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At last but not least please think about buying my book on the Lewis TV series.
A magazine spotted by Endeavour in the taxi office. Surely this is not the reference to Colin. I looked through the episode twice and this is the closest I could get to any kind of reference to Colin. If this is their nod to Colin, shame on the props department.
Directed by Ian Aryeh. (No other connection to the Morse Universe).
Written by Colin Dexter (characters), Russell Lewis (written and devised by). Russell has written all the Endeavour episodes. He also wrote;
Lewis (TV Series) (screenplay – 4 episodes, 2010 – 2012) (story – 1 episode, 2006)
– Fearful Symmetry (2012) … (screenplay)
– Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things (2011) … (screenplay)
– Falling Darkness (2010) … (screenplay)
– The Dead of Winter (2010) … (screenplay)
– Reputation (2006) … (story)
He also wrote the Morse episode, ‘The Way Through the Woods’.
Episode set in May 1971.
A scherzo is a piece or, in particular, movement in a symphony of very lively character.
A taxi driver, a priest and Jim Strange’s Masonic Lodge Worshipful Master are murdered. The team have to try not only to solve the murders but what connects all three of this eclectic group of people.
Thursday, Endeavour and Jim Strange find themselves up to their collective knees in the underbelly of London’s Soho blue film trade, a nudist colony and the shenanigans of taxi drivers. Meanwhile Jim and Joan are getting closer while Endeavour is visited by his step mother, Gwen.
(warning, this review will contain some spoilers)
The episode, like last weeks, was solid and workmanlike but excruciatingly dull. By the end I couldn’t care less who was the murderer and if he was apprehended or not.
The title of the film and the inclusion of the nudist colony and so many references to the cheap and awful series of films The Confessions of… and the occasional nod to the Carry On films could have one saying well this is an episode to be taken lightly and have fun with. But the episode has three murders, a suicide and porn films. It doesn’t work. This kind of episode, like Prey, doesn’t belong in the Morse Universe. Russell Lewis appears to have grown tired of writing for the series when he throws in the nudge, nudge, wink, wink element. What was the point of the nudist colony other than as a cheap laugh as we watched fruit, towels, drink bottles being placed strategically to hide the nudists blushes. I kept waiting for Austin Powers to leap out of the bushes and say, ‘Behave.’ The use of a nudist colony served no purpose to the plot. Was Russell trying to show that not all nudity is pornographic?
On the point of unnecessary elements, there were too many filler scenes that did not push the storyline forward: The taxi, the camera on the roof, seen driving down Holywell Street.
The scenes between Endeavour and the son of the first victim, Dudley Lunn. The whole Bright taking life classes. Morse being hit a cab. This is to name but a few.
Also, some of the acting was ropey and amateurish and this has been happening too often in recent series. In the Lewis. Morse and early Endeavour series no actor could be accused of poor, amateur acting. The casting directors chose well in the afore mentioned series but in recent years it is like they have chosen the first person who auditioned. Did they audition? The directing was mundane and tedious and at times distracting. A director’s use of the camera should never distract from the storyline but there times when it did due to poor choices of camera location.
Here are other problems I had with the episode
When Jim goes to Joan’s home to pick her up her flatmate opens the door and asks Jim if he wants to come up as she won’t be a minute. But Joan is right behind her???
Why not have Joan glide down the stairs? Wouldn’t that have been a more romantic choice? We could the flatmate open the door wide and we see the lovely Joan descending the stairs like Scarlett O’Hara.
The end speech from Bright to the model about it not being her fault but the fault of the men is ridiculous. I never got the impression that she was coerced into participating in the films. Women do enter the porn trade on their own volition. There are women who now run porn film companies. It’s ridiculous to always see the woman as the victim. Women do enter the porn trade because they like sex and they like the money they make.
Father is shot in the head but all this blood is pouring out of the confessional. The bullet never exited the Father’s head. I don’t believe this much blood would be oozing from his head wound.
In the killing of the Commodore we see a small amount of blood and he was also shot in the head.
The killer using the hands of timepieces to leave clues was beyond stupidity and as absurd as a tiger roaming Oxfordshire. The clock hands spelling out CYM in semaphore – lucky that Morse used to be in the Signals Corps.
What was the point of the model liking Bright’s work. What was the whole point of Bright’s new interest in painting. Oh yes so Russell can show Bright’s cuddly side to the model and we see what a wonderful person he is and what a great parent he would have made had his daughter lived. I will wager we will hear no more of his new hobby.
