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Directed by Shaun Evans.
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 parcel bomb explodes and kills a young secretary at Lonsdale College. Meanwhile a threat is made by the Provisional IRA on the life of Jack Swift, a famous and talented black Irish footballer. Endeavour is assigned to protect Jack which he is not happy about due to not only his lack of interest in football but also that he would rather be investigating the death of the secretary. Endeavour is still feeling the effect of Violetta’s death and is compensating by drinking more heavily than normal. Joan Thursday has returned from Stevenage (in reality, Sara Vickers was having a baby) and is continuing with her work as a social worker.
(warning, this review will contain some spoilers)
The episode is set on the February 1971.
The episode is solid and workmanlike and this makes it rather dull and plodding. The direction was also plodding and pedestrian with the football match scenes badly directed. This may not be Shaun’s fault as there is a good chance that the football scenes were directed by the second unit director.
It is strange that the episode should start with no mention of the events in Italy. I was sure that the episode would start with the first scene from the first episode of the seventh series, Oracle. In that scene we saw Endeavour smeared in blood (Violetta’s blood as events would show) in an Italian police station.
But, barely any mention is made of what happened in Venice and only a cursory nod here and there to events of series seven. No mention if the Italian police dragged the river to find Ludo’s body. There is also no mention that Endeavour was moving to another police station on January 3rd to work with McNutt. As so often with Russell Lewis he is quite happy to ignore all that happened in previous series and simply wipe the proverbial slate clear and start again with barely a nod to previous events. It is possible the events of Zenana will raise their ugly heads in one or both of the next episodes.
As always the cast did a wonderful job except Joseph Millson as Robert Fenner who overacted to the point of panto or caricature. A highlight of the episode for me was Matthew Slater’s music. It was sublime and he helped the episode to rise above it’s plodding plot.
As you can imagine I have many problems with the episode and here are some of them:
- Endeavour remarks that the college is his old college he attended, Lonsdale. However, in the Endeavour pilot episode, Lonsdale was Merton College not Exeter.
- Russell crowbars in modern politics using the recent noise about Cecil Rhodes with the student talking about Buchanan.
- At eight minutes Thursday asks Endeavour if he knows anything about football. Fred knows he doesn’t. In the Endeavour episode, Nocturne, set against the backdrop of the 1966 World Cup, Fred remarks when talking to Endeavour about the World Cup, “Come to talking football with you I might as well show a dog the three card trick.
- Twice Morse overhears a conversation, first between the manager and Swift’s agent. Then within ten minutes overhears another conversation between unknowns. This is such a tired cliché in crime dramas and is more suited to Murder She Wrote and Diagnosis Murder. Bad enough to do it once but TWICE????
- Maggie’s sister Frieda never knew about the explosion in the college where her sister works? I know there was no internet but news of that magnitude would get around the city very quickly.
- Twice swift scores in the final minute of the two games.
- The champagne bottle that killed the young player was found by DeBryn in the soapy water with his body. Would they really be able to get fingerprints from the bottle?
- I don’t see Endeavour being a drinks flask kind of person. It’s a secretive thing while Morse would be quite happy going to the pub if he wanted a drink.
- Joan says that one reason for coming back from Stevenage was that she “didn’t want to leave mum.” She had no problem leaving her mum when she ran off after the bank robbery in the Coda episode.
- So, the kids never played with the doll’s house which had been given as a gift by Maggie? Really? If they had they would have found the tape.
- Why all the sepia toned flashbacks. They come across as fillers. Something to eat up the time allotted.
- George shoots the officer immediately but his main target, Jack, he blethers with and gives time for Fred and Morse to get there just in time. Cliched and boring.
- Morse threatened, again.
- Gunplay again.
- The ‘This Is Your Life segment also felt like filler and certainly didn’t move the plot or storyline along.
- Why does no one mention Jim Strange’s (Sean Rigby) dramatic weight loss.
The episode had one of the Endeavour series lowest viewing figures.
Jags out of ten:
All ‘modern’ music is what was used in the original UK broadcast. For legal and copyright reasons the music may be different in broadcasts in other countries.
At the beginning of the episode the music being played is The Who’s Never Be Fooled Again.
This song is used as a theme for the TV show CSI:Miami. My good friend Sheldon informs me that The Who song wasn’t released in the UK until June 1971 while this episode is set in February 1971.
At around the four minute mark a radio is playing in the Thursday household. The song continues into the next scene.
It is a song by Max Bygraves called decimalisation. Max was a very famous performer of the 1950s, 60s and seventies.
At the fashion show around the 27 minute mark we hear T-Rex playing. The song is Ride A White Swan.
At around the 29 minute mark we hear the theme tune to the British show This is Your Life.
There is music playing in the scene with Endeavour and Swift at around 38 minutes. But I can’t make it out.
