Endeavour (TV Series 2012– ) Poster

(2012– )

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Great entertainment that deserves to be judged by its own merits
phantom_fan8922 July 2013
Considering that detective procedurals populate the British television landscape perhaps more than any other genre, one might lament at the prospect of not only another crime drama, but a prequel to one of the most beloved shows, mystery or otherwise, to ever grace the small screen, Inspector Morse. Those who might dismiss Endeavour as just another generic addition to an already overcrowded marketplace, however, would be making a grievous error.

The year is 1965 and an eccentric young Detective Constable, Endeavour Morse (Shaun Evans), is making waves at the Oxford City Police with not only his unorthodox but brilliant methods of deduction, but for his refusal to tow the line in order to please the upper echelons of both the Force and society. Under the steadfast guidance of the seasoned and similarly incorruptible, Fred Thursday (Roger Allam), Morse finds himself embroiled in a number of complex cases that expose him to the darker side of life and human nature.

Although the series will naturally draw comparisons to its popular predecessor, thanks to the show's gripping narratives, vibrant swinging sixties backdrop and perfect blend of light and dark overtones, Endeavour is easily able to distinguish itself by its own considerable merits.

Much of the show's success can be attributed to the ingenious casting of Evans, who puts his own unique stamp on the iconic role. Of course there are parallels to the world weary DI so expertly embodied by John Thaw, but Evans wisely avoids imitation, as the twenty-year age difference between the two interpretations allows the actor to create something fresh. The addition of the character of Fred Thursday is inspired. The street wise, war veteran is the perfect mentor for the idealistic Morse and their relationship is one of the highlights of the series. Fantastic entertainment on every level!

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Fantastic and surprising in the good sense, despite my initial doubts as a Morse's fan
maria-ricci-198325 January 2017
I deeply love Morse's series, and I deeply love Lewis sequel, each in its own different way. They are two extraordinary detective shows, which I strongly recommend.

So I gave Endeavour a try, both with curiosity and with fear that the experience would ruin my memories of the two shows I liked so much.

Also, Shaun Evans is physically very different from John Thaw, so this made me cringe even before the start.

Having said this, I fell for it from the very first episode.

I was surprised to find out that Shaun Evans is a terrific actor, who plays an entirely credible Morse, if not physically, in a seamless psychological continuity which makes you feel the smooth way in which this young Morse would become the older Morse 20 years later, the incipient causticity, the noticeable anger, the budding low-key self-confidence--- This is very skillfully done in the prequel.

Both Thaw and Evans play the magic of giving a sexy twist to an unsexy character, without flashing the sexy card or even circumventing all attempts to look hot.

Allum plays a marvelous D.C. Thursday and the interaction between them, mentor-pupil, is instrumental to explain how this young Morse ends up being that later Morse.

The 60's atmosphere is a plus in the show, very well portrayed and recreated. I'd say that the linking common trait between Morse, Endeavour and Lewis is, yes, their tremendous atmospheric virtue which sets you right on «in that particular place in that particular time».

If you like detective stories, you will not be disappointed at all, and even if you are not a Morse or Lewis fan, you will find this show entertaining, alluring and deeply satisfactory by its own right.
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Endeavour Magic
chasfrost23 April 2013
Well I have just watched the second episode in the new series and was captivated again. As soon as I had finished watching I watched it again taking in all the things I had missed the first time, I have my dictionary/computer on hand to research some of the phrases and words which adds to the enjoyment. I do not listen to opera or classical music but yearn to know what the wonderful soundtrack comprises of. The characters and relationship of Morse and Thursday is captivating. This is British TV drama at its very best. I just hope it is kept real and Oxford does not become more infamous than 'Denton Woods'! The props and vehicles used during the show are amazing and really create a super feeling for the time.
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The difficult first of the 'real' series is an amazing success
simonv-648-29217615 April 2013
After the surprisingly well handled one-off prequel, Shaun Evans is back as the young detective Endeavour Morse. Just like the original series with John Thaw, its success hinges on the charisma and personality of the lead character. Here Evans excels and carries the whole thing off handsomely. His performance portrays obvious knowledge and classical moral values but also an eager curiosity, drive and a naive humility which reminds us throughout this episode that he is a new recruit of sorts. The only issue I could find to quibble with is the almost Sherlockian mythology that has been added. In the original he was a knowledgeable and sharp police detective whereas here he is very much the deductive crime-fighter. As a Conan Doyle fan I do approve a little of the mythologizing but it needs to keep its roots with the original and down to earth.
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Best Ever!
xanadu-756024 January 2016
In my opinion they are the best English series ever! Absolutely great story lines, great actors... The Pilot episode is just wonderful.

I have already seen both series 1 & 2 and cannot wait for series 3. You can watch each episode separately without following the order of episodes.

I recommend it to those who love English series and not just those... also who ever likes a good thriller!

It's very difficult to figure out who is the killer and that's what I like about those series too.

Those series give you some explanations to Inspector Morse and his behavior.
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Excellent, but Allam steals the show
herlathing4 May 2014
While it is enjoyable in its own right, this series has not yet turned out to be a relative of Morse except in name. No stunning secrets are revealed for the fans of Morse. There are the little clues for the over-involved, but to be honest it's best enjoyed for its own sake. The most interesting character in it is Fred Thursday, and his fatherly care for young Morse is quite touching. The last episode of season 1, "Home" illustrates this quite nicely. Roger Allam steals the show every time! Otherwise it's pleasant to see that television is beginning to feel some nostalgia for the sixties, which are more realistically represented here than in "Heartbeat".
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The last TV show worth watching
OoX19662 February 2018
With the decline of good TV shows, I will say that Endeavour continues to be the best show I've seen in quite some time. The characters, cast and plots are perfect. As of today, Endeavour is the only TV show that I spare time to watch.
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Charming drama
mb-1558 November 2013
Love this drama. Like the whole idea of a young Morse. Endeavour certainly has his detractors which have the scope to needle him because he is so junior. I suppose this is why he is so grumpy when he is older - getting his own back as it were. So plenty here to allow viewers to hark back to the original drama but also a huge amount of good coming from the new actors. From the use of typewriters to seeing lots of letters. A lack of overt violence, sex and swearing plus excellent story lines. What more can we ask?

It's quite possible to marry the indelible Sixties period to that charming music. Roger Allam is excellent at Fred Thursday and Shaun Evans puts a lot of effort into the young Morse. Anton Lesser as chief superintendent Bright is a prig
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A show that proves TV dramas can beat movies any day.
Sleepin_Dragon26 July 2018
As a Morse addict I was sceptical about a prequel, prequels are very much in vogue, not always successful, the likes of Prime Suspect flopped, but Endeavour has continued to exceed my expectations. The devastation I felt when Morse went, then Poirot, then finally Foyle's War was pretty big, three of the best shows from the last twenty years in my opinion, but Endeavour has taken the mantle.

Morse had a unique quality, different to all others, I truly feel that all those behind Endeavour have managed to capture that DNA and bring it to life. Shaun Evans is magical in the role, as the show goes on I feel that he's really managed o capture the essence of John Thaw, he'd have been proud. Roger Allam was the perfect actor to cast as Thursday, he is consistently superb, a joy to watch. I also love the fact that Abigail Thaw was given a recurring role, respectful. That also extends to the appearances of Colin Dexter, until his death in 2017.

The Morse series was so rich in detail that Endeavour could well run for several years, the content is so deliciously high in quality that there's plenty to draw from.

So many brilliant episodes, favourites of mine include Quartet, Icarus and Neverland, but how do you chose?

Please let this run for many years, viewing at its best. 10/10
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Endeavour stands on its own, even if you've never seen Thaw's Morse
chris-holdroyd11 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This is a far more intellectual treatment of the later Morse, or Lewis characters. The writing is excellent and doesn't try to explain more than necessary, allowing the audience to draw nearer, and in doing so, draw their own conclusions.

Shaun begs us to reach out to understand him, as he gives more away with his subtle expressions than words. It's as though he practised his scenes, first pretending to be mute.

It's been said the show is too Sherlockian, to which I would agree. Solving too many complex pieces of the crime puzzle in just one moment or scene, or crowded in near the ending, makes Endeavor's character less human, less embraceable. The writers should focus on a more smooth process of revelation to enhance our connection with the young Morse and avoid over time, to produce episodes so formulaic as the Lewis series.

Often, these out of period TV series appear fake, say, recreating the 60's with actors displaying a 2014 social maturity. Fortunately, but not perfectly, it sidesteps most of the usual puddles. However, Thursday's daughter is anachronistically wise, balanced and foolish, all at once. Definitely a time traveller. And the antagonistic sergeant is overdue for his comeuppance.

One of my most favourite authenticity ingredients is the little old man with the huge grin. He's placed in every episode, like Hitchcock shows in every one of his own films. He reminds me of the six-fingered man at Michael Cain's bar in Get Carter. Nice touch!

