PRESS RELEASE 20TH APRIL 2021: Shaun Evans and Roger Allam return for eighth series of Endeavour

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Here is a press release from ITV that gives us some details about the eighth series of Endeavour.

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Shaun Evans and Roger Allam return for eighth series of Endeavour

Shaun Evans and Roger Allam make a welcome return to Oxford to film the eighth series of the critically-acclaimed detective drama Endeavour

Filming has begun on the eighth series of critically-acclaimed detective drama, Endeavour, with lead actor Shaun Evans directing the first of the three new films.

Shaun Evans reprises his role as DS Endeavour Morse, alongside Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday for a new set of compelling cases written and created by Russell Lewis.

Filmed on location in Oxford the strong ensemble cast reunited with Shaun and Roger includes Anton Lesser (Game of Thrones) who returns as CS Reginald Bright, Sean Rigby (Gunpowder) as DS Jim Strange, James Bradshaw (Close to The Enemy) as Dr Max DeBryn, Abigail Thaw (I Want My Wife Back) as Dorothea Frazil, Caroline O’Neill (Last Tango In Halifax) as Win Thursday and Sara Vickers (Watchmen) as Joan Thursday.

Opening the series in 1971, a death threat to Oxford Wanderers’ star striker Jack Swift places Endeavour (Shaun Evans) and his team at the heart of the glitz and glamour of 1970s football, exposing the true cost of success and celebrity, and with it, a deep-rooted division that is soon reflected much closer to home.

Series seven of Endeavour averaged 6.1m viewers across all devices across its three episodes. This rose to 6.8m when we include viewing up to 28 days. The series has had 2.3 million programme streams on ITV Hub since it launched back in Feb 2020.

Commented series creator, writer and executive producer Russell Lewis:

““After our longest suspension, all at #TeamEndeavour are delighted to have been returned to duty.  If anything, the delay has made us all determined to make Series 8 everything it can be.  Happily, it looks as if our timeline has endured the hiatus and that we will still be delivering our vision of 1971, albeit through an Endeavour glass darkly, exactly half a century on.  Social distancing and strict insurance regulation with its bubbles and cohorts mean that backroom boys like me and the other execs haven’t been able to get out to set as usual, but all the same we’re very fortunate to be back in business at all and count our blessings daily. It’s truly lovely to be back telling new stories with Oxford’s Finest. I hope the audience finds they’ve been worth the wait.”

Produced by leading drama indie Mammoth Screen – part of ITV Studios – in partnership with Masterpiece, series eight will be produced by James Levison. Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Mammoth Screen Damien Timmer is the executive producer alongside Russell Lewis, Shaun Evans, Roger Allam, Mammoth Screen’s Director of Television Helen Ziegler and Rebecca Eaton and Susanne Simpson at Masterpiece.

Award-winner Ian Aryeh (McDonald & Dodds, In The Long Run) and Kate Saxon (Silent Witness, Call The Midwife) join the production to direct series eight.

Mammoth Screen is one of the UK’s leading production companies. Recent and forthcoming shows include THE SERPENT, NOUGHTS + CROSSES, WORLD ON FIRE and GRIME KIDS for the BBC, WHY DIDN’T THEY ASK EVANS for Britbox USA and McDONALD & DODDS and THE TOWER for ITV. Mammoth Screen is an ITV Studios Company.

ITV Drama Commissioner, Huw Kennair-Jones has recommissioned Endeavour and will oversee the production of the new series on behalf of the channel. Endeavour is set to return to ITV later this year and will be distributed internationally by ITV Studios.

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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.

13 thoughts

  1. ..”exposing the true cost of success and celebrity, and with it, a deep-rooted division that is soon reflected much closer to home.” A very cryptic hint to perhaps something I am not wishing for.

    1. Agree Kathleen – I noted that too – wondering if that is the Joan/Strange/Morse (saga?) – I must admit now we have seen early filming and release and that it is the next year (1971)(Ludo:Violetta exiting NYE of 1970) how are they going to handle the whole Morse being friends with and sleeping with what effectively were serial killers ? Clearly he is back on a case in 1971 – I know that Russ doesn’t worry about these trivial things but that is a pretty big motza ball out there.

