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A decent reference to Colin this week.
We see this on the Professor’s desk at around the 25 and a half minute mark.
Also a second reference to Colin.
Directed by Kate Saxon. Kate has also directed the Endeavour episode, Zenana.
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’.
It’s November 1971. Events of murders in February 25th 1963 come back to haunt Oxford. Blah, Blah, Blah.
(warning, this review will contain some spoilers)
Sorry everyone but I really do not want to spend anymore time on this review than I have to. My original idea was just have the video below on this page and that’s all.
I thought the last two episodes were dull but this really broke me. I felt like a masochist. Not only did I sit through the episode watching the damned thing but then I had to watch TWICE more to write this review.
Russell Lewis’s arrogance knows no bounds. He is showing no respect to the original series because it is obvious he is planning some major two hour special to mark 100 episodes of the three series. Unlike Kevin Whately he couldn’t show respect to the original show and wrap everything up in this series.
So, it looks like he is going to cram the 100th episode with McNutt, the red jag being bought by Morse, why Fred is not mentioned by the older Morse, the marriage of Jim and Joan because it’s definitely going to happen etc etc etc.
That means you can be sure that many questions will never be answered; were any of the characters from previous episodes a young Hugo DeVries: Mason Gull, Kent Finn or the ludicrous Ludo. Will we find out who was stealing the evidence in the Trove and Nocturne episodes? etc etc etc
Apologies but this review is just going to be a series of bullet points
- At last a mention is made of Endeavour’s proposed move to Kidlington which was talked about in series seven. Bright mentions it at around eight minutes to Fred. Why the hell wasn’t this mentioned in the first episode.
- Wasn’t that fortunate that Endeavour’s coat fell on the ground allowing Fred to find the piece of a paper that falls out of a pocket. Could we get any more cliched contrivances in one series.
- Don’t get me started on Endeavour pulling off that piece of wood supposedly nailed to the window of the hotel but he pulls it off with barely any effort.
- WHERE IS THE F*****G CLASSICAL MUSIC??????
- How did Endeavour open the front door of Tafferton to allow the other stranded passengers get in? A key was left in the lock???
- The hotel has been closed for eight years but the owners never came to collect things like the silver, the piano and all the other expensive articles. Surely it would have been looted especially when it was so easy to enter the building. No one tried to steal the contents of the safe in all those eight years?????
- Cheap jump scares.
- What happened to Joan and Jim’s second date at the Carpenter’s concert in the September. Again, Russell Lewis just ignores a storyline he created. Did the date go well? It’s not even mentioned.
- Wasn’t it lucky that there was a snowstorm to help the killers.
- What a coincidence; the killings of 1963 there was a snowstorm and this time another snowstorm.
- The bus driver’s friend is behind a locked door after Hobbs was killed and he doesn’t push the door in to gain entry????
- It was obvious early on that the girl Linda Travers was involved.
- The cavalry arrives in the shape of Fred and Jim as so often happens in the Endeavour series.
- So, Russel Lewis decides to show no respect to the previous two series and make more than 33. It’s obvious there will be at least one more to round up the number of to episodes to 100. So next year expect a full two hour special. I can barely hide my indifference.
The episode had one great scene and could be considered the best scene of the entire series. However, there were only a few contenders for the best scene in the entire series.
Jags out of ten:
All ‘modern’ music is what was used in the original UK broadcast. For legal and copyright reasons the music may be different in broadcasts in other countries.
Morse and Max talk in the mortuary at 21 minutes. Music is playing on the radio.
At 49 minutes Richard the student is playing something on the piano. Thanks to Alison who informed me that this piece is Beethoven’s piano sonata opus 2 no 1 in F minor.
At one hour and 8 minutes another piece of music playing when they find the body of Hobbs.
Sorry, but I couldn’t recognise any of the above mentioned pieces.
Win tells Fred that a Captain Stanhope called to tell them Sam was AWOL. Captain Stanhope is a character in the play Journey’s End by by English playwright R. C. Sherriff. It is also a film from 2017.
At around the 2 and a half minute mark.
I can’t make out what he is reading. Can you?
Endeavour confronts Percy Walsh and tells him he knows what the acronym on the letters stands for, WSW3MA. When Shall We Three Meet Again.
When shall we three meet again,
in Thunder, Lightning, or in Rain?
This is from Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
Is Linda Travers the young woman with the gogo boots a reference to Pamela Lyndon Travers otherwise known as P.L. Travers writer of the Mary Poppins books.
While the cast go through the exposition near the end, Hilda Bruce-Potter says to Percy Walsh, “You must have thought you were onto a rocking horse winner.”
The Rocking Horse Winner is a 1949 fantasy film about a young boy who can pick winners in horse races with complete accuracy. It is an adaptation of the D. H. Lawrence short story The Rocking-Horse Winner.
Location at the very beginning of the episode.
A big thank you to Coco who found the location. It is Bell St Albans Language School near London.
The bus comes to a halt at the three and a half minute mark. Thanks to Coco and Vic, who identified the location. It’s St Mary’s Church, Cholsey the burial place of one Agatha Christie.
It is a vicarage next to St Paul’s Church, Grove Park Road, Hounslow, London.
The Bus Station.
Francois found this location and believes it is Oxford Bus Museum.
The museum can be found at HANBOROUGH RAIL STATION Yard MAIN ROAD, Long Hanborough OX29 6LA.
The location of the Thames Valley Police Station is the St Cross Building, University of Oxford. It contains the English Faculty Library.
At around 24 minutes we get three views of Oxford. Up first…
Hertford Bridge, affectionately known as the Bridge of Sighs.
This is looking over All Souls College. The camera is filming from University Church of St Mary the Virgin.
Finally we see…
This is Brasenose Lane. Brasenose College is on the left and Essex College is on the right.
Tafferton Park Hotel.
Thank you to Francoise who found the location, Wrotham Park , Barnet, Hertfordshire.
Same pub as last week, I still think it might be a studio set.
Actors who appeared in TERMINUS and/or Morse or Lewis.
Matthew Marsh as Percy Walsh
Matthew Marsh appeared in the Lewis episode, Life Born of Fire. Matthew played Henry McEwen the father of Will who commits suicide at the beginning of the episode.
Marion Bailey as Hilda Bruce Potter.
Marion appeared in the Morse episode, The Secret of Bay 5B. She played Fran Pierce.
On the seating chart in the hotel we can obviously see Colin Dexter’s name but there is also the name M. Denham at seat one on table 11.
Maurice Denham played Lance Mandeville in the Morse episode, Fat Chance.
CONNECTIONS OTHER THAN ACTORS TO THE LEWIS, ORIGINAL MORSE SERIES AND PREVIOUS ENDEAVOUR EPISODES.
Wrotham Park , Barnet, Hertfordshire that was used as Tafferton Hotel
This location was used in the Morse episode, Ghost in the Machine. It was Hanbury House.
Richard the student mentions he read a book about the murders at the hotel by someone called Fitzowen. Stephen Fitzowen was a character in the Endeavour episode Nocturne. he wrote a book called “Plighted Cunning: An account of the Blaise-Hamilton murders.”
When Win is angry with Fred she turns on Joan and says, “You weren’t so clever in Leamington.” Win is alluding to Joan’s pregnancy and subsequent loss of the child in the episode, Harvest.
Stick with me on this connection. The serial killer is named Flavian Creech. The Flavian dynasty ruled the Roman Empire between AD 69 and 96. The Flavian family are depicted in a painting…
painted by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. That painter was prominent in the episode Ghost in the Machine. Lord Hanbury had many of his paintings in his study. Still with me? The Tafferton Park Hotel’s real location is Wrotham Park , Barnet, Hertfordshire. Wrotham Park was used as a location in the Morse episode…you’ve got it, Ghost in the Machine.
At the end Morse says to Fred, “It’s beginning to thaw.” A nod, of course, to John Thaw who played the older Morse.
The knots watermarked on a piece of paper Endeavour finds in the Professors rooms…
It reminded of the Lewis episode What Lies Tangled, series nine episode three. The science of knots is part of the Lewis episode.
At the three minute mark the bus conductor says, “Any more for Mrs Moore?” This is a reference to the song ‘Don’t have anymore, Missus Moore.’ sung by Lilly James from 1929.
Max appears to be wearing a shirt in the style of Rupert the Bear’s scarf.
The first victim, the professor, had an X shape marked onto his eyelids and eyes.
This could be a possible reference to the Manson and his followers who carved Xs into their foreheads. They said it was to show that they had been “Xed out of society.”
Max says to Fred and Jim Strange, “Signs and wonders.” Signs and wonders refers to experiences that are perceived to be miraculous as being normative in the modern Christian experience. Albert sent the following addition to the meaning of ‘signs and wonders:’ “Max says to Fred and Jim Strange, “Signs and wonders.” Signs and wonders refers to experiences that are perceived to be miraculous as being normative in the modern Christian experience. — it seems more likely to me that Max is quoting from the Bible. The phrase occurs 23 times in the Bible.
