Looks Like the Endeavour Series Will End As Predicted, at 33 Episodes.

Hello everyone and welcome to a new post.

Well, it looks like the Endeavour series will end as predicted, at 33 episodes. It is no surprise to those who believed that Russell Lewis the creator and writer of all the Endeavour episodes would not go beyond the number of episodes that the original Morse series and the Lewis series stopped at. I have said many times in the past that I believed that it would be disrespectful for Russell to make more episodes that The Morse and Lewis series. But, if nothing else the Endeavour series has become tired and has lost it’s way in regards to who Endeavour Morse is as a character.

Here is an article from the gossip magazine Hello! published on the 6th July 2020. Written by Francesca Shillcock. The article has been taken from the British TV magazine The Radio Times from near the beginning of the year. It’s not much of a story but I thought you would like to read it.

Endeavour’s Shaun Evans confirms his future on the show.

Endeavour has been keeping its fans entertained for seven series but lead star Shaun Evans, who plays a young Endeavour Morse in the show, has hinted that his character may not be returning after series eight.

The actor, 40, who has played the lead since it began in 2012, was talking to Radio Times earlier this year ahead of the premiere of series seven, when he explained he admitted to not wanting to “milk” his time on the show.

“This is our story and we shouldn’t be staying at the party too long,” he began, adding: “It’s difficult because it’s like planning your own funeral. Why would I not want to be earning this money? Why would I not want to be hanging out with these people who I love? But you have to be strict [because] we shouldn’t be milking it.”

Russell Lewis, who writes the show that is a prequel to Inspector Morse, also added that the show’s end could be on the horizon. “I’ll do it for as long as they want me to, but I do know how it ends. We wouldn’t want to get to the point where you can see the join [of the two shows], I think we’ll bow out long before that.”

Although fans would no doubt be disappointed to hear news of the show finishing, it’s not over yet! Russell also opened up to Radio Times about when to expect the next instalment, and also hinted about the upcoming storyline. “Everything is in the planning stage,” he said. “We know the cards that remain in our hand, and it’s very much a case of arranging the order in which they’re played in order to bring about the desired ‘grand slam.'”

The popular detective show is a spin-off from the hugely popular John Thaw series Inspector Morse. In the show, Shaun plays a younger incarnation of the character, who is highly intelligent but sometimes struggles to connect with his more human side, as displayed by his mentor DI Fred Thursday.

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Author: Chris Sullivan

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

36 thoughts

  1. Hi Chris, Well, I know I am among the absolute minority, to say the least, but I enjoyed series 7 except for the animosity between Thursday and Endeavour. To That point, I know others have remarked about how that did not really fit into the relationship that Endeavour and Thursday had developed in the last seasons, i.e. more of a father/son, brother or even respectful colleagues. Yes there were certainly weak points in series 7 but by and large still better than anything else I would care to watch. I kind of felt like the friction between them was in a large part because Thursday was extremely disappointed with what happened with his brother and now he is unable to retire as he planned even though he was burned out as far as seeing the dark side of life and dealing with awful crimes. He was ready to retire and should have at that point. So that would cause some bitterness in him. As he said in other episodes, he was coming to the slow realization that his time and way of doing things was past and a new way was coming in. Add that to the arrogance and egotism that is inherent in Endeavour and you have what we have seen in series 7. I was always one to believe that with great intelligence comes arrogance whether the person means it or not. Sometimes that just goes hand in hand.
    I’m hoping with the end of series 7 Thursday and Endeavor will come back to their caring and respectful feelings toward each other so they can part in a way that will not leave US angry! And I’m also hoping that Russell Lewis will segue into how Morse now has a new future with McNutt in a thoughtful and heartwarming way. All in all and no matter what I love all the series and all the characters and I will be sorry to see it end. But I do have all the DVD’s so it will not really end for me, as it did not end with Morse for me.
    And to further be honest – again I will be in the absolute minority – although I have all the Lewis DVD’s, the Lewis series was not a favorite of mine. I just could not get past his complete change of character from the one he portrayed in Morse to the one he is in Lewis and I didn’t feel the same about the rapport between Hathaway and Lewis as I did between Lewis and Morse.

