ENDEAVOUR: S2E3. ‘SWAY’; Review + Locations, Literary References, Art, Music etc. SPOILERS.

Hello fellow Endeavourists and welcome to  a new review. I’m sorry it has taken so long to continue with the Endeavour reviews but you all know how it is.

As always I will do my best to include as many locations, literary references, art, episode music etc as I possibly can.


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The times mentioned within sections like, locations, relate to, not the exact time but within which minute it occurred.

Let’s get started.

The episode is set in November 1966.


Where’s Colin?

Colin can be seen on the bus at around 13 minutes.

Directed by Andy Wilson. Andy also directed the Endeavour episode Cartouche.

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’.


A multiple murderer may be stalking and killing the women of Oxford. When a woman is killed, strangled with a stocking, there is very little evidence of a connection between Vivienne Haldane, the latest victim, and two previous women who were strangled. However, Endeavour believes that all three killings are at the hand of the same man.

Meanwhile, Fred Thursday is about to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary when he encounters a past love in the shape of Luisa Armstrong. They met during the second world war; Fred fighting for his country and Luisa was part of a resistance movement in Italy. Will Fred allow himself to fall in love with Luisa again or is his bond with Winifred too strong?

Love is certainly in the air in this episode when Endeavour goes on a date with Monica. Will this turn into a passionate love affair or will his nascent attraction to Joan get in the way?

(warning, this review will contain some spoilers)

Sway is third episode of the second series and had to follow two rather good episodes, Trove and Nocturne. Unfortunately, this episode doesn’t live up to it’s series predecessors but is still a fairly enjoyable episode. Sometimes, an episode of Endeavour can oscillate between good, bad, ridiculous and overused tropes but one can be persuaded, when looking at the episode holistically, that it was well worth watching.

The acting, including the non returning character actors are mostly good. I say ‘mostly’ because Adrian Schiller portrayal as Charles Highbank, the gay window dresser, did wobble between caricature and truthfulness. Of course, Russel Lewis did say to DM Barcroft in an interview, “It was the Carry On team, and Norman Wisdom, I had in mind when I was putting it (the episode) together.” If Adrian Schiller was made aware of what Russell Lewis had in mind then I can forgive Adrian. He certainly at times came across as a version of Charles Hawtrey.

Image result for charles hawtrey

The episode swings between horror, love, lost love, the effects of war on those who survived and the work of Cowley Police trying to find the Oxford strangler. All involved do a superb job of keeping all those plotline plates spinning in the air and at no time does one feel that any of those metaphorical plates will come crashing down.

This I feel was no mean feat as at times one did feel that the plethora of so many plotlines did make the episode lurch from one to the other to the detriment of the main storyline; the murders. The audience was given very little information that would have allowed them to identify the killer. Part of the fun in watching detective TV series is trying to determine who the murderer is before it is revealed within the show. (Unless one is watching Columbo of course). All too often within the Endeavour series, and also occasionally in the Morse and Lewis series, the plot is so dense or filled with too many red herrings regarding the murderer, that one has very little chance of identifying the killer.

Chronologically, Sway is only the eighth episode of the Endeavour series but is the fourth episode to have a multiple murderer: Fugue (Series 1, Episode 2) 3 murders; Rocket (Series 1, Episode 3) 3 murders; Home (Series 1, Episode 4) 3 murders. Multiple murderers or serial killers being the most common name for those who kill three or more people over a period of longer than a month, has become a favourite trope of Russell Lewis. Couple the serial killer with the scorned lover and one has a trope double whammy.

Though the person scorned in this is a man it is no better than the trope of a woman scorned, which is another of Russel’s favourite tropes. The scorned lover is a tired, lazy and overused trope that coupled with the murderer trying to frame someone else for the murders is a sure way to turn off viewers. What is worse is that rather than the murderer, Huggins, killing Joey Lisk, the man who slept with his wife, he kills women to frame Lisk. It’s the kind of absurdity that staggers between Murder She Wrote and Diagnosis Murder.

Does the writer of Endeavour, Russell Lewis realise the problems with the murder plotline and this is why in this episode the murders are secondary to all other plotlines; Fred and Win’s 25th wedding anniversary, Endeavour and Monica dating; Fred’s long lost love Luisa and the trouble and strife of working in a large store. Certainly, love, lost and won, was I felt the main plotline of the episode: Flo Huggins falling out of love with Roy; Fred reliving his love for Luisa; Fred trying to maintain his love for Win; Charles Highbank’s regret at not pursuing a love in his youth; Joan falling for Endeavour; Endeavour falling for Monica and Jakes still in love with himself.

However, these rather tired plotlines are saved by all those involved in the making of the episodes. As I wrote above, if one looks at the episode holistically it is all very enjoyable but just don’t start pulling at any loose threads or the whole frame will collapse.


Did Huggins bring along his record to Gloria’s home? It wouldn’t have been part of her collection.


Did Fred tell Win about his relationship with Luisa? Win was at the funeral with Fred. Win must have asked Fred who she was and why he needed to be at her funeral.

Episode Jag Rating – out of 10.


Due to copyright and/or financial reasons the music used outside the UK may be different.

At the beginning of the episode.

Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor. Lacrimosa dies illa.


In the original broadcast on British television at around the 38 second mark we heard the song Sway sung by Dean Martin.

However, on the DVD version we get a different piece of music playing starting when the woman is dressing. I believe it was written by Barrington Pheloung. I assume that due to copyright and/or financial reasons they couldn’t use the Dean Martin version.


36 minutes. Morse is in his flat surveying photos of the women killed.

The music playing is St Matthew Passion, BMV 244 by Johann SebastianBach.


1 hour and 14 minutes –

After his date with Monica he puts on some music. We only get to hear the music for a few seconds. It may a reprise of St Matthew Passion, BMV 244 by Johann SebastianBach. (see above)


1 hour and 18 minutes in Gloria Deeks flat, Huggins puts on a record.

Again, in the original TV broadcast it was Sway by Dean Martin that played. However, once again, it is the piece by Barrington Pheloung we hear. (See above)


1 hour and 24 minutes –

We hear of the death of Luisa. The music is Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor. Lacrimosa dies illa. See above.


At 23 minutes in Bright’s office we see a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.

This looks to be a version of Dorothy Wilding’s photograph which was then hand drawn by Beatrice Johnson.

Image result for paintings of queen elizabeth second

55 minutes –

Pugh, the blind piano tuner is walking past Burridges. He walks over two drawings by the pavement artist.

This is a drawing of The Death of Marat a painting by Jacques-Louis David of the murdered French revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat.

It's a dead man in a bathtub. He is (or rather was) writing a note with a quill. It could look as if he commited suicide by slitting his wrists in the bath, and there's a knife on the floor and a letter in his hand, but he was in fact murdered. He's bleeding, the water stained red with blood, and he's still holding on to his feather pen.


This is of course a version of one of the five paintings Vincent Van Gogh painted of sunflowers in a vase.

Image result for van gogh sunflowers


We have to assume that the character of the blind piano tuner, Talfryn Pugh, is a nod to Blind Pew the Pirate in Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stephenson.

Around the one hour and three minute mark. Brian Quinbury is telling Endeavour that he uses a stocking to make his prosthetic more confortable. He then goes on to talk of his time in the war and says, “England’s ways to roam.” This is paraphrasing Rupert Brooke’s poem ‘Soldier.’

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam;
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.


Within the first minute.

Radcliffe camera.


Again within the first minute there is a quick shot.

This is New College Lane looking toward New College.


1 Minute. – The department store.

This is Randalls in Uxbridge. Well part of it is.

The ground floor of Randalls has been used while the post production team used a matte shot or CGI to add everything above the ground floor.


1 minute –

The bus is going down Catte Street, passing the Bodleian Library.


3 minutes – 

Unknown location.


5 minutes

This is looking down on All Souls College.


5 minutes –

Morse and Lewis walking through cloisters.

This is New College.


8 minutes –

The Cowley police station.

This is Southgate Town Hall, 6 Palmerston Cres, Palmers Green, London N13 4UA.

13 minutes –

Joan and Win help the blind man onto the bus.

The above is filmed on Catte Street.


19 minutes – 

We get an overhead shot.

This shot would have been filmed from the top of University Church of St Mary the Virgin.


31 minutes.

Thursday visits Luisa Armstrong.

This is King Edward Street, Oxford.


34 minutes –

Monica and Morse’s flats –

This is Parktown.


35 minutes – 

Joey stops to pick up Gloria.

This is Brasenose Lane, Oxford.


39 minutes –

Morse goes to talk to Joey Lisk.



Jakes and Morse visit a Mrs Shears.



55 minutes – 

After the death of Norman Parkis the police investigate.

This is, I believe, the rear of the Randalls store used as a location for Burridges. If you notice the Odeon sign at the top left and the structure jutting out from the building. Below is a photo of the demolition of Randalls store.

1 hour and 3 minutes –

Morse is interviewing Pugh.



1 hour and 8 minutes –

Motorcycle and people running with fireworks.

This is Brasenose Lane.


1 hour and 15 minutes –

Fred and Win’s anniversary party.

Unidentified. Probably a film set.


1 hour and 17 minutes –

The police go to look for Roy Huggins at his house.



1 hour and 25 minutes.

After the inquest. (We never witness the inquest)



After the above scene we see Morse and Fred outside what is supposed to be the Coroner’s Court.

This building behind Morse and Fred is called Old Warden’s Lodge. It is used as library and reading rooms for those attending Merton College. It is on Merton Street, Oxford.


One hour and 26 minutes –

Endeavour reads the letter left by Luisa.

This is New College.


One hour and 27 minutes –

The cemetery where they are burying Luisa.



The interior shots of the Burridges store were shot at Jacksons Store, Reading.


From this episode on 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.


10 minutes – 

Morse and Thursday have a drink.

This is the Royal Standard of England pub, Forty Green, Buckinghamshire.



27 minutes –

Some of the staff of Burridges have a drink.



48 minutes –

Win and Morse go for a drink.

This is again the Royal Standard of England pub, Forty Green, Buckinghamshire where Morse and Fred had a drink. (see above)


49 minutes –

Fred and Luisa have a drink.

Unidentified. It may be a film set.


1 hour and 26 minutes –

Morse and Fred are in a pub.

