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.

Was it really necessary to kill off Mrs Bright? No, it wasn’t but Russell had to find another way to manipulate another highly emotional scene. Unless, Russell is planning to write Bright out of the eighth series and Mrs Bright’s death is the reason that will be used for Bright’s departure from the police force. We may see him in the first episode of the eighth series telling his men he is retiring. Bright is certainly a broken man.

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 die 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.”

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. 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.

113 thoughts

      1. Charlotte Cornwell is John Le Carre’s sister. She is an actress. I first saw her in Rock Follies all those years ago. So maybe your slip of the keys connected a couple obscure dots.
        As for Violetta, any reference to La Traviata do you think? More singers in the finale of La Trav, though.
        The problem I have with Endeavour is the same one I had with Lewis. The idea that seems to have taken a squirrel grip on the writers: the hero/ine has to have no real love life/emotional life apart from tragic circumstances. Endeavour has had 4 relationships with women: the mysterious one in the backstory that was again referenced in a previous season when he met her mother; the girl who was his neighbour-this lasted almost across a season but E ended up in the nick and went into hiding afterwards S02e03-4, s03e01; Claudine, the French photojournalist who made him happy in s05e03-05; the vet’s sister who was a murderess s06e03; and Violetta.in s07. But the aim is to keep him without a partner for too long. As it was with Lewis, and Hathaway,and vera, and Jimmy Perez in Shetland etc etc. It is getting tedious, boring, and simply silly. It is a good example of how crappy crime writing is in British, Australian and American tv.

      2. One of the traits of Morse in the books and series was that he was unlucky in love. This was mostly down to him never recovering from his love for Susan/Wendy. So, the Endeavour series has to follow the same story line as all Morse fans know that he cannot have a serious relationship with anyone that doesn’t ultimately fail. Lewis’s character had to change for the Lewis series. It would have been pointless having Lewis remain the happy go lucky, cheery, family man from the Morse series. The killing of Val was an inspirational idea and it allowed us, the viewer, to see a different side of him.

    1. I thought Mrs Bright could have called her husband ‘puli’ as a bit of a joke on his name I.e. “Tiger, tiger burning bright” ….

  1. “Around the five minute mark we have Charlotte Potter as Petra Cornwell singing. IMDB incorrectly names her as Petra Connolly. What a fantastic voice.” Chris– since my maiden name was Cornwell I appreciated that.And what a voice is right ! Guilty of watching on u-tube- know I am not supposed to say that – but there is a Barbara- that does a wonderful job- and u-tube must know this as you can only watch between 7PM& 7am- I promise I always watch when it comes to PBS- I have to have CC-hard of hearing + the accents being American- I can transfer from my computer to Roku to watch on a normal TV screen. But she only does the CC on the first one.Chris I agree with everything you said about too much crammed in and the sudden character changes. But when I watch something- anything- I am going to find the good or I will just stop watching.Granted if I was in a motion picture house I would not get up and leave though. Even motion pictures run out of a good story line’s- and that is what makes a movie or good TV program- the story is number one. Thanks so much for your review!

    1. Thank you Bertie. I don’t blame you for taking the opportunity to watch the episode when possible especially in light of the fact that you have to wait three or four months to see it on PBS. I watch because I have hope that it will get better. I don’t want to dislike it but…

    2. Re, Zenana – I have always enjoyed your reviews but in this case I believe you’re picking nits in several instances. There IS a shift in character for Thursday and Endeavour and i.too found it initially unsettling. But in Real.Life, this happens, doesnt it! Fred is grumpy/ burned out; Morse has gone off the rails allowing his Ego to overwhelm his common sense. All told, by the end, I found their temporary lapses believable and a great window to.their imperfect characters. Who.after all, is brilliant all the time? Morse himself “acted out” on more than one occasions as did Lewis when he denigrated Hathaways religion. In short. People sometimes blow it!
      I thought Morse WOULD have told Bright he felt Carrie had been murdered; and that Bright, despite his terrible grief. would have reacted very differently. He is after all, a cop at heart. He would have wanted to get to the truth.
      As for Shaun’s smoking I felt it illustrated his despair and level of angst. We know the older Morse didnt smoke (although he did in the novels).John’s tragic death is not related, really. Had he died in a car wreck (assuming he’d been at fault), would it mean we shouldn’t see his character driving a car? If he’d choked on a sandwich, we shouldn’t see him ear? Obviously.not, so.why the smoking bias? It was 1970. People smoked! I was there and I did too. And in fact people still smoke now. They may or may not want to admit it quite so.ooenly.
      And yes the operatic themes may be slightly.overdine (?) but such Grand Tragedies ARE usually Larger Than Life. Reduce them to “real” and they’re likely to be boring and mundane. By the end, I thought this series was magnificently done! It may have had some flaws but what a rush! I also think the.music a glorious addition. If theres one thing universal and striking in all of Morse, its classical music (always peppered so nicely with the pop music of the day) and this was no exception to the rule.
      As for whether Morse could be produced today … probably not in the USA. But that was true in the 80s as well. Look at the success of Vera. Few guns and shoot out there as well, yet on it goes (another wonderful show!)
      I could go on and on but I already have. In short. I thought this season was superb! (I do.have a little trouble believing Morse was quite so wild in his youth – but as one discovers over life it’s often the case and people can surprise you more often than not. And we know he never did figure out the “Fairer Sex.”

