From the Endeavour V Press Pack
Filming for this new series started just after the death of Morse creator Colin Dexter. He must be much missed?
“It was very sad to lose him. But Colin was still in our thoughts as we made this series. We want to try and stay as true to his original vision as possible while also taking it in new directions.
“There was something brilliant about having Colin on hand. When we first started he’d go through all of the scripts with a fine-tooth comb, not unlike myself. And he wasn’t backward in coming forward about expressing his opinions. We were very fortunate to have that.”
There are six feature length films in this series, which makes it the longest to date. What does that mean in terms of the story?
“It gives the writer and, therefore, the cast and production the opportunity to tell the story over a longer period of time. To look at it more fully and really have a trajectory for those at the police station and for the other characters as well.
“You really see what’s going on and don’t feel as obliged to shoehorn bits of character stuff around the plot. Six films gives you breathing space to do a little bit more with that.”
Is it fair to say there is a sense of endings and new beginnings in this series?
“That’s absolutely right. There is a sense of endings and new beginnings. We’re now in 1968 and Oxford City Police is going to be amalgamated as part of Thames Valley Police. So Cowley Police station, as we know it, is threatened with closure when all of the officers would go off in separate directions.
“There are also changes in the wider world. 1968 was such a fertile year for that. There are so many relevancesto today as well.”
Where do we find Endeavour Morse when we return to his world?
“He’s finally been promoted but he is dissatisfied. It hasn’t been anything he thought it would be. There’s a line Morse says to Dorothea Frazil, ‘It’s just the same but more work.’ Belligerent to the end. Morse asks a lot of himself and also of others. He has high expectations.
“He’s living with DS Jim Strange. It’s a terrific idea and gives so much to play with. There’s something rather funny about Morse sharing with Strange.”
How would you describe the relationship between Morse and DCI Fred Thursday in this series?
“With the new rank there’s new responsibilities for Endeavour. So he’s less in Thursday’s pocket and we, sadly, don’t spend as much time together. But that relationship is still, I think, the lynchpin of the whole story. Thursday is such an experienced police officer and a very clever man.
“Morse is a reluctant mentor himself, at least initially, to a new character DC George Fancy. That’s part of his new job after promotion.”
Does this series reveal more about Morse and his relationships with the opposite sex?
“There’s a little bit of action. Not before time, if you ask me. It’s interesting as well. It shows you another side of the character. He is a young man in 1968.
“Joan Thursday is still part of the story. His involvement with other women is a subconscious knee-jerk reaction to the history between him and Joan. He’s trying to find his place in the world and who he’s going to spend it with. “His relationships with other women show a slightly more rounded version of the character. I think it’s OK to surprise people.”
One character tells Endeavour he would be a spectator at his own funeral. What do they mean?
“That’s about getting involved. Sometimes your intellect can stop you doing things. That’s how I take what she is saying. That it takes bravery to get involved and be open.”
What happens when the Robbery Squad arrive at Cowley Police station to take part in a joint investigation?
“That really signals how things are changing. They say they are the future and Oxford City Police is the past. It’s quite brutal. Old style policing versus the future. They come in and shake things up.”
Endeavour returns to London in one of the new stories. Where did you film?
“We filmed outside the Albert Hall and at a tube station. It was great to film scenes in London. All of the work we do is location based. So each time it changes. It’s not the first time we’ve filmed in London but it was really interesting to be at the Albert Hall.”
Some viewers have become fascinated by the contents of the sandwiches Win Thursday makes for her husband Fred Did that come as a surprise to the cast?
“I didn’t know the sandwiches had such a following. That’s really funny. But I’m delighted the audience gets so involved in it. It just shows how much they care about the show.”
How do you reflect on the fact the audience really do love this series?
“It’s testimony to all of the people who make Endeavour, the writer Russell Lewis and all of the actors involved. Also the producers, directors, costume, make up and the guest artists. Everyone brings their top game to Endeavour. We’re very lucky. I’m glad people love it because that’s our intention.”
What is the future for Endeavour?
“This series definitely sets up more for a return. There are lots of questions to answer, but there are lots of factors involved so you just take this job one day at a time.
“I’ve been very lucky to play this role. I’m amazed we’ve done so many so far. I feel very grateful that Endeavour is still popular and doing well. I’m also very grateful to have the opportunity to work with some incredible people.
“We’ve made six feature length films this time and kept the quality of the work up. That, in itself, is cause for celebration. If we’re lucky enough to do some more, and we all want to, that’s great. But, if not, we’re all very proud of the series.”
By Caren Clark - What's On TV
Endeavour’s Shaun Evans on why he loves working with Roger Allam and the huge changes afoot in the crime drama
The new series of Endeavour finds changes are on their way for newly-promoted DS Endeavour Morse, played by Shaun Evans, and his stalwart boss DCI Fred Thursday (Roger Allam). Here, Shaun Evans tells TV Times about what’s in store in the new series of Endeavour…
TVT The series is now set in 1968, what does the year bring?
