Endeavour fans emotional after 'beautiful' John Thaw moment

Shaun Evans in a dark suit looks pensive in Endeavour
Endeavour has ended after nine seasons. (Image credit: Mammoth/ITV)

Endeavour aired its final ever episode on Sunday, with the Morse spin-off coming to an end after 11 years on our screens. Since it was the final outing, the episode had a special surprise in store for fans.

Before Shaun Evans stepped into the role as a younger Endeavour Morse, the iconic inspector was played by John Thaw between 1987–2000 in original series Inspector Morse, and the late actor had a special cameo appearance in the final moments of Endeavour season 9.

John Thaw passed away in 2002, but thanks to some special effects they were able to pull off the scene, which united the two Morse actors for a brief moment.

The scene in question saw Shaun Evans' Morse driving away from Blenheim Palace, and the eyes of John Shaw could be seen in the rearview mirror, giving young Morse a glimpse of his future self.

In the pilot episode of Endeavour he had been asked by his boss Fred Thursday (Roger Allam) where he imagined himself in 20 years, so it was a very poignant moment for fans!

Taking to Twitter, many fans have praised the surprise cameo moment, as although it was fleeting many have called it "beautiful" and "the perfect ending", paying tribute to the original Inspector Morse series.

In addition to this special tribute, John Thaw's daughter Abigail has been a huge part of Endeavour, playing the role of Oxford Mail editor Dorothea Frazil, who has been in the series since the first episode.

Speaking about the series to What to Watch, Abigail Thaw told us what her dad might've thought of the beloved prequel.

She told us: "I like to think that Dad would have given it the nod of approval. We made it our own, we weren’t trying to ape Inspector Morse, but I've always had him as a sort of benign presence on set just there on my shoulder, and I’ve loved that. 

"I think he's up there smiling. Dad would have loved Shaun, and would have totally respected Shaun’s wishes to not emulate him but with the writing, you could still absolutely see Morse and the man he was about to become."

Episodes of Endeavour and Inspector Morse are both available to watch on ITVX

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress