150 of 153 people found the following review helpful
An inspiring prequel to the classic Inspector Morse series,
This review is from: Endeavour [Region 2] (DVD)This single 98 minute DVD plots out Morse's early police career as a young rookie detective on assignment to Oxford in 1965 tacking his first big case searching for a missing 15-year old girl .
Shaun Evans does a superb job, in what must have been a tough role to cast, following in the late John Thaw's classic role. Overall the acting is excellent, with Roger Allam playing an especially good supporting role as Inspector Fred Thursday.
The production team certainly achieved the feel of the old Inspector Morse series, with sweeping shots of Oxford colleges and the local surrounding area. This is an excellent stand alone British drama, but for those Inspector Morse aficionados there are many references to his future character that we see being developed, including a particularly poignant ending.
Endeavour [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.2 Import - United Kingdom ]
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Showing 1-10 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 30, 2012 11:15:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 30, 2012 11:16:27 AM PDT
Marianne Postiglione says:
I realize this probably works best as a stand alone, but I would love to see a series on this "Young Endeavour Morse."
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2012 2:37:54 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 13, 2013 2:06:18 PM PDT
Hopefully you shall see more episodes as "Endeavour" has been well received in the UK. The "Inspector Lewis" series started off with a "premier" rather than a conventional series one so I wouldn't read too much into this being a single film. I thought a nice touch was casting the late John Thaw's daughter as "Dorothea" and Colin Dexter appearing in cameo, just as in the original Morse series (it was cut by PBS for their TV presentation but remains intact on the disc). Likewise having the red Jaguar "Landau" positioned on a used car lot with the price of 1,227 pounds is the sort of visual trivia that bodes well for a potential series and is just the sort of fine detail missing from the "Inspector Lewis" franchise.
Finally, not to quibble with the reviewer, but my copy of the DVD (Region 1) ran 103 minutes and didn't include more than a minute of "Masterpiece" fluff. Since there were two copies of the UK edition floating around it would appear Masterpiece is shipping the expanded version which includes several scenes deleted from the reprised UK telecast. Since the PBS broadcasts ran only 90 minutes and included more of the droning Alan Cummings there is significantly more of the story on the DVD than that which was telecast.
Posted on Aug 21, 2012 9:10:42 AM PDT
John Fowler says:
Some reviewers are saying their DVD of Endeavor ran 98 minutes - my copy (the official North American release with "PBS" on the cover) ran 1 hour, 43 minutes, 12 seconds. That's 103 minutes (there was a 40 second intro by Alan Cummings).
Is it possible that the North American DVD actually runs 5 minutes longer than the British DVD?
The PBS broadcast was a travesty - about 82 minutes.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2012 10:27:57 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 18, 2013 5:27:23 AM PDT
There's a bit of history behind the different versions of Endeavor as well as the Masterpiece "Lewis" series. First of all, the copy you have is the same as mine, but mine says "Original UK Edition" just below the "Masterpiece Mystery" logo with no mention of any official North American approbation. It does run 103 minutes and I'm sure you noticed scenes that were deleted from the PBS broadcast. PBS needed a shorter edition to run in it's 90 minute "Masterpiece Mystery" venue so an edited version was cut by the producers for it's export market. They let the cat out of the bag however when they ran the shortened version on UK television as a reprise of the original premier.
A few years back the old "PBS Mystery" was re-tooled as "Masterpiece Mystery" and settled in as a hour and half presentation. Keeping to that schedule doesn't allow for anything more than a 90 minute feature less intros, opening/closing credits, and local affiliate updates, roughly the 82 minutes you reference. The previous "PBS Mystery" shows were less formal and ranged from one to two hours depending upon the property being aired at the time. In the UK, most of the Brit mystery shows run on commercial television in 2 hour time slots so the core feature programming didn't fit comfortably in Masterpiece's new 90 minute window and some editing was inevitable. For a while PBS/Masterpiece tried to pawn off the truncated broadcasts in their after market video sales, but soon found that viewers were purchasing the longer UK editions along with a region free DVD player, so PBS started broadcasting the shortened version but shipping the "full length" version with much fanfare and self congratulation.
