Customer Review

8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT SERIES - SHAME ABOUT THE END, 21 April 2014
This review is from: Endeavour - Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
TV people seem to have a real problem with series finales these days; they're either weak and anti-climactic (witness the last episode of this year's "Line of Duty") or excessively dramatic and overblown. This last series of "Endeavour" falls into the latter category, with a final episode that is distinctly over-cooked and also has a very cliched denouement. Furthermore, it follows the current fashionable, but highly irritating trend for leaving key elements of the story in abeyance. I don't want to give too much away but, suffice it to say, there are fundamental questions about the future of two key characters that we will have to wait until a future series to have answered (assuming, of course, that further series are commissioned).
All this is a shame because, in all other respects, this is an excellent programme. There's a touch of class about "Endeavour" which lifts it well above the usual police drama and, in my opinion, it has proved a much more worthy successor to "Morse" than the rather pedestrian "Lewis" series. High production values, intelligent scripts (most of the time) and good period atmosphere contribute to the programme's success, but it is the portrayal of the two lead characters that is particularly outstanding. Shaun Evans has been rightly praised for his perceptive performance as the young Morse, but no less praiseworthy is the contribution of Roger Allam as Morse's mentor, Inspector Fred Thursday. Mr. Allam gives as deftly a nuanced performance as you're likely to find in any police drama at the present time, and the Morse/Thursday partnership works brilliantly.
To conclude: Three of the four episodes on offer here are absolutely first-rate; to be fair, though the end is rather disappointing, the fourth instalment is still very watchable, and so I've no hesitation in recommending this DVD.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 Apr 2014 17:26:11 BDT
j m perkins says:
i agree with this review i did not like the last episode as much as the other three. i know it shows there will probably be another series .i just hope roger allam is still in it .it was just a tad cliched i never liked morse but this stands alone much to recommend.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Apr 2014 19:27:06 BDT
Sou'Wester says:
I very much hope there is a third series but - contrary to comments made in some other reviews of "Endeavour" - there is no automatic guarantee of this. As far as I'm aware, no-one has yet committed to a third series and there are various pitfalls that could prevent further shows being made. Shaun Evans himself, whilst not ruling out further involvement, has expressed the view that he doesn't think this is a programme that should run on and on; he's remarked that further scripts will have to be of equal/better quality (not easy to achieve) and that "Endeavour" will need to develop and remain fresh if they want him to do any more. Thus, I think it's a bit naughty of the script-writer to leave things hanging in the air when he doesn't know for sure that the opportunity to resolve these matters will arise.
As for Inspector Thursday's future; well, who knows, but I find it hard to imagine that "Endeavour" will be as good without the presence of the excellent Roger Allam.
I'm glad that there's at least one other voice that felt that fourth episode was below par. A lot of it was okay, but that final showdown between the corrupt police chief and the Endeavour/Thursday duo was like something out of a third rate 1950s "B" movie (as were the scenes with the ventriloquist), though it is a tribute to Messrs. Evans and Allam that they kept the ship afloat despite these lapses by the script writer.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2014 12:49:14 BDT
MAC says:
fair point, but the bit with the ventriloquist was rather amusing if maybe a little unrealistic.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2014 15:06:45 BDT
Sou'Wester says:
..... but it's hardly original. The rather strained idea of the ventriloquist in thrall to his dummy has been done so many times on film and TV that really is a cliche.

Posted on 20 May 2014 23:29:55 BDT
I liked the last episode the best. It kept me on the edge of the seat and I had no quarrels with the ending. And, it gives the writers time to decide what will happen to the protagonists when they crank up the next season. These are so good that I expect the series to continue for many, many years, or as long as Shaun Evans is willing to play the part. I would bet that Colin Dexter approves wholeheartedly.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2014 06:15:29 BDT
Sou'Wester says:
I'm glad you enjoyed the last episode; I won't say I didn't enjoy it, just didn't think it was on a par with the first three. As to ending a series on a cliffhanger (as opposed to an episode within a series), we'll just have to agree to differ. (Interesting that the BBC "Points of View" programme featured complaints from viewers on that very point last week!)
I hope the series doesn't continue indefinitely, a view that seems to be shared by Shaun Evans (he has stated he doesn't think it's a series that should run on and on); far better, I think, for shows to finish while they're still on a high rather than being stretched beyond their natural life. It would seem Dexter does approve of the new show (hence his regular appearances as an extra, continuing the old Morse tradition). Apparently he has stipulated that nobody else should play the part of Morse, so when Mr. Evans decides he's had enough presumably that will be the end of the matter.

Posted on 22 Aug 2014 04:55:04 BDT
I agree 100% with this review; the "cliffhanger" ending was infuriating. Even if a third series is in the works it will be a long while before it's released. And there is certainly no guarantee - both Heartbeat and The Royal (not the same type of show, I realize) ended with cliffhangers because the financial plug was pulled after the season had been completed. But you're right: most of Endeavour series 2 is just great.
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