‘Endeavour: Season 4′ Lives Up To PBS’ “Masterpiece” Moniker

Courtesy: itv/Public Media Distribution/PBS

Early this past September, Public Media Distribution released to American audiences the fourth season of PBS’ hit British import Endeavour.  The latest season of the phenomenal crime drama is yet another successful release for both itv and PBS that shows once again why this series easily bests any American crime drama on television today.  That is proven in part to the writing in more than one way.  This will be discussed shortly.  The work of the series’ cast cannot be ignored in examining this latest of the series’ installments.  It will be discussed later.  Last but definitely not least of note in examining this season’s recent home release is its bonus material.  It, like the season’s writing and acting, plays its own important part to the whole of the season’s presentation.  All things considered, the fourth season of Endeavour proves to be yet another entertaining offering from one of the U.K.’s top crime dramas.

Endeavour: The Complete Fourth Season has been available to American audiences for almost two months, having been released Sept. 5 via Public Media Distribution.  For those who perhaps have not yet had the opportunity to view this latest installment in the ongoing series, it goes without saying that it is another enjoyable effort for the series.  That is due in no small part to the work of the series’ writers.  This applies both to the stories featured in this season and to the series’ interweaving subplots.  All four of this season’s episodes give something totally different from one to the next.  The season premiere, for instance, is easily comparable to the story at the center of the hit 19999 Denzel Washington/Angelina Jolie crime blockbuster The Bone Collector.  At the same time, a comparison to author Dianne Setterfield’s novel The 13th Tale in the story, too (not to give away too much of the plot).  The second episode, ‘Canticle’ plays directly off of the summer of love for its central story.  Even with this in mind, it still manages to make itself an intriguing story nonetheless.  ‘Lazaretto,’ the season’s penultimate episode, changes things up yet again by taking place almost entirely in a hospital ward as Morse tries to find out why occupants of one bed keep dying.  The answer plays out almost like something right out of today’s headlines (again, not to give away too much).  There is even a nice, action packed police foot chase complete with gunfire for action fans.  The season finale, ‘Harvest’ centers around a body found during an archaeological dig. The killer may or may not be connected to a pagan ritual held near a power station.  It is yet another story that stands easily on its own feet separate from its counterparts in this season.  That distinct identity of the season’s stories is but one part of what makes the season’s writing stand out so much.  The writers’ ability to balance the stories with their underlying, interweaving subplots strengthens the writing even more.

Audiences will note in watching this season that while the central stories are solidly entertaining in their own right, they are not the only stories featured throughout the episodes.  From one episode to the next, the writers make sure to not forget the Thursdays’ anxiousness over their daughter Joan as well as Endeavour’s personal struggle with himself over his feelings for her.  Given, it is a serial element, but the writers at no point ever allow this element to overpower the season’s central standalone stories.  That balance gives fans of serials and standalone series alike something to anticipate and appreciate.

As if the stories presented within each of this season’s episodes are not enough for audiences (and their balance with the episodes’ secondary stories), the writers’ ability to keep audiences guessing right up until the end of each episode proves to be yet another way in which the writing proves so critical.  The stories put in just enough red herrings and twists to keep viewers completely engaged right to each story’s end without leaving viewers confused.  When this is considered along with the already discussed elements in the season’s writing, it becomes wholly clear why the writing is so critical to the season’s overall presentation.  It is only one part of what makes this season so engaging.  The work of the series’ cast is once again just as notable as the work of the show’s writers.

The series’ cast – most notably lead stars Shaun Evans and Roger Allum – is top-notch once more in this season. This especially the case as Endeavour and Thursday raise personal matters in each story.  Thursday becomes a powerfully sympathetic character as he tries to cope his daughter’s disappearance. Allum’s handling of Thursday’s emotional struggle makes these moments so powerful, even in their simplicity.  In the same breath, his stress at trying to fill in for Chief Superintendent Bright late in the season is just as engaging.  It is another way in which the writers develop Thursday’s character even more this season and another example of Allum’s expert acting chops.

Evans’ acting chops are just as notable as those of Allum this time around.  The way in which he handles’ Morse’s continued dedication to his job alone will keep audiences engaged.  His reaction at discovering the result of his Sergeant’s exam clearly exemplifies this.  His reaction at finally locating Joan (there again is that secondary story aspect) is just as moving and will keep viewers just as engaged as his handling of Morse’s casework.  When the work of the series’ supporting cast and extras is added alongside the work of Allum and Evans, the whole of the cast’s work does plenty to add its own share of engagement and entertainment to this season, showing in whole why the cast’s work is just as important as the work of the series’ writers.  It is not the last of the season’s most notable elements.  The bonus material that is included in the season’s home release is the last of those elements.

The bonus material included in Season 4’s home release includes a group of behind-the-scenes featurettes that discuss a handful of items.  From the series’ look as it applies to the era in which the season is set (the late 1960s) to Evans discussing his take on his character and on Morse’s relationship with Joan Thursday to Evans even taking a shot at being a cameraman behind the scenes, audiences are given quite the insight into how this season came to life.  Viewers will appreciate the discussion on the sets and costumes in “Making Endeavour in Oxford” because it shows the efforts taken to recreate 1960s Oxford.  Evans’ discussions on Morse and Morse’s relationship with Joan adds even more to that one underlying subplot that runs throughout all four episodes, adding even more interest to this season.  When that interest is joined with the interest created through the cast’s work and that of the series’ writers, the whole of those elements makes this season of Endeavour some of the show’s best work to date.

