The continuing stories of rookie Constable Morse. Shaun Evans ("The Take," "The Virgin Queen") stars as the young Endeavour Morse, before his signature red Jaguar, but with his deductive powers already running in high gear. Four new episodes and the pilot is included.
Rejoice, Inspector Morse fans--he's back. Well, in a way. Debuting on DVD with the pilot episode and four from the first season proper, Endeavour is a good idea that's very entertainingly executed: a prequel to the popular Morse series, with Shaun Evans in the younger version of the role inhabited for so long by the late John Thaw. Faithful followers will get a kick out of watching Evans unveil the character's still-nascent quirks and habits. His Endeavour Morse, a detective constable when we meet him in the mid-1960s, is an Oxford dropout, a self-kept young man, somewhat socially awkward and a bit of a hothead; he loves opera and the ladies, often at the same time. He's unafraid to breach cop protocol when working on a case; but he's also necrophobic, liable to faint in the presence of a dead body. And while he's a detective of Sherlock Holmesian brilliance, he's also precocious and more than capable of making mistakes; as Detective Inspector Fred Thursday (Roger Allam), his mentor and principal (sometimes only) supporter, puts it, "You're a good detective--and a poor policeman." We know Morse's smarts will eventually prevail as he sorts out the murder of a schoolgirl who was caught up in some very unsavory business involving several of Oxford's more elite citizens, or another young woman who appears to have had a heart attack, or the death of a professor--all while coping with the interference and jealousies of the far less imaginative cops he's obliged to answer to. Let's just hope that this first season is only the beginning of Endeavour's endeavors. --Sam Graham