ENDEAVOUR: S7E1. ‘ORACLE’; Review + Locations, Literary References, Music etc. SPOILERS.

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SPOILERS AHEAD!

I’m sorry my review may seem a bit disjointed and the rest not as comprehensive as possible but trying to do this plus university and everything else. After more than 12 hours working on this I decided that was enough. Anyway, click one of the music tracks on the right and I hope you enjoy this review.

Endeavour Series Seven, Episode One; ‘Oracle’.

Chronologically this is episode 28.

First broadcast 9th February 2020.

Where’s Colin?

Is this a reference to Colin?

Colin appeared as a fisherman in the Morse episode, The Last Enemy. The first body in that episode is found in a canal.

Colin is on the left. Very tenuous and cryptic reference to Colin if I am right. I await snorts of derision and shaking of heads.

So an update to the Colin situation. Miranda on my website pointed out the reference to Colin in the Endeavour episode, Oracle. At the Thursday’s home the football results are being read out. The first letters of the football teams on the left spell out C.O.L.I.N.

Directed by Shaun Evans.

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’.

SYNOPSIS

While Endeavour is gallivanting in Venice, romantically and otherwise, his fellow officers have been investigating the murder of barmaid, Molly Andrews.

Fred Thursday looks and sounds worn out and wondering why the world is such an ugly place and one feels that Molly’s death is one more straw towards breaking his metaphorical back in relation to his job. Win and Fred’s relationship still appears a little strained after the events of series six but they are certainly in a better place.

CS Reginald Bright continues to tend to his wife’s every need to the point where he is willing to indulge her belief in faith healing.

Endeavour has, as is his wont, fallen in love with the beautiful Violetta whom he met at an opera in Venice.

REVIEW.
(warning, this review will contain some spoilers)

 

The episode opens with Endeavour loading a gun. Endeavour is then next seen sitting opposite an unknown figure. Endeavour has blood on his shirt. Standing off to the right is an Italian policeman.

So, Endeavour has either been arrested in Italy and the blood is from his victim; not likely. One can assume that the blood is from someone who he was holding while he/she died. Violetta or Ludo? I will wager it’s Violetta.

Rachel in the comments section made an interesting observation, “I’m no opera buff, far from it, but thanks to the Morse episode The Sins of The Father’s I learned that Violetta is the main female character of La Traviata, if fact the opera itself was originally named ‘Violetta’. La traviata apparently means “the fallen woman” or “the one who goes astray” and refers to the main character, Violetta Valéry, a courtesan.” Thank you Rachel.

I’m in something of a quandary in regards to the HUGE coincidences in regard to Violetta. They meet, they quickly make love with Violetta telling Endeavour that no questions should be asked. While chasing a pickpocket, Endeavour bumps into Ludo. They hit it off, Ludo turns up at his house and then at the denouement of the episode we find out that Violetta and Ludo are man and wife.

If all these things were coincidences I would not be happy bunny. In fact I would be downright disappointed and would be scrawling a very low mark out of ten for the episode. But dear readers, but. I believe that Ludo planned the whole thing; the pickpocket, the bumping into Endeavour etc etc. So Ludo’s purpose is possible revenge for Endeavour having slept with Violetta. Or Ludo is like Dr. Daniel Cronyn who appeared in the Fugue episode. He simply is attracted to Endeavour as a person and for his own psychopathic reasons wants to harm Endeavour.

Or does Ludo have the hots for Endeavour? Is Jenny Tate, the possible psychic, part of Ludo’s scheme? She did know about Violetta and her green dress. Does Ludo blackmail Endeavour? During their meal Ludo does say,

“Incorruptible? Is that it? Every man has his price. I shall make it my life’s business to find yours. And once I have found your weakness, I shall exploit it without mercy to my own ends.”

Endeavour’s weakness is women.

But, if IMDB is to believed the characters of Ludo and Violetta do not appear in the third episode of series seven.

Interestingly, my friend Graham Barratt hypothesised that Ludo is Hugo DeVries. DeVries is the famous character from the Morse episode, Masonic Mysteries. It is possible, but does mess up my theory that Kent Finn the writer from the Endeavour episode, Game is Hugo.

My only problem with Graham’s idea is that in the Morse episode it doesn’t appear that Morse knew him before he arrested him. However, Morse was always reluctant to talk about his past and especially about the woman in his past. Lewis did not find out about Susan until some years after they were teamed up. I have to say that I think Graham’s theory does hold more water than mine. Time will tell.

The amount of misogyny was overwhelming to the point of ridiculousness. Yes, I get it. back then men were chauvinistic pigs. Of course, Russell Lewis could be trying to make the point that many men’s attitudes have not changed much since then. But, the chauvinism was so overdone that it needs to be sent back to the kitchen. I asked for medium well God dammit.

Dr Benford while falling rips off Professor Blish’s pocket which contains the pen. How did it get underneath her. As she fell she would have had her arms in front of her to try and grab onto something. The law of conservation of energy: two objects when dropped at the same time from the same height will reach the ground at the same time. But it does depend on far the objects have fallen. If we conceded that they are the same height then both would hit the ground at the same time making it almost impossible for the pen to be under Dr Benford. Remember the pen would also bounce off the ground so would be more likely to be on top of her than beneath her.

Would Professor Blish’s wife really embarrass herself by asking for the cheque in front of Endeavour and Fred?

Sarah in the comments section made a good point in regard to Endeavour giving away his LP of Rosalind singing rather too easily. I have put it down to it being symbolic of him having moved on in regard to his love for Rosalind.

It was nice to see Endeavour working on his new home. Will we get to see it finished by the end of series seven. I doubt it. I think that pleasure will come in series eight.

In Oxford we see Endeavour parked in Merton Street.

When the camera enters the car we see Endeavour completing a crossword. We see from the date this is five months after his trip to Venice. Why the big leap in  time? Will we get flashbacks to those missing five months. Probably not. At first I thought it was a flash forward but in the 25th minute we see Professor Bliss’s screen test marked on the slate as 07.05.70.

There are a number of coincidences in the episode. One rather obvious one is Fred mentions the blood and gore he has to face on his job. Then Win sees witnesses the blood and gore.

Directing was solid and workmanlike but nothing remarkable. But for many director’s of long running TV shows there is rarely the chance to shine due to time and money limitations. There is rarely, if ever, time for a TV director to show their skills. Film is where Shaun needs to go if he wants to make his mark as a director. One also has to remember that Shaun would not direct all the scenes. For scenes where Shaun needs some shots of a particular location but has no actors or at least none of the main actors then a second unit director is sent out. For example the canal scene before Endeavour gets a call from Dr Benford asking to meet him to discuss something.