The fourth season of itv’s Endeavour is some of the series’ best work to date.  Even at only four episodes, this season offers audiences plenty to appreciate including the extensive work by the series’ writers.  The ast’s work adds even more interest to this season.  The bonus material included in the season’s home release outs the finishing touch to the season.  Each element is important in its own right to the season’s home presentation. All things considered, they make the season in whole another fully engaging offering from what is one of the U.K.’s best crime dramas.  It is available now and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other PBS Masterpiece series is available online at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/masterpiece

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/masterpiecepbs

 

 

 

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‘Masterpiece Mystery: Endeavour’ Returns Sunday

Endeavour returns tomorrow.

The fourth season of Masterpiece Mystery: Endeavour begins at 9 p.m. ET on PBS stations nationwide.  The series’ fourth season opens with yet another major mystery for Endeavour Morse to solve.  This time, the clock is ticking as Endeavour tries to solve the connection between a drowning and a chess-playing “thinking” machine.

Audiences can view a trailer for Season 4’s premiere episode online now here.

Courtesy: PBS/itv

Support for Masterpiece Mystery: Endeavour is provided by Viking River Cruises and Farmers Insurance.

More information on Masterpiece Mystery: Endeavour is available online now along with all of the series’ latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: www.pbs.org/masterpiece

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/masterpiecepbs

Twitter: http://twitter.com/masterpiecepbs

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS To Release ‘Endeavour: Season 3’ This Summer

Courtesy:  PBS/Public Media Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Detective Morse finally returns to PBS this weekend with the third season of the hit crime drama Endeavour.  The third season of Endeavour will air each week from June 19th to July 10th on PBS stations nationwide.  Audiences should check local listings for air times.  In celebration of the series’ return to the U.S. Public Media Distribution has announced that it will release Season Three on DVD and Blu-ray not long after Season Three ends.

Masterpiece Mystery!: Endeavour Series 3 will be released on Tuesday, August 23rd.  it will be released both on DVD and Blu-ray.  Season Three picks up where Season Two left off, with the young Detective Morse dealing with the aftermath of having been thrown in jail.  DI Thursday is meanwhile fighting for his life.  And that is just the tip of the iceberg.  There is a murder, a missing persons case, a house fire, and much more in this season.  Season Three’s four episodes run a total of 360 minutes and are spread over two discs both on DVD and Blu ray.  That is a total of six hours.  The DVD set will retail for MSRP of $39.99 and the Blu-ray set for $49.99.  The Blu-ray can be pre-ordered online now at a discounted price of $44.99 and the DVD for a discounted price of $34.99 via PBS’ online store.  Audiences can see a preview of Season Three now online via PBS’ official YouTube channel.

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

More information on this and other Masterpiece Mystery! Programs is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/masterpiece

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/masterpiecepbs

Twitter: http://twitter.com/masterpiecepbs

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Announces Release Date For Endeavour: Series 2

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

Officials with PBS announced Monday that the network will release the second season/series of its imported crime drama Endeavour.

Eandeavour Season/Series 2 will be released Tuesday, July 8th. The second season/series of the drama will be released both on DVD and Blu-ray. It features four more full length episodes totaling six hours. Season Two picks up right where the series’ first season ended. DC Endeavour Morse is back with the Oxford City Police and is re-united with DI Fred Thursday. The pair is investigating what appears to be a suicide. But when Morse starts to question that, his own mental health is questioned by his partner.

The second episode of Season Two is a ghost story of sorts. In “Nocturne,” Morse’s investigation of an elderly man’s murder leads him to a girls’ school. As it turns out, the school has a very dark past. That past threatens to become part of the present. And it’s up to Morse to keep that from happening as he investigates the man’s murder and how it’s related to the school’s past.

A serial killer is on the loose in “Sway,” the third episode of Season Two. And it’s up to Morse and Thursday to stop the killer after a woman is found strangled to death with a black silk stocking. Their investigation of the killer’s trail leads them to have to face their own issues along the way.

An investigation of a series of murders uncovers corruption and misconduct within the Oxford City Police and even the higher echelons of Oxford’s social circles in “Neverland,” the fourth episode of Season Two. Morse and Thursday are investigating the cases of a missing boy, a dead journalist and an absconder from prison in this episode, leading them to the revelations about the noted corruption and misconduct.

PBS’s upcoming release of Endeavour: Season/Series 2 will feature all four episodes in their complete UK length presentations. The DVD will retail for SRP of $39.99. The Blu-ray presentation will retail for $44.99. Both the DVD and Blu-ray will be available Tuesday, July 8th. They can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=35620626&cp=&sr=1&kw=masterpiece+mystery+endeavour&origkw=Masterpiece+Mystery%21+Endeavour&parentPage=search. More information on Endeavour is available online at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/endeavour/, http://www.facebook.com/masterpiecepbs and http://twitter.com/masterpiecepbs. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.