ITV unveils Shaun Evans as the young Endeavour Morse

Main casting announced for prequel to classic detective drama


ITV has cast Shaun Evans in one of the most prestigious roles in TV drama: Endeavour Morse. A one-off drama will feature Evans – best known for his role in Sky1 gangster saga The Take – as a much younger version of the character embodied by the late John Thaw.


The drama, which will air next year to mark the 25th anniversary of the first episode of Inspector Morse, is set in 1965 and explores the origins of the ale-drinking, classic car-driving, crossword-solving detective.

The story sees DC Endeavour Morse, a young police detective fighting for his reputation, launch his own investigation into the case of a missing schoolgirl in Oxford.

“Morse as a young man is a wonderful character that I’m very excited to be playing,” said Evans. “My hope is that we can complement what’s come before, by telling a great story, and telling it well.”

Laura Mackie, director of ITV Drama, said: “Endeavour is a beautifully written story that not only provides many nods to Morse’s unique character traits for fans, but re-unites many of the team behind the original series.”


Shooting on the programme – called simply Endeavour – begins in Oxford in the autumn, with a script by Russell Lewis (Inspector Morse, Lewis, Kavanagh QC, Cadfael).