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ITV has commissioned a full series of Morse prequel Endeavour with new 4 x 120 film episodes, after the huge success of the one off episode shown in January which got 8.2m in the ratings.

Shaun Evans (The Take, Come Rain Come Shine) will reprise the role of young Morse after winning over critics and viewers alike with thousands on twitter praising the production and Shaun’s performance. Acclaimed stage and screen actor Roger Allam (The Iron Lady, The Jury, The Thick of it) will return as Endeavour’s senior partner, Detective Inspector Fred Thursday.

James Bradshaw will return as Dr Max Debryn and John Thaw’s daughter Abigail will make further guest appearances as Dorothea Frazil.

“It was fantastic that the audience responded so warmly to Endeavour,” said ITV’s Drama Commissioning Sally Haynes. “Shaun’s portrayal of a legendary character was captivating and Endeavour thoroughly deserves a series – there’s so much more we can do with the character,” she added.

Endeavour will return with a series written by Lewis creator and Morse writer Russell Lewis (Murphy’s Law, Sharpe, Kavanagh QC). Acclaimed novelist Colin Dextor, whose first Morse story was published in 1975, will act as consultant for the series.

Mammoth Screen’s Joint Managing Directors, Michele Buck and Damien Timmer commented: “We’re delighted to be making a series of Endeavour and have been overwhelmed by the reaction to the first film,” said Damien.  “Russell Lewis has some bold plans to further enrich the mythology of Morse, introducing some significant new characters, and re-establishing some old favourites, all of whom are destined to have a massive impact on the future inspector’s life.”

“It’s important to us that Colin is across every aspect of Endeavour,” said Michele. “We value and respect his contribution enormously,” she added. “We’ve been delighted by the success of the one-off film and look forward to revealing more about the legendary detective,” she added

The new series of Endeavour will be produced by Dan McCulloch and executive produced by Mammoth Screen’s with filming on location in Oxford beginning late summer for 16 weeks.