Another batch of gripping murder mysteries is getting underway on ITV tonight as Endeavour returns for its eighth series, creating a conflict for fans of star Shaun Evans.
The actor is reprising his role as Endeavour Morse in three feature-length episodes, but on the other side viewers can also see him in the role of Chief Petty Officer Glover in BBC One’s Vigil.
Fortunately, thanks to the magic of catch-up services, viewers can tune into both, meaning they won’t have to miss out on a minute of either suspenseful drama.
The premiere focuses on a mystery surrounding Oxford Wanderers’ player Jack Swift, who Morse is assigned to protect when a threat to his life is made, which could be connected to a devastating attack on the local college.
Once again, Roger Allam co-stars as Morse’s partner Inspector Fred Thursday, with more details on all the cast and characters of Endeavour series eight listed below to help you refresh your memory.
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 did not appear in series seven but is returning for the eighth series.
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 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 directed the opening episode of season seven.
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 met 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
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
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.
Sara Vickers plays Joan Thursday
Who is Joan Thursday? Joan is the daughter of Fred Thursday, who now does social work. She was absent from series seven but will be making a return in series eight. She had a romantic past with Morse, but perhaps something is on the cards with Jim Strange?
Where have I seen Sara Vickers before? Sara Vickers starred in 2019’s Watchmen as Ms. Crookshanks and has appeared in Lovesick, The Crown, Shetland, Man Down, Privates, Taggart and Sunshine on Leith.
Abigail Thaw 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
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
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.
Julian Moore-Cook as Jack Swift
Who is Jack Swift? Jack Swift is the Oxford Wanderers’ star striker who Morse is tasked with guarding after a threat against his life is made by the IRA.
Where have I seen Julian Moore-Cook before? Moore-Cook has appeared in Casualty, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Benidorm, Doctors and Holby City.
Andrew Havill as Professor Stamfield
Who is Professor Stamfield? Professor Stamfield is the head of an Oxford college whose secretary is killed when she opens a package marked for Stamfield containing a bomb.
Where have I seen Andrew Havill before? Havill has appeared in Trust, Victoria, Vera, Call the Midwife, Sherlock and Spooks as well as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Downton Abbey, The Children Act and My Cousin Rachel.
Endeavour series seven airs on ITV at 8pm on Sunday 12th September. Visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.