DATELINE: Wonderland of 60s Crime
Shaun in Sixties Mode!
“Pylon” is the title for a dandy reboot of the great youngish detective Endeavour, transferred out of his element to the world of uniformed cop. PBS has conscripted to show a miniseries of murder again this summer. They are the best of British crime imported to give us a throwback to the Swinging Sixties.
With Morse demoted from Oxford to red brick schoolhouse, you know a mind is a terrible thing to waste. It’s a misuse of genius to have Shakespeare write advertising jingles, but that’s what has happened to the operatic fantatic played by Shaun Evans, now in mustache mode.
He’s not alone: all his kindred spirits are also out of sorts. Fred Thursday (Roger Allam) has been reduced to a secondary role under a twit. No one has been cast in a proper role in the new season, set in summer of 1969.
What have we as issues? Nothing short of a smorgasbord of current trendy crimes: pornography, child abuse, murder (as always), genetic criminal traits, wrongful death penalty, falsified police evidence, heroin addiction, police brutality, and on and on.
Into this mix, Morse is overstepping his bounds as a cop on the beat in a small backwater, using his skills to uncover clues that range from Lewis Carroll to Black Beauty. Clever smarty-pants Morse does put lesser police detectives to shame—and they pull rank often.
A uniform isn’t paid to think, and the ones paid to think are thoughtless imbeciles.
Oh, the equestrian angle is a throwaway of red herrings. We are glad to find Endeavour back in force on the force.