Last Updated on May 21, 2023
Inspired by MASTERPIECE’s 1987-2000 series “Inspector Morse,” starring John Thaw, and based on Colin Dexter’s bestselling mysteries, “Endeavour” turns back the clock to explore the making of this matchless detective, who spurns his first name to go by just “Morse.”
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Now, in its ninth season, the spinoff series “Endeavour” comes to a brilliant end as Shaun Evans as the young Morse, and Roger Allam as his superior officer DCI Fred Thursday, face intriguing new crimes including an unsolved case linked to the past. With characters from former seasons popping up in a grand finale, Morse must resolve his professional and romantic future.
“Endeavour, The Final Season” brings this hit series to a close in three suspenseful episodes on PBS MASTERPIECE, Sundays, June 18 – July 2, 2023 on PBS. Catch up with previous seasons here.
And in a MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! Special, go behind the scenes to explore the end of the epic tale of the iconic Oxford detective celebrated the world over. “Morse and The Last Endeavour,” a documentary looking back at “Endeavour,” will air prior to the final series on Sunday, June 11.
Read on for more details, episode descriptions, and airtimes.
Critics abroad praised “Endeavour,” with Mark Lawson of The Guardian UK describing this final series as “a perfect end to one of the classiest vehicles in TV crime drama.” Giving the The Final Season five stars, The London Times, UK described the ending as “classy, poignant” while The Sydney Morning Herald said it is “a mesmeric masterwork”.
“Final seasons are especially difficult,” says Susanne Simpson, Executive Producer of MASTERPIECE. “Our audience loves this series, as well as “Inspector Morse” and “Lewis” that preceded it. I can promise that these episodes are a beautiful and brilliant ending to this beloved show.”
The ninth and final season opens in spring 1972 with DS Morse rejoining the force after an extended leave to treat his drinking problem, brought on by overwork and personal troubles. His first case immerses him in a world he loves—orchestral music—where the performances are divine, but the personnel can be petty, dictatorial, and even homicidal.
Also in episode 1, which is directed by Evans, Morse and Thursday investigate a gangland slaying targeting a police informant, known to Thursday. As viewers have learned to expect, the surprising amount of mayhem in Oxford is often connected. With growing dread, Morse and Thursday face the prospect that the unresolved Blenheim Vale child abuse scandal from season 2 has resurfaced. In that story, Thursday was shot, and Morse was framed for murder, ending up under arrest. Now the loose ends are starting to intertwine.
Episode 2 opens with some cases left hanging, followed by a confounding series of new deaths, centered on a group of rowdy aristocratic students and a popular TV crime series, currently in production in the area. Meanwhile, the romantic plot involving Joan Thursday is accelerating toward the altar, even as her ex-soldier brother, Sam, descends into drug abuse and despair.
In episode 3 it all comes together: the Blenheim Vale affair, Joan’s wedding, and the whole glorious nine seasons of one of the most beguiling and riveting prequels in television history.
Morse & The Last Endeavour Description and Airtime
Morse & The Last Endeavour: A MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! Special
Premieres Sunday, June 11, 2023, at 9:00 p.m. ET (check local listings)
It’s the end of an era, as the epic tale of Inspector Morse, the iconic Oxford detective celebrated the world over, draws to a close. From the original “Inspector Morse” (1987-2000) to the spin-off series “Lewis” (2006-2015) to a decade of the detective’s backstory in Endeavour, the Oxford universe of crime has continued to fascinate viewers and enjoy enormous global appeal.
“Morse & The Last Endeavour” features interviews with the main cast members, who reflect on the rich appeal of the series set in 1960s Britain. It also goes behind the scenes during the filming of “Endeavour’s” last season, as decades of interconnecting plots are tied together. Actress Abigail Thaw, daughter of original Morse star John Thaw, reveals how she became a regular member of the “Endeavour” cast as newspaper editor Dorothea Frazil. Kevin Whately, who starred as Sergeant Lewis in Morse, reflects on the tremendous effect the hit detective series had on his career. And “Endeavour” star Shaun Evans traces his journey from acting to directing episodes of the series.
Endeavour: The Final Season Episode Descriptions and Airtimes
Episode One: “Prelude”
Premieres Sunday, June 18, 2023; 9-11pm ET on PBS
An orchestra soiree, a much-anticipated performance and an abandoned warehouse are scenes for a trio of deaths. Morse’s investigation turns up an unsettling connection to the past. Thursday gets a tempting offer, as does Joan.
Episode Two: “Uniform”
Premieres Sunday, June 25, 2023; 9-11pm ET on PBS
A gang of entitled college students runs riot. But are they behind a rash of lethal mayhem? Morse makes a date with Joan, then starts digging up an old crime scene.
Episode Three: “Exeunt”
Premieres Sunday, July 2, 2023; 9-11pm ET on PBS
Someone is placing death notices for people not yet dead. As preparations for Joan’s wedding proceed, the shocking Blenheim Vale case reaches a climax.
“Endeavour” first aired in 2012 and has earned a devoted following for Shaun Evans, Roger Allam, and the other principal actors. The ensemble cast includes Anton Lesser as CS Reginald Bright, the exacting head of Oxford’s Castle Gate Police Station; Sean Rigby as Morse’s friend, colleague, and romantic rival DS Jim Strange; James Bradshaw as the punctilious police pathologist, Dr. Max DeBryn; and Abigail Thaw as Morse’s journalist confidante, Dorothea Frazil.
Also featured are Caroline O’Neill as Thursday’s devoted wife, Win; Sara Vickers as his daughter, Joan, who is the secret object of Morse’s infatuation; and Jack Bannon as Thursday’s troubled son, Sam.
Charlotte Webber, producer for Mammoth Screen says, ”It has been a real privilege, but ever so bittersweet, to bring this much loved series to a close. These final three films are testament to the complexity, the intricacy and the tenderness of Russell Lewis’s writing, and Shaun, Roger and all our magnificent cast have brought these concluding stories to life in full technicolour.”
If you enjoyed this post, wander over to The Period Films List. Also see our list of the best British TV period mystery dramas based on books.