Interestingly, Masterpiece has become a co-producer on some properties of which "Inspector Lewis" is one. The original premier episode was a 104 minute feature length presentation which fit the 2 hour window of the UK telecasts but would not work in the new 90 minute "Masterpiece Mystery" time slot. Subsequent to purchasing Lewis as a series Masterpiece entered into a co-production agreement with the stipulation that the run time of the shows be cut back by at least 10 minutes resulting in the episode length of 93 minutes on the after market discs then edited for broadcast at 86 minutes or less. They're still edited to fit the Masterpiece window but not to the jarring degree one would see if you tried to take a 104 minute version and cut it back almost 20 minutes.
I fear that IF Endeavor is picked up as a series by PBS it likewise will be butchered and shoehorned into the truncated format and future discs will run a bit over 90 minutes rather than the 103/104 minutes of the pilot. The Morse episodes were all 104 minutes and I think the Lewis series pales in comparison. It's just not that easy to spin a complex mystery as well as create introspective characters of depth and substance in the shortened format. While I had great hopes for Lewis early on, it just seems to be getting mundane with little more than facile student story lines, supplemented with a ham-fisted attempt to cast Hathaway as some sort of troubled, politically correct version of Morse.
Posted on Aug 24, 2012 12:02:21 PM PDT
John Fowler says:
Correction: I can clear up the confusion about the 98 minute vs. the 103 minute versions of this DVD (my confusion, actually).
There is only one version of "Endeavor" on DVD and it is 103 minutes long.
The back of every DVD case says "running time: approximately 98 minutes."
I suppose 103 minutes is "approximately" 98 minutes.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2012 11:25:19 AM PDT
P. favretto says:
4 more are in production..yeh
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 3:47:33 PM PDT
That's great news. I think they did a great job and this one has potential to become its own classic.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 3:51:14 PM PDT
Thank you for the clarification. To be honest I just quoted the timing from the DVD box, as I tend to do in any review I write. I didn't independently time the DVD but it certainly didn't seem to be missing anything or jump like PBS tends to do when they butcher the Inspector Lewis serial.
Posted on Aug 21, 2013 7:00:12 AM PDT
I am confused. I am new to Endeavor, and am trying to understand the connection to the "Lewis" series and also trying to figure out what is the "Morse" series that this is a prequel to? Can someone link the original series here on Amazon so that I can see it? Thanks.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2013 11:58:03 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 21, 2013 1:30:36 PM PDT
Morse was a series that ran from 87 to 99 that starred John Thaw as DCI Morse and Kevin Whately as DS Lewis. Inspector Lewis premiered in 2005 as a pseudo sequel to Inspector Morse in which Whately reprised the role of now DI Lewis returning to Oxford after an extended overseas assignment. The premier was quite good but the series never could match the original. Once PBS invested in it as a co-producer it turned into little more than a campus police procedural and just ended it's run this year. Endeavour is a prequel to Inspector Morse set in the mid 1960's and chronicles Morse' early days with the Oxford police. So far, it's a superior dramatization to Lewis.
Don't purchase the Endeavour premier separately as it comes included with the first 4 episodes in Endeavour Series 1. The original Morse series is still available, though the transfer quality is the same as it was in the mid 90's. Inspector Morse is a classic series and has many devoted fans due in no small part to the characterization John Thaw brought to the role. About a 1/3 of the episodes were based upon the series of books Colin Dexter wrote in the 70's and 80's, only a few of which are still in print.
If you decide to invest in the Morse series, try and order them in the original sequential order as, unlike many dramatizations, the characters mature and evolve over the course of the show's run. While not germane to the series, Thaw died within a couple years of the show's end mirroring his character's demise in the final episode. A sad coincidence that only adds to the borderline cult status the show enjoys. I hope that helps.