However, I did like the shot of Endeavour in his office when he takes the call from Dr Benford.

We almost have a mirror image. The main difference are the files on the right hand desk. Morse is doing the work of two men so much so that he is the only one working in the office late at night. It’s a nice composition.

Near the end of the episode Endeavour has parked at the white house next to where Molly Andrews was killed. He has brought Jenny Tate with him. She says;

“It was here, wasn’t it? Where she died.”

Well yes Jenny that is why I presume Endeavour brought you to this place. He must have told Jenny where he was taking her. Seems a little ridiculous.

Morse assumes when the receptionist/desk clerk puts through a call from a Dr Benford that she is a he. The woman on the line says, “I have a Dr Benford on the line.” Endeavour replies, “Put him through.”

Also on the above point, Penny in the comments made an interesting observation, “Of course, we could all be entirely wrong and it’s the Italian lover all along! In a way, that would be incredibly sweet. An episode devoted it seems to showing the misogynistic, sexist attitude of the 60s/70s, with even Morse making the assumption a doctor must be male, makes the criminal Mastermind a female, while we all assume it has to be the man.” This got me thinking that maybe Violetta is Endeavour’s ‘Irene Adler.’

Why are Morse and Fred so cold to each other after the happy events at the end of the  Degüello episode? Also why has Fred suddenly become tired and restless. It wasn’t that long ago he baulked at the thought of retiring. It’s a big shift in character for me and doesn’t work.

How the hell can Endeavour afford a holiday in Venice, staying in a plush hotel or rented room. He has just bought a house.

The rat motif is strong in this episode. One bites Strange. Win comes across one in the institute. We see various shots of them in Jenny’s psychic moments. Of course the whole episode has a creepy, occultist, Dennis Wheatley feel to it.

Why wouldn’t Max not recognise that the marks on Molly Andrews neck were made by a necklace being torn off. Not like Max. Again, a character change that would be under heard of in earlier episodes. The Max of earlier episodes would never have missed the necklace marks. Of course we are supposed to believe that Ludo killed Molly Andrews the barmaid as he was the one that noticed the marks in the crime photos. He didn’t kill her.

One of my favourite scenes. Anton Lesser is superb.

It’s a good solid start to the seventh series but I am still hoping for better.

Episode Jag Rating – out of 10.

To read my reviews of other Endeavour episodes click HERE.

MUSIC.

I can’t be sure but I believe the opera music we hear in Venice is a composition written by the wonderful Matthew Slater; La Sposa del Demonio o La Cura Per L’amore: The Bride of the Devil or The Cure For Love. I think the way the story is going in this episode that title says it all and fits rather well. Matthew, who has taken over the reins from the late Barrington Pheloung, has done a wonderful job in this episode. Then again I think Matthew created one of the best pieces of music for the entire Endeavour series as a whole.

That piece of music came in the episode Pylon, series 6, episode 1. 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 this episode. The pianist was Ben Dawson.

My reasoning in regard to the opera being a Matthew Slater composition are two fold: we see the name of the opera as Endeavour walks through the opera house lobby.

I can find no opera of that name. Another reason is the title appears to fit perfectly with the episode themes and possible themes in coming episodes. Matthew, I believe, is leaving us clues.

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At eight minutes Fred and Win are listening a to a version of Auld Lang Syne.

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At around the 32 minute mark Endeavour is sitting at home going through notes on the Molly Andrews case. He is listening I think to Mozart’s Don Giovanni. I believe what we hear is part of this section of the opera.

The complete title of the opera is Il dissoluto punito, ossia il Don Giovanni, literally The Rake Punished. The opera is about Don Juan a seducer of woman. You don’t a magnifying glass to see the connection to the episode there.

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Morse attends a recital.

The music playing is, Beethoven – String Quartet No. 13 in B-Flat Op. 130 V. Cavatina – Adagio Molto Espressivo.

When Endeavour is at his house removing wallpaper, Ludo appears. I thinthe music being played is Mahler: Symphony No. 5 (Adagietto).

Jay in the comments section made a very good point about the Mahler music. It was used in the film version of the Thomas Mann short story, Death in Venice. So, we definitely cannot expect a happy ending to series seven.

LITERARY REFERENCES.

At the beginning of the episode we see Endeavour loading a gun and his voice over, “The good ended happily and the bad, unhappily. That’s what fiction means.” This is an Oscar Wilde quote from his play, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest.’

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At around 28 minutes Endeavour is in talking to Max. Max says,

“The female of the species might hold good for Kipling, but he never walked a crooked mile in these brogues.”

Max is of course referring to Rudyard Kipling’s poem The Female of the Species in which Kipling writes, ‘The female of the species is more deadly than the male.”

His ‘crooked mile’ may refer to the nursery rhyme and the ‘walked…in these brogues.’ remark may pertain to the idiom, ‘Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes.’

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At 30 minutes the faith healers are with Mrs Bright. The man is talking about Jesus healing the bleeding woman (or “woman with an issue of blood” and other variants) is one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels (Matthew 9:20–22, Mark 5:25–34, Luke 8:43–48).

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Thanks to Laura who pointed out the following literary reference: When Morse is talking to Dorothea at the women’s conference, he says, ‘Music hath charms.’  This is from William Congreve’s play ‘Mourning Bride’: ‘Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast.’

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Thanks to Bert who noticed the following literary reference, “There’s a line that Morse says about 36 minutes into Oracle when DF asks him about Venice and he replies, “Streets are filled with water” which is a reference to the famous telegram sent by Robert Benchley “Streets full of water. Please advise.”  Robert Benchley was an American journalist

ART

On the far wall is a poor replica of ‘Grand Canal Looking North From Near the Rialto Bridge’ by Canaletto, (Real name, Giovanni Antonio Canal 1697-1768).

LOCATIONS.

At three minutes we get what is probably a drone shot of Oxford. We see the Radcliffe Camera on the left with All Souls College at the bottom right and Hertford College above that.

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After that we are looking over the Bodleian Library to the white dome of the Sheldonian Theatre.

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We next have shots of Venice.

This is looking at the beautiful island of San Giorgio Maggiore.

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After we see James Bond, I mean Endeavour walking through Venice we see Fred and Win walking arm in arm through Radcliffe Square.

