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Directed by Nirpal Bhogal.
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’.
First broadcast in the UK on March 5, 2023.
UNIFORM: Series 9, Episode 2.
It’s June, 1972.
While the murders of Mickey Flood and Andrew Lewis are still being investigated, Endeavour et al have to solve three more murders. Meanwhile, Endeavour is becoming obsessed with Blenheim Vale and the disappearance of Brenda Lewis and Josiah Landesman.
With the impending wedding of Jim Strange and Joan Thursday, Joan appears to be having second thoughts while (yawn) Endeavour still contemplates his love for her.
(warning, this review will contain spoilers)
Here we are at the penultimate episode. After the relatively good first episode of the final series can the second episode be as good or better?
As the Morse Universe gets closer to a point of no longer expanding and becoming a static entity floating in a digital multiverse one has to feel not only sadness but grief. In relation to the TV series, if the Morse episode, The Dead of Jericho, was the Big Bang that created the Morse Universe then the final three episodes are witness to the universe slowly and inexorably growing darker.
As the older Morse fans shrug off this mortal coil they will leave behind black holes in the Morse Universe. Are there enough younger fans of the the original series to keep its memory alive or like black holes at the death of the universe will those memories simply disappear. Will fans of the Endeavour series still be talking about it in the same hallowed tones as fans of the original series and Lewis in thirty six years? I don’t believe so. The Endeavour series, I believe, will simply be a footnote in the history of television. Shaun Evans’s fans will have moved on to some other heartthrob. My reasoning and evidence for this are simple. Look at the horror of series seven and eight. And now, after the watchable, Prelude, the second episode sees the Morse Universe not going out with a bang but a whimper.
This episode committed the biggest crime (pun intended) of any TV programme or film. That crime is not the the unnecessary subplots. The crime is not the rehashing of the Blenheim Vale story. The crime is not Russell using blatant manipulation of TV viewers by including a (regurgitated) story about child abuse to tug at one’s heartstrings. The crime is not throwing in a subplot about snobs and rich kids to not only manipulate the viewer to boo and hiss them like their some pantomime villains (and that’s how they came across) but to allow Russel Lewis to show his left wing, liberal, working class bias (Again Russell is regurgitating characters from his Muse episode). The crime is not in underusing the characters of Bright, Max and Jim Strange. The crime is not having so many murders in just two episodes, (six in total and eight if one counts the skeletal remains in the grounds of Blenheim Vale), making the series more like Midsomer Murders.
No amount of great acting and breath-taking cinematography can save the episode from its greatest crime.
AND THE CRIME IS THAT THE EPISODE WAS DULL.
During the meal at the Thursday’s home, Jim Strange talks about the case they are working. As we know the Thursdays had an unwritten rule that work was not to be mentioned at the dinner table. Surely, Jim has been invited to the Thursday’s for a meal before this one (after the announcement of the engagement one would believe). And if he had been, Joan would certainly have told him not to talk police work at the table.
Why would the actor, Raymond Swann (found murdered at the disused factory), be wearing his police costume while not actually acting?
Why is Endeavour the only person who finds clues? He found both pieces of a mask, (and perversely the pieces match. But if a piece had already broken off where the homeless person died, why wouldn’t the wearer have thrown it away and get a new one? When we see the Debonairs in the car before they hit Paul Baynard none of them has a piece missing from their mask.) He finds the book under the car. He finds the cigarettes in the disused factory. And, the Motorbike lamp at the side of the road.
Why would the Debonairs talk when being interviewed? They have high class lawyers who would most definitely make sure they said nothing during the interviews. Their rich, powerful parents would have had them out on bail very quickly.
Why would Kenneth Prior admit to the murders? The only ‘clue’ the police had was his name, Sellers. Nothing else.
Jags out of ten:
I did not hear any music other than incidental by Matthew Slater.
This is a possible literary connection. The fictional TV detective in the episode, Jolyon Jolliphant might be an allusion to Inigo Jollifant from the J. B. Priestley play, The Good Companions.’
Archibald Ormsby-Gore one of the upper class Debonairs was the name of the British poet John Betjeman’s teddy bear. It inspired the name for Sebastian Flyte’s teddy bear, Aloysius, in Brideshead Revisited, a novel by Evelyn Waugh. Also in the novel there is a Mulcaster (one of the afore mentioned Debonairs.
At around one and half minutes we see the invite.
