Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour returns to ITV for a second series of four new 2-hour films, starring Shaun Evans as young Morse, alongside Roger Allam as his senior Detective Inspector Fred Thursday.
Episode 1: ‘Trove’
Sunday 30 March 2014, 8pm
May 1966. DC Endeavour Morse returns to Oxford City Police after a four-month absence from duty. Reunited with DI Fred Thursday, still reeling from the final moments of Series 1, the young detective’s involuntary furlough has left him wounded – in mind, more than body.
Another dazzlingly complex mystery is set in motion during a Broad Street parade, celebrating the might of Britain’s military accomplishments. The festivities, soured by a rash student stunt, are thrown into sharp relief when a John Doe plummets to his death from a nearby council building. A clutch of business cards bearing multiple identities suggest the death was more than just a routine suicide.
Endeavour flexes his gumshoe muscles to uncover the corpse’s identity – a solitary pursuit that builds to a trip to London with troubling consequences. Whilst a concerned Thursday looks on, the fractured pieces of the kaleidoscope mirror the young detective’s state of mind, as he pulls two seemingly unrelated cases into the fray – an anguished father searching for a missing daughter, and a smash-and-grab robbery of medieval artifacts at Oxford’s Beaufort College.
All strands coalesce around the victim’s final message, scrawled on a motel notepad: D-DAY, FRIDAY, 98018. As Oxonians go to the polls in a closely fought by-election and a beauty contest builds to its conclusion, Endeavour must navigate the choppy waters of both worlds, as his investigation shakes the highest pillars of Oxford society. With the body count rising and his fierce intellect slowly drawing back into focus, the young detective risks all to bring those responsible to justice. It is a decision that will send shockwaves across the course of the series.
Episode 2: ‘Nocturne’
Sunday 6 April 2014, 8pm
July 1966. World Cup fever grips the nation, as Argentina face off against England in the quarterfinals. In a sleepy corner of an Oxford museum, a septet of schoolgirls saunters through the worldly exhibits. But in a closed-off enclave, a blade slashes, blood sprays crimson and a man falls to his death…
DC Endeavour Morse is one of the first on the scene in the killing of Adrian Weiss, an elderly gentleman with a specialism in heraldry and genealogy. His throat laid open, Weiss was slain by a katar – a ceremonial dagger with links to nineteenth century British India. The weapon will prove key to unlocking Weiss’ final hours.
The mystery propels Endeavour to the Blythe Mount School for Girls; an establishment isolated in the summer months save for a skeleton staff and a handful of pupils. A funereal pall hanging over the school stokes the young detective’s sense of dread. He returns home to find an instruction (‘SAVE ME’) slipped into his coat pocket. Endeavour digs into the building’s troubled history, determining a connection between Weiss’ untimely fate and a series of murders on the Blythe Mount grounds. Murders that transpired almost a hundred years ago to the day and presently unsolved. Tensions teeter over a knife-edge when one of the seven girls disappears into the night, without trace or explanation.
As the centenary of the murders loom and the malign presence within the school quickens its pace, with devastating consequences, Endeavour must retrace the hanging threads of Weiss’ remaining research. Spectres from the past threaten to crash into the present and the bounds of the young detective’s rational mind are tested.
Episode 3: ‘Sway’
Sunday 13 April 2014, 8pm
November 1966. Oxford’s dreaming spires darken as Bonfire Night beckons. A housewife, Mrs Vivienne Haldane, found choked to death in her own home marks the third strangling in a month, setting Oxford City Police on edge. Pulled tight around the victim’s throat – a silk black stocking. Though the victims bear little relation to one another beyond the superficial, DC Endeavour Morse bridges the divide: the three victims are married women, all of whom have been found shorn of their wedding rings.
As a city-wide manhunt for a multiple murderer brews, Endeavour unearths a private diary kept hidden by Mrs Haldane, detailing periodic infidelities with an anonymous ‘Mr X’. Her husband, a bloated mathematician, offers precious little information. But the specificity of the murderous stocking – a high-line brand, ‘Le Minou Noir’ – opens a new avenue of investigation.
Endeavour traces the garment’s provenance to Burridges, an innocuous department store, save for being the stocking’s sole supplier across Oxford. As its denizens fall under suspicion, the investigation draws out painful memories for DI Fred Thursday, for whom a chance encounter with shopgirl Luisa Armstrong rouses reminiscences of wartime strife and unbidden promises.
As the suspect list narrows, and the Oxford Strangler stalks his next victim with increasing desperation, other common strands begin to pull into focus. But Endeavour and Thursday, grappling with personal travails in their private lives, miss a deeper tragedy unfolding, not far beneath the surface.
Episode 4: ‘Neverland’
Sunday 20 April 2014, 8pm
December 1966. Change is in the air as winter’s chill grips Oxford. Plans to build a new police station lead both DC Endeavour Morse and DI Fred Thursday to question their respective places on the force. A brace of cases occupy the young detective’s time: a boy, Tommy Cork, reported missing from a broken home, and the body of a washed-up journalist, found on railroad tracks in mysterious circumstances.
The cadaver is that of Eric Patterson – a disreputable reporter last seen embroiled in an altercation with a high-ranking Council official. Their topic of conversation? Landesman Construction, a company with hasty plans to redevelop the site of a long-since shuttered boys’ correctional facility, Blenheim Vale. When a petty criminal absconds from an open prison, also with a connection to Blenheim, it sets off a chain reaction of troubling events, threatening to expose unspeakable horrors of the past.
The investigation deepening, Endeavour and Thursday find themselves confronted by a cone of silence, and a disparate group of men unwilling to talk. Increasingly on the outs at a police force tainted with cronyism and corruption, the two men must band together, peeling back layers of malfeasance extending to the upper echelons of Oxford society.
When it transpires Tommy Cork’s disappearance is part and parcel of the same case – the boy possibly witness to an event others would kill to conceal – Endeavour and Thursday steel themselves for a reckoning in blood, as Series 2 builds to its thunderous, irrevocable conclusion.
Watch the Series 2 trailer…
Are you looking forward to Series 2? Let us know below…