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. 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.

309 thoughts

  1. True Kathleen – and perhaps his aversion in later life was from this experience ?? I know both series don”t co-relate but it seems inconsistent that he goes from so moral in the earlier Endeavour (black and white about right and wrong to his detriment career wise) series to so off the rails then back again as he gets older (always foolish about women but in later life but in a naive slightly gullible way)

    Rachel -in the DVD extras did they position the affair as a great true love ? I think that was their intention to explain Morse’s behaviour i just didn’t think it translated to the screen.

    1. Hi Maria, I like your theory that the whole experience of a love affair with a married woman might have changed him in later life. Shaun has said in articles that he has never seen the Inspector Morse series. Perhaps if he had, it might have given us more continuity of character. I haven’t read the books, but Shaun has said he has, so I am wondering if Morse’s character in them is a bit different than the moralistic, even chivalrous, elder Morse. All in all, there can be none better, in my mind and heart, than John Thaw’s Morse.

  2. I do not think “the constant smoking of Endeavour” was included “for no other reason that John Thaw died from Esophageal cancer”. That would indeed have been insensitive. Morse is a smoker in Colin Dexter’s novels. E.g. from Last Bus to Woodstock (end of chapter six): “Morse, not an additive smoker, bought twenty king sized cigarettes and smoked and drank continuously until 2.00 p.m.”

  3. One for the references section – the pub that Morse visits ‘The Wolf’s Head’ has the same sign as The Slaughtered Lamb’ pub in the film ‘An American Werewolf In London’.

    (www.pinterest.com/amp/pin/468796642453762770/)

    I guess it’s an allusion to the implication that Carl Sturgis considers himself a beast, possibly a lycanthrope (there was quite a lot of full moon imagery).

  4. The denouement of Zenana was filmed at Norcott Court, Berkhamsted. It is owned by former MP Peter Rost. His son runs a lawnmower repair business from there; I have mine serviced by him.

  5. That is very good reference deciphered by Tim Edwards, in the last but one of the comments, above. I will admit to not really understanding the motives behind the killings commited by Carl Sturgis, whose real name we find out, was Johnny Tate, the sister of Jenny Tate. All I could fathom, him to be, was a beastly and inhumane psychopath, who decided to kill three people, one of them his girlfriend, Molly Andrews. However, now thanks to your reference Tim, apparently Carl Sturgis, either, thinks he is a werewolf, or at least he behaves like one.

    Unfortunately, this does not make this year’s Endeavour series and episode finale, any better. One of the main plots in this season’s trilogy, the killings by the canal towpath, was thus apparently carried out by some kind of lycanthrope. In addition, how did Carl survive, as a young boy for twenty years, after he killed a fellow child, and then set fire to the pub, to cover his tracks? His sister was the only one thought to have survived, but eventually we find out, Carl did, as well. What happened to him in the intervening twenty years, or so? The bizarre implication is that somehow, whilst on the run from the police, he found somewhere to live, or somebody took him in, he was also able to fend for himself, and finally he managed to change his identity, from Johnny Tate to Carl Sturgis. I have to sadly, draw the conclusion, that this story’s plot holes, are more like potholes!

    To briefly sum up, could we not have a more sensible and down to earth case, with clearer motives, please? Could we also go back, to the tried and tested policy of Endeavour having stand alone episodes, not the serialisation of events, which just drags out an investigation, and seems to makes the murders more ridiculous and implausible. Notwithstanding, the small fact, that there are far too many murders and dead bodies piling up, in recent series of Endeavour, and, as a result, any semblance of realism, is being lost.

    That is all for now. Thank you, and all the best.

    1. James – interestingly Evans in a recent Masterpiece interview he is asked whether they would do the “over arching” storyline again and he says no they tried and it was good (not sure I agree with that but as it is his series and he is paid as actor, director and producer he is going to say that) but they have tried it now and there is something gratifying about having self-contained episodes. My experience is when actors/producers say that sort of thing in a promotional interview (where they are going to be positive no matter what) reading between the lines they realise even themselves it wasn’t as good as it could or should be. If you tried it once and it was amazing why wouldn’t you keep doing it for the next series?

      What I find intriguing (or disconcerting) is that Violetta seemed to be his creation not Russ’s – brings me back to the fact that once actors have too much influence over their characters the series deteriorates (certainly i have seen that in so many great series) and IMO you can see that from S5 onwards. This interview, coupled with Damian Bancroft’s recent interview with Russell Lewis, suggests that Evans is as much creator of Endeavour as Lewis which for me doesn’t bode at all well for S8.

  6. I forgot to add, that Carl adopted the surname Sturgis, after the family name of his maternal grandparents. According to the storyline, it appears Carl, real name Johnny Tate, inherited traits from his maternal grandfather, who was a notorious bargeman. Anyway that is all for now. Thank you and goodbye.

    1. Small correction: The family name was Linden, not Tate. Presumably Phyllis was renamed by her adoptive parents, or she renamed herself. Johnny took his maternal grandfather’s surname, and ‘Carl’ because it’s easy to spell.

      1. I, too, remember hearing Jenny “Tate”. From Morse, I think. Jenny is niece of Bess, presumably bargee Sturgis’ granddaughter. Could Tate be Bess’ married name? Don’t recall that Joe and Bess last name ever identified. From Wolf Head pub scene with present tenent and Morse.

  7. Tim, I think you are right about Carl imagining himself to be a werewolf. That would explain his sister’s visions of him as a roaring beast And the drinking of blood with one of the victims. i couldnt make a connection with those things. A monster at any rate.

  8. I should have said that is only my opinion, regarding the most recent series of Endeavour, being rather poor and disappointing. However, thanks to Tim’s reference, I understand the storyline a bit better, particularly in relation to the serial killer, Carl Sturgis. That is all from me for now. Thank you, and goodbye.

    1. James – true is your opinion but it does seem quite a few others as well (including mine) and I note even the DVD site (where I pre-ordered my copy) the star ratings well down on previous series and some pretty scathing reviews (must point out some excellent ones too).

      Love that reference Tim – actually helps quite a bit. I found that whole Towpath murders difficult to follow and the eventual killer and his motive and actions quite laughable. I think that is why I found this series so disappointing – the murder storyline was woeful, the Talenti’s and the adulterous affair etc. awful, and the fighting and animosity between Thursday/Morse with no real reason – except to somehow show why Thursday is never mentioned later in the series – which in the end it didn’t…….so what was the point ?

      Everything crossed for series 8 but TBH not holding out much hope….. the tendency of Russell Lewis not to reference anything in a previous series (series 3 to 4 the exception) would give most Soap Opera writers a run for their money.

  9. I will be sending off two sets of comments, one after the other, just to break things up, slightly.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my comments, and for contributing to the discussion, Maria. I agree with much, of what you have just said, and it would seem, so do many others, according to your remarks. It thus appears, as if the most recent series of Endeavour, has been deemed, by a number of people, as below the usual high quality, set by Morse, Lewis and the early series of Endeavour. Sadly, I most certainly concur, with that view, as portrayed by my previous comments.

    As you say Maria, the towpath killings, and the eventual discovery of who was behind these murders, was quite laughable, and rather ludicrous. To make matters worse, regarding this serial killer storyline, an additional killing on the canal towpath took place, apparently carried out by a copycat killer. Personally, I thought this copycat idea was shoehorned in, just to cause more tension and hostility, in the already deteriorating relationship between Thursday and Morse. Carl Sturgis at the time of this murder, had already been arrested by Thursday, so this made it look like, Thursday had got it wrong, and Morse was right in thinking, it wasn’t Sturgis. This caused that distasteful scene, with Morse and Thursday arguing vehemently at the crime scene, which led to Dr. Max DeBryn, reprimanding the pair of them, for their unprofessional behaviour.

    Strangely enough, I considered that some of the best John Thaw, Morse episodes, were when Morse himself, had noticeable differences of opinion, over police procedure or the investigation itself, with his loyal colleague, Lewis. However, they were fairly few and far between, only appearing in very serious circumstances, while in this year’s Endeavour, the frequent arguing and bickering between Morse and Thursday, did not come across as true, to their usual characters. There was no big reason, why all of a sudden, they were at each other’s throats. The pressure or stress of the case is a possible reason, but quite frankly it seemed to me, to be just, a poor excuse by Russell Lewis, to explain why Thursday isn’t mentioned by John Thaw’s Morse, and it didn’t wash well, with me.

    We finally discover that this final murder by the canal, was committed by David Clemens. He had been mentioned by Strange, but not seen, in the first episode of this year’s trilogy, and he was the man, that had discovered the first murdered body on the towpath. Strange had also said, that Clemens worked nearby to the canal, at the local Morris plant, and that he was a keep fit fanatic. Anyway, the bizarre explanation given by Morse, as to why Clemens became the copycat killer, was that by finding the body, it sparked something latent, in Clemens himself. It has to be said, that this, is an ambiguous and rather unconvincing reason for murder.

  10. As for the Ludo and Violetta plot, I agree with you Maria, this was almost just as bad, as the canal towpath murders. As I describe this curious story, it makes me realise, it is quite difficult to believe in, and it is quite far-fetched.

    While taking leave, Morse is on an expensive holiday in Venice, where he first meets Violetta, when attending an operatic performance. However, quicker than you can probably say “Violetta”, she and Morse are already kissing, cuddling, and sharing a hotel room and bed, with each other. Anyhow, a few months later, back in Oxford, Morse is pickpocketed during an open air concert, and after unsuccessfully giving chase, to catch the thief, Ludo conveniently bumps into Morse, and immediately befriends him. I have to admit, I’m not always the quickest out of the starting blocks, when it comes to spotting the villain, murderer or accomplice, so early into a story, but even I thought straight away, I bet Ludo has a connection with Violetta. In addition, the pickpocket situation, also seemed rather too contrived. Lo and behold, we soon find out, at the end of this season’s first episode, Ludo is married to the woman, Morse had started a relationship with, in Venice.

    Anhow, for the majority of series seven, we have to endure Morse inveilged in a peculiar three-way relationship. You have to suspend disbelief, as Morse eventually succumbs to pressure by Violetta, and continues his affair with her, in Oxford. While at the same time, he uncharacteristically accepts many visits by her husband, Ludo, into his house. This was particularly odd, as we know Morse is such a private person, and thus, to welcome a complete stranger, with open arms, into his life and home, did not make much sense at all.

    Ultimately, Morse at last realises his mistakes, and the penny finally dropped in the second half of the series finale, “Zenana”. Ludo and Violetta were responsible for a large number of ridiculous sounding deaths, purposely made to look like “mystifying accidents”, that occurred across the country, in locations far beyond Oxfordshire. These murders had all been committed, in order to enhance their life insurance swindle.

    What further compounded the problems in this storyline, was Thursday’s complete lack of interest in the ludicrous accidents and their resulting deaths. After all, he had once been the supportive figure for Morse, who had spotted and encouraged Morse’s inherent detective talent, at solving complex clues, and unearthing suspicious deaths. However, this year, Thursday was unrecognisable from his recent past, as the fatherly mentor for Morse. In fact, I thought Thursday sounded like the corrupt DS Lott from the pilot episode, in the manner in which he dismissed Morse’s ideas as daft, beyond the pale, and as if he thought Morse was out to cause trouble. As a result, Fred’s behaviour this year, and the general sniping, mistrust and even lack of respect between Morse and Thursday, did not feel true, or at all symptomatic of what had come before, and what we had seen, in many previous, high quality seasons of Endeavour.