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We move back to Venice and see the Rialto Bridge, the main pedestrian crossing over the Grand Canal.

We see Endeavour at the opera. I don’t think this is an actual opera House. I believe it’s a mix of studio set and green screen.

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The above location is Church Lock and Bridge 116 on the Grand Union Canal.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Photo copyright Nic Chilton.

Church Lock Bridge No 116 is a minor waterways place on the Grand Union Canal.

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Back in Venice at sixteen minutes we see Endeavour looking wistful.

Endeavour is standing in St Mark’s Square. The bell-tower in the background is, Venezia Basilica di San Marco Campanile.

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Back in Oxford we see Endeavour parked in Merton Street.

This is at the east end of Merton Street.

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Dr. Jeremy Kreitsek is cycling along a towpath during the 21 minute mark. This is the same canal bridge as mentioned above.

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Endeavour interviews Carl at the undertakers. Location unknown.

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Win Thursday walks down New College Lane and under Hertford Bridge.

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After the above scene we see the house in which Win works as a cleaner. Department Of Latent Potential.

Thank you to Avis who gave me the location of the above. It is High Cannons, Buckettsland Lane, Borehamwood.

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Dorothea Frazil enters a building which is holding the first, large-scale gathering of the Women’s Rights Movement.

In February 1970, Ruskin College students organised the first, large-scale gathering of the Women’s Liberation Movement. The conference was held at Ruskin College.

Ruskin College still exists today.

Read more about the event by clicking HERE.

The strange thing about the scene at the first Women’s Liberation meeting is that Abigail Thaw who plays Dorothea Frazil meets her mother who is played by Abigail’s daughter, Molly-Mae Whitmey . Sally Alexander who is Abigail’s mother and was John Thaw’s first wife was one of the organisers of the event.

The actual location used in the episode is The Oxford Union. Specifically the Goodman Library and Morris Room in the Oxford Union library.

 

Here is a look around the Oxford Union rooms that were used in the scene.

The Goodman Library and Morris Room in the Oxford Union library was also used as a location in the Endeavour episode, Confection.

It is the room where Bright has his conversation with Max about his wife’s illness.

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The home of Dr Benford. Thanks to Françoise for identifying this location.

The above is Manor Place, Oxford.

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The location of the recital that Morse attends and then meets Ludo is a rather intriguing location.

That central area I have marked in red is where the recital is, on the overview below, I am unclear as to who owns that piece of land or what it is. On the maps for All Souls College on the right it is shown as not being part of it. On the maps for Queen’s College on the right, the red area is not shown as being part of it. The only name I can find for that area is, College Yard Gate.

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The pickpocket runs out away from Morse.

They then run out to here.

They then run out to here. New College lane.

Now the overview of that area looks like this.

That central area I have marked in red, I don’t know who owns that piece of land or what it is. On the maps for All Souls College on the left it is shown as not being part of it. On the maps for Queen’s College on the right again the red area is not shown as being part of it. The only name I can find for that area is, College Yard Gate. As Max would say, ‘answers on a postcard.’

Thanks to Françoise for letting me know of this map which shows that the area marked in red in the above picture is the Warden’s Garden.

All Souls College can be seen in the background.

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The home of Professor Blish.

Thanks again to Coco for finding this location. It is 35 Grange Road, Bushey, WD23 2LQ.

It’s up for sale at only one and a half million.

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The location of the Thames Valley Police Station is, The St Cross Building, University of Oxford. It contains the English Faculty Library.

The scene outside the police station as shown above is the exact same scene used in the Degüello episode. Here is the screen cap I took for that episode.

Saves money I suppose.

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Endeavour visits Ludo’s house near the end of the episode.

The location of this house was located by Coco. Wonderful find Coco. Marsh Close London NW7.

PUB LOCATIONS.

The pub we see after the five minute mark is I believe studio set. The pub is referred to as The Grapes. There is a pub called The Grapes in Oxford on George Street. It looks nothing like the scene we see in the episode.

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

Thanks to James Fox-Birks who found this connection. The actor who played Mrs Carlin is Beverley Klein.

She appeared as a barmaid in the Morse episode The Day of the Devil.

CONNECTIONS OTHER THAN ACTORS TO THE LEWIS, ORIGINAL MORSE SERIES AND PREVIOUS ENDEAVOUR EPISODES.

For fans of the original Morse series the biggest reference was Endeavour in Italy. In the original series Morse was sent by Strange to Italy to investigate a conman, Russell Clark, played by the wonderful Michael Kitchen. In the Morse episode it’s not Venice he and Lewis visit but Verona and Vicenza. To read my review of the Morse episode, Death of the Self, click the episode title in red.

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Just before the 22 minute mark Bright is talking to Strange, Endeavour and Thursday in his office. He says,

“a group of young women making their way back from Lady Matilda’s boathouse.” Lady Matilda was the name of the college in the Lewis episode Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things. Lady Margaret’s College was the actual college used as a location.

Thank you to Sheldon who pointed out another connection to the Lewis episode and a previous Endeavour episode. A character in the Endeavour episode ‘Home’ mentioned that she was a ‘Matilda Beast’. This is a name given and taken by those who attended the fictitious Lady Matildas.

William Kittle reminded me that there was another reference to Matilda Beast in the Endeavour episode. One of the characters says, “I must say, we were all positively chartreuse at Robin’s good luck, bagging a Matilda beast.”

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At around the 32 minute mark Mrs Bright affectionately calls Chief Superintendent Bright, ‘Puli’. Puli is a name which means ‘tiger’ in the Indian Tamil-language. This would relate to the story told by Bright in the episode Prey in which he tells of shooting a man-eating tiger.

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The strange thing about the scene at the first Women’s Liberation meeting is that Abigail Thaw who plays Dorothea Frazil meets her mother who is played by Abigail’s daughter, Molly-Mae Whitmey . Sally Alexander who is Abigail’s mother and was John Thaw’s first wife was one of the organisers of the event.

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Endeavour attends a recital. In the original series Morse also attended a recital in the episode, The Way Through the Woods. Coincidentally, in the Endeavour episode we saw the Women’s Liberation Group and a huge push toward equal rights for women. In The Way Through the Woods Morse buys a programme for a woman who can’t find her purse. She says;

“The tide of global feminism passed you by, then?”

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When Ludo visits Endeavour he comes across a vinyl album of Rosalind Calloway

Of course Rosalind appeared in the pilot episode of Endeavour.

Flora Montgomery as Rosalind Stromming.

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Endeavour and Morse visit the pub to talk to Jenny Tate.

On the right you can see a bottle of Radford’s beer. The Radford Brewery was a part of the Morse episode ‘Sins of the Father.’

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When Endeavour and Strange visit the dead man’s canal boat they begin to argue about the way the Molly Andrews case was handled. Strange says,

“You know Ainsley’s rubbish on exhibits.”

This reference doesn’t quite work but i’m going to throw it in anyway. In the Morse episode, ‘The Last Enemy’ Morse says, “One file? Anybody. Two fiIes? AinIey or McKay. l’m the three-file man.”

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When Dorothea Frazil enters the building where the Equal Rights for Women Campaign is taking place it has been mentioned to me by Kate on Twitter that the music being played does have a whiff of the Lewis theme about it.

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Thanks to Rhys who, in the comments section, pointed out that Dr Benford’s death is like that of Friday Rees in the Morse episode Greeks Bearing Gifts.

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Thanks to Sheldon for this connection. Lucy Briers who played Mrs Blish, is the daughter of Richard Briers who appeared as the contemptible Sir Clixby Bream in the Morse episode, Death is Now my Neighbour.

In that episode of Morse, Roger Allam also appeared as Denis Cornford.

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Above in the section about actors who have appeared in either Lewis or Morse, James pointed out that the actor Beverley Klein appeared in the Morse episode The Day of the Devil. That episode was about someone who was involved in the occult. As James wrote, “Perhaps having somebody who had once played, admittedly, an extremely small part in that very dark occultist Morse episode, is a small nod to the theme or atmosphere of this Endeavour episode.” thank James.

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James noted this connection in the comments section.

“Morse discovered the pivotal clue behind the murder of Dr. Naomi Benford through a pen, that was found under her body. This possibly provides a connection to the Morse episode, “Happy Families”, where a pen, made in Montreal, if I remember rightly, was found on the body of the first victim. Morse later comes across a book at the police fair, that tells him the important information about who had spent time in Canada, and thus enables him to deduce the identity of the killer.”

Thank you James.

Miscellaneous.

Why the images of a velvet red lined coffin, crows/ravens, rates and black cats seen by Jenny Tate during one of her ‘turns’. Though I don’t remember Dracula’s coffin being red velvet lined in the novel it is a version which has been seen in TV and films. Also, in Transylvania people can stay in a castle sleeping in red velvet lined coffins as part of a holiday plan.

Also, Ludo and Endeavour have a conversation during the meal.

LUDO – “We have a saying in my country, “Do not praise the day before sunset.”

ENDEAVOUR – “Which country is that?”

LUDO – “War has redrawn national borders so many times as to make such notions an irrelevance.”

Transylvania has had it’s borders changed many times and has been part of many countries through it’s history.

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In the 7th minute we are at the opera. On the cross it looks like it reads, ‘Mister Cecelia/Cecilie’ This may be a reference to Barrington Pheloung who died last year. Saint Cecilie was the patron saint of musicians and Church music.

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This may be pushing things in regard to connections somewhat but stick with me. In the picture above I think the chap on the left looks like Shaun Evans. Not only that but the chap’s hair and hair bow looks a lot like Shaun’s in the film, The Scandalous Lady W.

And it gets even possibly more ridiculous. In the photo below I think the chap on the right looks like Roger Allam.

Hear me out as to a reason I feel convinced this is deliberate in regards to lookalikes. We see Morse at the beginning with blood on his shirt which I believe will be Violetta’s blood. Is the scene being acted out on stage foreshadowing one of the last scenes of the final episode of series seven? Shaun with the dying Violetta in his arms with Thursday looking on? Duh Duh Duh.

Maybe I have been doing this review stuff for so long I am going a little crazy.

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The subplot about new education programmes for television maybe a reference to the Open University, distance learning courses. 1971 was the inaugural year of OU broadcasts.

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Here we see Dr. Dai Ferman reading the Corax House College Newsletter.

The Latin nomenclature for the Raven is Corvus corax. There are many myths surrounding the raven. Most notably in the UK is that England would not fall to a foreign invader as long as there were ravens at the Tower of London. Is Ludo the foreign invader?

The raven is also mentioned in Quran at the story of Cain and Abel. Adam’s firstborn son Cain kills his brother Abel but he doesn’t know what to do with the corpse: “Then Allah sent a raven scratching up the ground, to show him how to hide his brother’s naked corpse. He said: Woe unto me! Am I not able to be as this raven and so hide my brother’s naked corpse? And he became repentant.” Either these things are beginning to make sense or i’m not getting enough sleep.

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Is the black turtleneck a reference to a look Daniel Craig had in the Bond movie, Skyfall?

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At around the 21 minute mark Endeavour is sitting in his car completing a crossword.

Notice the date. So we have moved forward five months in the story.

So, in regards to the crossword. Russell Lewis never puts things like this in an episode without a reason. The clue to 7 across is, ‘The medicine that brings things to a  head.’ Six letters. the answer is ’emetic’. An emetic is something that causes one to vomit, especially used when someone has ingested a poison. An example emetic is Ipecac. So from this do we deduce that Endeavour is ‘love sick’?

I have a friend working on the other clues as I am sure they mean something. I will put updates here and on my FB page and Twitter.

UPDATE 17th February 2020: Between myself and my crossword chums the following clues have been answered;

8 across, ‘They are the cards which sound best (6) Answer TRUMPS.

11 across, ‘Lazed’ (5) Answer IDLED.

17 across, ‘There’s nothing in the apartment to remain on the surface.’ Answer, FLOAT.

22 across, ‘The opposite of the boom.’ Answer CRASH.

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Below is the fancy dress New Year’s party going at the pub. The costume is of course a reference to the Apollo landing some months earlier but could also be a reference to the Endeavour episode ‘Apollo’.

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Is it just me or can you also hear what sounds like the first few notes of the Morse theme when the camera looks at Violetta?

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At 29 minutes when the faith healers visit Bright’s house, why the close up of the high platformed shoe?

One has to assume he has one leg shorter than the other. Is the shot being ironic. The chap is faith healer but can’t heal himself? No, I feel there is more to this than meets the eye.

William wrote to me to give a theory in regards to the foot. ” I am writing in reference to the unusual shoe on the faith-healer exiting the car outside the Brights’ home. Dante follows the established custom of having his character descending through Inferno with his better foot always planted first: his right foot. The belief was that the left foot, like the left hand, was the weaker. And the Italian word for left? “sinistre.”