Thursday and Morse are the standard bearers of quality acting for this series. I have rarely been so excited to see more. Keep up the great work!
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Stellar TV
kikkapi2021 April 2015
High quality television, with its strength being the re-creation of the 1960s, but with 2010s cinematic advances. The main characters are interesting and well-acted, although if you are a steady mystery viewer, you will figure out the ending very soon, which does take away from the suspense.

Sean Evans presents the shy, taciturn Morse in his younger days as a detective. He is fetching and keeps his own counsel as to personal matters, and we can see him developing into the ascerbic, driven chief detective we've come to love and respect. Colin Dexter's brill writing launches us here in ENDEAVOR into a seamless transformation into the mature Morse with promise of excellent episodes to come. I'd like to see more of the young Morse and hope this is only one segment of what will surely be a superior backstory for the series. Beautifully written and paced, ENDEAVOR presents a cast of appealing faces and splendidly low key criminal pursuits. Highly recommended. I loved it, am clamoring for more.
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Every episode an evening well spend.
edwinvanboekel12 February 2017
I have always been a great fan of the original series, featuring John Thaw as Morse. I always thought the stories were well written and televised. Which is as important. These series have me in awe. I am completely blown away. I am a great fan of the Montalbano character in the RaiUno-series. Also well written. And well televised. But this is something different. There is suspense. There is character. And there is life. I don't know how to put it otherwise. Of course we know how Morse became in his later life, but there was no history, no growing- up. These series show the growth of the character, by an actor who seems to be raised to do this. Shaun Evans does a masterpiece. I am afraid he'll be Endeavour Morse for the rest of his life.
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Liked Morse but I really love Endeavour.
grandmabrat4 February 2018
Inspector Morse was just about the best show on tv but I love Endeavour even more. The character is like Morse but younger, a little bit naive and learning his way around. The ability to see through mysteries is just as good but more characters in the show gives you a better look at the character of Endeavour Morse. I could watch this show every week, if only they could produce them that fast.
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A more than worthy, and almost as good, prequel series to Inspector Morse
TheLittleSongbird13 August 2015
Not just a more than worthy prequel series to one of my favourite detective dramas of all time and goes very well with it, but it is a great series on its own as well, one that got off to a good start, though some of the pilot and the first episode had a still-finding-its-feet-feel (understandably), and just keeps getting stronger. It maintains everything that makes Inspector Morse so good, while also containing enough to make it its own.

Endeavour looks great, the series throughout is exquisitely photographed and there is something very nostalgic and charming about the atmospherically evoked 1960s period detail. It was also a genius move to keep Barrington Pheloung on board, with his hauntingly beautiful scoring and immortal Inspector Morse theme, while the classical music and operatic excerpts are delightful to hear and fit perfectly (a notable example would be in the Fugue episode, the music having a beautiful and frightfully ominous effect).

The series is also every bit as intelligently written as Inspector Morse, it's every bit as entertaining and also every bit as tense. Not all the story lines are very original, but they are always incredibly gripping with the mysteries not being too complicated or the identities being too improbable or obvious, Morse and Thursday's father/son relationship has a lot of warmth, is so well written within the stories and is a large part of the series' appeal and there is some good suspense (chilling in fact in the case of Fugue). Pacing is restrained, but that allows the atmosphere to come through, and pretty much all the same it excels in that aspect. The characters are interesting, and are evolving more and more with every episode, Morse's familiar characteristics are becoming more obvious as the writing develops and Morse and Thursday's relationship more entertaining and heartfelt.

Shaun Evans does some powerful, charismatic work as younger Morse, and is getting more and more confident with every episode, showing enough loyalty to John Thaw's iconic Morse while making the character his own too. Roger Allam is also superb, his rapport with Evans always compels and entertains but Thursday is quite a sympathetic character, as well as loyal and firm, and Allam does a lot special with a role that could have been less interesting possibly in lesser hands. All the acting is very good, as is the controlled direction, but it's the performances of Evans and Allam that will always be remembered most vividly.

All in all, a more than worthy (if not quite as good, only because I love Inspector Morse with a passion) prequel series and also a great series on its own that keeps getting stronger. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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Outstanding, intelligent and emotive
leatherpress13 December 2016
After seeing the first few episodes of second series, Endeavour ranks as one of the best contemporary period police procedurals. What's striking is that relationships develop, change, and deepen between characters, beautifully understated, with emotional depth and intelligence few police series do well. It avoids the usual blokey male police culture..here I'm thinking of Red Riding 1974 ...a brutal and deeply disturbing portrait of UK police culture in the 70's and 80's.

