Hello Endeavourists and welcome to my weekly round up of all the news, views and interesting information that has happened in the Morse Universe. I search all the social media and gather all I can that I believe will be of interest to you the reader. Sometimes there will be information that is not news but I include it because I believe it will be of interest.
Because I didn’t write a round up post last week some of the news may older than two weeks.
Before I start I would like to thank all those who wished my mum well. She is a bit better, the infection has cleared up and she is getting better.
So Mateys, let’s get started. As always we will begin with Twitter.
Laurence Fox on Twitter and Instagram.
Dakota Blue Richards on Twitter and Instagram.
Shaun Evans Online on Twitter
Hi, I’m Jo not Shaun and unfortunately I have no personal contact with him. This Twitter goes with my unofficial fansite Shaun Evans Online. Thanks for visiting.
Abigail Thaw on Twitter and Instagram.
Roger Allam on Twitter.
Jack Laskey in the CBC spy series X Company.
From ‘What’s on Stage’.
Casting announced for new musical Prom Kween
Humphries (Wild Honey, Hampstead Theatre) will be joined by Sam Swann (Wendy and Peter, RSC), Sule Rimi (Mary Stuart, Almeida), Sean Rigby (Endeavour, ITV) and Lucy Pearman (LetLuce).
James Bradshaw as Geoff Thorpe in the British Soap Hollyoaks.
Sheila Hancock on her Endeavour cameo: It wasn’t a tribute to John Thaw.
RADIO TIMES. By Huw Fullerton
Over the past four weeks fans of Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour have been teased by the hands of a mysterious tarot card reader, turning over ominous cards at the end of each episode.
And tonight viewers will see that the tarot reader in question is played by none other than Sheila Hancock, who was married to original Inspector Morse star John Thaw until his death in 2002 and joined Endeavour in a one-off guest role for the series finale.
“It was to do with it being the [Inspector Morse] 30th anniversary,” Hancock told RadioTimes.com of her casting. “I thought, if I was gonna do a Morse ever, that might be a good one.
“I said ‘I dunno, let’s read it’…and then I read it, and I thought ‘Oh yeah that’s fun, yeah, I could do that.’ And I know Roger [Allam] very well, and my daughter’s obviously in it very well.”
However, despite appearances Hancock says she never intended her appearance to be a tribute to Thaw – rather, it was supposed to be a show of support for the team behind the series.
“Tribute is a bit strong a word really,” she told us. “I suppose what I wanted to do was say to the team who, you know, Lewis has come out of it, and Endeavour – well done for all of you, including my husband, for creating a character that has such an amazing strong life.”
“I actually hadn’t thought of those connotations. I hadn’t thought of it in a sort of ‘me and John’ context. It was more the team as a whole I was thinking of. I did think, what a hell of an achievement, and I wouldn’t mind at all being in that particular one.
“I think Endeavour is really good, and I just think it’s incredible that they’ve kept up that standard that John fought so hard to have in the originals, and all of them.”
She concluded: “It wasn’t anything as elevated, or honourable, or important as paying tribute. It was just saying well done, really. Paying tribute sounds kind of important and solemn and all that. But it was just admiration for my fellow workers, to have kept a piece of work and a character going.
“Spin-offs, you think ‘Oh, god a spin-off.’ But actually, both have been so good! You know? Lewis and Endeavour. And they’ve grown, they haven’t just replicated Morse. The Endeavour thing, with the relationship between Roger and Shaun, is a whole new departure but it springs from that character, and that’s wonderful. Wonderful.”
From the East Anglian Daily Times. By Will Lodge. 30 January, 2017
Sheila Hancock visits St Peter’s Primary School, Coggeshall, to see literacy scheme.
The star of stage and screen visited to watch English leader Louise Sage work with a group of Year Six children using a newly-developed app from DigiSmart, an initiative – which Sheila is patron of – from literacy-boosting charity LIFT.
“I have seen firsthand that the structure and strategies that we have built into DigiSmart help children to make progress,” she said after spending time with the youngsters
“It was wonderful to see the children challenging themselves and being honestly and constructively self-critical – they were happy to persevere even when they found things difficult.”
“I felt proud of myself because I didn’t give up,” said one of the pupils. “On the third try I got a 100% score.”
“Now I know I can do something that I thought would be too hard for me,” added another.
From What’s On TV. By Caren Clark
5:34pm – Tue, January 24
Sheila Hancock reveals all about her guest appearance in Endeavour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of her husband John Thaw’s first episode of Inspector Morse
The finale of the latest series of Endeavour this Sunday marks the 30th anniversary of Inspector Morse in style with a guest appearance from Sheila Hancock, the widow of Morse star John Thaw, who died in 2002.
The episode sees Endeavour (Shaun Evans) investigating the disappearance of a botanist who went missing five years previously and Sheila plays local wise woman Dowsable Chattox, who comes to his attention.
Sheila reveals all to TV Times…
What was your take on Dowsable?
“You see her relationship with her wild grandson Seth [Chris Coghill] and I felt really sympathetic towards her because a local power planet is building a reservoir in the area and I can see why she’d break her heart at the uprooting of nature and the threatened destruction of her world.”
