DAILY REPUBLIC Solano County’s News Source
By Tribune Content Agency
The persistent Det. Constable Morse has returned to “Masterpiece Mystery” on PBS, where the indefatigable cop is on the hunt for a serial killer. The show, “Endeavour,” is entering its fifth season. It’s the prequel to “Inspector Morse,” which ran for several years on PBS and was cut short by the death of its star.
Shaun Evans has taken over the role as the young Morse. Evans says the thing about “Endeavour” that fascinated him was the story. He’d read the books, he says. “I really like stories. I like people who tell stories, like the stories we tell about ourselves as well. I’ve always been surrounded — my family’s from the north of Ireland — and they’re great storytellers and I like the whole thing. It kind of excites me. So I wouldn’t even limit it to acting. I like books, films, TV. I like the ideas behind stories, so it’s kind of primal in a way. If you think about a father sitting around a campfire telling stories, there’s something about it that’s just amazing.”
Casualty episodes #32.35 and #32.36, directed by Shaun Evans, will air on 19th May and 26th May 2018, on BBC One, in the UK.
by Keith Watson for METRO
The actor, 37, on the melancholy of playing the young Morse in Endeavour, why he’d be good at general knowledge and dealing with gore directing Casualty
How would you sum up Endeavour’s personality? I heard the phrase ‘an ineffable melancholy’ the other day and that seemed a perfect fit…
That’s really strange because I read that phrase just the other day too — in a Paul Auster book, I think. Where did you hear it?
Bizarrely, in a documentary about early Bee Gees lyrics.
Oh… that’s curious. I’d say I think the melancholy is really Endeavour’s way of responding to life — all the s***ty things that happen in the job that he does and all the minutiae he has to deal with on a daily basis. So is it a good way to describe him? I could give you a really long answer but… ‘an ineffable melancholy’? Yes, let’s go with that.
Endeavour haunts the dreaming spires of Oxford. Were you ever tempted by the academic life?
Not really. I don’t think an academic life would have suited me. It can feel quite restrictive, in a way — you have to have the right type of personality. I like a bit of mental chaos.
You must pick up a lot of Endeavour’s knowledge of the classics. How would you get on in Celebrity Mastermind?
I’d really struggle because I’m a jack of all trades and a master of none, so I’d have absolutely no chance with a specialist subject. One of the things I most enjoy about my job is that you get to learn a little about a lot of different things, so I reckon I’d have a good crack when it came to the general knowledge round.
There are some pretty graphic murder images in Endeavour. Anything turn your stomach?
No, I don’t mind all that. I used to read all the Stephen King novels when I was younger, so I’ve got a pretty strong stomach for all that. I’m working on Casualty as a director at the moment and on the set there you’re having to do things like push bits of intestine, muscle and guts back into stomachs — all kinds of gruesome stuff like that. It’s actually a pretty funny thing to do, you can’t let it bother you.
How did you wind up going behind the camera?
Well, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. I’d wanted to try my hand at it for quite a while and a friend knew they [the team at Casualty] were looking and he put me in touch with them.
It’s an unusual route to get into directing. Hadn’t you thought of doing your own indie film?
That’s a plan for the future. I’ve always been interested in doing as many different things. I want to learn as much as I can about storytelling and whether that’s on stage or television, it’s about being part of a team. With Casualty there’s no better place to learn than with a team that knows the job inside out. And in contrast to an indie film, with Casualty you know a big audience is going to see it on Saturday night TV.
Which directors inspire you?
All the usual suspects, I guess. I do really admire Hungarian director István Szabó. But actually I’ve been influenced most by working with the directors on Endeavour. It’s the people I work with that I find the most inspiring.
There’s a strong sense of time passing in Endeavour. Does that make you pause and reflect?
It’s a really essential part of what we’re doing and what’s going on — we keep coming back to that when we talk about each series. The way the politics of the time is reflected on one level, then on a personal level for the characters, there’s inevitably the feeling of life passing by, of missed opportunities. How we reflect that is always an ongoing conversation when we come to make a new series.
Do you think about the end of Endeavour? At some point we’ll get to the Doctor Who moment when Endeavour morphs into Inspector Morse…
Yes, there’s no sense of jeopardy with Endeavour to that extent — we know where things are heading.
Do you look forward to that moment with anticipation or sadness?
It doesn’t make me feel sad because I know I’ve been incredibly lucky to have been allowed to be a part of this. So there’s no sense of regret or anything like that. I feel grateful for the opportunity for as long as it lasts.
by Reece Goodall - The Boar
The fifth season of Endeavour has now come to a close, and it has been a phenomenal run of television, mixing compelling characters with engaging plots. ‘Icarus’ continues that run, offering an interesting case and a lot of emotional heft, delivering on the series’ plot threads and wrapping up on a note that means the recently-commissioned sixth season can’t come soon enough.