Shaun Evans: “It was a year of change. That connects to the stories because the Oxford City force is closing down and merging into Thames Valley, which is the end of an era. They each receive a letter later saying where they are going to be posted. They could be scattered to the four winds so it is like the carpet has been pulled from under them.”
TVT Endeavour is finally a sergeant now and is mentoring his own protégé, DC George Fancy (Poldark’s Lewis Peek), how does he feel about that?
SE: “He is disappointed that things haven’t really changed now he is a sergeant. So at first he deals belligerently with being a mentor. But later, he thinks, ‘If I’m going to be in charge of someone, I’m going to make sure they’re the best that they can be.’ He is a pretty tough taskmaster!”
TVT Is Thursday’s daughter Joan (Sara Vickers) still part of his life now she is back in Oxford?
SE: “Endeavour still holds a torch for Joan so he hopes she will change her mind about him. But there is some other romance for him… There are a few intimate scenes but it’s a family show on a Sunday night so you are not going to see me rolling around with my kit off!”
TVT This is the fifth series, how long do you think it can continue?
SE: “It has got a shelf life and the trick is to leave before everyone is sick of you! We’d like to do more but we need to see where the story is going or if it has been told. It will be a mutual decision to end because I couldn’t do this without Roge. He is just brilliant, bright and committed. It is an amazing job and a gift and I feel very lucky. It is intense and challenging but I love that and wouldn’t have it any other way. We are blessed.”
Endeavour returns on Sunday 4th February on ITV at 8pm
Sara Deen - Metro - 30 Jan 2018
The brand new series of Endeavour will pay tribute to Inspector Morse creator Colin Dexter. Author Dexter passed away in March last year at his home in Oxford, aged 86. Endeavour creator and writer Russell Lewis has said ahead of the new series that Dextor is ‘still a presence’ for him while making the show. ‘For us, he was our true north. I hope everything we’ve done honours his creation and his spirit,’ Lewis said. ‘He is still a presence for us. His initial creation of Morse and then it being turned into television from 1987 onwards, we never forget that for a minute. That’s what keeps us at it. ‘We don’t want to let his standards, and the standards of the three shows – Morse, Lewis and now Endeavour – to drop in any way, shape or form. “What would Colin do?” is our cri de coeur.’
Russell added that he turned to Dexter’s family for advice on whether his image should still appear on screen. ‘Colin was physically absent in the last series but made appearances via portraits and so on,’ he said.
‘We asked the family if they were happy for that to continue and they gave us their blessing. ‘It really wouldn’t be the same without our master somewhere in there.’ Star Shaun Evans added that they were ‘fortunate’ to be able to have him involved.
He said: ‘It was very sad to lose him. But Colin was still in our thoughts as we made this series. We want to try and stay as true to his original vision as possible while also taking it in new directions. ‘There was something brilliant about having Colin on hand. When we first started he’d go through all of the scripts with a fine-tooth comb, not unlike myself. And he wasn’t backward in coming forward about expressing his opinions. We were very fortunate to have that.’ Dexter wrote 14 novels in his Inspector Morse series between 1975 and 1999.
Endeavour returns Sunday at 8pm on ITV.
By Luke Sproule - OXFORD MAIL
Detective show Endeavour is back on ITV and this series sees Shaun Evans play out some ambitious storylines as the newly-promoted young Inspector Morse.
The actor tells Georgia Humphreys what fans can expect, from romantic developments to big changes in the police force.
There’s no denying Inspector Morse was a mighty success.
One of British TV’s greatest detectives, the final episode of the crime series, starring the late John Thaw, was watched by more than 12 million people in the UK.
And when the prequel to the show, Endeavour, hit our screens over a decade later, it gave fans the chance to see new sides to the cantankerous yet endearing character.
In the fifth series of the ITV drama, once again set in Oxford, we find out more about his relationships with the opposite sex – and while former love interest Joan Thursday is still part of the story, new characters come on to the scene.
“There’s a little bit of action,” discloses Shaun Evans, the actor behind the young Endeavour Morse.
“Not before time, if you ask me.
“His relationships with other women show a slightly more rounded version of the character,” he adds.
“I think it’s OK to surprise people.”
The new series begins with Morse being promoted, after finally passing his sergeant’s exams.
But he’s not feeling entirely satisfied with the new role.
“It hasn’t been anything he thought it would be,” 37-year-old Evans explains in his thick Liverpudlian accent.
“There’s a line Morse says to Dorothea Frazil, ‘It’s just the same, but more work’.
“Belligerent to the end.”
There are further issues to come where his job is concerned – the force is facing some changes.