She seems to strike up a bond with Endeavour…
“Yes, Dowsable is honest with him, she sympathises that his love life is a mess and she touches on something about him that other people aren’t interested in. She even does a tarot reading for him. I don’t know how serious tarot cards are, although I was instructed by a woman that does the cards for real.”
Why were you keen to appear in Endeavour?
“I’ve always avoided things like this because John and I kept our careers separate and that was his world, but when the writers contacted me, I felt it was wonderful. I like what they’ve done with Endeavour, the episodes have depth to them, and before the series first aired, they sweetly asked me how I’d feel about them making it. Also, my stepdaughter Abigail is terrific in Endeavour [as newspaper editor Dorothea Frazil] and Roger Allam [Endeavour’s boss DI Fred Thursday] is an old friend from when we were at the Royal Shakespeare Company, so it was nice to be around mates.”
What was it like working with Shaun Evans?
“He takes it incredibly seriously and he was anxious about whether I thought he was doing it well, which I do. He has done a wonderful job creating what Morse might have been like when he was young and I’m full of admiration.”
Were you a fan of Inspector Morse?
“Yes, but I never understood the Morses when I watched them with John! I’d say, ‘Who’s that?’ and ‘Who did what?’ I’m not good at following plot. John demanded the highest standards on the show though. Anybody appearing on a Morse knew that the scripts and the directors would be good and the same is true of Endeavour. It’s well shot, well cast and well written and John would be proud that those values are maintained.”
Do people still like to chat to you about John?
“Although I’m glad to have shaken off the ‘tragic widow’ role, people still come up to me to talk about John and say, ‘I love Morse’. The character has a profound effect on people because he is a flawed, but honourable man.”
Was John anything like Inspector Morse and would he have been proud that the character has endured?
“John certainly wasn’t like Morse, he was slightly more like his character Jack Regan from The Sweeney, a more aggressive, sardonic person. But he’d like the fact that so much has come out of Morse, with both Lewis and Endeavour, and that it has given work to actors because he was a working actor himself.”
Are you still in touch with Kevin Whateley, who played Morse’s sidekick Lewis?
“I love Kevin. He is involved in a charity of mine and he is also deeply involved with my family and we go and see his daughter, who is an opera singer, in shows. He has been amazing. When John died, he was distraught, but he still managed to be a great support to me.”
You are 84 next month, what keeps you so enthusiastic about your work?
“Oh when I get a part now, my kids say, ‘Do you go senile or die in it?!’ But I’ve got to the stage where I don’t have to obey any rules and I only do things that’ll be nice, like Endeavour, or where I’m in new territory.
“I did a wonderful movie, Edie, which will hopefully be released this year, about a woman who climbs a mountain in Scotland. I was probably the only 80-odd-year-old that could climb it, so I got the part and it was amazing to be up there. At my age there are not many of us that can still learn lines and stagger across a stage, so the list of people they go to before they get to me has become shorter!’
You are also incredibly fit, how do you do it?
“I work hard at it. I go to the gym three times a week and I walk everywhere because if I don’t, I’d seize up. I’m terribly lucky that at my age, I’m still jumping around and climbing mountains.”
From the Radio Times. By Huw Fullerton
Monday 30 January 2017
Morse prequel Endeavour to return to ITV for a longer fifth series
Shaun Evans and Roger Allam will be back with even more mysteries to solve
A lot of storylines were wrapped up in last night’s series four finale of Endeavour, with Shaun Evans’ Morse finally promoted to Sergeant and Joan Thursday making amends with her family.
But fans worried about the episode’s air of finality need not have worried, as it was announced on-air when the episode concluded that there was another series of the Inspector Morse prequel commissioned to air in 2018 – and this time, there’ll be six episodes instead of the usual four.
According to a release, the next series will be set in 1968 and start filming in and around Oxford this spring. Series creator Russell Lewis will continue to pen the episodes, with all the major cast (including Evans, Roger Allam, Anton Lesser and Dakota Blue Richards) also returning for more young Morse mysteries.
Speaking about the extended series, Russell Lewis said: “The prospect of creating further chapters in Morse’s secret history is always exciting, but expanding our quartet of investigations to a sextet gives us the opportunity to deliver a truly epic year in the life of Colin Dexter’s immortal creation.”
Executive producer Tom Mullens added: “We’re delighted that Endeavour will return next year with another set of striking stories from Russell Lewis and once again it’s an honour to have Shaun Evans and Roger Allam on board, bringing Morse and Thursday exquisitely to life in the ‘revolutionary’ world of 1968.”
“Endeavour continues to be hugely popular with ITV audiences, and we’re delighted to announce that it’ll be returning for an extended fifth series,” ITV Head of Drama Polly Hill continued.
“Russell Lewis’s scripts are always immensely intriguing and gripping, and [producers] Mammoth Screen consistently deliver high-quality drama.”
Endeavour will return to ITV in 2018.
The above are by Nina Ali. Filming of the Drama Series ‘Endeavour’ in Oxford (17 July 2016)
Nina’s Flickr page can be found by clicking here.
Behind the scenes during filming of Endeavour.
30 YEARS OF MORSE ONSCREEN An exclusive celebration by Damian Michael Barcroft
Far to go: Exclusive ENDEAVOUR interview with the Thursday children. Sara Vickers and Jack Bannon.
Well that is all for this post. Next week should see a post on the art, music and literary references in the Morse episode The Secret of Bay 5B.