    1. I’m part of your minority, Kathleen, I’d say you lay this out very well!
      “[W]ith great intelligence comes arrogance whether the person means it or not.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

      I’ll go even further than you: I honestly don’t see how this Hello! article adds up to “only 33 episodes and no more.” At the very least, I’d bet there will be 34, which will leave us with a neat-and-tidy total of 100.

      Agreed that Lewis is my least favorite of the three series, although I do love the Hathaway character. What do you think of a 4th series, maybe centered around a young Det. Constable Fred Thursday? That would take us back into the post-WWII era, could potentially be quite wonderful costuming etc…

      1. Hi Marie, Glad to hear I am not totally alone in my thinking! I would absolutely love a series about a young Thursday. Great idea. He is such an interesting character especially the expressions he comes out with. And I would love to see a series in that time period.

      2. Hi Marie. In the latest series we had three episodes. The first time there has been that number of episodes. So that brought the total to 30 episodes. I believe there will also be three episodes in the eighth series bringing the total to 33. There had to be a reason Russell wrote only three episodes for the seventh series.

      1. Thank you, Bo. I love the fact hat we can all express our opinions in such a friendly atmosphere on Chris’s wonderful website.

    2. Such Great points Kathleen – and if Russell had written it more that way and shown what you have expressed here it would have been much more satisfying. ‘With great intelligence, comes arrogance’- so true – except why did his ‘great intelligence’ not extend to Ludo (and Violetta) – he was so obviously dodgy that it was almost laughable AND someone with low intelligence would have been at least suspicious.

      Perhaps that great intelligence and arrogance was blinded by Violetta – hence why I think it would have made much more sense to have her completely a villain as well. Ludo saw that his intelligence could be blinded by arrogance and planted Violetta. To me that is the only way it makes sense (and I know it is only TV so does not need to make perfect sense – but a good series like this should at least try to do so)

      1. Yes Maria, I think you right. Although Violeta did become a romantic distraction for Endeavour ( and love or infatuation can certainly dull the senses! ) I think Ludo thought himself to be intellectually superior to Endeavour and wanted to use him as a source of information. And I don’t think Ludo intended, nor was he happy about, Endeavour’s love affair with Violeta. Also when Endeavour first met Ludo he was not aware of any crime being committed. Although I do agree that Endeavour was a bit naive to not at least give a second thought as to why Ludo was suddenly his best friend. But that is a point to ponder- was Endeavour meeting Violeta in Venice just happenstance or was it really set up by Ludo? But then again a Ludo seemed to feel totally betrayed by that affair.
        Ohh, I seem to be debating with myself!!

    3. Did anyone think killing Bright’s wife was way too harsh & unnecessary? I loved the Morse series but don’t remember if that was a necessary link.

  2. I must say that I’m sad that Endeavour never, in my opinion, lived up to the expectations of the wonderful series that came before it. There were some good strong series and individual episodes but as time wore on the show has petered out and all we’re left with is a boring and uninteresting series 7 and now predicting a moribund series 8 as they try to wrap up a boatload of loose ends in the last three episodes. The big question is what comes next for the Morse universe? The franchise still has power and the genre is just as popular as it’s been since Morse came on the scene. We all pine for a Hathaway series to continue the story on into the future but maybe something else?

  3. Hi Chris. I have recently discovered, two interesting articles from the RadioTimes online, that are basically, fascinating interviews with the Endeavour series, creator and writer, Russell Lewis, which provides further background information about him, that I certainly, did not know. I realise Chris, you showcase all the articles advertising Endeavour, when it is about to broadcast a new series, so it is possible, they may already be placed on your website. I thought they were very illuminating, and I will share the links, to these two articles.

