Endeavour: Series 4, Episode 4, ‘Harvest’. An Overview. !!SPOILERS!!

 

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-13h50m41s209

!!SPOILERS!! !!SPOILERS!! In this post I will be not only reviewing the episode but also looking at the locations, music, literary references and other interesting facts and trivia within the episode. So, if you haven’t seen the episode, look away now.

Sorry this post is overdue but my mum has another chest infection. She hasn’t been hospitalised as the doctor thinks antibiotics may be enough to prevent another hospital admittance. Anyway she is no worse and only slightly better. I will give it until tomorrow before calling the doctor again.

Endeavour: Series 4, Episode 4, HARVEST.

First shown on the 29th January 2017 in the UK.

Chronologically this would be episode 17.

Directed by  Jim Loach. 

WRITTEN AND DEVISED BY RUSSELL LEWIS.

SYNOPSIS

A body is found near marshland and is presumed to be the body of the botanist, Matthew Laxman. Matthew Laxman disappeared in the area five years before and with the finding of his glasses DI Thursday wants to open the cold case.

The disappearance of Matthew Laxman leads Morse and Thursday through beautiful countryside, a nuclear power plant and the beautiful, seemingly sinister village of Bramford.

Meanwhile, Joan Thursday is found by her father and she must make decisions as to where her future lies.

REVIEW

I am sure I am not the first to mention the resemblance of this episode to the, in my opinion over-rated film The Wicker Man, (I never read any other reviews until I have finished writing my own). I am glad that Endeavour never ended up inside a giant wicker man at the end of the episode.

This is a rather disappointing episode after last week’s excellent episode, Lazaretto. It is certainly not as bad as the second episode Canticle but unfortunately this episode has too many faults. As I have mentioned in other reviews there are times when the writing is more akin to an episode of Murder She Wrote or an Agatha Christie series.

The use of the old chestnut of a unfriendly village where strangers aren’t welcome wore out as a motif back in the seventies. I was waiting for Morse to enter the pub and the music to stop and all the customers and staff to stare at him. A villager then says, ‘There be a stranger among us’. It was all so twee and what was maybe worse the whole druid like antics of the villagers and their unwillingness to talk to Morse was all a red herring.

My biggest disappointment was under using Shelia Hancock. After all the build up over the last three episodes each ending with Sheila Hancock’s character laying down portentous tarot cards, NOTHING HAPPENS. Again the tarot cards where a red herring. The tarot card ‘death’ is shown at the end of the last episode, Lazaretto, and we all as fans assumed that there would be a dramatic death that would affect Morse. But there isn’t. I predicted Joan Thursday dying which I believe would have made for a better ending and allow Morse to move on from their doomed, unrequited love affair. A baby died but it wasn’t even Morse’s baby. It was either Ray Morton or Paul Marlock’s baby. Paul Marlock was the character from the last episode of the third series, Coda. he was a jack the lad who was only courting Joan to get information about the bank.

vlcsnap-2017-02-01-13h41m58s435

I do wish it had ended with Joan’s death and this would allow the series to move on. The whole affair between Morse and Joan is becoming like a soap opera and using it as a story arc just didn’t work. Russell Lewis has to start the next series with an end to the ‘will they won’t they‘ element to the Endeavour series and have Morse concentrate on his career and meet and fail with other women.

On the subject of Russell Lewis, I believe it is time to bring in other writers, some new blood. Thank you Russell for devising this series and getting it to the screen but I can’t think of another series where one writer has writen 17 two hour episodes by himself. The original Morse series worked partly due to the many great writers they used. The producers of the Morse series looked for the best screenwriters around at that time and it worked brilliantly. Mr Lewis, let go and allow your baby to be feed and looked after by other people. The other people won’t break or abuse or drop your baby if they are chosen wisely.

Another complaint is the ‘will he or won’t he‘ go to London scenario. OF COURSE NOT! We all as Morse fans know that Morse never leaves the Oxford police department. It is yet another red herring that has no drama or suspense. Unless of course you are completely unaware of anything that happened in the original series.

I believe it is time for the character of Fred Thursday to be written out of the series. I love the character and Roger Allam but a new DI for Morse would be breath of fresh air. It would allow the the character of Morse to have to adapt to a new boss and a new set of rules in that new boss’s methodology. That new DI should of course be McNutt. (N.B. the producers of Endeavour, make sure it is Scottish actor who plays the part of McNutt).

