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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
I liked this episode much more than the last. However, I have found Lewis’ desperate efforts to throw in as many references to 60/70’s iconography distracting and I am not sure if it is a bit of ‘filler’ rather than focus on making sense of the mysteries..I thought it was clever and subtle in the early series but now I find it overwhelming.
Great call outs – again elements that I never see
Agree the Gwen/Endeavour scenes were definitely a highlight of the episode – although I found it odd she turned up to stay with Endeavour given their relationship but it worked so I am not going to quibble.
I completely missed the re-appearance of the actress who played Philippa Garwood in Lewis – and that was one of my favourite guest roles in Lewis.
Nuptial – you think relevant to Strange/Joan in the final episode ?
Re: TV and Inspector Morse – I could have sworn there was an episode where he was watching a press conference or the like on a TV but obviously I may be mixing up Lewis/Morse.
Final episode tonight or not ? What do you think…..
Lewis watched a press conference on TV in the episode The Lions of Nemea. I don’t remember Morse watching one though he did participate in one in Happy Families.
Thanks Chris – I thought I was wrong with that one. I think my poor memory is recalling the press conference you refer to in Morse (as I think we see it on the TV within the episode)
Whoops, Maria, I didn’t see your comment about the overdone cultural references before I posted mine.
I obviously enjoyed the episode much more than you did. It gave off more of the same ‘feel’ to me as earlier seasons of the show. I will pass over your assertion that lots of women just love having sex and making lots of money degrading themselves for pornography and prostitution. As in previous recaps, I would recommend you defer to your female fans on this topic. One glaring error is the communion scene in the Catholic Church – In 1971, the priest would still put the communion wafer on the tongue of the communicant, not in their hands. That change came much later. I also think the priest, having been shot, could have likely fallen over with his head very near the opening of the confessional – making the admittedly large pool of blood plausible. I also noted with you the significant delay in our detectives’ reaction to that gunshot. Uncharacteristically slow off the mark!
The priest had the Masonic apron because it was used as a prop in one of the blue films. And not all life models post nude. I took life drawing for a whole semester without ever seeing the model in the buff! Learning how to draw clothing is also important.
Still miss the classical music in these later episodes. Sure hope there is a series 9. Thanks for all your detective work on these!!
Mary Anne, I never asserted that lots of women love having sex and making lots of money. That’s not what I wrote and that’s not what I implied. I also never mentioned prostitution. I think you need to reread what I wrote. You see pornography as being degrading but studies have shown that more women than ever are watching pornography and more women are making their own pornographic films many for the female market.
It’s 1971. Pornographic films were considered extremely shameful by nearly the whole of society. Society’s wider acceptance of porn today doesn’t change 1971. And having sex for money is prostitution, whether it’s filmed or not. But returning to the episode, I really liked her interactions with Bright, as she had pointed out that she never really knew her father, just got cards twice a year from him. I just find Bright so gentlemanly and charming as a character.
Mary Ann, I think I have to disagree. 1971 was extremely liberating as far as free sex, sex for the sake of just sex whether money was involved or not, and the breaking down of all the repressive sexual mores of the 50’s and early 60″s. Towards the end of the 60’s into the 70’s it was a very different view of all things sexual. Perhaps the shameful judgement came with the much older generation (those brought up in the 40’s and 50’s) but then they felt judgmental and disdain about everything going on at that time. I do agree about Bright being most gentlemanly and kind towards women especially.
I believe that by 1971 it was a minority who considered porn films as shameful. If porn films are so shameful why are they a billion dollar business. The majority may publicly denounce porn but privately they are watching it. After the sexual liberation of the 1960s many women, as w92 wrote, saw appearing in porno films as part of their liberation. Many woman of that era became superstars by appearing in pornographic films that apparently no one watches. One can’t equate appearing willingly in pornographic films and receiving wages for doing so with prostitution. When you acquire a prostitute you are paying for sex. When you hire an adult performer, you are paying them as an actor for a film. You are paying not for sex, but for a performance.
Mary Anne is approaching this from a point of view lacking nuance, viz. the old-fashioned one. Nowadays, many feminist arguments lie in the fact that many women consider self-motivated participation in pornography/ the production thereof a sign of emancipation and entrepreneurship. I hesitate to advocate either position, but to fail to account for the existence of this alternative conception is short-sighted, and it is particularly inappropriate and presumptuous to upbraid you for your balanced delineation of the point.
Welcome W92 and thank you.
Well, I certainly bow to your expertise. My 1971 must have been very different than your 1971.
All I can say is – Fred Thursday agrees with ME! 😹😹😹
Especially given Mr, Bright’s age (and moral mores) in 1871 I think his comments to Miss Perry make sense.
Moreover I do not doubt that some people working in pornography feel empowered by it but it is also an industry rife with exploitation. There is nuance I don’t think can be adequately explored in an episode of a Endeavour and given this was an episode particularly busy with plot points and references (as noted by Chris) it was particularly noticeable.
I am commenting late as this episode has only just aired in Australia.
Good point about the Masonic apron – do we see it in shots from the blue movie? I don’t think there’s a very popular sub-genre of masonic porn, though…!