    The first web page link, is a discussion with Russell Lewis during the closing stages of the filming of the fifth series of Endeavour, which was first broadcast in 2018. Here is that link:

    https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2018-08-10/meet-endeavour-writer-russell-lewis-a-real-man-of-mystery/

    The subject, of why he writes every single feature length Endeavour episode is touched upon. While, we are all very grateful for his creation of the show, and all his hard work, writing every episode, I was not very convinced by his reasoning, as why he has never allowed other talented writers, to also join his project, and further enrich the programme, with new ideas and greater diversity. Russell says “we’d already set up an idiosyncratic template, and I have real trouble overwriting other people”. I find that a poor excuse, although, of course, at least you cannot accuse him of taking the easy option, or way out. Nevertheless, he has thus set himself, considerable hard graft, over the past few years, by taking all this on, which has perhaps led to a decline, in its recent standards.

    I know Colin Dexter was a novelist, rather than a screenplay writer, but after the first two series of Inspector Morse, that were based on Dexter’s novels, from series three onwards, Colin took a more background role, by writing the plots and adjusting scripts, so as not to destroy the original characterisation. Many talented screenwriters, were of course, brought in, to further enhance Dexter’s creation and stories. This role of script editor, for Dexter, continued through the Lewis series, and in the early series of Endeavour, before Colin sadly passed away, in 2017. It is too late now, but what I am saying is, that should have been Russell Lewis’s role as creator of Endeavour. This approach by Dexter, I believe, led to the high quality of writing, being maintained throughout the Inspector Morse and Lewis series, but possibly, due to the lack of new writers being brought on-board, by Russell and ITV, the high quality of Endeavour, has recently diminished, in my opinion.

    The final link, I will portray, is an article from April of this year, which is another interesting discussion with Russell Lewis, as he talks about his creation, Endeavour, amidst the uncertainity of the lockdown. The inevitable conversation, about the final ending and conclusion, to his Endeavour show, is of course, also mentioned. Here is the link, to this web page:

    https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2020-04-14/endeavour-ending-future/

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

    1. Hi James, Thank you for supplying those links. Russell Lewis certainly is a unique individual and the articles were very interesting; although, not being British I was not familiar with many of the references to characters and shows but still enjoyed reading them. It seems that Lewis had a definite mindset as to how he wanted the series to run and was so sure of it that he did not want other writers to tweak that in anyway. His prerogative I guess.

      1. Hi Kathleen. Thanks for taking the time to read those links, and I’m pleased to hear, that you found them interesting. I agree with you, undoubtedly, Russell Lewis is a very unique individual, and a very clever writer. As you say, it’s his prerogative, to have taken on the task, of writing every single, Endeavour episode. To be fair to him, he has written many brilliant episodes of Endeavour, and I appreciate all the great work, he has accomplished, by creating and writing, this Morse prequel. However, I just feel, that recently, it would have helped, if some new ideas, and a slightly fresher approach, had been brought, to the writing of the show, to prevent it from becoming stale, and to maintain the high standards it set, in the first four series.

  4. After I had just sent my previous comment, I realised that perhaps, the second link I shared with you, Chris, could be the RadioTimes article, you mentioned in your post above. I apologise, if that is the case, although I had been meaning to portray this article on your website, a few weeks ago, but I hadn’t got round to it, but when you spoke of Russell Lewis, in this post tonight, I thought it was a good opportunity. Thank you, and goodbye for now.

  5. I am also slightly puzzled, as to why my first comment, featuring the two RadioTimes articles, is awaiting moderation, and yet my quick second comment, has gone through as normal, without requiring moderation? Is that something to do with the two links from RadioTimes online, articles, I placed, in my comments? Sorry, if I have caused any problems, for you, Chris.

