So by now, if you’ve read some of the blog posts or listened to the podcast, you’ve probably realised that my esteemed colleagues Keith and Alex are geeks of the highest order. Obsessed with movies, TV, video games and primarily Sci-Fi. I too would class myself part of the geek brethren, but it could be said that I have a very different set of skills. I love me a superhero movie, enjoy a bit of Star Trek: The Next Generation and the original three Star Wars films are all in my top 10 movies of all time, but my geek stems from more non-stereotypical roots. Movies? I’ll dabble, but mainly leave that to Alex. Sci-Fi and Video Games? Keith is all over it. Murder mysteries, wrestling, other random stuff I get obsessed for a brief period of time with? That’s when you’ll be hearing from this guy!
Now I know murder mystery dramas are not overly cool and full of pop culture references or anything like that, but they have a charm and hook that is undeniable. Someone dies in suspicious circumstances, our hero is assigned to investigate, some more people die along the way and low and behold, it turns out it was dear old Johnny Jenkins who’d always hated the victim for poisoning his prize winning gooseberries. Quite often there is a stand off towards the end of the show as the detective of choice runs through, for the viewers benefit, why and how the murderer did what they did. With the amount of different murder mystery programmes on television you would think the structure would change slightly, but no the same pattern is followed in pretty much every one. And I love it.
As I am firmly from ye olde worlde, I don’t have a Netflix account. I don’t have an Amazon Prime account. As such, the bulk of TV I watch is on Sky and its cheapest, no frills package. Realistically the channels that are on constant rotation on my 49 incher are the terrestrial bad boys. You know what though, I’m perfectly happy with that. I could just about live with Freeview, but the familiarity of Sky’s setup keeps me paying my dues every month. With mainly watching the five ‘original’ channels, the bulk of my murder mystery meat comes from their menu. Choice cuts include Sherlock, Inspector Gently, Vera and Maigret but the piece de resistance re-starts this very Sunday on ITV – Endeavour.
Endeavour is set in the 1960’s and tells the story of a young man named Endeavour Morse and his journey to becoming one of the most beloved TV sleuths of all time, Inspector Morse. Season 5 is about to start on Sunday and promises 6 episodes this time instead of the usual 4. We’re about to see him in his new role as Detective Sergeant Morse, with his father-like-figure superior Fred Thursday now Chief Inspector. I doubt these new roles will dampen the amount of murders to be solved but as a bold guess, since there are 6 episodes now, I predict at least 6 murders over the series.
The show has real endearing qualities for me. The lead character played by Shaun Evans is awkward personified, from his look to his personality, but has a brilliant mind for solving cases meaning he earns respect. The look of the show is perfect as it is set in Oxford, which with all its university buildings and classic architecture, means the producers don’t need to do a lot to convince the viewer the action is taking place in the 1960’s. The soundtrack to Endeavour is primarily classical music which fits the tone of the show well and often soundtracks the most climatic moments.
Perhaps jumping in to Season 5 you’ll not pick up on some of the finer points of the Endeavour story so far, like Morse’s infatuation with Chief Inspector Thursday’s daughter. Joan Thursday left her family home at the end of Season 3, not telling her mother and father where she was going, but in Season 4 Morse tracks her down in Leamington and tries to persuade her to go back to her parents in Oxford. If there’s not more to come on that side of things in Season 5, I’ll eat my 1960’s style Fedora.
Season 5 will hopefully also see the development of the character of WPC Trewlove played by Dakota Blue Richards. Trewlove was introduced in Season 3 as a new addition to the heavily male populated Oxford City Police and saw her role in episodes grow as Season 4 played out. There’s not been any major storylines involving Trewlove as yet, but this Endeavour geek reckons it’s only a matter of time.
Endeavour is on ITV in the classic two hour (hour and a half with ads) slot which is Sunday night at 8pm for the next 6 weeks.