DATELINE: Oxford Sleuth
PBS has brought back another highly intelligent detective show for a fourth season, Endeavour. Of course, strawberry-blond Inspector Morse patrols the territory around Oxford University where culture and mayhem seem to go hand-in-glove.
Complicating matters is the fact the series setting is the 1960s. The new fangled technology is not yet upon Scotland Yard, and brainpower still reigns supreme. His nemesis at the station is a world-weary Roger Allam, always in rare form.
The first episode is called “Game” about early computers taking on Soviet chess champs.
Young Morse (Shaun Evans) is slight and, like all attractive Brit men, looks decidedly gay. Women do seem to like him, often to the detriment of his work, but Morse remains stalwart and impervious to their attentions, considering them impediments to crime resolution.
The latest case puts everyone in crisis mode: Morse’s superior has personal problems with his grown daughter moving away—and Morse’s attempts to try to achieve promotion seem thwarted by unknown forces.
He remains the most brilliant detective in Oxford, holding his own against Russian chess-masters, ruthless members of the media, and assorted weird supercriminals. The suspects in this go-round are professors, media snoops, and a smug best-selling novelist.
With a spate of peculiar drownings among an assortment of victims with not much obviously in common, Morse finds himself at odds with superiors and those who would undermine his talents.
You will find these short movies (90 minutes usually) a challenge to solve and admire the acting and the writing, lost arts in most films nowadays. There will be three additional episodes to consider.