    Sorry for writing for so long, but I was obviously very disappointed by Endeavour, this year. I suppose you could say, it is a victim of its own success, and all the great Morse and Lewis series, that came before. Undoubtedly, it must be very difficult, to maintain that kind of standard. Let us hope, as you mentioned Maria, that the final series of Endeavour, will be a lot better, and the series can go out on a high. Anyway, that’s all for now. Thank you, and all the best.

  11. “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.” – Why not delete the first sentence, now that David has told you where it is? The initial letters of the places where the murders take place spell LUDO — I need that spelled out for me, please: Leicester,Uttoxeter, Dover, Oxford.
    I have two locations for you in Venice: (1) Morse walks to the Opera House (La Fenice, before the fire of 1996) he crosses Ponte Widmann at about 1:40:44 (including adverts) and a few seconds later he walks along Sotoportego Widmann (2) the brief shot at about 1:47:04, followed by Morse in his hotel room – Fondamenta Van Axel o de le Erbe. The brief scene at 1:47:56, where Morse sits with the revolver he has just loaded, looks as though it could be in the San Michele cemetery, but it happens before he arrives at the island. Can anyone explain the reason for this scene and where it could be? Fred finds the map in Morse’s room (Yes, I too wondered how he knew where Morse was staying. Can two policemen get a week’s leave from the same police station at the drop of a hat?). Wouldn’t Morse have taken the map with him? Unless he has a photographic memory he would surely need the map to find the meeting place. Could policemen take guns and ammunition through customs back in the late 60s? Without the internet, how did Fred manage to book travel to Venice in time to be there within a day of Morse’s arrival? I like the line “this story’s plot holes are more like potholes!” (I had to delete the superfluous comma.)

    1. We all know how much everyone hated the seventh season of Endeavour. After this latest comment we now also have to figure out how the working hours were for the English police force in those days. How much money did they make, could they afford a ticket to Italy, could they take some days off with short notice? And how could anyone buy a ticket without internet?
      By the way, if I understood it right, wasn’t it at Christmas time with New Year coming up? Even Thursday stayed at home. He went to pay Mr Bright a visit earlier in the day. So it’s not two policemen off work Bert, it is actually three. And who talked about one week off?
      I don’t know about you, Bert, but I’m 62 years old without any photographic memory but I can still go from one place to another without getting lost, even in a place I’m not familiar with. Could you expect the same from a young policeman? Apparently not.
      Well, I’m done now. I wish you all a good life and stay safe. Bye.

      1. Hi Bo, I think I have said before how I am within a very definite minority when I say I did not hate this series. I do not hate any of the series. Are there ones I like better, yes. But I take them all at face value. I like the characters, the excellent acting, the scenery, the music and, to me, the intriguing storylines, despite some “plotholes.” I tend to concentrate on the things I love about an episode, rather than the weak parts. I don’t find it at all implausible that 3 of the top officers would be on vacation during the Christmas holidays. Nor do I find it implausible that Endeavour could afford a train ticket or a nice hotel room in Venice. As we know he is on the frugal side and could have saved up for a couple of years for that special holiday. And the prices in Venice at that time, even relatively speaking, are not like today. The first time I went to Italy 65,000 lire was about $5! (exaggeration, maybe :)) So costs with the lire were not like costs with the euro.And it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Thursday could get a last minute ticket without internet – I have with a phone call or appearance at the ticket window. Even Thursday made enough salary to have some “put by” as he told his brother. Further I do think Endeavour has a photographic memory, or an eidetic one at least and would not need to take a map, even within the winding streets of Venice.I just love that Thursday did go to help Endeavour ( I don’t think it would have very difficult for him to find out where Endeavour was staying-maybe Strange knew or Bright- after all he is a Detective Chief Inspector!) and that it seems their wonderful relationship is repaired – at least I hope so for next series. I think we can sometime overthink things instead of just sitting back and enjoying what we are seeing and hearing.

      2. Hi Kathleen. The problem with ignoring plotholes, ‘weak parts’ implausibilities and to change the characters and their actions from the previous series allows TV makers to produce shows of a lower standard knowing that people are more willing to forgive the afore mentioned problems. Kathleen, you make huge leaps of faith and suspensions of disbelief. If Endeavour did save any money for a ‘couple of years’ there is no proof of that. Also, he just bought a large house which he is decorating and will have to furnish. Previously he lived in furnished flats so one can assume he has to buy a LOT of furniture to fill a big house. But that apart it is possible he was able to afford it being a single man. Btw one dollar got you 625 lire in 1970. Thursday did have money put aside but he gave all that to Charlie who then proceeded to lose it all. The loss of the Thursday savings (retirement money) was one of the main storylines in the sixth series. There is no evidence to make the assumption Endeavour had an eidetic or photographic memory. Actually a photographic memory has never been scientifically proven. Thursday, Strange or Bright never mentioned knowing where Endeavour was staying. If they had known then this would have been mentioned to allow the viewer to know why Thursday was able to find the hotel so easily. But, it wasn’t. I don’t see why Bright being Detective Chief Inspector gives him a greater knowledge of Endeavours plans. It would have made more sense if we had seen Thursday rushing around Venice visiting various hotels until he found the right one. Even with a scene like that how did Thursday enter Endeavour’s room without a key? There are times when one can sit back and enjoy a film or TV series if it is some dumb comedy or some overblown adventure film but Endeavour like Morse and the Lewis series are not dumb shows. They are perceived as intelligent shows with an intelligent protagonist. In the next series everything will be as if series seven never happened. In the same way that series seven was written in such a way as if series six never happened. Kathleen i’m not intending to harangue you but one cannot be overly forgiving when episodes and series have huge plotlines, under written characters (WPC Shirley Trewlove and Dorathea Frazil), storylines never properly explained (Monica Hicks’ relationship with Endeavour), huge changes in a character’s behaviour from a previous series as mentioned before, a great lack of Oxford locations (Oxford is a character in the Morse Universe) and much, much more. It is no bad thing to suspend one’s disbelief but not when it stretches to breaking point. The reason why television has become filled with such dire and execrable shows is because people allowed this to happen. Once viewers lowered their standards, TV producers pounced on this and filled our TV with reality TV shows and other substandard series. As you Americans say, that’s my two cents worth. 😉

      3. Your points are well taken, Chris. And no worries about haranguing me- I can take it! 😀 I appreciate your response. I guess since I am not in a position to officially critique anything, I guess I don’t focus on those things, whereas you, with all you do and all your contacts in the TV world, would have influence over the quality of what is presented. So it’s a good thing you do and I am glad you call them on inferior work. (And thanks for the lire info, I knew that was a bit over the top!)

      4. One more thought on this, Chris. My proposing the possibility that Morse had a photographic or eidetic memory came from the way both young and older Morse could quote verbatim excepts from classic literature, poems, music, philosophy, and as shown in some episodes, science and chemistry – a plethora of facts and knowledge he learned in university and absorbed through the years. It seems to me that would be difficult for anyone without such an extraordinary ability to recall almost everything he learned or read.

      5. Hi Kathleen. There is no scientific proof that the photograph memory exists. As for eidectic memory, that is very rare and usually only seen in children. Sorry Kathleen but I don’t think there is enough proof to write he was able to recall ‘almost everything’ because he was able to quote and recall a few lines of poetry etc. If one is a voracious reader then you can learn and recall a lot of information. Learning and quoting poetry is actually not that difficult to do. I can do much of what you attributed to Morse but I am no genius and certainly don’t have any form of photographic memory. I can identify almost all the species of UK butterflies to species level, (that’s almost 60). I write almost because a few species are near identical and need close examination to correctly identify them. I can name hundreds of species of insect to species level and more to generic level. Some people are able to recall or regurgitate information better than others. As you wrote, we learn through our time at university and absorb more information as we get older. Also, if you enjoy a subject one can remember and recall information so much easier. Morse loves music, poetry and prose and I’ll wager he rereads his favourite poets and prose writers many times. I’ll wager that there is information you can recall Kathleen that Morse couldn’t.

      6. Chris, Whether you choose to assign a name to it or not, (and I think the jury is still out on that) it would still take an extraordinary memory ability which I think the writers of Morse wanted him to have. So I don’t think he would have trouble seeing a map and knowing where to go. I am an avid reader and can remember the exact page, paragraph and words that I read and where I read them long after I finished, particularly helpful in my studies of Ancient Roman history. I can recall a lot of things from my books and on my own that I heard and learned from years ago, although as I get older, it gets much harder! Whatever the verdict I love the references to literature and history that Morse makes.

      7. Hi, Bo. Nobody talked about one week off, but given that Morse and Thursday went to Venice by train, I thought they couldn’t get there and back and solve a series of murders in between in less than a week. I suppose that Bright was on compassionate leave. All the more reason to refuse leave to Morse and Thursday. I would have thought that the Venice police would want to talk to Morse and Thursday for a very long time about the bodies of Violetta and Ludo. I’m 10 years older than you and I can usually find my way around most places without a map, but Venice is different from most places. San Michele is not as difficult to walk around as Venice, but I think it would still be confusing for somebody who hasn’t been there before. Any ideas about the dates on the Talenti gravestone? (Nothing like a Venetian gravestone.) San Michele was used for burials only after Napoleon decreed that no more bodies would be buried in Venice itself (1804), so dates before that are an egregious error. Since some scenes were definitely shot in Venice, why didn’t they shoot on San Michele? Perhaps the authorities would not grant permission?

    2. Thanks Bert for complimenting me on the little line/quotation, that I created, and included in my own comments. You are correct about the comma, sometimes I perhaps add a few too many. I read out what I have written, and I feel I need a few pauses for thought, but not that many! Your own comments Bert, as well as those of Kathleen, Bo, Maria, Adrian and others, are all interesting to read, thanks for creating such a good discussion.

  12. Kathleen, I agree with everything you said. What I wrote was just an ironic comment to Bert’s earlier statement, I guess I’m just tired to read all those negative views. Like you I concentrate on the things I enjoy in an episode and I sympathize with the characters. Finally, let me say I’ve always enjoyed reading your comments. (And lucky you who’ve been to Italy).

    1. I entirely agree with Chris’ comments that one shouldn’t forgive such lazy writing as was evidenced in series 7. What baffles me is that script editors are presumably assigned to work with writers, and you would think should be picking up on plot holes and inconsistencies. Perhaps their role has been abolished, or some writers are presumed to be beyond criticism. Whatever the case, I sometime despair when supposedly intelligent shows like Endeavour treat the viewer like an uncritical sponge.

    2. Thanks Bo. I know you were being satirical. What I like about this forum is there is no “cancel culture” when someone disagrees with someone else 😉. It would be a boring thing if everyone agreed with everyone else. Yes, I’ve been to Italy quite a few times, it’s my favorite place and I still have some distant family there!

  13. Chris, about this Thursday open the hotel door. I think I wrote in an earlier comment that he might have asked one of the hotel staff to open the door for him. All he had to do was to ask in which room the Englishman was living. How did he know which hotel? Well Endeavour have been there before, maybe he told Thursday about the trip and where he stayed. Everything doesn’t have to be shown on screen, something can be left for your fantasi to figure out.

    1. He may have asked a member of the hotel staff Bo but then that should have been shown to make the scene work. The cut to him entering the room left three questions: how did he know the hotel, how did he know which room and how did he enter the room without a key. No scene should leave you asking that many questions. To resolve those questions it neede a scene of Thursday rushing into the hotel and saying that this is the tenth hotel he has visited and was searching for a colleague, (while flashing his police badge), an Endeavour Morse. The hotel employee replies that he knows of him and will show him to the room. Cut to entering a hotel lobby and knocking on Endeavour’s room door. Thursday tells the hotel employee it’s urgent he gets inside and so the hotel employee opens the door. Those two scenes would barely need more than a minute. No scene should have one asking so many questions. Also, I don’t believe there was any indication that it was the same hotel. I agree that not everything should be obvious or explained but the scenes have to be coherent and have a degree of cohesiveness and not create so many questions that are never answered.

