Morse Universe: Weekly News Round-Up W/E 7th January 2017.

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Hi Endeavourists and hasn’t this been a busy week regarding all things Endeavour. As most of you may already know I have posted about five times this week regarding interview videos with the stars of Endeavour and this week’s magazine articles. I will repost them here for those who missed them or would rather read or watch everything in the same place. Of course firstly I will be looking at the tweets and Instagram and news this week regarding our stars of the Morse universe plus I have added new articles I haven’t already posted.

Interesting news in that Shaun Evans confirms in an interview that each episode in the new series will contain a picture of Colin Dexter.

So sit back and enjoy what will be a rather large post.

First up is the Twitter account about Endeavour run by ITV and Mammoth.

Endeavour
@EndeavourTV
The official home of #Endeavour. Exclusive behind the scenes content and latest news. Account hosted by @mammothscreen.

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Laurence Fox on Twitter and Instagram. @LozzaFox

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Rebecca Front on Twitter and Instagram. 

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Ten things you didn’t know about Rebecca Front from https://acrossthepondtv.wordpress.com

Rebecca Front started a barbershop quartet

Rebecca Front and Sioned William

Rebecca Front and Sioned William

…when she was ten years old. It was 1970s Essex. Loving to sing, she tried to start her own barbershop quartet, but realized that if she recorded her voice, played it back, sang along, recorded that, and so on until she had a four part harmony, she didn’t need to rely on anyone else to show up for rehearsal. Front is actually quite a singer and later was part of the Bobo Girls, a live show of sketch and music in which Front wrote all of the songs.

Her father’s Beatles artwork sold for $15K+

rubbersoulFront’s father, Charles Front, was an illustrator. He designed the iconic “psychedelic” lettering on the Beatles’ Rubber Soul album. He left it forgotten in an attic until 2008 when he sold it for $15,039 at Bonhams. Incidentally, Mr. Front used to be in an upscale crooner band and is said to have done a very good Danny Kaye impression.

She didn’t learn to swim because her dad almost drowned

Speaking of her father, the reason Rebecca Front never learned to swim is because when she was eleven and went to the lake with her family, she witnessed the almost drowning of her father. He was, thankfully, pulled out of the water and revived, but this gave Front a paranoia about the water and a disinterest in learning to swim. She did make sure her kids learned as soon as they could take lessons, though.

Rebecca Front used to throw her shoes out the window

Rebecca Front as Miss Dyson in Little Cracker

Rebecca Front as Miss Dyson in Little Cracker

While her family was away on the infamous lake trip, Front’s grandfather died. At only eleven years old, the conclusion she came to was that they had stolen her father’s soul back from Death, and so it came for her grandfather instead. She understood that this meant it would come after her mother next, causing terrible anxiety about leaving her parents alone, such as to go to school. Can you remember when you first learned that your parents are not invincible and they can be stolen from you even on your watch? It was so traumatic, she began chucking her shoes out the bedroom window each morning to avoid going to school. This led to having to start a new school and the school allowing her mother, who wrote children’s books, to work in the school library so that young Rebecca didn’t have so many panic attacks. The TV series Little Cracker depicts this part of Front’s life. She even gets to play Miss Dyson, the teacher who arranged for Rebecca’s mom to work in the school, rescuing Rebecca from being home-schooled.

A man lived in her shed

Of all the anecdotes in Rebecca Front’s book Curious, this is the best because it sounds like a gag in a sitcom, but in fact, it happened to Front when she was away at college. The first time living on their own, Rebecca Front and her roommates didn’t know what to do when every night an odd man would ring the doorbell, demanding to see Harvey. After telling him night after night that he had the wrong house or that Harvey doesn’t live here anymore, they let him in to see for himself. He walked through the house and into the garden to meet Harvey…who had been living in their shed the whole time.

She didn’t get her ears pierced until age 45

As some sort of protest to peer pressure or something (I realize that this is a retroactive, accurate explanation as to why I still don’t have my ears pierced), Rebecca Front never bothered to get her ears pierced. When her daughter went in to get hers done, Front cut a 45-year protest short and got hers pierced, too.

