Hello and welcome to my weekly post on what has been happening in the Morse universe for the past week. I write the past week but I should write the past fortnight as I didn’t get the chance to write a weekly post last week. So, onwards and upwards and let us start, as always, with the Twittersphere.
Paul Cripps – @PaulDJCripps ProductionDesigner:Endeavour.
Laurence Fox @LozzaFox
That is all from Twitter, let’s move on:
New novel brings Inspector Morse back to life
A new Inspector Morse novel will help to raise funds for a statue of Colin Dexter in Oxford.
Friend of the author, Antony Richards, chairman of the Inspector Morse Society, has written ‘Dead Man’s Walk’ following encouragement from Colin Dexter, who recently died aged 86. Richards (1963) never intended to be an author but in 2015, after Colin Dexter suggested he should try to write a novel, he began to work on ‘Dead Man’s Walk’.
“Back in 2015, guided by Colin,” Richards says, “I set to work doing a page a day first thing in the morning before work. Just as he instructed ‘if you do a page a day then at the end of the year you will have a book’. Also taking Colin’s advice I wrote about something I knew – Inspector Morse – and it soon occurred to me that there had not been a new novel for over 15 years”.
Antony Richards will publish the tale under the pen name Antony James, a reference to his 10-year-old son James. He added: “Colin was given a copy of the novel – he actually features in it as a trainspotting truanting schoolboy”.
Richards unsuccessfully submitted the murder mystery to Macmillan last year, but the publishers of the Morse novels did not object to the work being published elsewhere as long as it was made clear it was fan fiction.
He is certain his novel, to be published by his own The Irregular Special Press, will never be able to compete with his friends’ books in terms of sales – the 13 Inspector Morse novels sold four million copies in the UK alone – but bookshops have already shown an interest.
The title refers to the footpath near Merton College and the plot features a young Endeavour Morse in 1971, working as a sergeant in Oxford, who is called to investigate the murders of two men whose surnames match those of the Oxford martyrs. Well, 1971 is within the scope of the Endeavour adaptations and one of my favourite actresses, Abigail Thaw, is part of that series.
Dr Richards added: “A life-size statue could cost about £25,000 and if we sold 500 copies of the novel initially that could raise a few thousand pounds to kickstart fundraising – there are about 400 members of the society and I’m sure lots of them will buy a copy.”
[Update March 24, 2017] Antony Richards reached out to me and said that at present the book is still at the proofing stage and a release date has not been decided upon. He will make sure that I receive information when available.
Endeavour’s fifth series begins filming as Poldark actor Lewis Peek joins the cast.
Endeavour’s series five has begun filming, with Poldark actor Lewis Peek joining the cast for the ITV prequel.
Shaun Evans returns as the recently-promoted Detective Sergeant Endeavour Morse along with Roger Allam as Detective Chief Inspector Fred Thursday, with Peek joining the six-part series as new recruit Detective Constable George Fancy.
He previously played Ted Carkeek in the second series of Poldark, and will be joined by returning cast Anton Lesser (Game Of Thrones), Dakota Blue Richards (Skins), Sean Rigby (Isabella), James Bradshaw (Primeval), Caroline O’Neil (Last Tango In Halifax) and Abigail Thaw (I Want My Wife Back).
The new series opens with Morse having finally passed his Sergeant’s exams, as Oxford City Police merges into Thames Valley Constabulary.
Creator Russell Lewis said: “As production begins on Endeavour ’68, many of the global tensions of that most turbulent year have found their way into our six new mysteries. ’67’s Summer of Love seems already a distant memory.
“Dark clouds are gathering at home and abroad as, after almost 100 years, the long history of Oxford City Police comes to an end. A terrible storm is set to blow through the professional and personal lives of newly promoted Detective Sergeant Endeavour Morse and Oxford’s Finest, leaving devastation in its wake.”
Endeavour is based on the Inspector Morse novels which were written by Colin Dexter, who passed away in March. Production company Mammoth Screen’s Damien Timmer said of Dexter: “It was a privilege to work with Colin on Endeavour, and everyone involved will miss his contribution to the show.
“He was the most delightful collaborator with a razor shape mind. We hope this new series will continue to do his legacy justice.”
Filming starts on the fifth series of Endeavour
Filming begins this week on the fifth series of Mammoth Screen and ITV’s hugely successful detective drama, Endeavour.
Six feature‐length films of the Inspector Morse prequel series are to be produced for transmission next year, starring Shaun Evans as the recently promoted Detective Sergeant Endeavour Morse.
