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Monday, 4 January 2016

Oh Endeavour, it's so good to have you back!

I love the new year.  It's the only time of the year when the TV landscape is completely free and we embark on a new lineup, new shows and returning ones too. Of course, the schedules can be annoyingly predictable, with shows like The Voice and Take Me Out dominating the January slots on Saturdays. Sunday however, offers almost too much for my poor ole Sky+ box to cope with. I'm recording Dragons' Den at 8pm on BBC2 (it's feeling a tad stale but it's a family favourite and an easy watch) then Endeavour at 8pm on ITVHD. Walking The Himalayas on Channel 4 +1 as it clashes with the first two, then I'm having to watch BBC1's War & Peace and Channel 4's Deutschland 83 on catch up!

It's Endeavour I wish to discuss here. The highly anticipated third series began last night and everyone in my household was excited at the thought of spending more time with the brilliant Shaun Evans as a young Endeavour Morse. Unless you watch ITV3 on a loop, it's been nearly two years since Morse and Inspector Thursday last graced our screens and although I remember being thoroughly gripped by the final episode of the last series I was hazy on the details of its cliffhanger.

Endeavour return to an overnight figure of million viewers 
As the third series began we discover that Inspector Thursday (played by the equally superb Roger Allam) has survived the shooting at the end of the last series is heading back to work, we know this because Mrs. Thursday has packed him some sandwiches.  Morse, on the other hand has spent time in prison after being wrongly convicted of shooting his boss and mentor and no one from the force has seen him since. When we meet Morse again he's a quieter character who appears to want to shun his background.

It's not long before the mystery plot grips me though, the story of a young girl who we see at the fair who meets a grisly end being run over by a car several times. Thursday and co are called to the gruesome woodland scene. We then cut to Endeavour who has been mixing with friends of college who aren't aware of his previous career. Shaun Evans is just superb. He oozes class and considering the fact he's playing a role that is so iconic and associated with one of the country's top actors, he owns the role of Endaevour.  It's not long of course before Thursday  tracks Morse down to his new home and tries to entice him back to work. Morse protests saying he's different now but you know it won't be long before he's finding clues and piecing things together as only Morse can.

Shaun Evans has played the role of Endeavour Morse since the pilot back in 2011.
When he discovers that an old college friend could be involved with the young girl's death his inquisitive mind  gets the better of him and he's soon unable to resist the urge to get to the bottom of things. In it's two-hour runtime the episode never drags, but is able to take its time with the story. It's a crime drama that oozes style and charisma. That's before you even mention the stunning photography. Oxford is already a lovely place to look at, but in full HD Endeavour might just be one of the most stunningly beautiful looking dramas on television.

The eventual plot which revolved around Chinese heroin and a fairground magic trick was slightly far fetched and convoluted, but sometimes it's just nice to spend some time in the company of great actors and characters you enjoy. In a TV landscape that is saturated in TV crime dramas, Endeavour stands head and shoulders above most. with the only downside being we've only got 3 episodes left!

Endeavour continues on Sunday at 8.00pm on ITV.

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