Hello fellow Endeavourists and welcome to my review of Nocturne. I have already reviewed series 1,4,5 and 6 and this is me now starting to review series two and three. If you wish to read my reviews on series 1,4,5 and 6 and Trove from series 2 then click here; https://morseandlewisandendeavour.com/endeavour/
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Endeavour Series Two, Episode two; ‘NOCTURNE’.
Chronologically this is episode 7.
First broadcast 6th April 2014.
The lovely Colin can be seen at around the two and a half minute mark in the museum.
Directed by Giuseppe Capotondi. 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’.
After the killing of a genealogist, Morse begins to look for witnesses. This search draws him to Blythe Mount School for Girls. The girls and their teacher had been at the location of the murder, an Oxford museum. The school for girls was the location of five brutal murders in 1866; three children and two adults. One of the schoolgirls goes missing and as the case progresses Endeavour believes there is a connection between the murder and the school. Another goes missing and the staff and girls report seeing the figure of a girl in Victorian clothes walking the corridors of the school. Thursday and Endeavour find themselves getting caught up in a Gothic ghost story that cannot end well.
(warning, this review will contain some spoilers)
Episode Jag Rating – out of 10.
(The music is from the British DVD version of the episode. Because of copyright the music may be different in other countries).
The opening music is Nocturne opus 9 number 1 in B flat minor by Frédéric Chopin.
During the girls tour of the museum around the two minute mark we hear Schubert ‘s Notturno in E flat major, Op. 148, D. 897.
Just after 17 minutes Endeavour is in his flat looking through books on the Katar weapon. Music is playing. It is Dvorak’s Songs My Mother Taught Me.
At 26 minutes Endeavour is listening to Duke Bluebeard’s Castle an opera in one act, Sz. 48, BB 62 (Op. 11) by Béla Bartók.
At around the 14th minute mark Bunty Glossop quotes from Lewis Carrol’s Alice Through the Looking Glass.
“it may if it chooses we have no objection. Contrariwise.”
The line in context.
‘I know they’re talking nonsense,’ Alice thought to herself: ‘and it’s foolish to cry about it.’ So she brushed away her tears, and went on, as cheerfully as she could, ‘At any rate, I’d better be getting out of the wood, for really it’s coming on very dark. Do you think it’s going to rain?’
Tweedledum spread a large umbrella over himself and his brother, and looked up into it. ‘No, I don’t think it is,’ he said: ‘at least—not under here. Nohow.’
‘But it may rain outside?’
‘It may—if it chooses,’ said Tweedledee: ‘we’ve no objection. Contrariwise.’
I don’t know if this is intentional but the chap who works at the College of Arms (around the 28 minute mark) is called Robin Bulstrode. Bulstrode was a character in the Thomas the Tank Engine books by Wilbert Awdry. One of the illustrators of the book is Robin Davies.
At one hour and twenty five minutes as Terence Black is holding the razor to Bunty’s throat, Endeavour says, “Beware the Jabberwock. What comes next?” This is a reference and quote from Jabberwocky BY LEWIS CARROLL. This was a clue from Endeavour to Bunty on what to do. She bites Black’s hand. The lines of the poem are: “Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!”
‘Midwich‘ is a reference to the novel, The Midwich Cuckoos (1957) by John Wyndham. The book is about a quiet village where all women of child bearing age are pregnant. The women have been impregnated by an alien race. All the children have golden eyes, light blonde hair and pale, silvery skin. The novel was turned into a film titled The Village of the Damned in 1960. It’s a good film and worth watching out for but the book is far better.
A literary connection is to the book The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, or, The Murder at Road Hill House by Kate Summerscale. The book is based on the real life murder of a child in 1860. The detective who was investigating the murder was ridiculed in the Punch magazine and apparently died a broken man. Not unlike the detective in the Blaise-Hamilton case who also died a broken man through overuse of drink. The young three old killed in the Victorian murder had his throat slit. He was killed by a half sibling Constance. There are quite a few other similarities.
