Author: Chris Sullivan

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

58 thoughts

  1. Chris. Glad your okay today and to say I cant wait to read your review on Degüello. Keep up the great work and massive thanks for the desk time you put into the site, Thanks

  2. Just in time. I was about to unsubscribe. Lots of things have poor episodes, but life goes on, and we need more than one-liners! Keep up the good work.

  3. Thanks for reconsidering Chris – looking forward to your review. I was shocked when I checked out your website this morning and there was no (proper) review.

    I loved every second of it and now there’s a vacuum in our Sunday nights.

    Surely better to focus on what we have as opposed to what we haven’t got? Here’s hoping for more episodes.

    If you are disillusioned, how does this idea grab you: a “The Sweeney” prequel (covering the years 1969 to 1974) featuring a recovered Ronnie Box heading up the Flying Squad with Shaun Evans as a slightly younger Jack Regan?

    I, for one, was pleased that both Thursday and Box were good guys who took wrong turns, but redeemed themselves. As opposed to Jago who was a bad guy.

    Mulling over the criticisms concerning the role of women – perhaps 1960’s authenticity, both in real life and in fiction? That’s how it was back then, and Endeavour is reflecting this.

    The gang is together again, Morse has his car and house, familiar music ending the episode – surely these are positives and the foundations for a new series?

    1. Hi Charles – I take your point re: the times however if they were trying to accurately reflect “60’s” thinking than most of the dialogue would be missing. RL has given our heroes very 2000’s view on racism/homosexuality/sex etc

      My other point (and I was a little child during the 60’s) but you really don’t think there were strong women in the 60’s? Maybe not in a positions of power but definitely there (I had lots of them in my family)

  4. Chris – I thought you would re-think. You review and raise some great points and even with the less than excellent episodes I find something that I hadn’t thought of before via your reviews.

  5. Well I can’t remain Morseless until next year so I’ll have to back to my Morse collection. I found myself getting a little sentimental seeing Morse get his house and finally his car. I too was pleased to see Fred come through and even felt ali it’ll more kindly to Box. Great acting as always.
    I hope you’re ok Chris and keep up the good work. Every week I start out looking for Colin but always seem to miss him, this week being no exception.

  6. Disappointment reigned in tvland last night. ITV Endeavour and Masterpiece On PBS Victoria. Yuk. Hope there was something good in E. And can you clear up the “flat” “house” dispute? Is it terminology or inconsistency?

      1. I recently watched The Remorseful Day episode, and have just gone back to check my memory. Just over 12 mins into the episode Lewis walks up to Morse’s place, rings the doorbell and finds Morse at home. It’s a house, but there are 6 doorbells, and Lewis presses the lower one. This seems to suggest the house is divided into 6 flats, and Morse is on the lower floor. I must go back to see how it is portrayed in Masonic Mysteries. I do think, however, that these facts are of minor importance, because we need to acknowledge that it’s fiction after all. If the characters, storyline and overall message resonate with us then it has been successful. But it’s sometimes fun to look for inconsistencies. I remember as a child finding many of them in my Enid Blyton books, and I still like to do so today.

      2. It’s definitely a house in Masonic Mysteries but there were times in earlier episodes that made you think it was a flat.

    1. Barbara – Just curious: what did you find lacking on Victoria ? I thought that it was exceptional.

      1. Sorry Barbara but this reads like its been written by a 14 year old. And all those gifs?????? I would like to think I write much more intelligently than this.

      2. Chris: your reviews are thoughtful and careful. Distinguished even. And I wouldn’t seriously expect you to write like that even for a one-Jaguar review. Thanks for all your hard work.

  7. I too missed your usual detailed and thought-provoking review – Can’t wait to hear what you have to say as probably the most thorough and thoughtful reviewer I’ve ever come across! Your comments make me want to re-watch episodes to see what I’ve missed!