In a flashback to the multiple murder scene in 1963 we see Professor Stanton’s name card.
We also see Laurence Yaegar’s name on a card to the right of Stanton’s card. Yaegar is on the bus with Endeavour and the rest.
We see a picture of Bright’s wife on his desk as he talks about, “The men come first, always, whatever the personal cost.”
We see this sign at the bus station.
The poster is a reference to a God-awful 1970s sitcom called On the Buses which was mainly about two middle-aged men chasing after young girls. I’m not talking from any modern sensibility. I always thought the sitcom was terrible and was certainly never funny.
At 16 minutes Fred tells Morse that Sam’s friend was killed by a sniper and may have been retaliation for Ballymurphy. The Ballymurphy massacre was a series of incidents between 9 and 11 August 1971, in which the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment of the British Army killed at least nine civilians in Ballymurphy, Belfast, Northern Ireland, as part of Operation Demetrius
The doctor mentions that the hotel is like the Mary Celeste. This is a reference to an American merchant brigantine discovered adrift and deserted in the Atlantic Ocean off the Azores Islands on December 4, 1872. The Canadian brigantine Dei Gratia found her in a dishevelled but seaworthy condition under partial sail and with her lifeboat missing.
The student mentions that the killer of a teacher and then one of the killers at Tafferton was called Loomis. Dr. Samuel “Sam” J. Loomis is a fictional character in the Halloween franchise. One of the two main protagonists of the overall series, he appears in seven of the eleven Halloween films, first appearing in John Carpenter’s original 1978 film. The character was played by Donald Pleasence.
Richard asks Linda at around the one hour mark if she likes Hawkwind. Hawkwind are a group from the 1960s to the 1980s. There biggest hit was Silver Machine where Lemmy of Motorhead was lead singer. I was a fan of Hawkwind back in the Seventies but have to admit I only have a few songs of theirs on my playlists now.
My friend David Bishop who wrote the Complete Inspector Morse gets a mention in the episode.
Is Richard Blake’s name a nod to Sexton Blake, a fictional character, a detective who has been featured in many British comic strips, novels and dramatic productions since 1893?
The number on Endeavour’s bus is 33, the number of episodes of the Morse, Lewis and now the Endeavour series.
A nod to Covid?
While the cast go through the exposition near the end, Hilda Bruce-Potter says to Percy Walsh, “You must have thought you were onto a rocking-horse winner.”
The Rocking Horse Winner is a 1949 fantasy film about a young boy who can pick winners in horse races with complete accuracy. It is an adaptation of the D. H. Lawrence short story The Rocking-Horse Winner.
Thanks to Tom who wrote this, “They used the wrong buses in the episode. They’re London transport Routemasters and were built for and used exclusively by London transport.”
Thanks to Vic who noticed the following, “Prof Stanton killed in churchyard. Any ref to 1966 film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. STANTON Being the grave that identifies where the gold is buried.”
David in the comments wrote this; “I think Strangmoor Prison is probably a reference to Stangmoor Prison from the 1971 Dr Who story The Mind of Evil. The “nut hutch” was possibly a reference to the Dr Who story The Green Death which also has a “nut hutch”” Thank you, David. Albert and others believe that Stangmoor Prison — “wouldn’t a simpler derivation be that the word is an amalgam of Strangeways and Dartmoor (rather than Broadmoor, which is a hospital, not a prison)?”
There are a few more references to the 70s sitcom On the Buses: Gareth mentioned that Cemetery Gates was one of the bus routes termini in the series. Scott, John and a few others mentioned that the bus driver Les Grant is a nod to Bob Grant who played the lecherous conductor Jack in On the Buses?
Jim Strange says to Fred in the mortuary at around the nine and a half minute mark, “Bit of a dead and alive hole.” It’s British slang for a miserable, depressing place.
THE MURDERED, THEIR MURDERER/S AND THEIR METHODS.
Professor Patrick Stanton stabbed and died through loss of blood. Killed by Hilda Bruce-Potter, Linda Travers and John Peckett.
Ben Bishop as Norbert ‘Nobby’ Hobbs’s. Throat was slit. I don’t know which one killed him.
Lawrence Yeager’s throat slit. I don’t know which one killed him.
Adam Ewan as Les Grant
Anna Burnett as Linda Travers
William Sebag-Montefiore as Professor Patrick Stanton
James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn
Anton Lesser as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright.
Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday
Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday
Ray Emmet Brown as John Peckett
Sara Vickers as Joan Thursday
Matthew Marsh as Percy Walsh
Jennifer Kirby as Dr Gillian Nichols.
Estelle Daniels as Elsie Watson.
Ben Bishop as Norbert ‘Nobby’ Hobbs.
Marion Bailey as Hilda Bruce Potter.
Adam Mirsky as Richard Blake.
Martin Hutson as Laurence Yaegar
Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil.
Anthony Flanagan as Flavian Creech
Director/writer John Carpenter used the name “Samuel Loomis” (for Donald Plesance) in “Halloween” as a nod to John Gavin’s character in “Psycho”.
Strangmoor a tribute to Dr Who (or other shows that have used a similar name for a pilots on)! Perhaps but isn’t it more likely that in both cases the writers simply created the word by merging Strangeways and Broadmoor?
Another poster pointed out the DOCTOR WHO connection on October 1st. Nice to see it mentioned again.
… and of course the character of Percy Walsh actually looked like Donald Pleasence in Halloween.
Yes, this was a godawful episode, where the more you could follow the plot, the less convincing it became.
Bafflingly, with all this episode’s references to Halloween and The Shining, the name of the suicidal caretaker from The Shining was actually used for a similar character in last week’s episode, Scherzo.
I think your speculation about a feature-length special to wrap up all the loose ends is very plausible, and I can only imagine how bad that will be.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – didn’t there used to be such things as script editors, who could prevent the excesses of the most unhinged writers? If there was one on this series, he was asleep at the wheel. Mind how you go!
I think Russell was in such a hurry to write the Grace series he put very little effort into series eight and couldn’t wait to get rid of it.
Not to mention that Morse fixes the generator when in Promised Land Lewis has to show him how to turn on the air conditioner!
I wondered that, but then at the same time remember when he was servicing his own car in one of the Morse episodes – I think he left Lewis to put the wheel back on
Morse *fixes* the generator by adding petrol, doesn’t he ? I only watched TERMINUS once, for the record.
Ha Ha Kathleen – so well spotted !
But the inconsistencies between the two series (the last 2/3) are so glaring.
Morse is an unkempt, sloppy almost homeless style drunk – goes off to rehab but comes back…. Still with a drinking problem. It is amazing how clearly a lot of the ‘critics’ have never watched Inspector Morse and simply regurgitate what the Endeavour press people point out – I have seen them quote ‘Morse’s descent into alcoholism’ – Inspector Morse never was the sort of alcoholic that Endeavour is portrayed in this series. Strangely for all how this series is more ‘with it’ the portrayal of Inspector Morse’s problem far more accurate.
Joan/Jim – after umpteenth series of Morse/Joan teasers in the dying moments we get Jim. Joan is marrying her father right down to his dress sense (as a grown woman I find this icky and offensive that all women just want to marry and are sexually attracted to their Dad)
And this story arc does not line up with Inspector Morse at all – Mrs Strange was portrayed as a ‘lady who lunches’ and was most concerned with her husbands social status. – if she is the wife of his long time colleague she is never, ever mentioned ? Her marrying someone else would have made much more sense.
Like you Chris, it is a 100th episode I have my bets on especially as this whole series rated half what it has previously – including the dire S7 and I sense the stars are done so bringing them back for one more and then publicising the hell out of it as the 100th anniversary episode makes sense.
So here we go again with “what happens to Thursday’ and the final ‘break between Thursday and Morse’ really…… how many series has that been now (I think first in the pre-publicity for S5 or 6? I must admit i have long been intrigued to find out how that would play out but I have now gone into indifference as well
Can’t see how Jim marrying Joan would be the final split with Thursday – especially as Thursday doesn’t even know about most of their history…
I did like how FINALLY they addressed Win’s feelings about Joan disappearing.
Again, thanks Chris for pointing out so much. Especially the previous guest stars on Lewis – I would have never recognised Matthew Marsh (and that was from one of my favourite Lewis episodes).
Evans falling down those stairs was pretty accurate (have seen many a drunk do that (maybe I have bounced a few times back in the day) and get up totally unhurt…)
I have never seen so many bad reviews for an Endeavour episode – IMDB, Digital Spy even the Oxford Mail – so I actually hope they do another episode to redeem – but then again I said that about coming back to do S8 after S7 so maybe leave well enough alone !