Don’t get me started on why the Americans were included in the plot. Why did they have to be Americans? Is it a sop to an American audience? Another red herring.

So, let us get to the good points about the episode and there were quite a few. As always and it is becoming something of a cliche but the acting by all was very good. My only complaint was the character of Seth Maddox played by Chris Coghill who mumbled his way through his lines.

The storyline was a prescient one regarding the dangers of nuclear power. It is only a few years ago that the Fukishima power plant went into meltdown. The preacher, Nigel Warren was wearing a CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) badge and the 1960s was a time when CND were coming to the fore having been formed in 1957. Actually the 1960s was a time when CND came closest to having people elected to Parliament. Nuclear power is as much of a contentious issue today as it was in the ’60s.

I enjoy that Thursday is not always shown as being perfect. Like other episodes he is shown to beat up someone and looks to being a policeman to never allow him to be brought to task for his actions. Violence is wrong especially when the attacker is a policeman but the 1960s and 1970s were infamous for the police using heavy handed violent tactics. The police force still has its bad apples today but I don’t believe that it can be compared to the 1960s and ’70s.  Fred Thursday was of a generation of police officers where violence was something of a norm.

vlcsnap-2017-02-01-14h51m13s329

The storyline was a good one and would have worked just as well without the whole Wicker Man subplot. Let’s not start pulling at the thread of how the preacher and the Professor became allies or it will all fall apart. The plot could have focused more on the cold case involving Matthew Laxman and his investigation into the nuclear plant and been all the better for it. The episode could have included the County police, those who couldn’t find their arse with a map, getting involved and show the rivalry between the two forces.

There were many lovely and funny lines in the episode. Apart from the one mentioned above about the county police there was Dorothea Frazil’s calling of Morse, ‘Snappy Jenkins‘. “Snappy?” says Morse. “Well you can be” replies Dorothea. That line and Fred’s about county were worth the price of admission.

vlcsnap-2017-02-01-14h35m54s798

This episode is my third favourite of the series behind Game and my favourite of the series, Lazaretto. I’m a little worried for the series especially in light of the news that the next series is going to have six episodes. I am a great believer in quality not quantity.

I’m still looking forward to the next series even though it is with a bit of trepidation. My main concern is the standard of writing that can be maintained by one man. After the six episodes of the next series that will bring the total for the whole series to 23. One man writing almost 40 hours of television. Twenty three episodes is only ten episodes away from the number of episodes in the Morse and Lewis series. Will Russell end the Endeavour series on the 33rd episode? Time will tell.

My Jag rating out of ten is: six-jags

WHERE’S COLIN

It took two viewings to find Mr Dexter and it is a rather cunning way to have him in the show if not physically.

bust-of-dexter

bust-of-dexter2

A friend of Colin’s has told me that they believe the bust is one that was created by portrait sculpture. Ruth Bader Gilbert.

Portrait of Colin Dexter

 

MUSIC

The first piece of music is heard around the three minute mark. It is Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor, K. 626: III. Sequentia: Dies irae. (The K represents the Köchel catalogue. … The Köchel-Verzeichnis or Köchelverzeichnis is an inclusive, chronological catalogue of compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, which was originally created by Ludwig von Köchel. It is abbreviated K. or KV).

More about  Mozart’s Requiem in the section, ‘Connections to Morse and Lewis’ below.

Around eight and a half minutes we hear Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659 by Johann Sebastian Bach.

At 27 minutes we get a classic from the 1960s. Paint it Black by The Rolling Stones.

Literary References

About two minutes into the episode we hear the preacher, Nigel Warren, quoting from the bible. Revelation 8:1.

When the Lamb opened the seventh seal,there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and they were given seven trumpets.…

At about 10 minutes Morse and Thursday approach Nigel Warren as he stands preaching. This time he is again quoting from the bible; Revelation 8:7

The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up …

At around 50 minutes Morse is talking to the American, Levin at the power station. He tells Morse that of course he knows Professor Donald Bagley as his book, Prometheus Unbound was necessary reading at university. Prometheus Unbound is a play by Percy Bysshe Shelley. It is concerned with the torments of the Greek mythological figure Prometheus, who defies the gods and gives fire to humanity, for which he is subjected to eternal punishment and suffering at the hands of Zeus. Of course Shelley’s wife Mary wrote Frankenstein. That book’s subtitle is The Modern Prometheus.