In Nocturne a large stoned ring brought back from India by Samuel Blaise-Halilton and handed down through the years is reminiscent of the Wilkie Collins novel The Moonstone. A novel believed to be the first detective novel. In the novel Rachel Verinder, inherits a large diamond that originally came from India.
At 25 minutes Petra Briars says, “Oh look, the Kraken awakes.” This is a reference to another John Wyndham novel, The Kraken Awakes.
‘Tich Thomas’ is I believe a reference to the Philip Larkin poem about poster vandalism, ‘Sunny Prestatyn’ though in the poem he is ‘Titch Thomas’.
Is Russell Lewis a fan of P.G. Wodehouse. One of the characters in the episode is called Bunty Glossop. A reference to Hildebrand “Tuppy” Glossop or Honoria Glossop?
Around the 11 minute mark we can see a painting reflected in the mirror.
It might be an early Sketch for Constables “A Boat Passing a Lock”. here is one below.
At 45 minutes Endeavour and Thursday visit the home of Stephen Fitzowen. On one of the walls is a painting.
It looks like a poor pastiche of Joseph Mallord William Turner’s ‘Fishermen at Sea.’
Fishermen at Sea exhibited 1796 Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851 Purchased 1972 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T01585
In the opening scenes we see what is called in the episode Blythe Mount School for Girls.
This location is Reddam House in Wokingham, formerly Bearwood College. The scene above is looking over Bearwood Lake.
At the two minute mark the teacher and pupils of Blythe Mount School for Girls enter the museum.
This is the Museum Of Natural History, Parks Road, Oxford.
© Chris Sullivan
At the four and a half minute mark Endeavour is driving down Merton Street.
At around the 18 and half minute mark, Endeavour is interviewing the American couple.
This is Exeter College, Oxford.
If you want to take a short tour of Exeter College here is a video I created of my visit there.
At around 20 and a half minutes Endeavour is walking with Daisy Weiss. This is Brasenose Lane.
At 28 and a half minutes we get a view of the College of Arms with St Paul’s Cathedral in the background.
The Police Station.
The location is Southgate Town Hall, 6 Palmerston Cres, Palmers Green, London N13 4UA.
Mr and Mrs Gardiner waiting to meet their grand-daughter.
This is Fellows Garden, Exeter College, Oxford. To see more of this lovely location watch my video above on Exeter College.
For the second series the crew moved to a new building to create new offices for the police force, interior shots of Thursday’s home and Endeavour’s flat.
This is an old Victorian building in Taplow, Buckinghamshire. It also holds the production offices. A old paper mill is near to this building and is where the sets were built. The Victorian building is called Glen Island House.
The Old Paper Mill and surrounding buildings have now been transformed into homes. The buildings in the above map to the left of the power house are what is left of the paper mill.
Thanks to Ian Norridge who sent me the following information, ” I immediately recognised the location of the school, and this may solve your question relating to the “Bulstrode” reference. In short, the first shot of the school, through the gates, is not the same location as where most of the school parts were filmed. I’m pretty certain that initial shot through the gates is of Bulstrode House, which is near Gerrards Cross; and also very close to Pinewood Studios.”
At 24 minutes Endeavour and Ms Frazil have a drink.
This is the Royal Standard of England pub, Forty Green, Buckinghamshire.
Endeavour and Strange are waiting in the pub for two girls. Around the 54 minute mark.
I believe it is the same pub as mentioned above. I believe they also use the same pub for the scene at the end of the episode when the guys are all watching the World Cup.
Actors who appeared in the Endeavour Series 2, Episode ‘NOCTURNE’ and/or Morse or Lewis.
There are three actors who make connections in the Morse universe.
Firstly we have Lucy Boynton. Lucy played Petra Briers in ‘Nocturne’ and Zoe Suskin in the Lewis episode ‘The Gift of Promise’ (Series 5, Episode 4).