Maria, I agree with you about a redemption episode, as long as Russell Lewis isn’t allowed anywhere near it.
I’ve written my thoughts on this episode on Facebook groups, but for posterity. The worse episode I’ve seen in all of the Morse, Lewis and Endeavour universe episodes. Terrible story, setting and clichéd ridden. Almost a parody of detective stories.
If this was the last episode then talk about going out on a low. This entire series makes series 7 look magical. In this whole series there has been one piece of classical music in totality which given its roots is a disgrace in its own right.
In some ways I hope this it, to save myself from yet another disappointing watch.
Chris, in the US, we award a soldier injured in combat a Purple Heart. We’ll have to invent a similar award for you, to acknowledge what you endured in service to your readers and the Morse universe. Thank you for taking the time and energy to write an astute review of something undeserving of your painstaking care. Your synopsis is brilliant.
I had difficulty finishing this episode–watching it three times while paying attention? I shudder.
That episode was a slap in the face to Morse fans, an unholy mess that afflicted me with terminal boredom. It left me angry. And whatever else it pretended to be, it was no series finale. Thank God we still have the original Morse.
Thank you Mary Ann I shall await my medal. I won’t lie, normally I will spend over 20 hours writing my comprehensive and full reviews but after eight and a half hours of watching this piece of BS I decided to call it a day. My next review will be the Morse episode, The Way Through the Woods. That episode will wash me clean of the stench of Russell Lewis’s scripts and disrespect he has shown to the Morse Universe.
“That episode will wash me clean of the stench of Russell Lewis’s scripts and disrespect he has shown to the Morse Universe.”
It certainly won’t, Chris – Russell wrote it!
To be fair, it’s one of the best Morse episodes, and certainly my favourite of the specials.
Mark – what was the feedback from your FB comments ?
I gave up on the main FB (member wise) site (although there are still a number of people who actually have watched all 3 series and are not just fascinated with Evans) I found it excruciating when clearly people who had never watched one episode of Inspector Morse would start shouting their expertise and chastise people and try to relate everything back to the books (which clearly they had never read either – all they had read is Evans explanations in interviews). This series was devised as a tribute and got its green light as a prequel to the series NOT the books.
As for commenting on Twitter – OMG- some poor person made a comment about Szercho that was pretty accurate and was only a little negative and was told to take his ‘toxicity elsewhere’ – umm. No he was not being toxic he was giving an opinion.
I sometimes wonder if that is part of the problem – Lewis only hears the glowing comments on Twitter and doesn’t venture anywhere else. I feel they should not write off the low ratings for this series with ‘it was up against Vigil’ or ITV did not promote it (both true) but actually read some of the comments in the Oxford Mail and Daily Express (who can’t be written off as high brow or intellectual nit pickers).
Like Chris and others I feel a one off movie is in the works but I am not sure I want it…….
No one has responded to my comments with go and take your negativity elsewhere, or words to that effect. There was a separate post that was suggesting the negative views on a FaceBook group may impact on whether ITV renew.
Hi Mark. Yes, don’t get me started on the lack of classical music.
Hi Chris, I’m sure you are right about having a one-off movie because I can’t believe Lewis would have left so much unresolved even though he is noted for his lack of typing up loose ends. I thought after I watched this that there must be a series 9 in the works (although I dreaded that thought after this one) but the movie makes more sense, and you are probably right again about it having to have so much crammed into that it will be somewhat of a mess. Let’s hope it isn’t and let’s hope that ridiculous reaction/behavior of Win’s isn’t part of it.
Kathleen, there was so much to despise about this episode, but you’ve just reminded me of one more: poor Win going ballistic. Yes, let’s just throw her character development in the trash heap while we’re at it.
Mal, So true, complete disintegration of Win’s character. And whoever does Strange think he is, a complete change in his character. Has the weight loss and filling in for Morse gone to his head? He dresses like dapper Dan what with the hat and the tailored suits and scarfs and the somewhat polished, puffed up behavior. Give me the old Strange back! I think we all agree, the worst ever episode and a complete breakdown of the Morse persona.
There could be a series nine but with Russell Lewis busy writing a three episode series based on the Grace books I think it will be a full two hour episode.
Yes, wise words Chris – also the fact that Allam is filming a new detective series. If the other actors have any sense they will find reasons why they are not available as well ! So agree – a one-off – 10th anniversary of Endeavour, 100th episode they will publicise the hell out of !
Oh is he? I didn’t know that. Look forward to see what Roger does.
Two episodes of GRACE are available on BritBox here in ‘murica. I watched them both, and they were awful. John Simm does his best, but I really did not enjoy either episode.
I have seen the first episode and it wasn’t good. A friend who is a big fan of the books the series is based on did not like it either. Not having Britbox I will have to wait to see the second episode at the end of this year.
Like a bad edition of midsomer murders Agatha Christie hammer house of horrors all badly rolled into one. Remove the piece concerning Fred’s son and the rest is pretty much awful. Les grant the bus conductor a nod to Bob grant from on the buses. 3/10.
Absolutely Ken. I’m not a fan of Agatha Christie but I would rather spend time reading one of her novels than watch this drivel.
I am a fan of Agatha Christie – the stories are of their time and are enjoyable for what they are. They are however a completely different genre to Endeavour and the two shouldn’t be combined. I like real ale and i also like red wine but i wouldn’t put them in the same glass.
Prof Stanton killed in churchyard. Any ref to 1966 film The Good the Bad the Ugly. STANTON Being the grave that identifies where the gold is buried. Some suggestion that it was filmed in Cholsey.
Well spotted Vic. I have added that info to my post under the Miscellaneous section. And welcome Vic to my website.
Hi Vic. I’ve confirmed that the scene of the cemetery is St Mary’s Church, Cholsey.
This truly was the worst ever Endeavour. Inspector Morse kept up its excellent pedigree right up until the last episode. Lewis floundered a bit after he went into (so-called) retirement, but, IMHO, Endeavour has lost its way since series 4. There were some glimpses of the old Endeavour in series 5 and 6, but the last Venice series wasn’t great. This series was like watching a totally different programme.
I am so (X 100) disappointed. When the character of Endeavour was first introduced, the programme had all the gravitas and finesse of great TV drama. Now it just appears to be a pastiche of other detective / crime dramas, (and the constant placing of Easter eggs which don’t really add anything) and Terminus it was in every sense of the word.
I really don’t want to see any more; it should just die a gentle death. I can make up my own mind what happened to the Thursday family. I couldn’t face more like Sunday night’s showing.
Your head-shaking said it all and I thought your three stars were extremely generous.
Three stars ? Surely they’re three Jags.
This episode is the sort of indulgence that may be allowed in an exceptional series. Any capital that this series had early on has been spent over the last two series. Apparently RL likes the horror genre and this episode may have been something he has wanting to do for a while.
To produce this episode as number 33 of the series when we were looking for some closure and there are a number of loose ends lets viewers down.
Contrary to most commenters above, I have no issue with Russell Lewis. The problem is the system that allows one person so much control with nobody seemingly capable of making improvements. All writers have good and bad ideas.
Looking at the character development this episode there was none. Bright seemed to be moving towards retirement with his painting, there were no words of wisdom from Fred, nothing significant for Strange and Joan, Win falling out with Fred again, Sam literally disappeared and Max going through the motions.
Fred showed a surprising ability to decipher bus tickets, but even there there was a disparity in the number of tickets issued and the number of passengers on the bus.
Thanks for all the hard work Chris
I too thought that the last really good series was 4 ending with Harvest, After that it lost its way and I thought the real low point was series 7 so really really disappointed how poor this episode actually turned out to be.
I seem to be alone in liking this series. All the loose ends seem to have been neatly tied. Is it a given that Sam Thursday was lured away to a tortured demise in NI? That would have finally sent Win Thursday off the deep end and ended her marriage to Fred. Fred would have finally left the force, a broken man. Joan finds solace in a long and happy marriage to Jim Strange. And of course Morse will have missed all the fallout in a sanitorium somewhere, drying out. After his four week break Morse will return to reassigned duties as McNutt’s bagman. Well that’s how I read it anyway. No need for another series. So long Endeavour, it’s been a blast 🤗.
American here. Just saw the first 3 episodes online. Delighted to see, as I called the Joan/Jim thing over a year ago. In the Morse episode, Jim’s wife is mentioned but not named. They didn’t drag over the Joan story/saga for nothing. So I concluded this would happen. Mose drying out is pathetic. But so is his drunk story line.
Over all, I thought this was an improvement of Season 7. That season was so bad, I considered not watching the series agian. I assume there will be 4 episodes? We’ll see what happens. On the down side is the soap operal melodrama elements we could do without.
Only three episodes in series 8
Fully agree with the all the previous comments. This was like watching a parody of the Endeavour series. The characters seem to be not the people they were. Even allowing for Sam’s missing, the Thursday family seem quite distracted. Mr Bright just seems to have a sedentary role to issue a couple of cryptic comments and seems to play no active role in the management of his Division or station. Surely a Chief Supt of his age even in the 70s wouldn’t be growing his hair that length at the back! My other half said the episode reminded her slightly of Agatha Christie’s 10 Little Indians.
Honestly, just put this series to bed now. I wasn’t sure whether I was watching Agatha Christie or Midsomer Murders, but it certainly wasn’t Endeavour. There were parts of the episode that flowed nicely and seemed to be heading to a climax, and then you got the rug pulled from under you and it just became more absurd. We’re now well past the point where everyone has stopped trying – they’re just phoning it in, and the writing revolves around cramming in as many 70s pop culture references as possible whilst trying to parody other detective dramas. I don’t understand Russell Lewis’ thinking here, or whether he has any interest in ever ending Endeavour in a meaningful way.
I generally enjoyed the second episode (as silly as it was), but the first and third were woeful, and the last series – the events of which were so bad and so ridiculous they’ve only been briefly referenced once, by Bright to Thursday – was a nosedive in quality which the current series has generally maintained.
It’s a shame, but all good things come to an end. In hindsight, Lewis should have scripted an endpoint and stuck to it, rather than winging it for X number of series on the off-chance it wasn’t renewed.
January is the 35th anniversary of The Dead of Jericho (the TV episode), but I suppose with it now being October they’re not going to have time to film anything until the spring.
Keep up the great work, Chris – please post reviews of the Morse specials once you have time!
First, my apologies to Chris for hogging the comments section of your blog. This is way too long, so feel free to delete. I was just so irritated by this supposed end and the “wrapping up of everyone’s stories” that I wrote my own. Was that incoherent mess really the end of the series? Was this really the final scene that Lewis had written years ago and held close his heart ever since? Pfft.
First the story. The star will of course be Oxford’s spires. Every possible scene will feature pretty pink and gold spires at dawn and sunset, dreaming spires in the mist, sparkling spires in the snow, ancient passageways, green quadrangles, and swooping birds and pretty Morse music. A nice don (instead of an arrogant ass) will be thrilled and excited to assist the police with their enquiries, along with his two best students, Bunty Glossop and her equally sweet, smart, and dorky boyfriend. Morse will be happy to see Bunty again, and to meet her boyfriend, but will take a minute to pull him aside for The Talk, explaining just exactly what will happen to him if he ever Makes Bunty Cry. The rest of the plot is unimportant.
The Thursdays! Sam will have gone awol to see his clandestine girlfriend through a pregnancy scare. He will return to his unit, accept his punishment, serve out his enlistment, and then leave the army to settle in Ireland with his new bride. Joan will have found a nice young man during her secondment, a fellow social worker, and they will fall head over heels in love with each other. They will both pursue their social work careers in Oxford while raising a couple of kiddies. Aunt Reenie will visit in order to explain to Win’s chuckleheaded family that Win is going through menopause and it would be ever so nice if they didn’t seemingly spend all their waking hours trying to stress her out even more. (Sam will receive a sternly worded letter regarding his letter writing responsibilities to his mother.) Also courtesy of Aunt Reenie, Win herself will find that a little pot now and then makes her family seem far less annoying. Missing both Sam and his young kid off the coach from Carshall Newtown, Fred will just throw up his hands and retire. He and Win will buy a trailer in order to travel the country competing in ballroom dance contests, and live happily ever after, filling their trailer with trophies along the way.
I don’t dislike Strange, just Strange and Joan together. Just no. So Strange will run into that nice Maureen from the bank and find out that since their last date years ago she has become a knowledgeable and devoted football fan who wouldn’t dream of missing a game for a movie. They will run off and elope one day, be marvelously happy, and begin popping out a brood of Strange little children.
Mr. Bright will continue his painting lessons, gifting everyone within reach with paintings of Weeping Willows by a Riverbank and other such nature studies. When he announces his retirement in order to paint full time, his horrified friends and colleagues will begin apprehensively measuring their remaining wall space. By then he will have moved on from landscapes to life studies. Of cats.
Max will continue as before until a nasty twist of fate makes grumpy Dr. Kemp his immediate supervisor. He will turn in his autopsy apron to write books and will soon have two bestselling series going, one on cooking, and one on gardening. Something has to be lovely, and Max is just the person to provide it.
Dorothea will become fed up with the day to day grind of churning out the paper, and will retire to write full time, continuing the series of detective novels she has been writing under the nom de plume “Colin Dexter”, suggested by a friendly little don she met years earlier during a rainy holiday in Wales. She and Max will very much enjoy attending writers’ conventions together and getting drunk as skunks. She will live contentedly with her whiskey and cigarettes as well as the occasional delightful visit by an old flame from her globe trotting days, taking time off from his busy and glamorous espionage career.
As for Endeavour, he will successfully complete rehab, and learn better ways of coping with stress, such as putting his marksmanship skills to use by taking up skeet shooting, where every skeet is one of the inevitable nitwits he deals with on a daily basis. He will no longer feel the need to verbally skewer everyone around him, and as a result will find that his friends and colleagues don’t just care about him, but actually like him. Following his break up with nasty Susan, Endeavour sobered up and remained a teetotaller for seven years, so unsurprisingly, he finds that it is not as difficult as he thought it would be to remain sober.
He and Joan will have a nice lunch together and gently and completely lay to rest all the lovely little might-have-beens from over the years. He will realize that Joan really does like and care about him and will always treasure his friendship, and she will realize that she can count on him to be there for her forever, without question, no matter what, because he really is hers, always. This excellent exercise in communication will be due entirely to the fact that neither of them mentioned f***ing coffee even once. Endeavour will of course be a proud godfather to her firstborn. He will enjoy the opportunity to invite Joan and her family to dinner, and will indeed be a bit envious of their domestic bliss, but will secretly be relieved when Joan and her hubby leave, taking their tiny little bald headed shrieker with them.
At some point Morse will discover that the ground floor of one of the wings of his improbably large house shelters a circulating assortment of stray cats and a non stop supply of kittens whenever the weather is bad. Soon everyone around him will have been gifted an adorable kitten with a big red bow around its little neck. This includes the hapless souls who wash up at his desk at work. (“Sniffle, they stole all my remembrances of my dear dead grandmother.” “Here. Have a kitten. You’ll feel better.”). Mr. Bright will enjoy visiting Morse and painting the cats while Morse conscientiously tries to catch the mama cats for their Very Special trip to the vet.
Endeavour will discover that he does not need to wear a shirt and tie when doing household chores, chopping wood, or building cat trees. Once he discovers knitted polo shirts and windbreakers, there will be no going back. He may not ever have anyone special living with him, but his life is full, and he enjoys decorating his house, visiting with friends, singing in the choir, reading poetry to the cats, and building his record collection into more than just what he could schlep under one arm to yet another scraggly little bedsit. Unfortunately, he will still shuffle off this mortal coil far too soon, but this sad event will only happen when he pushes a mother and infant out of the way of a speeding car and his last thought will be the happy realization that he really did save someone.
Personally I think Russell is lining us up for a remake of Hart to Hart,
Unfortunately Joan does not remotely fancy Jim, and Jim is a rubbish
I would rather watch the tosh that was Hart to Hart than anymore Endeavour episodes. At least Hart to Hart had it’s tongue firmly in it’s cheek.
THIS is a series I would love! Thank you!
– Mary Anne L.
Chris, I love your reviews and appreciate all the wonderful detail you provide us with, but I think your feelings resulted in an unnecessarily harsh review of Terminus. I feel that accusing Russell Lewis of boundless arrogance was also unfair. I don’t dispute the points you made, and I have also been a critic of certain aspects of Endeavour, but surely inconsistencies and anomalies do not damn an entire production. It’s a story, not real life. This particular episode was in a particular genre and in so many ways it got it right I enjoyed it, partly because I love haunted houses, snow, and scary (fictional) situations.
I want to add a positive to the many negatives. Whether or not there will be another episode remains to be seen, but I’d like to look back over all eight seasons and consider why the show so far has given me a great deal pleasurable viewing and food for thought. I have enjoyed the great characters, talented actors, variety, suspense, exciting situations, intricate subplots, atmospheric settings, the use of colour, detailed portrayal of the 60s, puzzles, music, literature, word play, hidden references, impressive cinematography, concise and meaningful dialogue, satisfaction when the criminal is brought to justice, situations that can speak to our everyday lives, humanity, sadness, love.
The music has always been a highlight for me. When we first met Inspector Morse he was accompanied by the strains of Vivaldi’s Gloria, and we farewelled him with the Faure Requiem. The young Endeavour was introduced using the theme of One Fine Day, a well-loved aria full of the hope that true love lies ahead. I wanted to say goodbye to Endeavour in a similar way, with a memorable and fitting musical tribute. Maybe this wasn’t the final episode, and that musical tribute is still to come.
But music aside, I am happy if it all ends here. It would be sad to leave Endeavour as some of the episodes have done, feeling alone and hopeless. Instead we can now see the glimmerings of better things ahead, knowing that he will pull himself out of his current mental state and go on to further adventures and a successful career. Didn’t the terminus, and Morse’s statement ‘beginning to thaw (Thaw)’ tell us that the current team have taken the story as far as they are going?
We would be abandoning the Thursday family in a state of despair (which in itself suggests there’s more to come) but we can now envisage happiness ahead for Joan. Thursday and Morse have realised how much they need each other, and I for one don’t want to see any more bickering between them. We leave Miss Frazil, Max and Mr Bright doing what they do best. As for McNutt I just don’t care. We don’t need all our loose ends tied and put neatly away. This is fiction.
btw Chris, I recognised the piano piece the young chap was attempting to play on the piano. It was Beethoven’s piano sonata opus 2 no 1 in F minor, and brings back mixed memories of my dubious efforts in a piano examination many years ago!
Thank you Alison for your kind words at the beginning of your comment. However I have to answer some of your other points. Twice, Alison, you mention that ‘this is fiction’ as if that’s a get out of jail free clause when writing fiction. When you read a book of fiction don’t you want the writer to bring all the threads together that they have been setting out throughout the novel to a satisfactory end? Yes, one can leave some threads open ended and let our imagination fill in the blanks. Can you imagine if Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice never made us aware that Darcy and Elizabeth got married. Or, that Mr Bennet is never convinced that Elizabeth is marrying for love. Or, that Jane marries Mr Bingley. But, Russell has left too many loose ends open and unanswered. Surely, you don’t think the question of what has happened to Sam as satisfactory. When writing fiction you cannot include a storyline and then leave it without a conclusion be it novels or TV or film. It’s like Chekov’s Gun, you have to include the gun at some point before the end of the play, film, TV episode or book. I care about the McNutt character as do many thousands of Morse fans. Again, McNutt was mentioned in series 7 in regard to Endeavour working with him at Kidlington so it has to concluded especially when we know McNutt becomes Endeavour’s valued mentor. Thursday and Endeavour have realised numerous times throughout the whole series that they need each other but then they are arguing again in the following series and then make up again at the end of the series. Thank you for the information regarding the piece of music. I will add that to my post.
I agree with your thoughts Chris, many TV viewers seem to be too uncritical, excusing all sorts of nonsense with the idea that it’s ‘only fiction’ or ‘only TV’. It’s an insult to the viewer’s intelligence when a writer uses ludicrous coincidence, physical impossibilities or inconsistent characters to cobble together a plot. TV is meant to hold up a mirror to reality, not distort it out of all recognition. What baffles me, as I’ve said before, is that there isn’t more ‘quality control’ in television. You can’t expect the actors, poor innocent lambs, to understand what they’re doing, but surely the director, producer or script editor should pick up some of this nonsense and nip it in the bud? But the best time to eliminate these problems is in the script, before a single scene has been shot – if the writer isn’t able to manage his work, how can we expect any sort of standards in TV writing?
I believe Russell, from what he has said in interviews, is very precious about his scripts. Only Shaun Evans is able to ask Russell to change a scene. I wish Shaun had asked Russell to change the scripts for the whole of series 7 and 8.
Thank you Chris for taking the time to explain these points. I do get your reasoning. The loose ends haven’t worried me, but that’s a personal opinion, and as you say thousands of people think differently. I will always be grateful for the dedicated research you put into each episode even when I sometimes come to different conclusions.
Thank you Alison. As I have said and written many times, my reviews are my honest opinion. I never say or write that it’s the only opinion to be considered. I never delete or stop any criticism of my opinion on this website.
Hi Chris (Jenkins). I don’t know if you were commenting on my post when you wrote that some viewers excuse all sorts of nonsense by claiming that it is only fiction. I would never do that. I think fiction is incredibly important. I did say ’this is fiction’ but not ‘only’. Fiction has few boundaries, and there is absolutely no reason why it can’t ‘distort reality out of all recognition’. Many good works of fiction do exactly that. And there is plenty of good fiction that is full of ‘ludicrous coincidence, physical impossibilities and inconsistent characters’. Shakespeare comes to mind here. Whether this type of fiction is appropriate for Endeavour is another matter entirely.
Oh, I absolutely agree with you Alison, obviously one could allow some leeway for coincidence and improbability in, say, science fiction and fantasy. I should have said that is is particularly in crime/detective fiction, where we are always being told about the importance of hard evidence and reality, that it’s crucially important that writers keep their feet on the ground.
I think you’ve summed up what I was thinking perfectly, Alison 🙂
I love Janet’s concept, to be honest. It is very logical, and seems right. That said, I think that they will wrap up the Morse Universe with a one-off film, of perhaps two and a half hours in length. Maybe it would be a good idea to get a new scriptwriter, too. Perhaps Daniel Boyle ?
Thanks Mark – that is good to hear that FB happily allowed different opinions – perhaps it is only certain Twitter sites.
Not sure about FB comments and ITV’s decision to renew – I think that would be more ratings (that is where the $$ are).
But it is an interesting thought…
Alison – great insights – glad you can enjoy the episode for what it is. Yes, I see if you are really into those genres you would be able to appreciate the episode.
Re: Joan – not sure I envisage future happiness for her married to Strange – in fact I actually felt a little sad thinking that is her future (but then again I am relating that to the future Strange in Inspector Morse – not a horrible character by any stretch but certainly still a mason and most references to his wife not necessarily how I see Joan’s character)
As far as the bickering goes – I agree – much better but I have found that the inconsistency – they were at one another’s throats (horribly so – especially on the part of Endeavour) for no reason as they had ended S6 all reunited – and now back to him almost treating him as his son (which Evans has said over and over that their relationship was not). Anyway, as you rightly point out – minor nit picking.
A 100th “episode” (whether movie or long show) would not actually seem SO bad if the young Morse had actually continued playing as a tribute to the OLD Morse. *then* a wrap up might have been welcomed.
Very true Barbara.
Are Jim and Joan supposed to be a couple? After two dates we know about
And a 6 month time line there is no kissing when he arrives, no endearments
Just a chat about Morse,s whereabouts, and Joan seeking solace for her
Missing brother, at this rate their going need more than one more episode
For slowcoach Jim to pop the question. I really hope this whole Joan/Jim thing
Is a massive red herring I can,t celebrate Joan marrying the dullest
Character on T.V.
Perhaps there will be a Joan and Jim spin-off, ( shudder, shudder)
As Chris said the one great scene was Joan s Mum finally getting things
Off her chest especially about Leamington.
As for the rest complete rubbish
John – I had the same thoughts. They went to the Masonic dance, won the Carpenters tickets (which I believe took place in real life in September) so obviously that 2nd date did not spark a romance. Although I think we are lead to believe that Strange comforting her leads to something ?? Don’t see it myself but there you go.
Thank you for reminding me of that. I have added that to my review, I mean rant.
In Quartet Morse could have had a snog, and was invited in for a coffee
Just for walking Joan home. All Jim got was a peck on the cheek for
Taking her to a a posh ball!
From everything I have seen , Joan does not remotely fancy jim,
She was not particularly bothered about accepting his invitation to the
Ball, so I live in hope.
The biggest mystery to me about this load of tosh was how Chris could
Have awarded 3 Jags.
1 Jag. only for Win,s vitriolic and overdue speech.
When I first read the review somehow the pictures didn’t load completely and I thought he’d awarded it zero Jags.
It was tempting Barbara but the cast and crew don’t deserve that.
Hi Chris, I have to say that I agree with Alison. Overall, I enjoyed this series. Yes, there were many inconsistencies and anomalies compared to the Morse we know, in particular the drunk Morse falling down the stairs, but the production values and the actors made up for the weak stories.
The reason I could enjoy it was that I have stopped linking the stories to the original Morse.
It is sad that I say this as Endeavour started so well and could have maintained the close links right up to Terminus but I felt for some time that Russell had started to move away from Morse and this seemed to increase after Colin passed away. For me, this has meant that Endeavour has become just another detective who just happens to be working in Oxford, with just passing references to Morse.
I also strongly believe that Endeavour would have benefitted from other writers. Russell has done well to write 33 episodes but they often lack variety or originality that would have come from another pen.
I really hope they don’t film a 100th special but if they do then I trust Russell will reflect on the many comments received regarding the recent detachment from Morse and write a truly great, redeeming script.
