“Morse” endures in new television film “Endeavour”


If you have ever wondered how Morse became the person he was when John Thaw played the character, this is the film to see.

Directed by Colm McCarthy, the Russell Lewis written teleplay revolves around characters originally developed by crime novelist Colin Dexter.

With Shaun Evans playing the title character, the film is set in the mid-1960s when Morse is a lowly DC (Detective Constable).

DI Fred Thursday, frequently reference by Thaw’s Morse in the original series, is played by Roger Allam. The film also stars Michael Matus, John Light, Flora Montgomery, Patrick Malahide and Jack Ashton.

Becoming increasingly disillusioned by the direction law enforcement is going in the British Isles, the young Morse is seen writing what appears at first glance the beginnings of a sincere resignation letter. Before he has opportunity to submit this letter, the DC is sent on assignment to Oxford City Police’s Cowley Police Station with other detectives from Carshall-Newtown Police. They are there to assist local police with investigating the case of a missing fifteen-year-old schoolgirl.

While it was evident from his reaction that he wanted to keep his past concealed from his colleagues, having studied at Oxford University gave Morse a distinct advantage over other detectives when it came to addressing Oxford’s prominent “town and gown” divide. Despite this point, there were also disadvantages.

Even though Morse is seen submitting his resignation letter, Thursday sees something in the DC which he does not see in himself. The senior detective talks Morse into working for him.

Anyone paying close attention to the cast list will have noticed the presence of the name Abigail Thaw. Abigail, cast as journalist Dorothea Frazil in this production, is the daughter of the actor that originally played Morse.

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Shain E. Thomas, a contributor to the Handbook of Texas Online, is a University of North Texas graduate student majoring in Library Information Science.