TV Crime Log: Endeavour, Mammon

Endeavour MorseThat intense young man Endeavour is back this weekend with the first of four new stories on ITV on Sunday night. Here is the young Morse, looking somewhat forlorn.

 

Five down. A short description of a book, film or other product for promotional purposes. Ah, yes, blurb:

May 1966. DC Endeavour Morse returns to Oxford City Police after a four-month absence from duty. Reunited with DI Fred Thursday, the young detective’s involuntary furlough has left him wounded – in mind, more than body.

Another dazzlingly complex mystery is set in motion during a Broad Street parade, celebrating the might of Britain’s military accomplishments. The festivities, soured by a rash student stunt, are thrown into sharp relief when a John Doe plummets to his death from a nearby council  building. A clutch of business cards bearing multiple identities suggest the death was more than just a routine suicide.

Endeavour flexes his gumshoe muscles to uncover the corpse’s identity – a solitary pursuit that builds to a trip to London with troubling consequences. Whilst a concerned Thursday looks on, the fractured pieces of the kaleidoscope mirror the young detective’s state of mind, as he pulls two seemingly unrelated cases into the fray – an anguished father searching for a missing daughter, and a smash-and-grab robbery of medieval artifacts at Oxford’s Beaufort College.

Endeavour has a grave propensity to treat its TV ‘tec like a young Hamlet, but of course, the series is like a puzzle where you’re filling in the future personality – piece by piece – of the iconic John Thaw character, as created by Colin Dexter. The episodes are written, once again, by screenwriter Russell Lewis.

There’s a terrific sense of time and place about Endeavour. Your auntie loves stuff set in the 60s, a time when she was young and flirtatious and still had both her own knees. It certainly cranks up the numbers for ITV. Endeavour is one of the network’s top drama performers.

But make the most of it, one wonders how how long Endeavour will run. Star Shaun Evans has already questioned whether he’d want to continue in the role, as Morse hurtles into the 70s. And it’s interesting that ITV has picked up Lewis again. Only last year the other successful Morse spin-off was put into mothballs and it’s already being dusted off for a new series in the spring.

Anyway, that’s Endeavour, at 9pm on Sunday night.

Someone at Channel Four has been eyeing the BBC4 viewing figures of a Saturday night and decided that More4 really needs to get into the Scandi Crime business.

MammonThe six-part conspiracy thriller Mammon is State of Play meets All The President’s Men. At least, that’s what it says in the programme notes. It stars this really huge man to the right.

The blurb also says that it was a big hit when it began in Norway in January, and that a US version is on its way. If you’re thinking that the blurb seems very well informed then, my friend, you’d be correct:

Set over six days, Mammon involves murder and sexual intrigue that starts when a mysterious woman called “Sophia” sends news reporter Peter Verås computer evidence of a multinational fraud, involving Norway’s political and financial elite. This will incriminate Verås’s own brother, Daniel, who then commits suicide. To his astonishment, Peter discovers that “Sophia” was actually his brother.

The drama is described as labyrinthine. Mammon, we are promised, has a dense, multi-layered plot. Which means it’s either going to be utterly compelling or very tedious. Depending, perhaps, on how many glasses of wine you’ve had.

Anyway, Mammon will blister your brain cells on Friday night at 9pm on More4.

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