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Whodunits will be burning up the PBS summer schedule when Masterpiece: Mystery! follows up the final season of Inspector Lewis, the Inspector Morse spin-off, with the first series of the Morse prequel Endeavour.

Shaun Evans as Endeavour Morse
Endeavour: Shaun Evans as Endeavour Morse – Courtesy of © Patrick Redmond/ITV/Mammoth for MASTERPIECE

Shaun Evans (The Last Weekend, The Take) reprises his role as Endeavour Morse in Endeavour Series 1, the first full season of last year’s hit crime drama. If you’re not familiar with it, here’s the deal:

EndeavourEvans’ first appearance as Morse was in Endeavour, which was intended as a one-off made-for-TV movie to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the first episode of the Inspector Morse series. It was a hit with viewers on both sides of the pond, so a series was commissioned, making the movie now the pilot.

In it we met Morse before he got his signature red Jaguar and when he began developing his taste for real lager. (His penchant for cryptic crossword puzzles and opera were already in place.) We also met his superior officer and mentor DI Fred Thursday (Roger Allam of The Thick of It and V for Vendetta), who also reprises his role in the series).

Endeavour: Series 1 consists of four new episodes that follow Morse during his days as a young Detective Constable in Oxford, including:

“Girl” — Morse and Thursday “investigate burgled gas meters, the sudden death of a young secretarial student and a string of Post Office robberies, confounding the solution to a pair of violent murders. Could Morse’s future on the force be in jeopardy?”

“Fugue” — The Morse/Thursday detective duo is “confronted with a new breed of murderer, as a string of Oxford homicides continues with no end in sight. The entire police department is working round the clock and a special expert comes on to assist, but Morse’s love of opera may be the key to stopping the killing…”

Endeavour: Shaun Evans, Roger Allam
Shaun Evans, Roger Allam – Courtesy of © Patrick Redmond/ITV/Mammoth for MASTERPIECE

“Rocket” — “A royal visit to a family-owned munitions factory begins as a proud occasion for the people of Oxford, but the joyous day ends with murder. Morse delves into the family’s murky past, as well as his own, as he attempts to uncover the culprit before more lives are lost.”

“Home” — “While studying for his upcoming sergeant’s exam, Morse investigates the hit-and-run death of an eminent Oxford professor. The pressure mounts with his father’s illness and the appearance of an enemy threatening to reveal aspects of Inspector Thursday’s past. In the end, Morse must choose between the responsibilities of his job and loyalty to his mentor.”

Endeavour: Jack Laskey, Shaun Evans, Anton Lesser, Roger Allam
Endeavour: Jack Laskey, Shaun Evans, Anton Lesser, Roger Allam – Courtesy of © Patrick Redmond/ITV/Mammoth for MASTERPIECE

Joining the cast are Jack Laskey (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) as DS Peter Jakes and Anton Lesser (The Hour) as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright.

Endeavour Series 1, premieres on PBS’ Masterpiece: Mystery! on 7 July 2013 at 9PM Eastern (check your local listings) and airs on consecutive Sundays through 28 July.


Morse Prequel “Endeavour: Series 1” Premieres in July on PBS
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