How Colin Dexter changed the face of crime fiction

Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse novels began a boomtime in crime fiction on television and in bookshops – and we are still feeling its effects

“Game-changer” is a word Colin Dexter, who died this week, would almost certainly have loathed. But it exactly describes what Dexter himself was, via TV’s Inspector Morse. Though it might seem his legacy is limited to a handful of novels, it is actually far larger than that: publishers’ insatiable enthusiasm today for crime fiction, the shelf space bookshops now allocate to it, the number of writers making a living from it.

Related: Colin Dexter obituary

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

I’ve got to the bottom of motorists’ ‘aggression’ to older cyclists | Brief letters

Colin Dexter | Cycling septuagenarians | England v Wales | Cartoonists | Anent revival

Your report of the death of Colin Dexter (22 March) mentions that he shared Morse’s love of music, but not their shared passion for cryptic crosswords. Dexter was a frequent winner of the Observer’s Ximenes/Azed clue-writing competition, and named his detectives after two others, Sir Jeremy Morse and Mrs B Lewis (a pseudonym). In Last Bus to Woodstock, the characters are given the names of other winners, including – in an appropriately very minor role – me.

Colin Westbrook

Newport, Gwent

• I wonder if Margaret Squires (Letters, 22 March) isn’t mistaking admiration for aggression. We snowy-locked septuagenarians know that decades of cycling give us well-honed bums.

Christine Hawkes


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Colin Dexter: the writer who brought novel ideas to television

TV took the Inspector Morse stories of the late Colin Dexter into the homes of millions – and he wasn’t the only novelist to bathe in the glow of the small screen

The death of Colin Dexter has rightly brought tributes from the literary community, but the writer also has a very special place in the history of television. Apart from Charles Dickens – whose use of the serial format and exaggerated characters anticipated the demands of popular TV drama – Dexter is the novelist who has had most individual impact on the medium’s fiction output.

Related: Colin Dexter: a mischievous, generous man every bit as clever as his creations

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

‘Inspector Morse’ Creator Colin Dexter Dies at 86

Author Colin Dexter, whose novels spawned the successful crime-drama series “Inspector Morse,” died Tuesday at his home in Oxford, England. He was 86.

His 13 “Morse” novels were adapted for the series starring John Thaw, which aired on broadcaster ITV in the U.K. and was distributed across the world. Dexter’s publisher announced the news in a statement on Tuesday: “With immense sadness, MacMillan announces the death of Colin Dexter, who died peacefully at his home in Oxford this morning.”

Kevin Whately, who played Morse’s sidekick Lewis in the series, described Dexter as “impish and bubbly and always fascinated with everybody and everything,” the BBC reported.

Kevin Lygo, director of television at ITV, said “Inspector Morse” was “one of the nation’s best-loved shows,” and Thaw’s “irascible detective with a love for crosswords, real ale, and classical music” was one of the most popular characters of all time.

“Through 33 feature-length stories, the
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Colin Dexter obituary

Crime writer who created the deep-thinking Oxford detective Inspector Morse

Though he thought of himself primarily as a school teacher, Colin Dexter will be remembered as the crime writer who created the curmudgeonly but entertaining Inspector Morse. Morse, the beer, crossword and Wagner-loving detective who drives a vintage Jaguar around Oxford, solves murders by deep thinking, often about chance remarks made by his sidekick, Sergeant Lewis.

Dexter, who has died aged 86, claimed that he was no writer, but could revise his “bad starts” into something that worked. The formula was certainly a success for some dozen Morse novels and many original scripts for television, the medium that delivered the doings of the idiosyncratic Morse to an audience across 50 countries. “I just started writing and forced myself to keep going,” he said. “And it’s been the same ever since.”

Related: Crossword blog: Colin Dexter's life in five clues

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Endeavour series 4 episode 1 review: Game

Gem Wheeler Jan 10, 2017

Morse prequel Endeavour returns to ITV with what promises to be a richly rewarding fourth series...

This review contains spoilers.