      1. I agree completely with you, Nadya. And just some final words about this cigarette issue. John Thaw died of cancer, but he also endured a long life fighting his alcoholism. So why are there so many scenes in Endeavour with drinking? As a connection to later life in the Morse episodes, yes, but couldn´t Endeavour had done something else in at least some of the scenes? Abigail Thaw, John´s daughter, smoke and drinks in every episode, drink more than smokes, I would say. How did she feel about that?
        No one disrespect John Thaw because Endeavour drinks and now also smokes. Life is what it is, most of the times a hard experience, but we live it and sometimes we do things that later will pass. John Thaw was my hero in life and once per week I could watch him on the telly and let the tapes run in my VCR. Yes, I´m old enough to know what a VCR was like.
        In interviews Shaun Evans has said that he liked the coming tension between Endeavour and Thursday as a way to give life not only to the characters themselves, but also to the drama itself. I can understand that people change over time, but for me I liked the earlier seasons when Endeavour and Thursday were on better terms. Then you could concentrate on solving the crime, now you spend energy solving the crime and energy on the conflict between Endeavour and Thursday and so far nothing good has come out of it. For me it has become just a distraction. But it might have a reason that will show next season, the last, as some expect it to be.

  2. Thanks for another very detailed review Chris. I seem to remember the character in Fat Chance singing Ave Maria too; the girl who goes AWOL seeking revenge on the diet guru. I’m off to Venice at the end of May and will look out for some of the Zenana locations 👍 Thanks again.

    1. Hi Sarah. The song being sung by Dinah Newberry is ‘Laudate Dominum’ a Mozart aria from Vesperae Solemnes de Confessore. Have a great holiday you lucky thing.

      1. Oh my mistake Chris! Thanks for the info. Yes off to row in the Vogolonga rowing regatta so I am very lucky. Thinking it will be like being immersed in a Canaletto painting and I’m sure I’ve seen several references to him in Morse 🤗

  3. Thanks for all of you hard work here, Chris. I suspect it is less rewarding for you when the quality of the episodes declines. Hopefully there is an improvement for the rmainder of the series.

    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 fixed the incorrect character name on IMDB.

    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.

    There is a music reference in the name Violetta. Violetta is the heroine of Verdi’s La Traviata and indeed, the original name of the opera.

    Leo

  4. So, there is to be a series eight….will we see Fred anymore….will we ease in McNutt…when will Morse go to Kidlington..?? Not enjoyed this last series…(7)…, nor series 6….

  5. Brilliant summary and I agree with all. I do feel that a paragraph could have been devoted to the ‘Lugo’ 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 channeled the very essence of the chilling, but wonderful Hugo de Vries.

    1. Hi Penny, you are so right in regard to the gravestone. I should have paid more attention to the gravestone. I am going to add your thoughts into my post in the connections to Morse/Lewis section. Thanks Penny.

  6. Thanks for the hard craft Chris, this cannot have been an easy one. I wish I could disagree with any (negative) comments you may have, but no such luck.
    As much as I enjoyed the sixth series (OK, also because of Simon Harrison playing Ronnie Box I must admit), even then I did not like the developments in the character of Endeavour. Disrespectful and not in an admirable way, no empathy and the high moral standards he expects in other people do not seem necessarily to be applicable to himself. What about him dating a witness in a murder case (Confection), which is certainly not done in his profession and not only because she can turn out to be the murderer which indeed she did? Well he is up to his second murdering girlfriend now, it is becoming a nasty habit. I am mentioning this only because I have more and more trouble to link the Endeavour character to the later Morse and I am feeling a bit sad about it.

    Keeping our hopes up for series 8?

  7. Is it possible that Morse’s newly-acquired smoking habit is a nod to the Morse of the books? He smoked a lot, especially in the earlier ones. He also had a habit of getting (or trying to get) romantically involved with suspects.

    1. You probably right Nick about why we are seeing Endeavour smoke. Shaun has said he hasn’t watched the original series but has read the books. But, I still think it is insensitive in light of why John Thaw died.

  8. May I pose a thought/theory about why we see Jim Strange suffering such a serious injury in this episode?

    I wonder if by S8 we will see him move more definatively 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.
    I also believe that Strange is a bit more canny than we give him credit for. He turns down Thursday’s offer of becoming his new bagman because he can see that Thursday’s future is potentially limited and wants to avoid the association as it might affect his own?
    ———————
    As soon as we saw the village scene and Endeavour heading into the pub I thought that it was the same location as the village of ‘Brampton’ used in the episode Harvest. Thanks for that confirmation.

    The moment we all saw ‘Petra’ singing in the courtyard of Lady Matilda’s I thought – first victim! Anyone else?