Morse is sent on an undercover assignment to Coldwater, a forbidding boys’ public school, with WPC Trewlove acting as his wife. His mission is to discover what happened to the man he replaced, a teacher named James Ivory, who has vanished without a trace, a case that has attracted Superintendent Bright’s attention after the mysterious death of the former investigating DI. As Morse begins to unravel the school’s secrets, the rest of the force has other things on its mind. The police station is soon to be closed, and Thursday is still thinking about retirement – his hopes of bringing down Eddie Nero and Cromwell Ames may not be realised quite as he’d hoped, however, as a tragedy rocks the station.
There was so much packed into ‘Icarus’ that it’s hard to know where to start. The case this episode is a strong one, pitting Morse against some typically unpleasant students, and his sense of decency takes somewhat of a pummelling. The staff are not particularly helpful, save the gentle Mr Bodnar (Andrew Buckley), and it soon transpires that Coldwater may not be the best place for helping fashion these young boys into men. It’s an interesting and twisty case, but it’s not really where the focus of ‘Icarus’ lies.
The Thursday plotline really came to a head this week. In perhaps the most unsurprising plot occurrence ever, Phil Daniels returned as Charlie and revealed that he had lost all of Fred’s investment money from earlier in the series. It also transpires that Charlie was pushed by the lowlifes he owed money to to use his business as a front for fraud, effectively casting a shadow over Fred for the rest of his life. When he breaks the news to Win, she is furious and leaves him – only a reconciliation with Joan helps raise his spirits as he realises his career will have to be a lot longer than he’d hoped.
The Eddie Nero-Cromwell Ames clash also hit breaking point in ‘Icarus’ – Thursday and Strange manage to track down Ames and arrest him, but they’ve nothing to hold him on. They warn Nero and Ames against doing anything rash, but neither man listens, culminating in a gunfight at Nero’s bar between two rival gangs. Although the spectre of Nero has rocked up throughout the series, Ames has been a bit of an under-developed presence – for him to be dispatched so quickly was a bit of a shame, and meant his supposed threat never really materialised.
This clash had another, more tragic element to it (spoiler alert) – after having to release Ames, Thursday gets Fancy to follow him. Fancy calls in Ames’ arrival at the bar but, when the police arrive to stop it, they find that Fancy is among the dead. Earlier in the episode, Fancy is unhappy with Morse and Trewlove’s masquerade – we see him buying a ring for her – only to be told by Morse to grow up and concentrate on his police work. This is a rebuke that he soon regrets. Fancy’s death also sets up one of the series’ lingering plot threads, as Dr DeBryn tells Morse that the bullets do not match any of the guns at the crime scene – someone else killed Fancy, and the force are determined to find out who. Trewlove, meanwhile, puts in a transfer request – it will be a shame to say goodbye to Richards, who has frequently been the only person on par with Morse.
‘Icarus’ is a strong end to a very strong series of Endeavour – we have a case, but the emotional heft is what carries this episode. It really speaks to the incredible scripts and the top-quality acting (Shaun Evans and Roger Allam have been amazing leads) that we care so much about these characters and what will happen to them. The sixth season cannot come soon enough.
ITV Press Centre
ITV recommissions hit detective drama, Endeavour
ITV has commissioned a sixth series of hugely popular detective drama, Endeavour, following successful ratings and critical acclaim for the fifth series.
Produced by leading indie Mammoth Screen, the smart and savvy Inspector Morse prequel charts the career of Endeavour Morse as he rises up through the ranks, with each feature-length film investigating a new intricately plotted case.
The new set of films will see Shaun Evans reprise his titular role as DS Endeavour Morse, and celebrated stage and screen actor Roger Allam return as mentor DI Fred Thursday. Each story will be written by Russell Lewis, who contributed to Inspector Morse and has written each of the 23 Endeavour screenplays so far.
Receiving praise from critics and viewers alike, the drama has gone from strength to strength since its first outing as a one-off film in 2012 to mark the 25th anniversary of Inspector Morse on ITV. The latest series launched with consolidated figures of 6.7m and 25% a share, with the consolidated figures for the first four films the highest for three years.
Filmed in and around Oxford, the new set of films will be set in 1969 and go into production later this year for transmission in 2019. Mammoth Screen’s Damien Timmer executive produces, alongside writer and creator Russell Lewis and WGBH’s Rebecca Eaton. Deanne Cunningham (Cold Feet) will produce the new series.
Creator, Russell Lewis said: “As our story reaches the last year of the 1960s, and mankind makes its giant leap, all at #TeamEndeavour look forward to exploring further early chapters in the casebook of Colin Dexter’s beloved creation.”
ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill added: “Endeavour continues to be hugely popular with ITV audiences and we’re delighted to be bringing viewers more films to enjoy. Thanks to Russell Lewis’s consistently intriguing scripts and the excellent production values at Mammoth Screen, it is a high quality drama that ITV is immensely proud of.”
ITV Studios Global Entertainment distribute the drama internationally.