ENDEAVOUR: S7E2. ‘RAGA’; Review + Locations, Literary References, Music etc. SPOILERS.

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SPOILERS AHEAD!

 

Where’s Colin?

This may be the Colin Dexter reference in the Raga episode. It reads OUR LOST FRIEND and then something unreadable then TOWN HALL. Part of Colin’s memorial service was held at Oxford Town Hall. It’s near the beginning of the episode as Win and Bridget walk past a notice board. Click HERE to read about my day as a guest at Colin Dexter’s memorial service.

 

Directed by Zam Salim. No other connection to the Morse Universe.

Written by Colin Dexter (characters), Russell Lewis (written and devised by). Russell has written all the Endeavour episodes. He also wrote;

Lewis (TV Series) (screenplay – 4 episodes, 2010 – 2012) (story – 1 episode, 2006)
– Fearful Symmetry (2012) … (screenplay)
– Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things (2011) … (screenplay)
– Falling Darkness (2010) … (screenplay)
– The Dead of Winter (2010) … (screenplay)
– Reputation (2006) … (story)

He also wrote the Morse episode, ‘The Way Through the Woods’.

SYNOPSIS

Raga is also a melodic framework for improvisation akin to a melodic mode in Indian classical music.

It’s June 1970 and Professor Blish has been charged with the deaths of Molly Andrews and Dr Benford. However, Thursday doesn’t believe Blish killed Molly Andrews, neither do I, and is still convinced she was killed by her boyfriend Carl Sturgis. For that reason he has started to ‘stalk’ Sturgis.

Meanwhile there is racial tension in Oxford on the run up to a general election. This tension is exacerbated by the stabbing of a young Asian man. These tensions are heightened by a ‘make Britain white again’ political group who have their leader, Gorman, standing for parliament in the election.

Meanwhile, Ludo and Violetta show up again with Violetta wanting to continue her love affair with Endeavour.

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

I apologise that again my review is a little disjointed but I am very busy with other matters. I also wish I had been able to create a video review but again time is at a premium.

I will state this upfront in my review so you can move on if you do not wish to read my justifications of why this episode was turgid, boring, tired and tonally flat.

This episode felt that Russell Lewis is trying to stretch one slim story line, Ludo, Morse, Violetta, over three episodes and adds a few other murders in for good measure. Speaking of murders that is now eight, if Bridget is dead, in six months. If you include the six ‘accidental’ deaths that’s fourteen. Eight deaths in six months? That is truly excessive.

It would seem that Russell and the producers are imitating every other drama on television by having story lines stretch over numerous episodes rather than keeping with what worked in earlier Endeavour episodes, the original Morse series and the Lewis series; stand alone episodes. Russell is stretching the slim story lines so much he is having to introduce a plethora of coincidences to make it work.: Win’s friend (who we only met last episode) meets Fred on the towpath and becomes a victim; (Surely once people knew of the two killings on the towpath the last thing they would do is walk that towpath alone); Fred finds Uqbah Sardar on the very same towpath; Uqbah Sardar becomes lucid enough to tell Fred about Mr Aziz stealing money; five Asians meet five thugs. I was waiting for a dance off. There are too many coincidences to mention.

As you know I have been impressed by Matthew Slater’s music but I believe he ‘overcooked’ a scene. That scene was the finding of Oberon Prince’s body by the children

It is possible it was the director who asked Matthew to place music over the scene. If he did then he has no belief in his own ability. Once that scene started with the overly dramatic music any tension was broken. Music should be there to enhance a scene not detract from it.

As to often happens in so many TV and film dramas of today the director feels the need to signal what is about to happen with the use of overly dramatic music and this can result  in the scene being less tense and dramatic. What is being said by the film-makers is, the audience are too stupid to realise that this is a dramatic scene so we must spell it out to them in any way possible. The director and the music director are ‘overcooking’ the scene. On top of that you have the nervous children approaching the suitcase. Now you have two signals that something dramatic is about to happen. Three if you count the slow moving camera as it nears the wardrobe where the suitcase is. Four if you count the children holding their noses because of the obnoxious smell.

In film, the idiom, less is more, can be a truism. The quick cuts during the scene also detracted from the forthcoming revelation. So with these four signals it became obvious what was about to happen and destroyed any tension in the scene. The four signals especially the children holding their nose made us the viewer more than aware what was in the suitcase.

I believe the shot could have been better if shot in this way: The camera moves in slowly toward the children in one shot, there is no music. The children play happily. The camera gets closer to the children giving the impression that the children are in danger. As the camera moves closer, still all in one shot, it looks to focus on one child making it appear he or she is the target of whatever is about to happen. In the background is the wardrobe. Just as the camera reaches the child one of the children kicks the ball, it hits the wardrobe, opens the door the suitcase falls to the ground. Quick cut to the suitcase and an arm or leg protruding from the upturned suitcase. The camera moves back through the children who are frozen to the spot holding their noses. Cut.