Chris, I agree with all the problems you have mentioned in your review. Another disappointing episode. Two additional points I would make- the lack of the banter and camaraderie between Thursday and Morse made the episode even more dull- and why on earth would Joan encourage a victim of domestic abuse not to report it or talk to the police (Morse)? Even in that time period women were persuaded to do so. There’s no doubt the relationship between Morse and Thursday has changed although Thursday does offer a few attempts to assure Morse, for example, when he tells Morse in last week’s episode, “I chose you” and he says something else to that effect to Morse at the end of this episode when they are sitting on a bench but I can’t remember what now and I can no longer get that episode on YouTube for some reason. Gwen is a poisonous person and her treatment of Morse is awful. When she says to Morse, “I didn’t kill her” it made it sound like Morse has been resentful of her all along when, according to the original Morse, this was certainly the other way around. The nudist colony was ridiculous and was a failed attempt at humor. And I won’t even get into the whole Strange and Joan thing again. And Was Bright’s painting class a way to have Morse identify the daughter from the painting? Even so, I can’t see Bright in a life model class – more like a scenery kind of guy! But after all, I still love the characters, just wish they had a better story to act in.
Is Endeavour the only man in England cannot pronounce Roseville as rivalry?
Do you mean Reveille as Revalley?
The scene where Thursday goes to London to confront the pornographers seems to have no connection to anything, but then maybe it’s leading to something in the final episode judging by the threats handed around seemingly out of nowhere? The IOU and business card for the “ostrich Fancier’s club” have a cypher on them very reminiscent of the royal cypher of the prince of Wales. The same Cypher is seen on a wall across from the London Pornography store. Could this be a backhanded reference to the murderer being a Very Welsh character?
I did wonder if his encounter with the London squad was a set up for Fred’s death in the final episode. Interesting regarding the royal cipher.
Yes, another ropey episode where the game of ‘spot the reference’ takes the place of a convincing plot. The aspect of Bright drawing the girl and Morse recognising her from the drawing is particularly strained, as is the killer leaving clues of such monumental obscurity. I think all I can add to your review is that the ‘BLM switchboard’ may refer to British Leyland Motors, based in Cowley.
Thanks Chris regarding the BLM.
Thanks for your review. I think the music when Jim and Joan return from the ball is the same piece of music that is playing when the ‘actors’ arrive at the Roxy Theatre for the premiere in Cartouche – S5E2. I also enjoyed the scenes between Endeavour and Gwen in this episode. I wish there was more interaction shown with them in Home – S1E4. Oh well, maybe we will see more in a ‘Deleted Scenes’ segment on a series DVD boxed set!?
Thanks again for all your hard work.
The comedy elements seemed really out of place and I was embarassed rather than amused by them. The scene when Gwen arrives in Morse’s house seemed to me like something out of a sitcom and it was so very out of place that seeing all the other scenes between them it seemed almost inappropriate. And those other scenes were so beautifully written and acted, and so painful at the same time that they really stood out.
The fandom (at least on tumblr) seems to love the inclusion of the little boy, but I really hated it. I mean, how likely it is that he had the exact same story Morse had (down to the taxi-driver father and the gun for shooting rabbits!)? I know these thing happen, but come on, it’s like he met himself from the past. You can build a parallel without using the same details. Also, what was really the point of the boy at all? Was it to tell us about Morse’s childhood? We have Gwen to do that in the episode. This seems to me like the famous Russell Lewis Emotional Manipulation ™.
I agree with too many coincidences. The girl being Bright’s model made me roll my eyes. Is this Endeavour of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency that everything has to be connected?
I actually laughed with that line you used ‘the famous Russell Lewis Emotional Manipulation’ – that is so accurate ! And over-done the last 3 series. I sense that is why I have found the whole Joan/Jim thing annoying – it was not a slow build over series rather a ‘wham – more Morse angst’. Subtlety and sub-text don’t seem to be Russell’s strong suit (anymore). IMO the earlier Endeavour had that in spades (mainly).
I have found the fandoms on Tumblr a little more discerning then those on Twitter (some will venture real critiques) but I gave up on Twitter, the review of any episode is ‘Shaun Evans shows up, has a pained and tortured expression’ and it is ‘isn’t this amazing’ followed by ‘my tortured boi’ and ‘love his hair’ if you offer any criticism at all of the actual episode you are told not to watch! They must have blissful lives if things they love never let them down or could do better. All power to them. However, I have given up on both Tumblr and Twitter at least in respect of Endeavour. Chris your twitter site is one of the exceptions as that focuses on the trilogy of the series.
Agree re: the nudist colony – definitely seemed to be in there just as a ‘carry on’ type thing but it wasn’t even funny. And again, for me Strange just seems to have lost his nuances and humour.
Well, I mean, I do think Shaun is both a really good actor and a very attractive man, and i do love his hair in Endeavour, but that doesn’t stop the last few series from being badly written. And yes, I agree that those super-obsessive fangirls (I’m assuming they are mostly girls?) are too much. (I wonder if I was like that about the fandoms I was into when I was 15?) But I managed to have a few interesting conversations about the Morseverse on Tumblr. Though thinking back to it, the people I had this conversations with knew the original Inspector Morse and Lewis as well, so they were more like people here than the fingirls.
The phrase “the famous Russell Lewis’ Emotional Manipulation ™” actually comes from something Chris used to say quite a lot during the Endeavour streams, so I can’t take credit for it. I agree that it describes his writing quite well.
I think you’re being generous with you rating. I give it 3.
This episode was all over the place – the plot could have been dealt with in about 40 minutes the rest was soap opera (the Gwen scene, the boy with pistol scene and the Jim/Joan scenes) and as you wrote, filler (the nudist camp, the art classes, etc). It would be better if they focussed a bit more on the plot and left out all the clever cultural references.
I don’t understand the way Morses drinking is being dealt with. In the Morse series and in the books he ‘drank too much’ that was all. He certainly drank too much to be healthy – but he wasn’t an alcoholic. The hip flask and the solitary spirits drinking resulting in him walking into the taxi are over the top.