Eg. Chief Super Bright's character softens and the working relationships between officers is given sensitive and thoughtful treatment, much the same way Foyles War is done. The actors don't play to ego, but rather play into the period and time they're located in. Glad to see ITV have commissioned a fourth series, which I reckon will be nearing it's end. Will be interesting to see how the show will treat the transition when Thursday leaves and Morse gets his Inspector rank. In my view it's even better than Lewis, which was also outstanding. And much better then Inspector George Gently, but thats another discussion.
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The very best of PBS
bobbobwhite17 February 2017
Typically great PBS Mystery, but much better than most. Shaun Evans as Endeavour Morse, with his childlike deer in the headlights look as he detects each weekly crime, portrays the young but already very cerebral Morse whom we remember so well as an elder copper from the great 90s PBS show. Evans' as Morse, with his deceptive appearance of innocence and naivete, works through crimes with gentle but bulldog persistence until all is sorted. Roger Allam as his stoic, staid, habit-bound chief detective is also superb in his unwavering, fatherly support of Morse throughout, is always 100% credible as a mid-level Brit copper. Anton Lesser plays his daft martinet of a superintendent as not totally stupid, but he is perfectly underwhelming on purpose as Supt. Bright(hmmm)and is much more consumed with political kissing up than he is with the drudgery of everyday police work. He leaves that to the minions. All in all, great ensemble work, with very individual and unique characterizations in all roles, and I must say that I am so pleased that PBS has not fallen into the common American TV crime show trap of extending one crime into seeming infinity, week after slogging week. Thanks to this Morse, all is saved, and solved, in each show. The gorgeous and dramatic theme and various opera and classical pieces play a significant qualitative part too, as they both did in the original Morse show. Anticipate, then enjoy.
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gilesg114 April 2013
Just finished watching the "Girl" episode, and found the overall ambiance of the program very convincing. I don't think that Shaun Evans looks much like a young John Thaw, and the voice also is not even close, but by and large, it works.

The Jag still looks like the nicest saloon car ever built, and I can understand Morse's falling for it at this stage of his career, even if it would have taken quite a few years to be able to afford to buy one on a constables salary.

Lots of homages already noted and reported in the pilot reviews, but has anyone picked up on Roger Allam's nod to Rupert Davies' Maigret portrayal?
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If there were 11 stars, I would rate them
dmacleay-5226924 February 2019
What is not to like? Great acting, writing and story lines. A great view of the 60's seen from the point of view of the conservative leaning police who are of mixed minds about racial and gender equality as they bridge the post war period and go about their business as England is embroiled in the same social changes that were hitting the US and many other countries. And crime went on of course. In the foreground are very good stories worthy of the best crime dramas. If you liked Wallander, this may be your show. If you liked Inspector Morse, you will enjoy seeing him become the man he would be, but at the same time it is a very original show with a distinct tone and feeling. The story line also digs into the personal lives and emotional challenges of young people at the time and police work in any time. None of it is heavy or pedantic and much value is more in the background as a decent whodunit holds the foreground.
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Best detective series
e_dian26 February 2018
One of the best detective that I ever saw and the best that is on television nowadays. You can just feel the old atmosphere through the screen. Amazing actors & music. Feels really authentic. A must watch! ITV please make this series available on bigger streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon. This masterpiece really deserves a bigger audience!!
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Initial fears blown away
jdhb-768-6123418 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
As a devotee of the original 'Inspector Morse' series, I have to say that I was less than convinced by the idea of a 'prequel' series. Thankfully, my fears were misplaced.

'Endeavour' stands on its own as a great detective series and also gives genuine background and insights to the life of the later DCI Morse. Not only are there these plus points but the casting is brilliant and the acting superb. The way in which issues such as Morse's limp and delight in real ale and fine whisky came about are shown to us so simply, in context and without artifice.

Shaun Evans makes an excellent Morse and Roger Allam is outstanding as his boss, Inspector Fred Thursday; Anton Lesser, as a tortured Chief Superintendent, torn between his duty to authority and his belief in justice is every bit as good. Sean Rigby fills the sizable boots of the later to be Chief Superintendent Jim Strange admirably and Dakota Blue Richards makes a surprisingly effective appearance as WPC Shirley Truelove, a WPC who makes her mark quietly and without fuss, even in the relatively chauvinistic days of the 1960s. The supporting cast, most notably Fred Thursday's wife and daughter, fit the 1960s bill absolutely perfectly, indeed Caroline O'Neill, as Win Thursday, could have been born to play her role.

