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Endeavour – ITV

Endeavour: Pictured: SHAUN EVANS as Endeavour and ROGER ALLAM as DI Fred Thursday.

It’s 1969 and the young Morse is about to face a challenging new decade

It’s 1969 and the young Endeavour Morse is about to face a challenging new decade

There’s a new posting for Endeavour as the classy whodunit returns.

The buzz of Oxford seems far away for the young Morse (Shaun Evans), as he’s now working in a sleepy rural police station.

But the detective isn’t bored for long when the body of a missing schoolgirl is discovered.

The case brings Endeavour back in contact with Fred Thursday (Roger Allum), who’s dealing with uncompromising DCI Ronnie Box as his new boss.

When – against orders, obviously! – Endeavour goes out on a limb to find the killer, another missing girl complicates proceedings.

A fine opener, and it’s great to see our favourite 1960s cops out of their comfort zones.

TV Times rating: *****

Endeavour with Fred Thursday

Shuan Evans as Endeavour and Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday

During a break in filming, Shaun, 38, Roger, 65, and Anton Lesser, who turns 67 on 14 February, tells TV Times how the shifting times will affect their characters…

At the end of the last series saw the team’s former police station in Cowley close as Oxford City Police merged with Thames Valley Constabulary.

Now, Endeavour is in the sticks, Fred’s at Castle Gate CID, DS Jim Strange (Sean Rigby) is in Banbury and CS Reginald Bright (Anton Lesser) has been sidelined into traffic.

Shaun: I don’t enjoy not being with Anton, Roger and Sean! Endeavour’s in uniform and isolated at a country police station in Woodstock.

You would think he’d be happy with nobody bothering him. But he’s in charge of smaller, mundane cases.

Events bring him back, though, and the overarching story about who killed DC George Fancy [Lewis Peek] last series also requires our joint brainpower.

Roger: I missed not having as many scenes with Shaun, too.

Fred took the fall for Fancy’s death; it plays on his mind.

In the first episode, he also looks back to an old case of a hanged man. I had to have younger make-up for the flashbacks!

Anton: It’s sad for Bright as his status is gone. He’s a laughing stock because of a commercial he makes about pelican crossings. Filming with a real pelican, I was apprehensive but we fell in love!