    1. It is because of the links James. I have set my site to halt first comments and comments with links for approval.

      1. Thanks Chris, for clearing up that issue. Hopefully my comments with those links, meets your approval. To briefly summarize my first main remarks, Russell Lewis is a brilliant writer, but by taking on so much hard work, in writing every single episode of Endeavour, however nobly, he has perhaps undermined his own brilliance, and possibly overburdened himself, with this huge task.

      2. Hi Chris. I have enjoyed reading the interesting discussion on this page, as many erstwhile contributors, have shared their views and opinions, about Endeavour, and the future of the Morse universe. I just wondered, if you don’t mind me asking Chris, what did you think of the two RadioTimes articles, those conversations with Russell Lewis, I just happened to come across? Perhaps you have read them before. In addition, I know you are currently busy, with more great work for this website, so you probably haven’t had the time to comment.

        I certainly learnt, some fascinating new background information, concerning the ubiquitous writer of Endeavour. For instance, the fact, that he was brought up, by his maternal grandmother and her second husband. Given that Russell was born in 1963, I was curious how he acquired such a good understanding of the 1960s, which has been portrayed in his writing of Endeavour. Undoubtedly, he must have a good knowledge of the history of that decade. However, he was so young, as the 1960s came to a close, would he have been able to remember some of the dialogue, used at the time. However, it would seem, that by being brought up by an older generation, perhaps this partly explains, how his writing, and the character’s dialogue in the series, accurately captures, the 1960s in action, and the spirit of those times. I know I previously criticised Russell, but I will praise him, for the historical authenticity, he has conveyed, in his writing of the series, set in the mid-1960s to early 1970s. Anyway that is all for now. Thank you, and keep safe and well.

      3. Further to my most recent comment, I forgot to mention, Russell Lewis, does have one early childhood memory of the 1960s, when he was very young. He remembers happily watching the “Chigley”, “Trumpton”, “Camberwick Green”, stop motion trilogy. As you portrayed Chris, in your excellent review of the Endeavour episode, “Confection”, he used this treasured childhood recollection, to create the fictional village of “Chigton Green”, seen in that episode. You explained in that review, Chris, that the “Chig”, comes from Chigley, the “ton”, comes from Trumpton, and the “Green”, comes from Camberwick Green. This is also alluded to, of course, in the second RadioTimes article link, I posted, as Russell says, he grew up with those children’s programmes, and “Confection”, was a hearkening back to some lost, bucolic, Elysium. The world of “Trumptonshire,” was thus, put to the front and centre, of that Endeavour episode, by Russell Lewis.

        I suppose you could argue, this isn’t disimilar to your recent interesting post, Chris, on Russell’s refeneces to the game of Cluedo, as depicted in his writing of the Lewis episode, “The Dead of Winter”. Russell subtly portrayed the world of “Cluedo”, in that Lewis episode, while in his Endeavour episode, he depicted the world of “Trumptonshire”. He does like to play games, with his writing doesn’t he, in fact, with that Lewis episode, he actually played a game of Cluedo! Thanks to your superb analysis Chris, you are able to decipher many of Russell Lewis’s references. I sometimes wonder, whether thinking up all these references, can get in the way of writing a good story, and I will leave that judgement for others to decide, but there is no doubting, that Russell is a very clever writer.

      4. Hi Chris. I hope you don’t mind me asking, but I just wondered, what you thought of those two RadioTimes articles, I discovered. I found them interesting, and I learnt new background information, about a certain Mr. Russell Lewis. Perhaps you have read them before, though. Anyway, thanks for approving those two links, and I look forward to your reply. Goodbye for now.

      5. I read both articles when they were first published. I have written before about Russell Lewis’s overuse of film, TV and literature references. I wrote that he should spend more time on honing the script and less time wondering where to put his media references. I get the impression that he writes a list of references he wants to use during a series and then shoehorns them in.

