'Endeavour's Final Season to Debut on PBS in June 2023
A decade ago, in 2013, Endeavour first crossed the pond for PBS viewers on Masterpiece. The series was the third in a line of mysteries based on the Inspector Morse series of novels by Colin Dexter, initially debuting in the 1980s and was Mystery!'s first successful non-period-set police procedural series from across the pond. But despite speculation the prequel series, which took the show back to Morse's early years, might run long enough to catch up with the original, that is not to be. After ten years on the air, the series will conclude with Season 9 debuting on PBS in June 2023.
The late Colin Dexter, who passed away in 2017 during Endeavour's run, first published Morse starting in 1975 with Last Bus to Woodstock. By his seventh release in 1986, ITV had optioned the rights for a TV adaptation, which premiered the following year, and then crossed the pond to PBS in 1988. Starring John Thaw as the titular intellectual Morse and Kevin Whately as his sidekick, salt of the Earth DS Lewis, the series proved so popular it ran until just before Thaw's passing in 2000.
However, a rerun of the series celebrating the series' 15th anniversary proved so popular ITV tested a pilot staring Whatlety, having been promoted to DI after Morse's passing, and his new intellectual DS Hathaway (Laurence Fox) in a reversal of the original show's formula. It ran from 2006 to 2015, the same 33-episode length as the original, before being retired. By then, Endeavour, featuring Shaun Evans as a young Morse in the 1960s and his salt-of-the-Earth DI Fred Thursday (Roger Allam), has hit it big, keeping the franchise going through the 2010s.
Endeavour has already run 33 installments (plus the original backdoor pilot film from 2012); with the addition of Season 9's three episodes, it will become the longest-running series of the franchise. Here are the synopses for the final season's three episodes:
The opener, "Prelude," sees the sleuths looking into a mysterious death at a reception for a prestigious orchestra, while the subsequent demise of a musician in the orchestra complicates matters, and the murder of an old face from Thursday’s past rings alarm bells. Episode Two, "Uniform," features the murder of a cast member on a TV cop drama starring a popular actor, baffles the sleuths, while an elite undergraduate club causes mayhem. And the final episode, "Exeunt," focuses on a series of deaths that are announced in the newspaper before they have occurred, a biker is killed, and storm clouds gather as the past continues to rear its ugly head.
Evans and Allam return for one final round of episodes as Morse and Thursday. Anton Lesser will join them for one last season as PCS Reginald Bright, Sean Rigby as DS Strange, James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn, Caroline O'Neill as Winifred Thursday, Sara Vickers as Joan Thursday, and Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil. The show will also bring back some faces fans haven't seen in a long time, including Jack Bannon as Sam Thursday, Phil Daniels as Charlie Thursday, Jack Laskey as DS Peter Jakes, Danny Webb as DI Arthur Lott, and Simon Harrison as DCI Ronnie Box.
Endeavour Season 9 will premiere on June 18, 2023, at 9 p.m. ET on most PBS stations and air on a weekly release schedule on both linear and streaming, with all three episodes arriving on PBS Passport after the finale. As always, check your local listings.