This is again the Royal Standard of England pub, Forty Green, Buckinghamshire.

Actors who appeared in the Endeavour Episode ‘Sway’ and/or a Morse or Lewis episode.

Michael Thomas as Rufus Haldane

Michael Thomas appeared as the character John McKendrick in the Morse episode, Ghost in the Machine.

Sadly Michael died in March, 2019 at the age of 66.


Paul Lacoux as Mr. Jellicoe.

Paul Lacoux appeared in the Lewis episode, Beyond Good and Evil as the journalist, Hugo Blayne’


Brian Lipson as Talfryn Pugh.

Brian Lipson appeared in the Morse episode, Who Killed Harry Field? as the lawyer, McCabe.

brian lipson as mccabe


Richard Banks is uncredited in the episode and played a gravedigger. He also appeared in the Endeavour episode Arcadia. Again, Richard was uncredited. He played a neighbour.

Image result for Richard Banks actor


In the opening sequence of the Endeavour episode, Trove, we see Diana Day cutting the ribbon and saying that it is with great pleasure to launch Burridges spring to summer fashion.


46 Minutes –

Morse passes a billboard.

This is a poster of the beauty queen, Diana Day, whom we met in the episode, Trove.


At two minutes

We don’t get to meet DI Chard until the final episode of the series 2, Neverland.

Vince Leigh as DI Hugh Chard.


58 minutes –

Morse is talking to Gloria about the murdered Norman. She states that he had no family and believes that when he was young he was in Blenheim Vale. Blenheim Vale turns up in the episode Neverland. It’s a borstal where children were abused.


Thank you to Lesley who noticed a link to the Morse episode Absolute Conviction. In this episode it is mentioned that Gloria Deeks husband is in Farnleigh Prison. Farnleigh Prison is where the three fraudsters are held in the Morse episode.


Is this a pastiche of the billboard in the film, Jaws? Of course Jaws is heavily referenced in the episode, Prey.


The product being advertised, Grimsby Pilchards may be a reference to Tony Hancock.

In the show The Bowmans he says “You’re never alone with a pilchard.” I will wager that Russell Lewis is a fan of Tony Hancock.


Within the first minute we see Morse typing.

This amalgamation becomes more apparent in later episodes. We know that the ‘R’ in Bright’s name is Reginald but do we ever find out what the ‘V’ stands for?


Within the first minute the professor, Rufus Haldane says, “The Greeks called it apeiros. Anaximander of Miletus termed it apeiron.” Anaximander is said to have written about astronomy, geography, and the nature of things. Anaximander set up a gnomon (a shadow-casting rod) at Sparta and used it to demonstrate the equinoxes and solstices and perhaps the hours of the day.


The name Burridges is taken from the Norman Wisdom film, Trouble in Store. The Burridges store is where Norman works.


The interior scenes of the department store where filmed at  Jacksons Store, Reading, England. It was reported in the local paper at the time,

“READING’s oldest department store was transformed into the set for an episode of the eagerly awaited second series of Endeavour. Camera crews descended upon Jackson’s in King’s Road to film the new four-episode series, which is an ongoing prequel to the long-running Inspector Morse dramas. Cast and crew, including the main star Shaun Evans, used the iconic shop’s empty first floor to film scenes set in a department store on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday last week for the ITV series which is due to hit our screens early next year. Jackson’s managing director Brian Carter said despite the bedlam of having a film crew milling about the store, it was a welcome distraction from the department store’s closure on Christmas Eve. He added: “They have moved everything around and I don’t think anybody knows whose things belong to who anymore. But we were very happy to have them because it has cheered everyone up a bit. “It has taken people’s minds off what has been happening and it has been a bit of excitement before we close.”


At almost the two minute mark, we see a passenger on the bus reading the newspaper.

The highlighted sub heading is grammatically incorrect. It should read, ‘Oxford housewife willingly opened door to killer. However, in the very next scene with a close up of the headline,

The sub heading is now grammatically correct.


On the same bus we see Joan Thursday.


At around ten minutes Morse goes to Burridges to ask about stockings.

Russell Lewis in an interview with D. M. Barcroft said of the stockings, “By the way — Le Minou Noir was a gift of Camille Gatin’s – Producer on Series II — who, as you probably guessed, is French. I think I’d originally gone for Le Chat Noir as a brand name – but we couldn’t clear it. Though the logo survived.”


We have to assume that the character of the blind piano tuner, Talfryn Pugh, is a nod to Blind Pew the Pirate in Treasure Island.

15 minutes

Bright is talking to Thursday after Morse has found the secret diary. He says, “Life a drama and themselves it’s star. The damage done. He looks at a photo on his desk.

I’m assuming this is his wife who we will eventually meet in the sixth and seventh series. Mrs Bright was always going out to charity events or bridge nights. Is Bright hinting that he thinks his wife is having an affair.


24 minutes. Morse and Thursday are in the car. Morse says to Thursday that the engraving on the lighter wasn’t much help. The engraving read, “They asked me how I knew.” Thursday replies, “Smoke gets in your Eyes.” What Morse says is a line from the song Smoke Gets in your Eyes. It’s a 1959 song sung by the platters. Bryan Ferry recording a version of it.