      6. Thanks for your reply Chris. I wholeheartedly agree with you, the primary function of a writer, in this case, a detective mystery writer, should be to tell a good authentic story, with some twists and turns, and originality, in the plot. That is clearly difficult to do, but any literary or media references should only be included, if deemed strictly necessary, and if they add any value to the story, being told.

        Unfortunately, Russell Lewis, appears to have become overly fond of “shoehorning”, in his references, as you called it Chris, and I think in recent series, that has been to the detriment of Endeavour. As a consequence, the main plots in the later Endeavour episodes, have been below the quality, we expect of the Morse universe, and lacking originality or greater depth. In the sense that, when one further examines an episode, the plot does not stand up to scrutiny, and sadly, it falls down too easily, like a house of cards. Regrettably, there are faults and flaws in these stories, which you have expertly pinpointed, another word to use, would be plot holes, or as I have called them, “potholes”. Anyhow, we all hope for a much better final series of Endeavour. That is all from me, for now. Thanks Chris, and all the best.

  6. Hi Chris- you write that you think the reason that Russell only wrote 3 episodes for series 7 is that series 8 can therefore will have 3 as to not surpass 33 in total – and I agree that I don’t think they will go past 33 – however, I am sure i read in an interview with either Shaun or Russell that the shorter series was due to availability of the leads – Allam or Evans.

    Although i must admit I don’t believe much of what Lewis says in interviews i think he likes to play with the viewer – so many of his interviews he makes statements about the series that clearly he already knows are untrue,

    James – I absolutely agree that the huge burden of writing every episode has weakened the series over time (and that is no reflection on his great writing) but I do think the weakening of the series has also been a result of Evans having too much influence over storyline and content. Lewis has even stated that Evans has over-ruled him on a number of occasions (in series 6 and 7) and demanded (suggested) he completely re-write a scene even after it had been filmed.

    1. Hi Maria. Thanks for reading my comments. You could be right, in relation to Shaun Evans having a greater influence over the series. I believe in recent years, he has become an associate producer for the show, although I do not know exactly, what the role entails. Furthermore, Shaun has also of course, directed two episodes of Endeavour. These were, “Apollo”, from last year’s second episode of the sixth series, and “Oracle”, the first episode of this year’s seventh series of Endeavour. By directing these episodes, alongside his acting duties, clearly his influence has grown, over the storyline and content. Whether this has weakened the series or not, it is a little difficult to tell, not knowing what has been changed, or cut from the scenes. Nonetheless, as I say, this year’s series, was a long way below, the usual high quality, we have come to expect.

      Finally, I do not enjoy speaking negatively about Endeavour, because on the whole, I have very much enjoyed the series over these past few years. In addition, I still enjoy watching all the main characters in action; Morse, Thursday, Bright, Strange, Dr. Max DeBryn, Dorothea Frazil, Win Thursday and Joan Thursday. Let’s hope that the final series, yet to be filmed, and no doubt, severely delayed by the lockdown, takes us back to the halycon days of those early Endeavour episodes, and the series can go out on a high.

  7. Kathleen – I must admit I disagree – I think that Violetta was definitely part of Ludo’s plan. Two reasons – but just my opinion obviously – I just didn’t see enough of Violetta to see her as a great ‘love’ her character was never built or expanded and rather insipid – (she just seemed to stand there with a blank look on her face) so it only passed for me as a sexual attraction / obsession. Even if they had shown more of the 5 months in the apartment but we didn’t even get that. And the fact that she knew that was the young dead girls bed that they were mucking around in made her particularly nasty for me.

    And yes maybe Ludo didn’t like where it went but he why was in Venice the second time if he wasn’t the first when the affair started. Clearly he set up the pickpocket and the whole party thing was so Morse would again come across Violetta again. I am hoping for much better in series 8 – lots of time for them all to work on storylines in lockdown !

