Endeavour series 8: Shaun Evans and Roger Allam return for three more episodes

Shaun Evans is back as the young Morse, but as the Detective Sergeant struggles to come to terms with tragedy, where will his police work take him and mentor Fred Thursday next?

By Katie Archer Published: 1 September 2021 - 8.05pm
ITV Shaun Evans and Roger Allam in Endeavour

It’s been a long while since we last caught up with Endeavour, thanks to filming delays caused by coronavirus restrictions.

But series 8 is finally on the horizon and we can’t wait to get stuck into another round of Oxford-based crimes.

Here’s all you need to know about what to expect from the new episodes.

When is Endeavour series 8 on TV?

The first of three new episodes of Endeavour airs on ITV at 8pm on Sunday, September 12. Immediately after transmission, each film will become available on the ITV Hub and on BritBox UK.

What happens in the new series of Endeavour?

Roger Allam and Shaun Evans in Endeavour ITV

Cast your minds back to the last instalment of Endeavour and you’ll remember that Morse’s Italian love interest, Violetta, died in his arms.

Her death has taken its toll: a haunted Endeavour has developed quite a serious drinking problem in order to cope with life’s many strains.

But he is still expected to tackle Oxford’s criminals along with the rest of the team…

Episode one sees an explosion at an Oxford college that could have far-reaching political implications, while football team Oxford Wanderers’ star striker has been receiving death threats from the IRA.

In episode two, the team is investigating the murder of a cab driver with significant debts. Their surprising pursuit leads them to a nudist colony and then a blue movie outfit in London’s Soho.

Finally, episode three takes place during the harsh winter of 1971 when the team is split up by a snowstorm while investigating the murder of a college don, and Endeavour is stranded at an abandoned hotel where he becomes the subject of a revenge plot.

Who stars in Endeavour?

Shaun Evans - DS Endeavour Morse

Shaun Evans as DS Endeavour Morse ITV

Shaun Evans, back in his starring role as the young Morse is, says he couldn’t wait to get back to work after lockdown.

“It was a relief to finally start filming. I had the good fortune of doing another job in the interim which had started prior to Covid and then we returned to finish it,” he says.

“You’re just lucky to be out working and to have a legitimate reason to leave the house and to be mixing with people. To be able to do your work, first and foremost. I was very grateful for that.”

He added that his character had some tough times ahead with his drinking problem this series.

“Violetta died at the end of the last series which was New Year’s Eve going into 1971. This new series begins two months later and Morse is suffering.

“When we pick Endeavour up in February 1971 he is drinking too much, not coming into work, phoning in sick quite a bit. That’s what we see over the course of the whole season. That getting slowly worse.”

Roger Allam - DCI Fred Thursday

Roger Allam in Endeavour ITV

Also reprising his role is Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday, who will do his best to support Endeavour through his struggles.

“Morse is in a bad place,” Allam concedes. “Then again, Fred made a serious mistake a couple of years ago when he was drawn into corruption and things got very bad with his wife Win.

“Now he’s back on an even keel. I think that’s a true, sincerely and honestly felt thing that we make mistakes and we should have a chance to get back on the straight and narrow.”

Allam added that he had enjoyed stepping back into Fred’s shoes.

“I discovered in a scene for the third film in this series that Fred had been doing the football pools for 36 years. I don’t think we’ve ever seen him doing that. The same with the ballroom dancing a couple of seasons ago.

“It’s interesting from that point of view but there’s also something very reassuring about playing a long running TV character. With the hat and the pipe and certain lines that Russell Lewis writes, it’s an easy step to get back into that character. It’s readily available to you.”

Also in Endeavour...

The series will also star Anton Lesser (Game of Thrones) as CS Reginald Bright, Sean Rigby (Gunpowder) as DS Jim Strange, James Bradshaw (Close to The Enemy) as Dr Max DeBryn, Abigail Thaw (I Want My Wife Back) as Dorothea Frazil, Caroline O’Neill (Last Tango In Halifax) as Win Thursday, and Sara Vickers (Watchmen) as Joan Thursday.

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Will there be another series of Endeavour?

Shaun Evans and Roger Allam in Endeavour ITV

The hit drama is certainly still drawing in the ratings so it looks like there’s a strong chance we could see a series nine in the future, but with 33 feature-length episodes in the can, the Morse spin-off has now caught up with the run of the original series starring John Thaw and Kevin Whately.

Evans is aware of the significance.

“It’s poignant. But these things are as important as you make them,” he says.

“In the original series I think John Thaw called it and it was like, ‘This is enough now’.”

Surprisingly, he admitted: “I’ve still not watched Inspector Morse. Maybe I’ll watch them when we’re all done. I’m still only focused on my own work and on the work we’re all trying to do together. It’s important in one respect, but it’s arbitrary in another respect to me.

“The fact I haven’t watched Inspector Morse there’s nothing disparaging or dismissive in that. We have come so far now on all of our own journeys with it that it just still doesn’t feel right to watch it. You have to approach it from your entry points rather than somebody else’s.

 “I think we’ll know when the time has come to end Endeavour. It’s incredible that we’ve got to 33 films. I don’t think any of us expected that or anticipated it. But you want to do it until the story is told. Until we think that our story is told, rather than it being imposed upon you or whatever.”

Season 8 of Endeavour begins on ITV at 8pm on Sunday, September 12.

Immediately after transmission, each film will become available on the ITV Hub and on BritBox UK.