Also, if there is some sort of Endeavour ‘story arc’ this episode added nothing to it.
I suspect Len Drury is a reference to Ken Drury of the Flying Squad. The Squad were investigated over a number of years during the 1970s notably as part of Operation Countryman who found corruption involving Met officers & criminals through common membership of Freemasonry. Corruption related to vice activity in Soho was also widespread. Its well documented and there was a very good recent BBC documentary called “Bent Coppers-Crossing the Line of Duty” – I’m sure you know all this Chris – i write it for the benefit of your international readers.
I’m getting really picky now but that paper boys Chopper was a Mk2 which wasn’t available at the time.
Ah, Ken Drury, of course, well spotted. I looked for references to corrupt ‘Clubs & Vice’ officers from the time, but of course Drury was, as you say, Flying Squad. I expect Len Drury will reappear at some stage. And I loved your note on the Chopper – I tried to identify the exact model when it appeared in Striker, but couldn’t quite pin it down – something to do with the gear stick…?!
Hi Chris, i think you’re right, it had a different gearstick but the easiest thing to spot is the shape of the frame at the rear – it has a pronounced kink in the upright. I think it was done to stop them pitching over backwards – i remember riding them and they were awful !
Russell Lewis’ portrayal of Morse suffering from delirium tremens and chain smoking and falling down drunk ruined Season 8 for me. I get your point, Mr. Lewis: Morse has a drinking problem. But why the need to make him unattractive? That is Endeavour’s big draw: Shaun Evans’ appeal, unconventionally attractive, the thinking woman’s sex symbol. Mr. Lewis singlehandedly trashed Morse’s attractiveness and appeal, ruining the entire series. Not even Inspector Morse was a falling down drunk. But the series was not up to par on so many other levels, it is worthy of a book entitled: “How Russell Lewis deliberately ruined his Endeavour canon with Series 8 and why.” We can only speculate on the why: not enough money? Sour grapes at being told this was the last series? Feeling uncredited with the show’s success? A lack of respect from executive producers? A lack of new offers to write shows? Only Mr. Lewis and perhaps interviewer Damian Barcroft know for sure. I will still enjoy the earlier series. Now Series 7 looks BAFTA-worthy by comparison. And will be grateful for Mr. Lewis’ genius in the early series.
Oh my, don’t get me started on Matt Slater’s choice of opening music for Scherzo! It was so awful that it sounded like Ima Sumac on a bad day. Torture to have to listen to that Mondo schmondo. Could go on and on about how stupid Series 8 is, especially as the final series. But it will have to wait for another time when I am less angry. And everyone here is correct about the too cute clever references to past obscure cultural references.
I saw episode 3 on YouTube. I hated the music in Scherzo as well, so annoying. I can’t believe this is how Lewis is ending the Endeavour series – no resolution at all with anything. It is more than shameful. Such a complete let down and after all the buildup of the characters and storylines of all previous series, here we are left hanging.
I will console myself with binge watching Lucifer, (a great show on Netflix) at least I’ll get laughs out of that. Now that is some clever, talented writing and acting.
Kathleen, I have edited your comments due to spoilers for episode 3 of series 8. If you plan to write about episode 3 then wait until I have posted my review and then add comments there. Or, write in caps, SPOILERS before your comment. Thanks.
Sorry Chris! I should have realized that.
Just a warning this time Kathleen but next time it’s the naughty step for you. 😉
Ha Ha! Just don’t make me wear the dunce cap!
Lorraine, I have edited your comments due to spoilers for episode 3 of series 8. If you plan to write about episode 3 then wait until I have posted my review and then add comments there. Or, write in caps, SPOILERS before your comment. Thanks.
Oh, and I wonder if the bible quotation is a reference to the Samuel L Jackson character in Pulp Fiction.The wording is certainly similar – but i’m no bible scholar.
King James Version
17 And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.
Spirit in the sky. By Norman greenbaum was playing early in the episode.
Was it Ken? Which scene?
Just realised it was in E1 striker at 16.25.
I am in the United States so haven’t actually watched this. My comment is more general. I actually came to Morse late not having watched any of it before Endeavour introduced me to Morse. Yet I have now watched all Morse episodes at least twice and all of Lewis at least three times. And bought Chris’s book for kindle. And my ringtone is Morse theme.
My very favorite episode of Endeavour is Neverland.
Now I get more and more disappointed. When, for instance, is Endeavour going to start building up the record collection that gets torched? When is he going to learn German? When is he going to travel? (Morse was quite comfortable in Italy) (yeah, I know last season he “went” to Italy…. )
In the pilot we are led to believe by some great imagery that Endeavour (Evans) is going to turn into Morse (Thaw). Instead he’s turning in to something of a mess that is supposed to be (but I don’t think is) closer to book Morse. I find it quite disappointing that Shaun never watched John Thaw’s Morse.
And have they run out of all classical music?
I think Russell was very into writing a prequel to the original Inspector Morse during the first few seasons. There are so many references to the original in those early episodes. But lately it seems that he either forgot it was meant to be a prequel or just got bored and decided to do his own thing. It’s ironic that the older Morse gets in Endeavour the less of the original Morse I can see in him.
Shaun’s decision not to watch the original show continues to baffle me. I know his explanation is that he didn’t want to copy John Thaw and I sort of could undarstand it in the early days. But it’s been almost 10 years since the pilot episode of Endeavour aired, so I’m sure he knows precisely what he wants to do with the character. And he’s a good actor, so him watching the original series doesn’t mean he’s copy John Thaw. But if he watched he maybe could have stopped Russell from at least some of the bull***t he did, seeing that he (Shaun) apparently has at least some say in what goes and what gets rewritten.
