness of the Single Way Institute, the darkness of Endeavour’s basement office, the colourful puppets in the Heaviside studio etc) and the ongoing tensions in the story are all there as large as life, and I will take real pleasure in watching the episode again.

    I’m hoping the Jaguar turns out to be THE ONE, and hearing part of the Morse theme as it was uncovered makes me think that will be the case. I did notice that Endeavour is gradually replacing his old white shirts, and is now looking very stylish in those darker blue shirts favoured by his future self. And is Sean Rigby putting on weight in order to resemble the Strange of the Inspector Morse series?

    At the end we see the Thursday family together, watching the moon landing. But something has gone from the heart of this family scene, and the look on Fred’s face says it all. And at this seminal moment, once again Endeavour is all alone. This feels right to me as well.

    I believe the quality of the entire Endeavour series is superb. This episode certainly didn’t disappoint me. In any case, I look forward to both the next episode, and to your always honest and valued review.

    1. Hi Allison. In regard to getting the post up so quickly is mostly down to starting the post straight after the episode ending and then working through most of the night and the next day. Alison, you are certainly not out of place to disagree with me. As I wrote somewhere above that if everyone here on my website agreed with everything I said and wrote, I would become intolerably smug 😉 I also liked the suits Morse was wearing. Thanks for commenting Alison

  7. Good morning Christopher.
    Great Review as always. The things you see and notice 👀 I am again speechless.I might not always agree with everything, but I am sure that is not what you would want anyway. From now on I am going to make it a habbit to watch after your Reviews the episodes again 🙂
    Tell me, does Mister Lewis know of your Reviews? IF, I am sure he would say: smart guy that Mister Sullivan, can’t deceive that one 🤓. I loved your sentence about “Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright” and DI FredThursday”, that was one of the memorable scenes for me too.
    One word to his wife Win, who seems to have a middle-life crisis afer Joan left and her husband lost all their savings because of his no-good-at-all brother Charlie. For a second I believed she also went to these classes of Gabriel van Horne. Her behaviour is more than odd towards her husband. I wonder if she still needs to take those anodyne pills we saw her take I believe in the last season? Poor Fred does have a hard time at the moment, to be demoted, then working under Box at his age – and the sad situation at home. If Win wanted a divorce, the bit of luxury the Thursday’s have would all be gone… I wonder where the writer will take us with her character.

    About the Jag, funny that you had the same thought about it. I looked at the scene and thought: hmm…it is black ? But what if it gets a new colour because Morse will buy it ? Of course he would not have yet enough money to buy a brand new one as you so rightly mentioned. And no one will laugh at you either way!

    But the really remarkable statement in your new Review is what you had to say about DI Box. It needs a baddie in a series 🙃 the more we hate him, the better the actor (Simon Harrison is brilliant) is in his performance – as is his Bagman DS Alan Jago.
    I out myself as a great fan of the Endeavour series, not just Shaun Evans (whom I adore in his role) but all the other main characters.
    Have a super free day today and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us👍 I really appreciate them.

    1. Hi Linda. Perversely, I’m always happy that someone disagrees with me. Can you imagine if my website was full of sycophants? I would become intolerable 😂 Russell is aware of my site as he has made obvious in some of his tweets but I have no idea if he reads the reviews. I think Win is trying to find a way to forgive Fred without relenting on her disappointment on what he did to their retirement money. Remember Win had so many plans for her and Fred’s retirement it’s understandable why she is upset. She did return home to Fred so that means she does want to be with Fred but just needs time to adjust to their new future.

  8. Hi Chris, I’m wondering if Mrs Trellis is a reference to the regular correspondent from “I’m sorry I Haven’t A Clue”. Something of a busybody, her usually inappropriate and unintentionally hilarious letters are read out at the beginning of each show. Not really much to do with the character in the episode, but it’s such an unlikely name it has to be a nod to the radio show.

    1. Oh my God Mark how did I not get that reference. I love ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue’. Well spotted. I will add that to my post.

      1. Mrs Trellis of North Wales – unfortunately, the actress in “Endeavour” has the wrong accent. That being said, in one of the Mornington Crescent books it is revealed that her first name is also Endeavour.

  9. Agree 100% with your review, Chris, sadly.

    I’ve only ever watched the very first episode of Inspector Morse, so don’t have the love for the Morse universe in the way that you do, but the early series of Endeavour made this one of my favourite shows; I loved everything about it, from the quality of the writing, the intricacy of the stories and the high quality acting.

    The quality of writing and the storylines in the most recent series declined quite a bit, but I still watched each week and enjoyed certain story arcs.

    Last week’s episode was, I felt, a return to form. So sad that this week’s was so poor.

    Another accidental death covered up? Another woman scorned? It’s like Russell Lewis has run out of fresh ideas.

    Seeing Win and Fred so sad, when him coming home to her was such a beacon of light and love in each episode, is very touching. I find myself hoping they can resolve things and get their relationship back on track, although I too fear that Fred will have a brush with death for that to happen.

    And please, no more tortured scenes between Morse and Joan! Let that little ‘romance’ die a death. Like you, I felt that Strange was going to ask Joan out; I can see that happening in a later episode, and Joan going out with him just to spite Morse.

    I shall be watching next Sunday, but with my toes and fingers crossed for a better written episode!

  10. Hi Chris. Great review as ever. One small point on ‘Whole Lotta Love’ – the version used for Top of the Pops wasn’t the Led Zep original, it was a cover by Alexis Korner’s Collective Conciousness Society (CCS) who, incidentally, also provided the theme to the Radio 1&2 Sunday evening Top Forty show in the days when it was presented by Tom Browne and later by Simon Bates. That tune was called Brother and was preceded by the Apollo 11 countdown!

    1. Hi Guy. I didn’t realise that in regard to Whole Lotta Love being a cover version. Thank you I will add that info to my post.

      1. A little nitpick on the release date of the album unfortunately. Whole Lotta Love was on the Album: Led Zeppelin 2 as track 1. Not released until 22nd October 1969. Although, same as last week, the track was broadcast on John Peel’s Top Gear show this time on Sunday 29th June.
        So how it could be heard via 8 track is a mystery unless… that clever cohort of scientists did a bootleg recording and managed to get it onto an 8 track cassette.

      2. Please nitpick Sean it can only help my website and the information contained within that much better and more interesting. I have added your thoughts to the post.

  11. The scene outside the magistrates’ court looked to me like the entrance hall to the Hall and Library at Keble College.

    I’d love the Jaguar thing to be true but the fact that Morse’s own car was seen on the used car lot in the pilot episode does seem to make it unlikely. I wonder if there’s any significance in the fact that all the unmarked cars now appear to be Ford ‘Z’ cars (Zephrys and Zodiacs). Maybe another nod to contemporary TV.


  12. I’ve seen the Wingqvist’s house used on another recent murder mystery series. I can’t quite remember where though. Midsomer? It’ll come to me.
    I was glad to see Oliver Chris again. I loved him in Bluestone42!

      1. I think it was used on a latter episode of Jonathan Creek. I can’t see any reference online though.

  13. Forgive me, as I am new to the party, but it seems to me that the unanswered question is, Would Morse really be listening to Puccini? (Perhaps we can attribute this to his youth?)

  14. Of interest probably only to me, I had a university interview for UCL at the Mill Hill observatory in 1981 and I used to walk past the Radcliffe Observatory every day when I worked for OUP up until June last year. It’s a small world, but you wouldn’t want to paint it 🙂

  15. Terrific review and comments, thanks to everyone.

    I suspect the Wingqvist’s house was the master’s lodgings of St Catherine’s College (which is next to the English Faculty Library used for exteriors of Thames Valley copshop). I may be wrong, but the architecture looks familiar.

    Star Trek was I believe described as ‘Wagon Train to the stars’ which makes a bit more sense than ‘Bonanza in space’.

    I loved all the Gerry Anderson references in this episode, and thought the recreations were marvellous, but I was a bit disappointed that the whole thing was rather unrelated to the plot.

    I’ve had a thought about Endeavour which someone more knowledgeable than me might comment on. Would 1969 be about the period when the young Jack Regan joined the Met? Could it be possible that the character could visit Oxford, in a mind-shattering Morse/Sweeney crossover episode?

