Set in the 1960s, the show follows Endeavour Morse in his early years as a police constable. Working alongside his senior partner DI Fred Thursday, Morse engages in a number of investigations around Oxford.
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Series 1 follows the early police career of young Endeavour Morse, who upon leaving his Oxford College without a degree, spending time in the Royal Signal Corps., and eventually joining the Oxfordshire Police, is transferred to CID, attaining the rank of Detective Constable. Originally starting out his career at Carshall-Newtown Police, Morse transfers to the Oxford City Police in 1965 following a murder investigation during the pilot episode. While with the Oxford City Police, Morse is taken under the wing of veteran Detective Inspector Fred Thursday. Inspector Thursday names Morse his designated "bag man" and shows him the ropes as Morse begins to solve a string of complex murders, much to the envy and annoyance of some of his superiors, particularly Detective Sergeant Jakes and Chief Superintendent Bright. Thursday and Morse's fellow officer, Police Constable Strange, try to steer the young Endeavour into taking his Sergeant's exam, so that he may be relieved of "General Duties" ...Written by
Great entertainment that deserves to be judged by its own merits
Considering that detective procedurals populate the British television landscape perhaps more than any other genre, one might lament at the prospect of not only another crime drama, but a prequel to one of the most beloved shows, mystery or otherwise, to ever grace the small screen, Inspector Morse. Those who might dismiss Endeavour as just another generic addition to an already overcrowded marketplace, however, would be making a grievous error.
The year is 1965 and an eccentric young Detective Constable, Endeavour Morse (Shaun Evans), is making waves at the Oxford City Police with not only his unorthodox but brilliant methods of deduction, but for his refusal to tow the line in order to please the upper echelons of both the Force and society. Under the steadfast guidance of the seasoned and similarly incorruptible, Fred Thursday (Roger Allam), Morse finds himself embroiled in a number of complex cases that expose him to the darker side of life and human nature.
Although the series will naturally draw comparisons to its popular predecessor, thanks to the show's gripping narratives, vibrant swinging sixties backdrop and perfect blend of light and dark overtones, Endeavour is easily able to distinguish itself by its own considerable merits.
Much of the show's success can be attributed to the ingenious casting of Evans, who puts his own unique stamp on the iconic role. Of course there are parallels to the world weary DI so expertly embodied by John Thaw, but Evans wisely avoids imitation, as the twenty-year age difference between the two interpretations allows the actor to create something fresh. The addition of the character of Fred Thursday is inspired. The street wise, war veteran is the perfect mentor for the idealistic Morse and their relationship is one of the highlights of the series. Fantastic entertainment on every level!
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