Lucy Boynton as Petra Briers in ‘Nocturne’.
Lucy Boynton as Zoe Suskin in the Lewis episode, ‘The Gift of Promise.
Secondly, we have Diane Fletcher. Diane played Bronwen Symes in the Endeavour episode and Marion Brooke in the Morse episode, ‘Masonic Mysteries’. (There’s those pesky Masons popping up again).
Lastly, we have Lynn Farleigh who played Tabby Gardiner in the Endeavour episode and Jane Cotterel in the Morse episode, ‘The Daughter’s of Cain’. Lynn’s characters have an element of synchronicity about them. Lynn Farleigh’s character in the Morse episode was a curator at the Oxford Natural History Museum while her character in the Endeavour episode was first seen in the same Natural History Museum and was also where the murder victim, Adrian Weiss, was found. Spooky eh?
Connections between Endeavour episodes above and beyond the usual suspects are Greg Bennett who again turns up as a policeman in ‘Nocturne’.
Greg has appeared as a Police Constable in – ‘Trove’ (2014), ‘Home’ (2013), ‘Rocket’ (2013), ‘Fugue’ (2013) and Girl (2013). He also appeared as a PC in the Lewis episodes – ‘The Indelible Stain’ (2012), ‘Generation of Vipers’ (2012) and ‘The Great and the Good’.
Another extra who has appeared in other Endeavour episodes is Stuart Matthews. In this episode he appears as a barman.
CONNECTIONS OTHER THAN ACTORS TO THE LEWIS AND ORIGINAL MORSE SERIES.
At 17 minutes Endeavour is listening to music in his flat. The music is Antonin Dvorak’s, Songs My Mother Taught Me. This piece of music is played in the Lewis episode Expiation, Series 1, episode 3.
I have two minor connections. The first victim, the Genealogist Adrian Weiss was what is known as a Herald. Heraldry and the creation of coats of arms for private individuals was a subject in the Morse episode, Who Killed harry Field?
At 24 minutes Endeavour walks past a large billboard.
This is a poster of Diane Day who featured in the Endeavour episode, Trove.
At around the 36 and a half minute mark Endeavour is talking to Miss Danby about Bunty Glossop’s disappearance. She says that Bunty is a candidate for Lady Matildas. Lady Matildas is a fictional Oxford College that appeared in the Lewis episode, Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things. The fictional college also turned up in the Endeavour episode, Zenana.
The character Stephen Fitzowen reminds me of a Morse character, Walter Majors played by Sam Kelly in the episode, Second Time Around.
Like Majors, Fitzowens domicile is rather messy and he is never without a glass in his hand.
At 48 minutes Fitzowen tells the story of the killings of the Blaise Hamiltons. He mentions that Charlotte, the only surviving member of the family was sent to Holmwood park Sanitorium. Holmwood Park was a location in the Lewis episode, Falling Darkness. That was the Lewis episode where Hobson’s friend is killed and Hobson is kidnapped.
One of the films the foursome see at the cinema is Rasputin The Mad Monk.
The film has a connection to the Morse Universe. The film stars Richard Pasco. Richard played William Bryce-Morgan in the episode, Dead on Time. He was Susan’s brother. The second film on the bill, The Reptile, has a rather tenuous link to the Morse Universe.
Richard Pasco as Dr. Zargo in ‘Rasputin the Mad Monk.
One of the stars of the film is Charles Lloyd Park father to Roger Lloyd Park. Roger played Donald Martin in the Morse episode The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn.
A film adaption of the Midwich Cuckoos was made 1960 called, ‘The Village of the Damned’. In that film starred one, Jenny Laird who played Mrs Keelan, who was Charlie Hillian’s housekeeper in the Morse episode, ‘Second Time Around’, (Series 5, Episode 1)
Jenny Laird (Born: Feb 13, 1912, Died: October 31, 2001) as Mrs Keelan.
Charlotte Mitchell also starred in the ‘Village of the Damned’ and also appeared in the Morse episode, ‘The Dead of Jericho’ (Series 1, Episode 1) as Mrs Staveley.
Charlotte Mitchell (Born: July 23, 1926 Died: May 2, 2012) as Mrs Staveley in the Dead of Jericho.
Of course, one could easily connect a lot of British TV and films to the Morse Universe.
A very tenuous connection coming up. One of the characters in the episode is Bunty Glossop. There is a family called Glossop in the P.G. Wodehouse books about Jeeves and Wooster. In the TV series based on the books, one Liz Kettle played Honoria Glossop. Liz Kettle played a WPC in five Morse episodes; Last Seen Wearing (episode 5), The Settling of the Sun (episode 6), The Sins of the Father (episode 13), Second Time Around (episode 16) Happy Families (episode 22).
To read my Q & A with Liz Kettle click HERE.
Writing of tenuous links, here is another from James Fox-Birks from the comments section. It is tenuous but is certainly interesting. Here is what James wrote, Regarding a link via the “Inspector Morse episode, The Sins of the Father. This would be through the fact, that in this Endeavour episode and the original Morse episode I just alluded to, both have a murderer, who had traced their family tree back to the nineteenth century, and thus to Victorian times, discovering they had a potential large inheritance from that period, hitherto unknown to them, before, they had found their true family roots and heritage. Unfortunately, of course, in both episodes, the murderer chooses to kill, to lay their individual and grubby hands, on this much sought after inheritance.” Thank you James.
Before the minute mark we see a list of people who had entered the sweepstake.
I can’t be sure if this is a coincidence or was done on purpose but the names Holbrooks, Price, Dutton and Parks are all surnames of crew members.
The Museum of Natural History on Parks Road, Oxford has been used in other episodes in the Morse Universe.
For example, in the Morse episode The Daughters of Cain and the Lewis episode, Expiation.
At around the seven minute mark Endeavour is interviewing Terence Black. Terence has mentioned he is attending Wolsey College (Not an actual college in Oxford). Endeavour remarks on being told by Black that he is working to refill the coffers, “Something at which the Cardinal himself proved rather adept.” Endeavour is referring to Cardinal Wolsey, English archbishop, statesman and a cardinal of the Catholic Church under Henry VIII.
Endeavour looks at the register of visitors to the museum.
We see the names of the Americans, Tabby and Nahum Gardiner.
At around the eight and a half minute mark we see a signpost.
I’m assuming ‘Midwich’ is a reference to the novel, The Midwich Cuckoos (1957) by John Wyndham. The book is about a quiet village where all women of child bearing age are pregnant. The women have been impregnated by an alien race. All the children have golden eyes, light blonde hair and pale, silvery skin. The novel was turned into a film titled The Village of the Damned in 1960. It’s a good film and worth watching out for.
The book “Plighted Cunning: An account of the Blaise-Hamilton murders” by Stephen Fitzowen.
Russell Lewis has said that the character, Stephen Fitzowen, was a nod to Dashiell Hammett’s The Dain Curse, which featured a writer Owen Fitzstephan.
At around the 21 and a half minute mark Endeavour is talking to Terence Black. Terence tells Morse the Katar and other items were left to the Blaise-Hamilton family by a member of the family who died at Cawnpore. The Siege of Cawnpore was a key episode in the Indian rebellion of 1857. Cawnpore is now referred to as Kanpor.
While at the College of Arms (28 and a half minute mark) the Herald says of Morse’s name, “Argent between three pellets, a battle axe gules.” This is a description of the coat of arms of one Samuel Finley Breese Morse.
Robin Bulstrode goes onto say In Deo non armis fido which translates as ‘In God we trust, not weapons’.
The coat of arms above is also part of Morse College, Yale. Morse College have translated In Deo non armis fido as“In God, not arms, I trust.”