NO CLASSICAL MUSIC
At the 11 and a half minute mark Fred says to Endeavour, “Ours is not to reason why.” This is from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade.
Theirs was not to make reply,
Theirs was not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
At around the 20 and a half minute mark Frazil says to Endeavour, ” And slowly answer’d Arthur from the barge:
“The old order changeth, yielding place to new.”
Another Alfred Lord Tennyson quote from the poem, Morte d’Arthur.
And slowly answer’d Arthur from the barge:
“The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfils Himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.
At around 38 minutes Jack Swift says to Endeavour, “For those about to die.”
Avē Imperātor, moritūrī tē salūtant (“Hail, Emperor, those who are about to die salute you”) is a well-known Latin phrase quoted in Suetonius, De vita Caesarum (“The Life of the Caesars”, or “The Twelve Caesars”). It was reportedly used during an event in AD 52 on Lake Fucinus by naumachiarii—captives and criminals fated to die fighting during mock naval encounters—in the presence of the emperor Claudius. Suetonius reports that Claudius replied “Aut nōn” (“or not”).
Endeavour comes across John Sarson’s thesis that was being typed up by Maggie Widdowson, “Reader, I controlled the means of production.” “Towards a critical understanding of issues of class and sex in ‘Pride and Prejudice‘ from a Marxist perspective.”
Although he is writing about Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice he has, in the main title, paraphrased from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre: ‘Reader, I married him.’ This is the first line of chapter 38.
The football ground used in the episode.
This is the first of two football grounds used in this episode. Thanks to Maidonian for giving me this information. This one is Chesham United Football Club, The Meadow, Chesham
At around three minutes we see Endeavour’s house.
Someone told me the location of this house but I can’t remember. I know that it was also used as a location in Vera.
A big thank you to Francoise who came up with the location. It is a vicarage next to St Paul’s Church, Grove Park Road, Hounslow, London.
We see the first victim on her way to work at around the four minute mark.
We are looking through the window of a café on the corner of Ship Street and Turl Street.
The arrow indicates which window the camera is looking through.
Scene following on from above.
Strangely, the scene has now moved to Oriel Square which is a long way from the above scene.
As you will find out below the college location is Exeter College which is a skip, hop and a jump from Ship Street as you can see from the map. So, a rather circuitious route to go to work. maybe this is why she was always late. 😂
Maggie walks onto Merton Street. An arrow points to the post box in the wall that is shown in the scene.
Following on from the above scene. Our first college scene.
This is Exeter College.
Endeavour arrives at Lonsdale College.
Exeter College which stands in for Lonsdale College. This is the front quad.
At around the 12 minute mark we get a better look of the football ground.
This is the second football ground used for the football locations.
The actual location of the football ground is St Albans City, Clarence Park, York Road, St Albans.
At 14 minutes Endeavour and Swift are walking and talking.
At around the 16 minute mark Fred and Jim arrive at The Plaza Hotel.
This location is the Coppid Beech Hotel, Bracknell, Berkshire.
Hospital where Miss Newell is recuperating. She was injured in the bomb blast.
The CGI of the ambulance is terrible. Charlotte, my daughter could do a better job. Thanks to Francoise who found it’s location.
At the 22 minute mark we find where Joan is working. NOT IDENTIFIED.
Home of Jack Swift.
A big thank you to Elaine Hayes who located this building; 30A Hendon Avenue, Hendon, Barnet, Greater London, N3 1UE
The house was recently up for sale. Click HERE to see pictures inside and out of the house.
At 40 minutes we get a view of an Oxford College.
This is Exeter College from Fellows Garden.
Immediately after the above view we get this view.
We can see Hertford Bridge (Bridge of Sighs) in the background in New College Lane. The Sheldonian is on the left.
Again after the above view a view of a college.
The above is another view from The Fellows Garden, Exeter College.
At 41 minutes we see the ‘police station.’
The location of the Thames Valley Police Station is, The St Cross Building, University of Oxford. It contains the English Faculty Library.
A view of Oxford at the one hour mark.
This is looking down Turl Street toward the Lincoln College Library (All Saints Church).
The camera is looking in the direction of the thin arrow.
Endeavour and Noel Baxter are walking and talking.
This is Merton Grove which connects Merton Street and Merton Field.
Endeavour and Noel are walking in the direction of the arrow toward Merton Street.
At around one hour and one minute Endeavour walks through the college to talk to the professor.
This is the Front Quad of Exeter College.
At around the one hour and three minute mark we see inside the hotel.
Another view of the college when Endeavour is talking to John Sarson.
This is a view of Fellows Garden, Exeter College.
Pub shown at around the one minute mark.
This is the The Royal Standard of England.
Actors who appeared in STRIKER and/or Morse or Lewis.
