Tuesday, February 25, 2020
My review of the previous episode: Raga.
Is it the 1980s yet? I feel like I just lived an entire decade in one episode. Rocketing from one plot twist to another, with red herrings galore and operatic aspirations, Zenana is certainly never dull. But is it good?
The story starts with yet another tow-path murder. Thursday is furious. It's the young woman he'd warned in the previous episode, Bridget Mulcahy. He has some strong words for Morse, who remained convinced that Professor Blish was the tow-path killer. The chef, Tony Jakkobsen, was killed in an unrelated incident, Morse thought. But with Bridget's murder, it seems undeniable that the killer is still at large.
Monday, February 24, 2020
My review of the previous episode: Oracle
If I felt that last week's episode left some arcs oddly unresolved, this week's story shows why that was. We find the main cast embroiled with the same conflicts which started in episode one. Endeavour is still being courted by Ludo Talenti - figuratively? the man does seem very flirty - and certainly literally by Violetta Talenti. I'm almost suspicious that Ludo and Violetta are setting Morse up somehow. Ludo clearly seems to have some ulterior motives for renewing his friendship with Morse.
Monday, February 10, 2020
For the first time since 1992, we are in a Morse episode set in a different country. Morse is in Venice, falling for a pretty Italian woman named Violetta. He's not there long, but it starts the story - and the new decade (1970s, 2020s) - off on a romantic foot.
Meanwhile, in Oxford, foul play is afoot. A woman, Molly Andrews, is murdered on a towpath. Thursday is convinced the killer was Carl Sturgis - the dead girl's boyfriend, which Morse calls into question fairly quickly on his return to duty. Bright isn't alarmed, but he assigns Morse to revisit the case, which creates conflict between Thursday and his former protege.
Friday, March 8, 2019
My review of last week's episode: Confection.
"Do you think a golem's wandering around Oxford?"
Alas, there's not. There's usually a wild card episode in Endeavour seasons, but Degüello doesn't quite live up to the promise of that dialogue! That said, it's one of the most satisfying conclusions the show has produced in a while, largely because it feels like, well, a conclusion.
Sunday, March 3, 2019
My review of the previous episode: Apollo.
The first body is an overdose. Max and Morse are standing alongside when Strange blunders up and says, "Puked 'is guts up, then?" It's a reminder of Strange's crusade to find Fancy's killer, which plays a back-up role in an episode that's full to the brim with dead bodies. It's also a chance for Max to get in a zinger, as he often does when Strange discusses puke. ("What a lyrical child you must have been, sergeant," is still my favorite, but "Been at the Keats again, sergeant?" ain't bad.)
Russell Lewis had to be frustrated that Inspector Morse already had an episode named Happy Families, because that's the theme of the story more than anything. Unhappy families, of course. There aren't any fireworks (no tigers or haunted houses to be found here, as there usually are in the season's third episode), but this is a strong meat-and-potatoes story which, like last week's story, manages to land quite a few serious character-based punches.
Thursday, February 21, 2019
We've seen Shaun Evans in front of the camera, but this is our first chance to see what he can do behind it. It turns out, the answer is: quite a lot. After a rather functional finale established the new status quo, Endeavour finds time to dig into real character conflict in this insightful, thematically rich second episode that balances all of its subplots beautifully.
The story starts with Adam Drake - a snarky jerk - and his girlfriend, Christine Chase. They attend a party with Drake's colleagues - the Humbolts and Wingqvists. Adam and Christine's bodies are discovered the next day at the scene of an apparent wreck.
Meanwhile, Thursday is assaulted by some thugs and on doctor's orders he's put on light duties, which means he and Morse - newly reassigned to Castlegate CID - investigate the wreck together. Christine's body has been disturbed, and it looks like she died before the "accident."
Monday, February 18, 2019
My review of the previous season finale: Icarus.
There's a certain ineffable quality about Endeavour. I always feel like I've visited a far-off country when I return to the series, regardless of my critiques of individual episodes (this is me obliquely referring to my grumpy review of last season's finale). Why is that? There's a good dollop of nostalgia, certainly, as this episode's beginning demonstrates (C.S. Bright stars in a re-creation of a classic British road-crossing PSA). But there's also an air of lost grandeur - a Brideshead Revisited wistfulness which laments changing institutions and lost innocence.
Both Inspector Morse and Endeavour are full of that emotion. Pylon is as well, though it ultimately tries too hard to be too many things to fully cohere as a story. Nevertheless, it's another fresh start for the show, and it reminded me anew the reasons to appreciate it.
I'll get into those later in this review. First, we need to talk about the Morsestache.
Saturday, October 6, 2018
NuWho - the Revived Show
[Updated through series 11]
Let's start out with some history. Doctor Who started in 1963, but was cancelled in the 80s and subsequently revived in 2005. It's been running ever since. I'm assuming you want to start with the post-2005 revived show, called "NuWho" or "New Who," so this list covers that - I'll be posting one for the Classic Show soon-ish.