Endeavour viewers are VERY relieved that one particular character made it through the series finale

The finale featured a game-changing shake-up

Shaun Evans as Endeavour Morse and Roger Allam as Fred Thursday in Endeavour (ITV, HF)

Season five of ITV’s Endeavour concluded  with a death and a massive shake-up – but fans were mostly relieved to see that their favourite character was still alive and kicking as the credits rolled, assuaging their fears.

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*Spoilers for Endeavour season 5 episode 6 follow*

The episode saw the shock death of Lewis Peek’s DC George Fancy, a character introduced this year who was apparently caught in the crossfire of a gang war in the latter half of the story. After his death, Cowley police station was shuttered and the team found themselves headed to separate postings, with WPC Trewlove (Dakota Blue Richards) off to pastures new and DCI Fred Thursday (Roger Allam) forced to delay his retirement.

Throughout the broadcast on Sunday night, fans were terrified that Thursday wouldn’t make it. There was a close call – he was nearly hit by a stray bullet – and many fans took to Twitter to voice their concerns during the broadcast.

There was the initial creeping fear:

Which was followed by sweet relief:

At the end of the broadcast on Sunday night, ITV announced that the show will be returning for a sixth season. And executive producer Damien Timmer told RadioTimes.com that the hunt for whoever killed George Fancy will form a part of the next series.

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Endeavour series six is expected to air on ITV in 2019