The first part, “To the legion of the lost ones, to the cohort of the damned” is the fist line of the Rudyard Kipling poem, ‘Gentlemen-Rankers.’
I’m assuming the Deboanirs in the way they dress are a reference to the Droogs from the Anthony Burgess novel, A Clockwork Orange. Thank you to PeterH who said in the comments, “A couple more shot references to Clockwork Orange. The Debonairs walk through an arch before they set upon the rough sleepers. This is strikingly similar to the scene in CO where Alex’s gang assault a drunken homeless man in an underpass. Later, they are seen and heard hooning off into the night along a country lane. This is reminisicient of one of the car scenes in CO where Alex’s gang disappear into the night in their stolen Durango 95, fleeing from their crime scenes.”
At around 2 minutes and 45 seconds, one of the fictional police officers on the TV says, “‘Constable Banks? Cut along to old Ma Peggoty‘s.” Peggotys are characters from the Charles Dickens novel, David Copperfield.
In the rehearsal scene at around 33 minutes, the actor says, “The devil makes work for idle hands.” This quote is paraphrasing Proverbs 16:27-29. “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.”
At around one hour and 20 minutes Endeavour and Thursday are talking to Kenneth prior.
Kenneth says, “The Convergence Of The Twain.” This is a reference to the Thomas Hardy poem of the same name. The poem is about the sinking of the Titanic.
The Convergence of the Twain
BY THOMAS HARDY
(Lines on the loss of the “Titanic”)
In a solitude of the sea
Deep from human vanity,
And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.
Steel chambers, late the pyres
Of her salamandrine fires,
Cold currents thrid, and turn to rhythmic tidal lyres.
Over the mirrors meant
To glass the opulent
The sea-worm crawls — grotesque, slimed, dumb, indifferent.
Jewels in joy designed
To ravish the sensuous mind
Lie lightless, all their sparkles bleared and black and blind.
Dim moon-eyed fishes near
Gaze at the gilded gear
And query: “What does this vaingloriousness down here?” …
Well: while was fashioning
This creature of cleaving wing,
The Immanent Will that stirs and urges everything
Prepared a sinister mate
For her — so gaily great —
A Shape of Ice, for the time far and dissociate.
And as the smart ship grew
In stature, grace, and hue,
In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too.
Alien they seemed to be;
No mortal eye could see
The intimate welding of their later history,
Or sign that they were bent
By paths coincident
On being anon twin halves of one august event,
Till the Spinner of the Years
Said “Now!” And each one hears,
And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.
Nothing of any importance.
In the first minute we see the students walking down college cloisters.
This is Magdalen College.
In the next scene we see the Debonaires in Radcliffe Square.
At 3 minutes and 45 seconds we see the Debonairs.
This is Radcliffe Square near the Catte Street entrance to the High Street.
The Baynard house. UNIDENTIFIED.
At 8 minutes and 20 seconds we see the exterior of where one of the Debonairs lives.
This is part of Magdalen College adjacent to the High Street.
At 12 minutes an overview.
This is All Souls College.
After the above scene we see the Debonairs in a college Quad.
This is Magdalen College. The Debonairs are standing in an arch of the New Building.
At 18 minutes we are at the location of the dead Raymond Swann.
Thank you to Coco who believes this location to be the disused Shredded Wheat factory in Welwyn Garden City.
At 22 minutes and 45 seconds Endeavour visits an ‘Oxford Library.’
This building is known as the Old Warden’s Lodgings. The Warden’s occupation of this oversized building would not last long and it was vacated in 1947. The Old Warden’s Lodgings are now occupied by the college library.
At 23 minutes and 25 seconds, Endeavour visits the Joke Shop.
This is on Turl Street. Of course, the front has been created by the filming crew. Here is the actual front of the shop.
The crew used the empty shop as the joke shop and used the gated entrance as the flower shop.
Filming Location. UNIDENTIFIED.
Endeavour goes to the dead actor’s home.
Endeavour goes to enter the door on the left. This is on Merton Street close to the High Street end.
It’s 12 Merton Street.
The hall seen at around 33 minutes where the actors are rehearsing.
Thanks to Coco, who identified this location. It is Holyrood Church Hall and Social Centre, Tolpits Lane ,Watford.
Paul Baynard’s body is found. UNIDENTIFIED.
At 45 minutes we see Thames valley Police Station.