See related Legion: Marvel shares cryptic logo for X-Men series What can Fox learn from the previous X-Men TV series? 50 upcoming comic book TV shows, and when to expect them New TV 2016: 28 Us shows for this autumn

4.1 Game

It’s the summer of 1967, and we rejoin Endeavour Morse and his colleagues only a fortnight after the dramatic events of series three’s finale. The aftermath of that episode’s bank robbery casts a long shadow over Game. Joan Thursday, traumatised by her experience as a hostage, has abruptly departed Oxford for pastures new, leaving her parents bereft. For Morse, who’d realised his love for her too late, the suffering’s just as acute. He gets no comfort from Fred Thursday, who’s sunk into a
See full article at Den of Geek »

Endeavour: Morse prequel renewed for series four

  • Den of Geek



Inspector Morse prequel, Endeavour, will return to ITV for a fourth series, due to start filming in Spring 2016...

In the wake of its ratings-hit third run, sixties-set Inspector Morse prequel, Endeavour has been renewed for a fourth series.

ITV will welcome Shaun Evans back to the role of the young Endeavour Morse for series four, alongside co-star Roger Allam as Detective Inspector Fred Thursday, and more from the Cowley Police Station team.

The new series, set in 1967, is due to go into production on location in Oxford in late Spring of this year, with Endeavour creator and Inspector Morse writer, Russell Lewis, back on scripting duties. Morse novelist, Colin Dexter, will remain a consultant on the series.

Find our series two and three Endeavour reviews here, and see if you agree with our pick of the top ten episodes of the series that started it all, Inspector Morse,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Inspector Morse 30th anniversary: the top 10 episodes

  • Den of Geek
Gem Wheeler Jan 10, 2017

To mark 30 years of Inspector Morse on television, here are 10 of his most complex, macabre and memorable cases...

Warning: contains spoilers.

See related Legion: Marvel shares cryptic logo for X-Men series What can Fox learn from the previous X-Men TV series? 50 upcoming comic book TV shows, and when to expect them New TV 2016: 28 Us shows for this autumn

Beer, Wagner, a red Jaguar, and Barrington Pheloung’s haunting theme. Those images conjure up one of the most memorable characters in British television. Inspector Morse’s final episode aired in the UK over fifteen years ago, yet the impression left by the hugely popular drama remains indelible. Its popular spinoff, Lewis, finished only two years ago after nine successful series, while a prequel, Endeavour, has just started to air its fourth run. The appeal of Morse and his Oxford is clearly as strong as ever.

Inspector Morse
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Skins star Dakota Blue Richards will be a regular in ITV's Endeavour

Dakota Blue Richards has joined the cast of ITV's Endeavour as a regular character.

The former Skins and Golden Compass star will play Wpc Shirley Trewlove in the Inspector Morse prequel series opposite Shaun Evans as the title character.

Trewlove is described as a "thorough, determined and forthright" officer, who becomes a valuable member of the force and attracts the admiration of Endeavour.

Creator Russell Lewis said of the character: "Bright, capable and brave, Wpc Shirley Trewlove is a very welcome addition to the ranks of Oxford's Finest. While very much a young woman of the 1960s, Trewlove also evokes a very particular kind of timeless British heroine.

"The sort of clear-eyed, resourceful young woman one wouldn't be surprised to find behind the wheel of the ambulance in Ice Cold in Alex or keeping Robert Donat company across the moors in The 39 Steps. In Dakota we have found our perfect Trewlove.
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Endeavour to return for third series on ITV

Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour will return for a third series on ITV.

Again written by Lewis creator and Inspector Morse writer Russell Lewis, the show will pick up from series two's cliffhanger which saw Endeavour Morse framed for a murder he did not commit, and Di Fred Thursday being shot in the chest.

"I'm really excited to be revisiting the '60's as young Morse," said star Shaun Evans.

"The audience reaction to Endeavour has been fantastic and this series promises to be the best we've made so far. It'll be well worth the wait!"

Creator Lewis added: "Endeavour '67... Pepper - Piper - Purple Haze...

"As 'Oxford's finest' encounter friends and foes both old and new, our next quartet of mysteries will take the audience on a psychedelic Summer of Love fairground ride, filled with twists and turns, shrieks and scares. For something wicked this way comes..."

Director of
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Fresh Meat, Dallas, Under the Dome: Tube Talk Q&A

So apparently summer's over for another year - but there's no need to stand outside brooding in the wet weather like a moody, mercurial TV anti-hero!

Come indoors, settle down in front of the telly and watch some cracking shows - the Tube Talk Q&A is back with all the latest scoop on when and where you can expect to see your favourite TV programmes.