      Perhaps that is the “divisions reflected closer to home” surely he would not be Bright’s favourite person !

      I do hope they are not setting us up for heartstrings pulled with another love triangle – (and a bigger one at that for fans of the show) i think that would be a shame and not a fitting end for me.

      1. Maria, I was thinking more of the dreaded final estrangement between Endeavour and Thursday. We know that relationship has to come to an end but I’m hoping it does in a good way.

  2. Yes I agree that was my first thought too. However, I think that might be the third series in a row that they have pitched the ‘end of the Morse/Thursday’ relationship. They could have evolved that or had a complete out of the blue surprise.

    Instead the pre series 6 PR was all about Thursday and Morse moving away from one another – then Deguello they were back as one – then all of the pre-S7 interviews and PR was the ‘final’ estrangement between Morse and Thursday and that led to the ridiculous nastiness of S7 – again ends with the letter and Thursday running off to Venice to save Morse so I guess I thought ‘not again’ with the PR about the ‘division’ – agree they have to end it someway/somehow but feel they have blown it being an evolution.

    So I guess I thought maybe this time the division they meant Morse and Strange/Morse and Joan.! Rather then again hint at the Morse/Thursday end.

  3. After toying with us for all these years, to have Joan and Morse fizzle out or break up nastily without ever having actually been a couple would be a huge and unsatisfying ending for me. Likewise if Morse and Thursday let their intermittent, and last year downright vicious, squabbling destroy the relationship that was the heart and soul of the show. The scenes at the Thursday home near the end of Zenana indicated that both Morse and Thursday regretted the way they had treated each other and if that round of mutual nastiness couldn’t permanently ruin their relationship, I don’t see what could that would be realistic for their characters or the show.

    I’ve decided that a) Morse and Joan have to at last get together and be ecstatically happy, Morse and Thursday have to be on good terms, and then the entire Thursday family has to be squashed by a huge truck while on their way to visit Aunt Reenie, leaving Morse too devastated, even decades later, to ever mention the name Thursday again. (This would only be to satisfy the (silly, to me) notion that DCI Morse must have mentioned everyone he ever worked with or they could not possibly exist at that time or in his past because course the episodes covered every single moment of his life.

  4. Celine – agree – I know that some have pondered the Strange/Joan pairing but they haven’t done anything with it but have for six (7) series teased the Morse / Joan – so to have them suddenly wrap it up with Strange/Joan wedding in the last series would be, for me, really poor and deliberately heart wringing (not in a clever way)

    If they had gone somewhere with Strange/a Joan back in S5 (I think Chris when you first raised it on your blog) but now ? Make that leap in 3 eps? Too many teasers at the end of each series to just fizzle out Morse and Joan (even S7 letter hinted at Morse/Joan to come)

    Personally I like Strange and would like to see him with someone else – marrying Joan just doesn’t line up with the Inspector Morse series.

    As for Thursday/Morse – they have kept forcing that for at least 3 series – I think they need to find another exit – the nastiness of S7 was poorly written and verged on ridiculous (also it will ruin my viewing of the earlier series as they lost the opportunity to evolve it into a break over several series)

    Oh well – as Chris said he is optimistic for S8 and I am trying too.

    1. Maria – I had never even considered a Strange/Joan pairing. Yikes! I agree with you completely, maybe if they had pursued it years ago, but now? I just can’t see it. Joan and Strange appear to have the ease of friendship with no emotional overtones. Hopefully Jim married that nice Maureen and he learned to tell her about his football watching schedule and she learned not to interfere with it and and they lived happily ever after.

      I can’t think of any complete break between Endeavour and Thursday that wouldn’t be just heart breaking and sour me forever from ever watching the Morse series. I would be happy with Win and Fred retiring and running off to join a traveling ballroom dancing troupe and visiting with the older DCI Morse between their tours and Morse’s series breaks.

