We’ve all seen how difficult it is to get prequels right – well hello Prime Suspect 1973 – but Endeavour, and specifically this year’s series four of Endeavour, often got things very right. It had that right mix of lore (in this case Morse lore), comfortable English bucolia and decent storylines and character progressions. So it’s good news that ITV said yesterday that filming has now begun on the fifth series.
The sad news broke this morning that Colin Dexter, the creator of Inspector Morse and writer of 13 Morse novels, died, aged 86.
After having just watched the first five episodes of the thought-provoking, raw and hard-going Case, coming back to Endeavour was like settling back into a favourite armchair with a glass of red and shuffling your feet into a pair of fleece-lined slippers. That’s not to say that Endeavour is meagre or weak, but this Morse prequel does have a comforting quality to it, which, in these troubled times, is most welcome. Alas, it was time for the final episode of the series, a series I’ve enjoyed greatly.
The previous two episodes of this so far excellent fourth series of Endeavour showed two distinct stories: the first a dark serial killer whodunit; the second, also a whodunit but one wrapped up in the winds of social change and the oncoming wave of the so-called permissive society. Now the third, titled Lazaretto, focuses in on the ward of a hospital, where bed 10 in particular is proving to be a bit of a death hole.
NB: Spoiler ahoy
After last week’s excellent (and dark) start to the series, I had no idea where Endeavour was going to go next. And that’s one of the beauties of something like Endeavour – each story is different, and the tone can sometimes be different, too. As long as Morse and Thursday are, well, Morse and Thursday, it doesn’t really matter where it goes. And this week it really did go somewhere else.
Two days after the 30th anniversary of Inspector Morse’s first ever appearance on our screens, Endeavour keeps the torch burning with a fourth series. It’s been a patchy-old ride for Endeavour since its inception – yes, its air is thick with Morse lore and what people now call ‘easter eggs’, but over the course of its three previous series, we’ve had the good, the bad and the ugly. With the anniversary in mind, it’s important for fans of the titular, classics-loving detective this series got off to a good start. Thankfully, it did.
NB: Spoileration inside
Successful detective drama Endeavour, the prequel to Inspector Morse, will return to ITV for a fourth series following the strong audience reaction to series three. Set in the summer of 1967, the new films begin filming on location in Oxford in the coming weeks. You can always count on Morse – espcially seeing as 2017 is a special year in the canon.