5 4 mins 11 yrs

Endeavour faced with a royally explosive case


There are few things which keep us up late on a Sunday night, since most of us are caught between the excitement of the weekend and the dreaded Monday morning. And there are few things which leave me almost speechless but Endeavour aka Baby Morse did it again. From the opening note of Verdi’s Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, I was held captive. Jenny Seagrove and Martin Jarvis head up the Brooms family who run a missile factory. When a worker is murdered on the premises during a royal visit, Chief Superintendent Bright wants the case resolved quickly and without involving the Palace. Of course with Endeavour on the team, still on general duties mind but never far from the middle of trouble, the evidence leads him to believe it is far from an open and shut case.

Endeavour remains an outsider with Bright and Seargent Jakes ever shooing him out of the way, outside or back to work. He finds solace in the company of the Brooms’ secretary, Alice Vexin, played by Maimie McCoy. Vexin remembers an awful lot about Baby Morse from his days at Oxford. Alas, as for the Morse of old, so it is for Baby Morse when it comes to the beautiful ladies with the disarming smile. His blushes always seem to end in tears. Just as well he’s a thick-skinned, tenacious, irrepressible sort.

This episode delivers so many of the things we want more of: great cast and acting (such as Maimie McCoy channelling her inner Nanette Newman, the gem that is Anton Lesser and Thursday speaking German); authentic script (“the whole to do’s a complete bloody mess”, storms Bright on discovering the body and fears his career is threatened); fabulous costumes (Chanel inspired suits in duck egg blue, simple pea coats with big buttons, neckerchiefs and the odd pillbox hat); beautiful sets with panel walls inspired by Mad Men; clever camera work (mostly shot indoors and at street level so too few shots of the dreaming spires); ethereal music (Purcell’s haunting When I’m Laid in Earth following an unearthing); peaceful demonstrations (Endeavour walks up to them in his suit and tie and calmly tells them they may get their placard message across better if they can spell correctly); and what appears to be a Colin Dexter cameo sitting on a bench. It reminds us too of things we want less of: smoking indoors, sexual discrimination in the work place and one too many Viking Cruise ad breaks. It even gave us a bit of product placement (“The new Bellini. Nought to sixty in under seven seconds”). Demand surely just went up.

I couldn’t ask for more. And yet when Bright tells Endeavour to “carry on” just before fade out, I realise that I do I do want more.

5 thoughts on “‘Endeavour’ episode 3: ‘Rocket’ Review

  1. I came to the party late for Morse. Never saw the John Thaw series but discovered “Endeavour” last year. I was so struck by his steadfastness and as someone said, doggedness. Couldn’t help thinking of “Madmen” by the look of the series but on the upside, Endeavour has a core that Madmen lacks. I appreciate how multi-layered the stories are for an non-Brit. The Oxford references and rooftop glories, the phrases and slang, the many many accents to weed through and understand how they reference the characters. Not to mention the music. That in itself is an education. I am especially grateful for the plotting. Character is fun and easy but good plotting keeps you on the edge of your seat and Endeavour does that and more. Shaun Evans is beautifully restrained, instrospective and can say more with a heave and settling of his shoulders than most can with an oration.

  2. Quality, quality, all the way….Shaun Evans….an excellent choice…..capturing the subtle mannerisms of the late and very great John Thaw….you will never replace him in my heart and nor, could you…but a massive #pat on back to ITV, writers and production team for broadcasting a ‘quality’ programme. Casting has been excellent and storylines, throwing in ‘red herrings’ all over the place…has provided excellent viewing. Roger Allam has been phenomenal…just the kind of detective you’d want as your Mentor, with one or two idiosyncrasies of his own…his beloved pipe? a cool customer?…. been there, done that, seen it all….Morse really did have problems with women….perhaps his honesty, his job, his ‘first great love’ all got in the way….Shame really, because he was a very charismatic character in lots of ways…intelligent (highly), empathetic, music lover, ‘quirky’ beer aficionado, culture and art patron, emotional intelligence (shaky?) ….Detective..(very definitely) More please ITV….this should run and run…..

Comments are closed.