The location of the Thames Valley Police Station is, The St Cross Building, University of Oxford. It contains the English Faculty Library. Thank you to Roger who wrote in the comments, “relevantly for Morse, that building is actually overwhelmingly taken up by classrooms and offices for the Oxford Law Faculty and for the Bodleian Law Library. A fitting fictional home for a police station?”
At 50 minutes we see the Debonairs play croquet.
This is in the grounds of Magdalen College. The building in the background is New Building.
At around 52 minutes we see Fred on a bridge.
This is the Bridge over the River Cherwell. It is part of the Marston Cyclepath.
At around 57 minutes Sam and Joan are enjoying an ice cream.
This is the same location as the above one where Fred is standing. There is of course no bench at this location. It’s a prop.
However, the railings beside the water are not seen in the Sam and Joan screenshot above. Were they photoshopped out during post production? Everything else looks right. I would walk over this bridge when going to Oxford City Centre from my AIRBnB.
At around the one hour mark we see Morse’s home.
It is a vicarage next to St Paul’s Church, Grove Park Road, Hounslow, London.
This is Langleybury House & Film Centre, Langleybury Ln, Sarratt, Kings Langley WD4 8RN.
At one hour and 11 minutes we see the façade of the Eagle and Child.
Sadly, the Eagle and Child has closed.
In the next scene we see Joan enter the pub and sit down. UNIDENTIFIED.
This is not The Eagle and Child. The Endeavour team normally use the Royal Standard of England pub, Forty Green, Buckinghamshire but I’m pretty certain that it isn’t that pub.
Endeavour and Thursday talk to Kenneth Prior about his brother. UNIDENTIFIED.
Near the end of the episode, Endeavour visits Joan.
This is Wellington Square in Oxford.
The blue door is Joan’s home.
Actors who appeared in Uniform and/or Morse or Lewis or Previous Endeavour episodes.
Jakes (Jack Laskey) appears at the end of the episode.
The Jakes character of course was in the Endeavour series up until the Arcadia episode, (Series 3, Episode 2)
Leo Staar as Richard / DI Chance.
He played Simon Eastwood in the Lewis episode Entry Wounds.
CONNECTIONS OTHER THAN ACTORS TO THE LEWIS, ORIGINAL MORSE SERIES AND PREVIOUS ENDEAVOUR EPISODES.
For the first time in this episode we see a book by Kent Finn.
The character of Kent Finn, played by Adam James, appeared in the episode, Game.
His books also turned up in the episodes Muse and Confection.
Baynard the artist is, of course, a reference to Harry Field from the Morse episode, Who Killed Harry Field? Harry was an artist and loved his motorbike as well as a drink or two. Harry would also drive around at night with no lights.
Trevor Byfield as Harry Field.
We see the following about 5 minutes and 45 seconds in. It’s while Endeavour is going through papers.
Clive Deare is ACC Deare who we say in the Endeavour episode, Neverland.
Deare is the man who shot Fred in the Neverland episode. he also framed Endeavour for murder.
In the same scene we see flashbacks to the Neverland episode.
It’s a tenuous link but the Joke/Costume shop is reminiscent of the costume shop in the Lewis episode, Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things.
In the Lewis scene, one can see Colin Dexter.
At around 25 minutes, Strange is talking to Thursday. Fred says, “Some of them have cancelled leave. Others have refused to go home.”
This is a reference to a scene in the Morse episode, Second Time Around. Charlie Hillian, a police officer, has been killed when Morse arrives at the police station the place is awash with officers.
Morse asks, “What the hell’s going on, sir? Strange replies, “Quite a sight, isn’t it? Some of them have come back off leave. Others have refused to go home after their shift.”
The Joke Shop Owner, David Astin, mentions that his brother lived in Jericho. The are of Oxford known as jericho has been mentioned often in the Morse Universe but for most people it is associated with the first Morse episode, The Dead of Jericho.
In this episode we see Endeavour visiting the home of the dead actor.
As stated above this is 12 Merton Street. This address is very close to where another scene was filmed in the episode, Oracle.
The two white doors one can see near the front of the Jag are the doors that Endeavour walks to in the Uniform episode. Of course Merton Street has been used numerous times in the Morse Universe.
Jim Strange’s Gran at dinner with the Thursdays.
She has the look of Morse’s step mother Gwen in the Morse episode, Cherubim and Seraphim.