Two elements that were never answered. Why did the priest have masonic regalia? Why wasn’t life model Lynn pose nude?
The plot has been taken straight from a 1979 film The Hardcore Life. The story concerns a father who discovers that his beloved daughter has taken part in a pornographic film. The film starred George C Scott.
Too many coincidences: Bright is painting the girl, Lynn Parry, who is the reason for the murders. The clues to who is the murderer, the semaphore watch hands, it’s fortunate that Endeavour was with the signal corp. Strange’s lodge master is one of the victims. Endeavour is knocked down by one of the taxi cab firm suspects and fortuitously he finds Dudley Lunn’s IOU. The assault victim in the hospital scene. Only included to show Joan at work but again it doesn’t push the storyline forward.
Why did Morse and Jim take so long to react when Mrs Appleby screams. The Major reacts quicker.
Best scenes in the show where those between Morse and Gwen. We learned so much about both Endeavour and Gwen. Lynda Rooke was sublime as Gwen and the outstanding performer of the episode. Here in my opinion is not only the best scene in the episode but one of the best scenes of the last three or four series.
Unfortunately these great scenes are too few and far between in recent series.
Jags out of ten:
It should be four out of ten but the above scene and Lynda Rooke’s acting gets it an extra jag.
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.
Music during the opening scene and titles.
Whimsical Spy, album: Mondo Exotica. Artist listed as Mowave
Music playing in Endeavour’s flat around four minutes.
Richard Wagner – “Tristan und Isolde”, Prelude act 3
During the charity event the band play Earth Angel by the Platters.
There is a song playing in the cab when Jim takes Joan home. I don’t recognize it.
LMO recently completed the music recordings for Endeavour Season 8, Film 2: Scherzo, with composer Matt Slater also conducting the 50 piece LMO orchestra.
In the house of Commodore Maynard.
This is the famous painting The Night Watch, by Rembrandt. The original is at Amsterdam Museum on permanent loan to the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
When Morse and Fred are interviewing the first victim’s ex wife, Pauline Lunn she says, “With Dudley it was four legs good, two legs better.” She is paraphrasing a quote from George Orwell’s Animal Farm; ‘Four legs good, two legs bad.’
At around the 40 minute mark Max has examined the body and says that “he joined the choir invisible…” The Choir Invisible is a poem by George Eliot.
This is the last ten lines of the poem.
Which martyr’d men have made more glorious
For us who strive to follow. May I reach
That purest heaven, be to other souls
The cup of strength in some great agony,
Enkindle generous ardor, feed pure love,
Beget the smiles that have no cruelty,
Be the sweet presence of a good diffus’d,
And in diffusion ever more intense!
So shall I join the choir invisible
Whose music is the gladness of the world.
Mrs. Roisin Walsh, the housekeeper, quotes the Clergyman in relation to his brother, “Am I not my brother’s keeper.”
Am I my brother’s keeper?” It’s from the Bible story of Cain and Abel (see Genesis 4:1-13).
Dorothea Frazil quotes the Bible to Endeavour when they meet in the church, “though your sins be as scarlet.” “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18.
In the newspaper that Dorothea hands to Endeavour around the one hour and 12 minute mark. There is mention of The Hand Reared Boy.
Hand Reared Boy is by Brian W Aldiss. The first British novel to explore, frankly and with unabashed honesty, the sexual awakening of an adolescent boy and to describe his youthful preoccupation with masturbation in such explicit terms. A classic study of a journey of self-discovery, it can be enjoyed as a witty portrayal of experiences common to all young males as they reach puberty and embark on the stormy voyage to adulthood.
Morse says to Fred while sitting in the garden square near the end of the episode, “And I will execute vengeance with anger and fury upon the heathen such as they have not heard.” the Bible Micah 5:15
The ‘train station’ at the the beginning of the episode. Thanks to Coco this location has been identified.
Sorry, but could not find any pictures on the ground of the location.
At one minute we see the learner and taxi at a junction.
The cars are parked on Mansfield Road which is bisected by Holywell Street in front of the cars.
The cars are stopped where the two arrows run parallel to each other. The learner driver moves off to the left as indicated by the top arrow.
After the above scene the learner almost hits a man on a bicycle.
Below is a video made during the filming of the above scene.
The nudist colony, Paradise Court. UNIDENTIFIED
It is a vicarage next to St Paul’s Church, Grove Park Road, Hounslow, London.
Taxi at 15 and a half minutes driving down Holywell Street.
The church seen at 24 minutes.
This is St Nicolas Church Taplow, Buckinghamshire.