In 1968, Oxford City Police, along with Oxfordshire County and two other local constabularies, ceased to exist when they were merged into Thames Valley (Morse fans will recognise that name, for sure).
And the station closing ‘has been the main focus of the story this time’, says Evans.
“Some of the older generation don’t know if it is going to be their last case,” he continues, before revealing: “The way we have ended it is that each of us get a letter saying where we are going to be posted.”
Work woes aside, there’s one person in Endeavour’s life who fans particularly want to hear about.
Over the previous series, we have seen his relationship with Joan Thursday – his boss’s daughter – go through some serious ups and downs, including her turning down his marriage proposal.
Now, we will see him look for love elsewhere, even if Evans admits his character still holds a torch for Joan.
“I think it is tricky because you can’t keep doing the same thing,” he says.
“You have got to try to do something new and take it to somewhere new and that has got to be in the relationships, whether that is with Joan or with someone else.
“His involvement with other women is a subconscious knee-jerk reaction to the history between him and Joan,” he elaborates.
“He’s trying to find his place in the world and who he’s going to spend it with.”
So, what romantic storylines can we expect?
“There is a brilliant French actress [in this series]; she plays a character called Claudine, a photo journalist,” the actor teases.
But while he shares there are a few intimate scenes coming up, he adds: “This is a family show going out at 8 or 9 on a Sunday night, so you are not going to be rolling around with your kit off!”
If there’s one thing that hard-working leading man Evans brings to every scene in the show, it’s energy.
Asked where that comes from, he says: “It’s sobering knowing that a good number of people are going to be watching it on a Sunday night! There is no point in being lazy.
“I also think if you are being asked to return to something, you have got to make it good and there is so much brilliant TV out there and so many brilliant stories being told, you haven’t got time to sit on your laurels.”
Plus, Evans understandably feels “very lucky to play this role”.
“I’m amazed we’ve done so many so far,” he says.
“I feel very grateful that Endeavour is still popular and doing well.”
Of course, an undeniable element in the show’s ongoing success must be that the character was already so adored by TV fans.
The original show, based on the popular books by Colin Dexter, who died last year, ran on TV for 13 years.
“Colin was still in our thoughts as we made this series,” says Evans. “We want to try and stay as true to his original vision as possible while also taking it in new directions.”
While shooting six films for this series, rather than the usual four, has been a challenge, Evans reckons the decision has paid off.
“The conflict comes between quality and quantity,’ he says.
‘Is the budget going to stay the same? Are we going to be as ambitious with six as we were with four? Is the level of work going to stay the same standard?
“I am pleased to say I think it has, which is great.”
We can expect some particularly ambitious storylines too, set in places such as a cinema and an army barracks, while one film even has a spy feel to it.
Asked what the future is for Endeavour, Evans says: “This series definitely sets up more for a return. There are lots of questions to answer.
“But there are lots of factors involved. So you just take this job one day at a time.”
And the star, who would love to do more work behind the camera (he directed an episode of BBC One drama Casualty last year), insists he will know when the time is right to say goodbye to Endeavour.
“I think it has got a shelf life,” he says, “and I think the trick is to leave before everyone is sick of you!”
Something tells us no one will ever be sick of Inspector Morse.
Endeavour returns to ITV on Sunday, February 4.
"There are lots of questions to answer."
BY JUSTIN HARP - DIGITAL SPY - 30 JANUARY 2018
The case files of the future-Inspector Morse in Endeavour don't seem to be closing anytime soon.
The prequel to the late writer Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse TV series will be returning this weekend for a fifth series, which continues to explore Endeavour's early years with the Oxford City Police.
As the team behind Endeavour get ready to launch the new episodes, star Shaun Evans is already hinting at the possibility of more stories to tell in the future.
"This series definitely sets up more for a return," he revealed. "There are lots of questions to answer, but there are lots of factors involved so you just take this job one day at a time.
"I've been very lucky to play this role. I'm amazed we've done so many so far. I feel very grateful that Endeavour is still popular and doing well. I'm also very grateful to have the opportunity to work with some incredible people.
"We've made six feature-length films this time and kept the quality of the work up. That, in itself, is cause for celebration. If we're lucky enough to do some more, and we all want to, that's great. But, if not, we're all very proud of the series."
Shaun also remains eternally grateful to the loyal audience that Colin Dexter built throughout his Inspector Morse novels and TV series, and that Russell Lewis carried over to Endeavour.
"It's testimony to all of the people who make Endeavour, the writer Russell Lewis and all of the actors involved," he said.
"Also the producers, directors, costume, make-up and the guest artists. Everyone brings their top game to Endeavour. We're very lucky. I'm glad people love it because that's our intention."
Endeavour returns for a bumper-length fifth series on Sunday (February 4) at 8pm on ITV.