Thank you William.

——————————————

Just after the 35 minute mark Fred mentions that he talked to the dog walker, a Mr Scrimm. Since the episode has a kind of creepy horror theme to it, Mr Scrimm may refer to the actor who played the ‘tall man’ in the Phantasm horror franchise.  Phantasm is a 1979 American science fantasy horror film directed, written, photographed, and edited by Don Coscarelli.

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The narrowboat sailed by Abraham Petrovski is called The Rosie Jug. I thought maybe a reference to the children’s TV show, Rosie and Jim. However, that didn’t start until 1990.

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We learn Joan Thursday is on secondment and that’s why we won’t see her in this series. We all know of course that she was having a baby and that’s why she didn’t appear.

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While at the Women’s Rights Campaign Dorothea Frazil mentions to Morse about a “I’ve more of this dreadful cat business. Cats going missing, and then turning up all Oh, it’s too horrible.” I can’t put forward any ideas in regard to this for the moment.

——————————————-

The buying of the canaries by Fred is intriguing.

What can they represent? Are they an allusion? But of what? Well here goes my tuppence worth. We know that the Endeavour series is coming to an end and that Russell Lewis has said that he will put in place for fans of the original Morse, why we never heard of Thursday. (We know of course that Fred is a character created by Russell specifically for Endeavour and was not part of the Dexter books or the original series). We have to assume something major and possibly heinous is done by Fred. So the canaries. In Hitchcock’s film, ‘The Birds’ the two birds bought by Tippi Hedren’s character, Melanie Daniels, appeared to be the start of all hell breaking loose. Of course they were Lovebirds but…there is a vague similarity.

Second madcap idea. Canaries were used in mines to detect carbon monoxide gas. Canary died, get the hell out of that mine. So, the canaries represent the possibility of a dangerous situation in the Thursday household? I don’t think it’s going to be anything like a gas explosion or the escape of carbon monoxide.

La Gazza Ladra told me on Twitter that there was a  band called The Canaries who released an album in 1970 called Flying high with the Canaries.

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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During the same scene:

Fred – “Where we going to keep them?” Up my arse, Winifred. That’s where gonna keep them. Like David Nixon.

David Nixon was a very successful magician of the sixties and seventies.

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A friend pointed these out to me. Science-fiction connection to character names: Professor and Mrs. Blish are named after James Blish an American science fiction and fantasy writer. He is best known for his series of Star Trek novelizations. I think I read some way back.  Reed Ellison is named after Harlan Ellison an American writer, known for his prolific and influential work in New Wave speculative fiction. Dr. Kreitsek takes his surname from the screenwriter Howard Kreitsek, who adapted Ray Bradbury’s “The Illustrated Man” for the 1969 film. To add to the science fiction references Naomi Benford may be a reference to Gregory Benford an American science fiction author and astrophysicist.

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When Endeavour, Strange and Thursday are talking to Dr. Dai Ferman they ask him which pubs he had visited (this was his alibi). He says, “The Baby And The Bird. The Turl.”

The Baby and the Bird is a nickname for the Eagle and Child pub on St Giles.

The Turl was a pub off Turl Street but has now closed down.

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Dr Krietsek had the alibi that he went to see, Chap called Thackeray. There was a fairly famous “Jake” Thackray who was an English singer-songwriter. He was on TV many times in the 60s and 70s.

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After talking to Professor Blish at his home, Endeavour and Morse discuss  the possibility of a sixth sense.,

“I mean, if you had the gift of second sight, or whatever it is, you’d be down the bookies, wouldn’t you, not trying to see what Mr Brezhnev’s got in his briefcase.”

In 1987 the son in law of former Soviet leader Brezhnev was caught with a briefcase stuffed with dollars 200,000.

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This scene made me chuckle because of an association I made with another TV show.

It reminded me of this scene in the Big Bang Theory. Penny’s client misinterprets a wink and an arm touch.

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Thursday’s line “Last turkey in the shop?” is a quote from the brilliant TV series Blackadder Goes Forth. Thank you Tonimoroni for pointing this out to me.

FRED THURSDAY’S WORDS OF WISDOM.

Thursday has brought home two canaries.

Win – “Well, where’re we going to put them?

Fred – “Where we going to keep them?” Up my arse, Winifred. That’s where gonna keep them.”

————————————-

Strange is telling Thursday and Endeavour about a recent flashing on the towpath,

Strange – “I’ve got identikit coming in, see if we can’t get a description off her.
His face, obviously, not the er..”

Thursday – “Last turkey in the shop?”

THE MURDERED, THEIR MURDERER/S AND THEIR METHODS.

Molly Andrews

Strangled. Neck broken. Killer as yet unknown. However Prof. Blish is being accused of the murder, I don’t think he did it. The killer is named in the post for the episode, Zenana.

Dr Benford

Killed by Professor Blish. Pushed off balcony.

Abraham Petrovski is found dead. Died of alcohol poisoning. Or did he?

Tony Jakobssen

Throat cut by mystery man or woman. Killer revealed in the episode, Zenana.

CAST

Lucy Farrar as Molly Andrews

Oliver Boot as Tony Jakobssen

Richard Harrington as Dr. Dai Ferman

Sam Ferriday as Carl Sturgis

Sean Rigby as DS Jim Strange

James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn

Anton Lesser as CS Reginald Bright

Beverley Klein as Mrs. Carlin

Reece Ritchie as Dr. Jeremy Kreitsek

Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday

Shaun Evans as DS Endeavour Morse

Naomi Battrick as Dr. Naomi Benford

Ryan Gage as Ludo

Stephanie Leonidas as Violetta

Angus Wright as Professor Blish

Lucy Briers as Mrs. Blish

Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil.

Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday.

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. UPDATE: My mum died from Covid-19 on the 6th May 2020. 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). After a year at college I have passed all grades and now will start Edinburgh University in September 2019. I am now in second year having passed all the requirements in first year.

151 thoughts

  1. Thank you, Chris, for another detailed and illuminating review. I appreciate the intense labor and loving attention to detail.

    A quick note for US viewers: the running time for each ep in Series 7 is 1 hour, 30 minutes on the PBS streaming app. (RAGA is 1.29). So perhaps PBS didn’t slash through these episodes with editors’ shears? If so, I hope the same is true for the broadcast version.

