From the ITV Press Pack
Where do we find Endeavour in the first episode of the new series?
“When the new series starts, Endeavour is back in uniform and on his own out in the sticks. Following the dissolution of Oxford City Police, he’s been stationed in a one-horse town in the countryside. He’s fairly isolated as he’s the only policeman there, but I think he’s quite happy with that. He’s still mourning the death of George Fancy which took place at the end of the last series.”
Is Fancy’s death something that’s explored in the new series? And where do we find the other members of the team following the changes at the end of the last series?
“This series deals with the fallout of Fancy dying and not being able to get to the bottom of who it was that did it. It also deals with the dissolution of the force and it ending on such a sour note.
“In terms of the rest of the team, everyone has been cast to the four winds. Endeavour in the countryside, Thursday at the new Castle Gate station, Bright in the Traffic department and Strange in a new role as well. There’s a lot of change and we see the reaction to this change.
“Their relationships with one another are completely fractured though and the first film is about seeing where everyone has landed in the interim, and the team finding their way back together.”
We see that Endeavour is sporting a new look in this series. What was the thinking behind this?
“With a character you’ve played for a long time, it’s nice to have a change. As we’re now in 1969 and about to enter a new decade, it also marks the transition towards the 1970s. He’s moving with the times.”
You have taken on the challenge of directing a film this series. How did this come about and was it a challenge taking on this new role?
“I had been directing for a couple of years prior and it seemed like the next natural step. I had expressed an interest in doing it and it just felt like the right time, so I decided to give it a go.
“I directed the second film in the new series and I’m pleased to say that as it’s such an amazing team, it all went very smoothly. Everyone within the crew and the cast pulls together and does the best work they can.
“I suppose the only challenge was going on to make the other films. whilst still working on and editing the film I directed at the same time. It’s tricky when you’re trying to keep your mind in a few stories simultaneously, but pain is temporary and I loved doing it - it was an incredible experience.”
Was it hindrance or a help directing other cast and crew you’d known for so long?
“For me, it was definitely a help. I’ve had such a good working relationship with all of the team over the past few years that I had a good idea about what each of the people would need and what would be the best way for us to work.
“The great thing about it was that you don’t have those first few days of getting to know each other and trying to find a way to work together. You know from the first scene the best way to tell the story and they’re all incredibly professional and brilliant at their jobs so fortunately for me, there were no problems.”
The series once again alludes to some of the key historical moments that took place in 1969 such as the moon landing in the second film. What do you feel this brings to the drama?
“I think it’s just nice to be able to take things that have gone on - whether it be the World Cup, Wimbledon or indeed the moon landing - and place them into the series. Personally, I was delighted with including the moon landing as it’s so interesting and it allows you to think more epically about the story. Also, if you allow that to inform the style, it can be more visually interesting, which was useful for me directing that film.”
How would you describe the visual style of the second film which you directed?
“There’s a particular colour palette which I’ve used, which is sort of borrowed from the night sky and the idea of the moon. I wanted to explore the macro and the micro, so you have people going to the moon but at the same time, you have a marionette show. You have something massive and awesome which is epic, and then the reality in the meantime - or the reality that we’re trying to create. There’s something about that which I find really interesting and it gives it a bit of breadth and size, I think.”
We’re now on the sixth series. How do you feel the character of Endeavour has evolved over this time and where do you see him going?
“In terms of evolution, I think one of the most monumental things we achieve this series is that we see Endeavour buy his own place in Oxford and it’ll be the same place that the later character of Morse (played by John Thaw) lives in. That, I think, is incredibly significant as it shows he’s committed to staying there, whereas in the past he’s been uncertain as to whether he should stay or go. That indecision has gone now, and it’s quite concrete that he’s settled there.”