You agree with Alison? How dare you! leave this website at once and….I’m joking. As I wrote above to Alison my review is only my honest opinion. I will never censure anyone on this website for their opinion or for disagreeing with me. Unless someone writes that Endeavour is a great series because Shaun Evans is dreamy.
Increasingly less dreamy as time goes on, I would have thought…!
Roger Allam is indeed filming a new detective series, Murder in Provence, as reported here in Hello magazine – https://www.hellomagazine.com/film/20210604114672/endeavour-fans-fearful-future-of-drama-beyond-series-eight/
Hi Steve. It is probably a good idea to think of Endeavour as a stand alone series but doing that, for me, doesn’t help it become a better series. Absolutely, the series would have benefitted from having more writers but Russell did not want to let go of his precious.
I think Strangmoor Prison is probably a reference to Stangmoor Prison from the 1971 Dr Who story The Mind of Evil. The “nut hutch” was possibly a reference to the Dr Who story The Green Death which also has a “nut hutch”.
Thanks David I have added that info to my post. I knew that Strangmoor had to be a reference to something but I couldn’t think what. For a while I thought it was an anagram.
Awesome catch! I just assumed “Strangmoor’ to be a corruption of ‘Strangeways’, but I’m sure your Dr Who references are on the nose. I wonder if there have been other Dr Who references we have been missing…?
I’ve been waiting all week for your review, Chris. Nearly a week on, I still can’t shake off how bad the episode was. A couple of points that have bothered me that haven’t been mentioned in the other comments: I was shocked how shoddily Russell Lewis treated his regular players. Bright, Max and Dorothea hardly had any screen time. I know filming was disrupted several times by Covid, so the actors may have had other commitments, but some of them may as well have not been in the episode at all. It took me back to Twilight of The Gods which at the time was intended to be the final Morse. Over acted, badly plotted, not playing fair with the viewer over the clues, annoyingly camp – Terminus suffered from all these issues, plus a hundred more. I’m not sure I hold out much hope for a final, 100th episode.
Regarding the reference to “On The Buses”. In Terminus, the conductor’s name was Les Grant. The actor who played the conduction in On The Buses was Bob Grant.
The 33 terminus was at Cemetery Gates, as in On the Buses, making the passengers walk across a graveyard, which showed that referencing a 70s sitcom
(cont) was more important than a robust plot.
Thank you Gareth I have added that info to my post.
Thank you John I have added that info to my post.
Another couple of potential references to “On the Buses” would appear to be the character of Richard Blake as a nod to the bus Inspector Cyril “Blakey” Blake and the “Nobby” Hobbs character when the mechanic at the bus depot was known as Nobby. Or am I spotting links where there aren’t any?
Hawkwind are still active and have never stopped. They released a new album last month.
Wow Stephen, did not know that. Thank you. I actually downloaded their 1970s album Quark, Strangeness and Charm a few days ago. Writing about it made me nostalgic.
Hawkwind played Glastonbury in 1971, its second year, so referring to it as just “a festival in Somerset” was apt. Pretty much the only reference I enjoyed in this car-crash, what-are-they-smoking?, mess of an episode.
Chris S – you have such a great knowledge of all the series. Has there been this much a length of time (I know only a week) before the next series is announced ? Excluding, of course, the pilot and S1 (perhaps S1 to 2 and 3 – I started watching around then so not sure)
I know that from the finale of S4 they have announced the next series as the credits run.
I think that gives more and more credence to a 100th episode – thinking if there were going to do another series they would announce it by now but securing everyone to return for a one-off episode (if they have not already) a different negotiation.
Also – was it on your twitter site that you quoted the tour guide saying that they had found a site (church) in Oxford for Joan/Jim wedding ? I guess someone easily getting the wrong information (like the names of the episodes) or that is for the next series / episode (I hope not)
Hi Maria. Yes there was a lot of misinformation about series eight. Of course the church was used as the murder location of the priest in the second episode and not a wedding. Normally, a new series is announced within at least a week of the old series finishing. It’s a good point that no such announcement has been made but I am going to stick with my prediction that there will be a one off two hour special.
Thank you Chris – there are always rumours (especially when there are lots of filming happy snaps from fans) but this series seemed to have more people who were certain of their information. Maybe a result of so much fluidity due to co-vid restrictions and delayed filming.
I agree re: the one off two hour special – makes most sense and can I say I am already hesitant about that before it has even been announced!
Hi Chris – just read an interview with Sara Vickers where she confirmed S9. I must admit I was surprised – I had bets there would be definitely one more outing but that would be a 100th episode movie. Guess it maybe a red herring still and she may just know there will be more Endeavour but not what form. Nothing official anywhere from ITV or Mammoth.
The interview link (hoping this will work) – actually not sure how I feel about another series:
I cam across this earlier and have it on my FB and Twitter. She doesn’t actually confirm a ninth series.
Hi not sure if it’s been said already buts the name Les Grant an nod to Bob Grant who played the lecherous conductor Jack in On the busses?
Thank you Scott, I have added that info to my post.
In one word: urgh. I’m so so sooooo done with this show. What the hell is Russell doing. Did he forget how to write quality tv or is he just bored with Endeavour? For me it was fractionally better than S7 because it wasn’t so soap opera-like, but it was still pretty awful. The intrigue was so cliched that it almost put me to sleep. It’s absolutely forgettable and really embarassing to watch.
The only scenes I thought were good were the ones between Morse and Thursday and the ones in Thursdays’ home. I know that Morse being that drunk is just another instance of the Russell Lewis’ Emotional Manipulation(tm) and I totally agree that Fred learning about the extent of Morse’s drinking problem by finding his bus ticket was RIDICULOUS, but still Thursday being so concerned for Morse touched something inside me. I guess it may be because being someone who has issues with substance abuse it hit close to home for me. I know I’m being manipulated, but I just can’t help getting emotional over it, ok?
What really bothers me (and has been bothering me for quite some time) is that Russell apparently pays more attention to Morse’s (and everyone else’s for that matter) personal life than to the crime and mystery aspect of the show. I know it’s the way of the modern crime drama, but the original Inspector Morse was never like this. The only bits about his personal life are found in the episodes when it’s relevant to the case of the week and in a typical episode there’s very little of it shown (other than his incessant flirting with any woman he can see) and yet we know exactly what sort of person he is. You really don’t have to spend half of each episode dwelling on a character’s personal life to tell the viewers about them. You just have to be a good writer to do so through the way a character acts and not necessary by explicitly showing it to the viewers.
And then there’s the billion loose ends left unresolved, both those from Endeavour itself and those which should tie it to Inspector Morse. I saw a tweet from Russell where he said he didn’t know if there was going to be another series and that he never thought the show would go on long enough to get to the 1970s. What this tells me is that he doesn’t have – and probably never had! – any long-term plan. And it bloody shows. At this point I don’t know what would be worse: if we’re left with Terminus as the final episode or if he makes a movie/another series and crams resolutions to all the subplots into it.
Such great comments and many of them I agree with. I also enjoyed the Morse/Thursday interactions……even though a far reach I actually thought that was a nice twist with Morse being the drunk on the bus (also pretty nifty fall down those stairs).
Thursday’s reactions to that was well done but I feel he rises above the material not working with it.
I hate to say it – I have long thought that Russell was pulling the wool over our eyes with the whole ‘I have written the end’ if you look at the last few series I think he had no idea how it ends and that’s okay but just write it… I really sense he just reacts to fans – they hated Violetta/Ludo – wham – barely mentioned (were they even mentioned by name?) and that makes NO sense from series to series (as much as I was slightly relieved because they were such rubbish characters) but then why make the whole of S8 about Morse’s descent into depressive alcoholism but never mention them or the whole Venice thing – Fans hated the (nonsensical) and dreadful arguing between Morse and Thursday – wham – in S8 they are best buds again and almost father and son……
If Russell had written the end then S6, S7 etc would have followed a clear development path rather than this strange disjoint where characters have little or no relationship to the characters as written for 6 or 7 series..
I know this is a nit pick from me but I am pretty sure the accidental deaths coronial inquiries would have been re-opened and Morse would have had some pretty hefty explaining to do ! But as I said that is a nit pick.
I think given many fans reactions (not all I grant you) the Strange/Joan thing will be gone if they do make a S9, Morse will be over his ‘fall down drunk’ phase (but still oddly drinking), Win will be normal again and we will be back to ‘what happens to Thursday that he is never mentioned again in Inspector Morse – ughh – I can picture the press releases now…..
Given how certain I was that they learned from the dire S7 and their comments that they had longer to work on S8 and make it even better (what a scary thought) I just don’t think my trust can take another series ! Or even 1 ‘special’ episode where Russell just ticks off the ‘to do’ list.
So yes, as much as I went – ‘really that is where we leave it’ I am more and more inclined to want them to do just that. Maybe like Celine I can imagine my own end.
Good post, Maria.
The events in Venice were referred to between Bright and Thursday, although I don’t think Ludo was mentioned by name.
I agree the Ludo series was awful, and I share your view of the Morse-Thursday relationship having essentially been reset now; any character development (good or bad) from the previous series has been completely scrubbed out.
I too enjoyed the twist of Morse being the drunk on the bus, but I don’t understand where Lewis is going with all this in terms of the writing and the supposed endgame (if he has ever had one) – it seems painfully obvious that he just wings it a series at a time, and so every series finale has a vague open-ended ‘this could be the last one’ feel to it, but with the expectation that there will always be another series. Whatever the realities of TV production, that’s no way to write something, and it annoys me that so many story arcs which are inferred to be important at the time are completely ignored subsequently.
I do think this will be the last episode, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a one-off film at a later date. Who knows, they may even change the cast!
I know I stand alone in seeing the cleverness with the operatic parody of the love affair between Endeavour and Violetta. Melodramatic, yes but then so is opera. Older Morse once stated that he hoped, and thought, that he was the type to fall in love at first sight so I can believe that happened with young Morse and the beautiful, opera-loving Violetta. Despite everything, the heart wants what the heart wants and you can’t help who you fall in love with. That was the only thing I found redeeming about series 7, except when Endeavour tells how he really feels about Thursday in his apology letter. I found absolutely nothing redeeming about series 8 including the stilted, half-hearted scenes between Endeavour and Thursday, the lackluster performance of Max, who was usually good for a chuckle, and the ridiculous screaming Win who blamed Thursday for something that he had nothing to do with, let alone control over. This one series and the way it ended, or didn’t end, cast a shadow on the entire Endeavour experience for me because I feel it takes what was a build up of a wonderful story of young Morse’s life and crashes it into nothing. Two contradictory lines makes me think there is an ending coming and then not. When Thursday tells Bright he got used to having Endeavour around and changed his mind about Kidlington tells me there’s more to come but when Endeavour gives the hint that there’s a “thaw” coming, tells me there isn’t. Lewis seems intent on frustrating all the Endeavour fans for no good reason I can see.
Yes James – thanks – quite right Venice was referenced in S3 – but not a big deal made of it (and i need to go back and watch but neither Ludo or Violetta named????)
Anyway – they never mentioned Box either although he and Jago were the arc of S6 and certainly pivotal in the finale (a lot better finale than S7 and 8)
I am with you thinking this is the last episode with a one off ‘anniversary’ episode that will be flogged to the hilt with the ‘really, really, hand on heart, truly, this time we really mean it’ split/end of Thursday 😁😁😁
I don’t think that Russell ever had the ‘end’ if so it has been the most erratic writing from series to series. Surely if he knew and had written the end the characters and story would have progressed in a pattern and not seemed as if it (and the characters) were almost new from series to series.
Oh dear. i agree with your review and with a lot of the thoughts posted above. What a disappointing anti climax. This was still more watchable than most Tv detective drama but was the worst episode of Endeavour.
It was going ok until the bus hit the snow drift. Its as though RL wrote the script upto that point and was then incapacitated and the script was handed over to someone else to finish off with the instruction “finish off this detective mystery script please” and they wrote some generic Agatha Christie story ( a sort of cross between the Sittaford Mystery and Ten Little Indians) and nobody bothered to check it before they started filming.
The Win explosion was just another example of how its become more soap opera than detective story.
One thing has always intrigued me about Win. Ive always understood that she and Fred were both from east London – but this isnt reflected in her accent. Is this ever explained ?
I don’t think there will be any more episodes – i recall reading an interview with RL from several years ago where he said that if further series were commissioned he already knew what the terminus of the Endeavour story was and how it ended. Im sure he used the word terminus which struck me as odd at the time. This episode being titled Terminus makes me think it is indeed the end.
If Russell Lewis is seriously done with ENDEAVOUR, he should pay closer attention to the scripts that he’s doing for GRACE. The first two episodes were incredibly dull, and John Simm has no chemistry whatsoever with Richie Campbell. Craig Parkinson is very good in “Looking Good Dead,” the second episode of GRACE, playing DS Norman Potting, who one hopes will turn up in future episodes.
Shell – I was planning to watch Grace on Britbox – not worth it you think ? (I am a big fan of John Simm but then again I am a fan of Roger and Shaun and that was not enough to get me through S7 and the finale of S8 (I didn’t mind Striker or Szercho) but I thought given Russell was busy with Grace that may have explained bumps/gaps in S8.
I have purchased every DVD since S4 (I always like the extras and higher quality as sometimes my internet gives up) – I did purchase S7 before I watched but still….. haven’t purchased S8 yet – might wait to see what the thoughts of others when it goes on sale (I think 11th October)
Maria, you might like GRACE, but I found it very generic and dull.
Maria, I watched the first episode of Grace (Dead Simple?) when it aired on ITV earlier in the year. It was fine, if somewhat bland. It’s always good seeing John Simm – a much underrated actor, I feel – back on TV, but I think Roy Grace is a bit ‘wet’ for him. I’m not sure if someone like Stephen Tompkinson may have been a better pick? Simm tends to play fairly frenetic characters, and I just found Grace to be a rather dull, plodding sort. I was disappointed to learn it had been made as a one-off, as I tuned in the following week expecting to see the next episode.
By all means give it a watch, if only because brand new detective series are fairly uncommon, but don’t expect another Endeavour.
The student Richard Blake is reading ‘Plighted Cunning,’ the Fitzowen book, on the bus! It’s hard to see, but once you do, it’s unmistakable! Other references to to Morse universe:
-Walsh says he taught at Coldwater, where Morse went undercover as a school teacher in series 6, episode 6, Icarus.
– Morse helps himself to a large swig of Kilorran whiskey in the library bar, a nod to series 6, episode 3, Passenger.
-Morse tells the assembled guests he’s a civil servant. That’s what he told Carol Thursday when he picked her up in series 6, episode 2 Cartouche.
I agree with you, Chris, it was poor. Lazy, dull without energy. I also thought the last series was lazy having a trilogy to cover a whole series. I remember though towards the end of Lewis things seem to stall a bit (didn’t they make the episodes much shorter and the series have fewer episodes?) but it still made it through – and the last episode of Morse was one of my favourites. Here it felt like there was a paucity of characters – at one point it had felt like there had been loads of characters in Endeavour. Maybe one problem was that 3 episodes wasn’t enough to do much with. But it could have been – I would ended with Morse walking over to MacNutt and to leave that section of his life uncovered. I agree I think there’s an arrogance about the 100th episode being the last in the Morse universe rather than completing Endeavour to a high stsvsard that would have put it on a parr with the other two both respecting them and being of equal quality. It was abysmal.
I really think you have to assume Russell Lewis intends there to be another series or a one-off special to bookend the show, as it seems very odd to think anyone would have written a tongue-in-cheek Agatha Christie Halloween parody as the series finale. So much is left unresolved, and it even ends on a cliffhanger with regards to Sam’s fate, Jim & Joan, and even what Morse decides to do next. I think McNutt has been referenced once previously, a series or two ago, and presumably we pretty much all expected him to feature in the last episode as the torch is passed over to him.
If this genuinely was intended as the 33rd and final episode, and everything is supposed to have been wrapped up with a pun on John Thaw’s name, then it’s certainly one of the least satisfying series finales I’ve ever seen. On the one hand you have the fact it’s the 33rd episode, but on the other you have the feeling that no one could possibly have intentionally written Terminus as the last episode of something — too much is left unresolved, and literally none of the characters have any form of closure.
Thanks James and Sheldon – I will give it a go. I do like John Simms – see where you are going James with the different style of detective and John’s own style.
Okay- this might just be me – but I am finding Russell’s refusal to admit anything is wrong in his series as part of the problem. I just read in Radio Times where an astute viewer picked up the change in medals on Bright’s uniform from previous series (they didn’t touch on the hair length) instead of a ‘we got it wrong’ or better still no comment at all. He passes off the mistake as one of many “deliberate” mistakes to challenge the armchair critics…. So absolving the error and flattering the critic – the man missed his opportunity in politics…I just find that a bit disingenuous. Perhaps it is an attempt at humour that missed its mark (with me)
Oops – that should read “challenge the armchair detectives’ – as I said maybe humour that went over my head.
James – Two episodes of GRACE are available on Britbox in ‘murica. The show wasn’t a one-off.
I picked up on a couple of other On The Buses references. The conductor reminded me a bit of Jack, the conductor in that programme, and Blake was the Inspector in On The Buses.
I think there’s another John Thaw nod – the vicarage used as Morse’s house is metres from where John Thaw used to live in Chiswick. Coincidence?
I haven’t seen this episode (didn’t even know season 8 had started) and this is a strange thing to comment on, but I wouldn’t dismiss that a house has been abandoned and not emptied, easy to get into etc…at that time. I used to come across many such places. I mean, I can see suspending my disbelief for that detail.
I’m going to watch these as I can and see if I am similarly negative. I just rewatched season 7, and it wore better on repeat, though I remember being disappointed about it initially.
Hi Chris – I read Sara’s article that there was going to be a S9 but on re-read – I think you are right there was nothing definite in that. I guess that is how rumours start….
Am surprised that nobody here seems to have caught onto the connection with Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express”!
The train gets stuck in a snowdrift, and all the passengers are trapped together, and there’s been a murder (only one in that case). And I don’t want to spoil it, but if you ask “whodunnit?” in both that novel and this episode … the answer is basically the same. Oh, and the motivation for the killing is revenge.
At the same time, this episode combines that plot line with that of “And Then There Were None,” a.k.a. “Ten Little Indians.”
The shot of the church containing her tomb, which I would never have known if you hadn’t pointed it out, kind of clinches the deal IMO. Like it or loathe it, this episode was basically a homage to Christie. Or something like that.
I think, Maria, that most of us did make the connections but speaking personally I wasn’t willing to write anything further than this terrible episode had a connection to Agatha Christie’s novels.
Well done Sean Rigby on your dramatic weight loss. There, I’ve said something positive Chris.
Hi Gareth. I literally laughed out loud when I read this.
I have a feeling that Russell Lewis struggles to get rid of Thursday because everybody loves Thursday and his relationship to Morse. Each series feels like something is going to happen to Thursday but then it’s like “Oh no, I still need him!”
I have a great idea for him. An elderly man called Desmond McNutt is found dead in his house. During the investigation Thursday learns that his mother had a secret relationship to McNutt and that McNutt was his biological father. To honour him he decides to adopt his name et voilà – Russell can go on and write 333 more episodes or just stop the series and noone has to wonder why Fred Thursday is never mentioned in the Inspector Morse series.
Or is there any explanation that can be worse?
What an inventive mind you have!! love your solution!
Plus, he can deny the check to those mobsters, with a new name!
I hope you are writing some books or screenplays. 💙
Great idea Freya – and as good as (clearly) Russell has. I actually feel sorry for him that he has no idea how this is to finish but just wish he would be up front about that rather than ‘I wrote the ending years ago’ because if he did it is the most erratic and nonsensical character development (and after S7 and 8 I use that word very loosely) ever with people completely changing personality types and back again in a matter of months.
So yes, your explanation is as good as any ! However, if, Strange does marry Joan, (which does not fit canon but hell who cares at this point? Certainly not Russell or Evans) Strange’s reaction to his ‘father-in-law’ being murdered in the episode Masonic Mysteries very suspicious…….
Lol – can’t really see Thursday becoming a vicar either…….
Mary-Anne like the addition of solving that dodgy Thursday cheque with the mobsters too !!! Thursday said that because of that cheque he would have to live looking over his shoulder for the rest of his life waiting for the knock… that seems to have been completely forgotten. I guess just part of Russell’s amnesiac writing from Series to Series.
If this was the final episode of Endeavour, then it is such a poor one to bow out with.
An earlier post made the link with Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express”, and I would say the entire episode has been written as some type of “homage” to AC. From the stereotypical characters, to the convenient snowstorm, it just lacked zero subtlety.
I would say all my main bugbears have been highlighted by others, but this one paragraph by James Hale perfectly sums up my feeling on this episode, thank you James…
“If this genuinely was intended as the 33rd and final episode, and everything is supposed to have been wrapped up with a pun on John Thaw’s name, then it’s certainly one of the least satisfying series finales I’ve ever seen. On the one hand you have the fact it’s the 33rd episode, but on the other you have the feeling that no one could possibly have intentionally written Terminus as the last episode of something — too much is left unresolved, and literally none of the characters have any form of closure.”
Agree Andrew (and James)
Yes, so many found that reference to the snow and thaw ‘poignant’ – I found it… well a bit cliched – too obviously – ‘aren’t we clever’ not nearly the amazing feeling that the image of Thaw in the rear view mirror in the pilot elicited from me……..but everyone is different and has their own responses.
Sadly there is part of me that feels that Russell (and even Evans considering his influence over storylines and his continual over-emphasis in every interview he does about never watching any of Inspector Morse) as taking the p*ss a bit now – almost superior mocking of the earlier series. The reason the Endeavour TV series exists is because of the success and innovation (at the time) of the Inspector Morse TV series not the books.
I reminisce that in the pilot Russell went to great lengths to explain the anomaly of Endeavour’s great romance at Uni being Wendy in the books but in Inspector Morse the TV series her name was Susan – oh they were the days of attention to detail and symmetry – what happened ?
I don’t think anyone thinks (even those who are over-adoring fans) that was an adequate end to the series… pretty sure they changed their minds somewhere close to the series either being filmed or even going to air. (Not sure if that is doable as I know very little about TV production)
I have to agree with so many comments here. Just wanted to add that I rolled my eyes at the crow barred Queen Mother reference to Marion Bailey’s character Bruce-Potter. I think I might have audibly tutted. They might as well have stuck a sign on her head with “look! We have someone off The Crown”.
I didn’t hate this episode, I particularly enjoyed the Thursday family interactions. However, I am really tired of these atmospheric episodes in the dark. This homage to Christie ends up using the group did it trope that always had huge plot questions attached to it. We have been talking about Shetland lately and I have to say after all these seasons, Shetland is still a police procedural and the writers don’t feel the need to change up the style of the show every season. This just didn’t feel as “full” as earlier Endeavors I think because it misses the extra staff of trulove, jakes and others. It’s so claustrophobic now.
This has not much to with Terminus but does have something to do with Series 8 so was not sure where else to post – after working in PR I know the quotes in interviews are often actually written by PR people (or at least altered) so I wonder if the PR people who allowed this interview with Sara Vickers to be published even watched series 8 ? Or is this the Radio Times people who have not watched?
a quote from the article in relation to Morse/Joan and Strange
“While Morse is platonically protective towards Joan, torn perhaps by her being the daughter of his boss, and turns to alcohol when it seems she is interested in another man, writer Russell Lewis has turned the screw by creating professional conflict between them, too”
Ummmm…. The whole premise of Series 8 was that Morse turned to alcohol (as badly written as that was) because of what happened in Venice. I get they might miss something small in a series but the whole main arc of the series ? I only watched series 8 once but I didn’t even think Morse knew about the Strange/Joan date – unless I missed it…which I could have.
Radio Times is usually pretty good but I think they must have started letting the interns write the articles……
Unless they are very good and are referring to Series 4 and the married man – but that does not fit either.
Hi Maria. I actually mentioned on my Twitch stream about why Morse didn’t know about Joan and Jim’s date. Actually, ‘dates’ as they went to the Carpenter’s concert, though that is never shown or mentioned in the episode. I also wondered if Fred knew. It didn’t seem like he did.
Thanks Chris – I didn’t think that certainly Morse knew – obviously the ‘dates’ didn’t lead to them being a couple as such. But how odd that the Radio Times journo got that so wrong that 1. Morse knew about Strange and the bigger error that is why he turned to alcohol in S8 ?
And you are right – why didn’t Strange mention it to Morse ? At all….after all they both know Joan well and Strange and Morse mentioned and spoke of their dates right through the series…..so are we led to believe that Strange deliberately kept it hidden from Morse ? And Thursday ? I agree it did not seem as if he knew either.
Anyway it just seemed like a pretty big error in the article.
A different opinion
As someone who never had Lewis/Morse on the TV in my country I kind of liked this episode. Would give it 6/10 jags.
It’s a cool new idea for this series, sets it apart from the other episodes IMHO. It’s very akin to ‘And then there were none’ which I adored.
I do think the plot/motive was overly complicated, way too farfetched. But I liked that they tried something different.
I’ll remember this episode more than the other 2 of this season. Just like that episode some seasons ago where they had to find a Jaguar or something in a maze. Something new, I remember that instead of the regular episodes.
Also in the last minute of this episode the quote ‘beginning to thaw’ from Endeavour is really well thought of and very deep.
The hotel is actually Wrotham Park, as used in Morse Ghost in the Machine and other tv programs.
Lucy, that information is in my post under the sections, ‘Locations’ and ‘Connections to The Morse and Lewis Series.’
I know I’m late – sorry, but yes, it was a terrible episode 🙁 Like watching a Carry On/Scream film. I also thought Strangmoor was just Strangeways and Dartmoor strung together. What a shame that a once great series turned into this.
Welcome Simon to my website.
I love Thursday’s comment at the end:
“Could you brief Mr Bright this once? [I didn’t understand a word of all that nonsense.]”