    I’m reserving comment until seeing all 3 episodes of series 7, but I found “Oracle” to be very disjointed. Time will tell whether the loose ends and dangly bits are tied up in the end. And also whether there’s any explanation for Endeavour’s chilliness and, at times, indifference to Thursday. Even when E. first returns to the office from Venice, he seems standoffish.

  2. Hi Chris, I thought that the mutilated cats were in reference to the fact that Sturgis, as a young boy, was habitually cruel to animals, horribly so and still had continued in that practice. In my psychology studies, a definite link has been established that cruelty to animals is often a harbinger to violent actions/crimes against people which proved to be true in his case. It also showed mutilated animals in his lab and those awaiting such a fate.
    I also think that Fred is very disheartened and bitter because he lost all his money to this brother whom he trusted and now can’t retire. I think he’s just had enough because the crimes being committed are more vicious and grisly than perhaps when he was a young copper. It is more than enough to lose faith in the human species especially when that is about all you see.

    1. Good catch in regards to the mutilated cats. Your right that a trait of a serial killer is killing animals as a young boy/man. In many detective/police shows someone will joke that after witnessing a child or young person killing a small animal for fun he/she will grow up to be a serial killer.

      1. It’s part of the famous 1960s MacDonald triad of traits of serial killers or sociopaths, including bedwetting, cruelty to pets and other animals,and minor arson. The theory has since been questioned and possibly set aside by results in later studies.

  3. Thank you, Chris, for your amazing contribution to the Morse Universe. These entries are always a delight! I have purposefully refrained from reading anything about the latest series/season of Endeavour until we were able to view it, here in the U.S. and it has been hard to do so, because, of course, I want to absorb anything and everything of quality about Morse, Lewis, Endeavour! I noticed a difference in the film quality and technique, too. Though I am enjoying the effect and it seems others are disappointed by it. Can’t quite put my finger on what it IS that I am noticing, yet, in re: the difference but I am going to keep watching and re-watching with an eye on pinpointing it.

    Barrington Pheloung is dearly missed. I am not at all enjoying the music composed for season 7. The subtlety of Pheloung’s arrangements, the finesse of them, is missing and it is glaringly, painfully obvious that a vital element of Endeavour is now gone forever. So sad. I always paid attention to the nuance of Pheloung’s scores and cherished the way he so effortlessly wrote music that enhanced the episodes. The score for the latest series/season is clunky and predictable and just awful, imho.

    i am going to withhold my ideas about where this new series/season is headed, in re: the plot-lines. I am curious about the Ludo thread and Endeavour’s affair… please no spoilers in anyone’s comments. I just began watching Raga, so I am not really that far into this trilogy. Clearly, I am not yet going to read this site’s posts for Raga nor for Zenana, not untl I watch each episode. i am enjoying this series/season very much, though I am mourning the old Morse-Friday rapport, like many of us are. I am preparing myself for a more final parting of the ways, be that a total breakdown of their relationship or Friday’s death. Either ending would be horrible.

    My final few takes on “Oracle”: I was delighted by the connections in Dorothea Frazil’s little side-storyline as they intersected with Abigail and John Thaw’s real life. QUITE wonderful. Those little bits and bobs in Endeavour make me smile and bring deep satisfaction. I am missing Max’s wit and humor this series/season. Why is he suddenly so dour and direct? I do appreciate seeing more of Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright’s private life and the journey he is taking in re: his wife’s illness. It was refreshing to see/hear Endeavour letting go of the rare Rosalind Calloway recording ~ a sign of his emotionally and psychically being free of that horrible ordeal (which we witnessed in the pilot episode).

    1. Apologies: a few typos there in my comments above and I have no idea why I typed “Friday” instead of “Thursday” for Fred’s surname. Sacrilege! Oh my. Please forgive my errors.

    2. Thank you Adam for your lovely comment. Barrington is certainly missed by a lot of Morse fans and during my live streams many people mention how good his music is in the Morse and Lewis series.

  4. The overly thick shoe on the faith-healer: could it be some sort of electrician”s shoe with extra insulation? No spoilers, but there is an electrician of sorts in a later episode.

  5. A question about Bright’s uniform. He is called Chief Supt. but he wears metal bars on his lapels which normally suggest Asst. Chief Constable. Now one crooked A.C.C. retired at the end of Deguello [another after Neverland], so I thought maybe he is acting ACC, but there is a reference to the daughter of the ACC having been “flashed” on the towpath, so there must be one currently. UK fans: help me out here!

  6. An additional query: was there a DCI at Cowley prior to Thursday’s promotion? Bright is always addressed as being one rank above DCI, Chief Supt.

  7. Thanks for reposting for those of us who have been waiting with bated breath for so many months! It was SO hard not to read your posts back in February! I always enjoy your honest and thorough reviews. Some thoughts: I thought the platform shoe was just a commentary on the vanity of the faith healers. And that Endeavour’s relinquishment of the Calloway record was an indication that he continues to regret the part he played in the destruction of something beautiful and beloved. I thought it was sad! Some problems: What happened to Ronnie Box? I mean, how hard would it have been to throw us an update? And why does Castle Gate seem to lack any detective constables? Russell Lewis just couldn’t be bothered, I guess. Still love the show and will continue to watch, obviously, but I share your disappointment at its decline in writing quality. And I gotta say, I think Hugo deVries will appear only in the last series (series 8, presumably — let’s hope), and that he will appear AS Hugo deVries. Why would he be under an assumed name? In Masonic Mysteries, is there any mention of him using a pseudonym during his Oxford shenanigans? (It’s been awhile, maybe there is . . . )

    1. Hi Laura. I’m glad you enjoyed my post. There was no mention of Hugo using a pseudonym in the Masonic Mysteries episode. But, Russell Lewis has been known to rewrite Morse history so… I have said or written the same thing myself regarding Ronnie Box. Again, Russell Lewis never is guilty of writing characters out and then never mentioning them again: DCS Crisp from the pilot episode, DS Arthur Lott from the pilot episode etc. WPC Shirley Trewlove is never mentioned again or DS Peter Jakes.

      1. Chris, it was mentioned that Trewlove was going to Scotland Yard, Lott was going to be stationed in “the smoke,” and Jakes went to a ranch in America. But we don’t know if Box made it since all we knew is he had a 50-50 chance.

      2. That’s right Kathleen and also since in my opinion Thursday might not have survived S6 without Ronnie’s intervention, I think he should not be so easily forgotten (obviously I have not).