    Finally, and a bit cheeky to the locals but what exactly would a foreign visitor to the UK (Ludo must have been one at some point) be doing in Uttoxeter of all places! Other than it helps to spell out LUDO and nowhere else can be found that begins with the letter U. This need to make his name an anagram was very clunky and unnecessary I felt.

    1. Hi David. I do like your theory in regard to Jim Strange. I am going to add that piece of information into my post. Thanks David.

  9. Why was Strange stabbed?
    You’d have two abled policemen then, who’d easily apprehend Sturgess, then you’d have to show the interviews at the station et al. It’s quicker and more dramatic to sum that procedure up in the way Lewis did. Endeavour is a show on its own, viewers might not have knowledge of Stranges fate. We get so many eastereggs as fans of Morse too, it’s not as if they are not putting so many things for old school fans in. But it’s not an appreciation programme of Morse anmyore, you could have said that about the pilot maybe, but it has a right to be a programme on its own.

    Colin’s mentions?
    You’re so certain this is the mention of Colin? You’ve missed or misinterpreted them before. Why be so willfully negative (“lack of respect”) until you are content you’ve found the right one?

    Why dismiss IMDB ratings, when you are always doing your own ratings?

    “One needs to be critical so as not to enable poor films, TV and music.” Good lord, it’s art. Someone like’s stylised photography in a telly programme, someone likes good acting, someone likes a perfect script, someone like’s light entertainment, somone likes a brain teezer. It’s a team effort too, so many things are not able to be put into the end product, because of a combination of things.
    The consumer enables very seldomly. The artists/producers do. The viewer can choose to watch, but you have no right in this programme to have their will of how they make it.

    I didn’t enjoy this finale either as much. I found it a very simple script too with silly ideas (Ludo spelling out the place names, Thursday scenes in Venice) but I found enough to be enjoyable, and as long as I can’t offer workable alternative scripts and production solutions to those scenes, I’d not be as dismissive.

    1. Hi Sabine. In regard to IMDB ratings. IMDB ratings can be manipulated and have been in the past. My rating is a personal one and not one based on a random number of people visiting a website. I have every right to put forward my ideas as to how I think the programme should be made. It’s called free speech which is a principle being eaten away at by the ‘woke’ brigade, (I’m not saying you’re one of them). Of course the watcher or consumer enables TV shows etc. If people don’t watch a show then it gets cancelled no matter how much the makers of the programmes love their own show. If lots of people watch a show then that show will continue. So, the consumer has enabled the show. Like me you are entitled to your opinion and I certainly welcome any and all opinions. I am certainly not being dismissive. That would be critical without justifying the criticism. I always justify my criticism be it good or bad. You are correct in regards to the Colin reference. If someone finds a better example I will certainly write that I was wrong and rewrite the section.

      1. Like with Mister Cecilia? Lol!

        I’d hesitate to call smoking insensitive in regards to Thaw. Since John Thaw’s daughter smokes on the programme, which you are perfectly aware of.

  10. Chris¡¡ What a remarkable work¡¡ I’ve thinking about that “smoking” thing and I’ve read several Shaun’s interviews where he said he had not watched Morse’s tv serie rather he had read all the Colin Dexter’s novels. And as we know Morse’s character smokes a lot at the novels at least. I also dislike seen him with so much smoking and I wonder if has something to do with the original books.
    I agree with you absolutely, especially when you say it’s your opinion and if someone do not like it..never mind…go ahead and keep doing your Fantastic job¡¡ Keep us up with Morse, Lewis, Endeavour Universe¡¡ Do not give up¡
    We are with you¡¡

    1. Thank you Maria for your kind words. I suppose it’s possible that Shaun is taking his pointers from the novels in regard to the smoking.

  11. The insurance policy storyline reminded me a bit of the insurance scam in The Wench is Dead, where deaths were faked to claim the insurance money

    1. Thank you Sam, I have added the information into my post. Including your mention of the canal in the Wench is dead.

  12. 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 🤔

    1. The Undertone’s song, My Perfect Cousin, is about rant about his cousin, Kevin, who is sure to go to heavin. (Has to be misspelled or it doesn’t rhyme)

  13. Another thought, regarding how Morse and Fred got to Venice. Were ‘boat trains’ really a thing in 1970? Such a journey would take several days (when I went to Venice by train a couple of years ago it took two, and that was with the benefit of the Eurostar between London and Paris!). Surely – gun-smuggling aside – it would’ve been easier for them to fly by BEA?

  14. Thank you very much Chris, for another detailed critical analysis. I applaud your candid honesty and all the hard work you put in, to create this thoughtful review. I believe you said, it can take up to ten to twelve hours, for you to compile your assessments of each Endeavour episode, and it must be made all the more difficult, if it is an episode you have not enjoyed. I am sure each review was meant as a labour of love, but I suspect, when writing recent appraisals, it has become more laborious and certailnly less fun for you, so thank you for still maintaining all the effort, that goes into writing these verdicts.