Nonpracticing, I do get what you’re saying.
Shaun has taken quite a different tack as it were, with his approach to the character.
He’s started the cynical attitude and even staggered away from the pub. It’s chilling that he didn’t want, as Morse said …to tend to the wounded. He just wanted to bring justice.
I’ll see how the next few episodes pan out.
Great comments Barbara – -it is interesting how many of us came into the Morse world.
Mine was via Lewis (which was more contemporary for me) – my husband and I even went off to Oxford as I was such a big fan (the series had finished by that time and Endeavour had started but I had not seen it)
My Mum used to watch and was a big fan of Inspector Morse and sometimes I would watch and enjoy.
After Lewis I went back (by this time Mum had passed away) and watched all of Morse – yes some of it had dated but it was still great.
Then later while staying in the UK I watched Sway – loved it (Mum had wanted me to watch the pilot I just never got around to it) so when I returned to Australia I watched the previous series and there was a new one just about to start. We went back to Oxford just for my love of Endeavour this time.
I agree sadly that for me from S5 (S6 was still hanging in there but the themed iconography episodes started) the whole series and characterisation went off – culminating in the barely watchable (and almost totally unrelated character wise) of S7.
I was hoping for so much better in S8 – especially given I thought they realised after S7 and said how much longer they had to fine tune the series with the long pandemic break.
I have said it before – once Shaun Evans became Executive Producer and defacto writer and collaborator (seems that was about S6) it was A MUST he watch Morse (I got it as an actor perhaps) instead he continues to boast that he has “never watched a minute’ – you know what mate – it shows ! (And not in a good way). He doesn’t come across as arrogant but I find that continual boast bordering on offensive to the series that went before and the reason his career (and bank account) are so healthy today. Respect goes a long way.
To be fair to Evans he did say in the S8 Press Pack that he meant no disrespect re: never watching Inspector Morse and I am sure he is sincere – just think when you input to characterisations and storylines perhaps you should watch – maybe he relies on Russell as the source for that ?
Barbara, kudos to Chris for calling the show exceedingly dull! Watching Series 8 felt like the homework I had to churn out in college at UCLA and later law school. Pure drudgery. The deficiencies you mention might have spruced it up: more gorgeous classical music, symphonic and choral, perhaps travel to some exotic rehab island… [SPOILER: Thursday wanted Morse to go to rehab—why not Tahiti! Lol!!!] We are supposed to believe that a year later, Morse is still pining and feeling guilty about Violetta, whom he never really loved, and whom he knew to be a scam artist with Ludo. I’m not buying it. Are we supposed to believe that the Violetta/Ludo experience turned Morse into a nihilist with major clinical depression, severe alcoholism, and anhedonia? At least show some psychotherapy sessions? That always seems to relieve drudgery—and perhaps erotic transference between Morse and the therapist??? Just throwing out ideas. . . What was really missing for me was a love interest for Endeavour which he has had in almost all other episodes. A damsel in distress that he must save, or a damsel that saves him like Ms. Hicks. Another aspect of the drudgery was the complete absense of humour. Ms. Frazil’s attempt to inject levity seemed a bit crass for her character, even being a journalist. And there just wasn’t anything remotely funny—no dark comments, no ironic put downs. Not even Max De Bryn rose to that challenge of saying something witty. And Strange is so full of himself in this series. Well, as I said, a book could be written on the disaster that is Series 8.
Lorraine. Why not write that book ?
Nonpracticinghuman (love that name)
I agree that Shaun Evans is a really good actor and of course lovely looking – in fact that is why I feel the series let’s him down a bit (and some of the other actors) I meant more the reactions of the fans on Twitter than the actor himself – he actually doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously.
The scary thing for me is that quite a few of these fans don’t seem to be “girls”. I too have had some really great interactions on Tumblr re: Morse and now I come to think of it they usually are across the series as a trilogy and certainly fans who have been watching since series 1 of Endeavour- I think there seems to be some that came into it about S5 and that nothing existed before that. They re-quote the books as the “source” although clearly they have never read them (I admit I have only read 3) but when I pointed out that Endeavour is a prequel of the series (its reason for being is that it was a one-off anniversary episode) I was howled down by some with “this is its own series and stand alone nothing to do with Inspector Morse” so I gave up with a few exceptions.
Barbara – I agree – John Thaw’s Morse was never a fall down drunk that I remember – his alcohol issues were there but raised subtlety – intelligently – more focussed as we got closer to the end but mainly from his declining health and of course his terror of retirement (which I found really poignant, so sad and well done by John Thaw)
I do wish that once Shaun Evans stepped into an executive producer role and clearly a storyline collaborator that he DID watch the earlier series (i saw recently for the umpteenth time where he boasts about never seeing not even one Morse episode) IMO it would have helped.
Re: Morse’s drinking.
I totally agree with you. I haven’t read the books yet, but in the original series his drinking was never as problematic as Russell makes it in Endeavour. Sure, he was an alcoholic – unable to quit even when his life literally depended on it – but he was never shown getting so staggeringly drunk and being that pathetic. Isn’t that the thing with high-functioning alcoholics that they drink in such a way that it’s very hard for people around them to realise they are indeed alcoholics?
Agree – exactly – that is how high functioning alcoholics behave – often only a significant event or they usually identify themselves and seek treatment. If they ever do.