At around 38 minutes Endeavour and Fred leave the actor’s rehearsal. Fred says, “Just like the butts you found at Cresswell’s old biscuit factory.” Cresswells was the biscuit factory in the Endeavour episode, Confection.
Sam Thursday, in the Thursday living room, has in front of him, football magazines and cards. One of these is a football programme from a game that involved Oxford Wanderers. The Wanderers were the football team that featured in the Endeavour episode “Striker.”
Fred mentions his brother Charlie, at around the one hour and 25 minute mark, who we saw in the Endeavour episode, Cartouche.
Joe Landesman was seen in the Endeavour episode, Neverland.
At around the one hour and 15 minute mark Endeavour is stopped by two police officers.
This scene might be a nod to a scene in the Morse episode, Masonic Mysteries.
In the Morse scene, Morse is stopped by a police officer (played by a very young Mark Strong) and the officer breathalyses Morse.
I wondered if the name of the dead actor, Swann, was a reference to the character, Swanpole or Swanie, in the Morse episode, The Service of All the Dead. But, I don’t think it is as it would have made more sense to name the homeless victim, Swann.
Thanks to Maldemer for this great connection. To my utter shame I never made the connection even though I noticed the very obvious, ‘Mouse’ box in the shop window, I never made the connection.
‘Mouse ‘ is a connection to the Morse episode, The Walk Through the Woods. Why? The reason is in the video below.
The Librarian who helps Endeavour find the Kent Finn books is named “Miss Hatch,” This is the name of the Donna Reed’s character in the classic film, It’s a Wonderful Life. Of course, in the film Donna Reed is portrayed as a Librarian after Clarence the angel shows George Bailey what life would be like if he hadn’t been born.
At the beginning of the episode the Jolly For Short fictional TV show is shown to be made by ATV. Associated Television was the original name of the British broadcaster ATV, part of the Independent Television (ITV) network.
The fictional detective is called, Jolyon Jolliphant. Jolyon is a male given name, a Medieval spelling variant of Julian. On looking into any connections regarding the name ‘Jolyon’ all I could come up with is the following; Jolyon Wagg, a character from The Adventures of Tintin comics by Hergé and
Jolyon Forsyte, two characters (known as Old Jolyon and Young Jolyon) from The Forsyte Saga series of novels (and subsequent film adaptations) by John Galsworthy.
Gareth in the comments section came up with an interesting theory as to why the name, ‘Jolly’ was used. Gareth wrote, ” I wondered whether Jolly for short was a reference to Morse being called Morose by wags in the 80s.”
At around 21 minutes and 30 seconds, Strange and Endeavour are talking about the cigarettes and condom found in the abandoned brewery. Endeavour says, “Empty packet of Old Soldiers, and the wrapper of a prophylactic.” Strange replies, “Midnight, the stars, and you, eh?” Midnight, the stars and You is British-American popular foxtrot song written by Harry M. Woods, Jimmy Campbell and Reg Connelly and published in 1934. The song was made popular in its use in the film The Shining.
The Shining was directed by Stanley Kubrick. I believe there are other Kubrick references in the episode. I’ve already mentioned the reference to the film, A Clockwork Orange above. Is the military attire a reference to Kubrick’s, Barry Lyndon.
The masks may be a reference to one of Kubrick’s worst films, Eyes Wide Shut.
I think the Joke Shop is a reference to the beloved British Children’s TV show, Mr Benn.
Mr Benn enters a magical costume shop where he travels to places dictated by his costume, and solves problems . The shopkeeper aids Mr Benn escape to the dressing room at moments of peril.
Mr Benn and the shopkeeper.
Also in regard to the Joke Shop.
1 – An inside joke about Shaun Evans’s moustache he sported in the sixth series.
2 – A reference to the Endeavour episode, Prey.
3 – Is this a caricature of Shaun Evans?
4 – A reference to the Endeavour episode, Neverland. The ventriloquist.
5 – Maybe a link to the Endeavour episode, Ride, which included scenes at a fair.
At the location of Paul Baynard’s death, Max mentions the famous landscaper, Capability Brown. Lancelot Brown more commonly known as Capability Brown, was an English gardener and landscape architect of the 18th century.
At the beginning of the episode we see the titles for the fictional show, Short For Jolly. In the titles Kenny Prior’s real name is used, Kenneth Sellers.
Once the vagrant is named revealed as Hugh Sellers this provides a link and a clue to their connection. Was this intentional or was it a mistake? I think intentional.