    In the above comments, Sam has just beaten me to the task, of mentioning, about a possible connection to the original Inspector Morse series. I do remember reading somewhere on this website Chris, that the Morse episode, “The Wench is Dead”, is one of your least favourite. It is also the only episode I could think of, where a life insurance scam, is the reason behind a series of murders, set 140 years in the past. In that episode, partly set in 1859, the wife and female assistant to a magician, faked her death in the water of an Oxford canal. In fact, her husband murdered another woman, dropped that dead lady in the canal, and later claimed that person to be his wife, to claim the insurance money. In addition, two local bargemen who were on the canal, who the magician’s wife had been aboard with, were wrongly charged with the murder, and later both were hanged. Therin you have Chris, a possible tenuous connection to this Endeavour episode, namely a life insurance scam and a murder on the Oxford canal.

    My other connection to the Morse universe, would be through the actor Don Gallagher, who played the Coroner in this Endeavour episode. In the Lewis series, he played Professor Weller in the episode, “Old School Ties”. The student journalist in that episode, had accused Weller of being party to an exam scam. Furthermore, he was called Sam in the newspaper headline, due to there being a character in the Charles Dickens novel, “The Pickwick Papers”, who was called Sam Weller. For further evidence that Don Gallagher was in this Lewis episode, here is the IMDB website for you Chris: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0302369/

    1. Thanks James I have added Don Gallagher to my post. Yes, it is more difficult to write a bad review than a good one. Certainly more laborious and less fun.

  15. Sorry if I elaborated a little too much on the narrative behind “The Wench is Dead”, when Sam had already pinpointed the connection to this Endeavour episode. I began writing my comment this morning, I had to pause it for a little while, and when I came back to it, I still decided to fully complete and write up, what I first had in my mind, earlier today. I was in full flow with my comments by the afternoon, and perhaps I should have abridged it, so I apologize to Sam and Chris.

    1. As an aside James, did you know that episode was inspired by a Victorian novel, which in turn was based on a real canal murder in the North of England?

  16. You use the misspelled ‘illicit’ for elicit at least twice in this review. Not good in a Morse blog. A bit heavy on the disapproval – this is tv drama after all – but I welcome tge detail. Thanks.

    1. ‘tge’? You see how easy it is when you type quickly. I don’t understand why there should be no disapproval because it’s a TV drama. Are you saying that TV drama should have less scrutiny than say, films? As I’ve written before, if you allow bad television to continue without scrutiny then television will just be full of bad dramas, Love island, Celebrity led shows etc.

  17. San Michele cemetery was established in the early nineteenth century so the gravestone dates of Ludovicus Talenti don’t add up. Otoh, there was a Camaldolese monastery before that but I find it hard to believe that an ordinary monk would have a dedicated grave.

    It could be something. Or nothing.

  18. Maybe I missed it, but I’m surprised no one has mentioned the strong La Traviata connection in this story arc. (I discussed it in Twitter.)

    Violetta is the name of the heroine of La Traviata. In fact it was originally going to be called Violeta. Morse also gives Ludo a recording of the opera.

    I’m more familiar with the movie, Camille, which is based on La Traviata. Violetta is a courtesan who falls in love with a young aristocrat who loves her in return. His father tells her that their relationship will destroy his son and demands that she break it off. She does and her lover leaves, convinced that she doesn’t love him. She is dying (probably from tuberculosis). Her former lover rushes to her deathbed, she confesses that she always loved him, and she dies in his arms.

    While not an exact remake, the plot strongly references it several times – especially when Violetta chooses Ludo over Morse (probably to save his life, or reputation) and when she dies in his arms telling him she loved him all along.

  19. A priest named Ludovico Talenti was associated with the church of San Giovanni Christostomo in the 1500s, and may have been involved with the commissioning of Bellini’s altarpiece. Presumably it is his gravestone we are meant to be seeing, and presumably the dates are those of his birth and death.

    1. The gravestone was made specifically for the episode as it is not actually in the cemetery. The graveyard scene is in London not Italy.

      1. Okay, let me try to make my point more clearly…

        My research shows that a priest named Ludovico Talenti was associated with the church of San Giovanni Chrisostomo in the 1500s, and may have been involved with the commissioning of Bellini’s altarpiece there.

        Presumably, it is a representation or reproduction of his real-world gravestone bearing the dates of his birth and death that we are shown in Zenana, though obviously we aren’t seeing the original, as the gravestone we see in the episode was made specifically for television, and is not actually in the cemetery in Italy, as the graveyard scene shot for the television took place in London, not Italy.

        My point is that in the same way that the character in Zenana, ‘Ludo’, seems to have found his name on a gravestone in a churchyard in Italy, the writer of Zenana seems to have found the name of the real Ludovico Talenti in his researches, and given it to the fictional ‘Ludovico Talenti’.

        I’m speculating, without actually having visited Italy to check, that the name of the real Ludovico Talenti may appear on a real gravestone in a real cemetery in Italy – though what we saw on the television was of course a simulation or reproduction of the ‘real’ gravestone, and shot in London.

        I trust that’s clear enough!

