A TV show named Endeavour captured my interest. I wondered idly if the subject referred to Captain Cook’s ship, Shackleton’s ship or the ship on which I sailed to Alaska. The British production had nothing to do with ships and everything to do with a cranky, fictional detective from Oxford, Inspector Morse.
I was one of the legion of fans of the late John Thaw as Inspector Morse. The Oxford locations, the Jaguar and his relationship with Lewis kept me coming back season after season. So does Inspector Lewis, the first spin-off.
One fact about Morse I missed when watching the original series was the character’s first name, Endeavour. Perhaps his creator was a fan of Shackleton. The timing would be right.
The new series PBS is broadcasting on Masterpiece covers the early years, when Morse was a rookie detective and everyone was his superior – only technically of course. Endeavour has a mentor, an incorruptible DI who is not afraid to bend the rules. We learn when and how Morse came to be fond of Jaguars. The roots of his star-crossed love life are explained. Endeavour is not the Morse we knew and loved, but Morse as he was in the beginning.