At around one hour and 24 minutes the Preacher quotes again from the bible while in the power station. Revelation 8:8.

Then the second angel blew his trumpet, and a great mountain of fire was thrown … And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning…

Locations

The first and second time we find the preacher preaching he is standing opposite New College Lane.

nigel-warren

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-13h57m53s106

 

endeavour-harvest

endeavour-harvest2

endeavour-harvest3

Next up we have Morse and Strange walking out of the fish and chip shop into Ship Street.

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-14h19m57s888

endwavour-harvest-fish-and-chip-shop

endwavour-harvest-fish-and-chip-shop2

endwavour-harvest-fish-and-chip-shop3

When they reach Turl Street, Strange walks off leaving Morse to go in the other direction.

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-14h21m24s621

endwavour-harvest-fish-and-chip-shop4

The village of Hambleden near Henley stands in for Brampton.

hambleden-endeavour-harvest

A very pretty village and it is easy to see why it makes a great location.

burgess-house

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-22h34m44s895

hambleden-endeavour-harvest2

Next we have the village post office where Morse meets the village Post Mistress.

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-14h04m33s569

hambleden-endeavour-harvest3

Now we have the place where Morse and Thursday talk to Dr. Tristan Berger.

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-22h42m59s149

And the Sexton of the church. The church is called St Mary the Virgin.

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-22h42m36s206

hambleden-endeavour-harvest4

When Morse first visits the village he is dropped off beside the pub, The Hanged Man.

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-22h46m49s948

hambleden-endeavour-harvest5

Of course the pub that is in the village of Hambleden is actually called The Stag & Huntsman. 

On the way out of the village we find the house that doubled for the American couple’s house.

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-14h07m45s718

hambleden-endeavour-harvest6

hambleden-endeavour-harvest7

hambleden-endeavour-harvest8

Hambleden has been used for many feature films such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 101 Dalmatians, Sleepy Hollow, Into the Woods and the New Avengers, for major TV productions such as Band of Brothers, A Village Affair, Poirot, Rosemary & Thyme, New Tricks and Down to Earth as well as a variety of advertisements and promotions.

Up next we have the exterior of the botanic gardens where Morse and Thursday interview Alison Laxman. The interiors may have been filmed there but it could also have been shot in a studio.

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-13h53m33s614

botanic-gardens-oxford-endeavour-harvest

 

The above view of the gardens can be moved 360 degrees by clicking on the picture and dragging it around.

After talking to Alison, Morse and Thursday go looking for Professor Donald Bagley. They find him in Magdalen College Chapel.

vlcsnap-2017-02-01-10h49m39s091

magdalen-college-endeavour-harvest

The painting that can be seen at the back of the chapel is Christ Carrying the Cross on His Way to Calvary by Juan de Valdés Leal (1622–1690)

Christ Carrying the Cross on His Way to Calvary

The location that stood in for the local nuclear power plant, Bramford B, was Fawley Power Station. It’s located on the western side of Southampton Water, between the villages of Fawley and Calshot in Hampshire. The power station was shut on 31 March 2013.

Image result for Fawley Power Station

Image result for Fawley Power Station

fawley-power-station-harvest

Connections to the original Morse or Lewis series.

Well we have to start with the obvious first, Sheila Hancock.

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-14h09m30s186

Sheila Hancock was, as if you all didn’t know, married to John Thaw the original Morse.

Michael Pennington who played Professor Donald Bagley,

bagley

appeared in the Lewis episode Life Born of Fire, Series 2, episode 3 as Dr. Melville.

vlcsnap-2017-02-01-11h08m35s847

Adam Levy who played Elliott Blake,

elliot-blake

also appeared in the Lewis episode, Falling Darkness (Series 4, episode 4) as Dr. Nicolae Belisarius.