  8. Thanks, Chris. I’ve viewed the episode twice now and have pondered S6 as a whole. Just a few thoughts:
    – Introduction of Mrs Bright: Bright is a colonial, through and through. Duty and honor is paramount for his character, superseding even family. That imbalance has come home to roost, with the impending death of his much beloved wife. With the previous loss of their daughter, this leaves him much more anchored to his work and those he places his trust in – Thursday, Morse, et al. It’s bittersweet to achieve, in the end, a career high but a personal low but I’m sure that was what Russell Lewis was hoping to convey. Mrs Bright didn’t so much round out his character as much as fill in the scene. They played well off each other but I’m sure it’s because of their professionalism as well as the level of acting. I’m fine with this arc to the story.
    – Alienation of Win and Fred: The pending reconciliation of the Thursday’s seemed a bit forced at the end of E4. It would have made more sense for Win to have seen her solicitor in E1 and have them deal with that fallout as a story arc throughout the season. How does the older generation deal with the aftermath of a breakup of a long term relationship in the 60s/70s?
    – Strange as administrator: Jim is now known as one for seeing the larger picture, delegating those with the appropriate skills to the appropriate task. It’s unfortunate that he becomes the harried Superintendent when he was once the burly DS who got the job done. I’m glad he was the glue that kept the city men together.
    – Morse, a man with principles: Morse may have faults but he is dogged and he is not phased by rank, position, money or tenure. You can see him getting the feel of a person by listening to what they say and how they tell him. Morse lives in a gray world, full of shades, nothing quite one thing or another. However, with people, he engenders trust or people dislike immediately. Those that dislike him usually have something to hide – that’s just the nature of his job. Shaun Evans has been able to capture that part of Morse more so this season.
    – Season 6 did not have a strong female character to interact on a continuous basis with Morse. With the absence of Trewlove (strong, intelligent) and the continued inclusion of Joan Thursday (annoying, at best), they could have focused on Joan’s boss as the new female character. Get rid of Joan, introduce the social welfare worker, she’s in multiple storylines, done. Easy peasy, how difficult was that?
    Now that the Box/Jago storyline has been resolved and the city men are well placed in Thames Valley going into season 7, perhaps cleaned up storylines, attention to detail in the research, inclusion of more Morsian-like music (instead of ITV-boffin 70s music-gasp!), will give the actors something to sink their teeth into and viewers cheers before wrapping up the Endeavour series.

    1. Speaking of music, I am surprised that no Beatles songs have been heard throughout the Endeavour series. Or did I miss something? Beatlemania was such an integral part of Britain in the 1960s and early 70s, after all.

    2. I liked the character of Viv Wall very much. I would have been happy to see more of her and less of Joan. It is a quandary in regard to present day shows is should they have a female character without appearing like they are shoehorned into the series. I would rather see no female character than have one shoehorned in. I believe that Trewlove was brought in in that way. I also believe that Dakota left because of the lack of scenes she was involved in at times was nothing more than a cypher.

      1. AGREE. Sad to see so little of Dorothea Frazil in S6. An interesting character, fierce lady, a soul mate to Endeavour, a character to mirror him and a great chemistry between the two. Sadly unused, to the benefit of many other, much less interesting characters. We could have done without Trewlove, never understood why she was brought in. There was no chemistry at all, she was wooden.

    3. I think you’re right about the rise of Jim Strange, though I don’t know that it’s “unfortunate.” He struck me, in “Morse,” as rather a good Chief Superintendent, knowing when to be by-the-book and when to be flexible. It also struck me that Morse respected him as such, though he wouldn’t easily admit it. Good administrators aren’t easy to come by, but are sorely needed, and Morse had probably been through enough bad ones by the time Strange got promoted to the top to know the difference, and to appreciate his old friend’s worth.

      1. Not altogether “unfortunate”, no. Strange has been good at protecting Morse and Morse has always known that. But perhaps Strange got more credit than he really deserved, in the end. He has not been very brave or outstanding. He just made sure to get his certificates and use his connections. It’s a good thing that he has usually been on the good/Morse’s side, but it could easily have been the other way around too.

  9. The Beatles catalogue is extremely expensive to license for television use, especially for incorporation into a show that is then itself licensed/sold on to a hundred plus countries beyond the U.K. The fees go up if you need all rights, worldwide. A show in this budget range simply couldn’t afford it.
    Only the BBC has a sweetheart deal that allows them to get a significantly reduced fee on music licenses, but even then it is for domestic broadcast only. BBC shows when exported often have the music cues replaced by generic/library cues.

