Hello Endeavourists and welcome to my review of the THIRD episode of the new sixth series, CONFECTION.
I hope this post finds you all well my fellow Endeavourists.
So boring bits out of the way first.
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Endeavour Series six, Episode Three; ‘CONFECTION’.
Chronologically this is episode 26.
First broadcast 24th February 2019.
He’s Mr Quill, the writer.
Directed by Leanne Welham. (No connections 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’.
“The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable!” Oscar Wilde.
Midsomer murders meets Agatha Christie meets Blood Bath at the OK Corrall meets Blue Velvet.
Here is the opening of the film, Blue Velvet, by the wonderful David Lynch
Here is the opening of Confection.
(warning, this review will contain some spoilers)
Episode Jag Rating – out of 10.
The music mentioned below is from the original British Broadcast. Due to copyright reasons the music may differ in other countries.
Darlene wrote this in the comments regarding the song used in the USA episode to replace the Roy Orbison song, ” I continued researching and located the music studio (DNA Music Ltd) who worked with Barrington Pheloung and often provided the talent and music supervision for him and Endeavour. The talent agent/music supervisor, Amanda Street, responded to my message in Facebook.She said the producers wanted a Roy Orbison vibe and so DNA hired the songwriter Tom Kelly (I’ll Stand by You, Like a Virgin) to write the song and singer, songwriter, composer, Tim Dickinson, in the UK to sing the song.”
It is the Vienna Blood Waltz Overture by Johann Strauss.
Morse is sitting in his office at about one hour and 17 minutes and is listening to music as Jim Strange appears.
He is listening to Bellini’s opera Norma in particular the aria Casta Diva.
When Fred goes up to order a another two pints for him and Ronnie we hear P.P Arnold’s ‘The First Cut is the Deepest’.
During Mr and Mrs Bright dinner they are listening to Chopin’s Nocturne Op.9, No.2.
Kudos go to Alison one of my subscribers who mentioned in the comments section that there was a piece of classic music at the scene when the riders and the hounds return from the hunt and then have a spot of lunch. The piece is Mozart’s Divertimento in D K136. Thank you Alison and well spotted.
Strange joins Morse and Max at the dead body of a drug user. Strange says to Max, “Choked on his own puke, has he?” Max replies, “Been at the Keats again, Sergeant?” Max is of course referring to the romantic poet of the late 18thC and early 19thC John Keats.
Stonor Park Dining Room. The large panoramic painting on the wall is by Dufours of 1815.
Here is a better look at the painting.
The other paintings I don’t recognise but they are probably all portraits of family members.
Here we have what is the chocolate factory. It is in fact Kempton Steam Museum. This location was also used in the Endeavour episode ‘Game’. It was the place of work of the young black lad, Smalls.
Shown near the beginning of the episode as the milk van drives past. This house is right beside the Cottage Bookshop.
The Cresswell’s beautiful Manor House. It is in fact Stonor, Henley-on-Thames RG9 6HF.
Scene of the dead drug taker. Unidentified.
This is where Thursday sees Jago taking a package and putting it in his trouser pocket. Thursday thinks it is drugs.
Holywell Street has also been used in the Endeavour episodes ‘Girl’ (S1E1) and ‘Home’ (S1E4)
Thanks to Kyle who identified the above as Rockwell End nr Frieth, Buckinghamshire.
The village high street.
The actual location is the Cottage Bookshop, Elm Rd, Penn, High Wycombe HP10 8LB.
Sadly the bookshop closed last year after 60 years of trading.
Mrs Clamp’s shop is also Elm Rd, Penn, High Wycombe HP10 8LB.
This is also in Elm Road, High Wycombe next to the bookshop.
Endeavour going to meet Jago about the boy who committed suicide. This is Oriel College.
‘Regnante Carolo’ is carved into the parapet to commemorate the reign of Charles I in which the Quad was finished. The phrase means ‘Charles, being King’.
The pond where Endeavour meets Isla Fairford is in the middle of the village where much of the scenes were filmed,
The library where Max and Reginald have that talk.
This is the Goodman Library and Morris Room in the Oxford union library.
Isla and her father’s house. Unidentified.
Morse attends a car crash as requested by Bright.
Where Morse finds Thursday at the end of the episode.
64 High Street Old Town in Hemel Hempstead. This restaurant was used as the setting for the crime drama Pie in the Sky which starred the late actor Richard Griffiths. For Morse connection see below.
Morse and Isla have a drink.
Thursday and Box have a cosy chat and a drink.
I believe that the two ‘pubs’ are film sets built specifically for the episode. Sadly another tradition gone from the Morse universe; using real pubs in Oxfordshire.
Actors who appeared in the Endeavour Series 6, Episode 3 ‘CONFECTION’ and/or Morse or Lewis.
Christopher Bowen who played the vet Charles Shepherd was in the Lewis episode ‘Dark Matter’ (S4E2) as Professor Andrew Crompton.
We also have the actor Sophie Stanton who was Letty Clump .