    I do wonder what impact that will have on series 8 – one thing about Shaun and the team they do seem very mindful of the crew etc. and their employment and well being – so given there has been such hard times in the industry will that make the go for more episodes or will the cost of Endeavour (clearly an expensive production) have the opposite effect in hard times for ITV (who are financially suffering).

  8. I love Morse, I love Inspector Lewis, and Endeavor is…okay. I would like Endeavor better if it were a stand-alone show, not tied to Morse in any way. Shaun Evans is just not believable to me as a young Morse. I really enjoy this blog and I did buy the Inspector Lewis book. The book is an invaluable resource to my husband and me as we rewatch Inspector Lewis.

    1. Hi Tamara, Shaun has said in a few interviews that he has never watched the Morse series. I always thought that if he did the two characters would meld together better. I think that was a mistake on his part.

      1. Having watched, and enjoyed immensely, ‘Inspector Morse,’ I have never been able to reconcile Shaun’s ‘Endeavour’ becoming the rather irascible curmudgeon that was John Thaw’s Morse. I am looking forward to Series 8 and will be saddened to eventually see the end. As I was with ‘Inspector Morse,’ and ‘Inspector Lewis,’ and many more Masterpiece Mysteries.

      2. Yes I agree Kathleen – I understand it in some ways, however, a bigger mistake (for me) was he (Evans) then trying to base the character a little on the books, while Lewis, the writer, obviously was basing Endeavour (and some events) on the Inspector Morse series – I think that is why it seems a little jarring sometimes. Evans could have still brought his own to the show – we are shaped by so many things in our early life and very few of us are the same at 25 as at 45…..so lots of scope still.

        But I have noticed in interviews (certainly of late) Evans refers to the later Morse TV character more and more so feel he is cherry picking in some ways when he jumps back in other interviews to the books. I love both interpretations of the character.

      3. I agree Maria, I too love both interpretations. Actually, I love everything about the two series! One major similarity I see, and am glad of, in both series is that the young Morse and the older Morse have empathy (and sympathy) for the victim and the innocent people drawn into the crime. And yes I doubt, as we get older, any of us can say we are the same person we were when young.

  9. Yes, I agree to your comment Kathleen, July 10. Chris has given us an outstanding opportunity to “meet” here in this Morse Universe. Opinions diverge as usual and strange if they didn´t, but it gives us all a chance to explore other people’s views.
    Sometimes though, like you say, I feel I belong to the minority. I liked Morse and I like Endeavour, all seasons, some more than others. But Lewis is not my cup of tea and it might be because of Kevin Whately. He’s not a person I sympathize with in the same way as I did with John Thaw as Morse or do with Shaun Evans as Endeavour.
    A series with Thursday, yes I would like that. But even more so I would like to follow what happened to WPC Trewlove and her future as a police woman in those years. There are plenty of series with men from different decades, but not so many are about women, or why not a series with Max DeBryn and a chance to get to know him better? For me, two interesting characters in the Endeavour world.

    1. Bo, A great idea to have a series about young Max with his dry sense of humor and his expressions. Young Max and young Thursday – now there would be show! Some of the detective shows I get on Britbox feature many female inspectors and I was able to get the series Tenneson when she was young and then ordered the DVD of Tenneson with Helen Mirren. Both were very good. In some detective shows I’ve seen though, the script portrays a woman in charge as overly tough or overbearing when it isn’t called for. That can spoil a show and be demeaning. Trewlove wasn’t like that as a WPC so I doubt she would be different as a Chief Inspector. She used her brain instead of her brawn so yes I think that would make a good series as well.

  10. I’m also part of your minority Kathleen as I really enjoyed S7 however we part company on Lewis. I am somewhat reluctant to say this as I adore Morse but I find Lewis to be the one I want to see more than Morse and Endeavour. I just hope that Russell doesn’t stuff up the final episodes. I think it was Chris that suggested that the series should end with Morse parting on positive terms with Fred and welcoming McNutt in the closing seconds.

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