The Last Case for Endeavour Morse

Endeavour, the series which serves as a prequel to popular TV detective series Inspector Morse, comes to an end on March 12th. The final episode of Season 9 will, we’re promised, tie up some loose ends and serve as a fitting tribute to the long-running series.

When Inspector Morse, based on the novels of Colin Dexter, came to an end in 2000 after 33 two-hour episodes, that seemed to be the end for the character, played by John Thaw. But a sequel, Lewis, featuring Morse’s partner, played by Kevin Whately, with Laurence Fox as DS James Hathaway, aired from 2006-2013, again racking up 33 episodes.

Endeavour (in which Inspector Morse’ first name was revealed) first aired as a single film in 2012 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Inspector Morse’s TV debut, and now Endeavour is coming to an end with its ninth season, after 36 episodes.

Endeavour served as a prequel, with Shaun Evans playing the young Endeavour Morse in the early part of his career in the Oxford police, covering the years from 1965-1972. Morse was partnered with DCI Fred Thursday, played by Roger Allam.

This ninth and final season finds Morse and Thursday entering an era of change as they plan to move divisions and their boss Reginald Bright (Anton Lesser) plans to retire. Some faces familiar from earlier seasons return, including Fred’s son Sam, played by Jack Bannon (Pennyworth), who arrives back from Northern Ireland following his service in the British Army.

Thursday’s Child

Fans will want to know why Fred Thursday and his family were never mentioned in the Inspector Morse novels or TV series – the ‘real-world’ answer is that the characters weren’t created then. But how will the writers come up with an ‘in-world’ explanation for Morse and his colleague Jim Strange never mentioning the Thursdays? Fan speculation has been rampant.

The end of the series will come as a blow to fans, but it has always been part of the plan, according to founder of Mammoth Screen, Damien Timmer, who is also the executive producer of Endeavour.

He said: “From the first Endeavour pilot, (writer) Russell (Lewis) has known exactly where he wanted to end the saga of Endeavour Morse and Fred Thursday. We put off this awful day for as long as we possibly could, but there was a point a few years ago where we agreed as a creative team that it was time to prepare for the final end, and go out on a high!

“ITV has been the most generous and supportive partners and were very respectful of the team’s decision to make this the final series. We have now made more Endeavour films than there were Inspector Morse stories.”

Series lead and occasional director Shaun Evans revealed that it was “very difficult” to see the series ending. He said: “You can’t please all of the people all of the time. What we wanted to do was to end Endeavour in a way that was fitting to all of the enormous work we had put into it over the last 10 years and also to all of the huge support we have had every year from the audience.

“To not leave anybody feeling short changed. To leave people feeling emotionally satisfied. It’s also a thank you, in a way. To say, ‘Thank you so much for sticking with this over the past number of years.’ To honour and respect that. So it’s all of those things.”

He added: “Also for it to feel irreconcilable. For it to feel closed. In terms of we won’t be seeing Joan and Thursday again. We will see Morse and Strange again ‘later on’ in Inspector Morse but they will be very different versions of themselves. But our story is at its end.”


Speaking exclusively to about his ideas around the final season, Roger Allam previously said: “We’re going to try and provide a satisfying and satisfactory emotional reason why John Thaw’s Morse never mentions a man called Fred Thursday. I hope that’s satisfying for fans.”

Similarly, Evans previously also revealed in a PBS Masterpiece fan Q&A that the nature of Thursday and Endeavour’s relationship has always been “unique” in this prequel.

He states: “We know because of the unique prequel nature of this story, that neither Joan nor Thursday is ever mentioned in either the books or the series with John Thaw. So it’s our duty to make a decision about why that is, and what they do in our particular stories that ensures that they’re never mentioned again later on. And I feel like we’ve satisfied that.”

In a bid to give a nod to John Thaw, who played Morse throughout eight seasons of Inspector Morse, Evans has revealed that there will be a “subtle” tribute to the late actor. He revealed that “only the more discerning viewer … will realise what we have done”.

He said: “Those who have maybe watched all of the Inspector Morse episodes and all of the Endeavour series. We wanted to be fleet of foot about it. To do it with a sleight of hand and not to hit it on the head. It’s a subtle thing that fits perfectly into our story. It’s only there if you are really looking for it. And if you’re not you won’t even realise that you’ve missed it. And that’s OK too.”

In terms of finishing the series, both lead actors feel satisfied with how the final season of Endeavour wraps up. Evans has also said that filming his final scenes alone, driving around in Endeavour’s black Jaguar “was a way to say goodbye to it and let it go”, adding: “I thought, ‘I’ve done this now and I have no sadness in saying goodbye and moving on.'”

He also says on ending the series: “Of course there is a degree of melancholy when you say goodbye to any experience. But it’s a great feeling to be able to walk away and say, ‘I couldn’t have done more. There’s nothing more that I could have given. That’s it.’ That’s a nice feeling.”


Allam also stated that “it seems unbelievable to me that we have been doing Endeavour for 10 years” and when asked to reflect on the 36 films they’ve managed to film across the past decade, he revealed: “That really does give me satisfaction. I’ve never done anything for as long a time as this.

“I’m sorry that it’s finished but I think it’s right that it has. Because we have managed to have a very good beginning, a very good middle and a very good end. And you can’t really ask for more than that in terms of drama and storytelling.”

Endeavour returned to ITV1 on Sunday 26th February and the final episode goes out on March 12th. Seasons 1-8 are available to stream on ITVX.

See also: Private Photos Reveal Charlie Chaplin’s Hollywood

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and get
• FREE Competitions
• FREE Digital Magazines
• HOME and FAMILY News
And much more…

You have Successfully Subscribed!