There’s right and there’s wrong, I know which side I’m on.

If you’ve never seen Inspector Morse (1987-2000), then you’ve been depriving yourself of one of the best detective mysteries of all time.  The John Thaw and Kevin Whately duo lasted for years and provided consistent enjoyment.  Sure, there was formula–rule number one is never trust the woman Morse is falling for–but that’s bound to happen in any series.

A young girl has gone missing in Oxford.  Understaffed, DC Morse (Shaun Evans), among others, come in to help out.  But Morse is a little wary to come back because of his history in the place.  Still, he’s stuck and he’s going to make the most of his brain and gets to solving.  He’s a bit of an obsessive about this case and comes across the grand soprano (Flora Montgomery), her professor husband (Richard Lintern), the corpse of a young man (Harry Kershaw), a sleazy government minister (Patrick Malahide), and even the medical examiner Max (James Bradshaw).  Along the way, Morse finds himself under the wing of DI Thursday (Roger Allam).  But there’s only one question, who done it?

If I have one complaint about Endeavour (2012), it’s that Morse never says, “The name’s Morse, just Morse.”  If I have two complaints about Endeavour, the other is that his old college bud doesn’t call him Pagan.  I guess I could probably have more complaints, but I think I’ll just be pleased with the solid mystery Endeavour provides with enough Morse-isms–Morsels, hahaha–to please the fans.

I for one was pleased at the appearance of Max and Morse’s well-remembered dislike of blood.  I was less pleased with his aversion to alcohol.  That one is a pretty serious stretch.  I thought it might be a part of a larger story line, but there is no confirmation of a continuation of the series.  There is also a slightly irritating reference to Morse’s history with a certain young woman but with nearly zero clues.  I imagine that those new to Morse might find that pointless.

If you’ve seen Inspector Morse, you’ll know some of the formula.  First, Morse gets it very wrong.  Then he gets it slightly wrong.  Then he gets it right and yet things don’t often go to trial.  There’s also Morse’s attraction to women of a certain age–he’s got a type.  Well, this story keeps to the formula.  That’s a good thing.

The performance of the young Morse alternates between an impression of John Thaw and something quite different.  His accent is far more common and he is nowhere near as pompous.  I miss the pompous Morse.  But Evans provides a sound performance of the character, or a character, very much worth watching.  If given the opportunity, I think he’ll be able to show as much range as Thaw did.  There’s talk of the series going forward and I look forward to it.  (It did.)

But the very best part is this (at 0:42).

About Prof. Ratigan

A semi-lawyer and amateur enthusiast.
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2 Responses to Endeavour

  1. 2manybooks says:

    The aversion to alcohol might work in the evolution of the character: young, idealistic, the job/mental gymnastics are fulfillment enough. Years of solving crimes that don’t go to trial might well bring on the (numbing) necessity of drinking. His Holmes-like isolation – without the benefit of a Watson to keep the demons at bay- and the “never trust the woman Morse is falling for” factor probably don’t help either. Sounds like an interesting series. Will have to check it out.

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