At around the 38 minute mark Endeavour is searching the upper rooms. He opens a locked door.
Is this painting of Samuel Blaise Hamilton supposed to be a reference to Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray?
At 55 minutes the foursome leave the cinema after watching a horror double bill.
The above films are actual films released in 1966. Rasputin, the Mad Monk is a 1966 Hammer horror film. It’s not a great film but worth watching on a damp Sunday afternoon. The film The Reptile is about a Cornish village, various locals die from mysterious snake bites, but the coroner rules the deaths as heart attacks, until a family of newcomers starts an investigation. I haven’t seen it so I can’t comment on it’s worthiness.
So the ring that was handed down through the generations of Blaise-Hamiltons had the sign of the Masons underneath the stone.
So do we assume it was for this reason why Samuel Blaise-Hamilton managed to get the police to arrest the wrong man for the murder of his children and protect his Indian son. But who took the ring? Will this question be answered in series 8?
Being a fan of the band Genesis and a person of a certain age this reference stood out.
Here is the cover of the Genesis album, Nursery Cryme.
This reference is emphasised by two characters being named Stephanie Hackett and Philippa Collins-Davidson. Genesis included members Steve Hackett, and Phil Collins. The album sleeve notes also mention a Cynthia Jane De Blaise-William who beheaded Henry Hamilton-Smythe. Blaise-Hamilton is the name of the slaughtered family in the episode.
In the episode we have two characters, a Mr Weiss and a Mr Black. Weiss is German for white. Is it to simple to read into this that it was about good and evil. Weiss wore the metaphorical white hat while Terence Black wore the black hat.
On the poster of Diane Day there is a name scrawled on it, Tich Thomas. I can’t be sure what the graffiti ‘Tich Thomas’ refers to. It must be some kind of ‘in’ joke. The only reference for the year 1966 is ‘Tich’ of the group Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. But Tich’s real name is Ian Frederick Stephen Amey. If anyone knows what it means let me know via the comments section below. Or is it a reference to the Larkin poem I mentioned in the literary references? Thanks to John Molloy he pointed out that there is actually a connection to the band Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. One of the girls places a note in Endeavour’s pocket which reads, ‘Save Me.’ The aforementioned band released a song in 1966 titled, ‘ Save Me.’
Thanks to Nick who noted in the comments section of another of my posts; “When Thursday and Morse visit the College of Arms in London, the herald who meets them and tells Morse about his family coat-of-arms and motto refers to a colleague called ‘Sir Hilary’. I would be surprised if this were not a reference to Sir Hilary Bray, a (fictional) College of Arms herald who meets James Bond when the latter visits the College in Ian Fleming’s ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ which was published in 1963 and made into a film in 1969. Like Morse, 007 is treated to a description of his family coat-of-arms and told what his family motto is! In the movie, Sir Hilary (whose name is later used by Bond as an alias) was played by George Baker, an actor best known for playing Inspector Wexford in ITV’s ‘The Ruth Rendell Mysteries’.”
Thanks to Tom who commented on one of my previous posts; “Bearwood College in Wokingham was used in 1997 for a John Thaw vehicle called Into the Blue where he visits a teacher at the school, they showed a scene with loads of pupils on cross country which was being run by the teacher played by the actor Nick Dunning (The Tudors fame).”