Have any of the new season shows been picked up yet? Digital Spy used to have a planner which highlighted what had been picked up and by whom.

...and now we do again!

Yes, the Us TV Acquisitions scorecard is back and revamped for the 2014-15 television season. It's early days, so the whole thing's pretty much a sea of red right now, but that'll change as more and more UK channels announce which fresh Yank hits they'll be airing.

For the record, right
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Endeavour series 2 episode 1 review: Trove

  • Den of Geek
Review Gem Wheeler 1 Apr 2014 - 07:00

The new series of Endeavour maintains the tricky balance between satisfying Morse fans and drawing in new viewers...

This review contains spoilers.

2.1 Trove

Behind each of the cases solved by the young Endeavour Morse in 1960s Oxford lies a bigger mystery, one that taxes the audience’s puzzle-solving skills even as the detective remains blissfully unaware of the need to crack it. It is, of course, the enigma of Morse himself. John Thaw’s iconic portrayal of Colin Dexter’s dour, embittered yet thoroughly decent detective needs no real introduction, but Morse’s past exists for us only in outline: a broken engagement, a difficult Oxford career, an abiding resentment of the top brass who obstructed him at every turn.

Endeavour’s first series established Shaun Evans as a fine Morse, well able to capture the character’s established idiosyncrasies while making the role his own.
See full article at Den of Geek »

What to Watch: Tonight's TV Picks - Endeavour, The Crimson Field

Endeavour: ITV, 8pm

This week's case concerns a murder of a woman in her own home, a lady strangled with a pair of stockings - the third such incident in recent weeks. Oxford City police are on edge and under a thick fog, as they take an interest in a local department store. Di Thursday reveals a skeleton in his closet, when an Italian lady working in the hosiery department recognises him as "Fredo".

No married woman is safe, and there are more emotional struggles for Morse and Thursday as they narrow down the suspects. Colin Dexter, the author of the Morse novels, makes a cameo appearance.

Dirty Weekenders in France with Richard E Grant: Channel 4, 8pm

Richard E Grant explores his love for spending weekends scouring France for old antiques. He harbours an "insatiable desire for beaten-up old stuff", and often takes weekends away in France,
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

No one else should play Inspector Morse, says his creator Colin Dexter

First there was John Thaw, then there was young Shaun Evans. Now there must never be anyone else to take on the role of the detective, stipulates a clause in the writer's will

Name: Inspector Endeavour Morse.

Age: Deceased.

Appearance: Either old, grey-haired and cerebral or young, blondish and slightly less cerebral.

Nothing in between? Nope. Nothing at all. When Inspector Morse was in his late 20s, he looked a lot like the actor Shaun Evans. Then he vanished for a couple of decades, came back looking a lot like John Thaw and then he died.

What about the missing years? We'll never find out. Creator Colin Dexter has made it as clear as possible that Evans, star of the 60s-set ITV prequel series Endeavour, will be the last actor ever to play Morse.

How has he managed that? By writing a clause in his will forbidding anyone else from playing the detective.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Endeavour, Ep. 1.1 and 1.2, “Girl” and “Fugue”: Family ties and the singing detective

Endeavour, Season 1, Episode 1: “Girl”

Written by Russel Lewis

Directed by Ed Bazalgette

Endeavour, Season 1, Episode 2: “Fugue”

Written by Russell Lewis

Directed by Tom Vaughan

Airs Sundays at 9pm (Et) on PBS

Television is flush with mysteries, quirky detectives who don’t play nice with authority, and period dramas. So how is that a show which mixes all three of these themes works so exceptionally well? For one thing Endeavour takes a beloved character, cranky opera loving Detective Inspector Endeavour Morse (Shaun Evans), and imagines him as a young handsome, brilliant but sometimes sullen character that’s frequently squeamish at crime scenes.