  20. Thanks for the reply Sam, and and now you mention it, you have reminded me of the fact that Colin Dexter based his novel, “The Wench is Dead”, on a true Victorian crime. I had forgotten about that, but you have kindly brought that back to my attention. Over four years ago, I inherited all of Dexter’s 13 Inspector Morse novels, from my late father. I have managed to read the first three novels Colin wrote, during the last couple of years, and at some point I hope to read “The Wench is Dead”, first published in 1989. Taking a quick glance at my copy of this novel, Dexter actually dedicated his story to two people who initiated his education of a real life Victorian canal atrocity, and I quote from the book, “For Harry Judge, lover of canals, who introduced me to, The Murder of Christine Collins, a fascinating account of an early Victorian murder by John Godwin. To both I am deeply indebted”. Finally, I will just add, that this novel appears to have been a highly successful one for Dexter, because it won the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel of the year.

  21. Thanks for your review Chris. I’m in agreement with being critical of this episode in particular in even though I do enjoy the Endeavour series. I wasn’t convinced of Ludo and Violetta being the diabolical characters they were supposed to be because of the poor acting, their poorly written characters, and plot surrounding them. Ludo doesn’t come off as charming every time he grins or teases Endeavour, he’s rather annoying. Endeavour allows Ludo into his house every time Ludo rings his doorbell unannounced? Wouldn’t Endeavour have been suspicious at some point about why this guy, who Endeavour couldn’t recall ever knowing, would show up so often? Ludo/Violetta being part of a scam killing people for life insurance was not believable….and L-U-D-O is the scam? No.
    I couldn’t accept that Thursday was ready to bite both Endeavour’s and Win’s heads off considering season six ended with the detectives being safe & relationships back to happy. Thursday and Endeavour had traded strong words in the past, but now they were mean and catty. With Thursday so explosive at home, it felt a bit over the top. I didn’t appreciate the smoking either.
    I was hoping the toe path canal killer would have been Mr. Ludo, actually. Violetta could have had her affair with Endeavour as a coincidence or she could have not been written in at all. But eventually Ludo would have been caught red handed some way & jailed in England, not traded gun fire against Thursday and Morse, then drop dead into water in Italy. I wouldn’t have included the insurance scam story line. Mrs Bright could have passed away due to her illness if her character had to end. Anton Lesser would have done a great job as the grieved husband with or without the fake faith healers.
    I’ll add this: when one of the freak accidents was the the man falling off his ladder due to the broken step, it reminded me of John Barron’s death in “The Remorseful Day” episode.

    1. I also thought ‘oh come on’ when the place names spelt the name out. But, having thought more about it, codes and anagrams appear frequently in both Morse novels and programmes. There are numerous examples of codes being used (‘Bus to Woodstock’, ‘Nicholas Quinn’), sometimes as red herrings, and of course ‘The Wench is Dead’ has a very prominent anagram for F.T. Donavan / Don Favant (who isn’t dissimilar to Ludo in some ways, as others have noted). When I first read Morse as a 10-year-old, I did wonder why so many murderers used anagrams (Was that why they got caught? I got frustrated with the lack of anagram opportunities with Welsh names). Over the years I’ve appreciated dramatic licence more, so am willing to let this through. After all, is it really conceivable that one’s nemesis would go to such lengths to frame one through the finer plot points of the Magic Flute? Maybe it’s the age-old ‘serial killer showing how clever they are’ theme (see also Fugue).

    1. Good question, Lisa. I wondered what purpose that served or what it was supposed to mean. I’m guessing it was Ludo’s as he was in disguise as a faith healer but really can not figure out what that had to do with anything.

  22. David Shepard, if you look at the social media accounts of Damian Bancroft (the writer/historian who has interviewed the Endeavour cast and crew) you will see that he lives in Uttoxeter!

  23. Thank you for an excellent review.

    I have only recently discovered “Endeavour” and I’m now hooked and am slowly working my way through the back catalogue of episodes. This latest one, “Zenana”, however, I have to confess, stretched my credulity to the breaking point, even taking into account that it’s a Sunday night TV drama. Being an Oxonian, I enjoy looking for continuity mishaps in the filming of the colleges (walking into Wadham then out of St John’s, for instance) but on the whole these are venial errors and of no consequence, and wouldn’t even be noticed by anyone not familiar with the city and its colleges. In the “Zenana” episode, however, there was an error of a more fundamental sort. Choosing Merton to stand in for the all-women’s college St. Matilda’s was a bad idea from the start. All of the (formerly) women’s colleges at Oxford are 19th- or 20th-century foundations. Before that time – in line with the oppression of women generally – women were not admitted to the university at all. Merton (which, incidentally, was ‘men only’ until 1979) was founded by a triceratops; it’s one of the most ancient colleges, dating from around 1260. Seeing its grand, largely Medieval, architecture posing as St. Matilda’s rendered those scenes, for me, completely unbelievable. Why did they not film at one of the former women’s colleges like Somerville or Lady Margaret Hall, for example, colleges which I’m sure would be glad of the publicity, not to mention a bit of extra cash as well?

    I was at Exeter College, incidentally, in whose front quad Inspector Morse had his heart-attack…

  24. Endeavour and smoking

    There have been a few comments about Endeavour’s smoking – (1) it’s canon i.e. it’s in the books but (2) lack of respect to John Thaw.