Morse’s alcohol issues were always there – it was part of the fabric of him. As you said quite rightly sadly unable to give it up even when he was told that unless he did it would kill him (the bitter thing for me as a viewer is seeing that he can’t – I remember (as a young woman) wanting to yell at the TV when he kept drinking (and sneaking alcohol even in the hospital towards the end) – he was never a dishevelled, messy, pathetic ‘drunk’.
Again alignment – we know alcohol remained an issue for Morse right through his life – so are we to think that Endeavour remains a fall down drunk or improves but stays an alcoholic ? I guess the latter.
I heartily agree with all of you critiquing the season’s ham-handed approach to Morse’s drinking. Now that some of us are revisiting the original Morse episodes, we can so clearly see what a complex character he is. His love of drink is fully, but subtly, dramatized. The nonsense in this episode of his (literally) staggering alcoholism is just clubbing us over the head. I’m going to scrub the Russell Lewis version of Morse from memory. It won’t be difficult to do.
An aside–I’m not the same Mary Anne who posted above. Maybe I should revert to “maldemer” to distinguish us?
Oh dear, there are two of us! 🙀 First poster here – I’m Mary Anne L.
I think we might remember, though, that we all probably took things to the extreme, were much more reckless in our behaviors, and had not quite the same personality that maturity brings when we were young. I know I can say that about myself. Perhaps we are making too much of a comparison between the young Morse and the elder Morse.
Kathleen, that’s an excellent point. I’ll be curious–and am apprehensive–to see what episode 3 offers. I just find the writing overall to be so clumsy now.
Hi Maldemer, I agree about the writing. The relationship between Morse and Thursday is so strained the episodes seem flatlined and as I’ve said before the lack of the camaraderie and banter between the two make it dull to watch when it used to add so much enjoyment to the story. By the way, I enjoy chatting with you on Chris’ streams!
Yes, Kathleen, the Twitch chats are great fun. I’m grateful for everyone in our scallywag community. Speaking of banter and such, I’m sorry I’ll be missing the showing of The Wolvercote Tongue. The Morse-Lewis interplay is fantastic. Endeavour has become so dreary.
Kathleen – great point. Perhaps Morse became an even higher functioning alcoholic ! But IMO the Endeavour of the earlier series seemed like a younger more earnest but in keeping with the older Morse (I could see the direction and evolution) the choir, the drinking, the sweetness to women, short fused for those who could not keep up with his intellect, etc. for me it feels they went on some tangent from around S5 with Endeavour/Morse but of course that is only a matter of opinion. I know that many see perfect alignment.
I get that he’s young(ish) and still processing the trauma of Venice (on top of all of his other traumas) and judging by the series finale his getting THAT drunk will indeed be an episode. My issue isn’t just with the drinking, though. It’s with the general way they present his character. He seems to move away from John Thaw’s Morse. I don’t know if they want to make him more into the Morse from the books (with the smoking and the porn), but honestly the older he gets the less he I recognise him as the Morse from the original series.
Despite the shortcomings and inadequacies that Chris and others have mentioned, I enjoyed this episode. But here I am once more with my pet grievance. Sorry everyone, but I do want to say it again. The music that made the early Endeavour seasons very special (to me at least) was the choice and the use of music. This aspect of has now changed beyond recognition.
One reason I have always preferred reading books to watching movies or television is that I have more freedom to use my own knowledge, understanding and even preferences, to put my own take on events. Some musical scores do all the interpretation for us, and that was the case in Scherzo. Just one example. Strange is stunned when he sees the beautiful Joan stepping out to accompany him to the Masonic night. Was the music effective? Yes, it was, and also memorable, if this is the way you like it. But I didn’t. Where was the subtlety? It was an in-your-face ‘this is how you must feel’ moment, the stars-in-your-eyes music removing the viewer from having any sort of input, doubt, or even of sharing that special moment with the characters who presumably had no sentimental violins playing in the background. To my mind, this approach cheapens the whole production.
Of course there is an element of interpretation in all added music, and real artistic instinct and expertise is necessary to use it appropriately. Less is more. Let’s keep the musical commentary as a suggestion rather than a statement. If music is being used to make a bold statement that sets us thinking (rather than telling us what to think) use it sparingly and dramatically.
In no way do I want to disparage the actual musical score. I just deplore the changes in the way it is being used, and how it is removing an important part of the viewer’s experience. Such a shame. I am holding out hopes that Terminus will restore my faith in humanity!
Allison, I agree that the music wasn’t as subtle as it could have been. It wouldn’t have hurt to include a bit more classical music. It would mirror young Morse’ mood swings.
Did they skip the red secret codes in the credits for series 8?
The red codes are an American thing. It isn’t done in the UK.
Chris, what are the red secret codes? Used to watch Endeavour on pbs in America but I never heard of them.
From dreading the end of Endeavour , I am praying for it to put us all out of our
Misery. I say this with the benefit of having watched episode 3.