      1. Chris, you make several good points here. But to think of finding a hotel in Venice when you don’t know which one you are looking for is asking the impossible. There are a few hundred hotels in Venice now, and though there may have been fewer in 1969, there would still have been a lot. And walking all over Venice to find them would be almost impossible. Addresses in Venice aren’t like anywhere else. No, Thursday had to know which hotel Morse was staying in. Then he could have asked to be let into the room. However, even if the receptionist believed that Thursday was a British policeman, I don’t think that he would have been allowed to enter the room unaccompanied. Any thoughts on the scene with Morse and his revolver? We’ve assumed in a previous episode that Thursday had a revolver from his war service, but how did Morse acquire a firearm?

      2. I know there are many hotels in Venice but I was attempting to create a scene that would help give the ‘Thursday in Endeavour’s room scene’, some context and cohesiveness.

      3. Some things in TV dramas really annoy me. Like when somebody asks another person anything about themselves and they reply, “Who? Me?” and there’s nobody else in the room. In this episode, Nancy Deveen asks who Morse and Byrne are talking about. Byrne says, “Petra.” Deveen asks, “Petra Cornwell?” How many Petras does she think they both knew? A bit later on Morse “interrogates” Dr Dai Ferman. Morse asks, “And where were you last night, for the record?” Ferman tells him he wasn’t “down the towpath giving Petra Cornwell what for”. Does that amount to an alibi? The impression given is that Morse is satisfied with Ferman’s answer.

  14. Hello Bert, one last thing with this episode. You could have a point when you say it would take them more than a few days to go there including the time on the train, but I guess they would have at least some days off due to the Christmas holiday.
    If you see the map Endeavour had in the hotel room over the graveyard it didn’t look that complicated to follow. You take a taxi from the hotel and at the entrance of graveyards there is usually a map over the area so you can find your way around.
    Keep your good health Bert, and we’re looking forward to season 8, whenever it may be.

    1. I almost said something here when you used the word ‘taxi’, but I assumed that you knew that Venice only has water taxis, and, as we saw Morse on a water taxi going from his hotel top San Michele, it seemed that you were merely abbreviating.

  15. Chris, thank you for answering. Just one final thing with this hotel room. If you compare the room in episode 1 with the room in episode 3 they very much look alike with the same lamp and same art on the walls. If not the same room, since a hotel can have similar art in many rooms, at least I would say Endeavour came back to the same hotel, usually one does. And I would be surprised if two different hotels in town had the same interior design.

    1. You’re correct Bo, it is the same hotel. It would also make sense for the film crew to shoot the scenes in the same room and hotel.

  16. One last thing with this episode? Surely not, Bo! ☺I don’t think that the police get time off for Christmas in the same way that local government workers or civil servants do. They could have tried to book time off at Christmas, but as many others would do the same, some would have to be told that they couldn’t have the days off that they wanted. Annual leave usually has to be booked months in advance. And then, if something big happens, they announce on the news that “All leave has been cancelled”. But this trip to Venice was very much a last minute thing for Thursday, if not for Morse. Morse could have told Thursday the name of the hotel he stayed in on his previous visit, but how likely is it that Thursday would remember the name months later? OK, not impossible.
    So Clemens was the towpath murderer. Who did Sturgis kill?

    1. Hi Bert. To quickly answer the question you just posed, Carl Sturgis was the serial killer who murdered the first three victims on the canal towpath. The third murder commited by Sturgis, was that of Bridget, Win Thursday’s friend, and Sturgis was arrested by Thursday and Strange after that murder, at the start of this episode, “Zenana”. As Tim Edwards pointed out with an astute reference in the comments above, Sturgis either thought he was a werewolf, or at the very least he behaves like one. He is thus some kind of lycanthrope. For this to be the storyline in an intellectual detective mystery show is quite ridiculous in my opinion.

      The fourth murder occurs on the towpath, while Sturgis had already been detained by Thursday, which caused that distasteful argument and scene between Morse and Thursday, that led to Max reprimanding the pair of them. It turned out that this fourth murder was carried out by the copycat killer David Clemens. As we know, the lady academics and students of Lady Matilda’s college, lured this killer into a trap, which accidentally led him running into a vehicle. My thoughts on the copycat killer, I have already detailed in my previous comments. In my view, it was rather “shoehorned” in, to ludricously create more tension between Thursday and Morse. Furthermore, the only explanation Morse gave as to why Clemens became the copycat killer, was that by discovering the first murdered body on the towpath, it sparked something latent, in Clemens himself. This is an ambiguous and unconvincing reason for murder.

      1. Hi James, I tend to agree with you about the werewolf aspect of Sturgis; however there are such lunatics out there-take Jeffrey Dahmer, for example, who actually ate his victims 😲
        But I agree that I would like to see more intellectual murders (on a par with the Morse stories) for next season!

      2. Thanks for kindly replying to my comments, Kathleen. Undoubtedly, there are lunatics out there, as you described with an example. You should be careful, suggesting these ideas, Russell Lewis might borrow them, and we’ll have another ludricrous storyline next time around! I’m only joking, and in all seriousness, Chris has argued himself in his Lewis book, that you could say “all those who commit murder are suffering some sort of mental aberration”. However, clearly there are degrees to which this happens, and this year’s serial killer storyline was not to my taste at all. Notwithstanding, numerous and problematic plot holes, which have been talked about by many on this page. I hope the next and sadly final series of Endeavour, returns to the show’s roots, or as you put it Kathleen, returns to more intellectual reasons behind suspicious deaths, on a par with the original Morse series. That is all from me for now. Thank you and all the best.

      3. Thanks, James. You have explained that very well. I have not watched the earlier episode where Bridget is killed. I realise that I was mistaken in thinking that Clemens was the original towpath murderer. If Clemens HAD murdered Molly, it would have supported Morse’s theory that the person who finds the body is often the killer.

    2. Regarding Morse’s time off: Thursday tells Morse he has leave built up and that they want Morse to take it before leaving for Kidlington. And then when Morse and Bright quarrel, Bright tells him to leave his station and not come back. So I think that’s why he had time off.

      1. Agreed. I commented to the same effect (outstanding leave) on July 25. When Bright tells him to leave and not come back, I don’t think that would happen. If Morse is employed at Castle Gate, that’s where he’d have to go back to until he was posted to Kidlington.

  17. I mistakenly left out the second “t”, in the word committed, sorry about that. It should have said, “The third murder “committed” by Sturgis”. That is all for now, and I hope my explanation helps you Bert, in what was sadly a poor seventh series. We all hope for a lot better, when it comes to the final series of Endeavour.

  18. Perhaps the answer to the leave question, as far as Morse is concerned, is when Thursday tells him he has leave outstanding and that “upstairs” would like him to take it before he goes (0:51:39).

  19. “The heart decides,” Morse says in the restaurant at 1:00:16. A quote from Paulo Coelho, “The heart decides, and what it decides is all that really matters.”

  20. So a chap named ‘Ludo’ thinks of making lots of money through a life insurance scam. “I know what,” he thinks, “I’ll put adverts in papers in Leicester, then Uttoxeter, Dover and Oxford, to spell out my name. What larks!” It’s a good job he didn’t get as far as using his full name.

  21. ‘Hi Bert. Morse said in the episode, The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn, “Morse’s law is that whoever finds the body is the murderer.”’ Thanks, Chris. I knew I’d heard it somewhere. I wish I had a phonographic memory☺! Also I now know that I got it wrong about Clemens being Molly’s boyfriend. The boyfriend was Carl Sturgis.

  22. At 1:39:39 Morse is walking along a jetty towards Campiello del Remer, with the Fabbriche Nuove behind him on the opposite side of the Grand Canal. It is a similar view to the one from the bedroom in episode 1 at 0:29:32.

  23. Who murdered flasher Tony Jakobssen? Strange says that they think the towpath killer (who turned out to be Sturgis for the murders of Molly and Bridget, at least) murdered Jakobssen because he was ‘queering his pitch’. But Jacobsen was murdered by having his throat cut with something that looked like a sword to me. That is, in a completely different way from the other towpath murders. Nobody seems to have made any real effort to find Jakobssen’s killer; they just jumped to the conclusion that it was the same man who had killed Molly and Bridget. When Thursday and Morse knew that Blish had killed Benford, they thought it must have been because she supposedly knew who had killed Molly. This turned out not to be the case, but why else would Blish have killed her if not to cover up his murder of Molly? When Bridget was killed, with Blish in custody, Blish could not be the towpath killer. The same thing happened when Petra was killed with Sturgis in custody.
    Did you notice the terrible ‘spectacle acting’ of Angus Wright (Professor Blish). Blish is evidently short-sighted (as I am), as he wears his spectacles most of the time, but he takes them off repeatedly for no apparent reason. I only take mine off to read something close-up. I suppose it gave him something to do with his hands.

  24. There was another example of a stupid question when Mrs Blish told her husband that “Someone has died – Dr Benford.” Blish responds, “Naomi?” How many other Dr Benfords are there in Oxford? Of course, as he was the murderer (although it could have been manslaughter), it gave him time to compose himself.

  25. Fresh fom a viewing in the US. I agree with your review, Chris. If anything, I would be harsher in my assessment of plot and characterization.

    Two observations:

    1) In the US, we did not hear Mama Cass, alas. We heard instead the song used to open “Canticle” in the US, with lyrics “Make believe you love me, darling / Make believe you care.”

    2) In case this hasn’t already been pointed out: in this episode, the Warden and dons of Lady Matilda’s are thwarting a first attempt to go coeducational. In the Lewis episode “Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things,” the vote has just been taken at Lady Matilda’s to go coed. Ah, well. It was a valiant attempt.

  26. where in the final episode is it made clear that Sturgis –rather than the owner of the house Strange found Sturgis living in– killed three people? The house and its contents seemed altogether creepy. Sturgis hadn’t had enough time to turn that much house into what it was when Strange arrived on the scene. I’ve watched the episode several times. No one actually says Sturgis did anything but find a decidedly uncozy “bolt hole” to move into to.

    Re: your comment wondering “how” Thursday knew where to find Morse’s hotel in Venice. Perhaps Morse picked up a picture postcard in the gift shop while on vacation in episode one. Morse sent new year’s greetings to the Thursday family from Venice. We only saw the message side of the post card.

    1. I cannot help with your first question. There is a hidden question in your second paragraph, I think. Namely, how did Thursday know the name of the hotel? — or it could have been an apartment, even harder to track down. It is highly unlikely, imo, that the hotel would have its own postcards. Perhaps the Danieli or the Cipriani, but not ‘normal’ hotels. Then how did he know where to find it? Even knowing the name and the address of a hotel in Venice, it is very difficult for anybody new to Venice to find any address. Fred can speak German (‘Rocket’), but I don’t suppose he can speak Italian. Asking for directions in Venice classically gets the answer “Sempre d’ritto” (Straight on).

      1. Bert, I think Morse could speak Italian, at least enough to get by, as evidenced in Sway and Passenger. He was stationed in Italy during the war also.

      2. Bert:
        Does it really matter? I wasn’t bothered that the cavalry arrived in the nick of time without knowing exactly how, or when, or even why Thursday found the hotel and gained entry to Morse’s room.

