October 21, 2019  (Web Review)

Endeavour: The Complete Sixth Season

PBS, 2 discs, 360 min., not rated, DVD: $39.99, Blu-ray: $49.99

Reviewer rating: 3.0/4

The fifth season of Endeavour, the British mystery prequel series starring Shaun Evans as young police detective Endeavour Morse—working in Oxford, circa the 1960s—who will become Inspector Morse, ended with the police station closed and the officers dispersed. Season six opens in 1969 with Morse in a mustache and uniform on a rural beat looking for missing cows and his former boss Fred Thursday (Roger Allam) demoted and serving at Thames Valley under DCI Ronnie Box (Simon Harrison), a former robbery cop who lords his authority like a bully and likes things simple. Over the course of the four 90-minute mysteries collected here, Morse is promoted back to detective and clashes with Box and Thursday alike thanks to a disgust he doesn’t bother to hide. Then his former colleague Jim Strange (Sean Rigby) approaches him about possible criminal corruption in the Thames Valley squad, where even Thursday—humbled and broke after losing his retirement savings—is tempted. Also back are Superintendent Bright (Anton Lesser), now in the traffic division, and Thursday’s daughter Joan (Sara Vickers), a social worker who tangles with Box and his treatment of minors. One episode features a murder connected to a TV show modeled on the Supermarionation sci-fi series Thunderbirds, which is recreated with loving detail. Endeavour remains a well-written and handsomely produced period mystery series with strong characters who are still evolving. Airing stateside on PBS’s Masterpiece Mystery!, the 2019 sixth season features extras including behind-the-scenes featurettes and cast interviews. Recommended. (S. Axmaker)