    Here’s what Colin Dexter had to say in a Strand Magazine interview:

    Q. So why did you kill off Inspector Morse?
    CD. I didn’t kill him off. He died of natural causes. He died simply because he’d drunk too much…he smoked far too many cigarettes and his lungs were none too good.

  25. Where’s Colin? “Writer recieves top award”

    It’s nearly been a week and apart from the portrait mentioned in Chris’ review nothing else has been forthcoming on Colin’s whereabouts.

    Biographically, I tried to find out what Colin Dexter was doing in 1970 when series 8 was set i.e. was he writing? He didn’t begin putting pen to paper writing crime and mystery until about 1972 and no awards until later.

    However, he was writing in 1970 and I found this detail from a Daily Mail interview with Colin Dexter:

    Q. The event that altered the course of your life and character?
    CD. Getting my 1st book, Liberal Studies, published in 1964 started my writing career.

    So, the episode newspaper, if a reference to Colin, would be accurate in its reference to his writing but not award winning.

    And what about that misspelling? I agree with Chris – it has to be intentional. You’d think someone in the production crew would have picked up the error prior to both filming and the airing of the episode. But these things do happen quite frequently nowadays – I recall Giles Coren getting in touch with Channel 4 news concerning some grammatical howler live on air.

    But why?

    Chris’ speculation that it was intentional reminded me of a somewhat humorous story in the long and complex printing and publishing history of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses. In the Eumaeus episode, the 2 protagonists Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus stop at the cabman’s shelter on the way home for some late night refreshment, during which Bloom reads the newspaper account of Paddy Dignam’s funeral held earlier that day.

    Joyce wrote in several deliberate mistakes e.g. misspellings such as Bloom is incorrectly spelled as Boom, there is an inconsistency in the newspaper type face and Stephen is reported as attending the funeral when he didn’t.

    Joyce was attempting newspaper verisimilitude with these deliberate errors.

    However, sharp eyed French printers were not aware of this and mistakenly corrected Joyce’s text and thus correctly spelled Bloom and removed Stephen’s presence from the funeral and so on.

    All of which Joyce had to correctly reinstate.

    Well, that’s a thought/theory on the spelling mistake.

  26. Not sure if it’s a literary reference or coincidence but 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 Billy Liar.

  27. Sorry to come to this late but –
    Firstly, I’m sure you are being ironic Chris, when you say the opening scene from Oracle (E with blood on his shirt) will feature in Series 8. The whole Venice episode will never be mentioned again, in common with all the other past dramatic incidents.
    Secondly, you mentioned depression in relation to Fred, I wonder if they are going to indicate some sort of PTSD from his WW2 exploits? Is his suicide a possibility?

  28. Episode 3 – Zenana – was the worst rated episode ever out of all 7 series – I didn’t like it but a shame when they are so close to the finish.

    1. And yet a letter in the Radio Times praises the episode for its absorbing plot and emotional conclusion. There’s no displeasing some people.

  29. Thank you Chris for your reviews this series. I enjoy the detail you give us and also your insights. I understand and agree with most of your criticisms. But none of them spoil my enjoyment of the show because despite its less than perfect moments, on the whole I believe it maintains its all-over integrity. What I like about Endeavour is its complexity, and the intertwining of multiple plots that mean repeated viewings are as fascinating as the first. I enjoy the way references are used to give the storylines wider significance. I love the subtlety and the economy of expression. I think it’s great that not everything is explained away – as in real life, some things continue to keep us guessing. If some actors are not brilliant, some are, and the general standard is high. Each episode has its own momentum. I tend to get bored rather easily, but never when I’m watching Endeavour.

    However, one thing disappointed me in this series, and that was hearing Endeavour mispronouncing his Italian. He said ‘Violetta’ with the first syllable pronounced ‘eye’ rather than ‘ee’. Not the way it’s pronounced in Italian, so of course it’s not pronounced that way in in La Traviata. Maybe we could argue that names can be pronounced however we like, but even so a non-Italian pronunciation is grating in this context. And surely Morse should have pronounced the name of the opera correctly? But he didn’t.

    However, any criticisms I have, or those other people have made, have not taken away my admiration for Endeavour. I imagine I’ll feel the same in the next series too, if it goes ahead. Fingers crossed!

  30. Perhaps a pop tune reference? Ludo talks to Morse of finding Violetta, young, poor, barefoot on “the back streets of Naples” and those 5 words made me check the lyrics of Peter Sarstedt’s classic, Where Do You Go to My Lovely, with the line: “I remember the back streets of Naples…” Any other connection to that song? Or, just whistling Dixie? I’ve been out of the Brit for a long time, I didn’t even finish Grammar school in Cardiff before we emigrated, so I’m really not up on many of your overall (UK sourced) references, so I could barking up a tree. Just finished watching all 3 episodes again. Cheers!

    1. It would seem you’re right in regard to the pop episode as a few other people have mentioned it. Thanks for commenting.