26 minutes –

Barry Dobbs is harassing Norman. He takes one of the mannequin legs from the basket and says, ‘Look, Jake the Peg Leg.’ It was a song written and sung by Rolf Harris and released in 1965.


37 minutes – 

Morse finds a cufflink while searching the area where Anna Curran Matthews was murdered.

This was a red herring. Huggins placed the cufflink at the scene to throw the police off. However, the police and DI Chard who were present and had searched the scene originally didn’t find it. But, Morse found it.


At 39 minutes Endeavour visits Joey Lisk.

John Molloy let me know that, “the names of Goldfarb and Ligourin…are the surnames of 2 characters in the 1971 film Klute. The title character, played by Donald Sutherland, is a detective.


40 minutes – 

Morse is talking to Joey Fisk.


Morse says, “It’s spelt with an ‘r’ isn’t? Palmar.” I think this is a reference to Michael Caine’s character in films like the Ipcress File, Harry Palmer. Joey Fisk appears to model himself on the actor Michael Caine.


1 hour and 2 minutes. –

Fred is talking to Jakes in his office. Fred asks about Mrs Armstrong. Jakes tells him her alibi is that she was having a regular dinner date with Charles the window dresser. Jakes describes him as former merchant navy, ‘Rum, Bum and Corcintina.’ This refers to an autobiography of the Jazz musician, George Melly.


1 hour 6 minutes –

Morse and Monica kiss.


With the kiss and fireworks going off it reminds of films of the 40s, 50s etc. In particular it reminds of the scene in the Hitchcock film, To Catch  a Thief when Cary Grant and Grace Kelly kiss. Knowing Russell Lewis to be a Hitchcock fan it is probably what was on his mind.


1 hour and 19 minutes inside Gloria Deeks house.

The paperback, Violent Love Stalks the Plains is a real book.

Image result for violent love stalks the plains

It was published in 1965. Lynton Wright Brent was an American film actor and a writer. He appeared in over 240 films between 1930 and 1950. He wrote many other pilp fiction books.

In the same scene we get a better view of the magazine.


Mary Howard was a real author, though her real name was Mary Mussi, She died in March 1991. She also wrote under the name Josephine Edgar. Edgar was her maiden name. She wrote a book titled, Shadows in the Sun published in 1957, not Shadow of the Sun.

I’m not sure what the magazine is. It may be ‘Woman’ a very popular British magazine.


At 1 hour and 23 minutes we are in Fred and Win’s house. Joan walks down the stairs and talks to Endeavour.


Joan asks Morse. “Are you dancing?” and Endeavour replies, “Are you asking?”. These lines are a reference to a Liverpool phrase, “Are you dancing?, Are you asking? Well I’m asking. Then I’m dancing.” Of course Shaun Evans is from Liverpool. Glaswegians also use a similar phrase that has different variations.


Interesting observation by John Molloy that connects to the above piece. John wrote, “. It echoes the voice over during the closing titles/end credits to the BBC TV sit-com The Liver Birds which goes something like this: “You dancing, You asking, I’m asking, I’m dancing.” The Liver Birds, set in Liverpool, began it’s run on the BBC in the 1970s so the link is possibly anachronistic. Apart from the following.
The theme song to The Liver Birds was performed by the Liverpool trio The Scaffold the constituent members of which were Roger McGough, Mike McGear and John Gorman. In Sway John Gorman is the name suggested to Bright by Fred Thursday in Burridges premises when Bright says that the investigation into the murder of Norman should be conducted by another detective.” Thanks John.


1 hour and 18 minutes –

Strange shows the wedding rings he found in Huggins bedside cabinet.


We know Huggins killed four women and accidently killed his wife Flo. Did the fifth wedding ring belong to his wife? Why would he remove his wife’s ring? She is interred behind the bath panel. Did his wife take off the ring after she told Roy Huggins she wanted him to get out of the house?


In an interview with D M Barcroft, Russell Lewis said, “It was the Carry On team, and Norman Wisdom, I had in mind when I was putting it (the episode) together.” This is echoed in a few ways within the episode. Gina Bramhill as Gloria Deeks come over as a kind of Barbara Windsor character.

Image result for barbara windsor carryy on

Barbara Windsor, star of many Carry On films.

Barbara Windsor’s real name was Barbara Ann Deeks.


I haven’t figured out the significance of the pavement artist other than maybe he was just a red herring. I know it must refer to a film or TV series as Russell Lewis wouldn’t put that character in without a reason.


Robert Stoker kindly passed on the following information. The Remembrance Day poppies worn by various characters have green plastic stalks. In the early-to-mid 1960s the stalks of the poppies were bare metal wire.



The name of the character who thought of himself as Michael Caine, Joey Lisk is unusual. The only connection I can make is the acronym of the serial killer, Long Island Serial Killer. The Long Island serial killer is an unidentified suspected serial killer who is believed to have murdered 10 to 16 people over a period of nearly 20 years, mostly prostitutes, and left their bodies in areas on the South Shore of Long Island, New York.


The character, Norman Parkis is I believe a reference to Norman Wisdom, a British comedy actor.

Image result for Norman wisdom


Is the character of Roy Huggins an allusion to the writer of the same name who created the show The Fugitive?


