Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour to return for four-part series

Shaun Evans to film more episodes this year, plus ITV1 also announces a new series of Lewis starring Kevin Whately

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Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour to return for four-part series
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David Brown

Over 2,000 of you voted back in January to see more of Inspector Morse spin-off Endeavour - and now that wish has been granted.

Shaun Evans will return to the role of Endeavour Morse for four 120-minute episodes, to be filmed on location in Oxford later this year. Joining him will be Roger Allam as senior partner Inspector Fred Thursday and James Bradshaw as Dr Max Debryn, while John Thaw's daughter will make further guest appearances.

Consolidated ratings for the one-off Endeavour - which transmitted on ITV1 at the start of 2012 to mark the 25th anniversary of the very first Morse episode - were 8.2m, with an audience share of 30 per cent.

“It was fantastic that the audience responded so warmly to Endeavour,” said Sally Haynes of ITV drama commissioning. “Shaun’s portrayal of a legendary character was captivating and Endeavour thoroughly deserves a series – there’s so much more we can do with the character."

The new series will be produced by Dan McCulloch and executive produced by Mammoth Screen’s joint managing directors, Michele Buck and Damien Timmer.

“We’re delighted to be making a series of Endeavour and have been overwhelmed by the reaction to the first film,” said Timmer. “Russell Lewis has some bold plans to further enrich the mythology of Morse, introducing some significant new characters, and re-establishing some old favourites, all of whom are destined to have a massive impact on the future inspector's life.”

Novelist Colin Dexter, whose first Morse story Last Bus to Woodstock was published in 1975, will act as consultant for the series.

“It’s important to us that Colin is across every aspect of Endeavour,” said Buck. “We value and respect his contribution enormously.

“We’ve been delighted by the success of the one-off film and look forward to revealing more about the legendary detective,” she added.

Michele Buck and Damien Timmer also oversee Lewis in conjunction with ITV Studios and the broadcaster also reports that new episodes of that drama are set to air in May.

Four x 120-minute films have been produced with Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox in the lead roles of Inspector Robbie Lewis and DS James Hathaway, while Clare Holman also returns as Dr Laura Hobson, along with Rebecca Front as Chief Superintendent Innocent.

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