Endeavour on ITV1: Final ever series ‘gives nod to John Thaw’ reveals Shaun Evans

5 Mar 2023, 19:02
3 Mar 2023, 14:39

Endeavour, ITV, John Thaw, Shaun Evans

Inspector Morse’s TV journey is sadly coming to an end, having been brought to life by both John Thaw, and Shaun Evans in Endeavour.

After more than 30 years, the character bows out in style in the final ever episode of the ITV1 series (Sunday, March 12, 2023).

And actor Shaun Evans has revealed that series 9 ‘gives a nod to John Thaw’.

Shaun Evans as Endeavour Morse and Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday in the final series of Endeavour (Credit: BBC)

Nod to John Thaw in Endeavour series 9, explains Shaun Evans

Endeavour viewers will, of course, know that the series is a prequel to the famous John Thaw series Inspector Morse.

So it would only be fitting if the series included a ‘nod’ to the late actor, who died in 2002 at the age of 60.

Actor Shaun Evans has revealed there are moments in the final episode that pay due tribute to John Thaw, as well as author Colin Dexter who created the series.

Shaun explains: “We always try to give a nod to Colin Dexter throughout, which viewers can try to discover.

“And especially to John Thaw in this final series.

“It feels like a handover.”

Of course, John Thaw played Inspector Morse from 1987 to 2000, and Endeavour takes fans nearly to that point.

Shaun also explains that the very last scenes of Endeavour were filmed at Blenheim Palace “with nods and echoes to the very first Inspector Morse film The Dead of Jericho and the very last The Remorseful Day”.

Shaun adds: “It’s only the more discerning viewer who will realise what we have done – 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, and 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 okay too.”

Of course, Endeavour viewers also know that John Thaw’s real life daughter Abigail plays Dorothea Frazil in the show.

Endeavour star Shaun Evans will not return in role that John Thaw made famous

Shaun admits that the end of Endeavour series 9 is “a very definite full stop”.

He reveals: “I think Endeavour’s aloneness and isolation is cemented in this series.

“He has felt that way throughout but there has always been a tantalising option dangled right in front of him.

“If he only could reach out and grab it.

“What we discover in these final three films is that, for one reason or another, he cannot reach out.

“And so his isolation and lonesomeness is completely cemented.

“And that’s where I wanted to leave it.

“Because then it’s a good place to be picked up again 15 years later in 1987 when the Inspector Morse series with John Thaw started.”

The late actor John Thaw as Inspector Morse (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock)

What happens to Endeavour Morse and Fred Thursday in series 9?

Thursday, played by Roger Allam, and Endeavour have previously had a “surrogate father and son relationship”.

But, in series 9, Thursday’s real son Sam comes back.

Sam is not in a great place and needs all of Thursday’s attention – which, naturally impacts on his relationship with his colleague.

Shaun explains: “That further isolates and pushes Endeavour outside of that particular family circle.

“Thursday is not his father and Morse is not Thursday’s son.

“He is on his own.”

What happens in Exeunt, the final ever episode of Endeavour?

Shaun reveals that the title of the final episode, Exeunt, is very appropriate.

He says: “Exeunt is a stage direction which refers to two or more actors or characters leaving the stage.

“Which, of course, is reflected in the final film.”

Shaun added: “Final episodes are always very difficult.

“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’.”

Endeavour has been on our TV screens for 11 years, since it first aired in 2012.

It’s the prequel to Inspector Morse, which starred John Thaw, and ran from 1987 to 2000.

The Kevin Whately sequel Lewis ran from 2006 to 2015 on ITV.

At the end of Endeavour, there will have been 102 films in the Morse canon.

Read more: Line of Duty and Endeavour stars lead cast of Delia Balmer true crime drama

Endeavour concludes on Sunday, March 12, 2023 at 8pm on ITV1.

Would you like to see Inspector Morse return with a new actor? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

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