Based on a series of books by Colin Dexter it is a prequel to the wildly popular long running Inspector Morse series. After a successful one episode run that aired in 2012 the series was commissioned for a first season currently airing on PBS’ Masterpiece Mystery for the next four weeks.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

ITV Orders Four More ‘Endeavour’ Movies

  • Deadline TV
From Downton Abbey to Mr. Selfridge to Broadchurch, the UK’s ITV has been enjoying a successful run of original drama series. Looking to continue the trend, the network has just ordered a second four-part outing for Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour, starring Shaun Evans and Roger Allam. A feature-length first episode of the crime drama debuted on ITV in 2012 and was co-produced by Masterpiece in the U.S. The film was one of ITV’s highest performing dramas of the year. A first four-part series then aired in 2013 and consistently won its time slot for ITV, averaging 7M viewers and a 25% share. The new series will be a quartet of 120 minute films set in 1966. Evans plays a young Morse and Allam is Detective Inspector Fred Thursday. Russell Lewis writes the series and novelist Colin Dexter, who created Morse, is a consultant to producers Mammoth Screen. Lewis will also exec produce
See full article at Deadline TV »

'Endeavour' gets second series from ITV

Shaun Evans will be returning for a second series of Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour, it has been confirmed.

Evans took on the role of young Morse in a feature-length special in 2012 and was a ratings hit. The first full series aired earlier this year and regularly drew over 5 million viewers.

Shaun Evans stars alongside Roger Allam (The Thick of It, Parade's End), who plays Detective Inspector Fred Thursday.

ITV's director of drama commissioning Steve November said: "The audience's response to the classic crime partnership of Endeavour and Thursday has been incredible and we're thrilled at the prospect of more Endeavour stories written by Russell Lewis and produced by Mammoth Screen."

Series two will start production in Oxford later this year. The second run will feature four 120-minute episodes.

"We're truly delighted by the audience's reaction to the first quartet of Endeavour stories, and very grateful to ITV for the opportunity to further embellish the legend,
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Catch-up TV guide: from Doctor Who to Daft Punk

Doctor Who | 12 Year Old Lifer | Lost Girl | Endeavour | From Our Own Correspondent | Daft Punk – Random Access Memories: The Collaborators

TV: Doctor Who

Part two of series seven (or series 33, depending on your stance on Time Lord chronology) has been a typically genre-mashing affair, flitting between period drama, cold war intrigue and haunted house horror. It's all up on iPlayer, while the series finale, featuring creepy new villains The Whisper Men, airs next weekend. After that, a lengthy wait for November's much-hyped 50th anniversary special.

BBC iPlayer

TV: 12 Year Old Lifer

As the NRA continues to frame the gun control debate as a matter of "good guys" versus "bad guys", this feature-length documentary offers a more complex human perspective. In 2010, two Indiana teens, Paul Gingerich, 12, and his 15-year old friend Colt Lundy, shot dead Lundy's stepfather. The two were tried as adults: both will serve 30 years. The pair speak candidly about the crime and its aftermath.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Lewis – Series 7 DVD review

  • HeyUGuys
Lewis is the original spin-off from the original Inspector Morse detective series which first appeared on UK TV sets in 1987 and starred John Thaw as the complicated and often unconventional detective. After a very successful run the series ended in 2000 with the demise of Inspector Morse in “The Remorseful Day” and that was sadly followed by the death of John Thaw who played the opera-loving detective two years later.

Morse’s legacy was too strong to fade entirely though and the pilot for Lewis hit TV screens in 2006 and this latest series is the seventh and quite possibly final one, depending on which news source or interview you choose to believe.

For my part I’m a dedicated Morseophile and as I write this my DVD collection of the entire Morse episodes plus all of the original Colin Dexter books sits comfortingly on the shelf across the room. By my reckoning it would be difficult,
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Why has ITV reduced Lewis to shorter, split timeslots?

It's a recurrent problem for television drama that duration is dictated by factors other than content. There is simply no room for a two-hour Lewis

The documents on the desks of TV commissioners often resemble a child's multiplication primer, with pages covered in lists of sums such as 6 x 15, 1 x 30, 3 x 45 and so on. These calculations – in which the smaller number refers to the number of episodes and the larger one to the length of the timeslot – reflect a crucial aspect of television fiction. Novelists can broadly decide how long their stories will take to tell; screenwriters generally begin with an artificial target.

In this respect, Detective Inspector Robert Lewis, once half of a celebrated TV double-act with Dci Endeavour Morse, has himself recently been halved. The latest series of the former sidekick's solo show, Lewis (Mondays, ITV, 9pm), has seen each storyline reduced from slots of 1 x 120 to 2 x
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »
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