Endeavour has started its eighth season on ITV and as usual, I’ve consumed the first of the episodes, “Striker”. Watch it on the ITV player as I easily feel it’s the best thing around, even if crime / detective series are not your thing.
The plot concerned the death threats to a mixed-race Northern Ireland striker, Jack Swift, who plies his trade for a fictional Oxford football club. It’s only subsequently that we learn that his race has little to do with the threats – This IS 1971 after all, and though at times I am tired of any news from Ulster on the troubles, this is history and in ’71, they were just starting to be bloody awful.
For one thing about the episode, and who knows maybe about this series, is that this IS an older Morse, and it seems that at any stage, John Thaw will suddenly pop up on the screen! Starting with the drunken Endeavour crashed out on his sofa, after a bender. Though we’re not sure whilst seeing the record player end its playing of an LP, whether the drinking was accompanied by Wagner!
In addition to the death threats to Swift, there is also a college bombing, that results in the death of a departmental secretary. We subsequently discover that the first thoughts that it must be the fault of animal rights’ activists, may well be wrong.
These two rather distinct, though timely strands somehow fit, and certainly had me going in more than one direction trying to ponder just who committed these acts.
All in all, I feel as though I am viewing something that has been on for some 10 years now, but that could eventually endure for a few years more. It is naturally produced with modern tastes, but still has enough of an old-school, character driven aesthetic to put it above most “telly” or Netflix shows at present.