There are big changes in store for the Oxford City Force when ITV's Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour returns this week, with the police team facing a threat to its future.
The six-part series, this stime set in 1968, sees the force merged into the Thames Valley Constabulary, which brings about uncertain times for both the newly promoted DS Endeavour Morse (Shaun Evans) and his boss DCI Fred Thursday (Roger Allam).
'This merger is the end of an era', says Evans. 'Some of the older generation don't know if these are going to be their last cases and we each end up with a letter saying where we are going to be posted. We could all be scattered to the four winds and it's like the carpet has been pulled from under us.
As Endeavour and Thursday contemplate their futures, they also deal with a range of explosive cases, beginning with the attempted theft of a Fabergé egg and a brutal series of murders. Adding to Endeavour's woes is the prospect of mentoring cocky rookie DC George Fancy (Poldark's Lewis Peek).
'He is initially disappointed that things haven't changed now he is a sergeant, so at first he deals belligerently with being a mentor', explains Evans. 'He eventually decides to make sure George is the very best he can be, and he is a pretty tough taskmaster.'
The detective is also pining after Thursday's daughter Joan (Sara Vickers), who has recently returned to Oxford. Meanwhile, there is a new addition to the Thursday clan in the form of Fred's brother Charlie, played by Phil Daniels.
'Charlie owns a warehouse and does some important import and export, and he needs help financially from Fred. They have a good relationship... to begin with', smiles Allam, who was thrilled to reunite with Daniels.
'We were together about 30 years ago at the Royal Shakespeare Company. He was in the flat above me so I've known him a long time.'
After six years in the roles, both Evans and Allam have forged a strong bond and admit that when the time comes to hand in the keys to their trusty Jaguar, it will be a decision they make together.
BOND OF BROTHERS
'I don't think I would have done the show without Shaun', admits Allam. 'We keep each other sane and manage to be serious about things, but we also have a lot of fun. Shaun keeps up this wonderful energy and he is just incredibly courteous to everyone, and that is really lovely to be around'.