vlcsnap-2017-02-01-11h17m39s634

Interesting Facts and Trivia

At around 52 minutes when Morse is sitting in the car with Ms Frazil he says, “Go west, young man‘. Now stick with me because this connection is rather tenuous and may fall apart at any time. The phrase that Morse used is usually attributed to American author and newspaper editor Horace Greeley. Okay so far. Mr Greeley was the name of the man who died during the night in the opening of the last episode, Lazaretto. With me so far because here is another tenuous connection. There was a character named (Dean) Greely in the Lewis episode Whom the Gods Would Destroy, (series 1, episode 1). Oh chills down the spine  eh 😉

The scene in the nuclear plant was to me reminiscent of the excellent 1970s film The China Syndrome. It starred Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda. It is about a reporter who finds what appears to be a cover-up of safety hazards at a nuclear power plant. If you haven’t seen the film watch out for it. The China Syndrome refers to a scenario in which a molten nuclear reactor core could could fission its way through its containment vessel, melt through the basement of the power plant and down into the earth. While a molten reactor core wouldn’t burn “all the way through to China” it could enter the soil and water table and cause huge contamination in the crops and drinking water around the power plant. Fukashima is believed to have been a China Syndrome according to some scientists.

We now know DI Thursday full name, Frederick Albert Thursday.

The episode opens with a mention of the an escalation of problems between Russia and American which resulted in what became known as the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962.

When Fred Thursday is talking to Chief Supt Reginald Bright about the disappearance of Matthew Laxman five years before he mentions that his old bagman liaised with County police. The bagman he mentioned was DS Lott.  The character of DS Arthur Lott appeared in the pilot episode of Endeavour.

vlcsnap-2017-02-01-11h42m39s598

DS Lott was played by Danny Webb. Of course Danny Webb appeared in the pilot of the Lewis series as Tom Pollock. Danny Webb must like flying with all the pilots he appears in. 🙂 (A Dad joke). I was never happy that DS Lott was never mentioned again when Endeavour started it’s first series.

Around 35 minutes Selina Berger mentions to Morse that she was at the cinema in 1962 on the afternoon of Mathhew Laxman’s disappearance, “The borstal boy who became a runner.” This is is of course referring to the excellent 1960s classic film, The Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner. It starred Tom Courtenay who was a close friend of John Thaw. John Thaw had a bit part in the film.

Image result for loneliness of a long distance runner inspector morse

The Mozart Requiem used in this episode was also used in the Endeavour episode, Ride but a different section was used. The Mozart Requiem is also mentioned in Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse novel, The Way Through the Woods. In the novel Morse is asked what versions of the Requiem he has. Morse has five versions of the Mozart Requiem. He later buys another version but on CD this time. The Requiem also has a connection to an episode of Lewis. One of my blog readers, Jean, pointed out that the Mozart Requiem is being listened to by Hathaway via his headphones.

vlcsnap-2017-02-01-20h29m33s387

The scene is at around 34 minutes in the episode, Old, Unhappy, Far off Things (Series 5, episode 1). Hathaway has stayed up all night to collate and organize photographs taken at a fancy dress party. It’s actually a lovely scene due to Lewis realising how fond of Hathaway he is and how much Hathaway has a fondness for him. Lewis asks Hathaway why he has done all this through the night. Hathaway answers, “Well, you thought something wasn’t right.”

Endeavour mentions that he would be based at Tintagel house when he moved to London. Tintagel is renowned for its association with the legend of King Arthur. The Tintagel Castle is seen by many as King Arthurs. One of the knights of the round table was Tristan and that is the name of one of the characters in the Harvest episode. WOW how is that for tenuous. 😉

When Morse visits Joan in the hospital we see a sign for Fleming Ward and Hardy Ward.

vlcsnap-2017-02-01-12h13m09s147

A reference to two of Russell Lewis’s favourite authors, Ian Fleming and Thomas Hardy? I have no proof of that. There is a Fleming Ward at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge. There is a Hardy Ward in the Northwick Park and St Mark’s Hospital in London. If you really want to grasp at the proverbial straws for connections, Robert Hardy starred in the Morse episode, Twilight of the Gods.

Sheila Hancock’s character name of Dowsable Chattox may be a reference to the Pendle Witches. Pendle Hill is in Lancashire. Anne Whittle alias Chattox was one of many who were charged with witchcraft in the 17th century, found guilty of murder and hanged.

In the episode at the nuclear plant they talk of the Goldenrod. Control rods are used in nuclear reactors to control the fission rate of uranium and plutonium. Interestingly, In Fukushima Japan, Canada Goldenrod has taken over the rice fields that have been temporarily abandoned because of the nuclear power plant disaster. Also, Matthew Laxman, was an Oxford……… botanist.

CAST OF HARVEST

alison

Natalie Burt as Alison Laxman

bagley

Michael Pennington as Professor Donald Bagley

burgess-tristram-sister

Joanna Horton as Selina Berger

elliot-blake

Adam Levy as Elliott Blake

levin

Alex Wyndham as Dr. Jon Levin

mrs-levin

Emily Forbes as Ros Levin

nigel-warren

Simon Meacock as Nigel Warren

ray

Matthew Walker as Ray Morton

saddler-the-sexton

Grahame Fox as Zebulon Sadler

seth-chattox

Chris Coghill as Seth Chattox

tristram

Sam Hoare as Dr. Tristan Berger

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-13h50m41s209

Shaun Evans as DC Endeavour Morse

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-13h50m43s928

Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-13h50m52s247

Anton Lesser as Chief Supt Reginald Bright

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-13h51m54s607

Dakota Blue Richards as WPC Shirley Trewlove

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-14h04m45s329

Jane Whittenshaw as Morag Morrison

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-14h09m30s186

Sheila Hancock as Dowsable Chattox

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-14h16m06s777

Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-14h18m22s285

Sam Redford as Sgt. Troy Martin

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-14h27m41s281

Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil

vlcsnap-2017-01-31-14h33m31s132

Sara Vickers as Joan Thursday

vlcsnap-2017-02-01-12h36m00s675

James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn

vlcsnap-2017-02-01-12h37m15s929

Sean Rigby as DS Jim Strange

vlcsnap-2017-02-01-12h39m12s106

Raj Paul as a Doctor

To read another perspective on this episode read Hannah Long’s review of the episode at http://longish95.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/endeavour-series-4-harvest-episode.html

This is the final overview of series four. I hope you have enjoyed this post. I will be looking to return to my posts on the music, art and literary references in the Morse series. Take care.

 

 

Advertisements

38 comments

  1. Great review Chris. I share your disappointment over the tarot cards. It seems it was a pointless so-called plot device, and seems to have no relevance at all to the glimpses at the end of the previous episodes. It is a shocking mis-use of Sheila Hancock.

    Following the third episode, that was going to be tough act to follow, but this episode was a good one, but not strong and I have on the Facebook group mentioned that Endeavour would benefit from other writers. When you look at the writers who took part in Morse, then there were some very strong episodes written by a variety of people. I would hope that over the next few series then the story arcs or timelines that Russell has put together can be referenced, but it is not just for him to write the episodes.

    Also, thank you Chris for all your posts and the time taken. Not only the encyclopedic references both inside and outside the Morse universe, but also the photos and location maps.

    Like

      • The break in was caused byt the kids Thursday mentioned near the beginning of the episode who had already broke into other properties in the area where Morse lives. Regarding Morse’s exam paper going missing, that looks like it is down to the long arm of the Masons who dislike Morse.

        Like

      • Can I ask the question? You have stated Hambleden as the village used. The scene outside the church looks very much like the (also named) St Mary the Virgin church at the village ( approx 5 miles north) in Turvey. Used in the program Goodnight Mr Tom . John Thaw . Am I correct?

        Like

  2. Yes I agree that it would have been better to have had Joan die – I hated the way the character was written this season from ‘girl next door’ flirting with Morse to….but I think that was to clear the decks for romance between Trewlove/ Morse in series 5 – which will get more n the way of good solid mysteries. Hope not.

    Like

  3. Thank you Chris for such a thorough analysis as always. Sadly I can relate to having an ill mother, and I hope that yours recovers quickly.

    I seem to have liked the episode more than you did, but I have it ranked the same way. Lazaretto was the gem of season 4. I hope, as you do, that other writers are brought in to do justice to next season’s 6 episodes and to enable these fine characters to flourish beyond trite plot devices.

    Have you watched Shetland at all? It’s my favorite drama to come out of the UK in the last several years. Five different writers have created 3 seasons, and each episode has been of such high quality.

    Thank you again for your fine work.