      1. My suggestion was of course not made seriously. I’m just wondering if it would have been theoretically possible in regard to dates. Does anyone know enough about Regan’s history to comment?

  16. If Fred’s looking to bring Win round, he could do worse than fix the gap under the front door. There must be a hell of a draught under there in the winter. 🙂

  17. The Austin Seven referred to as touring the UK with a Punch and Judy show didn’t have hydraulic brakes. They were always cable brakes. She couldn’t have learned how to bleed or empty the brakes on an Austin Seven.

    All the moon landings took place at full moon, but in the film, it was shown as a waxing crescent.

  18. On a more serious note than some of my other comments, I don’t believe Pavarotti recorded La Bohème until 1972. I’ll dig a bit deeper and see if there is an earlier published recording of his singing the aria in question.

  19. Hi Chris just to say I have enjoyed your work on the first and second episode. It must take you ages to compile but I’m sure I speak for all us Morse fans when I say a huge thank you taking the time and effort to do this. It is a joy to follow and I shall look forward to next weeks. Best Wishes. Nigel

    1. Thank you so much for the your kind comments. Though the posts can take 20+ hours to write it is the support I get, here and elsewhere, that makes it worthwhile.

  20. Sterling work as ever, Chris. Thanks so much! (Hey, I remembered this time!)

    Usually I’m a big apologist for “Endeavour,” but I was rather disappointed this time–I just couldn’t get into this episode. I didn’t care enough about the characters or the case, and I couldn’t follow the intricacies about the cars, especially not how it all connected to crimes and criminals past. That could be because of static in my own life right now; maybe if I’ll give it another watch and see if it improves.

    But I think a big part of it is I feel the clock ticking down on solving poor Fancy’s killer. We’re halfway through the series and haven’t seen any progress! I’m wondering if that’s intentional–if the plan may be for this series to be about getting the gang back together and on its feet under the new regime, while next series will be dedicated to them actually finding justice for Fancy. I keep going back and forth as to how much of that “justice” will involve Box and Jago. Last week I said I thought Box was a bad cop who thought he was good and/or wanted to be a good cop, but wasn’t necessarily thoroughly corrupt; the jury was still out on Jago. This week, my opinion has dropped on Box but risen on Jago. Who knows what it’ll be next week? Box does seem to be playing some kind of game beyond claiming undeserved credit for solving cases, and Jago doesn’t seem to be a witting part of it. This week, at least.

    I’m afraid Strange is going to get burned by it all, though. I’m glad he’s taken the initiative with the Fancy case, in that somebody needs to, and he’s actually not in a bad position to be in to move the pieces on the chessboard, but at the same time, I think he’s punching above his weight. One thing they’ve done with his character is show us that he’s not a stupid man, and he has character and integrity, but as the “Jacqueline Susann” scene demonstrated, neither is he the sharpest tool in the box, and he may well be dealing with forces here well beyond what he can handle. At least we know he comes out of it alive because of his presence in the original series.

    As for the other details: I’m really not bothered by the Led Zeppelin, whether it fits an exact timeline or not. With 1969, we’ve hit the period that I actually remember, and I remember it being a rather scary period, for a number of reasons; Led Zeppelin’s hard, harsh edge evokes that feeling for me, and I think that’s a lot of what they’re trying to do with the music. At any rate, if we’re going to be critical because they play a Led Zeppelin song in the background (maybe not when they show it being played; that’s slightly different) and the date is off what we’ve been told is the dating of the scene, then we should be just as critical about the dating of the classical recordings played in the background, and I don’t think we’ve ever done that.

    And the car? I was with everybody else in imagining it as the famous red Jag. And I think it may still be. Frequently, the details that air in pilots for TV shows don’t later apply when the show becomes a regular series, and if that is the case here, I won’t feel like they’ve done me wrong. I didn’t see its broken-down state as a metaphor for the state of the relationships among the characters, though. I saw it more as an inside joke about the original car used in the original series. As I understand it, that car was in such bad shape by the end that they actually had to tow it for driving shots because it couldn’t be driven safely. Much like the car we saw here, in other words!

    As for the Thursdays: It struck me last week that Win seemed awfully dressed up for someone who stays around the house all day. She’s always been neat and pulled together, but in a housedress-and-cardigan kind of way, because most of the time when we see here, she’s either doing housework or watching TV. Now, her hair’s done and she’s wearing “go to town” or “stepping out” clothes. I wondered about that, but she did, mention “work” this last episode. She said last series something about getting a job, which Fred objected to, but she said it was something like house cleaning a couple of times a week, nothing that would, again, require her to dress up. Now she’s also talking about going out in the evening without Fred. Between all that and the music, it occurred to me well after I watched the episode that perhaps she’s having and affair, or perhaps just a flirtation? The way Fred looked at her when they were all sitting on the couch watching the moon landing, I wonder if he’s thinking the same thing, too?

  21. SUperb review, I’d love to know where the white desk vane from in the institute. It would go very well in my office!

    1. Hi Rob. I asked Paul Cripps the set designer on Endeavour. He said that it is the Maurice Calka boomerang desk.

  22. Going along with the theme of the programme, I also noticed that the little boy was playing on a Space Hopper. I’m pretty sure that was not a co-incidence. Interestingly, I had one in those days, although mine was called a Roo Ball (it did look like a Kangeroo).

  23. Well done identify the Wingqvist’s house. You can see the resemblance to St Catherine’s, though – https://www.stcatz.ox.ac.uk/.

    I agree that Win must be having an affair – surely she’s going to leave poor old Fred before the series is out?

    Who do we think has been pulling strings at Division to get Morse back into CID?

    From the Radio Time description of next week’s episode, I think we’re in for some in-jokes about Camberwick Green.

    1. It was Jim Strange who got Morse back into CID. It happened at the end of the Pylon episode. Strange lied to a senior officer that Morse was part of a Mason lodge in Oxford and so got the senior officer, ACC Bottoms I think it was, to sign off Morse’s transfer. I’m not convinced that Win is having an affair but she certainly has been dressing more glamorously than usual. maybe just trying to show Fred what he is missing and that she is still an attractive woman.

  24. Yes, of course – Strange’s conversation with Bottoms didn’t quite register with me, but I suppose that is the explanation for Morse’s return to CID. I kept thinking that we were going to get some very high-level conspiracy plot. Strange does seem to be very influential considering his rank – I suppose he’s higher up in the Masons than he is in CID.

  25. One more location for you: the car crash scene was filmed at the test track that surrounds the Longcross film studios in Surrey – to be precise the windy ‘snake’ section in the middle that is used by many famous motoring magazines for testing and video/photography, including the one I work for.

    It’s also used for many TV and film productions as it looks like the public road but obviously isn’t, so ideal for controlled filming. The studio complex also houses many buildings that look the part for the exterior of the puppet film company, though I can’t confirm this but it would seem logical from a filming logistics point of view.


    Thanks for all your hard work. Am enjoying this series, and completely agree that the addition of Box and his henchman adds a welcome tension to the usual Morse-Thursday-Bright love-in.


    1. Excellent, thanks Tom. I will add info to my post and see if I can find building that could be the puppet studio.

    2. Thank you Tom for this brilliant piece of info. I have added the information to my post in the locations section.

  26. Hi Chris
    Almost all that I had to say about ‘Apollo’ has been said but just a few more that I would like to add. I thought the scene stealer this time was CS Bright both in his scenes with Thursday and Morse who was greeted like a Prodigal Son, far different to their first few encounters. I admire the character of Bright in not giving in to a sideways move and ridicule. He could easily have resigned as it seemed he was considering at the end of series 5.
    The final scene with the Thursdays watching Neil Armstrongs ‘One small step’ was odd. I watched it live at 3:56am BST in my pyjamas having got up in the middle of the night. My wife stayed in bed. To see them fully dressed watching it like family prime time television was wierd, and what Morse was doing in his car at that time in the middle of Oxford, I can’t imagine
    One final thought on Win’s different behaviour, Could it be that she has been diagnosed with a terminal illness?