Charles Highbank, the window dresser, is probably a reference to the Carry On actor Charles Hawtrey.


Endeavour looks at Joey Lisk’s notebook that has Luisa Armstrong’s address in it.

Though it states her address number is ’42’ when we see Luisa’s flat it’s numbered ‘9’.



One of my subscribers wrote to me sometime ago and mentioned the following, “The character of “Joey Lisk” is, smokes French cigarettes, the same as the character Michael Caine plays in “The Ipcress File”, Another link to Caine is the character of Detective Inspector Chard, who is mentioned but never seen, gets his name from the Stanley Baker character in “Zulu”, the film that made Caine a star. One of the murder victims is called “Vivien” and another one is surnamed “Merchant” – the actress Vivien Merchant having made her film debut opposite Caine in “Alfie.” The film Alfie was released in 1966 when this episode is set.

Vivien Merchant with Michael Caine.


One hour and fifteen minutes –

At Fred and Win’s anniversary dinner Fred makes a speech. He starts with the line, “A policeman’s lot is not a happy one.” This is a line from Gilbert and Sullivan’s opera “The Pirates of Penzance.” It is sung by the Policemen.


I’m sure you all noticed this creepy doll in the episode. Apparently it was nicknamed Cruella by locals of Jackson’s store which was used for the interior shots of Burridges,


Thank you to Catherine Wilkins who forwarded the information below on Jacksons Store.

A BBC story about the selling of the doll. ‘Cruella’ mannequin from Reading’s Jacksons Corner store sold’. Click HERE to read the story.

Click HERE to see pictures of the inside of Jacksons.


The store detective is called Jellicoe. He is probably named after Admiral of the Fleet John Rushworth Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe, GCB, OM, GCVO, SGM, DL (5 December 1859 – 20 November 1935)[1] was a Royal Navy officer. He fought in the Anglo-Egyptian War and the Boxer Rebellion and commanded the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland in May 1916 during the First World War. Thank to Tome for the info.


13 minutes – Morse and Endeavour are in the pub.

Fred says to Morse, “There’s more to life than coppering. At least there should be.”


Though Roy Huggins kills five people we only witness the killing of three within the episode. Anna Curran Matthews and Isobel Merchant are killed before the events of the episode. He strangled them all with a stocking.


Huggins third victim is Vivien Haldane.


Huggins fourth victim Mrs Shears.

Huggins fifth victim, Norman Parkis.

Huggins killed the women to try and frame Joey Lisk. Lisk had an affair with Huggins wife, Flo. Huggins found out about the affair and confronted his wife. He struck her and she fell to the floor hitting her head on the fire surround and died. Huggins hoped that the police would believe all the killings were committed by Joey Lisk.



Shaun Evans as DC Endeavour Morse


Vivienne Haldane. Actor not mentioned.


James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn

Anton Lesser as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright


Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday


Michael Thomas as Rufus Haldane

Max Wrottesley as Joey Lisk

Gina Bramhill as Gloria Deeks


Cécile Paoli as Luisa Armstrong

Matthew Wilson as Norman Parkis

Paul Lacoux as Mr. Jellicoe

Brian Lipson as Talfryn Pugh

Sarah Vickers as JoanThursday

Jack Laskey as DS Peter Jakes

Shvorne Marks as Monica Hicks

James Doherty as Mr. Lee

Tim McMullan as Mr. Brian Quinbury

Joe Bannister as Alan Burridge

Adrian Schiller as Charles Highbank

Rob Jarvis as Roy Huggins

Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday

Jack Bannon as Sam Thursday

Sean Rigby as James Grout

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Author: Chris Sullivan

Up until a few years ago I was my mum's full time carer. She died in, 2020, of Covid. At the moment I am attempting to write a novel.

31 thoughts

  1. I think The beautiful script, almost poetic at times, makes up for the silliness of the murder plot, as does a delve into Fred’s past and the story of his wartime love. Died of wounds, Highbank remembering his lost love, Fred’s remembering that day in Italy with Luisa so vividly, Luisa’s goodbye letter, all beautiful prose that just fits into the storylines so emotionally. I think the anniversary party was there to show that Fred realizes what he has with Win and that wartime romances are just that, something to remember but not relive. It was love stories all around: Allan for Gloria, Norman for Gloria, Fred and Luisa, Fred and Win, Highbank for his lost love, Quinbury for England, Endeavour for Monica. The murder plot was almost secondary to all that. The acting by all was, I think, outstanding.
    I do agree that killing innocent women instead of the creep that slept with your wife was a little off the rails but it was a good mystery anyway. This episode is always near the top of my list of favorites.

    1. I will be posting two sets of comments, one after the other.

      I totally agree with you Kathleen, regarding this superb episode. I also truly appreciate all your efforts, Chris, thank you very much for producing this marvellously detailed analysis. In addition, I always value your critical judgement. I have to say though, it is one of the rare occasions, Chris, I slightly disagree with you. This is only a matter of opinion, but “Sway” has always been high up on my list of favourite Endeavour episodes. It is my third favourite Endeavour at the moment, only behind the wonderful Pilot episode and the series one finale, “Home”. At number four, I have “Trove”, on my list, and “Fugue”, is at number five.

