The Inspector Morse prequel returns next week
DIGITAL SPY: BY JO BERRY AND JUSTIN HARP
Morse is back on the case for more new Endeavour episodes beginning next week – but it will be a quick trip back to screens this time.
ITV renewed the Inspector Morse prequel for a sixth season shortly after its extended fifth wrapped up with the shocking murder of Detective Constable George Fancy last spring, except this new run will move back down to four episodes as in the show's early years.
Digital Spy recently chatted exclusively to Endeavour star Shaun Evans and creator Russell Lewis about why it was more feasible to have the smaller episode count moving forward.
"It’s particularly taxing on the crew and on members of the cast as well," Evans explained. "The danger being that it becomes 'just a job'.
"It’s something that… you want it to feel special, and not for standards to slip. Rather than: 'God, we have to make another two after this'."
Lewis added: "I loved doing six. It was lovely to have a slightly bigger canvas to paint on. You could develop things slightly more across 12 hours. But it was a big ask of all the team to do those six. I mean, it took us pretty much the year to get them done.
"I think for Shaun and Roger [Allam], they like to be doing other things as well – as much as they love it – just to stretch themselves, and take time out. They like to be able to do other things, so that kind of dictated why we’re doing four this year, rather than six."
But don't worry about missing out on anything with a smaller episode count! Endeavour is planning to pack even more tension into the four episodes as the murder of George Fancy hangs over Morse's head.
"It certainly is a factor in the four films. It’s bubbling under," Lewis teased. "It’s there, and I think it’s that which informs where they all are as we begin this round with Endeavour and Thursday and Bright and Strange. Because it’s eight months on. It’s a long time after it happened.
"And it’s just exploring what that has done to all of those guys, and those that care for him, in different ways, really. When we got to the end of the last series with George’s death, that felt like an act two curtain, really. So we are now firmly in act three of our story."
Evans added: "Every character is in a very different place now. So Thursday and Bright and Strange and Morse... you get to see them really out of their comfort zone, and slightly humiliated, both in the workplace and then – for Thursday and for Bright as well – personal humiliations, or personal tragedies which they have to deal with.
"Which I think is good and interesting for them. And also just puts us in a new place. It makes us all interact in a different way, and interact with our jobs in a different way."
Endeavour series six begins Sunday, February 10 at 8pm on ITV.