        Like some sex scenes, it’s satisfying that certain things are left to the viewer’s imagination.
        I cared that Fred helped Endeavor. Fred’s support was the point, not the logistics his arrival.

        Russell painted Series 7 in huge brush strokes. The plot leaks like a sieve. The ‘evidence’ against Sturgis, if one could even call it that, is conjecture. Had Sturgis been brought to trial, good luck proving he killed three people. Sturgis stabbed Strange, tried to overpower Morse, and kept a woman captive. What else can be “proved” in a court of law?

      3. I agree hespra that the point was Fred’s support and concern for Endeavour. His coming to the rescue didn’t bother me at all, in fact I loved it. The bond is there between them. I am in that very small minority that enjoyed the episode for itself without examining it too deeply but I can see your point about Sturgis and the evidence. Couples therapy…now that would be a whole new storyline! 🙂

      4. “Like some sex scenes, it’s satisfying that certain things are left to the viewer’s imagination.” — not when there are gaps that no viewer’s imagination can fill. At least, not without resorting to magic. I find it very UNsatisfying when a story has holes in it.

  27. Russell–as well as Sean– expressly said the series is ‘very near the end.’ To me, series 7 was the end. It’s time. I am surprised to learn there is to be a series 8.

    Both gentlemen have indicated they sought some way to explain why Fred Thursday did not exist in thought, word or deed during John Thaw’s tenure as Morse. At this point the animosity between Morse and Thursday seems to flow from a cumulative disregard for their respective abilities and stature—personally as well as professionally.

    In his letter to Joan, I am not convinced Morse was honest or sincere about his current feelings for Fred. One does not say his/her superior is without intellect –to his face, in front of their peers–and then successfully retract that admission in a letter to the superior’s daughter. “Yours always” was for Joan.

    IMO Fred Thursday is a bit of a dolt and Endeavor Morse a horse’s butt. It’s not their fault. They were written that way. The McNutt era rapidly approaches.

    1. Endeavour can be quick to fly off the handle With his superiors and then regret it as seen with the Freda yelland case for one example. All through the storylines I believe Morse knew what Thursday meant to him, and he knows himself but had a genuine respect and affection (as much as he could) for him and that Thursday has been a “true and better” friend than he deserved. Tempers flare and we all have stressful days and then come back to an even keel. How does that song go- “You always hurt the one you love.” 🙂

      1. I hear you. But…. the animosity has been growing louder and louder for a year (story time-line). Morse and Thursday have shot pointedly disparaging remarks at each other. I don’t think forgive and forget is realistic—-short of concentrated couple’s therapy…🙄

  28. Dear Kathleen, I can’t do anything but admire your determination to argue with some people about that hotel room. It seems to me that some of us are still locked in that room and cannot get out. In the same way they cannot understand how Thursday got in… Keep going, Kathleen, you have my fullest support!

    1. Ha ha Bo! You are very kind to say so. Yes, we do seem to be locked in that room but not a bad way to spend time! I don’t understand why some would think it would be so hard for someone, especially a man like Thursday, to track down a hotel and get into the room. And read a map! And when Frazil says to Thursday, ” I hope he’s gone somewhere nice” Thursday seemed to know exactly where Morse went. Cut to Venice. Surely to put in for vacation leave, Morse would have to have gotten leave permission from someone, perhaps Bright, and maybe he mentioned where he was going during conversations around the “water cooler”😁. At the risk of being sent to the pillory, I will still say I liked it all!

      1. Maybe not the right time or place, but… “Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it.” Robert F. Kennedy. Take care.

      2. I didn’t know about ‘Sway’ and ‘Passenger’. [You obviously meant ‘Thursday’ when you wrote ‘Morse’.] You’d have to be very fluent in Italian to ask for directions in Venice and to understand the reply. Nevertheless, have you ever been to Venice, Kathleen? There is no map that shows every street and unless the hotel was near the station it would be almost impossible to find a place that somebody at the station might have marked on a map with an X. In fact, I believe that Morse’s apartment would have been accessed from Campiello del Remer, over Taverna al Remer. It is very difficult to find (I know it well).
        We could imagine that policemen have to leave their location when on leave so that they can be contacted in case of emergency, though it is difficult to think that HQ would ask somebody to come back from Venice. Although I know that there is no hotel there, we can assume that Russell Lewis didn’t know this, so we can believe that a receptionist let Thursday into the room. Or that Morse carelessly left the door of his apartment unlocked.
        I wonder if Russell Lewis reads this blog.

      3. Hi Bert, Sorry if I inadvertently wrote Morse instead of Thursday. Yes, I’ve been to Venice several times and the streets are a maze there but I was always able to ask directions, (although you might know that most Italians now speak English (and German as well I found out) at first with my Italian translation book but then with just English and hand movements (:)) Some hotels there are very well know, especially on the canals and from the interior of Morse’s hotel I would imagine is was a fine one and well known. But that’s just a supposition on my part. Like the elder Morse, I like to imagine things :). I’m glad we can have these discussions on this wonderful website.

  29. Bert, I wrote this before and I write it again. What if: you take a taxi from the train station to the hotel? What if: you take a taxi from the hotel to the graveyard? Why walk around on your own. Also, there is a big chance to find a taxi driver who speaks English since they get in contact with tourists and foreigners.

    1. You really must visit Venice, Bo! There are no wheeled vehicles in Venice, so no taxis except water taxis, which cannot take you everywhere you might want to go. Many hotels have a water entrance, but many do not. The water taxis are very expensive, but, if it’s a matter of life and death, I suppose money’s no object. Yes, water taxi drivers would probably speak English. Russell Lewis does not explain how Thursday gets to Venice, or to Morse’s room and he obviously doesn’t have to, but some of us would just like to know. Yes, Hespra, it doesn’t really matter; it’s fiction, not a documentary. It’s just a bit of fun to discuss these plotholes.

      1. yeah, Bert. Russell left a ton of those holes behind this time—a few deep enough to really hurt one’s head, if one thinks too much, on how to get out, once fallen in…🙈

  30. Ok, Bert, I’ll put Venice on my wish list over places to discover. Should have thought about that, water taxis. Now when you mention it, didn’t Endeavour arrive in one? I will start my Italian class right away. Buona serata.

    1. Morse arrived at what we were supposed to think was the cemetery island, San Michele, in a water taxi. He would have arrived at Venice, Santa Lucia station, by train.

    2. looked to me as tho Morse arrived by water taxi, went to his room, emerged in a tux, and walked over to the auditorium. location seemed like a big complex of some sort. a Venetian resort entirely on water?? wow. how cool. and spendy.

      1. While Shaun Evans reads his letter in voiceover, we see him in a train compartment speeding along. The next shot is an ‘establishing shot’, I think. It establishes that we and Morse are in Venice. The camera is on a boat heading towards the Salute, but we don’t know that Morse is on the boat. He shouldn’t be, as he would not be heading in that direction from the train station in Venice. The next shot is of Morse walking along a jetty towards the Campiello del Remer. He could have disembarked from a water taxi, but if he had, I would have expected it to still be in shot. He could have just taken a stroll along the jetty to view the Grand Canal. He isn’t carrying any luggage, hands in pockets, as usual. So that points to him not having just arrived, as he would have been carrying luggage of some sort. Then we see Fred reading a document headed ‘The Companies Act 1948’ with Violetta’s and Ludo’s names at the bottom of the second page. We next see Morse getting dressed [black tie, DJ (tux) for the opera]. A flashback reminds us why Morse is going to the opera on New Year’s Eve. Then he crosses Ponte Widmann and walks along Sotoportego Widmann. It comes as no surprise that this is completely the wrong direction to take from Campiello del Remer to the Fenice. So the only time we see a water taxi is when Morse arrives at the supposed San Michele. I wonder where that was shot. It is nothing like the San Michele landing stage.

  31. The fervent discussion regarding access to Morse’s “room” gives me big chuckles. In episode three he appears to be in the same room reflected in episode one. My guess is “hotel” because of (1) the decor and identical room arrangement, (2) the portable cardboard notice of some kind hung on the interior knob, (3) the seemingly close proximity to the auditorium, and (4) the lingering gaze towards the bed just before he left the room to confront Violetta. What occurred in that bed will effect Morse for the rest of his days.

    Thursday is chief inspector in a multiple-person criminal division. Has been for decades. Thursday was well enough informed to know where and why Morse went to Venice and who Morse intended to apprehend. Unless Thursday is a total dolt, how tough is it to find hotel X and get into Morse’s room? Flash a badge; tell a pointed urgent believable story; get a pass key or just open the door. Except for paper on the desk we saw no personal property. We “assume” it was, but I doubt the door was even locked. In the whole Morse continuum I cannot remember seeing him secure his –or any door. Unlocked doors have been pretty common throughout the various series. It’s likely small communities in that era relied on an honor system and may not feel the need for that sort of self-protective vigilance. A habit Morse takes with him wherever he goes–particularly with weighty matters on his mind.

    In the end Morse proved what went down for the life insurance victims. He has documents, he got Ludo/Violetta confessions. Thursday’s “hunch” regarding the murder of three people remains a Theory.” He said so himself. Russell, I think, seeks to remind us sometimes the police nail it and other times they don’t. I hate to contemplate what Thursday and Bright will do with themselves once they retire. But, sadly, cognitive decline is apparent. It’s time to pass the baton.

    Start to finish this was a series of limited detail. A problem made worse by stringing three unrelated stories into one mini-series. I looked for you’all because at the end of episode three I was left feeling “WTF….?” Russell usually cleans up after himself a lot more carefully than what happened here. I think there must be tons more on Russell’s mind right now than writing scripts. The entire world is a bloody mess. I submit we should all just give the guy some slack.

  32. bert:
    i think the American PBS version must be altogether different from the program you saw there. Here, Morse physically leaves the boat (water taxi?) and steps on to the dock. He’s not carrying luggage; wearing knee-length overcoat. Appears to head directly to his hotel room.

    finding it difficult and confusing to keep up with your observations because all I have to go on is the story on the screen. never been to Venice.

    there was very little detail provided throughout series 7. cast/crew going for the ‘big picture’ this time. thinking that’s why many here are struggling to understand this season as opposed to those previous.

    1. Hi, hespra. We could perhaps do with PM about this, as we might seem to be making a takeover bid for Chris’s site. However, we don’t have that facility, so …Oh! I thought that the American version was the same as ours, but with bits chopped out. I didn’t realise that ours might have bits chopped out vs the American version. When you say Morse “leaves the boat (water taxi?) and steps on to the dock”, is your ‘dock’ a fairly long wooden jetty about 3 feet wide? Did the boat look like the one he went to San Michele in — not identical, but similar? [If so, that’s a water taxi.] Did it disappear quickly before Morse started walking to the side of the Grand Canal? It is not impossible that Morse had his luggage sent on to his hotel from the train, but it seems unlikely. He would only have his clothes for the opera and a few bits and pieces, not a lot to carry and safer to keep his stuff with him, I’d have thought. Probably just a failure of the props department, or perhaps Evans insisted that he wanted to walk, as always, with both hands in his pockets☺ :-)). You can view the Campiello del Remer on Streetview, if you search Google Maps for Taverna al Remer, Cannaregio, Venice. When this C-19 is all over you must go to Venice. I’ve been 13 times since 2000, but it’s a lot easier from the UK, obvs.

      1. Don’t worry about taking over the comment section. I’m sure there are people who, like me, are enjoying the discussion. It’s so wonderful to see another respectful discussion on my website. You both have some polarising opinions but have kept the discussion respectful and have not lowered yourselves to ad hominem attacks. Regarding cuts to Endeavour episodes, I have never heard of cuts to the British version then being restored in the US version.

