ENDEAVOUR Series 5, Episode 6: 'Quartet'

ITV Transmission:
Sunday 4th March 2018, 8.00-10.00pm



Cutting kindly supplied by Hazel Ford


Endeavour is a prequel series to ITV's world famous Inspector Morse series, which was based on the novels by author Colin Dexter. Shaun Evans portrays the young Endeavour Morse, who was originally played in the earlier series, which covered the character's later years, by the late John Thaw.

By this episode of the series, the narrative has reached 1968, and unexpectedly, Jeux Sans Frontières is at the centre of events, with the (fictional!) murder of a German competitor at an Oxford-hosted JSF heat.

The story is about Morse stepping in to represent GB in a giants' race at the last minute to replace his friend who had to pull out. When the race gets underway, the German competitor is shot and collapses on the course. A small boy in the audience is also killed by accident. They think at first that the German has just fainted because, as Morse says, "It's very hot in those costumes!" The Swiss competitor looked like a likely suspect, as he nudged the German in the race, but that turned out to be a red herring. The German turned out to be a Soviet/East German spy and/or had dealings with those countries.

The costumes looked very good; they all had their countries' letters on and the countries competing were the same as would be during the 1960s: GB, D, CH, I and B (we assume that the French were sitting out this game!). However, there were a number of silly blunders with regard to the history and rules of the competition. To start with, Morse wouldn't have been asked to step in as a last minute replacement as teams always had reserves in the squad. Also they said that the German competitor worked for the Council of Europe in Strasbourg - now the EU buildings and commission wasn't built and opened in Strasbourg until the 1990s! Let's be generous and say that we'll overlook these factors as artistic licence!

Somewhat bizarrely, though, the camera crew present at the event were from Southern Television (then the regional ITV franchise holders for the South of England, with their iconic compass logo) rather than the BBC, who actually made the UK-based JSF programmes from 1967-1982. It is likely that this decision was made since it was easier to use an ITV company's logo than have to jump through hoops (in a series of silly costumes, of course!) to licence the use of a BBC one. Also worth mentioning is that the costumes seen in Endeavour are obviously not 1960s props, or even similar, but let's put that down to dramatic licence and expediency.

Official Description from Radio Times: "Morse starts an investigation into an assassination attempt at an outdoor games event. Persisting with his enquiries even after the case is considered closed, he uncovers a murky world linking espionage and big business. Meanwhile, DI Fred Thursday faces a moral dilemma as he tries to protect a woman from her violent husband."

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