  31. Hi Chris, in your review you ask yourself a few questions, here are two of them: Why would the killer whistle the tune in front of Jim Strange and: Why did Endeavour leave his bedroom door in Venice unlocked? One answer could be that people do things by habit and without thinking about what they are doing, like whistle in the kitchen. And a second answer might be: maybe Endeavour did locked the door but Thursday asked someone from the hotel to open the door for him. First I thought I would create a list of all negative things that are said here about the script, cigarettes, the actors and so on about this 7:3 episode. But what good would that do? The season is over for now, and where would one of Endeavour Morse´s life dramas end, if not taken from the opera scene? The opera world he so love.

  32. I saw an ad for Seasn 7 (ITV) on Amercian Amazon. Couldn’t believe my luck.So I ordered Season 7 from ITV DVD. I won’t get it for a while. I’m in the U.S. I have a mult regional DVD player, so I should be able to play them. I saw most of Season 7 oline, but I had difficulty in understading the rapid accents. Half of the plot I could not understand. So these DVDs should have the captions. I should be able to understand what I saw online.

    I’m hoping that Jim will have a bigger story ine in Season 8. It was kind of awkward the way they inserted that sequence for Jim to get injured. It was if they realized that he didn’t do much of anything, then stuck that in there like that. Also glad Joan will be back. Funny, but she bored me when she was there, but when she left…..I missed her. Curious to see how they’ll end her story line.

    1. Rachel, I too ordered the series 7 from ITV and they have captions available. I always use them as I am American too and need to better understand what they are saying. I must say a lot of the English expressions or references are unfamiliar so I find myself using Google a lot!

  33. I watched the Russell Lewis penned episode of LEWIS called Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things last night. It featured Dr Laura Hobson attributing one of the victim’s cause of death as “our old friend, Mr Blunt-Trauma-To-The-Head. It took place at Lady Matilda’s College, which he has now used three times (I think). Russell repeating himself ?

  34. I’m still a bit mystified by this episode. Petra was killed while Sturgis was in custody, so who killed her? Up above you say either Sturgis or Clemens. Who is Clemens? I can’t find any reference anywhere to a Clemens.

    It seemed to me that when Sturgis was in the kitchen and Strange in the corridor, the whistling was coming from up the stairs. Wasn’t that why Strange went up there?

    What have I missed?

    1. Clemens was the copycat killer chased by the female students. The whistling came from the kitchen. Strange heard a noise that’s why he went upstairs.

  35. Maybe Morse sends his letter to Joan rather than directly to Fred Thursday is because he didn’t want Fred following him to Venice.

  36. I know many will disagree with me but I did like this episode. Yes, there were inconsistencies and disconnects but I like the plots, somewhat over the top but entertaining to me, and the acting. Ludo as faith healer was a surprise for me and the final scene playing out along with the opera was a very nice touch. I doubt Mrs. Bright would have made such a remarkable recovery so that was a misstep and I certainly didn’t like the escalation of state of war between Endeavour and Fred. I think he sent the information to Joan because Thursday really didn’t entertain his theory at all and was very testy about it. They seem to have come around at the end, though. I’m not qualified to speak on expertise a director or script writer should technically have, I just go with what I like. All in all, A nice way to wait out self-isolation especially with scenes from Venice.

  37. Is Cyril, who is/will become Thursday’s new bagman, possibly the future Inspector Cyril Dewar (Brian Poyser), who appears briefly in ‘The Secret of Bay 5b’?

  38. My guesses for season 8: Bright will retire and Thursday will take his place. Bright will have a going away party and everyone will be friends again. Strange will take Thursday’s place. There will be a crime, of course, and Thursday will ask Morse to stay for a bit longer. The last scene will be Morse leaving for Kidlington to McNutt. 🙂

    1. I agree Bright will retire. But Thrusday….yes, I think he will be killed off In the originall Morse, no mention of Fred. Wha perfect way to tie that? Strange will take Fred’s place. My heart wants Strange to marry Joan. In the Morse series, Strange mentions his wife (not by name) But I’m hoping that is the case. Otherwise….I have no idea what will happen to her. She’s kind of a 5th wheel. Do something with her. Of course Morse goes to McNutt.

      Above al….I hope series 8 redeems season 7.

      1. You might be right, Rachel but I hope Fred doesn’t go out that way. I thought he would just fade into the background once Morse goes to Kidlington. I do think that Joan will kind of do the same or at some point someone will mention that she is married to someone she met on her transfer – or maybe she will just remain single and dedicated to her social work. Unless you are right and she marries Strange, I don’t think we’ll see her next season. I hope season 8 is better too and I will miss Endeavour.

      2. My understanding is for so far….The actress that plays her will be back for season 8. She wasn’t on season 7, because she had a baby. So if anyting happens to Joan, we will know about it. Hope so!

        I think Shawn just wants to do other things then continue to play Morse. Accoridng to Dexter’s will….only Evans can play him. Which why they pulled the switch on the show.

