The fifth series of ITV’s Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour has just begun filming for broadcast early next year. This time out there will be six feature length mysteries instead of the usual four and once again Shaun Evans will play Endeavour Morse. This time he is now a Detective Sergeant.
Also returning will be Roger Allam (The Missing) as Detective Chief Inspector Fred Thursday, Anton Lesser (Game Of Thrones) as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright, Dakota Blue Richards (Skins) as WPC Shirley Trewlove, Sean Rigby (Isabella) as Sergeant Jim Strange, James Bradshaw (Primeval) as Dr. Max DeBryn, Caroline O’Neil (Last Tango In Halifax) as Win Thursday and Abigail Thaw (I Want My Wife Back) as Dorothea Frazil. The series also sees the arrival of new recruit Detective Constable George Fancy, played by Lewis Peek (Poldark), whom Morse has to reluctantly mentor.
With each film once again written by series creator Russell Lewis, the new series begins with Morse having finally passed his Sergeant’s exams, as Oxford City Police merges into Thames Valley Constabulary. Joan Thursday (Sara Vickers) has returned to Oxford, but much is unresolved following her disappearance the previous year and Endeavour’s unexpected proposal.
Russell Lewis says: “As production begins on Endeavour ’68, many of the global tensions of that most turbulent year have found their way into our six new mysteries. ’67’s Summer of Love seems already a distant memory. Dark clouds are gathering at home and abroad as, after almost 100 years, the long history of Oxford City Police comes to an end. A terrible storm is set to blow through the professional and personal lives of newly promoted Detective Sergeant Endeavour Morse and Oxford’s Finest, leaving devastation in its wake.”
Filming will take place in and around Oxford and the South East. The new films will be executive produced by Russell Lewis, alongside former Endeavour producer Tom Mullens, Mammoth Screen’s Managing Director Damien Timmer and Rebecca Eaton for WGBH. John Phillips (Stan Lee’s Lucky Man) and Neil Duncan (Fortitude) will produce the new series, with Brady Hood (Sweet Maddie Stone) directing Film 1 and Andy Wilson (Unforgotten) directing Film 2.
Tom Mullens says: “We’re delighted that Endeavour will return next year with an extended run of films. It gives Russell Lewis an even bigger canvas to work with, and he has some striking stories to tell about 1968, a time of revolution in the wider world, and in the personal life of Endeavour Morse. It’s an honour to have Shaun Evans, Roger Allam and the rest of the team back on board for this new run.”
The most recent films began airing in January, and marked the 30th anniversary of Inspector Morse on ITV. They received critical praise and impressive viewing figures, despite strong competition on BBC1. The first episode, which aired on Sunday 8 January, pulled in a consolidated rating of 6.8m and 24% share, which is the biggest audience since 2014 and up on the year on year average by half a million viewers.
The Inspector Morse novels were written by Colin Dexter, who sadly died last month. “It was a privilege to work with Colin on Endeavour, and everyone involved will miss his contribution to the show. He was the most delightful collaborator with a razor shape mind. We hope this new series will continue to do his legacy justice”, says Mammoth Screen’s Damien Timmer.
Mammoth Screen is an ITV Studios company. Forthcoming shows include Poldark III and IV, Ordeal by Innocence, The ABC Murders and Noughts and Crosses for BBC One, The City and the City for BBC Two, and Victoria II, Fearless, Next of Kin and Desire for ITV.