Nicola Murray is afraid of lifts so that Rebecca didn’t have to go in one

In The Thick of It, Rebecca Front’s character Nicola Murray spends all her time crossing floors via stairwells, as she claims she is afraid of elevators. Rebecca Front is actually afraid of elevators in real life, even (and perhaps especially) ones used just for filming, so they wrote it into the script. She is also afraid of trains, which makes scenes in trains especially difficult, even when her character is supposed to be afraid of trains.

She took hypnotherapy to get over her fear of flying

Elevators and trains aren’t the only things she’s afraid of. She’s also a hypochondriac and fears her family will die or that she will die in a plane crash. She actually took hypnotherapy to get over her fear of flying so that she could take an acting job abroad, a section in Curious so interesting and complex you’ll have to read it for yourself. The short of it is that hypnotherapy didn’t really work for her in the long run, but she is able to fly in planes sometimes.

Don’t ask her to cat-sit for you

Another scene that sounds like it’s out of a sitcom: Rebecca Front was cat-sitting for a neighbor and the cat escaped and got run over by a car. This is not funny. However, what was funny was the sitcom-esque situation of what do you do with a dead cat that doesn’t belong to you. Do you leave it for your neighbor to come find days later? Do you put it on ice? Can you keep it in your house? Stash it in hers? Do you dispose of it even though it’s not your property? Luckily, she did the right thing and phoned up to tell the neighbor about the incident, to which the neighbor just responded that the cat always escaped and that this wasn’t surprising.

She will never be a shoplifter (at least not on purpose)

9780297870210Rebecca Front’s moral anxieties will prevent her from ever ripping you off. There is a somewhat tedious part of Curious where she agonizes about having accidentally taken a clove of garlic from the grocery store without paying for it, and winds up constructing a much too complicated situation in which to pay the store back for what she’d taken. She writes it with a sort of “This happens to you, right?” and I feel the obvious answer here is, “No! The store won’t even notice it’s gone and it was their mistake for not noticing it at the bottom of the bag.” This is supported by the baffled store employees when she tries to explain what happened. And yet, this scene perfectly illustrates what this book is all about. This mundane story isn’t meant to be a “ya know when” routine. The book is much more akin to Jon Richardson’s book It’s Not Me, It’s You! which puts you in the mindset of the author for a short period of time with no other goals than to get you a realistic feel for what it’s like to be them, whether it’s Richardson’s OCD or Front’s crippling anxieties. It really makes you appreciate that we’re all human, and everybody’s got something.

Dakota Blue Richards @DakotaBlueR on Twitter

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Next is from http://www.whatsonstage.com.

5 minutes with: Dakota Blue Richards – ‘The Golden Compass could have been damaging’
The actress on her upcoming turn in Joe Orton’s What the Butler Saw, the Curve and why she didn’t plan on being an actor

I had never even considered acting as a profession. It just seemed unattainable for somebody like me. I had done school plays and a bit of amateur dramatics but nothing remotely close to The Golden Compass.The open auditions for the film changed the course of my life massively. I was a huge fan of the books and meeting Philip Pullman was probably the most star-struck that I got out of everyone on that production. He is a hero of mine.

There was a lot of pressure for a 12 year-old, but the film was also the most amazing fun. I was so well looked after and I have a lot of people to thank for that. It could have been a very damaging experience if there wasn’t so much care taken to make sure I was well protected throughout.

I would do anything for Nikolai Foster. He is fantastic. He’s always got about twenty things he’s doing at the same time but he has a wonderful team around him at the Curve in Leicester, and he works with Chris Stafford [the theatre’s CEO] so well. They are doing really exciting things with their productions – which might be shows people have seen a hundred times before but they are making them very new and fresh. With Grease, they’ve made the show gritty again.