  39. I agree that Bright probably will retire and Thursday takes his place, that seem to be a logical continuation. What will then happen to Mr. Bright? No job, sad, lonely and heartbroken and what it seem not many friends, unless he put an end to it all by his own hands. All he has left is the garden and his memoirs.
    But I can´t see Joan and Strange in a marriage and nowhere during the seasons do you get the slightest impression that there might be something between them. Every time they meet he seems to have a superior attitude towards her.
    Thursday has talked about retirement before and maybe he will just hold the fort until a new replacement for Bright will arrive. It will be too much Hollywood style and excessive sentimentality if Thursday gets killed just a few hours before his retirement. He made it through the war and all those years as a copper, why can´t he have his last years in peace with Winifred. But with their son Sam in Belfast, that seems to be a source of concern.
    I guess Dr. DeBryn and Miss Frazil will continue as usual. We haven´t seen much of their private life. DeBryn lives by himself in a small house and like Endeavour he´ll never get married, if I remember right. Miss Frazil has been out on a few dates, but we don´t know if they lead to anything.
    Like you Kathleen, I will truly miss Endeavor when his journey is over.

    1. Bo, I agree with you about Joan and Strange. There were rarely together and when they did meet, no sparks flying anywhere. And maybe Bright moves away or perhaps he will make a guest appearance in the next season. I don’t think he is the type to kill himself. I just wish there wasn’t such a long period of time, especially in the states, for the next season. I do get it a bit earlier as I order DVD’s from ITV but still too long a wait!

  40. For some reason I kept thinking of the this episode. The more I thought about it, I realized this is what I liked about it: At the very beginning Endeavour sets the path of the story saying, “This is a love story.” And it is a love story wrapped in a crime. A love story between Violetta and Endeavour and a kind of love story between Endeavour and Thursday, and to extend it a little bit further, a love story between Bright and his wife. The operatic theme is set from the beginning as well and has all the components of an opera- love, melodrama, villainy, tragedy, loyalty, friendship. I think this is shown in a conclusion at the ending when the last scene is played out in conjunction with the opera. When I look at it this way, I think it is quite clever.

    1. That´s an accurate reflexion Kathleen, and one might add if I may, Carl Sturgis love for his sister, in his own special way. And as you say, there are always many levels in a story that might be lost if we concentrate too much on the smaller details, we miss the bigger underlying story.
      Yes, ok, we could wish for better acting here and there, but for me that is not the point. If we think of Endeavor/Violetta not in the way they´re acting, but about the love story they have, and the meaning and impact it has on Endeavour, then we can see the story in a different light. It´s like peeling the famous onion or open the Russian doll just to find a smaller doll inside, there are so many more things hiding in the background.
      Watching the episodes over the years I often think back to the introduction of the episode Home, 1:4. “Every story has its beginning, as often as not, a young man on a journey from innocence to experience.” And for me, that´s what Endeavour is all about.

      1. Bo, I absolutely agree with you. It is his journey from innocence to experience, all culminating in the Inspector Morse we know. It’s hard not to be sour when life throws such things at you, whether of your own making or circumstance.

  41. I just didn’t buy their love story – the poor actress was given a very empty and rather vacuous part and the whole affair rather tawdry than beautiful- the 5 month adulterous affair (and with a friend’s wife and in the bed of a murdered girl and Violetta knew she had been murdered by her husband) tragic yes – a beautiful love story?? Not for me. But everyone sees different things in episodes and finds their own interpretation- and that is clever.

    1. I agree. I thought the actress wasn’t very good to begin with. It’s like they just picked her for her looks. She looked the part. Didn’t act the part. Their love scenes were awkward. I didn’t get any connection between them. Sexual or romantic. I’m supposed get this grand love story that begins with a seedy prostituiton trick? This missed the mark.

      1. I have seen the actress in something else and she was quite good. I felt it was the way the part was written – this dark beauty was supposed to be “mysterious” but it just didn’t come off she had little dialogue and we really only saw her in bed or standing around with this strange smile next to her husband. The adulterous affair (not just one night) with a friend’s wife was (for me) so unlike Morse the only way I would have bought into it from him if it was a great amazing true love but that didn’t come to the screen at all IMO it just seemed cheap. But others loved it – and I love that about the show.

      2. I did think about how the elder Morse would never have gone in for affairs with married women, as most of the episodes pointed to how he felt about that. I think, though, it could be said many people might have done things in their youth that they would not think of doing when they were older. 🙂

  42. Stephanie Leonidas (she’s half Greek) has been in Sci fi films before. Only in a few things. I did not care for her acting in Season 7. I don’t know…… the love affair bettween them seemed so fake….Lived up to the two of them saying that it didn’t seem true, LOL.

    It’s funny, but today I got Season 7 from ITV DVD. It came so fast!! So glad they had captions. I was watching a different show! Not Violetta. She was just as bad, but the plot made more sense, since I could tell what the heck was going on. I just sat down and watched the entire thing. Including an extra bit abut the cast. So after seeing this, the show did improve somewhat. I even forced myself not to fast forward through their love senes. So I can give it a B mimus instead of a C plus. It’ll be broadcast later this year with PBS. After they put it on the chopping block, cutting scene after scene. PBS always cuts British shows, but not quite as badly as they did with Endeavour. I plan to get the Victoria series now, just to see how much PB cut from that show…..

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