The following are some interesting points made by John Molloy about the episode and more,
“What really prompted me to watch Nocturne with more than my usual interest in Morse,etc episodes, was the comments attributed to Nick and Alexander in your excellent review of this episode referencing James Bond, Sir Hilary Bray and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. This is because I am a fan of 007. I do not wish to rain on anyone’s parade but the suggestion that Sir Hilary being away from the College of Arms ties in with Bond being able to impersonate him when visiting Blofeld in the film of OHMSS does not take account of the following. Nocturne is set in July which is in the summer. Bond visits Blofeld as Sir Hilary Bray in both the film and the book in winter with snow featuring in abundance in the action. Nocturne is set in 1966 yet filming for OHMSS began 2 years later with the finished product being released in cinemas in 1969. Of course it could be said that the action in the film looks back to events of a few years ago but any such observation is defeated by looking at the UK number plate on Bond’s Aston Martin DBS. It is GKX 8G. The model was produced from 1967 and G plates covered 1/8/1968 to 31/7/1969. I suggest the film makers must be held to account here because they make Sir Hilary a genealogist at the Royal College of Arms whereas in the book of OHMSS first published in 1963 the scenario is different. In the book Ian Fleming names Bond’s first contact at the College Griffon Or Pursuivant who passes him on to Sable Basilisk because it is the latter who is handling Blofeld’s case. It is Sable Basilisk who suggests that because he is about Bond’s age and not unlike Bond to look at Bond should adopt the persona of Sable Basilisk’s friend, Sir Hilary Bray. Sir Hilary is described in Chapter 8 as having a good war record, sounds like being a reliable sort of chap, living in some remote Highland Glen, watching birds and climbing the hills with his bare feet and never seeing a soul. It is thought there is no reason why anyone in Switzerland, which is where Blofeld is, should have heard of Sir Hilary Bray.
Have you noticed that in the book of OHMSS Bond’s first contact at the College of Arms is named Griffon which, setting aside for one moment the automobile racing reference that name has in the Morse Universe, is the name given to a mythical creature part lion and part eagle. Who do Endeavour and Fred Thursday briefly consult with in Nocturne? Cendree Wyvern Pursuivant. A wyvern is also a mythical creature, a winged dragon. Wikipedia informs me that cendree is a tincture ( French cendres ) , the grey of ashes, iron and stone walls, and that the name cendree is rare in Anglophone heraldry but common in Germany and to a lower extent France.
Interestingly, the first murder victim in Nocturne, Weiss has a German name. As you point out it translates to white. His killer was Black. Black and white were the colours worn by W. Germany when losing to England in the football World Cup Final, white shirts and black shorts. Are the 2 names another of Russell Lewis’ references to the sporting background to this episode?”
FRED THURSDAY’S WORDS OF WISDOM.
At around the five minute mark Endeavour and Thursday are in the car. Endeavour has no interest in the football match. Thursday says,
” When it comes to talking football with you, I might as well show a dog the three card trick.”
THE MURDERED, THEIR MURDERER/S AND THEIR METHODS.
The first victim is Adrian Weiss. Throat slit by Terence Black using a cut throat razor. Wiess knew that Terence Black was not the only descendent of the Blaise-Hamilton family; Miss Bronwen Symes was the other descendent. Terence Black was not willing to share the inheritance so had to silence Weiss.
Maud Ashenden. Throat slit by Terence Black with a cut throat razor. Maud came across Terence Black while running through the school. He had to silence her.
Five Blaise-Hamilton murders in 1866 all murdered with a croquet mallet.
Barry Ashton as Genealogist Adrian Weiss
Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday
Sara Vickers as Joan Thursday
Shaun Evans as DC Endeavour Morse
James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn
Daniel Ings as Terence Black
Kate Lamb as Daisy Weiss
Diane Fletcher as Miss Bronwen Symes
Lucy Boynton as Petra Briers
Emily Renée as Shelly Thengardi
Nell Tiger Free as Bunty Glossop
Susy Kane as Miss Victoria Danby
Anya Taylor-Joy as Philippa Collins-Davidson
Desmond Barrit as Stephen Fitzowen
Michael Shannon as Nahum Gardiner
Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil
Shvorne Marks as Monica Hicks
Thomas Arnold as Cendree Wyvern
Anton Lesser as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright
Simon Kunz as DI Bart Church
Lynn Farleigh asTabby Gardiner
Ian Peck as Ossie Lloyd
Sean Rigby as PC Jim Strange
Struan Rodger as Wilf Karswell
Jack Laskey as DS Peter Jakes
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