      To a certain degree, I concur with your highly considered and thought-provoking analysis, Chris. For example, you make a very good point about Russell Lewis’s overuse of the “serial killer”, in these early episodes, to the extent that it has become a trope of his writing. Your score of 7 out of 10 for this episode, is still of course, very respectable. However, you also mentioned the “scorned lover” as another trope of Russell Lewis. That is very true and it’s rather unoriginal, but at least in this case, it was a man and not once again, another instance of “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”. During the Twitch discussions, you have said yourself, you would like to see a few more cases of a man scorned. Here we have one, and henceforth, I have decided not to delete a mark from my score.

      In essence, what I am saying is, I very much enjoyed this Endeavour. My score for it, would be 9 out of 10. I have added two marks from your score, Chris, firstly, for the reason I have just given in the last paragraph. Secondly, for the music played, courtersy of Dean Martin’s brilliant voice, together with the brilliant soundtrack for his song, “Sway”.

      I would not score it a full 10, because, I will delete a point for the two weaknesses of this episode. The serial killer trope and the elaborate framing of Joey Lisk, who should have been the intended target of the murderer. You may ask, why, only one point deleted? It is because, I wonder whether Russell Lewis is under pressure from ITV, to have multiple murders, in order to keep the audience interested. That is ridiculous, as the original Inspector Morse portrayed, but I have heard suggestions, this is the stark reality of modern day television.

      1. James, it would be an interesting statistical project to see the percentages of murders are committed by scorned lovers, which I guess would include jealousy and perhaps crimes of passion, as compared to say, hired killers, business motives, killing off witnesses to a crime, and so on. I always thought that the scorned lovers (jealousy, both male and female) motive would be right up at the top. Not that I am suggesting you take that on…😀

    2. My other reasons for greatly enjoying “Sway”, are due to its tenuous connections with two of my favourite original Morse episodes, “Driven to Distraction”, and as you rightly say JulieB, “Dead on Time”.

      In “Driven to Dristaction”, we had a serial killer, targeting married women. He was a driving instructor, who had taught these women to drive. Similar to “Sway”, he played music before he killed. In this case, the jazz music of Cole Porter, in his car, before he horrifically killed each woman. The music added to the sinister and menacing tone of this iconic Morse episode, because once it started playing, you knew what terrible fate lay in store. In “Sway”, we also had of course, a serial killer, and he played Dean Martin’s “Sway”, before he strangled each married woman.

      I should mention, both were killing married women for different reasons. In “Driven to Distraction”, the serial killer was motivated by the fact his own wife was ill in hospital, and yet the younger married women he had taught to drive, were having affairs. He was attracted towards these women, but he hated himself for feeling this way, with his own wife unwell and suffering in hospital. This self-hatred, and his own disgust at the immoral behaviour by these women, thus spilled out into a shocking series of murders. Needless to say, in “Sway”, the married women were being killed for a different reason, in order to frame their lover, Joey Lisk.

      In the outstanding episode, “Dead on Time”, there was some potential for the revival of the relationship between Morse and Susan Fallon. She had been Morse’s one true love, who he had been engaged to, in his Oxford University days. Sadly, it was doomed, Susan had assisted her husband’s planned suicide, and had effectively signed a suicide pact with him, as she later, tragically, took her own life.

      In “Sway”, Fred Thursday meets the Italian lady who works at Burridges, Luisa Armstrong again, for the first time since the war. From what I could gather, they shared a fleeting, but powerfully romantic past, when Thursday had been on duty with the army, in Italy, during the war. Back to the events of this episode, set in 1966, Fred is now a happily married man to Win, for some 25 years, while Luisa had recently been widowed. Could there be any kind of revival in their love? Again, like “Dead on Time”, it was doomed. Tragically, Luisa takes her own life, because she had betrayed the Italian resistance movement, those opposed to Mussolini and the Fascists, in the war, leading to the death of one of her best friends. Over 20 years later, it appears, by seeing Fred Thursday, this had sadly brought back all those bitter and heartbreaking memories, and she could not endure life any more.

      1. James, also to your remark about Dean Martin singing Sway – well of course we over here didn’t hear that. Huggins played some unrecognizable instrumental music when he visited Gloria. That was when I first saw in on Amazon (PBS without commercials) but I have subsequently bought the DVD’s of Endeavour from ITV So I am going to see if Dean is on that version. Having that song playing would give meaning to the title of the episode!

      2. Kathleen, I mentioned in the music section of my review of the episode Sway that my DVD version did not contain the Dean Martin version of Sway but a generic piece written by Barrington. This is not the first time this has happened and it is usually down to problems with copyright but ususally it’s financial reasons.

      3. Thanks Chris for those articles. I can relate to John’s claustrophobia. Really disappointing with all the copyright and financial aspects that play into the music that is in the episodes and the differences depending on the media choice. But I guess that’s just the way it is. I did miss that about Dean and Sway in your review or forgot it due to brain fog at my age.

    3. Sorry, despite the five minutes you have kindly allowed for me to edit my comments, Chris, which incidentally I used to correct errors, I missed one mistake in my first set of remarks, above. For instance, I said, “courtesy of Dean Martin’s brilliant voice”, and I accidentally spelt courtesy with an extra r, between the e and s, sorry about that typing error.