When I first read What the Butler Saw I laughed out loud on public transport. Before Nikolai [who is directing] sent me the script I had heard of it, but never seen it or read it. It’s so funny and so relevant as well. Sadly it’s still the state of the world in many ways.

The play feels ready to burst at any moment. The whole thing is set in one room in an asylum in the ’60s, and it starts with my character Geraldine in a job interview. It’s a catalyst that starts all the madness of the show, which gets more and more bizarre. There’s some crossdressing and mistaken identities. It can be quite dark, but it’s very human.

The Curve is a wonderful building. The moment you come through those doors it’s welcoming. When I first visited, there were teenagers breakdancing in the foyer and I asked Nikolai if there was a dance class going on. But there wasn’t. People just come and use it because it’s a safe space to be creative. The Curve really nurtures creativity and the theatre is entrenched in the community in Leicester.

Moving from film to theatre was terrifying. I was so scared of being live, because I always had the safety net of being on film. If something goes wrong, you can just do it again and nobody ever has to know, whereas on stage, once you’ve said your line you can’t take it back. You just have to accept that you screwed up, move on and hope it’s better the next night. When I did Arcadia in 2014, I took a leap of faith and I put my trust in the amazing director Blanche McIntyre. I had great people around me who helped me and guided me through it.

What the Butler Saw runs at Leicester Curve from 3 to 18 March and the Theatre Royal Bath from 27 March to 1 April.

Abigail Thaw @abigailthaw on Twitter

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A interview with Abigail Thaw in the Scottish newspaper The Herald.

Abigail Thaw endeavours to follow in father John’s Inspector Morse footsteps.

Abigail Thaw endeavours to follow in father John's Inspector Morse footsteps

Abigail Thaw endeavours to follow in father John’s Inspector Morse footsteps.

Abigail Thaw has confessed to not being aware of how hard her father, the late John Thaw, worked as TV’s Inspector Morse until she herself appeared in his programme’s prequel Endeavour.

The actress, 51, stars in the offshoot series as newspaper editor Dorothea Frazil, a role she took on in 2012, 10 years after Thaw’s death at the age of 60 from cancer.

Thaw appeared as Chief Inspector Endeavour Morse in the popular ITV drama, which ran from 1987 until 2000.

Abigail Thaw

Abigail told the Radio Times that her taking part in the series, which is based on a young Endeavour Morse in 1960s Oxford, has helped her to understand the amount of hours her father put in on the show.

She said: “Going to work on Endeavour doesn’t feel like a homage to my father.

“But it does give me a jolt every now and then – it happens, funnily enough, when I’m in Oxford, where I think about him a lot more.

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John Thaw (William Conran PA Archive/PA Images)

“I’m tired after a few days’ filming and think, ‘Blimey, he did this for months.’ I never realised when I used to go round to see him for Sunday lunch and a gossip.”

Abigail said that her father initially had doubts about Inspector Morse, before deciding to accept the role, because it seemed too risky.

She said: “Dad believed in it – it was just a bit scary as to whether or not it would take off.

“It was this premise of being two hours long – which everyone was very sceptical about. Channel 4 hadn’t been out that long, and it was all about fast, furious, youth-culture programmes.”

Endeavour and Inspector Morse

Endeavour and Inspector Morse stars Shaun Evans (left) and John Thaw (PA Archive/ITV)

Despite Thaw’s concerns, Inspector Morse went on to become one of the leading drama programmes of the 1990s and its episodes sometimes pulled in as many as 18 million viewers.

Abigail appears opposite Shaun Evans as a young Morse in Endeavour, which soon returns for its fourth series.

The series was devised by Russell Lewis, who also penned episodes for Inspector Morse and its other spin-off series Lewis, all of which are based on the novels of crime author Colin Dexter.

Shaun, 36, said he did not feel daunted in stepping into the role after it was made famous by Thaw.

Asked why he did not worry because another actor had played Morse before, he said: “But they hadn’t, had they? They’d played a version of it, 20 years older.

“They hadn’t played the script that I had in front of me. No one else had played that.

“My intention with this was, of course, to please the audience that already existed – but it was also to get an audience of my generation to watch it.

“To watch my work, to watch our work. It wasn’t about a nostalgia fest.”

Endeavour returns to ITV on Sunday January 8 at 8pm.

That is all for Twitter.

Next up is an article in today’s Daily Mail Online. By TIM OGLETHORPE FOR WEEKEND MAGAZINE

Please, let’s lay Morse to rest: John Thaw fans look away – as Endeavour’s Shaun Evans reveals his disapproval of plans to mark Morse’s 30th anniversary in his own series
Shaun Evans appears less than thrilled about the 30th anniversary of Endeavor
Says: ‘I don’t think there’s any benefit in paying homage to what went before’
Endeavour is tomorrow night at 8pm on ITV

The late John Thaw played the legendary Inspector Morse for 13 years, and without him there would be no Endeavour, the prequel series about the Oxford detective’s early days.
But ask Shaun Evans, who’s been playing the young Endeavour Morse since 2012, how he feels about the new series of his show being used to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first Inspector Morse and his reply is icy.
‘With all due respect, I have a job to do and that is to try and make Endeavour the best it can be. I don’t think there’s any benefit in paying homage to what went before.’
Blimey! That doesn’t fit with ITV’s take on the new four-part series. The channel had been planning to mark the anniversary with guest stars and heritage characters and stories.
‘With 2017 marking the 30th anniversary of Inspector Morse, viewers can expect many respectful tips of the trilby from Endeavour to its much admired progenitor,’ it trumpets, before adding, ‘The cast for the first film includes James Laurenson, who appeared in the very first Morse episode, The Dead Of Jericho, in 1987.’
Shaun reckons the involvement of veteran actor James is simply the fortunate casting of a very fine actor rather than a deliberate attempt to connect the two series.
And he’s pretty dismissive of the ‘respectful tips of the trilby’ this new series is planning to doff to the original Morse, a show that generated huge ratings and won six BAFTAs.

‘I think you’d have to look very closely to find references in the script to them, they’re very well embedded,’ he says. ‘If I can be dead honest with you, when I first see the script for a new episode of Endeavour, if anything jars I say, “What’s this, has it got a place in our story?”, and if it hasn’t, it has to go.
‘I want the drama to be tight and entertaining. I don’t want it to be flabby, paying homage to something I’ve never seen. I want people of my generation who’ve never seen Endeavour before to enjoy this series.

The cast for the first film includes James Laurenson (pictured), who appeared in the very first Morse episode

The cast for the first film includes James Laurenson (pictured), who appeared in the very first Morse episode

‘I don’t see the point in being reverential to what has gone before. If I put a question mark against something, the writer Russell Lewis will come back and say it’s a reference to Inspector Morse. For me, sometimes that doesn’t really have a place in our show. I know I may sound like a spoilsport saying that.’
Shaun’s speaking at a partly disused hospital in north London, where he’s on location for the new series.
It picks up barely a fortnight after the end of the last, when Endeavour’s mentor DI Fred Thursday’s daughter Joan quit Oxford to start a new life away from both her parents and from Morse, who had fallen for her.
We see Thursday, played by Roger Allam, barely able to concentrate on his work because of his daughter’s absence. In contrast, Morse throws himself into his job, although his hangdog expression betrays that he’s loved – and lost.
‘There’s always a bit of heartache in Morse’s life, it’s his default setting,’ grins Shaun, ‘although it’d be nice if there was a moment of joy for him at some point. It’d be good to work towards that.’

