Meet the cast of Endeavour series seven

Everything you need to know about the cast and characters of ITV's Inspector Morse prequel

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ITV’s Inspector Morse prequel series, following the young Endeavour Morse (played by Shaun Evans), is returning for a seventh series, with a brand new love interest for the detective and fresh tensions between himself and boss DI Fred Thursday (Roger Allam).

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Read on for everything you need to know about the cast and characters of Endeavour…


Shaun Evans plays Detective Sergeant Endeavour Morse

MAMMOTH SCREEN FOR ITVENDEAVOUR Episode 1 Pictured: SHAUN EVANS as Endeavour . This image is the copyright of ITV and may only be used in relation to Endeavour.
Shaun Evans plays Detective Sergeant Endeavour Morse

Who is Endeavour Morse? Endeavour is the younger version of the iconic detective character played by John Thaw in the popular Inspector Morse series. He’s highly intelligent but sometimes struggles to match the common touch or levels of tact displayed by his superior and mentor, DI Fred Thursday.

Morse also previously fell in love with Fred’s daughter, Joan Thursday, who apparently won’t be appearing in series seven but is likely to return to the show in the future.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com about his character’s love life, Shaun Evans said: “What we meet in the Inspector Morse series, or indeed if you pick up the books [by author Colin Dexter], there’s a guy who never ends up getting married, and is kind of the broken at the beginning, I think.

“So we have to have a bit of romance now in order to take us to that point. There has to be a sort of heartbreak thing. So I think just narratively there does need to be.”

Where have I seen Shaun Evans before? The actor and director is known for previous roles in Teachers, Silk, Ashes to Ashes and The Scandalous Lady W. He’s also directed episodes of Casualty and Endeavour, and directs the opening episode of season seven.


Roger Allam plays Detective Inspector Fred Thursday

Roger Allam plays Detective Inspector Fred Thursday
Roger Allam plays Detective Inspector Fred Thursday

Who is Fred Thursday? Fred is Morse’s old-school boss and mentor, and is married to Win. The couple were estranged in series six after he lost their savings in the previous series, but they’ve since reunited and we meet them celebrating the New Year and decade (the 1970s) at the start of series seven.

In an interview with RadioTimes.com, Shaun Evans teased rising tensions between Morse and his boss this season: “It’s more interesting I think when there is a bit of conflict there, you know.”

Where have I seen Roger Allam before? The veteran actor has starred in Ashes to Ashes, Game of Thrones (he played Illyrio Mopatis), The Missing, Parade’s End, The Missing, The Book Thief, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and The Lady in the Van, to name but a few.


Anton Lesser plays Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright

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Anton Lesser plays Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright

Who is Reginald Bright? Last season Reginald (Fred and Morse’s boss) was exiled to a demoralising job organising Oxford’s traffic provisions, but he’s since been reinstated. However, his wife is still struggling with a battle against cancer.

Where have I seen Anton Lesser before? International audiences will probably recognise Lesser as Qyburn, Queen Cersei’s villainous advisor, in HBO’s Game of Thrones. He’s also starred in The Crown, Disobedience, Wolf Hall, Ripper Street, Dickensian, The Hollow Crown and Agatha Christie’s Poirot.


Sean Rigby plays Detective Sergeant Jim Strange

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Sean Rigby plays Detective Sergeant Jim Strange

Who is Jim Strange? Morse’s friend, colleague and former roommate, Strange is a younger version of Morse’s boss from the original Inspector Morse series.

Where have I seen Sean Rigby before? The actor starred in BBC historical drama Gunpowder, in addition to short films Isabella, The Baby Shower and Crossing Seas.


Stephanie Leonidas plays Violetta

MAMMOTH SCREEN FOR ITVENDEAVOUR Episode 1 Pictured: STEPHANIE LEONIDAS as Violetta. This image is the copyright of ITV and may only be used in relation to Endeavour.
Stephanie Leonidas plays Violetta

Who is Violetta? Morse’s love interest this season, he meets the mysterious Violetta while holidaying in Venice.

Where have I seen Stephanie Leonidas before? The actress played Chloe Koen in the TV series Snatch, and has previously starred in Defiance and BBC TV film Atlantis, among other projects.


Abigail Thaw plays Dorothea Frazil

Episode one guest star Naomi Battrick as Dr Naomi Benford, alongside Abigail Thaw who plays Dorothea Frazil
Episode one guest star Naomi Battrick as Dr Naomi Benford, alongside Abigail Thaw who plays Dorothea Frazil

Who is Dorothea Frazil? Dorothea is the editor of the real-life Oxford Mail newspaper, and staunch supporter of women’s rights. Over the series she’s established a friendship with Morse.

Where have I seen Abigail Thaw before? The daughter of original Morse actor John Thaw, she’s starred in Black Mirror, Love Soup, I Want My Wife Back, Doctors, Casualty and The Bill, among others.


James Bradshaw plays Dr Max DeBryn

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James Bradshaw plays Dr Max DeBryn

Who is Dr Max DeBryn? Max is the Home Office Pathologist, and a younger version of a character who appeared in early episodes of the original Inspector Morse series (played by Peter Woodthorpe).

Where have I seen James Bradshaw before? Bradshaw is known for playing DS Geoff Thorpe in Hollyoaks and Duncan on Primeval. He’s also starred in Doctors, EastEnders, Coronation Street, Heartbeat, Close to the Enemy and Mile High.


Caroline O’Neill plays Win Thursday

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Caroline O’Neill plays Win Thursday

Who is Win Thursday? Fred’s wife, and mother to their daughter, Joan.

Where have I seen Caroline O’Neill before? The actress has starred in shows including Last Tango in Halifax, Lewis, EastEnders, Coronation Street, Grange Hill, Doc Martin, Queer as Folk, and Happy Valley.


Ryan Gage plays Ludo

Ryan Gage plays Ludo
Ryan Gage plays Ludo

Who is Ludo? A wealthy and eccentric new friend of Endeavour’s, who turns out to be Violetta’s husband.

Where have I seen Ryan Gage before? The British actor played King Louis XIII in the BBC series The Musketeers and Ted Bundy in the TV film Serial Thriller: Angel of Decay, but international viewers will probably best know him as the smarmy Alfrid Lickspittle from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.


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Endeavour series seven airs on ITV at 8pm on Sundays