News reaches us at Fedora that a second series of Endeavor has now been commissioned. The show is a prequel to Inspector Morse with Shaun Evans playing the younger iteration of the character created on screen by the late John Thaw. I for one am very pleased to hear this as I thought the previous five episodes (one-off pilot in 2012 and four series instalments broadcast in 2013, all two-hours long) were well-above average.
Set in the mid sixties (more or less 1966 in fact), the show takes care to build in many elements that form part of the series mythology as created in the novels by Colin Dexter as well as the earlier TV series (including the character’s occasional limp, which belonged to Thaw rather than the Morse). Unusually all five of the two-hour films so far have been written by just one person, the very experienced Russell Lewis. He is also due to write the next series. With the end of the Lewis spin-off this will doubtless be greeted with much cheer by fans.
Me, I’m not always a lover of reboots (I remain the fence about the new Star Trek movies for instance), but I think they got it right here, with Morse refusing to play by the rules and annoying his superiors – mainly the faintly absurd and ironically named Chief Superintendent Bright (Anton Lesser) and failing to get through the ranks as he should despite his clear intelligence (or perhaps because of it). And his developing relationship with boss DI Fred Thursday (sublimely played by Roger Allam), police doctor Max (James Bradshaw, following on from the late Peter Woodthorpe) and PC Strange (beefy Sean Rigby in the role later played by the mighty James Grout), destined to become Morse’s boss, is handled with great warmth and humour.
Long may it continue, especially as Evans is quite superb in the title role, complimenting but never imitating Thaw’s previous performance – for that alone Endeavour should be savoured and celebrated. Four new feature-length episodes have been commissioned and are due to be filmed later this year for screening in 2014. A superb show, now available on DVD (and, in the US, from July on Blu-ray too).