    2. Hi Laura, I think Endeavour was so indifferent about giving away that album of Calloway because he idolized her but, as we see all throughout young and older Morse, once the women he is attracted to commit a crime or are involved in one he has no further use for them. He is extremely disappointed in them and they further his disdain for people and his disappointment with “human nature.” I like his line in Way Through The Woods when Claire says she’s sorry (that she had lied to him and led him on) and he says, “Yes, someone always is.”

  8. Oh, also, there was an art reference some may not be familiar with — Violetta mentions Marcel DuChamp’s ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe.’

      1. When she is purchasing the artificial rose as she and Endeavour are having drinks in Venice.

      2. When they are eating breakfast and she buys the fake flower. She mentions that Michelangelo’s David is not the real David and then says ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe.’ I assume that’s what she’s referring to.

  9. with regard to Jake Thackray Kreitsek mentions that he appeared with Bernard Braden on the TV that would be a show called Braden’s Week which I think went out late night on Saturdays between 1968 and 1972 and also featured Esther Rantzen

  10. I re-watched this episode and was struck by the two ramblers who discover the unfortunate Abraham Petrovski. With their walking sticks and fresh faces, they reminded me of li’l hobbit adventurers. And indeed, one is called ‘Sam’! Is the other Frodo? Ha, ha. Reaching? Probably.

      1. When I was watching “Oracle” on Amazon Prime, it showed a picture of the character Abraham Petrovski, and that he was played by one Chris Foster. Bizarrely, on IMDB, Chris Foster is listed as playing “Apollo Voices Manager” in “Oracle,” and “Zenana.” I think that this might be someone posting incorrect information to IMDB. Here is the link to Chris Foster’s IMDB page
        https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5721249/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t118

  11. One more literary reference: When Morse is talking to Dorothea at the women’s conference, he says, ‘Music hath charms.’ This is from William Congreve’s play ‘Mourning Bride’: ‘Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast.’

  12. Add end um… breadcrumbs 2 Blake;

    “Tyger, tyger, burning Bright!”
    Wm. Blake, syncretist feminist after a fashion, *see Mary Wollstonecraft.
    ‘Fearful Symmetry’, episode title^

    Vasco da Gama in the Zenana-

    Swinger ethic or pain of death;
    LUDO & ViO’ threesome if they be redeemed from suspicion, seems unlikely, even now, centuries after Blake.
    Liberal views triumph in the series, but probably a bridge too far.

    Zenana, Persian for women’s place.

    LUDO, gamester, mentioned Vasco da Gama when dodging country of origin question; again hinting of India, where the Portuguese “entrepreneur” clashed w rival religio ethnic interests, also foreshadowing enmity.

    He seems her handler, who has dangled her before Morse as a ploy for guilt, sense of obligation or just fun with mindgames.
    But maybe she turns out to be the one in control, her blade more subtle than the boys’ bullets.

    Raga, relating to Rouge, are magical musical scientific formulae said to colour minds, shape emotion, as spells craft the Energy extolled by Blake.

    Richard Dawkins coined term Bright(s) for rational atheists, but i have never read the books by Dexter (right) Sinister (left), so it may be but coincident to his lack o’faith.

    Bright’s slight, small stature could lend to blending in w Indians, his voice, look & hue even hint at a hybrid heritage.

    All their names sound like covers, but expect a flashback, a younger “Bright” under a yellow sun with a smoking gun, undercover amid insurgents, purring in native tongue.

    •Cyclic dynamic:

    But maybe Colin, having crafted such an interpolation of the original series, throws out tangents that will never be stitched back in or resolved, just to throw off scent.

    Morse, code for enigmatic shifts in meaning & mood, Endeavour, an uncertain enterprise. Does Strange appear in the later years? Retain his double agency? in the Order? Odd indeed that Older Morse more like Thursday & Lewis more like the younger /Endeavour.

    Morse was always resented as a smarty pants know-it-all second guesser & his showing up Thursday’s failings in the recent investigation disrupted the paternal dynamic, as in their early days, adding to Thursday’s feeling inadequate & superfluous. Morse’s disappointment w the disinvolved dullards & bully brutes that plod the passageways -appropriate to their lack of rigor, shirking of duty.

    But his libido & loneliness his Achilles heel. Has blinded him, distracted his other instincts, along with the drinking. LUDO knows to ply his will with wine & wealth, that he resents his lowly rung of the heirarchy, rewards not in proportion to his worth. Hence his smirk at still being at bottom of their mutual advancement & demand for a new car.

    More notes on commented awkwardness:

    Thursday’s daughter still an undercurrent, an opportunity missed, that he gave up to placate the father’s sense of control & maintain a mentor rapport.

    As in Hesse’s short addendum to Magister Ludi, the Master can’t help but find dread in the succession intimated by the emergence of an apprentice, signifying his changing, fading role.

    While DeBryn?s role, as Coroner? does seem incongruous of late, as they brought him back from creepy seasons ago, he was hinted as a potential fixer of sorts, if not a serial killer. His quips, dark humours, & seeming lack of loves or family, lest i am mistaken, could yet serve as a profile. Despite his being humanized so long, the “crooked mile” he walketh may yet lead to a spotlight as an ultimate unsuspect, not in the conspiracy, but as a twisted fetishistic intellect hidden in plain sight.

    Also: The shadow chased by Thursday along the towpath/canal seemed to hop in the Vote Conservative lorie on a night crawl, advertising for a different ticket, not the local jingo monger.

    Sturgis, as undertaker, seems a crammed in decoy, though it would redeem Thursday’s 6th sense, situated in the corns of his flat feet & since the Professor didn’t kill the barmaid, though he were made to look liable. Blish’s wife’s self effacement her way to bemoan her station, but also her method of exercizing power, indicating his peculiar, controlling character to the coppers. More embarassing for company than her, a way to interject that she exists.
    & though Morse resents the power of capricious modern women, he was allowed to display his disgust for such subjugation.

  13. LUDO undead will return!
    Long game, Red India payback.
    Blood cult Secret Society Rape ring
    Loose ends yet dangle…
    Revised: Bright as target of vendetta, nestled amid insurance fraud, deep grift, LUDO’s loooong game.

    Guessing: Game, spies suborn identity.

    LUDO; -means “I play” pacheezi, an Indian dice game. I chased down etymology lead from remembering Magister Ludi, game master, Herman Hesse’s Glass Bead Game. From Latin, often connected to Sanskrit words.