Sophie appeared in the Lewis episode, The Mind has Mountains (series 5, episode 3) as Shauna Malin.
CONNECTIONS OTHER THAN ACTORS TO THE LEWIS AND ORIGINAL MORSE SERIES
The above and the plot owes a great deal to the Morse episode Happy Families, series 6, episode 2. That episode was also about a hate campaign though that hate campaign was against a rich family and Morse and was initiated by the press.
And a certain Kent Finn appears again if only in book form.
As most of you will know I believe that Kent Finn is the notorious Hugo DeVries from the Morse episode Masonic Mysteries. Kent Finn appeared in the Endeavour episode ‘Game’ (S4E1). We see one of his books, ‘Just for Jolly’ in the episode, ‘Muse’ (S5E1). Kent Finn was mentioned in this episode, ‘Lazaretto (S4E3)’ by the hospital librarian, Lester Fagen, when offering books to CS Bright.
Kent Finn as played by Adam James in ‘Game’
Clemmie was referred to as a ‘brood mare’ when she was caught listening at the door as Rupert and Murray argued. That phrase stuck in my mind as I believed it was a phrase used in a Morse episode. A few hours later I remembered. It was said by Dr. Esther Martin as to what John Peter Barrie called her in the excellent Morse episode, ‘Day of the Devil’.
Harriet Walter as Dr. Esther Martin
Keith Allen as John Peter Barrie
Is there any significance to this phrase? I don’t think so. It’s just my Morse addled mind working overtime. But…
Strangely there is another connection to the Morse episode, Day of the Devil, Richard Griffiths. Let’s have a shufty.
Richard Griffiths starred in the crime drama, Pie in the Sky. The restaurant used for the series is the same restaurant we see Morse peering through at the end of the episode.
The Kempton Steam Engine Museum was also used in the Lewis episode Beyond Good and Evil.
The episode also had a connection to the Morse episode Sins of the Father. That episode is the one where Morse investigate a murder at a brewery. There is a look about the Kempton Steam Museum that is like the location used in the Morse episode.
There is also a similarity as to were Stephen Radford in Sins of the Father
And Murray Cresswell were found.
A foreshadowing of what is to come in the episode, blood and guts.
Hold on to your hats because there is quite a few references to the following children’s British TV shows. First up;
Russell Lewis from the very beginning is shooting references from the hip and these references stir up some happy childhood memories. Chigton Green appears to be a combination of three children’s programmes from the 1960s; Trumpton (the ‘ton’ of Chigton), Chigley, (the ‘chig’ part of Chigton) and Camberwick Green. All three shows were part of the same universe. they all inhabited Trumptonshire.
All three shows used stop motion not unlike the method used to create the wonderful Wallace and Gromit.
Here we go with Russell naming many characters in the episode after characters from the three children’s shows previously mentioned.
The name of Clamp used in the episode for Sarah and Letty Clamp is a reference to a character in the 1960s Children’s progamme, Trumpton. Mr Clamp was the the greengrocer; his shop is ‘J Clamp & Son’, and his theme song is ‘Come buy my vegetables’.
Another Trumpton reference is PC Rich Potter. Police Constable Potter is Trumpton’s policeman.
Michael Murphy played in the episode by Joe Bone is a reference to Mr Mickey Murphy – the village baker.
Cresswell Confections is a reference to Mr Cresswell – the owner and general manager of the factory in the children’s show Chigley.
There is a Mr Carroway the fishmonger in the village.
Guess what. There is a Mr Carraway the fishmonger in Camberwick Green.
The steam whistle that blows near the beginning of the episode is probably a nod to the buildings real identity, a steam engine museum.
I noted that Barrington Pheloung was back on music duties in this episode rather than Matthew Slater.
And a certain Kent Finn appears again if only in book form.
As most of you will know I believe that Kent Finn is the notorious Hugo DeVries from the Morse episode Masonic Mysteries.
In the scene at about 10 minutes we see the fox hunters stuffing their face and quaffing champagne. I wonder if this is a nod to the Oscar Wilde quote, ““The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable!”
Gidburys is said to be on the verge of taking over Cresswells, or at least a merger. Gidburys was mentioned in the Endeavour episode, ‘Passenger’ (S5E3)
When Morse and Max are in the college attending the suicide of Rufus Bura, Morse notices that he had been listening to Mahler. Mahler is famously (or should that be infamously) noted as music to slit your wrists to as it can be deemed as rather depressing.
When Max and Endeavour are talking in the college quad they are discussing the ‘derelict’ who died from the drugs overdose. Endeavour says, “A soldier, possibly.” Max replies, “Known Unto God.” Known unto God is a phrase used on the gravestones of unknown soldiers in Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) cemeteries. It was devised by Rudyard Kipling.
As the above scene is closing we hear church bells. A reference to the poem by John Donne?
For Whom the Bell Tolls by John Donne
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
Or maybe i’m reading to much into such a simple thing as bells ringing.