Also returning will be Roger Allam (The Missing) as Detective Chief Inspector Fred Thursday, Anton Lesser (Game Of Thrones) as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright, Dakota Blue Richards (Skins) as WPC Shirley Trewlove, Sean Rigby (Isabella) as Sergeant Jim Strange, James Bradshaw (Primeval) as Dr. Max DeBryn, Caroline O’Neil (Last Tango In Halifax) as Win Thursday and Abigail Thaw (I Want My Wife Back) as Dorothea Frazil. The series also sees the arrival of new recruit Detective Constable George Fancy, played by Lewis Peek (Poldark), whom Morse has to reluctantly mentor.
With each film once again written by series creator Russell Lewis, the new series begins with Morse having finally passed his Sergeant’s exams, as Oxford City Police merges into Thames Valley Constabulary. Joan Thursday (Sara Vickers) has returned to Oxford, but much is unresolved following her disappearance the previous year and Endeavour’s unexpected proposal.
Russell Lewis says: “As production begins on Endeavour ’68, many of the global tensions of that most turbulent year have found their way into our six new mysteries. ’67’s Summer of Love seems already a distant memory. Dark clouds are gathering at home and abroad as, after almost 100 years, the long history of Oxford City Police comes to an end. A terrible storm is set to blow through the professional and personal lives of newly promoted Detective Sergeant Endeavour Morse and Oxford’s Finest, leaving devastation in its wake.”
Filming will take place in and around Oxford and the South East. The new films will be executive produced by Russell Lewis, alongside former Endeavour producer Tom Mullens, Mammoth Screen’s Managing Director Damien Timmer and Rebecca Eaton for WGBH. John Phillips (Stan Lee’s Lucky Man) and Neil Duncan (Fortitude) will produce the new series, with Brady Hood (Sweet Maddie Stone) directing Film 1 and Andy Wilson (Unforgotten) directing Film 2.
Tom Mullens says: “We’re delighted that Endeavour will return next year with an extended run of films. It gives Russell Lewis an even bigger canvas to work with, and he has some striking stories to tell about 1968, a time of revolution in the wider world, and in the personal life of Endeavour Morse. It’s an honour to have Shaun Evans, Roger Allam and the rest of the team back on board for this new run.”
The most recent films began airing in January, and marked the 30th anniversary of Inspector Morse on ITV. They received critical praise and impressive viewing figures, despite strong competition on BBC1. The first episode, which aired on Sunday 8 January, pulled in a consolidated rating of 6.8m and 24% share, which is the biggest audience since 2014 and up on the year on year average by half a million viewers.
The Inspector Morse novels were written by Colin Dexter, who sadly died last month. “It was a privilege to work with Colin on Endeavour, and everyone involved will miss his contribution to the show. He was the most delightful collaborator with a razor shape mind. We hope this new series will continue to do his legacy justice”, says Mammoth Screen’s Damien Timmer.
Endeavour producers pledge new series will do Colin Dexter justice
Days after Inspector Morse creator Colin Dexter was laid to rest, the bosses of prequel series Endeavour have pledged to do him justice in its new series.
A private family funeral was held for Mr Dexter last week after he died in March at the age of 86.
Chairman of the Inspector Morse Society, Dr Antony Richards, who was a friend of the author, said he expected a memorial service to take place in a few months’ time.
He added: “Ted Childs, the original executive producer of the Inspector Morse episodes, is hopeful that there will be some sort of service in London.
“I think it would be very fitting if there was also a service in Oxford.”
Filming began this week for the fifth series of Endeavour, which will be broadcast on ITV next year.
Executive producer Damien Timmer said: “It was a privilege to work with Colin on Endeavour and everyone involved will miss his contribution to the show.
“He was the most delightful collaborator with a razor-sharp mind.
“We hope this new series will continue to do his legacy justice.”
Mr Dexter kept up his tradition of making cameo appearances until the most recent series of Endeavour, when he was instead represented by a portrait on the wall of the Oxford Mail newsroom.
The next series will have six feature-lengths films, once again starring Shaun Evans as the recently promoted Detective Sergeant Endeavour Morse.
Roger Allam returns as DI Fred Thursday while Anton Lesser and Dakota Blue Richards also reprise their roles.
The drama, penned by series creator Russell Lewis, begins with Morse having finally passed his sergeant’s exams as Oxford City Police merges into Thames Valley Constabulary.
Filming is set to return to the city, where university colleges and city centre streets are regularly used to allow crews to have backdrops which have not changed since the late 1960s, when the prequel series is set.
Photos from the Facebook group ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/2400957493/ ) from members who were there during filming of the fifth series. All rights and copyright is not held by me but by those who took the original photos.
Below are photos taken by Deborah Tugwood during filming of the fifth series. All rights belong to Deborah.
Well Mateys that is the end of another post. I hope you are all well and have a good week.