    Like

      • I watched Shetland on repeat – originally because of Sara Vickers being in the cast and because I love Doug Henshall. Then I started reading some not good reviews so was surprised how good it was – just goes to show that you should judge these things yourself – btw – I love ur site. Discovered it by accident a month or so ago and spent hours going through it – have watched all Morse, Lewis and Endeavour and was delighted with your meticulous linking of the shows. I am quite apprehensive about the next series – hope I am proved wrong ( I often am)

        Like

  4. Absolutely enjoyed reading your review. I’ve been truly impressed with your knowledge of all three drama serieses in MORSE franchise, their cross-cultural references and the locations. The time and love you’ve put into these researches, I can only imagine… I also value your honesty very much! Thank you, and look forward to reading S5 ones!

    p.s. FYI, Mozart’s ‘Dies irae’ movement was heard through Hathaway’s headphones too when he pulled an all-nighter in “Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things,” seen in this clip: https://youtu.be/7lOxRsfeRyo

    Like

  5. Hi Chris, as always I’m impressed by how many details you recognise and the connections you make, and the effort you take to share all that with us. As to what you say about the stories, and Fred Thursday, yes, yes and yes. And about the acting, yes, superb as always. I also agree the thing with Joan has been streched to or over the limit, but this story has given Sara Vickers another opportunity to show more of her great talent, which was a good thing. Bravissima. Morse could have gone to the Met and come back to Oxford, why not? Now that he has become a Sergeant he won’t though, of course.

    Whatever you think of the stories, Endeavour is a top class show. the cinematography, the acting, the locations, the costumes and the attention to detail, it’s all top class. The characters are all real and 3-dimensional, however small their part, which is what most shows miss badly.
    Another great thing is the sense of humour: Fred Thursday walking into the wrong office, Snappy Jenkins, Ms. Frazil saying “that was even before MY time”, etc. The whole show is a feast for the senses. I am actually at a point where I regard the stories as a mere vehicle to bring me all this beauty. Maybe that’s not what it should be about, but I’m happy!

    Talking of senses though: I miss the classical music. There is some, sure, but not enough. Especially in Lazaretto, Endeavour on his way to Joan in the Jag, playing “I get along without you very well”. NO! That was so wrong! So not Endeavour Morse! Surely there are plenty of classical titles to chose from for this scene.

    One more thing: now that we have seen the 4th series of Endeavour, 17 episodes, and have the 30th Morse anniversary behind us, perhaps it’s time that we should move on and let go a bit of the old Inspector Morse series. Endeavour is a great series in its own right, and has reached new generations of viewers who have no knowledge of or interest in Inspector Morse, which is only natural. Not saying that it should be ignored, but there could be a bit less of the eternal references and comparisons, both by writer(s) and by audience and critics. It’s about time. Shaun Evans is Endeavour. They both stole my heart. Not all episodes deserve 10 Jags, no. But to me, even the least loved episode is better than anything else on TV. It’s simply the greatest show on earth.

    Like

  6. Thank you for the review Chris! I agree with you on the plot, it is less well developed than in lazaretto, where I also preferred the direction. I have to say I like the almost romance with Joan, and would still like to see them together, even if only briefly. I think Shaun Evans said in an interview that he would like to see Morse very happy for a short amount of time and then sort of transitioning into inspector Morse. I never watched inspector Morse but my mom has, and told me he never marries and is lonely. It is in a way a bit sad to watch young Morse and on one hand hoping for good things to come down his path, but on the other hand knowing that there are no reasons for that hope. I really enjoy the show though, great characters and acting.. on this episode I just didn’t like how Morse didn’t take more care of Joan when he saw she had been beaten. I would expect him to be more protective, make her stay the night and maybe go with her to pick up her stuff. I have a feeling this storyline will continue next season. But it would be nice a bit less drama between them. Just let them be happy for a few episodes and focus more on top notch crime plots. Well, we’ll have to wait!

    Like

  7. Hello, i found your blog recently and I am really impressed with your knowledge of Morse.
    I think that I must point out to the small misunderstanding regarding the tarot cards. At the end of the last episode was not shown only one card, but two – Tower and Death. Combination of tarot cards has its own significance. In this case, it’s something like “extreme changes, old ways die, new ways to build in your life”.
    And second little note is referring to Tintagel Castle: DI Craddock, which is mentioned, was a role in movie “Miss Marple: The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side” and he was played by John Castle.