  33. sorry chris, i mistook you for bert. or bert for you. whichever came first. to my knowledge bert and i aren’t arguing. i’m just trying to catch –or keep– up. 🙃

    1. As Chris said, hespra, we’re discussing, not arguing. Our discussion is made more difficult by the fact that we are looking at two slightly different versions of the same thing, and we don’t know what the differences are (exactly). Have you had a look at Streetview? Is the ‘dock’ that you mentioned the ‘jetty’ that I mentioned? In our version, we do not see Morse getting off the water taxi and walking along the jetty (maybe four feet wide, not three). Have you noticed how Evans is always walking with his hands in his pockets?

  34. i’m not accustomed to ‘big picture’ crime procedurals. Russell left us with way toooo many loose ends.

    to follow Thursday’s lead, my “hunch” leads me to support an altogether different theory: there were three, possibly five, towpath killers, not two. The time frame doesn’t mesh. The MO’s were all different; no two victims died in like fashion. Cut, stabbed, strangled, blood-sucked, (bludgeoned?)– none of it happened the same way.

    if i had to pick one killer to frame for 5 murders it would be the one most-showing shades of Doris/Phyllis (Jenny?)/Johnny/cousin Kevin’s/ maternal grandfather Sturgis. Thar prince of a fellow who taught the boys to torture animals and smelled like something burning. From the looks of multiple neck decore in the sideboard, the ones made from dead animals and wire, I also think Jenny’s foster-Mama has a few big problems of her own.

    If I were Morse I’d want to know 1) who was it, exactly, who owned that horror house; 2) how long has he been dead; 3) exactly how did he die; 4) are any/all of the children named above his decendents; 5) can and does he whistle; 6) when exactly did Sturgis/Linden show up at the horror house; and 7) who spent the most time tinkering in that basement.

    Jenny is too damaged to be considered a reliable witness. At trial she would not survive cross examination.

    Had the case against Sturgis gone to trial, Thursday’s investigative performance –and Bright’s lame excuses for same–would not withstand scrutiny. At that point, without Morse’s intellect, the lot of them are going down in flames. Pun intended.

    1. Hi, hespra. Don’t hold back, tell us what you really think! :-)). You are soooo right! Too many loose ends. I was coming round to the conclusion that Clemens was the original killer, if it weren’t for the fact that A (not THE) crucifix was found with Sturgis’s ‘stuff’ (for want of a better word). But it was never identified as belonging to Molly, so it proves nothing. It may have been Molly’s is all that is said. Clemens found Molly’s body, so he is prime suspect in Morse’s Book of Wisdom. [This theory may not have developed till much later, the Thaw years.] Also Sturgis had a pretty good alibi, and no motive, except that, as a pathological killer, he didn’t need one. It was a bit un-PC for Strange to say that Jacobsen was ‘queering the pitch’ of the towpath killer. I hope that the LGBTQ community will let that one go by. Why can’t a flasher and a serial killer get along? Surely they could have come to some arrangement. “I’ll flash on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, you kill on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and we’ll toss for Sundays.” :-)) You are so right that the methods are all different. And what about the whistling? Just when you want to be catching women unawares, you start whistling! I couldn’t recognise the tune when Molly was murdered.
      The horror house belonged to the chap who fell off the ladder, Mr Aspen. Ludo seemed to imply that they (he and Violetta) did not murder all the insurance scam victims. The wrong person (Mr Jones) fell from the balcony. He was insured, so that his wife was provided for, but his wife had sold her policy so if she had fallen, the Talenti’s would have received a payout.
      I have to admit I am a pedant, and probably a bit OCD. I like analysing this type of programme and spotting continuity errors and mistakes, like the empty suitcase here and there.
      Jenny is not an oracle; she does not predict the future. She has visions, but they are connected with her past.

      1. Bert::
        a few heavy duty projects going on here. at the moment energy for ‘film class’ limited. will sit with pen/notebook in hand soon and look at Italy’s earth-google site then try to piece that together with water-taxis, destinations, docks, luggage and Morse.

        have learned over the years that i dare not leave the room while the program airs. i also need repeated access to anything in police procedural universe for me to fully grasp what just happened. this especially important where Endeavor concerned. every scene counts.

        John Thaws scripts were easier to follow. probably because i was much younger then and could think faster. nonethless it seemed to me that Thaw’s Morse effectively told the viewer what s/he needed to know. who wrote the Thaw scripts? how much of the Morse/Lewis universe is Russell’s work? there are significant differences in how the story flows.

        if you have #three recorded, run the first 5-7 minutes without the sound track. it’s obvious that evil abounds. the horror house is one of the first images. i am impressed with that imagery. it makes me believe much more went on in that house than we’ve been told. Sturgis wasn’t the only nut on the property.

      2. about the LGBTQ thing: did Strange said “queering” or “querying” the pitch? The latter gets both Russell and Jim off the hook for inflammatory speech.

        about Jenny’s value to Sturgis’ prosecution had this gone to trial: aside from Strange being attacked and Sturgis violently resisting arrest, Jenny is–in fact–the sole ”victim” available to testify against Sturgis. Sturgis either captured and tied her to a bed in the horror house or failed to free her from same. We don’t know which.

        Jenny’s captivity is a big part of why I would want to know a lot more about the owner of that house and whether he factors into the overall equation. I can’t see exposing Jenny’s “visions” to the court. That only casts aspersion on her fitness to testify. (If this was a family thing, I think her visions are about her grandfather, not her brother).

        Jenny’s value is in how, when and why she was confined in that house. If she fragments and her testimony found unreliable, the police have no case for murder against Sturgis. The ‘evidence’ is all circumstantial. They have Sturgis on assault of two police officers and Jenny’s false imprisonment.

        about the comment section here on series seven: i was really surprised to see that all but one –maybe two–people accepted ‘Sturgis, as killer,’ a done deal. I don’t think so. To me the big question is whether he has the capital to hire a competent defense. If so Sturgis walks. Cold case file. Who says money can’t buy happiness?…

        With whatever intent, Russell presented Bright and Thursday in a bad light. Each contemplates the future with words to the effect ‘not as young as I used to be.’ Both show notable cognitive decline. Both drink on the job (hard liquor in the middle of the day??). The “yard” turned Sturgis loose. Bright and Thursday turn on Morse. Ouch.

        In the meantime Morse chooses to focus on Dorthea’s find: the otherwise healthy victims of suspicious accidents. Supervisor Thursday thumbs his nose at Morse, fires Morse as bagman and tries to block further inquiry. Strange pointedly sidesteps Thursday to join Morse’s investigation. Trouble in the ranks.

        Morse proves Ludo/Vi cause and effect. Morse and Strange live to fight another day.

        I’m not so sure about Bright and Thursday. When John Thaw and Strange-the-elder emerge, they never mention either former supervisor again. Curiouser and curiouser.

        a-n-t-i-c-i🥶p-a-t-i-o-n…

      3. …. i forgot one other thing in your paragraph:
        the owner of horror house fell off the roof. how long ago? Strange told Sturgis police were looking for relatives. even if that’s true, Morse had previously interviewed the daughter whose father fell through the broken rung of a ladder. he fell some time ago. why isn’t she aware Sturgis found his bolt hole?

        are these older men one and the same? that doesn’t feel right. the daughter comes across as much too well brought up to have been raised in the horror house. the loving & attentive father she described does not fit the ‘contents’ of that house. particularly the basement.

        could be the prop department went wild on artifacts…

      4. I hope this goes under your long piece ending with a-n-t-i-c-i-p-a-t-i-o-n, hespra. But first I just want to admit I was wrong about Ludo and Violetta not being responsible for all the insurance deaths. What Ludo said was “I’ve killed no-one. My hands are innocent of blood … But it was fate that spun the wheel … with a little help from my glamorous assistant.” But he admits to getting into Bright’s house to get access to their decorations.
        As for your reply, I hardly know where to begin! Venice: I’ve mentioned all the locations (and non-locations) in bits scattered all over Chris’s site. Chris has identified the cemetery as being in London. A venetophile e-friend of mine located the scene where EM and V have a spritz. [Btw, you have to use the English spelling of ‘Endeavour’, as that’s his name. I will save space by typing ‘EM’] I have what we call a ‘black-box recorder’, so I can watch bits over and over again. But I have erased several episodes as I found I was watching the same episode again and again, but not deliberately. Is your ‘dock’ my ‘jetty’? I suppose it MUST be, but without your answer, I don’t know. Chris tells us who wrote what. RL (Russell Lewis) wrote all the Endeavour episodes. I haven’t bothered with ‘Lewis’ (Life’s too short!). Several ‘Inspector Morse’ stories were heavily based on CD stories. At least one was so far removed from the CD story it was based on that the author felt obliged to change the title. Others are based on “an idea of Colin Dexter”, still others are merely based on characters created by Colin Dexter.
        “he was queering the Towpath Killer’s pitch,” is definitely what Strange says; it’s a well-known idiom here. The phrase originated as 19th-century slang. My reference to LGBTQ was really only a joke (I hope!).
        I think drinking on the job was part of normal life for a lot of people in those days. As long as it didn’t affect your work … (who’s to say?). It kinda amuses me that Bright would have his whisky in a decanter, rather than the bottle it came in. Why would you go to the trouble?
        “In the meantime Morse chooses to focus on Dor[o]thea’s find: ” — Exactly! I think that Chris has presents the freak accidents as EM’s idea, but it is actually Dorothea’s find.
        I don’t believe in magic, conspiracy theories, the supernatural, psychics, mediums, or any similar nonsense. So I don’t believe Jenny’s ‘visions’ are anything more than hallucinations. I don’t even like the idea that ‘we’ (the viewers) can see her visions –nobody else can, not EM certainly.
        I have #3 (Zenana) recorded. The house of horrors does not appear until 17 minutes in when Strange knocks on the door. Are you referring to something else?
        I thought EM’s lines here were good: “I’m a bagman, not a yes man. I’m here to keep you on the straight and narrow, and tell you when I think you’re barking up the wrong tree. That’s my job.”
        I don’t know how much EM knew about FT going “off the rails” in series 6, accepting a ‘bit of bunce’ (short for Bunsen, short for Bunsen burner, rhyming slang for ‘earner’). I don’t know the term ‘bagman’. I guess it’s the ‘inferior’ who carries the bag (whatever equipment is needed) for his superior. Almost all detectives on film or TV need a sidekick, so that the clever one can explain what he’s thinking to the other and thereby keep us watching in the loop. Otherwise we’d have to be mind readers or there would be a VO from start to finish. From the Lone Ranger and Tonto to Starsky and Hutch, Holmes and Watson to Scott and Bailey. The only exception I can think of is Columbo. [I’m sure there must be others, but I’m too lazy to try to think of more – oh! Rockford just came to mind.]
        It’s not really curious that Thursday is never mentioned in ‘Inspector Morse’. The prequel was written long after the Morse stories, so CD never imagined EM’s previous history, and the episodes were filmed long before RL wrote Endeavour. RL obviously cannot alter the scripts of “Inspector Morse”.
        I didn’t see a pun in ‘going down in flames’. Please explain.

      5. Hi Bert, In response to your statement: “The prequel was written long after the Morse stories, so CD never imagined EM’s previous history, and the episodes were filmed long before RL wrote Endeavour. RL obviously cannot alter the scripts of “Inspector Morse.”