      Back to my tenuous connections, in terms of the link between “Sway” and “Dead on Time”. In both cases, as JulieB correctly pointed out, the two ladies in question, Luisa and Susan, upon seeing their former love interest, for the first time in so many years, over 20 in Thursday and Luisa’s case, perhaps up to 30 in Morse and Susan’s case, they both fainted in shock.

      In addition, the doomed revival in both their relationships has one similarity. I spoke about the fact that for Luisa meeting up with Thursday again, this brought back feelings of guilt, for her actions in the war, when under incredible pressure, she had betrayed the Italian resistance movement. Similarly, I remember Dr. Marriat in “Dead on Time”, very much hoped that Susan and Morse could rekindle their long lost relationship, after the death of Susan’s husband. However, Susan knew she would have feelings of guilt for assisting her husband’s suicide, especially if she was to get closer to Morse once again. For instance, if the investigation into the death of Susan’s husband remained a mystery, for Susan to start a full blown relationship with the policeman, who was the senior investigator into her husband’s death, that would clearly cause Susan, far too many feelings of guilt.

    4. Finally Chris, I just wanted to ask you a question, to clear up one issue with your excellent review. In your section, The Murdered, Their Murderer/s and their methods, you said, and I quote, “Though Roy Huggins kills five people we only witness the killing of three within the episode. Anna Curran Matthews and Isobel Merchant are killed before the events of the episode. He strangled them all with a stocking.”

      My question is, when you say Huggins “killed them all with a stocking”, are you referring to how he killed all the women, or just the women shown in the episode? I only say this, because, back at the station, once they had arrested Huggins, Morse said to the murderer, “Two victims in, we hadn’t made the connection. That’s why you started to use the stocking’s Lisk supplied”.

      As a consequence, from that quote we glean, that Roy Huggins killed the first two married women, not shown in the episode, by manual strangulation. It was the third victim, the first shown in this episode, Vivienne Haldane, who was the first to suffer strangulation by stocking, to frame Joey Lisk. Followed by Mrs. Shears, as the next victim by stocking.

      Is that how you understood things, Chris? Perhaps, you were only referring to the ladies shown in this episode, in which case, there was no need for me to write this question!!!

  2. I agree Kathleen. There is a very poignant air to this episode, loss, darkness, fear. Luisa fainting when she meets Fred. Echoes of Dead on Time when Susan and Morse come face to face again after a long time.

    The scenes in Burridges are even more interesting now, the old style department store with its various sections, etiquette, procedures and hierarchy. The High St department store model has been disappearing in recent decades and this past year has given it the final push. This episode is like a window into a retail world that is all but extinct.

    1. Hi Julie, You are so right about the old style department stores. I remember as a young girl going to one of these beautiful stores with a doorman and piano player. And customer service was one-to-one. It was a pleasure.

  3. Hi Kathleen and thanks for your replies. I very much agree with you, and although I don’t know the statistics, I would expect crimes of passion and examples of scorned lovers, to be particularly high up the list of motives behind murder or murders. It is a shame you didn’t hear Dean Martin’s “Sway”, when you first saw this episode in the US, Kathleen, but hopefully you will soon see, the original British version.

    I just wondered Chris or Kathleen, what did you think of my connections, or should I say, my tenuous links, from this Endeavour episode, “Sway”, to the Morse episodes, “Driven to Distraction and “Dead on Time”?

    1. Hi James, No my internet did not go down because of a storm. In my new community, they are still building and during the construction of a home, the cable line was cut! Not an unusual thing here considering all the building that is going on. Back to Trove, thanks for pointing out what Speight said about the belt being in the museum. I missed that. Also on your connections, you are right about a strong connection with the Driven to Distraction episode. Besides the murdering of innocent women, that plot was a little far-fetched as well. And yes, I can see a link to Dead on Time as you point out with the lost love aspect. Both of those women, Luisa and Susan, couldn’t live with the guilt. Susan was Morse’s lost love and Luisa was Thursday’s.Sad in both cases. Thanks for your connections!

      1. Thanks for kindly replying, Kathleen. I’m pleased to hear you weren’t affected by the winter storms battering the US. It’s very unusual that it has hit Texas, but thankfully then, it’s not hit your part of Florida. I’m glad you enjoyed reading my connections, and I look forward to “seeing” you, all things being well, on Sunday for the twitch stream.

        Before I go, these are my top 10 favourite Endeavour episodes, (at the moment, as I sometimes change my mind, particularly if I agree with Chris’s critical analysis)

        1) Pilot episode: First Bus to Woodstock
        2) Home
        3) Sway
        4) Trove
        5) Fugue
        6) Lazaretto
        7) Girl
        8) Neverland
        9) Game
        10) Coda

  4. Morse says, “It’s spelt with an ‘r’ isn’t? Palmar.” I don’t think that that is what Morse meant. I think he meant “Parma”. There is a genuine perfume made by Acqua di Parma, which uses a similar yellow in all its packaging. It was a common ploy by companies making “knock-off” copies of famous brands’ products to have a deliberate spelling “error” in the name so that they could deny that they were making a counterfeit product or infringing copyright.