    Like

  8. Another masterful review. I’ve loved reading them as a guide to each episode this season. Thank you for compiling them.

    Perhaps it was a bit disappointing that more wasn’t made of the tarot lead-up, but I like to think Russell was highlighting rationality by saying “You shouldn’t believe in such mumbo-jumbo.” Why should we expect a significant death just because of a card being turned over? Just out of interest, a “true” reading of the three cards turned over as probably would not lead to a prediction of death anyway. More likely it foreshadows the option of moving to London. Using some definitions from https://meaningofeachtarotcard.wordpress.com/ :
    “The Hanged Man: Personal loss for a greater good. But also getting a new point of view.” [Failed Sergeant’s exam, and generally being unloved in Oxford, but generates option of move to London]
    “The Lovers: the impulse, that sends one ‘out of the garden’. Can be sexual desire as well as a duty or the wish to go on an adventure. Once one leaves the garden, there is no turning back.” [London would be leaving the garden, an adventure]
    “Death: Among the cards, Death is one of the most difficult to interpret. Some possibilities are: the ending of a cycle and the beginning of a new one, transformation and sometimes the price one has to pay for something. (Note: The Death does not represent the physical process of dying!)” [Moving to London would certainly be a cycle change, a transformation.]
    I’m probably over-analysing, but well, why not?

    By the way, the reason “Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” was mentioned was that it was John Thaw’s movie debut; more significant than just a bit part.

    And finally, I can’t agree with you about “The Wicker Man”, unless you’re referring to the egregious Nicholas Cage remake. The original 1970s movie with Edward Woodward is a masterpiece!

    Once again, many thanks for your work.

    David

    Like

  9. Another skilful and painstaking reveiw…odd sort of story…reminded me of Dr Who” The Daemons”, and ep of the newer Randalll & Hopkirk ( deceased)….set in the village of Hadell Wroxted…( a favourite of mine) I was a bit shocked though that you want to move on from Fred Thursday…no…..a thousand times NO.!! Now, someone has always been in the back of my mind to play McKnutt…he may be wrong age, or whatever….but wouldnt Douglas Henshall be purfect in the role.??!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for your sterling work Christopher & I hope Mum is soon on the mend.
    Firstly, I disagree with your thoughts on The Wicker Man, Edward Woodward (The ‘Great’ Edward Woodward) was brilliant in it & a stonking screenplay by Anthony Shaffer which created a thoroughly convincing alternative society, building tension through a paced development and indirect suggestion and making the terrifying climax all the more effective. Performances are also ‘tight’, with Woodward,self righteous as the investigator and Christopher Lee delivering one of his most accomplished performances as Lord Summerisle.
    Your point about ‘a stranger in the village’ is well made & puts me in mind of a hilarious epIsode of The Green Green Grass, Spin off from Only Fools & Horses, where Boycie & Marlene visit a local pub & when they walk through the door, a whole room of border collies raise their heads….
    I actually thought Sheila Hancock gave a beautiful character performance there, very nuanced & inhabited the character well. I suspect time is at a premium for Endeavour, as there are so many strands converging & I have felt several of Series 4 episodes have felt ‘rushed’ to me, cramming in every last strand of the plot development far too quickly. At the end of Harvest, we’re rushed through Fred’s Palace Visit through a series of ‘Snaps’ & Endeavour forlornly looking at his George Medal & promotion papers. I also felt Bright underused in this episode . I have to take umbrage at the idea of moving Thursday on. I think the partnership of Thursday/Endeavour is pure gold . We know there has to be plot development for Endeavour, sometime, but not just now~ Thanks, as I am loving Roger Allam’s stunning performances.
    Also, I think it would have been a mistake to kill off Joan~ I believe there may yet be mileage there. Have to say, I’ve admired much of Russ Lewis’s work & I’ve loved the inclusion of all the 60’s music in Endeavour. Perhaps have some guest writers in, but I would n’t wish to lose Russ’s input
    Dougie Henshall for McNutt might be a good shout~ I’ve watched the whole Shetland series & he’s a solid actor
    The episodes Sara Vickers played in,also had the inimitable Ciaran Hinds, As most people who know me, know, he is my main man….Oh, & Roger Allam….

