Endeavour II Press Pack
A dramatic series finale saw Endeavour Morse lose his father and get shot in the line of duty. After a stint on lighter duties at a different station, the young detective is deemed medically fit and returns to Oxford City Police to help solve serious crime and murder in the new second series.
“In the first Endeavour film of this series my character comes back to the station after a few months in another division where he was assigned light duties”, explains Shaun Evans who reprises his role as Endeavour Morse in the drama.
“At the end of last series his father died and he was shot. The events have rocked him, and his absence means relationships with his colleagues in the police force have changed.
Shaun continues: “He comes back a far more damaged person. He’s a bit lost in his grief. He’s also still questioning himself, thinking am I any good? Was the last solved crime a fluke?
“A lot of what we want to do with this series is to try and tease out the qualities that make him unique. It’s a continually shaping process.”
As the series unfolds it becomes clear there are tensions at the station, which also cause Morse to question his future on the police force.
“The Force itself is changing. The whole thing rests on uneven ground and Endeavour feels like it is shifting constantly. He begins to question, is this the right place for me?”
One reason to stay on the Force is Morse’s Detective Inspector Fred Thursday, played by Roger Allam.
“A lot of this series is about relationships. One of the most important to Endeavour is with Thursday.
“Thursday sees the brilliance in him. Whilst it can be counter-productive in some spheres of his life, with a bit of help his brilliance could make him a great detective and a great man as well.
“Endeavour brings a different thought process into detective work. Thursday is nurturing that side of him and helping him become a more rounded person.
“I think if you can solve four unusual crimes in a year like he does it certainly deserves some credit! If he didn’t work in that way then they probably would never have been solved. Thursday can see there is a place for him on the Force and has his back covered. This series becomes more about the upper echelons of the hierarchy of the Police Force recognising and learning that there is a place for him too.”
DI Fred Thursday has established himself as a mentor and firm father figure for Morse. It’s a relationship that extends beyond the boundaries of the police station.
Explains Shaun: “The relationship between Endeavour and Fred Thursday is more twosided this time.
“Fred and the whole Thursday family feel Endeavour is someone they should take under their wing. But Endeavour is someone they need in their life too.”
Another important relationship begins when Morse moves into a new flat in Oxford. Living next door is Monica, a nurse who soon becomes the object of his affections…
“Monica comes into Endeavour’s life when he’s on his knees. I think it’s very telling that the relationship comes along at this time. It’s ironic she’s a nurse; she automatically has that caring, nurturing nature he needs. He’s a broken man and she contributes to his mending.
“I think it’s a very good thing. Apparently it was very common in those days for policemen to be with nurses.
“We don’t know how their relationship is going to develop or end up. It’s very much up for grabs.”
Shaun reveals he was very happy with the audience’s response to the pilot and first series of Endeavour.
“I’m delighted it got such a great audience, particularly as so much work goes into it. In this job you want to get a good story, tell it well, and hope the audience enjoys it. We seem to have ticked those boxes.
“I think it’s great to have the opportunity to build and improve on a character so I was glad to get back and have another crack.”
Endeavour was created by writer and executive producer Russell Lewis as the prequel to the acclaimed series Inspector Morse (1987-2000), starring John Thaw.
“Building on the character of Morse has always been the intention. On one level I’m glad the audience is open to what we’ve done. But even more so that those people who haven’t seen the original series before can see this series for what it is.
“The second series has allowed us to deepen the relationships and add more depth to all the characters – Endeavour, Thursday, Jakes. The series is not just about crime or whodunit, although that’s a massive part, it’s also about the people. Whether you grow to like them or hate them more, you get to know them better.”
So, is Shaun any good at guessing whodunit?
“I am getting more used to working it out. But I’m actually more interested in how Endeavour makes the discovery - how the crime is solved, rather than who committed the crime and why. Endeavour uses his intuition and for me, it’s about those discoveries on the way. I think it is incredibly intellectual and that’s what makes it interesting.”
Why does Shaun think Endeavour is popular with audiences?
“Let’s face it, there are a lot of detective shows out there. I think it needs to be different and interesting – that’s what’s great about this particular character. Where else would you get a policeman who sings in a choir, who likes crosswords, went to Oxford, and is at the lower end of the police hierarchy? He’s an interesting character and an interesting human being. I think that’s what makes Endeavour unique.”
Being set in the 1960s also sets Endeavour apart from other crime drama.
“I’m delighted people like the history of it”, says Shaun. “It was a period of great cars, great costumes, great styles and great ideas. Also, women are starting to get much more of a voice and it’s a significant period of change in music.”
The Jaguar driven by Endeavour Morse has become an icon of the series and of that period in time. What’s it like?
“Fantastic. It smells of old leather. It’s a beautiful car, such a classic. If I had the opportunity I would take it home. It would probably break down, but it’s a beautiful motor and nice to drive.”