20 April 2014

ENDEAVOUR: Neverland


This was arguably the perfect finale. There was a great underlying story to it, and it all connected to make sense. I loved all of the regulars, and it was a shame Jack Laskey's involvement towards the end was so limited as he was superb when embodying the emotions of a lifetime of suffering. The usually calm and smarmy exterior was gone, replaced for a character we could all sympathise with. The final scene at Blenheim Vale was heart-stoppingly dramatic, and the series won't be the same again.I loved how Russell Lewis wrong-footed the audience throughout; it was almost inevitable that there would be some sort of shake-up given it was the concluding episode. The hints about the merger were deliberately planted along with the plot for Morse and Monica to move abroad, before the true twist in the tale was revealed. This showcases Lewis at his best.

The real credit has to go to Shaun Evans and Roger Allam. I've been saying since the first episode that they're the best thing about this series, and in its eighth regular episode they again support my theory. Over the course of 90 minutes they give possibly their best acting masterclass. If you've ever watched either's work, you'll know this is high praise indeed. I cannot think of two better leading men, and it would be deeply upsetting if this most perfect of partnerships was torn apart. Evans and Allam are simply brilliant.

Geoffrey Sax (probably best known to readers of this site as the director of Doctor Who) also provides a stylish backdrop. Somehow, he manages to best the other three directors of the series, which is quite some feat. Exotic angles and bleak backdrops really help to sell this tale and of the four tasked with bringing Series 2 to the small screen, I would be most grateful of another turn from Sax. The concluding scenes, shots mirroring those earlier in the episode, are some of the finest Endeavour has ever offered. I can't convey what a masterstroke this cliffhanger is by Lewis. Endeavour isn't simply a series about cops solving crimes in the '60s, it's the story of Endeavour Morse. Just great.

I can't say much about Neverland other than this: the most thrilling episode of the series, standing head and shoulders above all other series of its type. I don't know about any of you, but I'm on tenterhooks to see what happens next. Evans and Allam, thank you.

If this doesn't guarantee a third series, I don't know what will.

You can watch Neverland on the ITV Player here. Do it. Now. Seriously.

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