Endeavour Morse does what he has to do. He follows the clues and evidence meticulously to wherever they lead which, in the 1960s, was not always popular with the establishment of the day. He is, himself, a tortured man who finds relationships difficult and hides behind his detecting as a result. Viewers see his vulnerabilities; his lack of confidence with girl friends and failure to say what he really feels, how he gained his 'limp', his reluctance when it comes to bothering with examinations and promotion. Endeavour is a flawed man who, nonetheless, has great qualities, all of which is further explored when he eventually becomes DCI Morse.

Endeavour is, without doubt, a triumph. One can only hope that it has many more years to run.
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No spoiler here, just an encouragement to embrace "Endeavour"
tomgoblin-4462011 September 2017
Evans and Allam stand on the shoulders of giants.

Just as the X-15 and Mercury programs of NASA set the stage for Apollo and its trip to higher levels, "Endeavour" goes to the next heights.

Thaw and his loyal sergeant as portrayed by Whately were the foundation..."Endeavour" is the next phase of this timeless story line.

Let me be so bold as to say I think Thaw would be proud.

The entire series has been brilliant, for so many years. Many thanks to all the people behind the scenes, writers, directors and producers.

They, like Rolls Royce, have kept the highest quality in a time when this is extraordinarily difficult and unique.

I am grateful and more than slightly in awe of this effort.
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Why has this gripped me more than Morse
lancer16523 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I have now got up to date with this series. I have enjoyed over time the other offshoot Lewis but must say that my interest has been mostly in Hathaway and hope that it might continue along that path.

This prequel has held me almost in that painful nostalgic way of the times long gone when I was just entering the big peoples world. Often anything from the sixties does that to me as I did cross the shuck from Belfast to be a soldier and spend my first months of finding England through North Yorkshire.

This has played out for me so well incorporating no doubt many of the tit-bits that may have been mentioned in the Thaw Morse stories. Morse as the younger cop has shown the qualities that we would like most of our police to have yet we see that his friend who will become his 'bumbling boss' is no stranger to that greasy pole the police are accused of climbing.

I have no idea if the next series will be seen by me but I have enjoyed Endeavor more than Lewis or Morse. Of course I do enjoy most of the other crime drama offerings and each main character adds their own personality to the tales. Vera, Foyle, Gently, and yes Barnaby although just accusing EVERYONE and eventually getting it right is hardly criminal science.

I am sure some might see imperfections but nothing has spoiled my viewing. Well made and well done to all. Of course Allam has shone brightly. I do not think it is a Maigret thing as such. I just think he is so like Michael Gambon vocally.
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Enjoy, even if you can't turn back the clock.
kit-3110 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The show is quite a nice effort at character development. So those new to Morse, enjoy. I won't critique it beyond saying that I agree that Evans seems slight compared to "our" Morse, but that may be just a bit of selfish quibble as they make a real effort to inform the character and us of his resigned isolation and his love for the drama of classical music. Even if we can't yet see the middle-aged Morse we will come to know, one character in it does...at least that's the writers' charming and not so secret conceit....spoiler follows, but it's more an "easter egg"....The reporter who shows up in several episodes to meet with Morse and discuss the latest case notices the younger man getting a bit frayed at the edges and gently raises her hand to him and advises him to take care. It is quite touching on its own, but "more so" as the reporter, played by John Thaw's daughter herself, Abigail, is reaching out to her own father. Knowing this, you might sense that HER persona seems more Morse-like than Evans, but in any case, it was as close an encounter of the third kind that ever was.
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Detective TV at its very best
ricknurse-1152724 March 2019
This prequal series set in the 1960's provides a brilliant and believable back story for Endeavour Morse before he 'comes of age' as Inspector Morse in the Morse series.

Shaun Evans as young Morse is simply brilliant and portrays Morse as a meticulous detective who won't settle until he has got to the truth. The 2 hour episodes allow full development of each of the stories, which build upon each other to gradually explain the relationship between Morse, D.I Fred Thursday (Roger Allen) and Supt. Bright (Anton Lesser)

In my opinion this is one of the best TV series of the last 20 years and stands alongside the superb Morse series as colossus in the TV repertoire

Whilst there is some violence, it is always proportionate, and avoids being gratuitous. Profanity and bad language are almost entirely absent as is nudity.

This is one of the very few 10 out of 10 programmes or films i have watched in decades
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One of the best shows on the air
efearon-688904 February 2019
This show has one of, if not the best character developments, storyline and acting that I have ever seen. I'm looking forward to season 6.
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