The series opener is a tale of skulduggery at the fictional Lovelace College in Oxford. ‘It begins with the unveiling of this “thinking machine”, a device made by the West that will challenge the Soviets during the Cold War,’ explains Shaun. ‘But the discovery of the body of one of those involved in its development in a river close to Lovelace College is the start of a case that leads Endeavour and Thursday into great danger.’
Shaun admits to experiencing the kind of emotional heartache his character has encountered, but says he never uses it to inspire his performances. ‘I’ve been dumped plenty of times, I can assure you of that,’ laughs the 36-year-old Liverpool-born actor, who dated Irish pop star Andrea Corr for four years after meeting her while filming the movie The Boys & Girl From County Clare in Ireland in 2003.
‘But I don’t think about my personal experiences when I’m filming because otherwise you become a pain in the a**e who’s constantly thinking about themselves when they’re working.
‘Everything should come from your imagination, not your experience. Work should help you grow, learn and move forward rather than think back to when you were dumped.’
Episode two is set against the backdrop of 60s rock’n’roll and includes groovy songs with lyrics written by Russell Lewis, while the scene Roger and Shaun are working on today is set at the fictional Cowley Hospital in Oxford, where much of the action for the third episode takes place.
Episode four, set partly at a nuclear power station, is about the concerns surrounding this new form of energy, and includes a couple of tips of the trilby in that it stars Abigail Thaw, John Thaw’s real-life daughter from his first marriage, and his widow Sheila Hancock too.
ITV thinks highly enough of Endeavour to have commissioned a further six episodes of the show, which will be filmed later this year.
‘Nobody should get complacent, you have to earn your place on TV,’ says Shaun. ‘If these four new stories don’t do well they won’t let us make any more. The series has been recommissioned but it doesn’t mean they won’t pull the offer off the table.’
So does he think these new stories will do well enough to justify six more? ‘I hope so. I wasn’t happy with the ending of the last series, I didn’t think we reached a satisfying conclusion with Joan’s departure but in this series there’s closure of that storyline and closure too, of a sort, for Endeavour.’
The fact that ITV has commissioned half a dozen more stories means that the end of the road for the brilliant but lonely young detective is probably still some way off. Can Shaun see an end to the series?
‘I think I’ll know when it’s the right time to go,’ he says. ‘It’ll be time to leave it when the story’s been told, but the powers that be will be the first to know when I feel that way.’
Which is Morse code for saying Endeavour is probably going to be on our screens for the next couple of years at least, but don’t bank on him being around as long as the original.

Endeavour: British Magazine Articles About Series 4.

The Times Newspaper. An article by Lucy Bannerman.

Morse sleuths detect end of era as creator cuts cameos.

In one episode, he’s the tramp rifling through a bin in the background. In another, he’s the patient in a hospital waiting room holding on to his crutches. Sometimes, he’s the man reading a newspaper on a bench, or simply a passer-by in the cloisters.

Watch any mystery involving Inspector Morse carefully enough, and you’re likely to spot the same stout little man somewhere in the Oxford landscape.

Dexter enjoyed cameos — he read The Times in an episode of Endeavour.

It’s the character’s creator, Colin Dexter, enjoying a cheeky cameo, and his appearances in almost every episode of Inspector Morse and its spin-off series have become such a tradition that for many fans the question of whodunnit now comes second to: Where’s Colin?

They are about to be disappointed. For after 30 years as one of television’s most dedicated extras, the crime writer will not appear in the new series of the Morse prequel, Endeavour. Russell Lewis, the screenwriter, has revealed that fans will not be able to spot the celebrated crime writer, who is 86 — at least, not physically.

“I think he’s allowed, after 30-odd years, to take tea in the pavilion,” Lewis told the Radio Times. “We haven’t got him in the flesh this year. But there’s a big part of the fandom that likes to spot Colin — like spotting Hitchcock. He’ll be there in spirit, not in flesh. He’ll be that little bit harder to find than usual.”

Alfred Hitchcock made cameo appearances in 39 of his 52 surviving major films, in one of them appearing as a newspaper photograph.

Dexter, a former classics teacher, created the irascible, Wagner-loving, ale-drinking detective in 1972, during a wet family holiday. The longest-serving detective on ITV celebrates his 30th anniversary this week.

John Thaw first played him on the small screen on January 6, 1987, racking up 33 episodes in 13 years. The original series was followed by nine series of the Kevin Whately sidekick spin-off Lewis, and now the 1960s prequel Endeavour, which starts its fourth series on Sunday.