  5. Celine – I absolutely agree – I have only ever seen mild friendship between them. Only sparks have always been her and Morse. However, I definitely think they are going to pair up Strange and Joan and I will be so disappointed as with only 3 eps it will be just there to set up more angst for Morse. I think there will be a lot of viewers very disappointed if after so many series teasers and scenes they do nothing with Morse and Joan at all. They very disappointingly exited Monica from the series (and then I think from fan reaction had to briefly shove her into a much later episode to try and tie it up) so hope they do better with Morse and Joan! I can’t see how they will resolve Morse and Joan, set up not only a romance between Strange and Joan but also a wedding….and the biggie resolve Thursday and Morse. Oh and run some good solid detective mysteries (hoping for far better than S7) all in 3 eps ???

    That is so funny you mentioned Maureen – I was only thinking the same thing – especially as I watched the episode the other day with their date and the disastrous (and amusing “date”between Morse and Joan)

    1. Maria – I don’t see how they can have Strange marry Joan. If her father isn’t allowed to exist in the Morse timeline, I don’t see why Joan would be allowed to. Likewise, if we can imagine Joan existing in the Morse universe as Strange’s wife without ever being identified, why can’t we imagine Morse having a fine relationship with his long-retired mentor, DI, and friend Fred Thursday without him ever being identified? Why would there have to be some terrible end to their relationship?

      I agree completely that even if they want to suddenly fling Joan and Strange at each other, 3 episodes is not enough time with everything else they have to wrap up (if this really is the last season.)

      1. Yes – so true – doesn’t fit with the later series at all – if Strange was indeed married to Joan in the later series – even more reason that Thursday’s name would come up – considering both Strange and Morse would have worked with him together for years in their younger days and he is Strange’s Father-in-law. It is odd (but not improbable) that neither of them ever mention him in the later series – especially if something bad happens to Thursday but if Strange is married to Joan that really stretches it…..

        But I feel Russell has always cherry picked from the later series often to the detriment of Endeavour but then again probably few of the fans of Endeavour are fans or have even watched the original Morse series – so don’t care – or even worse quote things from the later series without any real knowledge of it just based on what Shaun (who has never watched Inspector Morse) or Russell say. Good on them – they love Endeavour for what it is almost completely separate from Inspector Morse.

        I have watched and loved all 3 series many times (okay I did not love Endeavour S7) so it bothers me more than most I am sure.

        I don’t think there is any doubt that this is the last season. If not, I am sure they would have at least 4 episodes in this series.

        Just a lot to wrap up ! I guess that is why I think S7 was such a wasted opportunity- introducing two characters who clearly were only going to be in it briefly and made no real plausible impact or sense to the series.

      2. Hi Maria, interesting thought about why, if strange and Joan marry, Thursday (and Joan) would never have been mentioned as Strange’s father-in-law in the original Morse storyline since Morse and strange had a good and respectful relationship. I don’t see that happening for that reason and because they are such a mismatch. In my opinion, it would have to be a serious and traumatic event between Thursday and Endeavour that would be the reason he and Joan are never mentioned in the original Morse.
        The PBS emails that I get it stated that there will be only 3 episodes with Shaun directing only the first, and that all the characters will be back including Joan. Perhaps Joan will cone back with a husband that she met and married while on secondment, really breaking Endeavour’s heart to the extent he can’t/won’t mention her again as the elder Morse. Further, if Thursday dies as a result of something Endeavour did or didn’t do, or Thursday does something unforgivable to Endeavour, those possible reasons could be why Morse never mentions him. Fun to speculate and read all different thoughts on what will,happen!

  6. Great insights Kathleen and what I think as well – it does not make sense and does not link up with the later Morse series if Strange is married to Joan – but as you have said before Shaun (who obviously has a lot of input to the series more than just as an actor) has never watched the later series and as a big fan of Inspector Morse (and let’s face it the reason the Endeavour series exists- it is after all a prequel) I think that is showing up more and more.

    I don’t think Joan will come back with a husband – I fear poor writing (deliberate heart strings) will be Strange and Joan- and the link up and alignment with the later series be damned.

    I guess I understand it (even if I don’t like it) neither Russell or Shaun have to be held to account – Colin Dexter has gone and I understand there will be no more Morse series after this – Shaun never watched Inspector Morse series and has no emotional tie to the later series so will end it as they want.

    Agree – Kathleen – I think Strange and Joan are very much a mis-match.

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