Joan’s new home.
This is Wellington Square in Oxford.
The blue door is Joan’s home.
Coincidentally Endeavour moved into Wellington Square in the Arcadia episode. Morse moved into 14 Wellington Square.
Below is where Endeavour drops off the young Lunn boy. UNIDENTIFIED
Where the charity dinner and dance is being held. Again, thanks to Coco for tracking down this location. It is Hampden House in Great Hampden, Great Missenden Buckinghamshire.
Morse staggers his way home.
We are back again in Holywell Street. Morse is walking up Bath Place which runs done to the Turf Tavern.
Endeavour goes to talk to the window cleaner.
This is the High Street in Taplow, Buckinghamshire.
A shot at 49 minutes.
The location of the Thames Valley Police Station is, The St Cross Building, University of Oxford. It contains the English Faculty Library.
At 51 minutes we see what is meant to be the police station.
Home of Commodore Maynard. UNIDENTIFIED.
The home of the window cleaner.
This is Hill Farm Road, Taplow, Buckinghamshire.
Thursday is in Soho, London.
It looks like a studio set.
Fred and Morse near the end of the episode.
This is Wellington Square Gardens.
Endeavour in the pub at the 32 minute mark.
Not sure about this location. It could be a studio set.
Actors who appeared in SCHERZO and/or Morse or Lewis.
Oliver Johnstone as Joe North also appeared in the Lewis episode, The Soul of Genius as Vincent Vega.
Another actor who appeared in a Lewis episode, Andrea Lowe who played Pauline Lunn in this episode.
She appeared in the Lewis episode The Lions of Nemea playing Phillipa Greenwood.
CONNECTIONS OTHER THAN ACTORS TO THE LEWIS, ORIGINAL MORSE SERIES AND PREVIOUS ENDEAVOUR EPISODES.
Father Mahoney has a half brother. This is reminiscent of the Morse episode, Service of All the Dead. In that episode the priest Lionel Pawlen has a brother.
Catherine Cusack who plays Mrs. Roisin Walsh the housekeeper to Father Maloney.
is the half sister to Sorcha Cusack appeared as Joyce in the Morse episode, Cherubim and Seraphim.
Another reference to last week’s Striker episode.
The young boy is shooting cans.
Three of the cans have the name Richardsons on them. Richardsons was the supermarket in the Endeavour episode, Arcadia.
Of course the biggest connection in the episode is the reappearance of Gwen Morse, Endeavour’s step mother played Lynda Rooke. The character appeared in the Endeavour episode Home from series one.
Gwen reveals that Joyce is “living with a man named Garrett. In the Morse” episode “Cherubim And Seraphim” Joyce, played by Sorcha Cusack, was referred to as “Mrs. Garrett”, and her husband Keith also appeared briefly as a character.
Phillip Joseph as Keith Garrett
Newspaper headline references last week’s show. Jack Swift the footballer has signed for the Dutch team Ajax.
A TV can be seen in Endeavour’s living room. The older Morse never owned a television. The Morse of the books owned a TV. .
We learn at around six minutes that Endeavour’s step sister Joyce is getting married. We saw Joyce in the Endeavour episode, Home
and the older Joyce in the Morse episode, Cherubim and Seraphim.
At around the nine minute mark Max says to meet at 2.30 after the post mortem. Thursday replies that the time is a bit late for Max. Max says, “Steak and Kidney ate the Eagle. Max is referring to the pub The Eagle and Child at 49 St Giles’, Oxford OX1 3LU.
The pub has been closed for sometime but the latest news is that it could reopen in 2022.
The driving school car.
Noglea is the name of the driving school in the awful film Confessions of a Driving Instructor.
The man in the taxi office on the radio mentions a job to take a Mr Ben/n to Festive Avenue. Mr Benn was a well loved British children’s TV show from the 1971 and 1972. Mr Been lived at Festive Road.
During the interview with the taxi radio operator Endeavour notices a magazine.
This is the same magazine the wife of Fenner appeared in the previous episode, Striker.
In the same scene as above the radio operator says that there was a fare from Summertown for a Dr Who. Someone who studies the orient. Need I say more.
At around 20 minute in the mortuary Max is talking to Endeavour and Fred. Thursday wonders if the gun that killed the taxi driver could belong to a woman. Max replies, “Ruth Ellis fired a .38 of course.” This is a reference to the last woman to be hanged in the UK in 1955. Ruth Ellis (9 October 1926 – 13 July 1955) was a British escort and nightclub hostess. Hanged after being convicted of the murder of her lover, David Blakely.