Dexter has made brief cameos in almost all of the episodes. He is there in the first one of Endeavour, reading The Times. In older episodes, such as Driven to Distraction, he’s waiting in the launderette, or, as in Day of the Devil, having tea on the hotel lawn. In The Remorseful Day, he is a tourist in a wheelchair.

In The Wolvercote Tongue, he enjoys his longest cameo, photobombing a conversation between Morse and Lewis for a whole, scene-stealing minute and twenty five seconds, as they discuss a case in the pub. In Death is Now My Neighbour he is even awarded a speaking part — as a bishop, saying grace.

Dexter once described Morse as “melancholy, sensitive, vulnerable, independent, ungracious and mean-pocketed”. When the on-screen Morse died of a heart attack in 2000’s final episode, The Remorseful Day, nearly 14 million viewers tuned in.

The cast for the new series includes Thaw’s daughter, Abigail, whose character’s name is Dorothea Frazil. The dictionary definition of “Frazil” is a type of ice, in fast-moving water — so “D Frazil” could be read as “de-ice” — a deliberate reference to Thaw.

Ms Thaw said the new series was full of “clever, little things, little codes — all the crossword lovers will be satisfied”. The new run will also feature as guest stars James Laurenson, who was in the first episode of Inspector Morse, and Sheila Hancock, John Thaw’s widow.

Chris Sullivan, a Morse fan and blogger who has created YouTube videos, collating every Dexter cameo he can find, said it was “very disappointing and saddening” to hear that his favourite author will not be making his usual cameos.

“It is the end of an era as Colin not only made cameo appearances in the Endeavour series but he appeared in almost all 33 of the original Morse series and 33 episodes of the spin-off Lewis series. I am sure all Morse fans around the world wish him well.”

To view my videos on Colin Dexter Cameos click here. You will find Dexter’s appearances in Morse and the Lewis series. For all Colin’s cameos in the Endeavour series click on the ‘Endeavour’ link at the top of the page and there will find my 12 part post on the Endeavour connections to the Morse and Lewis series which contain where one can see Colin Dexter.

©times newspaper UK ©lucy bannerman.

Article from Radio Times by Neil Midgley

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©Radio Times ©Neil Midgley

Article from Total TV Guide by Natalie Tambini.

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©Total TV Guide ©Natalie Tambini

Article from TV Times by Caren Clark.

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©TV Times ©Caren Clark

Article from What’s On TV by Hannah Davies, Sean Marland and Victoria Wilson.

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©What’s on TV ©Hannah Davies ©Sean Marland ©Victoria Wilson

Article in TV Choice by Natalie Tambini.

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©TV Choice ©Natalie Tambini

Endeavour: Two new articles from the Oxford Mail.

Hi everyone. Here are two links to articles in the Oxford Mail. The first one is an artcile about Colin Dexter and the second is an interview with Dakota Blue Richards who plays Shirley Trewlove in the Endeavour series.

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/15000780.Morse_creator_retires_from_popular_cameo_appearances/

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/leisure/theatre/15004422.Oxford_is_a_genuine___39_Trewlove

Shaun Evans Interview on Lorraine TV Daytime Show. 6th Jan’ 2017.

Shaun Evans on the Steve Wright Show, BBC Radio 2, 6th January 2017.

Shaun Evans confirms in this interview that each episode in the new series will contain a picture of Colin Dexter.

The interview was interrupted by a song so that is why the there is a slight jerk in my recording half way through.

Abigail Thaw on Good Morning Britain. 6th January 2017.

Roger Allam on ITV daytime show ‘This Morning’. 6th January 2017.

That’s all for this week. I’m looking forward to the new Endeavour episode on Sunday and I am hoping to get time to write a review of that episode next week.

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3 comments

  1. Very informative! Just don’t test me, I can’t remember all of this!
    Seriously, I think I would like to read the book “Curious”. Thanks for mentioning it here.

    Like

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