The writing of a "prequel" usually makes great play with what we already know about the leading characters, and this early case of the future Inspector Morse drops lots of details to make old Morse fans smile. The young Detective Constable eyes a maroon Jaguar keenly, discovers a taste for real ale (his abandonment of abstinence in the course of the episode is the first hint that he's beginning to lose his up-tight reserve) and is dangerously entranced by a former opera singer. We learn what we always guessed from the John Thaw shows, that Morse's love of music stems from its providing solace for him during a lonely and drab childhood. We also meet a young academic , Alexander Reece, who, as Sir Alexander, would reappear in Morse's life (and be murdered) in the 1989 episode, "The Last Enemy", where he was played by Barry Foster. All these links are interesting to long-term Morse fans, but writer Russell Lewis also can't resist the schoolboy in-jokes that he introduced into his episodes for "Lewis" - Morse lodges at a grim boarding-house, where he is told that he has a room previously occupied by a Mr. Bleaney (the suicidal eponym of a Philip Larkin poem), and that the other two current guests, whom we never see, are a Mr. Goldberg and a Mr. McCann - the cross-talking hit-men of Harold Pinter's "The Birthday Party". Oh, dear. Still, the mystery is quite interesting, the period detail is handled sparingly (just one reference by a cabinet minister to "Harold" and a Secret Service type to "Cliveden") and the actors are good.
I am a huge fan of the Inspector Morse Series and the Inspector Lewis Series. "Endeavor" provided me with answers to many of the questions raised over the years that continued to linger in the back of my mind, and helped me to appreciate these other two series even more. The acting is superb throughout and the story gripping from the first moment. I love the cameo by John Thaw's daughter Abigail, when she meets Endeavor and questions why he seems familiar to her. Her closing line, "Another life then", is a brilliant, though brief homage to her dead father. You cannot consider yourself a true Morse fan without this prequel in your collection.
Barrington Pheloung did not write Bach's Mass in G Minor which introduced last week's show, or Rachmaninov's Prelude in C# Minor which introduced this week's (Coda). I have recognized most of the music used and it is by serious classical composers, not someone who wants to take credit for others' work. I am a musician, I know copyright laws in the US, and he should be called to answer for his plagiarism. I agree, though, classical music does make the best background (or foreground) music for this otherwise excellent drama.
Every story has something that connects the real life. The endeavor of detectives is shown here in a proper way. The acting of cast is real. The relationship between Morse and Thursday is watchable. The case solved in a way that there is no question left to audiences on how the detectives did it.....
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