CONNECTIONS OTHER THAN ACTORS TO THE LEWIS, ORIGINAL MORSE SERIES AND PREVIOUS ENDEAVOUR EPISODES.
The first victim Maggie Widdowson has the same surname as a character in the Morse episode Last Bus to Woodstock, Mary Widdowson. Mary was the nurse in that episode. Is this a subtle hint By Russell that this is the Last series.
At around 15 minutes Jim is talking to Fred and is reeling off those who are agitators. he mentions Amnox an humanitarian organization. This group are mentioned in the Morse episode Masonic Mysteries. It is where Marion Brooke worked. We also see the young Marion in the Endeavour episode, Arcadia.
Diane Fletcher as Marion Brooke
The young Marion Brooke played by Elisabeth Hopper.
Fenner is a character who runs a fashion house in the episode. This is a flimsy connection to the Morse Universe but there was a character called James Graham “Jim” Fenner in a long running British drama called Bad Girls. He was portrayed by Jack Ellis.
Jack Ellis appeared in the Morse episode, The Settling of the Sun and the Lewis pilot episode.
However, I think the main reason for the use of Fenner is probably a nod to Sheila Hancock, John Thaw’s wife. There was a very successful sitcom called The Rag Trade in the 1960s and it starred onE Sheila Hancock.
Sheila is on the right.
Another tenuous link. Valentine cards play a part in this episode. A valentine also played a part in the Morse episode Death is Now my Neighbour.
The building that was used for the hospital, The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Town Hall, was also used as a hospital in the Endeavour episode Lazaretto.
This is the invite to a Mason’s Dinner Dance. Strange asks Joan to accompany him as ‘guest.’
At around the one minute and a half mark we see two boys playing a football game. This is Subbuteo which was released in 1946. It is still widely played today.
At three minutes a threatening phone call is made supposedly by the Provisional IRA. The Irish Republican Army (IRA; Irish: Óglaigh na hÉireann), also known as the Provisional Irish Republican Army, and informally as the Provos, was an Irish republican paramilitary organisation that sought to end British rule in Northern Ireland, facilitate Irish reunification and bring about an independent, socialist republic encompassing all of Ireland.
Maggie receives a valentine card.
The 1.4.3 is a crossword clue. It means ‘I love you.’ Maggie liked crosswords.
At around nine and a half minute Frazil is talking to Morse and Fred. She is describing the voice of the caller who threatened to kill Jack Swift. She says, “Unster, like Paisley.” She is referring to Ian Paisley, a Northern Irish loyalist politician and Protestant religious leader who served as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) from 1971 to 2008 and First Minister of Northern Ireland from 2007 to 2008.
In the same scene as above Frazil is talking of racial comments about Swift. She remarks they said, “None with the touch of the tarbrush.” This is referring to Jack Swift’s skin colour.
At around the 7 minute mark while at attending the bombsite at Lonsdale College, Fred says to Jim Strange, “So what do we think, Angry Brigade?” The Angry Brigade was a far-left British terrorist group: 1971, 12 January: Two bombs exploded at the house of government minister Robert Carr. This attack was one of 25 carried out by the Angry Brigade between August 1970 and August 1971.
1971, 31 October: A bomb exploded in the Post Office Tower in London causing extensive damage but no injuries. The “Kilburn Battalion” of the IRA claimed responsibility for the explosion but The Angry Brigade also claimed to have carried out the attack. It’s likely it was the work of the Angry Brigade and not the IRA.
We find out during a meeting between Fred and Bright that Sam, Fred’s son, is posted in Northern Ireland.
During the same meeting mentioned above, Bright says, “There are some blows from which one never quite recovers.” Is this Russell setting up Bright’s retirement from the force. Bright is of course referring to his wife’s murder.
Again from the same scene as above, Fred says about Endeavour, “He ‘s no more the kid who got off the coach from Carshall Newtown.” This referring to the pilot episode when we see Endeavour and others seconded to Cowley Police Station in Oxford.
It is mentioned in the episode that there is a postal strike. The 1971 United Kingdom postal workers strike was a strike in the United Kingdom staged by postal workers between January and March 1971.
Endeavour is looking through a magazine.
The name Tressel may be an allusion to Robert Tressell. Tressel wrote The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists (1914) a semi-autobiographical novel by the Irish house painter and sign writer Robert Noonan, who wrote the book in his spare time under the pen name Robert Tressell. Published after Tressell’s death from tuberculosis in the Liverpool Royal Infirmary in 1911.
The scout has an unusual name Marmaduke Ward.
Horatia Nelson, Admiral Nelson and Emma Hamilton’s daughter, married the Rev. Philip Ward, curate of Burnham Westgate Church, 19 February 1822. They had ten children one of whom was called, Marmaduke Ward.