        I always wondered why the writers (Russell Lewis?) didn’t just use the name McNutt instead of Thursday. But as this series seems to show, Morse and Thursday need to go their separate ways because, as I see it, Thursday is the old fashioned copper and is more a “good policeman” rather than a great detective, as mentioned several times in some of the episodes; one being the episode Quartet when he says something to the effect that cases like domestic violence and everyday police work are what he is meant to do, what he is good at. A meat and three vegetable man, I think he says. Morse, on the other hand, is more the great detective rather than the by- the -book policeman. So I think, as the elder Morse shows in Masonic Mysteries, McNutt is his go-to guy for good detective thinking and contemplating the more complicated theories. This episode shows Morse’s respect for him and he knows he can rely on McNutt to measure up to, or even surpass, his standards and it’s obvious to me that McNutt is his match in “greatness of detective and imagination thinking” more than Thursday was. Hence, his remark to Lewis later on in Masonic Mysteries that “McNutt taught me everything I needed to know when I was a young ignorant sergeant.”

      6. kathleen
        morse and thursday are two very different men. thursday uses his fists, takes hush money and hangs with the likes of ronnie box. morse would not. thursday sees himself as a better cop than morse. he’s not. in some circles thursday would and could be called a thug. it’s a matter of degree.

        right now America is dealing with serious issues in police vs citizen behavior –as well as general national leadership– that mirror exactly what you describe. i live in one of the cities on fire. for some 70 days now. i’m hoping ‘we’ as a nation land on the side supporting the rule of law. at the moment it’s touch and go.

        morse will always see himself above the fray. thursday, i think, would sucumb. so… you’re spot on when you see a break directly ahead for our friends in film. morse is movin on.

      7. Hi hespra, True that Thursday did “fall foul” as he puts it. (Like that expression) but at heart he is a good guy, I think, albeit rough around the edges but sometimes that’s needed. I admit I cheer when he says, “Then I’ll have to take off my hat.” And I think we can all fall foul at times in our complex lives. We all hit lows and maybe do things so uncharacteristic of our true nature. He does repent,, though and realizes his mistakes. I still love his character. Can’t see him ballroom dancing but many facets make up a person!
        Just as an aside, and I hope I’m not derailing the purpose of this website, but my son and his family live in Seattle and my dearest friend lives in Portland so I know what you are talking about. Both are planning moves. I do heartily agree that I hope our country gets back to the rule of law as without it, we have what we have now – chaos and crime. And I never imagined I would live to see that!
        But back on track, I have said in the past that my absolute favorite is John Thaw’s Morse for reasons it would take pages to write. I do, though, like Endeavour even though it is different from the original Morse, but the one thing Shawn Evans carries through with is the moralistic and sympathizing aspect of the elder Morse. I have the British DVD’s of both and also of Lewis, although, again I will probably be sent to the pillory for this, but I don’t care for the Lewis series the same way I do Insp. Morse and Endeavour. Not talking about your book, Chris, because that is chock full of information.
        I do hope you will be safe and things will get better in our cities on fire.

      8. 😢😢😢😢😢😯😯😯😯😯😯😧😧😧😧😧😧 You don’t like Lewis Kathleen? Let me just pick myself off the floor with that piece of news. I will let you lock yourself into the pillory. You naughty woman. 😁😁😁😁😂😂😂😂

      9. Ha ha ha! Let me clarify. I LOVE Lewis in inspector Morse. He’s sweet, happy go lucky and charming – cute as we say here. Not so much in his own series. Entirely different character, although I do understand some reasons why. He just doesn’t do it for me like Morse does! And to add insult to injury, I’m not a big fan of Hathaway either. Oh the horrors!! 😈

      10. that suave, cool, debonair hathaway? for shame kathleen! what you see with this one, is not all you get…😎

      11. Ha, hespra! I’m afraid he’s too stiff, too unemotional and too religious for me. And his taste in music would definitely be a deal breaker, not to mention the smoking! (cough cough) 🙂

      12. “the owner of horror house fell off the roof. how long ago?” I don’t know, but fairly recently it must have been. When the police first arrest Sturgis for the murder of Bridget Mulcahy, he is at home in bed, in what looks like a normal house, an address that was on file somewhere. That is the place that the police “turned his place upside down and [they] couldn’t find a thing.”
        “Morse had previously interviewed the daughter whose father fell through the broken rung of a ladder.” No, the daughter was Elaine Fairchild. Her father died as a result of the pulley ‘going’ on the block and tackle. It was Aspen who died as a result of an ‘accident’ with a ladder. “Examination of the ladder upon which he stood shows that it was old and in poor repair.” Aspen’s house was taken over by Sturgis. I’m certain it was he (CS) who kidnapped Jenny/Phyllis. Aspen would have had no reason to.

      13. Another thought on the whistling thread running through the murders. I didn’t notice any whistling before Petra Cornwell was murdered. When Magdalena Byrne is walking along the towpath she hears whistling (Molly Malone) and we see her being attacked by David Clemens, who is wearing something like a knitted ski mask. There are two eye-holes, but no mouth-hole. Is it possible to whistle while wearing such headgear?

  35. now convinced we’re seeing different versions of series 7. in #3 at very beginning there are about 5 shots of interior where first thing one notes upon entry is an axe and puppet/doll suspended precariously by _____(thick cord?). Move into next room and see masks (or busts of heads on wall) and foot and half tall/long stuffed cat (or large figurine) mouth open as if to screech. Some or all of the above seen again on main floor of horror house. this from memory.

    part of reason i can’t keep up is Brits and Americans speak very different English. the dude appears to be climbing a “ladder” of some sort high off the ground–as in device suspended in air. could be that is a block and tackle, not a ladder. i have no idea. a portion/rung he’s standing on breaks, foot slips. impression is he falls.
    i thought this is the black woman’s father as image presented near the discussion with Morse.

    doubtful i can ever explain what i see without researching the difference between jetty and dock or block/tackle and ladder. no point to that for me as well as limited energy for same.

    been through the film enough times to now grasp why the holes in script can and do lead to very different interpretation. waiting to see what #8 does to clarify, if anything. russell and sean both say they intend to explain why thursday doesn’t exist for john thaw. we’ll see if they follow through.

    bye

    1. Hi, hespra. I’m really sorry! I noticed last night that my recording of #3 is only just over an hour long. The first hour is missing. I tried to watch it on catch-up, but the adverts were over 5 minutes long. So I watched the first 15 minutes. More later.

    2. Hi, hespra. You wrote: “Morse physically leaves the boat (water taxi?) and steps on to the dock. He’s not carrying luggage; wearing knee-length overcoat. Appears to head directly to his hotel room.” That description is almost identical to what we saw in UK, except that we did not see Morse get off a boat. I am trying to establish that what you saw was the same as what we saw, except that you saw his arrival in a boat. Chris has commented “I have never heard of cuts to the British version then being restored in the US version.” I used the word ‘jetty’ to describe a narrow structure made of wood that juts out into the water (the Grand Canal in this instance). [‘jetty’ and ‘jut’ have the same derivation.] It could be that you saw something completely different when you used the word ‘dock’, which I interpret as something much more substantial, made of stone or concrete, than a jetty and which forms part of the bank of the water course.

      A block and tackle is a system of two or more pulleys.

      The owner of the horror house (Aspen, a white man) dies when he falls from the ladder while he was apparently trying to lower his TV aerial. One of the rungs breaks under his foot. We can see through a window from inside the house the aerial being lowered at 42 seconds from the start, while the credits are still rolling.

  36. Hi Hespra – you note all of Thursdays shortcomings and somehow Morse compared is holier than thou – as much as I disliked S7 (because of just so many faults, script, editing, characters, the murders etc) one thing I think it did do is set that straight a bit ? That comparison that Thursday is bordering on corrupt and Morse ‘pure’.

    Interestingly Evans in one of the DVD Extras comments that one of Morse’s faults is that he thinks he is the smartest person in the room. Surely S7 has brought him full facing his own moral failings – an affair with a married woman (and the wife of a friend), the fact that as smart as he is he could not see what they were up to (even the audience knew that is was no good) because he was blinded by desire (Ludo’s lifestyle/Violetta’s sexual allure) the poor policing compromising the murder investigation he was working on by bringing files and evidence home etc.

    And yes, I despise police brutality but surely Morse’s dating of a suspect in S6 (who was the murderer) and then Violetta and Ludo (surely they would need to re-open the inquests and there would have to be repercussions for Morse (there would be in real life but of course this is not real life) is just as morally deficient but in a different way ? For me, that makes some sense of S7.

    1. maria:
      let’s not project our own opinions into the intent of others. i’ve said here before that in regards to police behavior, in series seven thursday is a dolt and morse a horse’s butt. in the sean evans universe particularly so. thaw put down whatley “lewis, you fool!” repeatedly. morse’s ego is the size of a house. but… morse does not plow into citizens with his fists unless in self defense. i have no regard whatsoever for police who resort to violence when there were other means to resolve the problem. i don’t like thugs–on either side of the law.

      looking at the whole continuum morse is very bright and equally arrogant. thursday doesn’t have the intellect to match but he does have the consummate arrogance. lewis was the average joe–competent but never setting the world on fire, hathaway became my favorite: calm, mysterious, aloof and exceptionally well educated. They’re all men. With human behaviors associated with same.

      you seem perturbed with morse’s sexual choices. of the four men above i think morse the most hungry for companionship, and therefore the most vulnerable. like the others, potential love interests arose through their work. when one spends most of one’s time amongst criminals the field is what it is.

      hathaway was certainly not without desire, yet his religious proclivities isolated him considerably. lewis, the widower, simply withdrew until the good doctor chased robbie until robbie caught her. and thursday? his marriage was on the brink of destruction, with ample cause. thursday’s wartime love then reappeared. it was she who said “don’t come here again, fred” while win was still in the home. and still mrs. thursday.

      series seven brought out the best in strange and max; the worst in bright, thursday and morse. russell has one more chance to leave us their dignity, caring and compassion. we’ll see how he chooses to end the adventure.

  37. Hi! American viewer just finishing the series finale. Excellent review as usual. I wanted to add a Literary Reference. When Ludo welcomed Morse at the cemetery he said: “we all have our entrances and exists.” Or something very close to it. This is from Shakespeare’s As You Like It. It’s from the seven ages of man soliloquy.
    The only thing keeping me from believing Ludo is Hugo is that he was thrown into the water after being shot. Thursday didn’t seem eager to rush to help him out so it’s hard to believe he survived. It takes just a few minutes for your brain to have severe brain damage from lack of oxygen.

    1. Hi Karla. Thank you for the literary reference. I have added it to my post. I don’t think Russell Lewis would let a little thing like lack of oxygen stop him reintroducing Ludo in series eight.

      1. Agree Chris – Given the latest interview (apart from Damian’s always interesting interview with Russell Lewis yesterday) mention a ‘major plot twist’ that he and Shaun have agreed (I guess these sorts of interviews you have to take with a grain of salt) I think that Ludo is alive is a given.

        In fact the only other time I was this sure of a plot twist/huge surprise was when even before the series 5 started I was sure that Fancy was going to die.

        Not sure how I feel about it – I found the whole Ludo/Violetta plot line very unrealistic and dare I say it boring and even worse seemed very much at the expense of many of my favourite characters and the whole reason we watch for the murder mysteries and if S8 is the final series the thought of Morse spending most of the episodes with sad flashbacks of Violetta (IMO a pretty boring character) and chasing around Ludo and trying to avenge her death – depressingly dire !!!!

        Come back Joan Thursday all is forgiven… (I am kidding by the way)

        I don’t know – I felt the whole of S7 was indulgent for Evans – I guess the other actors are happy to go along for the ride but they didn’t get much to work with in 3 episodes.

