Endeavour Morse series put into production

Following the overwhelming response to the recent one-off Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour, a full series has now gone into production.

Shaun Evans (The Take, The Last Weekend, Silk), who won over critics and viewers alike with his portrayal of young Morse, has returned to film the four new films written by Lewis creator and Morse writer Russell Lewis.

Acclaimed stage and screen actor Roger Allam (The Jury, Parade's End, The Thick of It) returns as Endeavour’s senior partner, Detective Inspector Fred Thursday. Stage actor Sean Rigby takes on the role of a young PC Strange - the character who appeared in the original Morse series, played by James Grout.

James Bradshaw will return as Dr Max Debryn and John Thaw’s daughter Abigail will make further guest appearances as Dorothea Frazil. Supporting cast include Anton Lesser (The Hour, Garrow’s Law, The Scapegoat) as Chief Supt Reginald Bright and Jack Laskey (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) as DS Peter Jakes.

Consolidated ratings for the first Endeavour film - which transmitted in January to mark the 25th anniversary of the very first episode of Morse - were 8.2m with an impressive audience share of 30%. This makes it the most popular single film on any channel in the last 5 years.

Mammoth Screen will produce the 4 x 120 episodes, which have now begun filming on location in Oxford. The new series will be produced by Dan McCulloch (Endeavour, 10 Minute Tales) and executive produced by Mammoth Screen’s Joint Managing Directors, Michele Buck and Damien Timmer (whose recent credits for ITV include Monroe, Lewis and Marple), writer Russell Lewis and Rebecca Eaton for co-producers Masterpiece.

The first film is directed by Ed Bazalgette (A Mother's Son, Vera) and the second by Tom Vaughan (Starter for Ten, Extraordinary Measures, What Happens in Vegas). Acclaimed novelist Colin Dexter, whose first Morse story was published in 1975, will act as consultant for the series.