  5. I wanted to say that there is nothing wrong with “Palma”, since it is the name of the beautiful city that is the capital of Mallorca. However, since that is a Spanish island, the name of the perfume would have to be “Agua de Palma”

  6. If Huggins hoped to frame Lisk for the murder of his wife, as well as for Matthews, Merchant, Haldane, Shears and Deeks (where he was interrupted), he would have done better not to put his wife’s body behind the bath panel, something a visitor to the house would surely not have done. The other bodies were left where they fell. Also, wouldn’t the body start to smell a bit after a few days?
    “Huggins placed the cufflink at the scene to throw the police off.” To throw the police off what? At this stage the police didn’t have a clue. Mr Merchant was on remand for his wife’s murder, so he had been charged. This did not suit Huggins. He wanted to put Lisk in the frame. The “obvious” thing to do was to burgle Lisk’s home, steal a cufflink and plant it where Mrs Merchant’s body had been found. He had to assume that somebody, e.g. Morse, would come along and find the cufflink, somehow find out where the pair had been sold, find to whom they had been sold (Mrs Haldane) and find that they had been engraved with ‘Alpha’ and ‘Omega’. The italic ‘A’ on the cufflink does not suggest ‘Alpha’ to me. But the police had no way of knowing that Mrs Haldane had given the cufflink to Lisk. It was only when Lisk was in the frame already that the missing cufflink would be another nail in his coffin. Huggins was a delivery driver, not a fortune-teller.

  7. I love the word play and the literary/pop culture allusions used in Endeavour. I find so many that I sometimes wonder if the things I notice are intentional or if I’m making them up! For instance, i wonder if the name surname of the victim Shears was used because it sounds like “sheers” which is a kind of stocking and whether the piano tuner is Mr. Pugh not only in reference to Blind Pew, but also because the information he gives is scent-oriented (pee-yew). I am, however, convinced that the “Silent Spring” mattress in Burridge’s is a reference to the 1962 book by Rachel Carson.

    1. Hi Jennifer. It is very possible that you’re right about those elements of wordplay though I think the ‘Silent Spring’ reference is rather tenuous. I can’t think of any connection about the book’s story to the episode.

  8. Perhaps you’re right. I just thought “Silent Spring” is such a recognizable name that it couldn’t be coincidental. The book addresses the destruction of delicate ecosystems by pesticides, maybe it is like the slow “death by wounds” of Luisa…if you squint really hard. On another topic…I rudely forgot to say thank you so much for your terrific blog and wish you well!

  9. Thanks for putting all this together. I saw this episode last night and was struck by the graffiti on the poster. I wonder whether it’s a reference to Larkin’s ‘Sunny Prestatyn’, where the beautiful but defaced girl in the poster is visited by Titch Thomas.

  10. Upon seeing Norman Parkis surrounded by mannequin parts and especially the stuffed bird, I made the association with Norman Bates in Hitchcock’s Psycho.

  11. The opening to this episode is my favourite ever with the beautiful music. It also gives more insight into Thursday’s character and history without sacrificing plot movement. I was especially impressed with its depiction of how war survivors are still emotional and psychological casualties of it.

    For that reason I found Thursday’s behaviour towards Luisa thoughtless and insensitive. He rekindled her feelings and memories with the secret meetings which weren’t fair to Wyn, either.

    It was a bit late for Thursday to realise they weren’t appropriate for a married man when he’d got Luisa’s hopes up. The dashing of them surely tipped her over the edge and spattered some of the blood on Thursday’s hands; I could never like him as much again.

  12. I’ve just discovered your delightful website–I read each Endeavour entry after my husband and I watch it. I had pedantically noticed two things to emend. The first Bert has already mention: I believe Morse meant “Parme”–no reference to Michael Caine’s character. I also note that the song “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” dates back to 1933. It’s by Jerome Kern and first appeared in the Astaire/Rogers film Roberta–and there’s an Astaire allusion in this episode in the failed murder of Gloria.

  13. Hi Chris, Great reviews as always!
    I just noted that in the Cast photos you have ‘Sean Rigby as James Grout’. Both of course playing the part of ‘Strange’ in Endeavour and Morse.

  14. My problem with yhis episode is tha Lewis cannot help puting modern day customs and language in the historical past. In 19666, the only people that wore a poppy were veterns at a remembrance service. Never in department stores or the police. Get it right Russel ( oh and a lambrette]a is a (motor) scooter not a MOPED!

    1. What’s with the pedantic comments about Russell Lewis’ writing ? When I was a kid, we were always given poppies to wear (for Remembrance Day services) when I was in grade school (1965-1970), and high school. Most viewers don’t care about the difference between a scooter and a moped, and are more invested in the episode’s storyline.

  15. The song sung by Dean Martin at the opening is nit called “Sway” but “Memories Are Made of This” recorded in 1955

  16. As I am watching the excellent series, in my opinion, of Unforgotten, Series 1, Episode 2, I notice in one scene when Gemma Jones, who has dementia in this episode, is angry with her husband played by Tom Courtenay while he is watching a show on TV. That show is Endeavour, and the scene is from the Sway episode. Max is describing the body of Vivian Haldane. Just surprised me. I’m sure it must have been very popular in 2015 when the first series of Unforgotten was filmed to be included in that show.

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