      2. I guess we cant be asking for accuracy in our mystery shows (sigh). Ok lets say crazy Ludo comes back alive next series…I will be very mad if he turns out to be Hugo. I havent seen the Morse episode in a while but reading some of the comments here there seems to be some similitudes to what he did in this series to what he did in the Morse episode such as shooting himself but not being really dead and blaming the woman for the killings. If this is true then that is some lazy writing. Older Morse would have recognized the pattern. If young Morse goes on grieving for Violetta then it would make sense if Older Morse would mention her to Hugo once they see each other again. So because of this I think it would be mistake to make Ludo = Hugo. What do you say?

  38. I keep noticing that nobody includes the shaggy (long haired) victim, Abraham Petrovski, on the barge/boat from ep 1 (Oracle) of series 7 among the body count.

    I’ve been paging through all the comments on this site and looking for mention, but was his death a murder? (he had the purse of Molly Andrews) or was he just a random plot thread the writer did not resolve? (do barge owners get life insurance policies that are sold, and then is an alcoholic poisoning a “freak accident” in Oxford?)

    Was waiting for the towpath murders to clear this up but seems to be unresolved.

  39. chris:
    interesting wikipedia blurb. Comedy starring Harry Corbett, released 1964 UK, called “The Bargee” tells story of two British Waterworks bargemen on Grand Union Canal. A ‘lockman’ named Joe attempts to prevent one of the bargemen (a Don-Juan type with multiple girlfriends throughout canal network) from fooling around with his/Joe’s daughter. The girl becomes pregnant, years of hard times befall barge industry, and story develops from there.

    interesting tidbit from episode three.
    Noah Sturgis, implicated as Linden children’s grandfather was a “bargee”—as in managed a barge. Noah’s son-in-law named Joe. Joe married to Bess, sister of Linden children’s mother. Wolf’s Head Pub tenent told Morse that Grandfather Noah was rotten to the core and Johnny Linden (possibly AKA Carl Sturgis) as deranged as Noah. The whole Sturgis linage seems to have a thing about animal cruelty— Joe’s dog blinded with lye, animal taxidermy neckwear in Aunti Bess’ closet. Johnny believed to be responsible for the lye. hmmmm….

  40. So disappointed in the 7th season. It was like a clone of any not very good “by the numbers” cop show we have here in the US. The thing I like about Endeavor Morse is that he’s too smart to get into situations where he’s got to shoot it out with the bad guy (although he did it at the end of the previous season also, much to my irritation). I don’t watch Endeavor for “gunfight at the OK corral” scenes.

    Here we have Endeavor walking into a situation where he had to know the bad guy was going to pull a gun on him. hen that hackneyed trope of, bad guy holds gun to head of woman good guy loves, so good guy gives up his gun. Then woman takes a bullet for good guy and dies in his arms. And of course, Thursday gets there in the nick of time (though not really, Morse actually would be dead except the woman got in the way).

    It was the same actors, in the same roles, that I’ve come to love, but the writing was CRAP.

    1. Actually I hadn’t thought about it that way that the finale was 2nd in a row ‘shoot out’. For me the series would have been far more intriguing if Violetta had been using Morse and was as much a villain as Ludo – instead I sense s8 will be all about Morse ‘proving’ her innocence and avenging her death.

      I can’t remember this many guns that Morse used in the Inspector Morse series (?) which is odd because there were certainly more guns around in policing in 1980’s/90’s – strange that such a leftish writer resorts to guns and shootouts all the time. I guess lots of viewers find that far more exciting and he is trying to broaden the appeal of the show to a wider audience.

      1. Actually the THIRD season finale that had a shoot-out, if you count the off-screen action in which George Fancy is killed in Icarus. Sigh. And I totally agree, if would have been MUCH more compelling if Violetta was more of a villain — I get that she was supposedly looking for someone to ‘save’ her — but doesn’t she sleep with ‘pet policemen’ all the time? If was simultaneously dull and overly convoluted.

  41. Chris, this is my first post here. Your site is a treat!

    Zenana was excruciatingly painful to watch. I don’t know which was more heartbreaking, the animosity between Thursday and Morse or the untimely death of Mrs. Bright. Although I can’t be the only one who knew as soon as she said she was going to the attic to get the Christmas lights, she was toast. Has anyone speculated on what her “experimental” lung cancer treatment in the USA might have been in 1970?

    The whole Ludo-Violetta thing was absurd from start to ludicrous finish.

    I’m scraping around to find something positive to say about the episode, and the only thing I can think of is I liked The Ascent of Jim Strange. He has come a long way from his first meeting with Morse on the stairs. Throughout the whole series he has watched, listened to, and learned from Morse–the continuity of his character’s development has been a consistent thread. In this episode, when it was clear to him that Thursday was being a horse’s-butt, he took charge and supported Morse. WTG, Jim. I think I makes sense that the injury was what pushed him in the direction of administrative work in the future.

    QUESTIONS: How did Dorothea Frazil know about Mrs. Bright’s death before the police? What about Sturgis’s alibis?

    Thanks for your hard work!
    Sasha
    Texas, USA

  42. Thanks for reposting this, Chris. Just watched it recently and was enjoying it (half my brain turned off at the time) until the final scene. The plot-line is so over-the-top stupid and impossible that it gave me an idea:

    Look, R Lewis isn’t an idiot, far from it. And he knows that we aren’t idiots either. He knew how senseless and ridiculous this whole ‘”I’m going to take you in!” in Venice with a gun, and Thursday happens along at just the right moment with his own gun’ looks to us all.

    I’m wondering if in series 8 we’re going to discover that somehow this was a dream-sequence, at least in part? Remember that the series began with Endeavour touching a bloodstain on his shirt–could he be waking up and wondering wtf?

    I’m thinking something along the lines of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, when the audience doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not, and kind of gets tricked along the way by the author. Or if you’re not an Ibsen fan, how about the character of Sam Lowry in the 1985 dystopic film Brazil? Something like that.

    Imagine R Lewis’s (well deserved) amusement at our reaction, as we collectively feel foolish for vociferously criticizing his “foolish” plot…

    Just a thought!

    1. Then there’s the ninth season of Dallas, where Bobby ‘died’, but revealed to have been Pam’s dream when he was seen in the shower.

    2. Clare – I love your ‘theory’ and i would be happier that it was just a dream than they expected us to believe that ludicrous plot and finale was ‘real’ (running around Venice with guns) – the fact that Morse spent more money and tore off all the way to Venice to take them in based on the one flashback of Violetta saying the NYE before that she always went to the Opera on NYE pretty insane – especially given by then Morse knew she was a criminal/murderer and had been lying about everything – at least find a ticket or some other evidence – or did he and I missed it ?

      Also, why did Morse fully expect to find Ludo in Venice the second time when he clearly he wasn’t there the first NYE – yes a bad dream makes much more sense……..

      Ah ha – maybe that is what Evans meant when he mentioned recently that S8 would have a ‘major plot twist’ (LOL) and here I was thinking that it would be Ludo is still alive.

  43. This whole series was such a disappointment. After the end of the sixth, I certainly didn’t expect all of this animosity between Endeavour and Thursday. It was most unpleasant. I agree with most of the comments. Truthfully, what bothered me most was when Bright’s wife was killed. She was doing well, and then she was dead. I don’t think that was necessary. It was cruel. Of course, Ludo was cruel. The overly emotional scene between Bright and Endeavour just rubbed me the wrong way. Endeavour just couldn’t leave it alone. Overall, I didn’t like him much at all, especially in the final episode. Yes, Strange was the voice of reason. And I enjoyed watching Max telling E and Thursday off. Violetta’s decision to stay with Ludo was no surprise. I just felt the whole series was icky.

  44. In Zenana, Fred says to Morse. “…let’s not forget you had all this down for Naomi Kane’s killer.” Google can’t find another mention of Naomi Kane with Endeavour as a search term. Could this be a slip of the tongue on Fred’s part, or a slip of several typewriter keys on the part of Russell Lewis? Could he have meant (Dr) Naomi Benford?

    1. Bert,
      I’m so glad I’m not the only one who noticed that and wondered the same thing! Who is “Naomi Kane”??? Would love to know if anyone knows the answer.

      Chris,
      I came across your website recently and am so enjoying your reviews and everyone’s comments! Thanks for all of your hard work 🙂

      1. I could understand it if the person typing the script had typed ‘Bedford’ or ‘Redford’ instead of ‘Benford’, but ‘Kane’ had to come from somebody’s brain – it can’t be a typo or any other sort of error. Lewis’s response [Or something else?] seems to indicate it was deliberate, or that’s what he wants us to think. Yes, Fred was under stress, but a name never before heard of pops into his head? I would like to believe that “any and all outstanding mysteries will find their answer before the end” will turn out to be true, but the word ‘Hopefully’ leaves room for doubt. I bet Lewis is feverishly rewriting the script for series 8 right now to try to explain ‘Kane’.

      1. Chris,
        Fred’s comment about Naomi Kane comes at about 13:05 in the US version as he and Morse are arguing over the body of Petra Cornwell.

      2. I think it’s an error. Fred should have said Naomi Benford. Probably an error by the Script Supervisor. I have written to Russell Lewis to ask for an answer.

      3. So, I received a rather cryptic response from Russell Lewis regarding the ‘Naomi Kane’ apparent anamoly: “Indicative of his emotional and mental distress in the moment. Or something else? Hopefully, any and all outstanding mysteries will find their answer before the end.” Make of that what you will.

      4. Well that certainly increases the anticipation for next series. Or is he just playing with our heads, as seems to be his style. From reading his interviews that you send he is pretty quirky.

      5. I’m glad Michelle gave the time. I’m stuck with itv catch-up, with 5 minutes of adverts every 10 minutes that you can’t fast forward through. Surprised you hadn’t noticed it.

    2. So, I received a rather cryptic response from Russell Lewis regarding the ‘Naomi Kane’ apparent anamoly: “Indicative of his emotional and mental distress in the moment. Or something else? Hopefully, any and all outstanding mysteries will find their answer before the end.” Make of that what you will.

      1. Chris-
        After reading the “cryptic” response from Russell Lewis, I tend to agree with you that it’s probably an error. However, I’d be very surprised that such an error slipped by the writers, actors and editors. Well, at the very least it will give me something to watch out for next season!
        Thanks 🙂

  45. For me, despite all else, this was analogous to an opera. Endeavour makes that connection right at the beginning lines: “When the overture begins, you don’t know what the opera will be or where the story will take you. This is a story about love.” It is but one 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 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. And operas, as we know, are melodramatic love stories, always with a protagonist and antagonist. And as with an opera, love, treachery, betrayal, violence, infused with music to an ending with redemption, regret, self-realization. When I think of it as this analogy of the love story and the opera I think it is very clever and for me, despite all other aspects, that was the main takeaway.

  46. It’s worth noting that Shaun has been listed as a “producer” in the credits since series 5, I think. In series six and seven, Roger Allam is also listed (with Shaun) as a producer. One assumes that they both are at least a bit responsible for the direction that Endeavour is going.

    1. Yes Sheldon I think you are right that they (Evans and Allam) are a bit responsible for the direction (and I think that in Damian’s interview with Russell Lewis the other day he confirmed that) and as much as I think they are both great actors and talents I think that is part of the problem – my observation is that once successful shows allow the stars to take over, the quality (or at least the original direction) of the series decreases (I have lots of examples over the years).

      Again, I stress this is not because I don’t think both are amazing talents but I have thought for a while that Shaun has too much influence over the series and not sure that has been a positive – perhaps it is like in business etc. you need to remove conflicts or interest, tunnel vision and egos. In the end of the day this was Russ’s creation (from Dexter’s base) and IMO they should have left him to it (for good or bad).

