OXFORD MAIL - by Andrew Ffrench
OXFORD’S favourite detective, Endeavour Morse, is returning to the nation’s TV screens in a sixth series.
Four new episodes of the Inspector Morse prequel have been filmed and will start on ITV on Sunday at 8pm.
The new series will return to the 1960s and feature Shaun Evans as DS Morse alongside Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday and Anton Lesser as CS Reginald Bright.
Following the dissolution of Oxford City Police the latest instalment is set in 1969 and picks up with the team as they find their feet in various new roles.
Scenes were shot at various locations in and around Oxford including colleges such as St Edmund Hall.
The sixth instalment of the popular drama has once again been written by Endeavour creator Russell Lewis, who has penned each of the 27 screenplays, based on the character created by Oxford author Colin Dexter, who died in 2017.
Mr Lewis said: “All of us involved in making Endeavour have always wanted to keep the show fresh, moving forward, and pushing the boundaries of what a cosy whodunnit might encompass.”
The four new episodes are entitled Pylon, Apollo, Confection and Deguello, with the second episode, about the moon landing, directed by Shaun Evans himself.
Producer Deanne Cunningham said Morse would find himself back in uniform at the start of the new series and throughout the episodes his team would be ‘like magnets, drawn back together again’. She added that a new ‘Flying Squad-style of policing was anathema to Morse and Fred’.
Ms Cunningham said everyone working on set enjoyed the reception from film fans in Oxford. She added: “It can be challenging when you are filming and you get big crowds gathering but we always get a fantastic welcome.”
Mr Allam said his character did not find himself in a happy place at start of series six. He added: “Things are not good at home - there is empty nest syndrome and he has been bumped down in rank.”
Mr Lesser said CS Bright was also experiencing his own problems. “He has been reduced to watching traffic and his wife is diagnosed with cancer. Everything in his world is reversing and collapsing and we get to see a bit more of the man behind the uniform - I think audiences love that.”
Mr Evans said directing an episode seemed like the ‘next natural step’. He added: “I had expressed an interest in doing it and it felt like the right time.”