8.4 / 10
89 min
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" gives "Endeavour - Season 1" a 8."
Written by on 9 August 2013.
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Endeavour - Season 1

Despite the death of John Thaw, famous for portraying the famous detective, in 2002, 'Inspector Morse' is still popular. While there are no more new episodes of 'Inspector Morse' to look forward to, viewers can enjoy Colin Dexter’s world in new adaptations. In 2009, the spin-off series ‘Lewis’ started. It focuses on Detective Inspector Lewis, Morse’s old sergeant, and can be seen as a sequel to ‘Inspector Morse’. Now there is also 'Endeavour', a prequel in which a young Morse joins the Oxford police. It's set in the sixties. The television film 'Endeavour' (2012) showed how Morse came to join the police in Oxford, and in the series of the same name the real work is about to start.

The young 'Endeavour' Morse is played by Shaun Evans. Even though Evans and Thaw look nothing alike, Evans portrays Morse convincingly. Despite the fact that Morse can be socially awkward, he is very sympathetic towards the victims and motivated to find the real culprit. In the search for this culprit, Morse can be very stubborn, as he always follows his own intuition. His stubbornness and strive for justice often cause friction with Chief Superintendent Bright (Anton Lesser); it quickly becomes clear that this Morse has not yet figured out how to deal with authority. Luckily, Inspector Fred Thursday (Roger Allam) is always there to help Morse out of trouble. Thursday recognises Morse’s talent and acts as a mentor to him. Thursday often gets Morse involved in the case, even though Morse isn’t a sergeant yet (he is only a constable), and Thursday appreciates Morse’s input, unlike Bright. Whilst it’s understandable that Morse’s input is often crucial in solving the case (he is, after all, the main character), it is so important in so many cases that you almost start to wonder how the police ever solved a case without him.

Morse’s insights into the cases often take the spotlight, but there is also room for other characters and character development. The show often focuses on Thursday’s role as a family man and pater familias, and the struggle of both Morse and Thursday to leave work at work is often discussed. The relationship between Morse and Thursday also keeps on developing throughout the show; Morse clearly looks up to Thursday, who recognizes Morse’s potential. This doesn’t mean there is no friction between the two; they often clash because Morse tends to ignore Thursday’s advice out of stubbornness.

Even though 'Endeavour' stands on its own from 'Inspector Morse', the show is full of references to the original series and how Thaw portrayed Morse. Morse’s love for opera music and his Jaguar Mark 2 make many appearances throughout the show, and 'Endeavour' also reveals why Morse sometimes walks with a limp. Besides the characteristics of Morse, there are also some characters who make a reappearance. Chief Superintendent Jim Strange from Inspector Morse is just a constable in 'Endeavour' (played by Sean Rigby), where he is a good friend to Morse; another colleague of Morse who already appears in 'Endeavour' is pathologist Max DeBryn (James Bradshaw), who enjoys testing Morse’s aversion to blood to its limits.

These references to 'Inspector Morse' are added entertainment for Morse-aficionados, but even without recognising them the show is definitely worth watching. The styling is beautiful, with sixties outfits and hairdos. Oxford and the surrounding countryside also look stunning on film, and with the music composed by Barrington Pheloung, the entire show is like a beautifully wrapped package. Lovers of British detectives will enjoy watching 'Endeavour', which proves that Morse still has a whole life ahead of him on television.
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