TV Review: Endeavour Series 2 Episode 2

The Oxford detective finds himself immersed within a ghost story. reviews

Endeavour s2e2

Following on from its triumphant return last week Endeavour was back with a spookier tale slightly removed from its usual subject matter. Still there was murder and mystery a foot this week as the focus of Morse’s interests shifted to a girl’s boarding school in the Oxfordshire countryside.

The story focused on the murder of gentleman at an Oxford museum and the supposed haunting of the Blythe Mount School for Girls through a vicious massacre of children in the late 19th century. The programme had its genuinely tense and haunting moments as the characters debated the question as to whether ghosts really do exist.
Morse’s thinking outside the box once again came under the scrutiny of his superiors who seemed to be looking too much at the obvious for Morse’s liking. Morse’s perseverance held up this time round with his hunches proving him right in the end. It also seems that Morse can’t seem to stay out of physical harm this series with this week’s episode seeing him fall through the ceiling whilst chasing ghosts after being beaten up last week.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Endeavour is set in the 1960’s when you really immerse yourself in the story fortunately there are always the little touches that bring you back into the 60’s setting. This week it was the World Cup Final in 1966 and lucky Morse had managed to bag himself England in the office sweepstakes.

One of my favourite moments from this week comes from Abigail Thaw who plays journalist Dorothea Frazil. Abigail Thaw of course is the daughter of the late John Thaw who originally played Morse in the original series run. The series has seen Evans and Thaw share some touching moments; in the pilot episode Thaw’s character had a beautiful moment with Evan’s Morse “haven’t we met before?… perhaps in another life?” This week’s episode was no exception with Frazil’s tentative “Morse” reminding us how strange it must be for Thaw to act next to a character that her father once embodied.

Morse’s personal life was once again in the spotlight this week as his relationships with Joan Thursday (D. I. Thursday’s daughter) and Monica (his neighbour) were put to the test. Leaving an indecisive Morse red-faced once again; a small nod to Morse’s love problems later in life.

One ghost that seemed to haunt Morse was one of the final revelations of the story. The mystery of “Bloody Charlotte”, the sister of the murdered children from the 1800’s was shown to be nothing more than a victim of her time and circumstances as it was revealed poignantly that she had Down’s Syndrome and had suffered the horrible fate of being locked away in a sanatorium for the rest of her life by her father. A reminder perhaps of how far we have come from the perceptions of disability we had in the past. All in all Endeavour continues to raise the bar of Sunday night television this week; roll on the next case for our favourite Oxford detective.

32 comments

  1. Is it just me or does Roger Allam look a lot like Nigel Farage?

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  2. Please can someone tell me the exact name of the Chopin nocturne played throughout yesterday’s excellent programme?

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  3. As well as the Chopin there was a piece of more modern piano music at the beginning of this episode. Anyone know what it is called?

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  4. Did you notice the two clues for viewers which led directly to the murderers of both generations? Two pointers to John Wyndham novels …

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    • 7 Apr ’14 at 11:07 pm

      helen warwick

      I saw the signpost to Midwich what was the other?

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      • the other … when one of the girls came into the room where the others were waiting one of them said: ‘The Kraken Wakes.’ Which didn’t point to the murderers, true, but confirmed the JW connection and the presumption to look for ‘the cuckoo.’

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        • Also spotted when the girls were sat together near the start a disdainful look from the entire group similar to scenes from “The Village Of the Damned” (Can’t recall now, were they all blonde)

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  5. At the end we see someone with black gloves pick up the Blaise-Hamilton red ring. Inside the ring was the sign of the Freemasonry. Who was wearing (or might have been wearing) the black gloves? What is the significance of this scene?

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    • In the first episode there was a similar scene, right at the end? Creepy.

      Also, I think one of the police mentioned becoming a Mason, and Morse warned against it.

      A storyline to come, perhaps!

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    • We do know that Jim Strange was a Freemason, any link here?

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      • The gloved hands were on the small side, so I was thinking the wearer might be female. The woman editor of the Oxford Mail, Dorothea Frazil? (Can’t see why she’d be at police HQ looking at the tagged effects of the murderer. Too speculative.)

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      • In the original (John Thaw) series, there was one episode where the Masons were out to get Morse. I’ve been wondering if this is teeing up that antipathy.

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  6. Is it just me ,or has Morse just dealt with track 1 (musical box) on Genesis’
    Nursery Crime?

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    • 15 May ’14 at 9:04 pm

      Harounelmacki

      Absolutely ! Strange that hardly anyone noticed. The first scene immediately harks back to the cover of “Nursery Cryme” (the musical box, nannies, prams, croquet and blood), and the family name Blaise-Hamilton is lifted from the liner notes, i.e. the little text Gabriel wrote to accompany the lyrics. Bunty Glossop was even made to look like the girl wielding the croquet “bat” on the cover. The writer seems to be a fan !

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    • I thought the same exact thing while watching. From the girl with the Victorian dress to the croquet mallet musical box.

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    • Just read a wikipedia account of “Nursery Cryme”. It lists the US LP release as having a “mad hatter” image on the cover. There was a reference to Bunty reading Alice through the Looking Glass when Morse was interviewing the girls at the school. I would love to read the a commentary by the script writers to see all the hidden references. There are hidden clues behind the mystery!

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  7. What is the building used as the school this week?

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  8. In 1966 pubs closed at either 2:30 or 3pm on Saturday afternoons, so they would not be watching the World Cup Final over a pint.

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  9. Thanks to all the comment-writers. I have learned so much from you!

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  10. What is Morse saying to Bunty about the Jaberwocky when Black is holding her, ready to kill her? Then, Bunty bites Black on the hand/arm.
    Also, towards the end, what does Bunty say to Morse regarding the “Save Me” note?
    Thank you!

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    • Morris says, “‘Beware the Jabberwock, my son…’ What comes next?” Or words to that effect. What comes next is, “The jaws that bite.”

      Bounty says, “I asked you to save me, and you did.”

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