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

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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’.


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.

(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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.’


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.’


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).


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.’


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


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).


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.


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


We next have shots of Venice.

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


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


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.


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


Photo copyright Nic Chilton.

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


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.


Back in Oxford we see Endeavour parked in Merton Street.

This is at the east end of Merton Street.


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


Endeavour interviews Carl at the undertakers. Location unknown.


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


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.


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.


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

The above is Manor Place, Oxford.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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?”


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.


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.’


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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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’.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Thank you to Cheryl and John for the following.

This tenuous link made me smile, “This may be stretching coincidence but the 1947 release Hear My Song Violetta by Josef Locke comes to mind when viewing Oracle. Endeavour’s love interest is Violetta and the tow path murders occur near a canal lock. Locke, a tenor, was also known as The Singing Bobby.”


Thank you to Terry for bringing this to my attention.

Reference in the ‘Villains Wiki’ for Ludivico.

“However, “Vico” means “I conquer” in Latin – he is, in other words, playing to win. Devotees of the fiction of Anthony Burgess will recall that the brainwashing technique employed in his famous novel A Clockwork Orange is called “the Ludovico Technique” it transforms the behavior of the novel’s violent protagonist, and it might be argued that Morse’s customary behavior is similarly altered by Ludo and Violetta.
Just as his sexual obsession with the latter leads him to compromise his usually stern principles and to betray what he regards as a friendship, he also becomes overtly arrogant and condescending to his colleagues and even (inadvertently) reveals confidential police matters by bringing files home with him in direct contradiction to both regulations and Strange’s warning.
Burgess was, in naming the technique, also thinking of the Italian philosopher and historian Giambattista Vico (1668-1744), who argued that the movement of history is often circular – and just as this “Endeavour” season begins in Venice on New Year’s Eve, it ends there exactly a year later.
Villains Wiki


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?”


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.


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

Up until a few years ago I was my mum's full time carer. She died in, 2020, of Covid. At the moment I am attempting to write a novel.

168 thoughts

  1. Hi Chris and thank you for an amazingly detailed post in such a short time! Thank heavens I read it because I thought Professor Blish had confessed to Molly’s murder and that Thursday was referring to Richard Nixon not David and was wondering why I had never heard of the canary incident along with Watergate! Must be the David Frost association 🙂
    I liked the episode but find the introduction of Ludo and the apparently trusting way that Morse accepted him into his life a little unbelievable especially when he was evasive about where he came from. Maybe Morse is intrigued by him? I also thought Morse let go of his vinyl far too dismissively given his previous affection for Rosalind and his comment in Masonic Mysteries about his record collection having taken 25 years to build, but maybe that’s just an example of his heart heartening a little.
    The final scene with the “Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town” reminded me of the scene in The Wench is Dead when F T Donovan strode down the towpath having thrown his victim into the water.
    Thanks again Chris for these posts, especially juggling your college work. I look forward to them as much as the episode!!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it Sarah. You’re right in regard to him giving away that rare LP so quickly but I put it down to it being symbolic of him having moved on in regard to his love for Rosalind.

      1. Great review again Chris! Lots of things I didn’t work out (as usual!). I have a theory on the vinyl, which might fit. 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. I believe the LP Ludo pulls out is La Traviata? He also mentions something about collecting beautiful things, I think, but I’ll have to watch again. Is Ludo nothing more than a high class pimp, I wonder? I

  2. Very detailed review again, great! I really had hoped for any reference to how things had turned out for Ronnie Box after Deguello,in this first episode. I am missing the lovely Simon Harrison.

      1. Of course all of season 6 was “in the can” and being aired in the UK prior to the announcement that there would be a season 7. If Box survives [Strange had said it was “50-50”], he will presumably be placed into forced retirement as his father had been.

      2. Hi William, thanks for you observation about the season 7 not being announced yet when 6 ended which is of course totally correct, but I like to think the writers were still aware of the final scenes. After all, it was Ronnie Box who probably saved Thursday’s life and Thursday saying “Maybe if he pulls through, we will all get a second chance” (not that poor Fred seems to enjoy this very much so far). By the way, I do not dislike the thought of an early retirement for Ronnie, although I feel there is a difference between the father who was about to retire any time short when he was badly hurt on the job and the son who is still a young man. Still believe we will hear more about it ☺

  3. For someone finding significances in very detail, I’m surprised you’ve not mentioned the name Ludo. He’s clearly playing some sort of game with Morse…

  4. Thanks for the analysis, Chris. Comprehensive and thought-provoking as usual. When Ludo started speaking I made an audible gasp as I realised that he had the exact same speech patterns as De Vries (along with the art and the wine). If it isn’t him, then this is one heck of a red herring (although De Vries could conceivably have affected this to remind Morse of this episode: he certainly knew a lot about him. My recollection was that he did know of him, but it was implied that came from the investigation (which would have been a few years later). I’ll need to watch Masonic Mysteries again, but doubt I’ll have time before Sunday. Thursday also says something like ‘Sometimes it’s right in front of you’, which I took to confirm De Vries.

    Interesting take on the lookalikes. Is it me, or does the woman in the opera look like Dorothea Frazil?

    I also thought that Professor Blish had the mannerisms of Daniel Massey’s character in ‘Deceived by flight’, and I was expecting some reference, but maybe I’m reading too much into things as usual. Did I hear correctly that he was a knight? If so, it was strange that his wife wasn’t referred to as Lady Blish (not that I agree with such things). Dr Benford’s death reminded me of the climax of ‘Greeks bearing gifts’, too.

    Look forward to your thoughts on the next episode already!

    1. Thank you Rhys. Sometimes we all analyse the episodes so intrinsically that we see things that aren’t there. I didn’t notice any mention go Blish being knighted. If he had been he would have been referred to as ‘Sir’ as this would I believe supercede Professor. Good catch on the Greeks Bearing Gifts that never occured to me. In regards to the woman looking like Dorothea Frazil, yes there is some resemblance there. Now, if the opera singer was representing Frazil that would certainly be intriguing.

    1. Hardly. The phrase was in common use well before Blackadder, indeed there was a 1974 sketch show, The Last Turkey In The Shop Show.

  5. Excellent review as always and I am pleased to see you are following my own train of thought, although it did seem a bit too obvious. The black cats, rats, crows or ravens are all enhancing this demonic theme, but I still feel that the clairvoyant could well be part of Ludo’s plan. The mention of the 👗 certainly seems to confirm that. The writers in previous episodes have not been averse to putting in a little supernatural goings on, so perhaps I’m allowing my own scepticism to cloud this.

    I an still convinced this is Hugo De Vries. The Christian names are just too similar. The accent, though not the wonderful clipped Germanic of the sublime Ian McDiamid, is suggestive and the cunning, charm, hatred and pure evil seem to fit too.

    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.

    Looking forward’s to the next instalment – yours and the TV.

    1. I love the idea that the killer of Molly and the flasher could be a woman while the episode was all about male chauvinism. She could turn out to be Endeavour’s Irene Adler. I have added your theory to my post.

      1. In the 1974 movie “The Sting,” the feared “hit-man” turns out to be a woman, who sleeps with Redford’s character the night before she does her hit.

  6. Great work, as always, Chris. Didn’t another character refer to herself as a “Matilda-Beast” in an older episode (of ENDEAVOUR) ? I think that it was from HOME, but I could well be wrong. Also, the actress who played Mrs. Blish (Lucy Briers) has a connection to the Morse Universe, as she is the daughter of Richard Briers, who of course played the ghastly Sir Clixby Bream in the INSPECTOR MORSE episode Death Is Now My Neighbour, which also featured Roger Allam !

    1. Hi Sheldon. You are correct in regard to the phrase, ‘Matilda-beast’. I will add that to my post.

      1. In “Muse,” the young widow of the professor killed through his eye sockets is said by the cross-dressing member of the club to have been a Matidabeast.

      2. All the colleges were single sex in the sixties and indeed the seventies and later. St Hilda’s College was the last to admit men, in 2006. I went up to St Hilda’s in 1970 and as yet have not been reminded of the Oxford I remember rather clearly. ‘Hildabeast’, on which ‘Matildabeast’ was obviously modelled, was not a current nickname for us then – or at least no-one said so to our faces… 🙂 I think it came in in the 90s.

      3. Interesting Kate, thank you. The Daily Telegraph had the following in an article from 2006, “The Hildabeast is extinct. Can a boy be a Hildabeast? I can’t imagine it, nor can I imagine what the character of the college will be now. Ten years ago, Ucas form in hand, ready to apply to read Law at Oxford, I came across a newspaper article titled – “St Thrillda’s” – about a Hilda’s girl who jumped naked into the Cherwell on May Day and then proceeded to pose for The Sun. A discussion of the place on the river which had hatched this outrageous character and others like her followed. St Thrillda’s sounded utterly unpretentious and fun. I decided I wanted to be a Hildabeast. An unscientific way to choose a college, certainly, but I never regretted my decision. I had three happy years there, surrounded by clever, tenacious women – students and tutors. I made wonderful friends, male and female, produced plays, wrote journalism and played the drums (badly) in a band.” Within college I never questioned my choice of a women’s college – Hilda’s was such a supportive and laid-back place. But outside college, when students from other colleges asked which one I was at, the common response was. “Poor you. Did you really choose it?”

    2. In addition, in “Muse,” the widow of the adulterous professor who is killed though his eye-sockets is described by the cross-dressing member of the Berserkers as a Matildabeast, and a rower to boot.

  7. The scientist who came up with idea of putting canaries down coal mines was J.S. Haldane – fellow of New College. (Pronounced differently from Mrs Haldane in Sway) There is a plaque commemorating him in New College cloisters.

  8. Thanks for this detailed examination of the episode Chris. Been waiting with baited breath since Sunday night 🙂 you make some excellent observations, my favourite being the significance of the opera tableau. Whatever the fate of poor Violetta, and I don’t see it ending well for her, it will be the thing that Morse and Thursday irreparably fall out over. I am sure of it!
    On the where’s Colin front: some folks on Twitter were discussing the unlikely football results coming out of the Thursdays’ TV. On the still that someone posted it looked like the first letters of the first 5 teams spelled COLIN. Coincidence?! Surely not! What do you reckon?

    1. Good grief, I never noticed the football team names. Thank you for that I will add the info the page.

  9. Excellent work, Chris.

    I loved the small detail hinting at Strange’s future: he chastises Morse for bringing home evidence. He’s now in charge of some things down at the station.

    Here’s my theory regarding the Endeavour & Fred relationship: Fred is clearly losing a step or two. Strange even confronts Morse about showing up the old man in the scene by the boat. I think by the end of either this or next series, Thursday will make several major mistakes on the job. Morse will crow about how clever he is and how he can’t understand how anyone else missed the obvious. Hurt and shamed, Fred will retire in disgrace. Ultimately (next series), this will drive away Joan for good, as well. Enter MacNutt.

    I’m hoping for a better payoff for the recurring images (crow, etc.) than we had in the series with the Tarot cards. Modern television is all about threads paying off in future episodes and stories linked together but there’s something to be said for self-contained stories.

    Finally, as wonderful as the entire cast is, I was struck in this episode by how great James Bradshaw plays Max. One can so easily see him turning into Peter Woodthorpe’s version of the character.

  10. I watched it again last night, intrigued by your opera observations, Chris. The brief shot of the opera scene prior to the one in the graveyard involves a man with a sword… However, I can’t make out the name of the opera (and couldn’t on the tv either). What is it?

    It’s Strange who refers to Blish as ‘Professor Sir Donald Blish’, while at the department before they call on him; although, as you say, it is unusual not to address him as such (and he strikes me as the kind of person who would have insisted on the ‘silly old handle’, unlike Lionel Phelps). Continuity error, maybe?

    1. The opera is a pastiche and in my opinion a rather horrible one, with elements of 17th, 18th and 19th century music all jumbled together, with no proper arias nor harmonic progressions. A sad come-down from the Thaw days when the operas featured were real ones.

  11. Hello,

    the proverb Ludo is quoting from his country is used in Germany. Den Tag nicht vor dem Abend loben. It might be used in other languages as well, but I couldn’t find a quick result on that when I looked those proverbs up.

    1. Hello,

      The literal translation of German version is “one should not praise the day before the evening”, not sunset. Ludo’s “Do not praise the day before sunset” is literal translation of Polish “Nie chwal dnia przed zachodem słońca”. The borders of Poland were changed significantly after WWII. However, Ludo doesn’t seem to have Polish accent.

  12. Dear Mr Sullivan, as always your detailed breakdown of the episode is amazing. As regards the name of the narrow boat. I just think that show just needed a narrow boat for this episode so don’t think the name anything specific or special, As I live on one I could tell it had been dressed to make it look older and use of a wooden working boat would be very expensive.

    1. Interesting Martyn and interesting you live on a narrowboat. I did wonder about the paintings at the each side of the entrance to the boat and if they had significance.

      1. It called roses and castles it was stated by the traditional boat men and their families, in the same ways gypsies would paint their caravans. The space they live in at the back of the boats, would only place that they could use to distinguish and Identify their boats as the outside would painted in the colours of carrying company. They would also paint the same pattern on things like water buckets, horse harness and even some furniture. And the tradition is carried on today, in fact many marinas along the network hold classes in art form. I hope that’s been of some interest.

  13. I have a foggy notion there is something connected to Don’t Look Now. Lots of looking off bridges. Venice. Knife killing at end. ESP used to thicken the plot. I could be holding my nose to a fruitless grindstone but………

    1. Hi Clark. It’s hard not to think of Don’t Look Now in connection with a creepy story and Venice. But, I didn’t mention it as I didn’t think there was enough of a connection. Now, if I had seen a little girl or a dwarf in a red jacket then that would have made a mention worth while.

      1. Agreed. I was just putting iit out there in case there’s more. Did the Morse Venice incident take place in December?

    2. I think it would have to feature the red coat – without that prime theme it doesn’t work.

  14. Thank you for writing another thoughtful and detailed analysis of the latest Endeavour episode, how you find the time, I do not know.

    According to IMDB, the actress Beverley Klein, who played Mrs. Carlin in this episode, from my understanding the grandmother of the first murder victim, she apparently played a barmaid in the Inpector Morse episode “The Day of the Devil”. If you need any evidence for this assertion, here is the website:

  15. Further to my previous comment posted above, I just realised the possible significance of having an actress in this episode, who had previously played a very small part in the Inspector Morse episode “The Day of the Devil”. In your analysis, you said that this whole Endeavour episode “had a creepy, occultist, Dennis Wheatley feeling to it”. Therefore, 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.

  16. very detailed analysis – but doesn’t say who played Abraham Petrovsky on the narrow boat. can’t find him anywhere, presumably because it wasn’t a speaking part. Thought at first sight that it was Christian Bale but obviously not.

  17. I have to confess to being slightly confused, regarding the identity of the killer of the first murder victim, Molly Andrews. In your analysis Chris, you say that the killer is so far unknown, although I thought at first, that Professor Donald Blish had killed both Dr. Naomi Benford and Molly.

    It is certainly true, that he only confessed to the killing of Dr. Benford, and nobody else. Nevertheless, Fred Thursday said to Morse at the end of the episode, “You were right then, and I was wrong”. He is referring to the fact, that he thought the boyfriend of Molly, Carl Sturgis, had murdered her, while Morse did not. However, if the killer had not been identified for the first murder, surely it is not crystal clear, who had or had not killed Molly Andrews, and thus we do not know 100%, whether Thursday was right or wrong in his judgement. Why did Fred say that to Morse, if the killer of Molly had not been found?

    Finally I just wondered Chris, if you had noticed I posted two earlier comments, relating to your section on whether any actors in this Endeavour episode, had ever played a part in a Morse or Lewis episode. I discovered that Beverley Klein, who played Mrs. Carlin, in last week’s episode, had previously been in the Morse episode, “The Day of the Devil.” She took the part of a barmaid in that original Morse episode, that had recognized, the dangerous villian on the run, “Barrie”, in her pub, despite his change of appearance, because of the distinctive tatoo on his arm.

    1. Because Thursday has got jaded and sloppy. Look how convinced he was initially that it was the boyfriend. Why look for a second killer if you can pin both on Blish?

    2. I did see your previous comment but I have been busy the last few days so haven’t had a chance to reply. I have now updated my post with the info. Thanks James.

  18. When Jenny Tate first speaks to the chef/flasher at work, I hear her calling him Teddy, not Tony. Maybe it’s an accent thing.
    The story arc is apparently not finished with the Department of Latent Potential as Jenny and two other characters directly connected with it are listed in the acting credits for Episode 3. I wonder if one of them might turn out to be the woman on the tow path at the end of Episode 1 (who may or may not be quite handy with a sword).

  19. “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.

    But that’s exactly how mediums and psychics work, whether they are fraudulent or deluded, through cold reading and stating the obvious, but with a sense of the ethereal and other-worldliness

    “I see a spirit behind you, I think it’s a man but it might be woman”
    “could it be a child?”
    “yes definitely a child”

  20. 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.

    You do see a ticket later and it is indeed for the lugubrious Jake

  21. Thanks Chris for updating this review so quickly, with that small piece of information I discovered. Given how busy you are, I’m amazed by the amount of work you manage to do on this great website, and how rapidly you reply to the multitude of comments that are posted to you, by all the fans of the Morse universe.

    Thanks also to tinman0, for answering my other query, regarding Fred Thursday in last week’s episode. I see what you mean, Thursday had just assumed, Professor Blish, also killed the first murder victim Molly Andrews, or maybe he hoped to pin the blame on Blish, for the first killing as well, because as you say, he has become tired and slipshod, and it saves him having to find another killer.

    1. Unfortunately I can see Fred messing up big time in such a way that Morse never speaks of him again, especially as the writer has promised to explain that absence from the Thaw years

  22. One of the most striking aspects of this episode is best summed up by the term “creeping serialisation.” Nearly all Morse and Lewis episodes stood as stand alone efforts, with barely any references to the past other than in general character terms.

    Certainly no murderers from one episode stood unmasked by the end of the episode. But here we have an example. This is not an entirely new trend – after all, we had the long running police corruption story that went on for about 2 series.

    But this appears to be a new departure. Perhaps the ITV bosses in our age of rampant competition from not just BBC etc but also Netflix, Amazon etc. need more ways to glue in audiences.

    I’m not sure I have any huge objection, but it’s still noteworthy.


    1. Excellent point. Of course when you have such short series, this may be the result. Like you, I don’t necessarily object to the trend, but I wonder where it will lead us.

  23. A few random thoughts

    Ludovic ‘Ludo’ Bagman is a character in the Harry Potter books who became head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports

    Endeavour was Fred Thursday’s ‘bag man’ in Series 1

    The term bagman can mean assistant, travelling salesman but also has a more sinister definition – a person who carries illicit or unethical financial transactions

  24. Hi, wasn’t Mahler’s fifth the theme music to the film “Death in Venice”. No happy endings here methinks.

  25. “The Bird and Baby” was the nickname given to “The Eagle and Child” by C.S. Lewis. He and friends would lunch there every Tuesday. This connects to a Lewis episode in which this pub plays an important role. Sorry, Chris; i don’t have the episode titles memorized except for Endeavour. Yet.

    1. It was the Lewis episode, Allegory of Love. I didn’t think it was a strong enough reference to link it to the Lewis episode.

  26. I have been accused of finding reference to Dante everywhere, but bear with me. 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.”

  27. Chris, your research and detail are amazing. Thank you!

    I think it’s interesting that Death in Venice is about romantic obsession – specifically, a dying man’s obsession with a beautiful boy. Isn’t Mahler’s Adagietto playing right before Ludo shows up at Morse’s door?

  28. This is fantastic. As always you have an amazing ability to ferret out every little detail. I agree with you about how Thursday’s grumpiness came outta nowhere. Perhaps they’ll be a flashback later to explain it. I like the paranormal mystery angle but I thought the flashes of crows and what not was over done. [California]

  29. A couple of things: ‘Matildabeast’ is a direct borrowing from the real St Hilda’s College nickname – Hildabeast, modelled on Wildebeest, as the women (now there are men as well, I don’t know if they call themselves Hildabeasts) were famously untameable.

    Also, a couple of horrible mispronunciations: Abigail Frazil refers to Witham Woods as ‘With-em’, whereas her father always said, correctly, ‘Whyte-em’. But what really grates is that Violetta is pronounced ‘V-eye-oletta’ – Ludo is supposed to be Italian, for heaven’s sake. Now if Morse, a true opera lover, had been a bit sharper, he would have spotted this, as the name in Verdi’s opera and everywhere else is pronounced ‘Vee-oletta’. But weirdly, he too calls the woman ‘V-eye-oletta’. I absolutely don’t understand this. Did no-one on the production side point this out?

    But then I fear Morse’s reputation as a true opera lover – and that of the writer and producer as people who do any research beyond the Morse canon – is destroyed in my eyes by the teeth-grindingly bad pastiche opera. From the ridiculous title – ‘Cura per amore’ doesn’t mean ‘cure’, it means ‘care’ – to the truly awful music – neither 17th, 18th nor 19th century, not a true harmonic progression nor an aria in it, just a long maundering accompanied recitative that the Venetians of any century would have thrown out after five minutes. Competently sung and played (my heart bleeds for the performers), shoddily staged, it is simply a clunkingly obvious attempt to mirror the clunking plot. Sorry for the rant, but Venetian opera is my thing and this just broke any remaining suspension of disbelief.

    1. Thank you for voicing my thoughts on the opera. I was very excited when I saw he was going to the opera, but then really puzzled as to what on earth it was. Handel perhaps or maybe Salieri, as I know little of his work, but the quality of the music soon made me realise otherwise. It had to be written for the episode, as no operatic aria meanders on in that way, with no colour or progression. Of course, once this was realised then it was now obviously a plot design and surely Morse would end up with a dead girl in his lap.

      With regard to Violetta, you are completely correct (I’m learning Italian as we speak), but it could be forgiven. She might have had a penchant for the English and chose to have it pronounced as in Violet. I know I’m clutching at straws, but ..

  30. There seems to be a rule of English crime series writing that anyone who lives on a narrow boat ends up dead.
    It must be very hard getting tiny details right, but I think the welded lock key we see briefly is about five years too early. I have, somewhere, a cast iron lock key that I bought in the mid Seventies, and was told it was the last batch, all new ones would be welded, and not tapered, which would lead to increased wear on the lock mechanism.

  31. I had no idea there were so many little nods and clues in each episode of the show! Glad I came across your site. I will say that I really enjoyed this episode precisely BECAUSE it shows so much misogyny; I have put up with similar behaviour on a regular basis, and at an academic institution most recently. Entitlement, condescension, bizarre sexual advances, even stalking — yup, pretty common things at the university! Having spoken to my female colleagues, particularly women of colour, I would say that it’s much more common than we’d like to believe, and that women rarely talk about it out of fear for their jobs or they don’t want to be seen as weak or complaining. Though this might not be true for every woman, I did feel that it was not far off from my own experiences!

  32. Last summer I was lucky enough to attend an opera in the Warden’s Garden New College exactly where Morse attends the concert in this episode and thus I pre-experienced, as it were, a scene from my favourite TV series! I knew it was coming in this series because I was also lucky enough to come across the crew filming that and the following scene in New College Lane.

    If anyone else would like to practically re-live the garden performance scene, the New Chamber Opera is performing there again this coming July https://www.newchamberopera.co.uk/

  33. My only observation was that from 1969 to 1970, Thursday’s hair suddenly seemed to become grey overnight. Was that maybe, a reference to stress causing your hair to turn grey overnight and the result of all that happened in Season 6, especially the ending episode?

    1. Very good point I think Lucy, Season 6 did not end happily for everyone, at least as far as we know, and I was under the impression that Thursday took it very hard. Would explain his rather sad appearance.

  34. I’ve just done a cursory search and the phrase “Do not praise the day before sunset” appears to be Polish, suggesting Ludo is? I cannot think of what this might hint at though?

  35. Thanks for your analysis Chris.

    Mrs Thursday is now a char lady. Exactly the same occupation as Mrs Thursday in the 60’s tv series starring Kathleen Harrison.

    As to the football results. I know this is a fictional series, but what parallel universe are we in where Acton Town and Croydon are playing in Division One? I am sure it is a list of towns/cities, as opposed to football clubs (Manchester for example). Perhaps they represent the birthplaces of the cast and crew?

  36. Two obscure crossword references, one I can explain, one I cannot.

    I loved the easter egg of finding COLIN in the vertical letters of the football results. The vertical layout of the letters looks just like a crossword. Thirty seconds earlier we’re in the ESP institute where a test subject is being asked to say the word associated the the graphic on an hidden card. The word? ‘Cross’. Crossword.

    When we see Morse working on the Oxford Mail’s May 7 crossword puzzle, we see an annotation of 9.45, presumably his start time. It’s curious that he writes the digit 9 in the mainland European style, with a curl at the bottom. Most Brits would use a straight line in the digit 9, so it looks like more like a ‘q’.

  37. Just my thoughts. Having just seen this in US (DVD) I agree with your review. The chauvinism was way overdone. I was a working woman then and I did experience some of that, especially the sexism but not to this extent in 1970. I could not understand, either, the animosity between Endeavour and Fred. It made no sense. But I can understand Fred’s discouragement with his job and with human nature in general. And perhaps he was really affected by the whole deal with Box and Jago. I thought perhaps at this point in his life he wants to give it up but can’t because of the money he lost. I don’t care for Fred in this episode and his purchase of canaries just didn’t work at all. I thought it very obvious that Ludo set up that whole meeting and women continuing to walk that towpath was really ridiculous, as was Fred doing the same. As far as Endeavour affording Venice, well, he is on frugal side so maybe he saved most of his money for one great vacation. Looking forward to the rest of the series, but, like you Chris, I’m hoping for better. (Still love them, though. I’ll take the bad with the good)

  38. Hi Chris – really enjoying your mighty tome The Complete Inspector Lewis.
    Just to fill in one of your gaps – the song being played virtually at the end of The Lions of Nemea is Down to Zero by Joan Armatrading, from her Love and Affection album (1975).
    Steve Nicholls

  39. ’17 across, ‘There’s nothing in the apartment to remain on the surface.’ Answer, FLOATS.’ The clue says the answer has five letters, and FLAT with O in it gives FLOAT.

    1. Thanks Bert but I already solved that clue. All the answers I managed to solve are in the miscellaneous section.

  40. The scene (at 0:11:43) where Morse and Violetta have drinks looking from a window over a balcony towards Venice is a fake montage. The view is from the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, but there is no café or restaurant there.

  41. Can anybody tell me the reason for the title ‘Oracle’? Nothing to do with the small, rounded, lightweight boat traditionally used in Wales.

      1. I’m sure that Morse would not believe in prophecy or psychic powers. I don’t know about Russell Lewis’s beliefs. Jenny Tate was clearly a disturbed young woman, but her ‘visions’ did not prophesy anything, as far as I am aware.

    1. Just had to clarify to satisfy my inner pedant – the small round boat is a “coracle,” not oracle.

  42. I’ve been cheating with other detective shows in the interim and am cross not to see Endeavor solve the first murder of Molly.

  43. Wonderful details, thank you! Also, the red letters in the final credits spell out “SALLY ALEXANDER”, the mother of Abigail Thaw (wife of John Thaw), who appeared as a character in this episode, as you noted.

    1. The red letter final credits thing only happens in the USA. We don’t see that in the original UK version.

  44. Hi Chris – I just saw the episode (PBS in the U.S.). Love all your observations and details. What I was hoping someone else may have noticed was that the “look” of the show has changed. I don’t know if it was different lighting, or a different filming process, but it almost had the look the old TV shows had when they were “live” versus “filmed.” Am I just crazy, or did anyone else notice this?

    1. Hi Nancy and welcome. Thank you for you lovely comment regarding my post. Personally I never noticed the difference in lighting or filming process and I haven’t seen it mentioned elsewhere. It will interesting what the readers of my website have to say.

      1. Thanks Chris! Maybe I am just over-analyzing it, but something looks different to me. Hope to hear that others may have noticed it. Have a good day!

      2. Hi Nancy, Interesting observation. I watched it on a DVD from ITV but I do have it recorded on PBS. I will watch that version to see if there is a difference in the lighting. I will say, we have discussed on this website, there are many scenes missing from the British version to allow for the commercials and fund raising on PBS.

    2. Yes! Thank you for saying that! It felt less “film” and more like the tv quality of the 80s with the original Morse. I was a little disappointed. I’ve always loved the film quality of Endeavour. I wonder if this is another way they’re bridging the 2 shows.

      1. Yay! So glad someone else noticed it! It was really distracting to me – took me out of the story because it was so obviously a set and lighting rather than looking “real.” Perhaps some technical process change to save budget?

  45. Goodness, I see from your wonderful analysis that I missed most of episode 1 in this season, though I was glued to my telly last night. One thing though I mention simply because no one else has– and that is a joke made by Ludo. He walks into Endeavor’s home and says, “I love what you’ve done here.” Well, of course the middle of fixing something is when it looks the very worst. Women know this, not sure guys do. Anyway, the joke was hostile. And I am waiting to find out why Endeavor is so happy to dance backwards with Ludo, even before knowing who Ludo’s wife is. Looking forward to all your commentary. Be well, Marsha

    1. The sarcastic remark when you enter a place that is a shambles or in need of repair, ‘I like what you have done with the place’ I would imagine is a universal joke. I know I have said it numerous times in my life.

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