The writing is now so far fetched, and full of in jokes that the cast seem to
Be playing it for laughs
I read and write for Endeavour Ao3, and I think some of the best authors
Could do a better job than R.I
How the show has degenerated from the great shows such as Fugue, Home
Thanks for your thoughts, Chris. For clarification, it was ‘CYW’ (‘chick’) rather than ‘CYM’ (which is the usual abbreviation for Wales/Welsh – Cymru/Cymraeg). Ifan’s accent is clearly from the south-west (the actor’s from Ammanford, as are all good people…), while I’ve only ever heard people from northern Wales use ‘cyw’ as a term of endearment (for comparison: it would be a little unusual for somebody with a Cockney accent rfer to somebody as ‘me duck’). But I’m a pedant…
One potential literary reference was in Lynn’s birth name Siwan (which Ifan correctly notes translates as ‘Joan’). Saunders Lewis’ play Siwan (translated in 1960 as ‘The King of England’s Daughter) is a Welsh language classic. It is about the affair between Siwan, Lady of Wales (a daughter of King John and wife of Llywelyn the Great) and the norman lord William de Broase. Llywelyn has de Broase hanged for his transgression. This posed a bit of a red herring when Del Grady is found hanged, giving a potential parallel (when viewed as the plot unfolds) to the plot. Ifan killing Lynn’s lovers/co-stars (I’m not sure what the best term is here?) could also be seen as a parallel, with some kind of reverse Oedipus complex casting Ifan both as John and Llywelyn. But I’m probably reading too much in again.
@Rhys is that the same William de Broase who was married to Matilda?
I liked this episode better than Striker, though in fairness my lack of interest in sports colored my view of that episode.
Anyway, I thought the scenes with Gwen were the best ones in this episode. The closeup of Endeavour was so sad as the same cruel words that he had heard as a child washed over him again, attacking everything that had made his life bearable, then and now. If that didn’t cause a PTSD-induced flashback to being a suicidal child, I don’t know what would.
I took 10 points off of Gwen’s evil stepmother rating for her heartfelt outburst about not having caused Constance’s illness or death. Unfortunately, she earned them right back for believing that it was so damn magnanimous of Morse’s father (and her) to provide a roof over his child’s head.
Also, I thought that Gwen and Endeavour rehashing their old differences kind of took Endeavour back to those days. His voice didn’t exactly lose its boy-from-the-sticks-goes-to-Oxford accent, but there was something more informal sounding about it to me, if that makes any sense. (I don’t think he’s inclined to say “yep” very often.) It just seemed different to me.
When Endeavour saw Gwen’s note with her new address, I am not sure if his reaction was just being glad she was gone, or if he had wanted to apologize to her for making her think he blamed her for his mother’s death (thus regaining the moral high ground).
One line sounded anachronistic to me. When he was telling Gwen how much his current case resembled her and his father, he concluded with “So there’s that.” I think that is a fairly recent phrase, not in use as far back as the early 70s.
I liked Endeavour’s scene with the boy, and when he told the boy to tell his mother he loved her. It was nice to see him concentrated on someone else’s emotional stress. Also he is good with children but the show is not exactly littered with them.
I can take the the artsy depiction of the 60s smoking and drinking culture, but the falling down drunk and walking into traffic? Yuck. Been too close to alcoholics to be anything but disgusted by that. If I was supposed to feel sorry for Endeavour getting hit by a car, I didn’t. I felt bad for the poor driver feeling guilty.
The scene with Strange and Morse, two experienced police officers just standing around while a woman screamed, was bizarre.
I think all the little “clever” cultural references to past movies and whatnot are being waaay overdone. It’s reaching a point where it seems Lewis makes a long list of them and then tries to cobble a plot together around them.
I thought the same thing about the expression “so there’s that” when Jago used it in the scene at Morse’s soon to be house to Strange and Morse when the drug addicts were found dead. It immediately struck me that it was out of its time.
Yes, Kathleen! I thought I had heard it once before but couldn’t place it all and thought maybe it was my imagination.
Celine – I could not agree more about the ‘clever’ cultural references. I had a conversation with a friend who is a devoted (and a little one eyed) Endeavour fan and she made the same comment. It is the first time I have heard her criticise any aspect of the series.
I think you hit the nail on the head regarding plot. Even in one interview Lewis has said how he has always loved a certain genre/iconography from the 60’s/70s and wanted to do an episode about, cheap horror movies, carry on films etc..so when you say he then build the plot around it he has kind of even said that. Should it not be the other way around? Not being a writer I have no idea. IMO the amazing earlier series where the plot and people were the focus and the era subtlety (and beautifully sometimes) brought to life have long gone and have been replaced at the detriment of plot, dialogue and characterisations.
I feel it reflects how Lewis, Evans and maybe even Allam are a little bored with the series.
I too thought the Gwen/Morse scenes were a highlight. I still feel that Strange has changed (despite the weight loss) not for the better and Allam also seemed a bit distant but I do wonder if that is reflective of how they had to film this series with minimal interaction with each other and odd filming angles to adhere to restrictions.
Much better episode than the first one the Gwen/Morse scenes and the more amicable relationship between Thursday and Morse helped.
i’m not suggesting there is any sort of link but does anyone else see a likeness between the young Bernard Bresslaw ( from the Carry On films)
…. and Jim Strange circa Series7
I’ll start with my highlights. Bright looking to fill his life with new pursuits and Gwen’s interaction with Morse in the house. The scene with Thursday in London does not bode well.
Generally though, and I say this as a fan, this was dull. Somehow the period scenes seemed cartoon like rather than the loving feel of Swing or Rocket.
What was the point of that scene with the driving instructor and the taxi driver:; totally irrelevant to the plot and presumably just an overblown cultural reference that took up too much screen time.
I’m actually less concerned than most about the portrayal of the drinking. Morse had a torrid time last series, as did the viewer, so a descent into the bottle in not out of character. But the coincidence of being hit by the taxi was too much.
I’m very glad someone else also saw the Ken Drury – ‘bent coppers – crossing the line of duty’ reference. It did seem awfully convenient but then again I did find this series only recently on BBC iplayer. Highly recommended by-the-way if you have yet to catch this.