    Like

  11. Ciaran Hinds wonderfiul in Jane Eyre, and I thought no-one could beat Toby Stephens….but Ciaran ran a close second. Yes, Mr Bright was underused, especially now he is back on duty….I was so afraid he was being written out. after Lazaretto…… Got to start watching Shetland now……

    Like

  12. Good review again. Yes, the “unfriendly village” stereotype was disappointing, maybe a nuclear power plant being built on the land would explain some of their attitude but not as much as that.
    I thought that Morse would actually go to London, but come back to Oxford later on.
    The relationship between Joan and Endeavour showed us that people can be imperfect with emotions and actions. He should have said “I love you” instead of “Marry me” which Joan took as a sign of pity. He puts the ‘Morse’ into ‘Remorse’ haha.
    At the end of this episode, he received a medal and his delayed promotion. Looking forward to the six episodes of the series 5 in 2018 and your reviews of course.
    Hope your mum’s OK.

    Like

  13. The rural absurdity of Brampton reminded me of Howling, in Cold Comfort Farm. The unusual Christian names were similar, particularly Seth. Zebulon and Seth had a most curious dialect, best appreciated with subtitles, which you dismiss as mumbling. You should read Cold Comfort Farm if you haven’t already.

    You don’t mention where the power station scenes were filmed. Actually, it didn’t look to me either like a power station (which would have turbines, even if it was a nuclear power station) or any kind of nuclear plant. It’s not at all clear what all those pipes were doing where the characters were wandering without protective clothing. It might even have been a brewery.

    You mention Fukishima, but in 1962 everybody who lived near a power station would have been thinking of the minor (?) disaster at Windscale (now called Sellafield) in 1957. What made a great impression on me at the time was the television news showing gallons of milk going down the drain “as a precaution” (and I do wonder now where the drain went !).

    Hambleden is actually in Buckinghamshire, not Oxfordshire, but its architecture was not inappropriate if we assume that Brampton power station was an amalgam of Didcot Power Station (coal-fired) and Harwell Atomic Energy Research Establishment, both now in Oxfordshire but still in historic Berkshire in 1962 — so I’m afraid the County police force involved would have been a different one .

    Personally, I don’t think this episode was out of line with what you call the “Agatha Christie” style plots of many episodes in all the series. You may prefer the more realistic ones, and perhaps the university-based ones, but Harvest was not exceptional in its content. There have been a large number of religious cults and secret societies too. You could probably tell us how many !

    Now here is your blockbuster ! Seth is a relatively familiar Biblical name, even if seldom now used (he was the only brother of Cain and Abel). But Zebelon ? He was the sixth son of Jacob and Leah. The name has sometimes been used in America, including (remember that fear of being shut up inside a prison, like St Joan ?) Zebelon Brockway, the American “Father of Prison Reform”.

    Like

  14. “My only complaint was the character of Seth Maddox played by Chris Coghill who mumbled his way through his lines.”
    You mean Chattox, right? Maddox could have led to an interesting Lewis connection, of course…

    Like

  15. I am very sorry ! I certainly saw Christ and Sheila Hancock, but I must have missed that (unless you added it after I looked).

    Fawley was oil-fired, which might explain what seemed to me an excessive number of pipes, and no nuclear plant. They obviously just didn’t go near the turbines (or they might have been removed).

    Some of your readers may not realise that Oxford is very close to Didcot Power Station and Harwell, and if you aren’t fully in the know, it’s easy to confuse the two, as I assume the author has done deliberately. From some parts of the City of Oxford, particularly Shotover Hill, Didcot Power Station was very much visible, at least until part of it was demolished. Even now, the chimney is the 16th tallest structure in Britain (excluding TV masts etc).

    Presumably Brampton is supposed to be Sutton Courtenay .

    Like

  16. Thank you for your blog, I’ve been reading each of your reviews after seeing an episode and absolutely love the amount of detail and background information you add.

    Something I noticed, don’t know if you have; the same church was used in the endeavour S01E01: Girl, where the reverend was killed

    Hope your mother is doing all right.
    All the best!

    Like

  17. Thank you Chris for the wonderful reviews for season 4 of Endeavour.
    In the Harvest episode the “Unfriendly Village” also reminded me of Simon Pegg’s movie, Hot Fuzz. I kept expecting the villagers to turn around and chant: “The greater good!”
    Best wishes.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s