  27. Chris
    Another thought, could Chris and Hildegard Slayton be named after Deke Slayton, a former Mercury space program pilot who was grounded and joined NASA in management and selected the Apollo crew?

    1. I was trying to make some sense of the characters’ names, and Slayton did seem to ring bells, but I couldn’t do anything with the others, particularly Wingqvist, the only reference for which I could find was Sven Wingqvist, inventor of the multi-row self-aligning ball bearing in 1907. Make of that what you will!

      1. Damned if I can see a connection between ball bearings and the episode, lol. I too searched for the name Wingqvist but, like you, couldn’t find anything that would make sense in connection with the episode.

  28. when the children are lying on the bench towards the end, the girl points out constellation Orion in the night sky. as any fule kno, Orion is only visible in winter whereas the episode is set in the summer, presumably shortly before the moon landing on July 20th 1969.

    1. Thanks Andy. Thank you for the information. I’m afraid I am one of those fools who did not know about Orion. 🙂

      1. Hi, just saw endeaver episode apollo in the US and noticed the constellation at the end of the episode. According to the information that I have found on the internet neil armstrong walked on the moon on july 20, 1969 at 2:56 UTC. The first quarter moon had already set and would not be visible in the sky. The moon was in the constellation virgo. The constellation visible at the end of the endeaver episode is not a representation of of virgo nor orion. possibly some people might think it looks like orion because there aree 3 bright stars close to each other but in orion these 3 stars are in a line and the 3 bright stars in the endeaver are not in a line.

  29. Not sure if anyone has mentioned it, but the name Slayton is also a reference – Donald Kent ‘Deke’ Slayton was NASA’s Director of Flight Crew Operations at the time of the moon landing.

    1. Hi Kris. Thank you for that info. I have added that great piece of information to the miscellaneous section of my post.

  30. So sorry to be late to the party this week, endless nightshifts to blame.

    May I be Max’s critical friend once again? I’m afraid I took issue with his analysis of the body of Adam Drake at the car crash scene. Sorry Max but he simply couldn’t have determined ‘Vermouth’ on the breath simply from smelling the oral cavity of the deceased. You can smell alcohol on the breath – certainly living or very recently dead. But to be able to give it a specific brand or tipple is really good going.

    With the theme this week being space I thought I noticed a potential in-joke pointing towards the excellent 90s U.S. sci-fi series the X-Files. Endeavour like the character Fox Mulder is banished to a basement office as he too is seen as the oddball. However, invariably it was ‘spooky’ Mulder who came out with wild ideas and theories that proved to be the baddies undoing, just as we see Endeavour doing so often. Anyone else see that?
    Am I leaping here?

    1. I’d love it if Endeavour had a reference to The X-Files, but I think that the outsider being banished to a windowless basement was a trope long before Fox Mulder. Though, if a flame-haired female turns up to help Morse with the filing, or he puts up a poster saying ‘I Want to Believe’ in Latin, that would be marvellous…

    2. Hi Davey. I didn’t see the spooky Mulder connection but I certainly think that is a great connection.

    3. I rather think the Mulder link is a leap too far, but the Max sense of smell is probably right. I should point out that I can indeed tell the difference between what my husband (or anyone else) has had to drink, as they really are very different smells. Not sure that I could pinpoint Vermouth though!

  31. Thank you Chris for such a thorough review. Still, I have difficulty to understand this one :

    Endeavour makes a joke, “Funny.” says Fred, “There’s a compere spot going down the Legion, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.”

    Could you be so nice to explain it? Many thanks!

    1. The ‘Legion’ refers to the British Legion. The British Legion is a British charity providing financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants. They have places where they can meet and socialise. They will have clubs where they can socialise and there they may hold events like Bingo or entertainment in the form of singers, comedians etc. Hope that helps.

      1. Thanks for your reply. And I can’t get Endeavour’s joke…How does that make sense? Did he mean wrong is how things are?

      2. Endeavour says, “That’s how thing are.” He was imitating a similar thing that Fred said to him earlier when Endeavour was complaining about something. So, Endeavour was humorously hoisting Fred on his own petard.