Now I am going to ‘overcook’ my criticism of the scene. However, this is not the first time a scene from an Endeavour episode has been ‘overcooked’ and that is why I am going to make an example of this one.

Great directors like David Lean, Alfred Hitchcock etc have shown that music is not necessary to make a scene dramatic or full of tension. In Hitchcock’s film, The Birds’ there is no music in the entire film. Hitchcock used natural sounds to rack up the tension. Here is a scene from the film.

Even out of context the scene still has drama and tension.

Next up we have a film by one of the greatest directors who ever lived, David Lean. (Click on his name to see his IMDB. I’ll wager you have seen at least one of his films). This scene involves a couple being told their son, Reg, and his best friend have been killed in a car accident. The music is playing from a radio that was bought by Reg for his parents. The music is of a diegetic nature it has not not been transplanted onto the scene. The music is incongruous in light of what is happening BUT still the scene is full of tension and drama. Not only that but David Lean’s camera doesn’t follow Vi out to the garden where Frank and Ethel Gibbons are pottering about. ( Frank and Ethel are played by the wonderful Celia Johnson and Robert Newton). The camera slowly pans as if afraid to intrude on the parents grief. I will repeat myself in writing that today the director and writer would feel the need to have a camera follow Vi’s character and get a big close of the grieving couple’s face. Today’s writers and directors feel the need to spell out everything to their audience either because they believe the audience are stupid or that the audience are getting dumber.

Again, out of context from the rest of the film, the scene above still has tension and drama.

You can find many such scenes in films by the likes of, Tarantino, Kubrick, Wim Wenders, Kurosawa, Coen Brothers, (Click HERE to see a clip from the Coen Brothers film No Country for Old Men. No music but palpable tension), François Truffaut, Ingmar Bergman, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan to name but a few.

Why is Fred ‘stalking’ Sturgis in such an obvious way? I understand that he believes that Sturgis killed Molly Andrews but how is following him going to help. Surely watching Sturgis in a more surreptitious way would make more sense. Then he could hope to see Sturgis doing something that shows he is involved in Molly’s death.

Another cliche was the death of Bridget. This type of scene has been used since 1930s horror films. Person, usually a woman, keeps looking behind her and then something jumps out in front. No one would jump at this type of scene unless this was their first time watching a drama or horror film. It’s such a cliched, boring, cheap over used type of scene. The director should be ashamed using this. You the viewer should feel insulted that such a technique was used.

The affair with Violetta has already become as tiring as the one with Joan. The actress who plays Violetta has a limited range and the love affair doesn’t come across as passionate. The whole thing feels forced and unnatural. However, if the affair is one where Endeavour is being set up by Violetta, then bravo to Stephanie Leonidas for exuding those emotions perfectly. The last episode in series three will hopefully answer that question.

The whistling motif has been done before and to better effect in the film, Twisted Nerve.

This whistling motif from Twisted Nerve has been used many times in other films most famously in Quentin Tarantino’s, Kill Bill. Click the title to go to Youtube and hear the Kill Bill version.

Hands up all those who knew poor Bridget was going to be a victim of the mysterious whistler. Fred saying to her, “You want to be careful, it’s not safe” was the kiss of death.

Lumpen and far from subtle conversation between the doctor and Mr Bright to highlight that because the doctor appears Pakistani it doesn’t mean he was born there.

Why did we not see Oberon’s second wife? Endeavour talks about Rosemary Oberon to Fred and says, “Well, his first wife.” So that implies there is a second wife. Is this her?

When Ludo visits Endeavour at his house he says that he has been looking for donations for his charitable foundations. This puts Ludo a little closer to being Hugo DeVries. His girlfriend, Marion Brooke, in the Morse episode Masonic Mysteries, worked for the charity Amnox. A bit tenuous but…

What needs to be cleared up in the third episode.

  1. Who is the whistler/killer?
  2. Who has been skinning cats as mentioned by Ms Frazil in the first episode?
  3. Are the six accidental deaths in six months, accidental?
  4. Whose blood is on Endeavour’s shirt as seen in the first scene of the episode Oracle.
  5. Is Ludo, Hugo DeVries?
  6. What are the names of the Canaries?
  7. Will Fred and Endeavour ever have a drink again together?

Episode Jag Rating – out of 10.

 

MUSIC.

At around four minutes Shaun is in his office and he is listening to music. I don’t recognise the music. I think it may be a composition written specifically for the episode by Matthew Slater.

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As Strange is tasting his food we can hear Spanish Eyes by Engelbert Humperdinck.

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When Ludo visits Endeavour he asks what the music is that’s playing. Endeavour replies, “la cura per l’amore. Tregola.” Which translates as, ‘caring for love.’ I don’t know any composer called Tregola. I have to assume that the piece is one of Matthew Slater’s own compositions. Linda has corrected my poor attempt to translate Italian. The song title means either ‘cure for love’ or ‘healing for love’.

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When Gorman faces his daughter in her flat we hear what I think is Tom Jones singing ‘Without Love’

I am happy that classical music has once again returned to Endeavour as the main musical thrust. So far no annoying period modern music crow-barred in to let us know we are in the 1970s.

LITERARY REFERENCES.

Ludo visits Endeavour at his house. he says;

“A man needs to keep his friendships in good repair.”

Samuel Johnson said “If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, sir, should keep his friendship in a constant repair.”

Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784), often referred to as Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor, and lexicographer.

LOCATIONS.

One of the first scenes is Win and Bridget walking arm in arm. This is Merton Grove Walk that enters onto Merton Street.

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The Asian group meet the racist thugs.

Above photo copyright David Lloyd-Roach.

This is Oriel Street, Oxford.

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The Asian group running away from the thugs.

This is St Helen’s passage that goes from New College Lane to the Turf Tavern pub.

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Tiffin Court is in West London.

This location is Welsby Court ,Eaton Rise, Ealing. Thank you once again to Coco.

Below is an article in the Radio Times about filming at the above house.

 

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Next up we have Win and Fred’s house.

The address is 10 Ramsey Road, Headington.

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The Jolly Rajah is funnily enough a former Indian take away.

This is located on The High Street in the Old Town of Hemel Hempstead.

‘Old Tom’s’ with the misplaced possessive apostrophe, hated by James Hathaway and I, is seen as Ann’s City Cafe (with the correctly placed possessive apostrophe).

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After the visit from Endeavour, Strange and Thursday to Tiffin Court we get a lovely view over Oxford.

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Thursday is following Carl Sturgis.

This is South Street, Oxford. The pub on Thursday’s left is called The Punter.

They turn the corner and walk along the canal path.

As you can see the The Punter Pub and South Street are not far from the city centre.

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Mrs. Radowicz’s home.

Once again Coco has come up trumps on finding this location. 15 Belham Road,Kings Langley. WD48BX.

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Fred walks with Bridget along the canal path on East Street, Oxford.

The building in the background is an old power station, now closed down. Arthur Street runs behind it.

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Endeavour drives up to Ludo’s house. Location unknown.

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

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Under the Bridge of Sighs. Morse and Fred talking to Gorman.

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After talking to Gorman, Fred and Morse are seen walking along Merton Street.

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Gary Rogers is attacked by Asians.

This is Oriel Street again. The same place the thugs chased the Asians.

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The team find out two calls were made from this location.

Location unknown.

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David Rees very kindly sent me photos which were taken during filming in 2019.

They are all in Merton Street and we also see Magpie Lane. Thank you David.

PUB LOCATIONS.

Sadly, no pubs used.

Actors who appeared in the Endeavour Series , Episode 2 ‘RAGA’ and/or Morse or Lewis.

Emma Cunniffe as Rosemary Prince.

She appeared in the Lewis episode One for Sorrow as Bryony Willet.

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Rebecca Saire as Mrs. Radowicz.

She also appeared in the Endeavour episode, Colours as the same character.

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

Is this a red Jag seen in Roger’s bedroom?

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When Gorman is talking to Morse and Fred under the Bridge of sighs, he says that Oberon was a heavy roller and would bet on anything, anywhere, anytime. He will bet on two flies crawling up a wall. This last line is very similar to a line spoken by Caroline O’Neill in the Lewis episode, ‘And the Moonbeams Kiss the Sea’.

When I heard the name Uqbah I couldn’t help but think of the name written out in blood on a piece of paper next to a dead body in the Lewis episode, Allegory of Love. The name in blood, however, was Uqbar. Half a reference 🙂

 

James in the comments section mentioned two possible connections. I had noted them but I thought they were rather overly tenuous but I decided to post James’ comment and let the readers decide if they are truly connections.

“…this Endeavour episode centred around the murder of two people with links to an Indian restaurant. This brought to mind the Morse episode, “Greek Bearing Gifts”, which concerned, if memory serves me right, the death of a chef in a Greek restaurant, that Mr and Mrs. Lewis had previously attended.

My other connection for this week’s Endeavour episode, would be the suitcase that contained a torso and other dismembered body parts, although there was no head. This sounded similar to the mutilated body parts found in the canal, during the Morse episode, “The Last Enemy”. It is also interesting that one of the overarching storylines in this year’s series, includes the mysterious deaths by the canal, therefore, this is perhaps another connection to that original Morse episode.”

Thank you James.

Miscellaneous.

The episode opens with the kind of advert that was seen at the cinema of the 1970s usually created by Pearl and Dean.

Part of the ‘advert’ is the name and place of the restaurant.

Cawnpore was a key episode in the Indian rebellion of 1857. It was an uprising against The East India Company.

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There was a general election in the UK in 1970. It was a surprise victory for the Conservative Party under leader Edward Heath. This general election was the first in which people could vote from the age of 18, after passage of the Representation of the People Act the previous year.

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The Oxford election was won by Christopher Montague Woodhouse, 5th Baron Terrington, DSO, OBE (11 May 1917 – 13 February 2001) was a Conservative politician and Member of Parliament for Oxford from 1959 to 1966 and again from 1970 to 1974.

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The National Front party a far-right, fascist political party in the United Kingdom in the 1970 local elections, fielding 10 candidates: almost all received under 5% of the vote. Led by A. K. Chesterton at the time. No NF candidates stood in Oxford.

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Of course the the restaurant name, The Jolly Rajah is a play on the Jolly Roger. Jolly Roger is the traditional English name for the flags flown to identify a pirate ship.

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The name of the building where Oberon Prince lived was Tiffin Court. Probably chosen with its sub continent references because of Carry on up the Khyber a film of 1968. I think there is a scene where they discuss Tiffen during a seige. Tiffin is an Indian English word for a type of meal. It refers to a light tea-time meal at about 3pm.

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Oberon is a king of the fairies in medieval and Renaissance literature. He is best known as a character in William Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which he is King of the Fairies and spouse of Titania, Queen of the Fairies.

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Ms Frazil mentions a farmer drowned in pig swill. The sixth freak accident in six months. So that’s skinned cats mentioned in Oracle and now freak accidents.

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Rosemary Prince tells Endeavour that she and Oberon on their TV show Et Viola, “I was his Johnnie to his Fanny. This is a reference to the famous Fanny Cradock and her husband Johnnie. They were stalwarts of the small screen for many years during the 1960s and 1970s.

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Why is it when we visit Endeavour’s house he is always doing a crossword? Why isn’t he seen reading a book?

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Thursday mentions the phrase, ‘Faces and heels’ in regard to American wrestling. In professional wrestling, a face (babyface) is a heroic or a “good guy” n professional wrestling, a heel is a wrestler who portrays a villain or a “bad guy”

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Thank you to Amber who pointed out that Ludovic ‘Ludo’ Bagman is a character in the Harry Potter books who became head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports.

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When talking of Oberon Prince, Ludo says he was ‘no Robert Danvers.’ Not sure who this is referring to. Thank you to Polly who told me that Danvers is a Peter Sellers character from the 1970s film, There’s a Girl in my Soup.

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The episode is something of a family affair. We get Roger Allam as Fred Thursday, his wife Rebecca Saire as Hazel Radowicz and Roger and Rebecca’s son William Allam as Gary Rogers.

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Sheldon kindly pointed out that there appears to be references to the Matt Damon film The Talented Mr Ripley. This seems to be emphasised by the reveal of Ludo’s surname as ‘Talenti.’

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Bright tells the Doctor Sardar that he spent time in India. He mentions ‘Pankot’ and ‘Chandrapore’. Pankot, which was also mentioned by Bright in the Endeavour episode ‘Prey’, was the name of the village “Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom”. In the E.M. Forster novel ‘A Passage to India’ Chandrapore is the name of the city featured in the novel. Mr Aziz, the delivery driver for the Jolly Rajah, is the main character in Forster’s novel, a “Dr. Aziz”.

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Kathy Aubrey, one of my subscribers, believes the tune being whistled is Oh,Oh Antonio. the lyrics for the song are;

In quaint native dress an Italian maid
Was deep in distress as the streets she strayed
Searching in every part
For her false sweetheart
And his ice-cream cart
Her English was bad it cannot be denied
And so to herself in Italian she cried,
Oh Oh Antonio he’s gone away
Left me alonio, all on my ownio
I want to meet him with his new sweetheart
Then up will go Antonio and his ice-cream cart.
So sad grew the plight of this fair, young lass
She’d faint at the sight of an ice-cream glass
She’d dream nigh every day
He’d come back to stay
But he’d fade away
Her old hurdy-gurdy all day she’d parade
And this she would sing to each tune that it played.
She sought in despair for Antonio
And looked everywhere that she thought he would go
Soon she to pine began
As each face she’d scan
For her ice-cream man
She faded away, but they say in the streets
The ghost of that girl in Italian repeats.

Thank you Kathy.

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When Fred and Endeavour visit Gorman in his HQ is it a coincidence that Gorman’s bodyguard is called Nigel. Surely not a reference to Nigel Farage.

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Angie on Twitter made a good point in writing that Endeavour in his all black outfit looked not unlike Steve McQueen in the excellent film, Bullitt. However, Steve’s turtleneck is blue.

FRED THURSDAY’S WORDS OF WISDOM.

After interviewing Gary Rogers, Fred and Thursday discuss the case. Fred is annoyed at the way organisations such the one Gary was part of never get the blame. He says,

“Nothing ever sticks to those bastards. British movement. He’s a movement alright.”

THE MURDERED, THEIR MURDERER/S AND THEIR METHODS.

One of the five Asian men is stabbed to death.

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Mr Aziz killed with a meat cleaver. Killed by Rafiq Sardar.

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Oberon Prince killed by Rafiq Sardar using a meat cleaver I believe.

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Gary Rogers is killed by Asian thugs.

Bridget is killed by the mysterious whistler. Or was she? She is shown to be in the credits for the third episode, Zenana. Of course, it could be a flashback or a re showing of what happened to her.

CAST

Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday


Flora London as Bridget Mulcahy

Jason Merrells as Martin Gorman


Harki Bhambra as Bobby Singh


Buom Tihngang as Johnny Simba


Ted Robbins as Stanley Nayle

Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday

Carol Royle as Mrs. Bright

Sia Alipour as Dr. Farook Sardar

Anton Lesser  as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright

William Allam as Gary Rogers


Madhav Sharma as Uqbah Sardar


Pal Aron as Rafiq Sardar

Sean Rigby  as DS Jim Strange


Neil Roberts  as Oberon Prince

Shaun Evans  as DS Endeavour Morse

Stephanie Leonidas as Violetta Talenti

Ryan Gage  as Ludo Talenti

Shane Zaza  as Salim Sardar


Sam Ferriday as Carl Sturgis

Rebecca Saire  as Mrs. Radowicz

Hiftu Quasem as Nuha Sardar

James Bradshaw  as Dr. Max DeBryn


Deva Wareing  as Ilsa Trent


Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil


Emma Cunniffe as Rosemary Prince

Graeme Stevely … Adrian Sloane (as Graeme ‘Grado’ Stevely)

Author: Chris Sullivan

After having looked after my mum for some 11 years she is now unfortunately in a nursing home. I'm afraid her dementia worsened as did her physical capabilities. So, for the first time in 21 years I find myself no longer caring for anyone. Apart from my mum I was also a single parent to two children and also looked after my dad who had Alzheimers, (he died in 2005). So, I have decided to return to University to try and get another degree this time in English Literature. (My other degree I got some 30 years ago is one in Ecological Science). After a year at college I have passed all grades and now will start Edinburgh University in September 2019. A busy time ahead made even busier by my writing a book on the TV series, Lewis.

52 thoughts

  1. Did anyone feel Mr Aziz might have been a reference to a ‘Passage to India’ where the central character was a Dr Aziz?

  2. I thought the episode ruined as often happens, when a word used today and not used in 1970 cropped up. ‘Indigenous’ wasn’t used widely in my recollection.

    Another point was that Jim Strange ordered a curry over the phone, was his the address that was ‘confused’ or a red herring?

    The cleaver’s owner was not picked up on, something a professional chef would use, especially in a curry house. Easily missed perhaps.

    It would not surprise me if the too obvious Ludo is playing Morse, distracting him with his wife whilst the ‘bored’ Ludo perhaps kills? It could have something to do with the last war.

    1. I think that Strange referred to it being tasty, so not his address.

      Watching Strange cooking made me wonder whether he was having a special visitor over. One thing we’ve not had retconned yet is that Strange refers in ‘Last Seen wearing’ (1988) that he has daughters (‘Thank God my daughters went red brick’). Of course, he could have adopted them later, or they could be child geniuses, but that aspect of the character was something I would have thought to have been developed, in contrast to Morse’s bachelor-ness (and Strange’s progression up the ranks).

    2. Jim Strange said that Mr Aziz was the man who delivered his curry, so his curry had arrived earlier.

      The murders took place at Oberon’s property – he was a celebrity chef, so no-one would probably question where the cleaver came from, they would assume it was his.

  3. Thanks again for your interesting thoughts once again, Chris.

    The two things that struck me in this episode. Firstly the plot device where Aziz is sent to an erroneous address is based on the case of William Herbert Wallace (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Herbert_Wallace), whose wife was murdered while he had been sent on an errand to a fictitious address in Liverpool: Menlove Gardens West. The name is also very similar to that where Aziz was sent.

    The second thing which struck me was that the shots of the Sardar family home, where they are all wearing shoes indoors. As they are from (East?) Pakistan, and based on this and the names, presumably Muslims, this would be strange as it counters Islamic conventions on cleanliness. Every Muslim household I’ve ever visited leave their shoes at the door. A minor thing, perhaps, but once noticed becomes hard to ignore.

    We’ve also not had any reference to the 1970 football world cup, which strikes me as unusual. Before my time, however.

  4. Robert Danvers appears to be a character in the 1970 film A Girl In My Soup
    “A Girl in My Soup is set in the posh London flat of fortysomething Robert Danvers, a self-satisfied epicure and celebrity chef who fancies himself as a playboy.”
    In a strange coincidence, the film just started on TV as I was looking it up! The character is played by Peter Sellers.

    1. Thank you Polly. It’s been a long time since I have watched that film. Not one of Peter Sellers best films. A film of its time. I will up date my post with that info.

      1. Not sure if it’s a coincidence but rewatching Trove and noticed Robert Danvers is one of the judges at the beauty pageant

      2. Not sure if it’s a coincidence but just rewatching Trove and Robert Danvers is a judge at the beauty pageant. I think he’s described as a gourmet.

      3. Hi Angela. I will take a look at Trove to see thia and then add it to the post info.

    1. You’re welcome Karen. I just wished I didn’t need to be so negative. I’m hoping the third episode will pull it all together and end the series on a high note.

  5. I think I heard a serious anachronism near the beginning. In the restaurant when the son is asked how his father is he replies “Confused dot com”. This would not have been a joke in 1970.

  6. Martin Gorman may well be a conflation of Martin Bormann and Martin Webster. The latter was expelled from the National Friont for homosexuality.

  7. An excellent summary, as ever.

    I’m curious however. Is the incorrect direct object deliberate in the following…

    “Old Tom’s’ with the misplaced possessive apostrophe, hated by James Hathaway and I, is seen as Ann’s City Cafe (with the correctly placed possessive apostrophe).”…?

      1. Andy and Stuart, I am going to be very blunt here and will not apologise for what I am about to write. It takes me over 12 hours to create these reviews with no financial gain other than the occasional kind donation. Apart from the reviews, I am also always working toward what to do next on my website, like organising live streams on Twitch. I am studying full time for a master’s degree. I am attempting to write a novel. I try to find time to visit my mother in a nursing home three times a week. I try to find time to see my adult children. And all that does not cover everything I do. So, I am not going to apologise for the occasional grammatical error. But I have rectified the aberrant apostrophe just for you.

  8. Great, detailed review as always.
    I’m amazed no-one can identify Ludo’s house, it seems so distinctive.
    I hate unnecessary coincidence, and Fred finding Sardar on the towpath, AND spotting Morse having his assignation with Violetta, were just too much to bear.
    I agree that the music was intrusive in parts, going on for scene after scene without purpose.
    A further literary reference; Strange mentions the Greek island of Vrakonisi. This is the fictional setting of Robert Markham’s James Bond novel Colonel Sun.
    Have we pointed out that Roger Allam’s wife and son appear in the episode, playing mother and son?

  9. Chris, wonderful analysis again so thank you.

    I have to say I don’t believe you are being too negative at all in criticising this episode. I too found nothing particularly stretching about Raga, or indeed Oracle for that matter. Every plot turn and device became so heralded as to reduce some scenes to the standard dross I can find on any one of a hundred other freeview TV channels.
    I remember only too well the days when Morse and Endeavour were very much ‘brain on’ television not the ‘brain off’ stuff of this episode and I really miss that. It’s meant to be a cerebrally engaging watch not Coronation Street for goodness sake.

    I knew Rebecca Saire was married to someone on the main cast but couldn’t remember who. Thank you for that.

    Fingers tightly crossed for the third episode, however, there does seem to be an awful lot to try to pull together to make it all work.

  10. Am I the only one disturbed by the several repetitions in this episode? How many times do we see Castle Gate’s stairs? How many times has Jim Strange some news to announce exactly when Morse and Thursday are together? How many times do we see Morse/Thursday stepping in/out the Jag? How many overall views of Oxford’s roofs in this episode? All of these useless repetitions make the whole film more conventional, slow and as if it was filled with patch images between the “useful” scenes. It’s far away of the delight of a Harvest, Colours or Canticle. But, in my opinion, I find Morse’s romance is giving tense to the episode and depth to the character, we see him struggling with himself, going beyond his own decision/principles. And that’s good.

  11. Thanks once again Chris, for a thought-provoking and fascinating review of this latest Endeavour episode. You have certainly become a trenchant critic of the writing by Russell Lewis. However, with your knowledge of the Morse universe and the detective genre in fiction, TV and film, as well as the evidence you provide to back up your argument, you make a compelling case for this negative review. You appear to be able to spot a potential plot hole, quicker than Russell Lewis decides to write and include, yet another murder or unexplained death, into his script!

    Nevertheless, your rating for this episode does leave me feeling a little deflated. Perhaps, given the changing nature of the series, that like you, I don’t agree with, it has slowly transformed from portraying stand alone episodes, to stretching storylines over multiple episodes, this actually makes reviewing an episode, and giving it a rating out of 10, all the more difficult. It is almost as if, you need to wait for the final episode of the series, before you can accurately judge, what came before. In reference to last year’s series, episodes 2 and 3 appeared to be mere filler, before the explosive finale of Deguello, which I and many others enjoyed. Hopefully this year’s final episode will also be successful, and go someway to explain the various subplots, that are so far unresolved.

    As far as finding any connections to the Morse or Lewis series, this Endeavour episode centred around the murder of two people with links to an Indian restaurant. This brought to mind the Morse episode, “Greek Bearing Gifts”, which concerned, if memory serves me right, the death of a chef in a Greek restaurant, that Mr and Mrs. Lewis had previously attended.

    My other connection for this week’s Endeavour episode, would be the suitcase that contained a torso and other dismembered body parts, although there was no head. This sounded similar to the mutilated body parts found in the canal, during the Morse episode, “The Last Enemy”. It is also interesting that one of the overarching storylines in this year’s series, includes the mysterious deaths by the canal, therefore, this is perhaps another connection to that original Morse episode.

    Finally, with reference to the first episode of this year’s series, “Oracle”, 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.

    1. James, strange as it might seem but I hate having to write a negative view. However, when I started my website I promised myself that I would be honest in regard to episode reviews. I do hope the last episode is a good one especially in light of the fact that it is not only the last of the series but the fourth last episode of the complete series.
      I did pick up those references to Morse episodes, apart from the Happy Families connection (good catch by the way) but I thought they were a rather tenuous. But maybe they should be included so I will do put them into the post. People can then decide for themselves if the references/connections are tenuous or not. Thanks James.

  12. Interesting points James.
    Particularly your thought that we may indeed need to wait until the end of the series before giving each episode an individual rating.Ummm!

  13. Thank you for sharing a lot with us.

    May I ask you possibly a literature-related question? What does the doctor mean by mentioning that ‘old geographers joke’ from around 01:06:11 to 01:06:34? What’s the relation between ‘a cockney wristies’ and ‘ His andies’ ? Many thanks!

    1. Hi Sylvie. It’s a very old joke and not a very good one. It’s a play on words. The hands (andies) are connected to the wrists (wristies). The geograghical part of the joke is that for ‘andies’ read Andes. Hope that helps.

  14. Thanks for replying so quickly Chris, and updating both your recent reviews, it is much appreciated. While watching an Endeavour episode, perhaps because it is a prequel, it does make you think of possible connections to the Morse and Lewis series. It can also sometimes, if one can find the time, make you want to watch an old episode of Morse or Lewis, to see, if you can connect links from both series together.

  15. Did you notice Morse used the Americanism ‘loaned’ during one of his station interviews instead of the British ‘lent’? It is creeping in to modern usage but, I think, would not have been used in the 60s.

  16. Good work Chris.
    As a miscellaneous point, I was wondering if this episode is the first time we see Morse smoking on television? Morse is a smoker in the novels but never in the original Morse series (although John Thaw was apparently a heavy smoker). And I can’t recall offhand ever having having seen him smoke in Endeavour either, but perhaps I’m wrong?

  17. Hi
    This is my 1st post though I have followed the website for a number of years.
    Probably the most dark dismal endeavour ever . No sandwiches,no banter,
    Fred losing it ,Brights wife dying and a superior morse, not even Joan,s pretty
    Face to cheer things.Your synopsis of the story summed it up, especially the
    Huge coincidences.Didn,t see any other copper,s at Castlegate except our heroes
    Had they all left.Wonder how he managed to pull the beautiful and sophisticated
    Violetta who had a handsom and immensely rich husband
    There have been laughable scenes before such as Joan reading a travel brochure
    To Israel in the middle of the 6day war,and Morse prefering to illegally break
    Into a factory bristling with security devices,than have a coffee with Joan who
    He,s had the hots for ,for years.Finally Morse letting Joan disappear when she,s
    Just witnessed a murder, attempted murder ,and a bank raid plus giving marlock
    Information.At least these episodes were entertaining,more than could be said
    For this

    1. Hi John and thank you for following my site for so long. I’m glad you have decided to comment. Let’s hope the series ends on a high.

  18. Well done to Coco for identifying Ludo’s house!!

    Is it ok to post a (probably obvious observation) about tomorrow’s episode?

  19. The final episode is called ‘Zenana’ which means ‘of the women’ or ‘pertaining to the women’ and generally refers to the part of the house where female members of the family live in (some) Hindu and Muslim families in India.

    Lady Matilda’s College, real name Lady Margaret Hall, is featured in this episode afaik, and was one of the original women’s only colleges at Oxford until the late 1970’s. LMH was named after Lady Margaret Beaufort and Ludo says he went to Beaufort College.

  20. As I watched the final episode my mouth couldn’t open wide enough in disbelief. Sorry, but most of it was a load of tosh.

  21. Another cracking episode. Honestly, there’s so much negativity here I don’t know why you lot bother watching it.

  22. I wondered whether the farmer drowning in pigswill was a nod to the 70’s public information film “Apaches” about the dangers of farms, including of drowing in slurry, especially given the Indian theme of the episode. The wrong sort of “Indian” obviously, but perhaps meant ironically.

  23. Chris, thanks for the chockful of easter eggs, notes, references, asides, etc. I’m new to this Blog, and although an ex-pat, I’ve lived most of my life in the former US colonies in Hollywood, actually. So, saw some of the Inspector Lewis series first, then a few of Morse, and finally all of the Endeavour series. Must admit the “Prey” episode stood out for me, not only appearance of Ms. Martini who appeared as lead character in Prime Suspect 1973, but also Bright’s story on killing the man-eater. Our late dad was sent out to India/Pakistan to work as an auditor for an American oil company, and came back with stories about man-eaters, especially Col. Jim Corbett’s Man-eaters of Kumaon. Corbett’s bravery almost bordered in foolhardiness, but the stories were so engrossing—one about holding fresh bird’s eggs in his left hand while moving his rifle slowly around with his right arm to aim at the tiger crouched ready to spring behind him. So, when Bright explained his story, it took me back to reading those amazing stories. PS I ran into the lovely Jodie Comer in the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills last year, and was surprised to learn she was a Scouser like Shaun Evans. PPS Keep up great work, why only 3 episodes this season?

    1. Hi Ashley and welcome to my website. Killing Eve is a very good series. The story Bright tells in the Prey episode is the highlight of the episode in my opinion. In regard to the three episodes this series here is my theory which many Morse fans agree with. Russell Lewis the creator and writer of the Endeavour series is probably planning to create only 33 episodes, the same as the Lewis and original Morse series. So, before the seventh series 27 episodes had been made. Russell Lewis has, it seems, decided to split series seven and series eight into three episodes each. I hope that helps.

  24. Thanks as always Chris. Same as some others, I also think this episode to be on the weak and dull side. One point I would like to make. Contrary to popular belief, the first skinhead movement in Britain (1969-1970) was not one associated with political Nationallist parties. The first wave of skinheads did not attend political meetings or carry union jacks. They were mainly associated with football clubs. Whereas there was some racism, the first skinheads associated with reggae/ska music and followed fashion trends heavily influenced by West Indian culture, which included short cropped hair. Colour of skin was not an issue. It was the second wave of skinheads that was linked to nationalism – this was around 1977-78.

  25. This episode was very disappointing. Rushed. Too many sub-plots. And the ending was like something out of Midsomer Murders. The actors must have been exasperated at the quality of their skills being wasted on a ridiculous script.

  26. There’s an explicitly repeated theme here of East and West. We have National Front racism directed at Pakistanis. There is a love affair between a British woman and a Pakistani man. And there’s a repeated mention of a non-existant address at Mendip Gardens West — with Thursday saying there isn’t a Mendip Gardens East either.

    It’s worth remembering that in 1970 Pakistan consisted of two parts, East Pakistan and West Pakistan. Salim tells his brother Farook that he’s been talking to cousin Arik (“the nationalist”) about being part of something new in Bengal (East Pakistan). Genocide and a civil war began less than a year later, which after much pain resulted in the formation of modern Bangladesh and Pakistan.

  27. Robert (Bob) Danvers Walker was the voice of Pathe News and the voice over of many early TV game shows

  28. Thank you very much for your enlightening review. I have seen this episode recently in the Netherlands, where it has been made available by the public broadcaster. There is one thing in your review that particularly struck a chord with me, namely your remark about the ‘lumpen and far from subtle conversation between the doctor and Mr Bright’. I have the impression that Endeavour has lost much of its charm as a result of the apparent decision to make the series overtly political. One is looking forward to watching an intelligent and amusing detective series with beautiful classical music and references to art and literature, only to find that one is in fact watching a political sermon. Pray correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that the series has become much more political since Colin Dexter had sadly passed away. Is that a coincidence? Of course Dexter was not involved, as I understand, in the writing of the series, but it looks as if the actual writer is much less reluctant to make things political now than he was some years ago. The politics is starting to overshadow the actual mystery, which is quite disappointing. If the politics were to serve a particular purpose from the point of view of the mystery, then I would find it acceptable. However, the politics has started to obtain a certain autonomy within the series that is not beneficial to the mystery, I think.

    1. Interesting observation, I´ve never thought of it in those terms. Can you give us any more examples and elaborate in what way it has become more political? Do you think it has anything to do with the political climate in UK during the late 60s and beginning of the 70s? A writer can always choose how he or she wants to present the story, but if your intention is to catch the spirit of the time I think you also must change the environment in which the characters work and live. And in doing so, some characters will also change. Otherwise your story will take place in a vacuum. I liked the first seasons of Endeavour very much and maybe the series would have stayed longer in that period. And for me the series has lost some of its charm due to the recent brawl between Endeavour and Thursday. Not sure if you agree, but I would say we still have an intelligent series with classical music.

  29. I don’t see Ludo being DeVries mainly because of body type and facial structure. He is certainly devious enough but DeVries in the Morse episode is small and thin and almost frail looking. Ludo appears bulkier, taller, almost hefty, and generally more charming, granted in a phony way. I would not call DeVries charming in any way. Both are intelligent, polished and “classy” but there I think the similarities end. I am more inclined to see Kent Finn as DeVries. A wonderful line in My Fair Lady, “he oils his way across the floor.” That’s how I see Finn and DeVries. 🙂

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