Saturday, July 16, 2016

ENDEAVOUR: A MASTERPIECE MYSTERY SERIES TO CONSDIER

If you are a Christian who watches television, the oceans of choices are filled with lusus naturae and beyond. Few and handful are the prime cuts which are not poisoned by some condiment unapologetically slathered on your entree of carne and broccoli. Unfortunately, I found this to be true of Downton Abbey, of which I wrote, in their later seasons and which brings me to this series, Endeavour.

It began its broadcast life in 2012 in England and is now in Season 7 and appears to be destined for more. Of this, I am not surprised nor is anyone else who watches the series. It is the best of the best, to wear out the cliche, of British television.

The Leads

The main character is played by Shaun Evans who simply convinces you he is none other than the younger DC Endeavour Morse. As bitter as bad acting is, is as delightful is Evans' enchanting dramatic exercise as the noble Detective, busy mastering his profession in the field of crime investigation while his somewhat awkward personality stumbles along, trying to catch up. He is an exceptionally engaging and utterly likeable crime wizard.

Always in range of Shaun Evans is Roger Allam, who has been around and in everything, with his expert self performing as DI Fred Thursday (yeah, Thursday). Unlike his American counterpart who would typically be antagonistic to the Morse character, Allam plays a slightly custodial role while thoroughly respecting the genius and appreciating the unorthodox style of the younger Morse. He slams a home-run as the amiable skeptic senior with a bone dry sense of humor.

The rest of the characters in the series are worth the mention but this post is brief. I will stop to say that it is obvious they were given considerable thought in their creation and presentation in the choice of actors and actresses with all of the accompanying accoutrements for this timepiece series which is set in Oxford, England in the 1960's.

My Two-Cents

I certainly do not have much time for entertainment either on the small or big screen however, when I do, I must have either quality or popcorn. The quality is, of course, a program such as Endeavour and the popcorn, cat videos on YouTube, what else? Seriously, Endeavour is par none and one nice thing is that it is absent of heavy British accents which is simply a curse to Americans who sing their words. 

If you need an escape, a television vacation for a bit over an hour, this just might do and so far the usual gratuitous skin and frotagge common in politically correct British productions, which is insufferable and offensive for the Christian, is not notable. Of course, I haven't seen every season so it is likely that you may encounter a few bumps in the road but possibly because it is relaying human events which include the downside of our nature which on the screen, unlike in script, there must be a portrayal to some degree of illicitness. My hope it does not go too far.

I am not recommending this for any and everyone and not giving a blanket approval to every element of the production but, for the most part, it is a serious and mature program and very entertaining. So, with discretion in mind, if you give this a try or have already, let me know what you think.

*For those of you who grew up in America and were born before 1990, a season generally meant 26 episodes and anything less was termed a mini-series but as has been the style for the last 15-20 years, a season can be as few as 6 episodes. In the case of British productions from BBC or ITV from which we get Endeavor, they tend to be on par with American cinema dramas hence, you're watching what is equivalent to a theatrical release so the limited number of productions is understandable.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ah - another Endeavour fan (and I was amused your autocorrect deleted the u! :-))

I am still a fan of the original John Thaw Morse series, and I particularly like how the producers of the prequel have managed to find actors who you really can imagine resemble a younger version of their Morse equivalents. Pathologist Max is probably the best.

I think the reason for the limited number of episodes per season is the sheer cost of putting on such drama. They have to get everything out of props or museums, and carefully avoid anachronisms. Even Downton Abbey missed a television aerial for half a second! Foyle's War is another succesful detective series, but likewise very expensive to film as it is set the past, notwithstanding cgi.

You also get a glimpse of Britain who she used to be - with casual sexism in the workplace, or racism, which was made illegal by the Race Relations Act 1965, but took a long time for attitudes to change. The endless smoking is true to life, and the affect the second world war had had on now middle-aged people in the sixties.

If I had one reservation about such series from a Christian point of view, it would be that they are always dealing with murder, even though you know it is all ficticious. I have several series on DVD in this vein, but they all involve murder as though any other crime would not be worth investigating.

Still, notwithstanding that, the scripts and acting are often superb, and occasionally between you and me, a trip down memory lane!

Ken

Alex A. Guggenheim said...

LOL Fixed the few Endeavors to Endeavour. Too funny but I don't think it was my auto correct, just my American presumption.

I do agree with the numerous murders, it makes bloody England, literally bloody. I do like the original, btw. Thanks for the share and pointing me to some missing u's.

AG

Anonymous said...

I am supposed to translate German into American English, and I have to remember to exclude the u from words like color!

Apart from this, using that instead of which is the main difference - An example of this that you might find useful verses An example of this which you might find useful. I suspect this US usage is a Germanism taken over from the large number of German speakers who emigrated to the States, and German uses the equivalent of that in such constructions.

Which I am sure you were really eager to know ...