Viewers of the genre are always on the lookout for a good crime show. I know I am and it was that effort that led me to Endeavour.
Now, while this British show might be popular where it’s aired, many of us are forced to swallow an exclusive diet of our own creations or those from the US. Though the British once governed us, we have not shown them much partiality as TV shows go. It is a shame as that deprives us of some really well made shows.
Endeavour, fragrant with literary allusions, is set in Oxford, a very temple of erudition, and the show is deliciously well made. I can watch it again and again and gape and gawk at the sheer beauty of shots and locale. The acting is also really good. Of course, British English is quite hard for the Indian ear but it’s worth the endeavour.
CSI, Bones and Law and Order were all good shows and there must be good ones now, too. However, they more than narrowly miss being very very good. Unfortunately, we, in India, and much of the elsewhere, are subjected willy nilly to TV shows that are primarily from the US.
I hesitate to say ‘No harm done’ as any diet that does not include diversity is noxious, on the one hand. On the other, hardly any one can claim that TV shows from the US can be viewed as enriching!
I represent a small set of bloggers around the world who seek to bring home news of the delightful diversity of output from around the globe.
And so I continue my endeavour to invite you into the world of young Morse. Endeavour is a British crime show, a prequel to the popular Inspector Morse. The Morse show also sprouted a Lewis show but that’s another story.
Names are fancy in Endeavour. The main character is Endeavour. And then there’s Fred Thursday, Strange, Bright and Fancy!
Endeavour’s series five’s third episode, Passenger, opens to June 1968. Detective Constable Fancy is looking for Frances Porter. She was supposed to get on a train to Oxford but missed the last connecting one. Endeavour Morse finds her dead in a station that’s no longer used.
Now, in 1964, it’s reported, there was another murder and this one has things in common with that one. Is there a connection?
And we come to know that the dead woman was having an affair with a married man. In fact, shortly before her death, she was with him in a motel where she gave the name of her sister.
Then they find her co-worker’s body near an old railway track! The body count mounts as do the red herrings that pepper all episodes of Endeavour.
Alas, I doubt you’ll get to watch the series but I do hope you’ll enjoy the tracks from the episode. Endeavour always has good music from the period.
Young Morse visits the exotic boutique where the murdered Frances Porter worked and in the background plays a Cream number: Sunshine Of Your Love.
And when another girl at the boutique breaks down and weeps over the dead Frances and the boutique owner comforts her, we hear Liar, Liar by The Castaways.
And when Detective Chief Inspector Thursday and Morse visit the boutique to question the owner, and inform him that another employee is dead, Janis Joplin screams Piece of My Heart.
Now, Morse is sweet on Fred Thursday’s daughter, Joan, we already know, and when he comes to her house warming party, the The Rolling Stones are playing Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.
Passenger is well made, with very pleasurable scenes and it has the regular features like the sandwiches Win, Thursday’s wife, makes for him – a different one for every day and they’re never tasty to him. Colin Dexter, the author of the detective books, stars in all the Morse related shows. Here, now that he is no more, his picture hangs on a wall – employee of the month.
What with all the pop music in the show, Passenger still strives for cultural highs. Early on we have a recitation of an Auden poem:
As sign off, I offer you a taste of what being an Endeavour fan entails and two classical pieces which grace the episode. The show opens to a Vivaldi:
And for this trek through British railway history via a murder mystery, what can be better than Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata?
I sincerely hope you enjoy the music and, as for Passenger, I can only wish you chance upon Endeavour.