Fred asks Endeavour around the 22 minute mark if he had any lucky tracing the Ostrich Fanciers Club. Endeavour says no the number on the back of the card just gets you to the “BLM switchboard.” BLM? Black Lives Matter reference? Or Blue Lives Matter as it was a number to recieve ‘blue’ films.
When talking to Gwen his step mother Endeavour says, “Terra ingcognita.” when telling her she should find the pantry as easy as she found the drinks cabinet. Terra incognita or terra incognita is a term used in cartography for regions that have not been mapped or documented.
Jim and Joan win tickets to see The Carpenters. The Carpenters DID play The Royal Albert Hall in September 1971.
The episode has numerous references to a series of terrible soft porn British movies of the 1970s.
Confessions of a Driving Instructor.
Confessions of a Window Cleaner.
Confessions of a Taxi Driver.
Also references to Carry on films.
Carry on Cabby.
Carry on Camping.
Sid James and Bernard Bresslaw, hit on the idea of taking repressed girlfriends Joan Sims and Dilys Laye to a nudist colony to loosen them up, but end up at an normal family campsite. The nudist resort, Paradise Court, is named after the Paradise Camping Site from the film.
Two drone shots that were previously used in the Endeavour episode,
When Endeavour asks Dorothea what Father Mahoney was like, she replies, “Whisky Priest.” This term means a priest or ordained minister who shows clear signs of moral weakness, while at the same time teaching a higher standard.
We learn that Joan and Sam Thursday attended Cowley Secondary Modern.
The taxi firm is called Speedy Cabs. A reference to the film Carry on Cabby where the Taxi Company is called Speedee Cabs.
Here is a weird connection I found. Here is the card found in Lunn’s wallet.
Notice the number, 1328. So, In March of this year the Guardian newspaper’s crossword, no’ 1328 contained the word ‘nuptial.’
Now, Endeavour looks at Dudley Lunn’s crossword which was on the passenger seat of his car.
What do we see? The word ‘nuptial.’ Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Dorothea is talking to Endeavour at the scene of the third victim, Commodore Maynard. She says of the blue films that were found in Father Maloney’s home, ” For the one in the hand, rather than two in the bush.” I think this Dorothea paraphrasing a Smith’s song, Handsome Devil, “A boy in the bush
Is worth two in the hand.”
Lee Timothy the window cleaner in the episode, is named after Timothy Lea, the main character of the 1974 film “Confessions Of A Window Cleaner”; the actor who played him, Robin Askwith, went to the same school as “Endeavour” writer Russell Lewis, though some time later.
Joan’s new home is in Wellington Square, Oxford. Coincidentally Endeavour moved into Wellington Square in the Arcadia episode. Morse moved into 14 Wellington Square.
One of the characters at the nudist colony is named Barry Appleby. Barry Appleby is the name of the cartoonist who drew Daily Express strip The Gambols.
Del Grady the handyman at Paradise Court
has the same name as previous winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s film, The Shining.
Strange, Endeavour and Fred are talking in the Commodore’s home and this picture is on the wall. It’s a view of Venice (maybe a painting by Canaletto) which of course is a connection to series seven. A coincidence? It is possible the painting is hanging in the house used as a location for the Commodore’s home and it is a coincidence or that the Props Department put it there.
One of the taxi drivers says that there is ‘crumpet’ in and out of the cab all day. Crumpet is a derogatory term for women.
Strange says that his interview at the nudist colony, “Takes the Garibaldi.” Normally one would say ‘that took the biscuit.’ Garibaldis are biscuits therefore…
THE MURDERED, THEIR MURDERER/S AND THEIR METHODS.
The first murder victim, a taxi driver Dudley Lunn. Shot.
The second victim is Father Frances Mahoney is shot.
Third victim, Commodore Maynard. Shot.
Lottie Tolhurst as Lynn Parry
Amy Griffiths as Ann Lunn
Andrea Lowe as Pauline Lunn
Regan Garcia as Mark Lunn.
Wayne Carter as Ifan Roberts
Lucy Aarden as Alison Appleby
Nicholas Shaw as Baz Appleby
Oliver Johnstone as Joe North
Ian Hallard as Brian Frussell
Andrew Woodall as Major Jones
Jessica Layde as Lesley
Catherine Cusack as Mrs. Roisin Walsh
Issy van Randwyck as Laurel Maynard
Joe Gallina as Del Grady
Matt Rixon as Commander Len Drury