      1. The problem I see with Shaun being so involved in the production of the show is that he will take the character wherever his fancy takes him. When the show started he made sure we knew he was not interested in copying John Thaw’s Morse. That is fine and I understand where he is coming from as an artist. I am not sure he ever saw the original series so he doesn’t know older Morse as we know him. For him Morse is a brand new character that can go anywhere. Add that Colin Dexter is gone so he cant stop his character going downhill from the path he envisioned and we got trouble.

    2. What does a ‘producer’ actually do? I watch the credits on American shows , and there is usually an endless list of ‘producers’, ‘executive producers’, and ‘co-executive producers’. When Evans and Allam are listed as producers, isn’t it a bit like vanity publishing? Evans is listed as ‘Director’ on at least one of the three episodes of S7. I know what the director does – he shouts “Action!” at the start and “Cut!” at the end of a scene. [:-)]

      1. A producer can come in various forms. The main thing a producer does is oversee various aspects of the production; money, contracts, business matters that relate to getting the show or film off the ground. For an actor it is a way of getting more money and more say in the way the show is produced. We know that Shaun has asked Russell Lewis to rewrite scenes because he was unhappy with them.

      2. Yes producer seems (or can be ambiguous) where the star of a series is concerned I agree with Chris that mainly it is a way of getting more $$ and control over the series. Chris – not only has Shaun asked him to re-write scenes because he didn’t like them but even after they have been filmed – a pretty big call and cost I would think.

        Interestingly, when Shaun was challenged in a Radio Times interview after the female interviewer had previewed the Oracle episode and suggested the ‘dead girls storyline’ being a boring trope and lazy writing he deferred back to Russ so perhaps he doesn’t have as much control (or perhaps when the interviewer raised the number of dead girls being sexist he thought better of going down that track in the interview – probably wise)

      3. read an “official” masterpiece pbs article today with shaun evans’ thoughts about the series. he said parts of seven arose from he and three other crew members doing advance spot-shooting in various venice locale the day after six finished.

        evidently the cast–and possibly crew– then got together and discussed what “hadn’t been done” in endeavor thus far. they hadn’t “done” an opera, nor had someone like violetta (a goddess, according to evans) been ‘done.’ “now that we’ve done that” it seems no more goddess-material required. joan thursday is not editic, just “local and available” for morse but “not to be.” 🤨🤨🤨

        at end of article i was left feeling the characters, particularly victims, are pieces on the chess board that come and go according to “what hasn’t been done.” it was quite obvious the recent morse films were mostly an off-the-cuff scramble. it’s no wonder #seven was such a frigging mess….

      4. really wise we had ‘editing’ capability on this site… sole process of right index finger typing on ipad is frequently problematic.

        i meant to type sentence as joan thursday not “exotic,” only local, available and not-to-be. sigh.

  47. The background image of a demon on the opera house poster for “La Sposa del Demonio” is the same as the monster image on the wall in Jenny’s room.

    Also, in the U.S. version, the red letters in the credits at the end spell out “La Traviata”.

  48. Who murdered Molly Andrews? Near the end of ‘Oracle’, Thursday and Morse put it to Blish, who had just confessed to more or less accidentally pushing Benford over the railing, that he he also killed Molly. Blish is silent. He does not deny it! Yet I would not put Blish down as a whistler (Molly hears whistling just before she is murdered.) He’s just not the type. After the Blish interview, Morse and Thursday are satisfied that they’ve got their man.
    Another thing about Benford’s death: when Win hears Benford scream, there are three separate screams with very short gaps between them, yet when Blish relives the incident there is only one scream. I would imagine that somebody falling from a great height would only make one long scream. Benford wasn’t screaming when Blish was trying to kiss her or when he held her arms at the railing. Max puts the time of death at “Saturday evening sometime. Watch is stopped just after 8:12.” Now, I would have thought that the cleaning staff would have reported Benford’s death immediately and that the police and Max would have been round within minutes. Yet Thursday, Morse and Strange clearly arrive the next morning, with Max already there.
    And yet another inconsistency. We see Win Thursday meeting Rita (Reet) and Bridget about 25 minutes in. Rita says, “Morning, Win” and Win replies, “Morning, Reet. Bridget.” They appear to be waiting for a bus, presumably to take them to Corax House. So they are cleaning in the morning – and it looks like early morning. Yet the death of Benford, which happens while Win and the others are cleaning happens at 8:12, Saturday evening. Unless the cleaners are working a 12-hour shift, this is impossible.

    1. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! I see I got that all wrong! The three screams are not by Benford falling, but by the two other cleaners (Rita and Bridget) at Corax house on discovering Benford’s body. [Two cleaners, three screams?] But you can see how I was misled. Surely all three cleaners had to walk past Benford’s body as they climbed the stairs to clean the offices on the various floors. So I naturally thought that the body was not there when they arrived, and that she fell while Win was vacuuming a room on the top floor. I think it would be better for everyone’s sanity if we assume that this whole series was someone else’s dream (Take That!) as suggested by Clare. Then nothing has to make sense.

  49. Since we’re picking nits — and I think we should, because this used to be a show that could stand up to it — why on earth would an opera house stage the SAME opera two years in a row? That would never happen. Also, Violetta tells Morse that the NYE opera trip is a pilgrimage in honor of her grandfather, who took her to that opera house. Which doesn’t jive at all with her supposed backstory of poor and barefoot in the streets of Naples. I won’t even get into the rest of the ridiculousness of the Talenti storyline, as much would be an echo of extant criticisms and also it just makes me mad!

    Also (and this is very picayune, I admit), they kept referring to Molly Andrew’s missing crucifix — and then what they find in Sturgis’ basement is just a plain old cross, NOT a crucifix (like the one Violetta wears, for example). Stupid error and totally avoidable.

    Let’s keep going, shall we? Morse consults a psychic? Yeah, right!

    The entire ‘explanation’ of the towpath killings was utterly disappointing. Firstly, you’re completely right in that serial killers indicate a dire lack of ideas. And this season essentially has 2 serial killers (or at least 2 serial murderous conspiracies). Please forgive me if I’ve misunderstood the ‘explanation’ — my husband and I spent a significant amount of time yelling at the TV last night — but it seems to be as follows: Carl Sturgis (or whatever his birth name was) tortured animals as a child. Killed his cousin, while still internalizing his cousin’s affinity for biting necks. Killed several other people in a fire to cover up the crime and blamed his sister. THEN, he is totally normal for, like, 15 years? Okay, yeah, he works at an undertaker’s, which is creepy, but somebody has to! Has normal interactions with people and is totally under the radar until — BAM — kills his girlfriend on NYE, for completely mundane reasons. And then . . . goes BACK to torturing animals? Dorothea mentions the cat mutilations in MAY 1970, months after he’s killed Molly. But he’s still apparently so obsessed with ‘his’ towpath that he kills a random dude just because he’s encroaching on his ‘territory’? Huh? He murdered his girlfriend because she was cheating on him, not because he’s some hyper-obsessed, methodical MO killer. Then he kills Bridget, bites her neck — I like the lycanthrope theory, actually, at least that’s mildly interesting! Then he tracks down and kidnaps his sister? Why? This just isn’t how serial killers escalate. Then he whistles his signature tune in front a cop?

    And then we’re supposed to believe that somehow finding poor Molly Andrews has triggered a respectable auto plant worker and Keep Fit fanatic into murder? WHAT? Laughable. Just an excuse to manufacture drama.

    It seems like Endeavour has fallen prey to the Game of Thrones syndrome. Great for awhile — really something special — then tries to cram too much in at the end and it comes out a disaster. Hurried, not-very-believable characterizations, over-the-top, barely plausible plot lines that descend into unearned melodrama.

    It seems like Russell Lewis felt bad for only giving us 3 episodes — which of course is his fault in the first place, due to the overly-long Season 5. (Did we really need the silliness of Cartouche? No, no, we did not.) But he knew we’d feel cheated by the abbreviated season so he tried to give us something ‘extra.’ And instead delivered this muddled mess of a season. I fear the last series will be much the same. It’s a good thing the acting of the principals is so strong and the production values so high (strange editing mistakes this season aside). I’ll watch the last season, whenever it finally arrives on US shores, but I don’t have much hope for a stellar season of solid, convincing, and clever whodunits. Sigh. What a disappointment.

    1. Re Violetta and the Opera – I don’t understand why she was supposedly in Venice on her own the first NYE (and Ludo says later to Morse that she doesn’t like opera) but the next NYE clearly Ludo was in Venice with her and he knew she was at the opera – nit picking here – but to me only makes sense if Ludo was In Venice the first time and knew and planned the Morse/Violetta meeting and affair as part of it all – as a honey trap – I guess that is why that storyline was so bad for me – I think the writer didn’t know what Violetta was supposed to be – villain/temptress/innocent – so kept jumping around throughout the series.

    2. “Which doesn’t jive at all with her supposed backstory of poor and barefoot in the streets of Naples.” — Good point, Laura! This would point to “Every word she’s ever told you was a lie.” being true (!). Maria suggests “[It] only makes sense if Ludo was In Venice the first time and knew and planned the Morse/Violetta meeting and affair as part of it all – as a honey trap” which doesn’t really make sense, as Ludo could not have known that Morse would even be in Venice, let alone know where he’s be sitting at the opera. and why on earth would he want to come to the attention of a clever young copper while running the insurance scam, unless it were to prove that he’s cleverer than any policeman, or to have Violetta ‘on the inside’ to tell him if the police were getting close. Unless every word that Ludo has told Morse has been a lie, e.g. that Violetta hates the opera.. Ludo says (in Oracle) that he and Morse were up at Oxford together, i.e. at the same time. Perhaps that was a lie, as Morse does not remember Ludo from Oxford. Ludo has taken an Italianate name, but his country’s proverb is Polish. He speaks English with a trace of an accent, but I cannot place it. It is just a bit stilted.

      1. Hi Bert – i guess where I was coming from with that comment Is that for me it was a given that Ludo planned the meeting in Oxford, the pickpocket, was lying about knowing and being at Oxford with Morse (i thought that most seemed to come to that conclusion considering Morse didn’t remember him and Ludo is not EVEN his real name) and the fact that Ludo and Violetta both went back to Venice the next NYE together –

        either way I thought the Ludo/Violetta storyline dreadful but to have Morse have an immediate affair with a nameless woman in another country (and she is not English so not even the angle of potentially returning home) and her to turn up in Oxford and the wife of Morse’s newly acquired friend just such implausibly bad writing that I am projecting that at least it makes a little sense if it was a set up the whole time – clearly that is just me and my making excuses for what I saw as awful writing but as Kathleen pointed out she sees the cleverness and appreciates the tie back to the Opera and clearly I don’t so am probably missing other elements as well.

    3. Hi, Laura. You make many good points. I like this one: “Also… they kept referring to Molly Andrew’s missing crucifix — and then what they find in Sturgis’ basement is just a plain old cross, NOT a crucifix (like the one Violetta wears, for example). Stupid error and totally avoidable.” I would say, with no evidence to back me up, that we (I) would use ‘crucifix’ and ‘cross’ interchangeably. I realise that a crucifix would have the figure of Christ on the cross, whereas a cross wouldn’t. I don’t think that we know whether Molly had a cross or a crucifix on her necklace. Unless there was a close-up of it, or a close-enough-up of it, I could be wrong. I don’t know why they didn’t find the necklace/cross/crucifix when they searched Sturgis’s place before he found his bolthole at Aspen’s place. He must have hidden it well, we have to suppose.

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