    PULi; -means tiger or Hungarian guard dog, minder of sheep, but given references to his time in India, quite where? dodged when Dr Farook asked (Raga/spell/magic song),
    ~& the remote viewing ESP lab parallel to Soviet program, seems to bring occult feignt back to hardscrabble of cold war, Tamil Communists, ESPionage.

    Guessing/Game;
    Ludo a handler, nixing Red agents, some taken as “freak accidents”, with a family vendetta on Mr. Bright.
    _ Tiger to Tamil, Spy games, Wordplay.

    Indian assasin of O. Prince, maybe for debt to Ludo or Archibald-Lake, card game party members unlisted by Gorman, candidate?for? council seat vacated? by last season’s bust of dirty contracting scheme with lodgemaster McGyffin?? who brought in a higher up to work on Mr Bright.

    Blenheim Vale lodgemember rape ring link to MI-5/6… rich men who “buy & sell people like you”. How the cohort got disbanded, demotion & transfer.

    Violetta seemed the one who slashed the flasher, possibly avenging sex crimes in Old Country, undetermined, Sri Lanka? Tamil Nadu? She may be dead now, But LUDO will resurrect!

    Lab Assistant Kreitçek also looks a Moor, or gypsy, Indian, sounds like a whistling agent of Eastern Bloc, like Petrovsky.
    – False leads leaven the breadth.

    Communist plot will pick up next sesson, LUDOVICO Talenti was name on gravestone in Venice Cemetery, he already dead, dipped under like phantom of the opera.

  14. I was deeply disappointed that Endeavour gives up the Calloway album. I would have preferred that he kept it as a sort of musical hair shirt. I do believe in one’s reverence for, & loyalty to, the Past & its formative experiences.

  15. I love Chris’s critique and agree with every word of it. I hadn’t thought about Dutch angles and excessive music but in retrospect their misplacements subconsciously rankled me as I watched. Having just figuratively staggered out of series 7, this post and comments have helped to cohere my thoughts.

    At the end of episode two, my spouse proclaimed the love triangle a “ludicrous” plot line. I agreed. The affair with Violetta, groaning under the tonnage of coincidences, couldn’t not be some kind of ruse or setup, and it didn’t look promising.

    When Ludo’s plot was revealed in episode three I bleated in confusion about the initial tryst in Venice, whether it was an impossibly elaborate setup or a bit of happenstance that Ludo and Violetta took advantage of.

    I don’t understand in what way Morse gave this pair of blank ciphers an advantage; apparently Ludo/Moriarity just liked toying with him. Maybe it was a pleasant diversion from the drudgery of scamming insurance claims (such a lot of admin for a free spirit like Ludo) and training Violetta on ladder sabotage techniques. Morse’s habit of bringing home case files, spreading their contents all over the place and openly discussing them with the friend he was cuckolding certainly made him interesting for Ludo to hang out with.

    I don’t care if Ludo is DeVries or about clues revealed by headstones and barely-glanced signatures, because sprinkling little mysterious references to franchise-spanning narratives and A Clockwork Orange and Tommy does not by itself make for engaging television. It can be decorative frosting but not the whole cake. You need substance and a good story around the allusions.

    I’m relieved to read that Evans has said series eight is going back to stand-alone episodes.

    PS – Absolutely nobody had a haircut like Sturgis in the 1970s.

    PPS – Sean Rigby is a marvel as the young Strange. His mannerisms and speech are so organically exactly like James Grout’s Strange that it often makes me smile.

    1. Hi. Welcome to my website. I’m glad you not only enjoyed my review but found it and the subsequent comments helpful.

      1. I meant to leave this comment on the Episode 3 page but messed up as I had all three episode pages open in different tabs so I could refer to all of them!

  16. At the end of Oracle, who was the woman seen on the towpath just before the slasher was killed? And did she kill the slasher? By the end of episode 3, Morse and Thursday and everyone else on the show believe Carl Sturgis killed the flasher. But could they have got it wrong?

  17. Just re-watched the (wonderful) pilot for the umpteenth time last night, and was surprised to hear a reference to Lady Matilda’s College ! Were there any references to Lady Matilda’s on Morse, or Lewis ?

    1. Hi Sheldon. There certainly was a reference to Lady Matilda’s college before, and that was in the Lewis series. It first featured, with a Russell Lewis screenplay no less, in the Lewis episode, “Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things”, which was originally broadcast in 2011. The college portrayed as Lady Matilda’s in this episode, was actually Lady Margaret Hall. Unlike this recent Endeavour series, which rather incongruently, used the ancient Merton college as the fictional setting for Lady Matilda’s. This was strange, because Merton in the past, was a well-known opponent of mixed-sex institutions, and it had been a male-only college for 700 years, up to 1979. Anyway, Lady Margaret Hall was the main backdrop for a great deal of the Lewis episode, I just mentioned, which guest starred Juliet Stevenson. The fictional “Lady Matilda’s”, is derived from the “Lady Ma” in “Lady Margaret Hall”, and the rest of the fictional name, “tilda’s”, comes from another real-life Oxford college, “St.Hilda’s”. Here is a brief summary of this Lewis episode, as depicted by IMDB, “As the last remaining all-women’s college in Oxford (Lady Matilda’s), is bidding farewell to one of its most distinguished professors, murder rears its ugly head”. I hope this information helps to answer your question, Sheldon.

      1. I had thought that Lady Matilda’s was an invention of Russell Lewis. Russell does have ‘tropes that he over-uses, but he is a clever writer. Information about characters is dropped into dialogue that often doesn’t get referenced again until later episodes. The character “Ronnie Gidderton” is mentioned early in series 1, but we don’t actually meet him until the series 3 finale “Coda,” another episode that I have watched several times. I dearly hope that Russell is able to bring Endeavour to a hopefully decent conclusion.

      2. You are correct, therealshell, Lady Matilda’s college is an invention by Russell Lewis. Furthermore, as I previously stated, I believe he created a kind of portmanteau word, deriving the fictional Lady Matilda’s from the combination of two real-life, former all-women colleges, Lady Margaret Hall and St. Hilda’s.

    2. Reference to Matildabeast [sic] in Muse [5:1] as well as either the second or third Endeavour in the recent season 7th..

  18. I forgot to say, I very much agree with you Sheldon, that the Endeavour pilot is a wonderful episode. In fact, it remains my favourite Endeavour episode of all, even though seven further series, have since broadcast.

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