  10. I am pleased to hear that you will be doing a review after all, Chris!

    I wonder what Series 7 is going to be all about? I suspect a Lewis type series with 4 four new murder mysteries each set against the events and culture of 1970. That won’t be bad, but it won’t be that special either.

    Back to Series 6, as I remember one of the first scenes in Episode 1 was of Box getting into a car outside one of the Martyrs Field towers. At the time I thought the scene might be symbolic of him leaving his old home in London to transfer to Thames Valley (not knowing where this development is), but when Episode 4 opened there was the development again, in Oxford.

    I found Episode 4 to be entertaining, but overly sentimental.

    I don’t see the point of re-introducing the black Jaguar Mk.1 KAN 169 at the end of the episode, though, as I believe the production company has sold the vehicle, so it’s unlikely to feature in Series 7.
    That black Jaguar was already too old to be a police pool car after Series 2 as in reality a 1956 vehicle would not have lasted that long in regular usage. Even the Ford Zephyr 6 Mk.3 used by Morse in Series 6 would have been too old by 1969 to be in the police car pool. I guess authenticity is determined by the budget!

    1. So did he get the burgundy jag at the end? I wasn’t sure of the cut from the black jag to him opening a reddish door, was the burgundy jag or him opening his new front door??? Can someone please explain? Thanks!

      1. As Inspector Morse, we saw him drive that Jag in 1987, when he had been an Inspector for some time. No way he could have bought it in 1969 on his Sergeant’s wages. There is a big time gap yet to fill, before he can afford that car.

    2. To be honest, I always found the thought of the police department having a Jag in its pool of vehicles to be kind of confusing. That’s an awfully expensive car for general departmental use, unless they were able to incorporate a vehicle they had confiscated as evidence or something into their own pool. I know that’s something American police departments started doing with drug seizures in the 1980s, but I don’t know if it was a common practice before that.

      1. The police did have Jaguars at the time, not every department indeed, but perhaps at a special price? And not all departments, but certainly some to keep up with crooks and criminals.

    3. Aha. Just posted the Box/Martyr’s Field scene on “Pylon”. I really do need to read *everything* before commenting.

  11. I’m in the USA. We won’t get any of the episodes till sometime in the summer. But I’ve been watching online. Enjoyed this. I really llike the Box character actor. Hope he comes back, but not very realistic if he does. He was corrupt after all. Hard to believe they would let him back in the Police. . All the acting was strong. Sad that Carol Roye came in out and out of the series in a blink of eye. First time I’ve ever seen her. Not very well known in the U.S. She was very good in a tiny role. Very happy we’ll see more Bright. As for Morse, sorry but he that vile mustache has got to go..Oh and the less of Joan, the better. Wish she’d hurry up and marry Strange. Happy she wasn’t there during the run of origianl Morse. Probably why she married Strange.

  12. I’ve liked your blog because of the incredible information it held, but I have to say, I will rather not be frequenting it longer. Not because of the review, but how you talk to (see insulting comments above) and about people on here.

      1. I’m at a loss as to what ‘insults’ Sabine is referring to and apparent insults to people on here ?????

      2. Thank you but I’m concerned that I’ve insulted someone and not realised I’ve done it. Review should be up tomorrow.

      1. I believe (though I might be wrong) Sabine may have interpreted your reply to Barbara as a slight on Barbara’s writing rather than a critique of the style.

      2. Oh i see. However, if that was the reason then she has the wrong end of the stick as that review was not written by Barbara.

    1. He only found a scruffy hand written note for the meeting, anyone could have written it. Surprise was that he considered it authentic without checking

  13. Who can stop the traffic
    Make it safe for you
    Better than a zebra, a groovy panda too
    The Pelican Man
    Oh, the Pelican Man can
    The Pelican Man can
    ‘Cause he nixes it with love
    And makes the streets seem good

  14. Here’s a thought – does Jago (Iago) being a Geordie (or what sounded to me like a NE accent ) explain Morse’s initial grumpiness (bordering on distrust ) of Lewis?

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