The Debonairs are an obvious reference to the real Bullingdon Club at Oxford University. It has been said that the Bullingdon Club members would burn large denominational notes in from of the homeless.
Interesting that while Joan waits for Endeavour in the pub there is an unsolved crossword on the table,
At around the one hour and 20 minute mark, Endeavour and Dorothea are having a drink.
During the scene, Dorothea says, “You’d never know he was from “oop North”, would you?” Endeavour replies, “Who is, Kenneth Prior? Dorothea continues, “That’s
the RADA for you, dear. Marvellous what they can do with “electrocution” lessons.” This is probably an inside joke as Shaun Evans is from ‘oop North’ (up North), Liverpool to be exact and he changed his accent for the Endeavour series. David in the comments made a good point about this scene, “I thought it might be an allusion to John Thaw who came from Manchester, went to RADA and changed his accent.”
Dorothea mentions in the same scene as above that Kenneth Prior’s real surname is Sellers. He changed it so not to be confused with Peter Sellers.
John Joshua in the comments made an interesting observation. “David Ormsby-Gore was a prominent diplomat in the 1960s who inherited his father’s seat as Lord Harlech, and who went on to found HTV (Harlech TV).”
Thanks to Graeme who wrote in the comments, “I think the artist Baynard was based on Tom Adams who produced the covers for most of Agatha Christie’s Fontana paperback covers in the 1970’s; the typeface of the covers is similar as is the use of the artist’s own artefacts in the paintings.”
1 – Strange calls the homeless man who was killed a ‘dosser.’ It’s a person who sleeps rough.
2 – Strange says to Endeavour about the abandoned brewery, “It’s always been a popular place for Toms.” A Tom is a prostitute. One reason given for the term is, from the French “tomb” (meaning fallen). Or, short for ‘tom-cats’ – who go out at night, looking for sex.
3 – I don’t think this next phrase is particularly British, Mike Gartwood the producer says to Fred and Endeavour after he has finished talking to them, “See you on the green.” It means, ‘good luck.’
4 – While eating with the Thursdays, Jim says that he hopes to get ‘dabs‘ off the cigarette packet. Dabs are fingerprints.
5 – Strange says to Endeavour at around the one hour and six minute mark, “No dabs on the johnny wrapper.” This is referring to the wrapper of a condom.
6 – At around one hour and 11 minutes Fred says, “Me and Jim can deal with these tripe hounds.” Tripe Hounds are an unpleasant or contemptible person.
7 – The actor who talks to Endeavour at the bar after Endeavour had missed seeing Joan says, “Pretty little thing. Brunette. Baby blues. That the frail? The term ‘frail’ is an offensive slang term for a woman.
THE MURDERED, THEIR MURDERER/S AND THEIR METHODS.
First victim. Hugh Sellers
Killed by Kenneth Prior/Sellers. Prior did not want it revealed to the public that his brother was a homeless person.
Second victim. Raymond Swann also known as Raymond Astin.
Killed by Kenny Prior/Sellers. Swann tried to blackmail Kenny prior about his homeless brother.
Third Victim is Paul Baynard.
Killed by the Debonairs. They hit him with their car and knocked him off his motorbike. Thinking he was dead they threw him into the river. But he wasn’t and so drowned. I’m not sure if this would be murder or manslaughter.
Andrew Lewis, the first victim in the episode, Prelude.
A murder still waiting to be resolved and who killed him.
A body is found at Blenheim Vale.
Shot in the head. Max confirms it’s Landesman. Who killed him has still to be revealed.
Near the end of the episode another body has been found.
Endeavour believes it’s Brenda Lewis. She was shot. Who killed him has still to be revealed.
Kevin McNally as Kenny/Jolliphant.
Leo Staar as Richard, DI Chance.
Richard Hope as Ted, Sergeant Wilkins
Jake Kenny-Byrne as Frederick Mulcaster
Bill Skinner as Archibald Ormsby-Gore
Shaheen Khan as Librarian – Miss Hatch
Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday
Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday
Shaun Evans as DS Endeavour Morse
Ayesha Antoine as Freya Baynard
Sean Rigby as DS Jim Strange
James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn
Anton Lesser as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright
Jack Bannon as Sam Thursday
Michael Keane as David Astin
Paul Bazely as Mike Gatwood
Simon Harrison as Ronnie Box