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Ghost Canyon

'Masterpiece Mystery: Endeavour Series 1'
(Shaun Evans, et al / DVD / NR / 2013 / PBS)

Overview: The continuing stories of rookie Constable Morse. Shaun Evans ('The Take') stars as the young Endeavour Morse, before his signature red Jaguar, but with his deductive powers already running in high gear. Four new episodes and the pilot is included.

DVD Verdict: OK, if you don't know this by now, PBS edits 10-15 minutes out of each episode that they show on Masterpiece Mystery. Which means you always have to purchase the PBS UK TV shows that say 'Original UK Edition' on the front of the cover. Indeed, they now have some stickers on some PBS released that say there is an extra 10 minutes per epsiode; so even they know that PBS TV chops and we require the full-length. Good for them, this has made me, and all fans of UK drama on PBS very happy.

Moving on and 'Masterpiece Mystery: Endeavour Series 1' is a series I never saw coming back when the Pilot was announced. It came in under my radar, but wow, once I saw said Pilot I was blown away! Then, under my radar came the full first series! Blindsided is an understatement, true but now watched I have to say Shaun Evans as Morse is spot on perfect re: characteristics. That said, my gushing halted for a second, it has to be also said that as much as the supporting cast is wonderful, and so to the acting, my only (small) issue with all the episodes is that they are way too contrived! My goodness, especially episode 4. Indeed, this Series 1 includes the Pilot episode and four other episodes: 'Girl,' 'Fugue,' 'Rocket' and the aforementioned brain teaser 'Home.'

Watching the episodes we learn a little bit about Morse's personal life, of course, but we get a glimpse into how he got his limp too! You didn't know he had a limp? Sure he did, but in real life, not the show. But as he had to still limp in the show due to it they have written it into the script here for a future time! Confused? Just watch some of these episodes and that last statement will fast become understandable, trust me!

Indeed, the newspaper reporter, Dorothea Frazil, is actually played by Abigail Thaw, who is John Thaw's real life daughter. John Thaw, of course, was the original Morse. Great series. Shaun Evans is fun to watch. After the Pilot, we get 'Girl,' where a mystery man is posing as a gas meter man stealing the coins and there is a new boss at the police station - one who doesn't believe Morse should be bag man'g around for his senior officer, Thursday. It comes with an unexpected twist though. In 'Fugue,' the dead body of a woman is found in a train yard, and with Othello playing a part in the clues, Morse is on the case before anyone else, of course. Sadly, come the 33rd minute of the episode you 100% can guess who the real killer is!

In 'Rocket' it's the day that an Arab trade delegation visits the Broom family's arms factory and owner Henry Broom announces a proposed French merger. But soon thereafter the corpse of unpopular workman Percy Malleson is discovered and word circulates that perhaps he was a spy? And in 'Home,' Professor Coke Norris is killed in a hit and run, but more worrying to Thursday is that the new owner of the Moonlight Room night club is Vic Kasper, a London gangster with whom he has history. Is there a connection between the two men that Thursday has to have Morse help unravel - before one or both of them fall foul to death?

Also look out for Morse's encounter with the young PC Jim Strange (Sean Rigby) and their developing friendship which is of course significant given that Strange ends up as Chief Superintendent Strange (James Grout) in the original series, Inspector Morse. Looking forward to many more episodes. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.