ENDEAVOUR: S8E3. ‘TERMINUS’; Review + Locations, Literary References, Music etc. SPOILERS.

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Where’s Colin?

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  5. How did Endeavour open the front door of Tafferton to allow the other stranded passengers get in? A key was left in the lock???
  6. 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?????
  7. Cheap jump scares.
  8. 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.
  9. Wasn’t it lucky that there was a snowstorm to help the killers.
  10. What a coincidence; the killings of 1963 there was a snowstorm and this time another snowstorm.
  11. 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????
  12. It was obvious early on that the girl Linda Travers was involved.
  13. The cavalry arrives in the shape of Fred and Jim as so often happens in the Endeavour series.
  14. 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.

Journey's End' official trailer - YouTube


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.

The Rocking-Horse Winner : Lawrence, D H: Amazon.co.uk: Books


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.


Endeavour’s home.

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.

Oxford Bus Museum - Picture of Oxford Bus Museum, Witney - Tripadvisor

Oxford Bus Museum - Cotswolds

The museum can be found at HANBOROUGH RAIL STATION Yard MAIN ROAD, Long Hanborough OX29 6LA.


Police Station.

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.


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…

The Triumph of Titus Alma Tadema.jpg

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.



Rupert the Bear Outfit — Miss Teddy | Luxury Dog Items



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.

John Carpenter Talked David Gordon Green Out of Killing Off Dr. Loomis in 'Halloween' - Bloody Disgusting


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 Adventures of Sexton Blake by Dirk Maggs (Audio CD, 2009) for sale online | eBay


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.”

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly panosundaki Pin


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)?”

The Mind of Evil


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?

British Phrases/Colloquialisms

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.


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

Author: Chris Sullivan

Up until a few years ago I was my mum's full time carer. She died in, 2020, of Covid. I am now about to start my third year year at Edinburgh University studying for a second degree this one being English Literature. My other degree is in Ecological Science. At the moment I am attempting to write a novel.

142 thoughts

  1. Hi Chris I’ve been lacking in my twitching recently but I was wondering if there is any word on a one-off movie or perhaps even another series of Endeavour to attempt, at least, to tie up all those loose ends. We were certainly left hanging at the end of Terminus. I can’t find much information on Google but I thought you might have an inside word!

  2. Too many loose ends. Too much of the Morse persona still unformed. Enough to fuel a new series with a fresh cast. And maybe fresh writers less obsessed with obscure references. This was not the best series. I’ve been watching Lewis re-runs, and they are far better in all respects.
    Hawkwind are still touring.

  3. I just had a comment on the Joan/Jim situation.

    It seems highly unlikely, given the nature of the Strange/Morse relationship in the later Morse episodes, that the romance will blossom. Given Morse’s feelings for Joan, it would have meant that any future relationship with Strange would have been forever tarnished. I don’t see either Morse or Strange being able to handle that complexity.

    1. I agree Jeremy especially in the Morse episodes when Strange mentions his marriage or talks about his wife. If he had married Joan, this would be most awkward for both of them.

  4. Hi Chris,

    I just binge watched Season 8. Disappointment doesn’t begin to describe my mood after taking in these three episodes. I won’t analyze/criticize the directing or the acting. To me, the fault lies in the scripts. The moments that shine in Season 8 are those that focus on the interpersonal struggles of and between the characters–Morse, Thursday, Win, Joan, Strange, Gwen, Bright. Those moments are brilliant. But the script bludgeons us with a cliched ending in which the characters lay out the whole plot in a twisty narrative (there’s probably a term for it) meant to tie up all the loose ends. I “hate* that. Russell Lewis has done this in the past and it’s one of the major faults I have with the entire series. I’m too upset to write anything else at the moment.

    1. The interpersonal struggles of and between the characters–Morse, Thursday, Win, Joan, Strange, Gwen, Bright. Well, at least four of those characters were created by Russell Lewis, and he devised the interpersonal struggles, and wrote the dialogue. I, too, was disappointed in series 8. While it was only a wee bit better than the dire series 7, it was (for me) acceptable. I get the feeling that Russell Lewis *knew* that ITV would want to see the loose ends tidied up. I am sorry if you’re upset: have a nice cup of tea and look forward to getting angry about series 9.

      1. I too was disappointed with season 8. Although that season was actually an improvement over season 7. I thought some of plots (especially in the last episode) was contrived. The Jim/Joan thing doesn’t bother me. Morse never had any “great love” He would be falling madly in love with woman after woman, and nothing would come out it. And he wouldn’t even remember them. Certainly in the original series. In the original series, it was just the Susan Character. And it was delt with here. So I’d be delighted if Joan marries Jim. I predicted this would hapen at the end of series 6.

  5. A minority view here. I think Chris and many reviewers are being way too critical of Terminus, it seemed to me clearly far superior to S8E1 and E2, and a great improvement on the disappointing S7. Quite gripping and evocative (totally over the top, but that’s part of the fun). Enjoyed Evans and Allam thoroughly in this one, as in most of the better Endeavours. I watch little television, so perhaps my tastes are not so surfeited.

  6. Terminus is ludicrous, and I am *not* being “way too critical,” by the way. Were it presented as a parody, it would work, but this is just a bad episode of Endeavour. I can just see Roger Allam and Anthony Flanagan (the ham bone actor who played the serial killer) bursting out laughing at the goofy dialogue in their scene.

    1. Agree, Terminus was absolutely terrible and ludicrous. The plot and setup was poor.

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