Endeavour is talking to Ronnie Box about the death of Rufus Bura and how it may be linked to the other deaths. Endeavour says, “I spoke to a Rhodes scholar that Bura played rugby with, name of Clinton.” The Rhodes Scholarship is an international postgraduate award for students to study at the University of Oxford. Clinto refers of course to Bill Clinton. Clinton won a Rhodes Scholarship to University College, Oxford, where he initially read for a B.Phil
Bucephalus the name of the horse that was lame and had to be shot is named after the horse of Alexander the Great.
Alexander taming Bucephalus, Edinburgh City Chambers, Scotland.
When Endeavour arrives to take Isla out on a date her father reads out a crossword clue, “Slaughter horse and worry about it. ” Endeavour answers “Carnage.” For those unsure of cryptic clues in a crossword here is how the answer is formed. Cryptic clues usually have two parts: there will be a word or words that are for example a synonym of the answer, in this ‘slaughter’. Then there will be the ‘cryptic part’ The Horse is a ‘nag’. To worry is to ‘care’. The ‘about it’ part means it wants you to put ‘care’ around the word ‘nag’. Of course a slaughter is a ‘carnage’.
I’m wondering if this is some sort of portentous warning of things to come. Yikes!
Update 28th February: A friend on Twitter told me that “The cryptic crossword clue that you spotted… ‘carnage’: at least one French to Spanish translation gives us ‘degüello’ for this…
Degüello is the title of the next #Endeavour episode. Fascinating.
Judith Neal, who moonlights as Miss Ling the agony aunt, tells Endeavour that she uses the Adler favourite Two typewriter as does the the person sending the poison pen letters. Famous names who used an Adler typewriter are; Kingsley Amis, Maya Angelou, Margaret Drabble, Stanley Kubrick and Joe Orton.
FRED THURSDAY’S WORDS OF WISDOM.
None that I noticed in this episode.
MAX DEBRYN’S WITTICISMS
Strange joins Morse and Max at the dead body of a drug user. Strange says to Max, “Choked on his own puke, has he?” Max replies, “Been at the Keats again, Sergeant?” Max is of course referring to the poet John Keats.
When inspecting the dead boy in the bath, Rufus Bura, at a Oxford college, Max says, “It’s all a bit coppery, I’m afraid. Appropriately enough. Just a hint of sucrose.” Morse’s reply is, “Oh, must you? It’s a bloodbath, not a Cotes du Rhone.”
Talking to Morse over the dead body of Rufus Bura in a bath, he says, “alles in Ordnung” which translated from the German means, “Everything (is) in order.” Not really witty but very Max.
Standing over Murray’s dead, chocolate covered body, Max says, “I won’t be able to confirm cause until I’ve got his lid off.”
As above standing over Murray’s body he let’s it be known that he was not killed by a gun. “Could have been done with any number of pointed instruments.” Jago asks, “Such as?” Max replies Oh, a spiked bayonet, medieval misericord, rondel dagger, the Japanese sai.”
THE MURDERED, THEIR MURDERER/S AND THEIR METHODS.
Drug taker died by overdose. herion laced with quinine. He choked on his own ‘vomitus’.
Greville Cresswell, shot. Killed by Rennet Bell.
Mandy-Jane Bell shot by her husband Rennet Bell.
Rennet Bell, suicide by shotgun.
Rufus Bura, suicide. Slashed his wrists. Rufus killed himself because he felt guilty over the death of the Bells. Rufus was the one who posted Isla’s letters from Oxford.
Murray, death by choloate. 😉 Actually, killed by the vet’s gun that he uses to put down horses. Killed by Isla Fairford.
BRITISH COLLOQUIALISMS TRANSLATED.
Max says to Strange over the dead body of drug taker, “Furthers and betters once I’ve had a fillet.” This refers to additional information required to provide sufficient accuracy.
Ronnie asks Fred if he wants to go for a ‘livener’. This is something with an invigorating effect, especially an alcoholic drink.
Ronnie Box says to Fred in the pub when he thought Thursday wouldn’t take the envelope full of money, “Blimey For a minute there, you had me giving you two-bob, thrupenny bit.”
Thrupney Bit is the shits and two-bob is the squits, (diarrhoea). Sorry for the colourful images.
Joe Bone as Michael Murphy
Oliver Farnworth as PC Rich Potter
Christopher Harper as John Hazel
Katie Goldfinch as Sarah Clamp
Sean Rigby as DS Jim Strange
Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday
Shaun Evans as DS Endeavour Morse
Jack Hawkins as Murray Creswell
Claudia Jolly as Clemmie Creswell
Ben Lamb as Rupert Creswell
Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil
Christopher Bowen as Charles Shepherd
Carol Royle as Mrs Bright
Anton Lesser as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright
Richard Riddell as DS Alan Jago
Simon Harrison as DCI Ronnie Box
Tilly Blackwood as Judith Neal
Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday
Sophie Stanton as Letty Clamp
Olivia Chenery as Isla Fairford
James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn