ENDEAVOUR: S7E3. ‘Zenana’; Review + Locations, Literary References, Music etc. SPOILERS.

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SPOILERS AHEAD!

Where’s Colin?

REALLY? This is the reference to Colin?

The references to Colin get smaller and smaller and more pathetic. I’m assuming the misspelling of ‘recieves’ is intentional. This really saddens me the way the programme makers are showing less and less respect to Colin.

Hello everyone, I hope you are all well. Harry on Twitter believes this portrait on the wall is Colin. Now I did see this but I don’t think it is and that’s why I never mentioned it in my post about the episode, Zenana. However, I will let you good people decide. It’s about 40 seconds into the episode.

Directed by Kate Saxon . 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

The title of the episode, “Zenana”, is a word derived from Hindustani and Persian, meaning “the women’s apartments” – sometimes denoting a harem.

The ‘freak accidents’ continue but Morse believes that they are anything but accidents. Thursday refuses to believe that the accidents are anything else but accidents and tires of Endeavour’s need to prove him wrong. The strain begins to show in the Thursday and Endeavour’s relationship.

Endeavour falls in love with Violetta but as they say, love never runs smooth. Who will win her hand, Ludo or Morse?

The towpath deaths continue and the team race against time to stop the killer before anyone else killed.

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

Let me count the ways in which this episode was far from original. Firstly, opera and shootouts? The Godfather III, Miller’s Crossing, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Quantum of Solace, Untouchables, Diva,  to name but a few.

A psychotic serial killing whistler? How about the P.D. James book, Devices and Desires, with the detective Adam Dalgliesh?

A story-line about someone buying insurance policies and then bumping people off to cash in the insurance policies? Taggart, an episode called, Death Benefits. (thank you to Sheldon for this one)

Serial killers are ten a penny in TV dramas. It’s a cliche writers run to when they have become bankrupt of any original ideas.

Original ideas and story lines are difficult to create. It is even more difficult today as television has to fill those 24 hours in a day. ITV churns out dramas from its sausage factory to fill the fifty two weeks of the year, wrapped in a skin of desperation. Desperate to retain their audience who are defecting to the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime.

I understand that it is near impossible to write an original story-line for television dramas but at least make the effort to create something about it that marks it out as different from those programmes that came before. It is the same in music. If you are going to do a cover version, make it your own. The Boyzone cover of the Billy Joel song, Uptown Girl was a straight copy of the original which in my mind makes it redundant and useless. Unlike Johnny Cash’s cover of the Nine Inch Nail’s song, Hurt. Cash made it his own. He created something different from a song that had already been recorded.

That is what the original Morse series did. It took the tired format of police dramas and turned it on its head. I don’t believe that the original Morse would get made today. It doesn’t have shoot outs (apart from one episode, Promised Land). It didn’t have huge body counts each episode (apart from one episode, The Service of All the Dead). Endeavour had TWELVE deaths in three episodes. Eighteen in just over a year in Oxford if you count the ‘freak accidents’. Absolutely ridiculous and over the top.

What makes this series worse is the all too quick change in the characters of Fred Thursday and Endeavour. At the end of the Degüello episode the whole team were on top of the proverbial world. All were happy that the status quo had been restored. But, suddenly at the start of this series Fred takes against Morse and vice versa. It is all too rushed and sudden and doesn’t make sense in the context of the sixth series.

The scene where Endeavour tells Bright about his suspicion that she was murdered was completely act of character for Morse. It showed Endeavour being insensitive, thoughtless and crass. This out of character need to tell Bright seemed to be specifically written to elicit yet another emotional scene. It’s all about manipulation.

Another problem in regard to a change in character is in Thursday not listening to Endeavour in regards to the ‘freaky accidents’. In earlier episodes Thursday would have told Morse to run with his idea that the accidents were not accidents but don’t let it interfere with his investigation into the towpath killings. It is quite ludicrous that the Thursday in this series is so close minded.

The direction was good and workmanlike. I sympathise with TV director’s as they have little in the way of time or money to create something ‘filmic’. She did try to introduce the filmic technique of the Dutch Tilt/Angle but it was used when it didn’t make sense, apart from one time, in regard to the reason filmmakers use the tilt/angle.

The Dutch Tilt or Angle is utilised to depict or cause a psychological apprehension or tension for the viewer. It works well in the second scene shown above with Jim Strange but not with the other two scenes. In the first scene Endeavour is simply visiting the pub to ask questions about the family killed in the fire. No apprehension. No tension. The last scene with Sturgis looking for Jim may just about qualify as right for a Dutch Tilt but not quite.

Here are three good examples of the Dutch Tilt.

Next we are back to the problem I mentioned in my review of Raga, overuse of music.

Watch this scene.

Incredible acting from Anton Lesser. An emotional tour de force. But, why add the music? From Anton’s sublime acting we already know it’s an highly emotional scene. It doesn’t need the music to telegraph to the audience that this is an emotional scene.

It’s the way of so many TV dramas, they feel the need to add music because they believe the audience are too stupid to realise what is going in the scene. If the acting is good enough then there are times, especially in emotional scenes, when music is simply intrusive. TV filmmakers appear to believe that they have to fill ever scene with music. Sometimes silence is better.

More people need to be critical of what they are watching rather than saying, ‘just enjoy it for what it is’. Because Shaun is hunky and charming doesn’t make the show a good one. I believe that if a whole episode was just Shaun sitting at his desk looking wistfully toward the distance some people would believe that it was a great episode. Someone argued that Endeavour series seven must be good because the show has a high rating on IMDB. If you need to mention that statistic then it begs the question as to why one needs that affirmation that one is watching a good show. IMDB stats are not empirical evidence.

One needs to be critical so as not to enable poor films, TV and music. I have been a fanatical Bowie fan for some fifty years but I will freely admit he created some duff albums (Tin Machine anyone). I love the work of Alfred Hitchcock but even I couldn’t write a good review for the likes of Torn Curtain and Family Plot.

Series seven should have been stand alone episodes and not the three interconnected episodes we got. The two main story-lines, Ludo/Violetta and the towpath murders were stretched to breaking point. One episode each for the afore-mentioned story-lines would have been perfect with a final episode with a more down to earth case that set us up for the eighth series.

The acting of some of the cast was not good; I speak of Stephanie Leonidas as Violetta Talenti and Ryan Gage as Ludo Talenti. Put any of their scenes side by side with any of Anton Lesser’s scenes and the difference is palpable.

I’m uneasy with the constant smoking of Endeavour if for no other reason that John Thaw died from Esophageal cancer due to his heavy smoking habit. It seems rather insensitive to me.

Some questions I have about this episode and this series as a whole.

Was it too difficult to mention what happened to Ronnie Box? Did he survive his injuries? Was he jailed and for how long? Even a throwaway line would have sufficed. But Russell Lewis has a habit of this kind of thing. He appears to just ignore some events of previous episodes.

For example in the pilot episode the person in charge of the police station was DCS Crisp. Bright is introduced in the second episode of the first series, Fugue. No mention is made of what happened to DCS Crisp. This has happened quite a few times.

Why not mention WPC Shirley Trewlove? Again just a throwaway line would be sufficient.

Why does Endeavour come down hard on Thursday and his gut feelings. Hunches and gut feelings are what drives Morse. Many of his cases are solved by gut instinct and hunches in the Endeavour and the original series.

Why would the killer whistle the tune in front of Jim Strange?

How did Fred know where Endeavour was staying in Venice?

Why did Endeavour leave his bedroom door in Venice unlocked?

Why would an intelligent woman decide to put the ladder at the furthermost point to reach something?

Why did Endeavour send the package to Joan and not direct to Fred? Answer: to elicit yet another emotional scene. If the package had been sent to Fred he would have read it and then made his way to Venice without any need for any kind of emotional scene. It’s all about manipulation of the viewer.

Why was it necessary to injure Jim Strange? We all know he can’t die. Yet another attempt to manifest an emotional scene? Update to what I have written. David Shephard in the comments came up with an excellent theory about why Jim was stabbed.

“I wonder if by S8 we will see him move more definitively towards desk work rather than being ‘on the street’. His injury could be used as a reason why he moves more towards policy than operations. His masonic connections would enable him here too.”

Thanks David

Something else that grated was during the conversation between Endeavour and Fred after Carl Sturgis dies and Jenny has been put into the ambulance. Fred asks when Morse is starting at Kidlington. Morse and answers, ‘Fourth of Jan.’ Morse would never use such an abbreviation.

I often get attacked for my opinions but I always state that they are just my opinion, not the only opinion and not necessarily the right opinion but for this moment in time it is my opinion. I am honest in my evaluations of all episodes in the Morse Universe. I have no desire to be sycophantic in the hope I will get noticed by those who make the Endeavour series. I always justify my criticisms.

By the way, McNutt better be played by a Scottish actor.

The three stars are primarily for the Anton Lesser scene mentioned above. Max’s dressing down of Thursday and Endeavour (see video below) and the cinematography.

Episode Jag Rating – out of 10.

MUSIC.

The episode opens with the Winter section from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons; Concerto No.4 in F Minor for violin, string orchestra RV 297. The Ryom-Verzeichnis or Ryom Verzeichnis (both often abbreviated RV) is a (now standard) catalog of the music of Antonio Vivaldi created by Peter Ryom. The catalog is often used to identify Vivaldi’s works by a simple number.

Though Vivaldi has been used before in Endeavour and the Morse series, the Four Seasons has not been utilised until now.

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Around the five minute mark we have Charlotte Potter as Petra Cornwell singing. IMDB incorrectly names her as Petra Connolly. What a fantastic voice.

It is Schubert’s Ave maria.

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Morse visits Violetta at their love nest. She is listening to It’s Getting Better by Cass Elliot. Released in 1969.

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Ludo visits Endeavour around the 30 minute mark. I didn’t recognise the piece.

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The opera music at the end of the episode was specifically written for the episode by Matthew Slater, who has done a wonderful job through the whole third series apart from a few missteps in my opinion, and Russell Lewis who wrote the Libretto.

Matthew Slater wrote on Twitter: Our Endeavour opera that has been across all 3 films was indeed written by Russell Lewis, wonderfully translated by @RosettiNico and I added the music bits-its full name is LA SPOSA DEL DEMONIO o LA CURA PER L’AMORE.

LITERARY REFERENCES.

Jenny is telling Morse of the time when she played hide and seek in her childhood, “I hid in my aunt’s wardrobe once and it was all fur coats.” This is reminiscent of C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. That wardrobe was also full of fur coats. Lucy hid in the wardrobe during hide and seek.

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Thank you to Leo who noticed the following three literary connections.

“There is a possible literary reference in the name of the character Juliet Baring. Maurice Baring was an author on whom G. K. Chesterton based the protagonist in his collection of short stories ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’. One of Baring’s book was ‘Letters to Lady Juliet Duff’ with whom he was very close. Put them together and you get Juliet Baring.

Another literary reference – Petra Cornwell is a nod to the crime writer Patricia Cornwell.

I suspect Russell Lewis recently saw the Hollywood movie ‘Mr Rogers’ Neighbourhood’. This is a biopic of Fred Rogers – Fred Thursday/Roger Allam. One of the characters played by Fred Rogers is Lady Elaine Fairchilde.”

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In Morse’s letter to Joan he writes of Fred, “He has ever been the best and wisest of men.” Watson says this of Sherlock after his apparent death at the Reichenbach Falls. Watson writes’ “whom I shall ever regard as the best and the wisest man whom I have ever known.”

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Nick in the comments section noticed this literary reference, “Sturgis’ lawyer, Mr Vholes was Richard Carstone’s lawyer in the case of Jarndyce v Jarndyce in Bleak House.”

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Thank you to Karla for noticing this literary reference. “When Ludo welcomed Morse at the cemetery he said: “we all have our entrances and exits.” This quote is from Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts.”

LOCATIONS.

Within the first minute we see the house where Carl Sturgis is found to be living in.

Location unknown.

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In the third minute we get a view of All Souls College.

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In the fourth minute we listen to Magdalena Byrne giving a speech.

This is Merton College which is standing in for St Matilda’s College.

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Where Bridget was killed.

This is Stockers Lock on the Grand Union Canal.

photo of Stockers Lock, grand Union Canal

photo of a bridge by stockers lock

The previous killings were carried out at Church Lock and Bridge 116 on the Grand Union Canal. The two locations are quite some distance apart. Church Lock is number 29 on the Grand Union Canal while Stockers Lock is number 82.

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The singer of Ave Maria is standing in Fellows Quad, Merton College. The singer is Charlotte Potter who is a Soprano in Opera and Musical Theatre. Here is her website address; https://www.charlottepottersinger.com/

Below is part of a video I filmed of Fellows Quad in April, 2019. I start in the Front Quad.

The window marked with an arrow below is the room the camera is situated when it films Charlotte Potter singing from afar. The camera then moves into where the Warden is discussing the vote on allowing men into the college.

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The home of Elaine Fairchild. Location unknown.

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Around the tenth minute Morse drives to his love nest.

This is Magpie Lane, Oxford.

Violetta and Morse come out of this blue door.

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The Thursday’s home. The address is 10 Ramsey Road, Headington.

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Where Petra’s body if found.

Stockers Lock on the Grand Union Canal.

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Endeavour visits Magdalena Byrne after the death of Petra.

This is the front quad of Merton College. Merton College Chapel is in the middle of the picture. The entrance to Merton College from Merton Street is where you can see the lecturer leaving by on the right.

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Endeavour sits with Magdalena.

They are sitting with their backs to Merton College Fellow’s Garden.

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Protesters against allowing men into Lady Matilda’s College.

This is St Alban’s Quad, Merton College.

Below is my video of St Alban’s Quad.

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Carl Sturgis makes a statement after being released from prison.

Thanks to Coco who discovered this location. It is All Saints Pastoral Centre,London Colney, St Albans, Hertfordshire. Brilliant work Coco.

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Where Jenny Tate lives. Location unknown.

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Endeavour walks through Radcliffe Square after having his heart stomped on by Violetta.

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Endeavour looking for answers about the fire that killed the Lindens.

This is the town of Hambledon, Buckinghamshire.

This town and pub were used in the Endeavour episode, Harvest.

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Strange visits the house to enquire about the accidents.

Location unknown.

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I think this is studio set but I can’t be sure.

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This looks like a scene with a green screen.

Two people (Paul and La Gazza Ladra) have, independently, put forward the location of the opera house as Wimbledon Theatre, 93 The Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1QG.

I think they could be right. However, I don’t think the entrance is the Wimbledon Theatre.

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Looking down the Grand Canal of Venice.

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Thank you to La Gazza Ladra on Twitter who pointed me in the direction of the location of this scene. It’s not Venice.

It is Brompton Cemetery in London.

 

PUB LOCATIONS.

I think the ‘pub’ Endeavour and Dorothea in is either a studio set or a College bar.

Thank you to David R who told me that this pub is the Stag and Huntsman in Hambleden, Buckinghamshire. Thank you David.

Image result for Stag and Huntsman hambleden

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Endeavour sets out to ask questions about the deaths of the Lindens and the fire.

This is the town of Hambledon, Buckinghamshire. The pub is actually called the Stag and Huntsman.

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Actors who appeared in the Endeavour Series , Episode 3 ‘Zenana’ and/or Morse or Lewis.

Richard Harrington as Dr. Dai Ferman appeared in the Endeavour episode, Oracle.

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James pointed out that  Don Gallagher who played the coroner also appeared in the Lewis episode Old School Ties.

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

Ludo like Hugo DeVries blames his female companion for doing the killings. Hugo blamed Marion while Ludo blamed Violetta.

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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.

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

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Tenuous link time: In Marianne Oldham’s speech near the beginning of the episode she says, “We are prey”. Well…Prey was the title of an Endeavour episode. Told you it was tenuous.

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Another Hugo DeVries connection. Ludo while with Endeavour and Violetta says he pretended to be a Swedish policeman. Hugo DeVries was in a Swedish prison before the events of Masonic Mysteries.

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Sam in the comments, correctly pointed out that, “The insurance policy story-line reminded me a bit of the insurance scam in The Wench is Dead, where deaths were faked to claim the insurance money. Come to think of it a canal murder featured in that episode too.” Thank you Sam.

Penny, in the comments section, quite rightly pointed out that I ignored the gravestone. Here is what Penny wrote.

“I do feel that a paragraph could have been devoted to the ‘Hugo’ theory. I think when you put it all together it does seem to produce some compelling evidence. I notice you did not expand on the gravestone, but I still think that is important. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that “Sacerdos” is “Priest” in Latin. When Morse and he have their dramatic final encounter in Masonic Mysteries, Hugo says “I am the High Priest….I am Sarastro,” (the latter being the High Priest in The Magic Flute). There are also echoes between the two Finale scenes, with Hugo calling Morse ‘Monostatos’ from the same opera (the idiot jailer, a buffoon, an outsider) to his Sarastro. Ludo of course calls Morse his pet policeman (if I recall correctly) and is greatly amused that they should be considered equals – at that point I felt he channelled the very essence of the chilling, but wonderful Hugo de Vries.”

Thank you Penny.

Miscellaneous.

Apparently this is Matthew Slater the composer and music director of the series.

The map sent to Endeavour from Violetta.

At the top on the left it reads ‘Cheisa Di San Michele’ (Church of St Michael the Archangel).  San Michele is an island in the Venetian Lagoon.

On the same map at the bottom of the page.

It reads ‘orario cimitero’. This translates as cemetery timetable.

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So did Ludo take his name from the gravestone? Or is he an ancestor.

The dates on the gravestone read MCDLX (1460) – MDXXVII (1527). I cannot find any relevance to those dates.

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Below was one of the first scenes in the episode Oracle. One has to assume this will be the first scene in the first episode of the eighth series.

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So does this letter have the name, at the bottom, De Vries or De Vere? Is it an ‘F’ for the Christian name?

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In my last review for Raga one of my readers, Kathy Aubrey, believed the tune that was being whistled to be Oh,Oh Antonio. She was right.

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Violetta mentions to Morse that she and Hugo will be spending Christmas at Cortina d’Ampezzo. Cortina d’Ampezzo is a ski resort in northern Italy.

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Jim told Morse not to take work home, he does. And once again Ludo happens to see said work.

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Really? the places were Ludo and Violetta carried out insurance fraud spell LUDO??????

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I wonder why Strange turned down the chance to be Thursday’s bagman.

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We find out Mrs Bright’s first name. It’s Carrie.

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Men were allowed to attend Lady Margaret’s Hall in 1979.

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Rudi in the comments section wrote this, “Cousin Kevin. Cousin Kevin is an evil character from “Tommy” by The Who. He tortures his cousins…..including playing Hide and Seek. Don’t think this is a coincidence”. Thank you Rudi.

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Sheldon on my FB page put forward this interesting titbit, “Ludo is short for “Ludovico,” also the name of the treatment given to Alex in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (ie: The Ludovico Technique), to cure him of his violent urges. Russell Lewis’ profile picture (below) on Twitter is a still from A Clockwork Orange of Patrick Magee as Frank Alexander.”

 

Sheldon also believes that the creature that Jenny sees in her moments of delusion, and whom she has painted on to her wall, looks not dissimilar to the Babadook.

Image result for Babadook

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Ivan mentioned in the comments section this observation, “the funeral director Karl Sturgis works for is Duxbury’s. Perhaps a southern affiliate of Shadrack and Duxbury, the undertaker which employs Billy Fisher in (the film) Billy Liar.”

FRED THURSDAY’S WORDS OF WISDOM.

Fred was too grumpy in this episode to have any wise words for us.

THE MURDERED, THEIR MURDERER/S AND THEIR METHODS.

Bridget Mulcahy was killed by Carl Sturgis.

Her neck was broken.

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Petra Cornwell. IMDB incorrectly named her as Petra Connolly.

Manually Strangled. Killed by either Sturgis or Clemens.

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Nancy Deveen is one of the ‘accidental’ victims. Apparently hit her head on a large bust.

Killed by either Ludo or Violetta.

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Pippa Tetbury

Killed by either Violetta or Ludo.

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Mrs Bright electrocuted. Killed by Ludo.

CAST

Marianne Oldham as Magdalena Byrne

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Flora London as Bridget Mulcahy

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James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn

 

Sean Rigby as DS Jim Strange

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Don Gallagher as Coroner

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Charlotte Potter as Petra Cornwell.

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Naomi Yang as Nancy Deveen.

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Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday

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Anton Lesser as CS Reginald Bright

 

Jessica Hayles as Elaine Fairchild

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Shaun Evans as DS Endeavour Morse

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Richard Harrington as Dr. Dai Ferman

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Holli Dempsey as Jenny Tate

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Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday

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Carol Royle as Mrs. Bright

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Ryan Gage … Ludo Talenti

 

Stephanie Leonidas as Violetta Talenti

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Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil

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Andy Williams as Landlord

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SPOILERS ABOVE.

Author: Chris Sullivan

After having looked after my mum for some 11 years she is now unfortunately in a nursing home. I'm afraid her dementia worsened as did her physical capabilities. UPDATE: My mum died from Covid-19 on the 6th May 2020. So, for the first time in 21 years I find myself no longer caring for anyone. Apart from my mum I was also a single parent to two children and also looked after my dad who had Alzheimers, (he died in 2005). So, I have decided to return to University to try and get another degree this time in English Literature. (My other degree I got some 30 years ago is one in Ecological Science). After a year at college I have passed all grades and now will start Edinburgh University in September 2019. I am now in second year having passed all the requirements in first year.

350 thoughts

  1. where in this series is the death of “george fontayne?” morse adds this body to the heap supposedly created by sturgis. someone sturgis killed then covered up via pub fire. i can’t find the incident.

    1. Hi, hespra. There was an item in a newspaper found by Frazil about the disappearance of George Fontayne on the same page as the item about the fire at the pub. Thursday was involved in that case, presumably when he was at a lower rank. Morse asked him what had happened to him. Thursday supposed “Somebody took him, most likely. Or he drowned. Lots of waterways round there.” Morse guesses that Sturgis is actually Johnny Linden and has taken the surname of his grandfather and that he didn’t die in the pub fire, but that he had killed Fontayne and put his body in the pub and set fire to it so that Fontayne’s body would be assumed to be his. This was either to cover up the murder of Fontayne or so that he (Johnny Linden) could disappear and … what? You can find the script on subslikescripts.com
      Has any other episode of E, IM or L led to three pages of comments?

      1. bert:
        three pages comments– not in my lifetime! folks here are not happy with either the quality or quantity of #7. maybe ‘we’ are simply more invested and/or hold higher standards than the general public. there is a lot of crap television out there. maybe we’re snobs. i don’t care.

        on one hand russell should be thrilled that viewers care deeply about these characters. on the other he and shaun could and should be sensitive to cause and effect of viewer response following the final episode.

        have never had problems understanding the morse universe until this season. at first i thought my brain has finally devolved into mush and #7 was the awful proof of my demise.😳 i’m 73 and sensitive to issues in cognitive decline. but after reading the comments i now know it ain’t me that sprung a leak…

        i don’t have an immediate answer for the jetty/dock/where IS morse issue. i haven’t had an opportunity to review that section of the film at length. that’s what it will take. this season is simply too convoluted to attempt any reconstruction of plot from memory. i remember he got out of the boat and stepped to a low flat entry that looked like tile covered with shallow water (an inch?) —sufficient water to obscure a clear view. a “dock” in my unsophisticated terminology.

        thanks for the website to scripts. didn’t know such a helpful thing exists.

      2. bert:
        can you provide full URL for subslikescripts.com? no combination i’ve tried gets past “can’t find server.”

      3. about scripts website. thanks for url, chris. got there. script helps fill in what can’t be ascertained from program audio or captions. note: script does not much help if reader unfamiliar with story.

        george fontayne is child who disappeared in pyrton,1949, same year as pub fire in watlington

        pyrton and watlington, 4 mins or 1.1 miles apart (note: script website spells town ‘pierton’)

        aunt bess, uncle joe, cousin kevin, doris linden, phyllis linden, johnny linden lived together in 4 story pub
        all died in pub fire except phyllis (rescued by fireman)
        phyllis blamed for fire and hospitalized, presumably mental hospital

        dorothea’s research passed to morse. morse finds thursday’s name on police report. thursday then says fontayne incident reviewed in 1959. george fontayne never found. child could have been ‘taken in’ or fallen in waterway and drown.

        thursday, chief of detectives, seems to miss a lot of somewhat ‘obvious’ connections…

        dorothea suggests phyllis linden AKA jenny tate. morse said ‘changed her name?’ dorothea responds ‘who wouldn’t?’

      4. don’t know where this comment will land… but i forgot to add that morse calls phyllis/jenny “jenny tate” when she opens door to morse at her apartment.

        this to clarify where “tate” arose for person here that thought johnny was a tate not a linden–provided johnny is the brother and both individuals are lindens. this season sufficiently scotch-taped together as to make anybody confused as to which direction lay north.

      5. Hi Bert and hi hespra. I have enjoyed reading your interesting discussion, thanks for contributing so much to this debate. Thank you also for correcting my mistake. I accidentally assumed, when I discovered Jenny Tate’s brother was Carl Sturgis, that he must have once been known as Johnny Tate. I apologise for forgetting and overlooking the fact, that the brother and sister in their childhood, were called Phylllis and Johnny Linden. This was before the terrible events of twenty years before, namely the murder of a young boy, George Fontayne, by Johnny, and his deliberate arson of the pub to cover up his crime. Phyllis, as the only apparent survivor of the fire, was falsely accused of igniting this fire. She eventually must have been adopted, where she changed her name from Phyllis Linden to Jenny Tate.

        Nevertheless, my earlier analysis of the plot holes in this three part serialised story, still remains true. How did Johnny Linden at such a young age, escape from the clutches of the law? Where did he live, how did he fend for himself, did somebody take him in, and therefore look after and care for him? There is thus, a twenty year gap to account for, between his childhood as Johnny Linden, and then his sudden reappearance as the serial killer, Carl Sturgis. As a result, there are far too many unanswered questions at the end of this year’s series of Endeavour.

        In addition, why has there been such an increase in the serialisation of stories, reaching its peak, in this most recent Endeavour series? What was wrong with the original format, used throughout the Morse and Lewis series, and in the first four series of Endeavour? An individually crafted, self-contained, feature length episode, was a recipe of success for thirty years, so why change it?

        In fact, when John Thaw’s Inspector Morse first began in 1987, a two hour format with adverts, or around one hour forty minutes without commercials, was seen as quite a risky adventure. There were few detective crime dramas, that were longer than one hour in length on British television, prior to this bold move. Would the public’s attention span hold out, to watch a slower paced mystery? Thankfully, the answer was a resounding yes, Inspector Morse was a phenomenon, and it was enjoyed by millions around the world. In many ways, John Thaw and Kevin Whately, revolutionised this genre, and many other shows have since followed suit. As a result, the feature length detective has since become a regular staple on television.

        Curiously though, the writer, and the powers that be at ITV, have decided for the past three seasons, commencing in series five, that Endeavour should have stories that are not fully explained, or concluded in one episode. Thirty years ago though, their was real worry a two hour programme would not catch on, and be interesting enough for the public. That opinion was wrong, but now we are expected to follow a story, which is told through several feature length episodes.

        Inspector Morse episodes are still appreciated and repeated on British television channel ITV3, thirty years after they were first made. I cannot honestly say, whether Endeavour will still be enjoyed many decades later. Nonetheless, expecting future generations, for example, to watch series seven, and connect plots stretched out to breaking point over three episodes, to about four and a half hours in total length, is surely asking far too much of their patience and toleration.

        All we are asking for in the final series of Endeavour, is for it to return to the basics, or the fundamentals, which sets it out from the crowd. Two detectives, who have an intriguing but strong relationship, slowly solving a riddle, and deciphering a complex plot. The emphasis should be on the main storyline, with the investigation solved in that episode. Less distractions please, thus fewer depictions of domestic life, and a little more subtlety. Less long and turgid love affairs, we know unfortunately Morse cannot get married. Thus I would prefer little sparkles of romance for Morse. Less murders, as the death count has risen absurdly high, lately. Less far-fetched ridiculous plots, and less possible looming death scenes for Morse, we know he cannot die in this prequel.

        There should be a little more humour. More cases related to the Oxford colleges. More beautiful Oxford location scenery. More traditional pub scenes. More down to earth investigations. More tangible connections to the Morse and Lewis series, and last but not least, some more classical music, although it did return to some degree, in series seven. In addition, if there is to be any hint of a serialised story, keep it fairly subtle. A good example was in series two, when evidence was being removed by the long arm of the Masons. We eventually found out, this pre-empted the battle against various corrupt elements of Oxford society, during the finale, “Neverland”.

      6. Hi James, I recently read a PBS Masterpiece interview with Shaun about the series 7 ending. I thought very insightful into the characters, the plots, the operatic theme, and the trajectory of the story. In particular Shaun is asked:
        MASTERPIECE:
        Would you ever do it again like this, with one single over-arching story?
        SHAUN EVANS:
        No, I don’t think so, because so many great detective shows do that in such an elegant and interesting way, where the crime story goes over the whole series. We just wanted to try it, to see what it was like. And I think was good, but I feel like we’ve done it now.
        So I think series 8 will be back to one story per episode and I’m glad of that. I think you would like this interview if you can google it on Masterpiece PBS. I emailed the link to Chris so perhaps he can share it if he deems it worthy!

      7. Thanks Kathleen for your reply. That is very kind of you to share this information, related to an interview with Shaun Evans, thank you. I am pleased to hear, that it appears series eight will not be another serialised story. It will hopefully be back to the tried and tested approach of stand alone episodes. I suppose you do need to trial a new policy occasionally, but the serialised element went too far in this seventh series, in my opinion. There were so many loose ends, which have not been tidied up, and there were two storylines stretched to breaking point, (the canal towpath serial killer, and the Ludo and Violetta life insurance scam) with far too many murders. Let’s all hope the final series of Endeavour, will return it to the high quality we witnessed in the first four series, and that it can go out on a high.

    2. Hi, hespra. We are close in age, if not in location. I’m 72. “he got out of the boat and stepped to a low flat entry that looked like tile covered with shallow water” This is the supposed dock at the supposed cemetery island of San Michele near the end of the episode. [I would call it a dock, too.] I cannot swear to it, but I don’t think that there is a dock like this in Venice. The boat he gets out of is unlike any water taxi I’ve ever seen, but I wasn’t visiting Venice in 1970. Perhaps they went to the trouble of getting a 1970-or-earlier water taxi. You can see more with Google [water taxi venice 1970]. I’ve not looked at every image, but none I’ve seen looks like the one in the film (movie).
      But you wrote (much earlier) “[EM] Appears to head directly to his hotel room.” This was the jetty scene which was much earlier in the film (movie). It hardly matters, really, and it could be that you are mixing the two disembarkations up. I was just curious that you wrote that he got off a boat and appeared to walk to his hotel, whereas we (UK) did not see the boat he got off. If he got off a boat having just arrived in Venice he should have been carrying luggage. As I didn’t see a boat, I was prepared to allow that he had just walked to the end of the jetty as a tourist to view the Grand Canal, turned round and walked back. He would not have been carrying luggage if this was the case.
      The scripts – you’re welcome. A shame they do not show who is speaking, though of course we know, having watched the episode many times.

      1. bert:
        i totally missed the ‘jetty’ scene where morse walks back from water’s edge (presumably towards auditorium/hotel complex?). i likely broke up a cat fight or went to the kitchen for something and wasn’t paying attention. a big mistake if one wants to keep up with the story. no wasted shots in morseland.

        we never, to my knowledge, see morse carry luggage. neither does thursday. they travel light.

        did you watch beginning of # three without sound track? that five minutes pretty much establishes death-death-death in short order. one pass through the taxidermy found in the horror house tells viewer nothin’ good happened there. we have to wait for the basement’s laboratory scene to figure out how all the stuffed animals found their way to that house. nonetheless the foreboding clearly cast in first five minutes of film. gave me the c-r-e-e-p-s.😱

    3. Hi, hespra. I don’t know where this comment will land either. It seems we have to search for the last comment that has ‘Reply’ at the end of it. I would like this to land beneath the one of yours that I quote from: ‘morse calls phyllis/jenny “jenny tate” when she opens door to morse at her apartment.’ Morse call her that because that is what she is known as – it’s what she calls herself. Morse has no idea that she is Phyllis Linden at this stage.

  2. Nicolo Machiavelli, who needs no introduction, died in 1527, but was born in 1469, so a half match for the gravestone.

  3. about mrs bright. i have mixed feelings about what happened to this lovely woman. cancer treatment in 1970 america was not effective. likely the most she could hope for was to slow the decline. it would become harder to breathe, greying of skin more pronounced, decubitus ulcers forming on pressure points touching the bed, inability for her to self-manage even the most basic human functions. had russell put her –and us– through that, carrie’s death would be even more tragic. perhaps in some perverse way a shock was the kinder end.

    russell could have allowed carrie to remain in remission in season 8. i would have appreciated it. but… i think russell sought to bring mr. bright to his knees. in short order. carrie’s situation did exactly that. i suspect the division is now in substantial chaos: strange injured, bright unhinged, thursday smoldering and spewing resentment, morse more aloof, 1/2 way out the door.

    there has been no acknowledgment that three other men involved in the disgusting laying-of-hands routine were ludo’s cover inside the bright home. when ludo snapped carrie’s neck back towards the pillow none of the guys in maroon-red prayer dress batted an eye. culpability.

    the audience is invested in the brights. more so than the rest of the victims put together. how double-damn-dare-you, russell lewis, for doing that to carrie bright. i can’t see how russell will let that whole scenario pass without bringing the red suited trash to justice.

    1. For me, it wasn’t about Mrs. Bright having to die. It was the fact that her recovery from whatever treatment she was getting was too fast and too dramatic. She came home bouncing through the door, with energy to spare, looking as if nothing was ever wrong with her. No one ever said just what “experimental” treatment she was getting as I recall. It didn’t necessarily mean radiation, as at that time I don’t think that would have been considered experimental as it was in common use before then and if it were chemotherapy (it was brutal back then and that would mean to my mind as experimental drugs – I was in nursing school at the time) she would have been much sicker coming home, as could be with radiation.

    2. pye: anyone can be god as long as there are people to down on. your comments to me are beyond pretentious. they are offensive.

      1. You are absolutely right Hespra and for that reason he /she has been blocked and comments removed.

      2. chris:

        i’m guessing hard edged male with pus in his soul.

        we’ve been in our own smallish corner of the universe, in a quiet comfy pillow-laden place, having commodious conversation over a few wines and a cheeseball or two… when some asshat blows through the door and puts his cigar out in the bougainvillea. you know, the ancient one that lives in the window seat.

        enough.

        thankyou…

  4. One final comment for me (as I think I have said enough about this series) yes, for me, the Ludo/Violetta storyline was bad and a waste of a series (at the expense of the murder mysteries, the other great characters and good writing to explain Morse/Thursday aggro) but the one thing that actually makes me cringe – is the scene with the last young victim Petra (great acting from Max and Strange here) but they all walk off and leave her crumpled body – don’t even cover her and there are no other police in the background – right out on the towpath – like she was a bit of rubbish. Perhaps I saw a cut version as I couldn’t believe such a bad error in an amazing high quality series.

  5. I am surprised you gave this even three jags. (although I understand your reasons). It would have made more sense for them to be getting along in episode number 1, carrying over from end of the last season. And then start to drift apart as this season went on finally having a huge unresolved rift at the end of the third episode.
    I haven’t read through ALL the comments yet… And if Ludo is supposed to be Hugo he isn’t at least at present any of where near his deviously sinister character. Just my opinion of course.

  6. james:
    about 1949. this would be post WWII; with linden children born, presumably, just before or during the war. at the moment i’m thinking about images from pink floyd’s “the wall” where english children marching to “we don’t need no education” while bombs, wreckage, and death ruled the land. england went through horrendous times.

    given pub fire occurred in 1949 it seems likely that many children in that era were displaced, orphaned, lost to god knows what. also seems likely that johnny could have been quietly absorbed into a home or institution and just dropped off the radar. he was disturbed and dangerous even then, but issues in behavior may have been attributed to the general trauma existing through the land at that time.

    no intent on my part to “correct” your belief it was “johnny tate” just hoping to explain where one could easily conclude the lindens were tates because jenny refers to herself that way. so many huge holes in this plot. doubtful # seven will ever be popular with anyone. even if evans, et al. gets their collective act together in # eight.

    1. Because you liked it and someone else didn’t, doesn’t make them wrong. It’s an opinion. Please tone down your comments as they are coming across as aggressive.

  7. Thanks for your reply hespra. I agree with many of the points you have just mentioned. That could certainly be true, regarding Johnny Linden, in terms of where he ended up, during the twenty years that were unaccounted for. As you say, this would fit in with the historical patterns of the time, Therefore, perhaps Johnny could easily have been swallowed up, like so many displaced children of the era, and thus left in a children’s home or some form of institution. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read my comments hespra, and that is all from me for now.

  8. I quite like your blog. I’m a long-standing Inspector Lewis fan. I’m a young woman who appreciates the aforementioned hunkiness and charm of Mr. Evans, but I feel like the show went downhill after season 5 (I blame no more Colin Dexter to keep Russell Lewis in line, so he thinks he can do whatever he likes now.) I will have to check out the original Morse series and the novels.

    1. Kathy – great point re: Colin’s passing – I agree that from S5 it started to go downhill (although a couple of episodes in that run were really good) and that is the same time that Shaun became collaborator and producer. An interesting article a couple of days ago when he confirms they will not be filming until 2021 (which means we will not see S8 until at least middle/end of 2021) and he talks openly about being actor, director and producer and makes no secret of his influence over the storylines – as talented as he is I associate his influence over the series and Endeavour the character with the decline from S5 (peaking with S7 where clearly most of the storyline and Violetta was his creation just fleshed out by Russ as writer)

      Sadly I actually see Shaun as the reason for the decline more than Russ.

      1. Re: Shaun interviews – I may be the only one but if I see another interview stating that Shaun has never watched any Inspector Morse episodes AND his reasons for that I will scream – I cannot even count how many articles I have seen over the past 7 or so years – was interesting the first years of the series but now…..TBH I felt it was a little egotistical of Evans back then but that as an actor he had a reason – now ? I feel it is kind of arrogant – but to be fair to Evans these articles may be simple rehashes – personally as he now has such influence over the character and storylines he may actually benefit from watching the original series……

      2. Hi Maria, I agree and I’ve always felt that Shaun should have watched the original Morse episodes so there would be more continuity of character

      3. Then I stand corrected. As I’ve said I’ve watched more Lewis than Morse so I’m not familiar enough with how things should be in terms of original Morse canon. If Shaun’s behind the scenes involvement is starting to derail it, then he needs to pull back (and maybe watch some of the originals as the timelines start converging). Season 7 was not good.

  9. all: about “puli”. input please.

    puli means tiger in language x. east indian i think chris said. i read chris’ theory connecting carrie bright’s nickname for her husband with endeavor (series three, episode three “prey”. found “prey” now on netflix. watched it again).

    an adult bengal tiger has been surreptitiously kept in or near an oxford compound. the animal, caged in a 10 x 10 foot wire-fenced lean-to, being grossly manipulated (by various characters associated with the compound), tormented into becoming a serial ‘maneater’, starved, and ‘driven mad’.

    in the end, the tiger –within a huge maze constructed on the compound from dense shrubbery– goes on scent of woman and child. morse, thursday and others enter maze on pursuit. tiger kills man trying to kill tiger via big game rifle. tiger corners morse, woman and child. tiger leaps. bright shoots the animal in mid air. bright says “damned shame. magnificent creature. damned shame.” morse loses his lunch.

    my question: why?? would carrie continue to use “puli” as a term of endearment some years later– given the obvious pain reginald felt when compelled to kill that “magnificent creature.” why remind him? I don’t get it.

    other tidbits from this episode i found interesting:

    1) taxidermy here –as well as # seven. two house-cats on the desk. two big cat heads, plus attached hide, facing each other on the table. what is it with the english fascination towards stuffed animals? trophies?

    2) while interrogating suspect, fred explodes. beat the guy to a bloody pulp. morse and strange pull thursday off suspect’s throat. fred surrenders his badge to bright only to have bright concoct fictitious story to explain suspect’s injuries (fell down the stairs on way back to cell). whoa. bright says there are “no bad men only bad officers” and refuses to accept thursday’s resignation. brutality rules?

    1. I think that nickname came from their years spent in India when they were younger so before the time period in Prey.

  10. Kathleen – I kind of got him not watching when the series first started (although I didn’t necessarily agree but am not an actor so may have something to do with how he approached the character) but agree much better continuity if he did watch. When I thought that Russ (who clearly did watch and is very much knows the earlier series extremely well) was driving the series and Endeavour character I didn’t mind but as obviously now Shaun is the driver of the character and plot lines for the last two series I feel rather imperative that he does watch.

    I do feel that Evans ‘cherry picks’ between the Inspector Morse series and the books (eg the smoking, womanising etc) to suit. I am also over the continual obsession with explaining no Thursday in the Inspector Morse series – I actually feel the need to ‘explain’ that has hampered the last few series. TBH there is no real reason that they need to make that so big after all, Frazil, Bright and Joan are never referenced in the later series either and clearly they are quite pivotal to him now.

    I read a Endeavour comment recently when someone was mentioning one of their early life mentors that they hadn’t mentioned or thought of in years – I have to confess to the same.

    1. Maria, Good point about the lack of mention of Joan, Bright and Frazil. I hadn’t thought of that. They did play a pretty substantial part in Endeavour’s life on the outside but not the intimate, everyday mentor/father kind of role Thursday played.

      1. Kathleen – the site seemed to have eaten my reply so hope this comment doesn’t come in twice !

        Excellent point – you are so right the Thursday/Morse relationship much more intense and life altering so a lot harder to just explain away.

        I feel that the way they have become obsessed with the ‘exit’ of Thursday (and twice in a row this has been the thrust of the PR before S6 and 7) is indicative that despite Russ’s comments to the contrary they actually didn’t have an exit planned.

        I thought so in S6 that the lead from losing his money in S5 and getting involved with Box would be the story arc and exit – but then it was completely undone in the finale. Then we start off S7 with this very nasty sniping that is not explained (again maybe if they had picked up the corruption thread from S6 it may have worked) and the sniping culminated in the very brutal (and wrong) putdown by Morse in front of Strange and Debryn (and the dead girls body) but again – all undone in the finale.

        I feel that Thursday/Morse fracture is the new Morse/Joan ‘thing’ – we were teased for about three series for it to go nowhere……. (at least we are done with that)

        For me that highlights that Shaun (and to a lesser degree Roger) are driving both their characters and the plot lines now and Russ is just writing what they decide – which is a real shame as Thursday is TRULY Russ’s creation.

    2. He’s not the first actor I’ve heard say something like that when they’re reprising a role another actor did, that they didn’t watch because they didn’t want to slip into mimicry. I think I did see an interview recently where he said he would have to watch (and maybe even started to) as the Endeavour storyline comes closer to Morse’s.

      There is an episode of Morse, I can’t remember which one, where Morse refers to a police officer colleague who was murdered several years before. They gave a different name than Thursday, but it made me wonder if that isn’t how Endeavour will end, with Thursday getting killed and Morse traumatized enough to not want to mention Thursday. I hope it will give Thursday a good exit, this season was kind of ridiculous, with the sudden alienation and combativeness that seemed to come out of nowhere.

  11. To those who think Shaun SHOULD watch Morse episodes I heartily agree. Chris should plop Sean down in front of his DVD player and not let him up until he knows Morse and can see ALL aspects of his character including the compassion and vulnerability he still had in spite of his flaws.

    1. If I did have that oppurtunity, I would have him watch three episodes that would let him know what he becomes and so allow him to not only improve his character but to get a better sense of who Morse is: Dead on Time, Masonic Mysteries and The Dead of Jericho.

  12. There were at least two other unoriginal story elements in Series 7 (in addition to the opera shootout, the insurance-policy payout as motivation for murder, and a whistling serial killer): the revelation of one character as a long-lost close relative of another (a veritable staple of the 19th-century novel, and one that pops up frequently in 20th-century mysteries), but also the current love-interest of the main detective being revealed at the end as a murderer (apparently so that the detective can continue to be single, and thus available for new amorous encounters, in future episodes).

    I’m glad that the writer omitted at least a couple other clichés that appear frequently in mysteries: 1) an ostensibly disabled suspect (e.g., one confined to a wheelchair) proving to be the murderer, and 2) a person who seemingly narrowly escapes being a murder victim proving instead to be the murderer. At least those old tropes weren’t used in this series! I enjoyed it, but it was dizzying with so many plot lines.

  13. Hello Chris

    I just want to thank you for your website! What a great job !!

    I discovered Endeavor two months ago and your website a month ago. I have returned to watch all the episodes and then read all your reviews and all the comments. I have really enjoyed it! How much information!

    Now I’m starting to see Morse. So far I have seen 7 episodes, until Last bus to Woodstock, which is the one I liked the most. For now I see little conecction between Shaun Evans’ Morse and John Thaw’s. The older I see something more carefree, less formal but I still have many episodes for watching

    From Endeavor this is the worst season to me. I think the actress who plays the role of Violetta is not very good. The rest of the actors are really good but I think she doesn’t fit.

    I think I’m the only one who doesn’t like Thursday. He’s a bully, he uses physical violence to extract confessions, ¿would he have solved any case from 65 to 70 without Morse’s help? He had suffocated Joan, he took money in the sixth season… I’m looking forward to him stopping showing up and seeing Morse with McNutt, although I don’t think that will happen since I’ve read that since the fifth season he’s also a producer.

    I hope you understand me well, I am Spanish and not very good at English

    Thank you very much for all your work !!

  14. Can anyone enlighten me as to why Ludo wanted a “pet policeman”? Was he trying to discover whether his insurance-and-murder scheme was being investigated? Was the affair with Violetta part of the plan?

    1. Yours is one of so many loose ends and non sequiturs in this series, I don’t know where to begin! Since Ludo was (apparently) not in Venice when Morse and Violetta first met, I don’t see how that could be part of the ‘cunning plan’. He could not have arranged for them to be sitting within sight of one another. But did he arrange the pickpocket and then bumping into one another? I don’t see how. Morse might not have noticed he’d been dipped — but I suppose the dipper could have been instructed to make the dip obvious. But then what if Morse had caught the thief within a few strides? What if Morse had been curious enough to check that Ludo had been at Beaufort College? Didn’t the otherwise solitary Morse become “friends” with Ludo remarkably quickly? Ludo had some sort of hold over Violetta such that he could force her to arrange the murders of the insurance victims. And I guess he forced her to say she didn’t love Morse, though, at the end, she said, “Ti amo” to Morse.

      1. Bert, I think Ludo did pick Violetta up from poverty, groomed her to fit his needs, and that she was genuinely afraid of him. However, someone made a very good observation that if Violetta was “barefoot walking the streets of Naples” why would she tell Morse that her father used to take her to the opera every New Year’s? Unless, of course, it was just another lie to cover up who she really was and where/what she really came from in order to throw him off the track of what she and Ludo were up to. Or maybe she wasn’t poor and he didn’t take her off the streets; perhaps she met him, he oiled his way into her life under false pretenses and then she was forced to take part in his schemes. So many maybes!

    2. Seth, Yes I think that’s why, “Keep your enemies closer” kind of thing. We know he used Violetta in the insurance scam but I’m not sure the affair with Morse was what he intended since he seemed really upset that Morse was more Violetta’s “man” than his. He states this at the end when he says Morse was supposed to be his pet, not Violetta’s. And he seemed angry when he did find out about the affair. This was most disappointing to me and such a break in character because the elder Morse, as we can see in so many of the episodes, had such a strict code about dating married women. To him, I think, that was forbidden territory and he would never, and did never in any of the Insp. Morse episodes, do that. And I think he would have been that way even when he was young.

      1. Bert and Kathleen – great points, however, it still makes no sense to me that Ludo was not in Venice the first NYE but was the second and Morse didn’t question that he would be there as that is why he tore off to Venice to bring them both in (ridiculous as that is)

        Bert, I don’t think Violetta was forced to do too much and not the poor innocent at all – she must have at the very least known that the dancer had been murdered by Ludo – would you then use her flat and bed to entertain a man you ‘loved’ (and a policeman) for 5 months ? And all these killings (not just the Oxford ones) that you were benefitting from – if you didn’t want to be part of them a simple anonymous letter to the police at any point?

        Agree Kathleen that the ongoing (not just one night) affair with the married Violetta (and the wife of a friend) was completely out of character with both the younger Morse and the older Morse – but as Evans has never watched Inspector Morse and that the whole Violetta storyline seems to be his creation part of the problem. Again, I think they wanted to portray the reason he dispensed so completely with all of his morals was because of this great love but for me it just didn’t come over that way as Violetta seemed rather insipid and had very little personality.

        Seth the whole Ludo/Violetta plotline only makes remote sense to me if the whole thing (the affair/the pickpocket/befriending Morse) was planned by them – to compromise and blindside Morse – I cannot figure out why they were introduced and took up so much of S7 otherwise.

      2. As to dating (and bedding) a married woman, he didn’t know V was married when he first met her. He only found out when L introduced her at the party near the end of Oracle. But he did carry on the affair after that.

      3. Thanks, Bert and Kathleen! I’m glad I wasn’t the only one left pondering the loose ends. I was also trying to decide whether Ludo was a con man living beyond his means, or was actually wealthy and killing people just for kicks. Although I prefer the stand-alone episodes, I can’t help but wish for closure in Season 8.

    3. seth:
      keeping a pet is a human thing. other animals don’t do it. some folks keep cows, goats, pigs, chickens for food; horses, mules, elephants for transportation and work. some keep dogs, cats, birds and___ for companionship, enjoyment, service and dependency.. for one person to want another person as a “pet” says to me two things: companionship, and/or service.

      ludo did not seem the type to collect ‘friends.’ he sought morse’s attention and input concerning violetta but i think that a set-up rather than an expression of companionship. i think that leaves “service” —a motivator where ludo appeared to excel. morse was a link to the law–perhaps for information or an imagined source to blackmail and manipulate. kathleen’s ‘keeping your enemies close’ argument makes sense.

  15. In conclusion I would like to leave you with a comment that my father would probably have made about this series:
    “It’s like muck from China” [You then say: Why?] “Because it’s far-fetched!”

  16. Hi there! Just stepping by to say that instead of Cass Elliot when introducing ‘the Love Nest’ we here in Sweden heard Lewis/Slater’s ‘Make Believe You Love Me’ – the wonderful pastiche in the colorful opening scene of S04E02 ‘Canticle’… Nowadays a must on my Happy playlist!

  17. Regarding music (just going by memory now), but wasn’t Vivaldi’s Winter quickly followed by a snippet of Holst’s The Planets Mars? Both choices struck me as a bit obvious, since even I could recognize them.

  18. Hi great website …due to poor health I have been watching all the Morse universe episodes and enjoying it immensely especially whilst in hospital would like to make some comments about the last season of Endeavour in response to some of the points made previously

    1 re the plot flaw of Thursday arriving at the hotel in Venice …on his train journey there he is reading paperwork / evidence sent to his daughter, it is reasonable to assume that this contained a narrative including details of the initial meeting with Violetta

    2 the identity of Ludo being connected to Hugo ..after watching Masonic Mysteries again I do not think there is a link at all as the dates do not match and there is no reference to Hugo being known to Morse before his initial arrest

    3 the Endeavour series ..like Lewis, has been written to appeal to a new audience compared to that of the original series – this audience is younger, more international in nature and has experience of many crime dramas, it thus has to portray things differently so as to stay relevant and not to attract criticism for being politically incorrect and not being diverse enough. In this new world of tv drama the audience has to be much more sympathetic to the character of Endeavour as compared to the original Morse simply to be able to get favourable reviews and audience figures. This would explain a number of inconsistent character traits and anachronistic details that exist in order to allow the story to flow at a pace that will satisfy the modern viewer and the tv networks

    I hopefully will post further thoughts in future

    until then Happy New Year and lets hope its better than 2020

    1. Hi spflavin, All good points in your comment! I agree with them. Hope you are feeling better soon and it is a better year for all of us.

      1. thanks for your thoughts happy new year from glasgow scotland best wishes Stephen

    2. Hoping your health is much improved in 2021. Sorry to hear that 2020 was such a challenge health-wise for you.

      Great points. I just re-watched Masonic Mysteries recently and had the same thoughts. Although I don’t think continuity worries Russell much. He cherry picks terribly (which is his prerogative as creator) introducing allegedly ‘pivotal’ characters in Morse’s later life (according to Shaun Evans) that Morse never mentions later, yet ignoring existing pivotal characters and events. And when they receive criticism for that, both bat it away by saying that these are two different series and Evans (over and over) that he has never watched the Morse series – but they are the ones that raise it and make the link the focus of interviews.

      However, after re-watching Masonic Mysteries I do believe that Russell (regardless of the timeline) will make Ludo, Hugo – I think that will be central to S8 and the introduction of McNutt – I was hoping we would be done with that dreadful story arc but I think not.

      When Endeavour was going through 1969 I was most disappointed to see no mention of the debate with Dawson at the police conference especially considering how central it (and the characters) were in the episode “Second Time Around” – why not even mention it ? Or did I miss that ?

      As for attracting a different audience I agree – although I think they slipped up terribly with S7 – I note that S7 of Endeavour did not even get into Radio Times’ top 50 shows of 2020 – pretty sure it has always previously. Given the series that did appear in that list (Normal People, The Pale Horse, I may destroy you, Line of Duty) not sure they are attracting the audience they want (if they do)

      1. Hi Maria thanks for your reply and thoughts ..unfortunately my struggle continues so distractions such as this site help me get through the bad days
        re your points of reply…I would assume Russell realises that many younger audience members have not much knowledge of the original Morse series and has decided that to make continuous accurate references to characters mentioned in those episodes would just confuse the viewer / distract from the plots
        re ludo / hugo if the talk of 33 episodes as the limit is correct I do not see how he has the time to do that, introduce McNutt, phase out the Thursday connection and have a few plots going in 4.5 hours
        I would suggest that he may just wrap up the franchise with conclusions to each characters stories that influence the development of Endeavours character which is clearly evident in the original series
        On that point I would argue that the characterisation of Morse in the first 3 episodes is different to the rest ..John Thaw’s accent, diction, delivery and mannerisms are clearly developing and appear to mature in series 2 – where the world weary, grouchy and ‘doesn’t suffer fools gladly’ attitude is evident. It is that attitude that I think the last series should try to explain – how did he arrive in that state of mind – if Russell is to try to at least link the 2 series
        I too had noticed the Dawson situation ..from dialogue at the start and the end of ‘second time around’ it appears that Morse was opposed to capital punishment whereas in reality the police federation voted for it at conference in 1969 ..he says they lost the debate ..but that would fit with the Endeavour narrative of him being a liberal in thought …again the absence of Dawson and Hillian may be so as not to crowd the plot with names.
        On your last point I do not think the audience figures on the night matter anymore as most people are watching shows through different methods from catch up to downloads – recommendations through word of mouth and social media are far more important and obviously have an impact on decisions made by the producers of the shows – certainly in the USA.

        I will try and post further thoughts as they come to me

        thanks again and lets hope S8 is not delayed much longer

        best wishes Stephen

    3. Hello spf. I am so sorry to read that you have been unwell. I hope you are recovering from your poor health. Regarding your first point: it is possible that such a narrative was included in the paperwork. However, the reason I discounted that premise is due to Endeavour’s reticence to talk about such intimate parts of his life. For that reason I don’t believe he would have mentioned it in the letter or elsewhere. Your correct regrading your second point but as fans of the Morse Universe will tell you Russell Lewis does play fast and loose with the Morse lore. I agree with your point regarding Russell aiming his show at a particular audience. Happy New Year.

      1. Chris thanks for your reply and thoughts the last year and a half has been very difficult and unfortunately my struggles are not over ..so your website is a welcome distraction ..its a great piece of work
        re your points 1 I agree about his reticence ..but isn’t that usually because he doesn’t want others to see his weaknesses .although they are quite obvious .and if he believed he may not survive the encounter in venice ..then it isn’t it reasonable to think that he would want as much evidence be known so as to investigate ludo …
        2 I think Russell’s plots and limited connections to the original series are connected to point 3 ..there is no way the original Morse series would be commissioned for tv now and its the reason why its shown on itv 3 !!! .
        My main concern with Russell’s writing is that like many other creators it has succumbed to the politically correct and revisionist narrative of the msm. Evidence of this is that Endeavour plots are littered with references to events and cultural shifts of the last 10 years .. race relations, gender roles, police corruption, etc etc . I won’t condemn him for this as he probably has no choice if he wants to continue to get his work produced – it is either comply with the commissioning client or produce some form of sci fi /fantasy production like Game of Thrones that has no historical / factual basis or go full on ‘woke’ and produce questionable historically and factually inaccurate ‘entertainment / infotainment’ such as the recent Mary Queen of Scots movie
        I will try and post other thoughts as I go along
        thanks again for the website and best wishes
        Stephen Glasgow Scotland

    4. hi stephen:
      good to see you’re able to power-watch the series and comment here. if it’s winter where you are it might make some days more tolerable to just pretend since it’s nasty out, you didn’t want to do anything but stay inside where it’s warm and quiet anyway.

      i can not remember any add-on to or re-make of a beloved film or series that equaled or surpassed its predecessor. Shawn Evans will never touch the mastery and magic of John Thaw. not sure who ‘he’ is but Endeavour ain’t Morse; not now, not ever. we got a thug named Thursday instead of sweet, low key Lewis. the budget wasn’t big enough to cover the costs of special effects or personnel or whatever could have distracted the audience long enough to forgive Russ for trying to ‘go home again’ when we know all too well one can’t. it just didn’t work.

      season #8 is the last. it’s probably best. #7 was abysmal police work, pretentious plots, and totally unbelievable characterization. Morse belongs in the audience enjoying the opera, not living the storyline. the front and center sex was embarrassing. Endeavour and Violetta had zero chemistry making the episodes painful to watch. assign the physical contact to two actors that can handle the content or leave the camera out in the hall. please.

      John Thaw came across as a real person, working through real situations. Russ is capable of writing scripts that exemplify competent law enforcement. in doing so, season 8 can end the career and lifetime(s) of one Endeavour Morse in a manner befitting his legacy.

      have a good year in 2021. everyone.

      1. I agree that Morse and Violetta had zero chemistry and that made the whole uncharacteristic affair with a married woman (and that of a friend) for such a long time so jarring and unbelievable. Morse had more chemistry with Ludo (!) which I wonder if it was not Russell’s intention.

        I felt sorry for the actress – the part was written so she was little more than a beautiful mannequin (with a poor Italian accent) anyway I sense the ‘love story’ will be central to S8 more’s the pity – really hoping for strong mysteries and more focus on the great characters built through the series.

        Of course all of these dramas ask us to suspend reality but S7 really hit any sense of reality out of the ballpark – the plot holes and characterisations were way, way off with (worse still) no explanation. I so agree that Russell has much more talent as a writer – you just have to watch the early series to know that. I hope he writes it alone and stops collaborating on the storylines with Evans, I sense that is where it has gone awry. (I think I read somewhere that the S7 story arc was his original idea) although I do love his acting in the series.

        I am re-watching Inspector Morse (some benefits of a lockdown) and yes, it has dated but gosh Thaw and Whatley were great !

      2. Maria:
        Morse and Ludo?? OMG… wouldn’t that be a barn burner.

        i’m hoping Joan, if she returns, will escape anything not a model of purely-platonic involvement. her father creates havock with his protective paternalism. remembering daddy prefers to address whatever displeases him with his fists. Joan lost her baby because her father would not allow her the privilege of dealing with her own issues her way. first time away from home she ended up with another heavy hitter. i hope we’ve seen enough trauma for Joan. pick on somebody else.

        can’t picture putting Violetta through anything further. it would have to be in flashback unless we dreamed her exit scene. (that storyline has already been been done, Russ. don’t go there).

        three more episodes someone said. that isn’t much time to create a new arch. tis likely cast and crew
        will be in ‘tie-up’ mode:

        Joan heads off to manage some big project for the underprivileged—far away. Sam makes the military a career. Win takes a job and gets out of the house. Thursday does something heroic and dies. Strange moves up the ladder. Bright totally loses it after finally coming to grips with what happened to his wife. and Morse becomes chief inspector. for me, ‘how’ this all comes to pass is the only mystery left.

        i’ll stop now. i’ve watched way toooo much television since this virus thing took over the planet. am well past stir-crazy: have become a bloody cynic 24/7. by all accounts everyone here –but those of us in america–has a good chance of moving forward sooner rather than later.

        may you and yours come out the other side intact. 😘

  19. Hi Stephen -so very sorry that your health issues will be ongoing – but how wonderful you have found Chris’ website a welcome distraction. It is such a treasure trove of information for those of us who love the franchise (I love all 3)

    I agree that audience figures may not be as reflective any more given streaming etc., however, I suspect it is still the driving force for advertisers. Although you are right that social media is also a measurement tool for advertisers.

    I mentioned the Radio Times top 50 only as it doesn’t focus on highest rated TV shows rather quality and impact and it is the first time I noted Endeavour’s absence. Not even to make the top 50 in the year is just interesting to me I guess.

    You make an excellent point that if they do only produce another 3 episodes time to exit out a fan favourite such as Thursday and introduce McNutt and pursue Ludo/Hugo will be a challenge. I guess I found the Violetta/Ludo arc so disappointing that I would hope they would not use his ‘love’ for such a poorly written character as Violetta the main driver of the later Morse in the final series – I was counting that evolution would be so much more layered (his mother, Susan, Joan (maybe) but mainly Thursday. I really am hoping in S8 for more of the long standing characters such as Strange, De Bryn, Frazil all were sidelined in S7 to make room for Violetta and Ludo.

  20. Only just found this site even though I have been a lover of Morse and it’s renewal in Endeavour. It’s a similar joy to read such perceptive analysis by the contributors to this site and especially its creator spflavin. Everything he said rings true to me about the latest series but I have to admit that I tend to ‘suspend disbelief’, which was a popular saying not so long ago, when I hear the opening music of my favourite show and only come back to a reluctant reality when Barrington Pheloung’s delightful melodies complete an episode. I will explore this site further as I am awed by the commitment of contributors.

    1. Hi Michael glad you are also enjoying this site but please note that I have just started contributing ..the credit and praise for its creation and maintenance should go to Chris Sullivan – who has produced what I think we can all agree is a fantastic resource for fans from all over the world best wishes Stephen spflavin

      1. Just an edit I realised through a reply from Steven Chris Sullivan is the site creator. My comments re perceptive analysis still stand but I would like to add my thanks to the creator of this site as well, it’s a joy to read

  21. I haven’t noticed many anachronisms in Endeavour, but this jumped out at me. In Zenana, Endeavour says “Give her some space.” I just don’t think that anyone would say that in 1970. I think it came from the popularity of self-help and relationship books which happened in the mid- to late-1970s. And I don’t remember it being commonly used until the early 90s. The concept of “giving someone some space” didn’t use to exist. Yet the internet has nothing about the origin of the phrase. Does anyone know where the phrase came from and the earliest use?

    1. I think you are correct but I have also noticed a few anarchisms myself in other endeavor episodes. As far as I can remember back in the 60’s and 70’s it was more, “need to find myself.”

  22. Hi there… apparently, Charlotte Potter’s character was originally meant to be called Petra Connolly, as the 2nd picture that goes with this ‘Teesside’ link shows. This might explain the mistake by imdb.
    I entirely agree with you about Miss Potter’s voice… hope she will fulfill her dreams & goals to become a succesful classical music singer.

    https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/itv-drama-endeavour-feature-teessider-17776913

    1. Or… does imdb call her Cornwell whilst her character is actually called Connolly? LOL, I’m getting confused.

      1. OK… apologies for blabbering on about this tiny topic… she’s most def called Cornwell in the episode, the picture of Charlotte Potter shows that maybe they intended to call her Connolly, and imdb has corrected their first mistake (which was probably caused by the original script?).

  23. I have now watched all three episodes of season 7 again, with subtitles, without interruptions, and now I have fully appreciated them. Despite being complex and hard to follow in places, this story compares favourably with the best episodes from earlier seasons. I know there is a lot of disagreement. And I do see the many common plot elements. But it didn’t at all keep me from crying at the end. That’s the mark of a well crafted story, for me. There were a lot of complaints about Thursday and Endeavour not getting along. That did not bother me. We know they will become close again. In fact it would have detracted from the story if they agreed completely.

    The love story initially irritated me because I thought he would not have fallen for this woman. But after seeing it all again, I realized they truly loved each other. We know in other episodes he would always fall in love too easily, and always lose the girl. I realized the truth of their love, at the restaurant when he told her “now he knows, we don’t have to hide; come with me.” And she can’t because she is too afraid for her life. But then later she confesses her love and I believed her. This is a timeless story and never gets old – lovers separated by tragedy. The use of the opera scenes tied it all together. I loved this season. As always, the cinematography is still the most magnificent on TV; the characters are more finely drawn; the actors are brilliant. Because so much happens in the three episodes, it really requires watching them twice to get all the information. I’m now inspired to rewatch earlier Morse and Endeavour seasons. I am so looking forward to season 8.

    1. Quote by suze: “I’m now inspired to rewatch earlier Morse and Endeavour seasons.” Oh yes, especially the original Morse episodes! Just to check if my inner feeling about the Endeavour series are true, which is: I did recognize ‘my’ Morse in the, say, first three seasons, but I kinda lost track of him after that. The only time I got emotional during Season 7 was when Win Thursday read out Morse’s letter and wasn’t able to continue. One might call this scene ‘manipulation’ (as Chris did), but isn’t all art a form of manipulation? No matter what, I had the feeling that the person who wrote this letter was the Morse whom I remembered from the original series with John Thaw.
      The influence of the Thursday family has become so huge though… John Thaw’s Morse never mentions them (because they were ‘invented’ later on of course), and after watching the prequel’s seasons 1 to 7 that’s just way too hard to believe. Inspector McNutt should have entered already in season 4 or 5 imho, to remind the viewers that he was Morse’s true mentor.
      I realize that it’s less of a problem for newcomers to the world of Morse, but since I am more or less familiar with the original series, it’s just too hard to swallow.
      Still, watching Endeavour was a great experience for me. The older Morse might not have remembered Fred Thursday & his lovely daughter Joan, Reginald Bright, George Fancy and Violetta Talenti… thanks to this series I most certainly will! 😉👍

      1. I agree McNutt should have featured more in the later series of Endeavour.

  24. Why in series 7 is Chief Superintendent Bright wearing the badge and uniform of an Assistant Chief Constable ???

  25. Bright was reduced in rank –to head of ‘Traffic’–as result of Officer Fancy’s death. Once the criminal element within the department routed the core unit will recover.

  26. I agree in the main with your comments and rating here Chris.
    This episode and series left a sour taste for me. Morse as a younger and older man (in the books and both TV series) has had many unpleasant qualities, but being callous and spiteful were not among them.
    The ludicrous Italian farce which sadly dominated this series was really poor. Ludo was smug, superficial and insincere from the start, Violetta was poorly written and had zero chemistry with Morse. I suspect Thursday, of all people, knew how to shoot someone ‘properly’ so I hope Ludo sank without trace. I have no wish to see him in any other guise again.

    The Brights and their relationship was among the few highlights of later seasons but no, that too had to be destroyed. Morse is not a diplomat at the best of times but even he would not exacerbate another’s grief so callously. He visited Bright at home so he knows (unlike anyone else in the force I think) about the death of their daughter. Why oh why would he be so cruel to heap more misery on a man who has been good to him, even after their shaky beginnings? Dreadful, cheap writing.
    I fully expect the Thursday family to be similarly destroyed in the next series, in fact the groundwork has probably been already been laid in that regard.
    Jim Strange is the only character who has been developed properly during these 3 episodes. He corrects Morse on his behaviour at the Canal side and at home (when Morse has all the evidence on display for Ludo to see) in Oracle, and later, he chastises Morse and Thursday for their carry-on in Zenena. Strange is clearly moving nearer to the job he will one day hold.

    Dorothea shows herself to be a better detective than the detectives. She keeps track of the suspicious accidents and persists. Morse eventually goes with it but not at first. Another contributor wonders how she knew about the accident. I’d imagine being the editor she was, she had sources everywhere and was tipped off on what was going to be a big story. She was decent enough to contact Fred and let him be the one to break the news.
    I hope the next series is better but that may be a vain hope.

      1. Saw the ITV announcement that apparently Shaun is only directing the first episode – two other directors are directing the next – Kate Saxon back to direct the last – hope she gets a better script than Zenana !

        So the ‘source’ who advised that was a confirmed that he was directing all 3 and definitely the first two was mis-informed. I am pleased about that – Sara Vickers is back and it looks as if your source (the Oxford guide) may be right about the wedding of Jim and Joan – not sure how I feel about that storyline at all – think that will be just poor writing to inflict more pain on Morse and doesn’t figure up with the later Strange really but as we have said seems that doesn’t worry Russ particularly.

  27. Strange and Joan?? 😳 I don’t see the chemistry –or a future– in that union. Could be the budget insufficient to bring in another major character. This series not known for successful romance.

    There is a Twitter account under name “Endeavour.” It’s not very active at the moment.

  28. Hello, I am writing to you from Cali (Colombia). I’m a Morse fan. I have seen the entire Endeavor series and I would like to know in which episode Morse writes the resignation letter and which Thursday he does not accept it, in the marathon I have done I did not see that detail. I clarify that I write with the Google translator. I like to read these detailed comments with analysis of the chapters. I’m afraid I’m just a fanatic, because I really enjoy my dear Inspector Morse, who abstracts me from the absurd reality in which I live.

    1. I think the episode you are referring to is the Pilot (first) episode. Morse resigns, gives his resignation to Chief Super Crisp (predecessor of Bright) and Thursday gives it back to him. Unless there is another resignation in a later episode that is the only one I can remember (of course in Neverland – Morse contemplates leaving and in Zenana he transfers to another station)

      Maybe someone else can remember another resignation that I have missed.

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