Second of three episodes that are not ‘doing it’ for me. I can only agree with Chris’s comments and some of those above that there were too many shoehorned pieces that seemed to have little or no relevance to the overall story.
Just for info. Along with all the Confession films, there was a similar series of films called Adventures of a… One of them was caled Adventures of a Taxi Driver and the lead played by Barry Evans was called Joe North. The same name as one of the cabbies in this episode.
So we had confessions. We had a driving instructor and we had a holiday camp ( soft porn series of films from the 70s – Confessions of a Window Cleaner, Confessions of a Driving Instructor, Confessions from a Holiday Camp) and just to cement the deal we had a window cleaner with the (almost) same name Lee Timothy / Timothy Lea. We also had a learing, talking of crumpet taxi driver called Joe North (soft porn series of films from the 70s – Adventures of a Taxi Driver with Barry Evans) … you guessed it, the same name, Joe North.
Russell Lewis loves his comedies. Last week we had Mr Fenner from Fenner Fashions, who said “I’m in the Rag Trade” (The Rag Trade was a TV comedy from 1960s and 1970s with Sheila Hancock, which was run by Mr Fenner of Fenner Fashions)
All of which Darrell, I mention in my review.
Not to be pedantic, but it strikes me that many punters that post here either (a) don’t read your reviews fully, or (b) derive some kind of pleasure by nitpicking, or (c) don’t read the *other* comments.
Born in 1975, all of these passed me by!
Today I purchased a watercolour paper notebook and to my surprise I recognised a logo on its cover – the one used for Ostrich Fancier’s Club which on my notebook was attributed to “By Appointment lo
HRH The Prince of Wales
Manufacturers of Artists’ Materials
Winsor & Newton, London”
I hope you and your family are well. PBS has just started showing Season 8 here in the States. As I feel previous commenters have pretty much covered everything, I will confine my comments to once again praising and thanking you for your wonderful blogs.
Once again I am, as the kids say, absolutely gobsmacked by the amount of detail, observation, and analysis you put into every episode. You would make an amazing detective! And the encyclopedic knowledge of music, art, literature, and previous works of both film and television that you bring to every episode is impressive, not to mention of course your extensive knowledge of the Morse canon.
In addition, as we near the (supposed) end of the Morse saga, I want to compliment you on the sensitive and good-natured way you handle other comments, whether the writers agree with you or not. I have truly enjoyed the way you have your say, then step back to let your readers have theirs, and only step in again when commenters miss something or are factually wrong, repeat something you have already said, or just say something so blatantly obnoxious that you can’t let it go. I cheered out loud when you took on the two gents who criticized your apostrophe placement!
And you are funny! You know how to not take yourself too seriously. And I swear, I laugh at all your jokes.
So once again, thanks for all you have done, and I hope the future is bright for you and all your future endeavours!
I heartily concur with Jane Wood’s comments. You do such a great, thorough job with these posts, and I’m really going to miss them!
Just watched this dreadful episode last night–yikes! I agree with your comments especially about the fillers that did not advance the plot and loose threads not tied up.
One thing (and I don’t know what this says about me!), but it never occurred to me that the Black woman was Joan’s flatmate. I kept wondering how Joan could afford live-in help! Joan and Jim? I like them both, but as a couple, I don’t know… Thank goodness they were out when the drunken Morse came calling. It’s painful to watch Endeavour deteriorating into the alcoholic, deeply troubled Morse, even though we know it has to happen. We have Fred to blame for forcing that first glass of beer into the young Constable back when, eh?
I thought Anton Lesser looked very frail. And the longish hair? Really? Dorothea Frazil looked fantastic, speaking of hair– she looked quite glamorous with her long tresses.
My heartfelt condolences on the death of your mom. May she rest in eternal peace.
All the best from Texas–
Hello Evelyn and welcome to my website. Thank you for your condolences regarding my mother. Thank you also for the lovely comment about my work on my website. Yes, the long hair on Bright was strange but i’m guessing they were trying to convey that Bright has let himself go with the death of his wife.
Also, the 70s was a time for long hair on men. Note Morse’s full mop of curly hair. So Bright growing his hair and taking art classes may have been a sign of the times.
You know what they say, “If you can remember the 70s, you weren’t there.” 😀
The business with the clock hands and semaphores was utterly lame in comparison, say, with the hymn numbers/table of elements solution in “Girl.” The brilliant way Morse decodes that is one of my favorite moments in all the seasons/series.
Hi Evelyn, I agree that the decoding of the hymn numbers was one of the best puzzles Endeavour solved and it always stands out in my mind. I thought the entire episode of Girl, in fact, was an excellent one.
I must say, though, I would never have taken Bright to be an artsy kind of guy, more of a black and white down the line one. I can see why Bright might gravitate towards the model, perhaps thinking of his own daughter, but I don’t know what would have made the model gravitate towards Bright out of all the painters there. Perhaps a father figure but she seemed to have a decent enough father who cared for her to begin with and it was she who left.
Your mention that Catherine Cusack, who plays the housekeeper to the Catholic priest Father Maloney, is Sorcha Cusack’s half-sister, reminds me that Sorcha Cusack herself plays housekeeper to Catholic priest Father Brown in that TV series. That might be more coincidence than some kind of casting joke, but there it is.
She played a psycho in Coronation Street a very long time ago!
The other piece of “graffiti “ in the confessional was very familiar to us American viewers. Another mention of the last episodes’s focus- Jack Swift. Said “Jesus saves but Swift scores on the rebound”. There was a famous bumper sticker in Boston in the early’70s about Bruins star Phil Esposito. The original was “Jesus saves but Espo scores on the rebound “.