Duke Ward and Fred are talking in the club bar. Duke is talking about how the football club made it’s home in Potter’s Lane. Fred says, “So, Potter’s Field to Potter’s Lane.” Is this a reference to the James Stewart film It’s A Wonderful Life. Potter’s Field is a housing development owned by Henry F. Potter, the bitter old rich man, and the bank. Thanks to Headwood in the comments who observed a better reason for the Potter’s Field reference, “After the suicide of Judas Iscariot, the Chief Priests recovered the thirty pieces of silver that they had paid him to betray Jesus. As it was blood money, it could not be returned to their treasury. Instead they bought The Potter’s Field, as a “burial place for strangers.” Matthew 27:7”
Fenner says to Endeavour when in the club bar, “It’s good to be king.” “It’s good to be the king“, a catch phrase from the 1981 Mel Brooks film History of the World, Part 1. Also a song by Tom Petty.
The manager, Dan Lofthouse, tells Endeavour and Fred that they were he had been discussing loaning Jack Swift out to Fulchester. Fulchester United F.C. is the fictitious association football team based within Fulchester. One of the most noted players on the team is Billy ‘The Fish’ Thompson, title character of the “Billy the Fish” strip.
The professor is talking into his tape recorder as Endeavour walks in at around the one hour and one minute mark. He is talking about holding a service in the memory of Maggie Widdowson. He says that the service will held two weeks after Septuagesima. Septuagesima is the name for the ninth Sunday before Easter, the third before Ash Wednesday. The term is sometimes applied to the seventy days starting on Septuagesima Sunday and ending on the Saturday after Easter.
Jack Swift appears to be loosely based on George Best. In 1971 George Best was on This is Your Life, with Eamonn Andrews interrupting a fashion show.
Shaun during filming. Photos Credit: Courtesy of (C) Mammoth Screen
Thanks to Nick for this interesting take on the This Is Your Life scene. Nick wrote, “’m wondering if the This is Your Life segment is a subtle nod to a Two Ronnies sketch – one of the Piggy Malone and Charlie Farley ones I think – in which they think they’ve stumbled across a plot to kill their boss, but it turns out that it’s actually a set-up to have Eamonn Andrews surprise said boss with the red book … although they don’t realise this until after they’ve knocked Eamonn Andrews out.” Thanls Nick that’s very interesting. The Two Ronnies were a famous and well loved duo who created a sketch show in the 1970s and 1980s.
Simon noticed the following; “the yellow Raleigh Chopper was in fact a Mk3 which wasn’t made until 2004 at the earliest. Terrible fail by the props department. It’s not like there are loads of Mk1’s out there to use.”
Thank you to Tim who supplied the following very interesting information. Tim wrote,
Like you, I was thinking that Jack Swift was loosely based on George Best, though the latter’s drinking and womanising were far more extreme. But did you know that there had been a threat to kill Best in 1971, supposedly from the IRA?
And that Best also lived in a white ‘superhouse’ like the building used for Jack Swift’s home in the episode?
George Sellars when giving his statement to Jim Strange says, “Mr Ward stopped off at the gents for a Jimmy.” This is rhyming slang. Jimmy Riddle means piddle as in urination.
Duke Ward refers to the agent, Jubba, as an eejit. Eejit means idiot.
THE MURDERED, THEIR MURDERER/S AND THEIR METHODS.
Maggie Widdowson killed by a parcel bomb. Killed by Robert Fenner who had sent the bomb in collusion with Professor Lucius Stamfield. Maggie was blackmailing the two men as she overheard their unintentional recording of a conversation.
John Paul Martinelli killed by drowning. He was initially hit over the head with a champagne bottle. Gives a whole new meaning to ‘drink going to one’s head.’ 😉 Killed by George Sellars. George was angry that John Paul had sex with his wife.
Roger Allam as Fred Thursday
Shaun Evans as Endeavour Morse
Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday
Angus Yellowlees as John Sarson
Andrew Havill as Professor Lucius Stamfield
Mia McCallum as Maggie Widdowson
James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn
James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn
Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil
Anton Lesser as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright
Julian Moore-Cook as Jack Swift
John Hollingworth as Dan Lofthouse
Joseph Millson as Robert Fenner
Harriet Thorpe as Miss Newell
Gabriel Tierney as John Paul Martinelli
Elliot Levey as Ray Jubba
Sara Vickers as Joan Thursday
Roxanne Palmer as Frida O’Rourke
Lewis Macleod as Eamonn Andrews
Ruth Bradley as Sarah Sellars
Jacinta Mulcahy as Mrs. Swift
Colum Convey as Marmaduke ‘Duke’ Ward
Christopher Brand as DS Bill Shaw
Evelina Järrebring as Brigitte Eriksson
Tom Spink as Noel Baxter