      3. Thank you so much. This helps a lot. I didn’t know anything about the Legion or this compere job at all.

  32. We try to use the phrase ‘hoist by his own petard’ as often as possible. I thought for years that a petard was a form of ballista or catapult – actually it’s a sort of breaching charge or grenade.

  33. While Deke Slayton was director of Flight Crew Operations, his career at NASA began when he was selected as one of the Mercury 7 astronauts, along with Scott Carpenter, Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Alan Shepard, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, and Wally Schirra. That’s where Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon, and John Tracy, piloting the five Thunderbirds, got their names from.

  34. Does this count as a literary reference? Maybe everyone knows it.

    In the scene with Thursday and Bright that you have a clip of, they talk about the Apollo mission and Bright says “Man’s reach, Thursday.” This is a quote from a Robert Browning poem: “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”

  35. Also I assumed Heaviside was named after the Heaviside layer (which is named after Oliver Heaviside, whom you cited). It’s a level of the atmosphere and it reflects radio waves. Thus it’s a good name for a recording studio featured in an episode about the moon mission!

    The Heaviside layer might be familiar from the musical Cats. The cats want to go there and one is selected for the journey.

  36. Hi Chris — may I add a little snippet about the TOTP Whole Lotta Love recording. It wasn’t taken from the CCS record – it was specially recorded by the TOTP house band at about 8am one morning before rehearsals started (I was there!) — it’s a cut down version. However as most of the musicians were in both bands it’s hardly surprising that they sound almost identical.

  37. I noticed that the “Newton’s cradle” that features in this episode has one of the balls missing. Not sure what the significance is. I was waiting for it to be a plot element, but it never happened.

  38. Just watched “Apollo” here in the States. Isn’t Thursday’s comment to Morse, “They also serve,” a reference to the last line of John Milton’s “On His Blindness”: “They also serve who only stand and wait”?

    1. Probably is, but Fred may be also be making a reference to the 1940 film of that title, about housewives on the Home Front during WW2.

  39. There is always a final “clue” in the credits of each episode, written in red letters among the names. This episode, the red letters spelled out: “Sylvia and Gerry Anderson”. (Last week, Ep. 1, they spelled out “Anna Sewell”, the author of “Black Beauty”.) Great recap and details, thank you very much!!!

  40. I think the painting that you refer to is
    Portrait on a White Cover
    Lucian Freud
    Date: 2002 – 2003

    1. Thank you Lar for commenting but i’m afraid it’s not that particular painting.

  41. Chris: Your care taking of your parents is very admirable. I’m happy that you will focus on yourself in your next phase of life. Do you know what the last word was that Morse said to Joanie as she walked away with the 2 children?

  42. I may have missed this but as I am in United States just saw this episode and isn’t the use of the name Humboldt more than a casual reference to the explorer Alexander von Humboldt? According to Wikipedia there is an area of the moon named for him which straddles the seen and unseen faces of the moon. It could be therefore a great reference to Morse pursuing the known and unknown in his work as a detective who explores the darker, hidden sides of human existence that lay beneath the visible surface.

  43. There are no “rednecks” in Humbolt California or, indeed, in the entire state of California. Brits may think so, but a “redneck” is an American term of disparagement for poor rural Southerners. It derives from the fact that farm laborers often were burnt red by the hot Southern sun as opposed to more “genteel” folks who wore clothes that covered their necks. It’s a term that came about in the decades before the Civil War.

  44. I may have completely missed it, but I am pretty sure that the Dr. Zhivago scene was edited out of the US version. I’ve only watched the episode once. I will rewatch to confirm

  45. I watch faithfully and I don’t know why Win is behaving the way she is. Is it because he didn’t give up the force? Are we supposed to infer she’s seeing someone?

    1. Win is upset that not only did Fred give their retirement fund to Charlie, who then was unable to return it, but Fred never discussed the loan with Win. Win, of course, had hoped that Fred would retire and they could start much more together.

    1. John, the ‘Bridge of Sighs’ in Oxford is simply named after the original in Venice because it looks similar. But as Endeavour says in the episode Cartouche, “it more closely resembles the Rialto Bridge.” The Rialto Bridge is also in Venice.

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