I have to confess that I just sit back and enjoy the episode each and every time. I don’t try to connect the dots. I do notice a thing or two here or there but I just am here soley to enjoy another story about Endeavour Morse. I do read and appreciate all of your critiques, Chris, as well as other member’s comments, and oft times I do say find myself saying ‘Oh, OK’ or ‘Oh, yeah, I noticed that, too’ but I don’t linger on those not-perfect moments and just continue forward to enjoy the overall episode. And, I do thoroughly enjoy each episode of this series with the stellar cast that will be too soon gone – I will truly miss it!! Just my 2 cents worth.
Hi Brenda, I too tend to overlook the faults and shortcomings and just enjoy Endeavour. I enjoyed series 7 when most people hated it and especially thought the analogy of what was happening in Endeavour’s life and the opera being played was very clever. Yes melodramatic on both counts but love and life can be that way. My enjoyment started to wane with series 7 and series 8, instead of being enjoyable for me, was painful to watch. A big disappointment. I do, however, love to read Chris’ reviews after I watch the episode so that I can sit back and enjoy what I’m seeing and then read about where the episode falls short, in addition to reading about all the wonderful literary and art references Chris includes in his review.
Kathleen- I’m replying to your post to me above. There wasn’t a reply option with your comment.
I think the model might have gravitated to Bright because he was a sensitive, decent guy, in contrast to the men in the films she made. “Here’s a guy who drew a beautiful picture of me and he doesn’t want anything else.” That could be very appealing to someone who has seen men at their most IN-decent.
As for Bright gravitating to art, speaking as a widow, I can say that when your spouse dies– especially if they have been ill and in need of care for a long time– you can find yourself looking in new directions. It makes sense that he would seek out an activity that has to do with beauty (as opposed to sports, for example). One of the things I did after my husband died was enroll in graphic design classes at the community college. I took them for five years and loved every minute of them!
Evelyn,Thanks for your reply and you make two very good points. My husband died recently and perhaps trying new things, as you did, might help. I just can’t get myself there yet. Perhaps if I had a bit of artistic talent, painting class might be nice, unfortunately that is not something I possess, although I certainly can appreciate those who do.
Oh Kathleen, I am so sorry to hear that. My deepest condolences. For me, next month it will be 22 years since he died– a long time. But those early months and years were total misery. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. Learning to live day by day with the loss is an organic process that can’t be rushed. The only thing that eventually brings some measure of relief is time. And the timetable is yours, not other people’s. Others will likely want you to move faster than feels right to you. I was that way– judgmental about others’ grief process– until it happened to me. Then I Got It. Oh my goodness, I am so very, very sorry.
Thank you very much Evelyn. It is a devastating blow for me. We were together for 54 years so feeling “lost at sea” doesn’t even cover it. I have had experience with people telling me to move on and it’s only been a year. Nowhere near ready and I don’t know if I ever will be. Thank you for such understanding and compassion. I wish you all the best life has to offer you.
It’s only been a year? Oh my, that is a drop in the ocean. Everyone told me I’d feel better in a year. I didn’t. Not even close. I envy you such a long marriage. My husband and I were only married 10 years when I lost him. Don’t listen to anyone else about the timeline. We must be about the same age– I’m 73. I guess the thought that helped the most is I told myself, “Millions of people have been through this. If they can survive, I can, too.” My heart is breaking into a million pieces for you.
I am so sorry for you in that you did not have enough time with your husband. And yes we are the same age (plus one year more for me) so that makes it more difficult to get on with things as the older we are the more we tend to separate ourselves from others.
Apologies to all on this site for my personal conversation with Evelyn but it has been helpful!
The music playing when Jim goes to Joan’s home to pick her up, should be the instrumental version of Duet “Pura siccome un angelo…” by Verdi’s “Traviata” Act 2.
Matthew Slater the series conductor and composer said, when I asked him, that he wrote the piece.
I don’t know if anyone mentioned this but Strange and Joan had zero chemistry. I can’t see this leading to a marriage
Agree – it seemed very forced and no sparks…think it was just shoe horned in with no resolution of Morse and Joan so jars for me (also doesn’t make sense if it leads to marriage both with Strange’s dedication to the Masons and with the way he spoke of his wife in the Inspector Morse series – very much the ‘lady who lunches’ and seemingly a social climber)
But I doubt lining it up with Inspector Morse will bother Russell….
Morse has a television set in Daughters of Cain. It is located to the left of the front window of his living room and can be glimpsed beginning at 39:55 when someone (Kay?) calls Morse early one morning. It is about the same size and style as the one seen in this episode.
Head wounds produce a lot of blood.
Hi Kathryn. You’ll need to give me some context.
I think she is (possibly) referencing the priest who was shot in the confessional. One assumes that he would have fallen and struck his head, thus producing more blood.
“The scalp is very thick skin, and because of it’s extensive blood supply even small lacerations to the head can lead to very large amounts of bleeding,” says Troy Madsen, MD, an emergency physician at the University of Utah Hospital.
In the 40s and 50s, the Eagle and Child pub was the regular meeting place for a group of writers including J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. It’s still a pilgrimage stop for fans.
Yes, The Inklings.
I just finished this episode. I like Chris’s comments about Austin Powers, I see just what you mean! The semaphore stuff was just silly. I was baffled about the masonic dinner – Joan was at least half the age of the other women there, and I’d have expected her to have found it stuffy.
Main problem I have with this episode is that when we see him in February, Jim Strange has lost about 5 stones since Christmas!
Louisa – He skipped the Christmas trifle.