'Masterpiece Mystery! Endeavour: Season 5'
(Shaun Evans, Roger Allam, Anton Lesser, James Bradshaw, Sean Rigby, Dakota Blue Richards, et al / 3-Disc Blu-ray / NR / 2018 / PBS)
Overview: As 1968 dawns, Endeavour's recent promotion leads him to reluctantly mentor new recruit Fancy, while Thursday is beginning to think about life after the police.
But in Oxford, crime never sleeps, and the team continues to be challenged by intriguing cases of murder, greed, and deception. When 1968 comes to a close, will things at Cowley Police Station ever be the same again?
Blu-ray 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 these wonderful 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 episode; so even they know that PBS TV chops and we require the full-length. Good for them, for this has made me, and all fans of UK drama on PBS, very, very happy.
Moving on and 'Masterpiece Mystery: Endeavour', in general, is a series I never saw coming back when the Pilot was announced back in 2013. 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 I've subsequently watched very single episode from said start twice (inclusive of this wickedly brilliant fifth season), I have to say Shaun Evans (as Morse) is simply amazing at nailing down the characteristics of what-would-become John Thaw's Morse.
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!p>
My goodness, each one tries to weave a complex little tale for us to pick apart, to solve along the way also, but they, for the most part, just fizzle slightly and end blankly. That being my only gripe, it also has to be said that the superb cast acting supersedes that aspect and therefore it remains a go-to evening's worth of delightful entertainment regardless.
Watching each episode we learn a little bit about Morse's personal life, of course. Early on in the first season we even got to see how he got his infamous limp (wait, 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 had to write it into the script for future times).
Here in the chock full of visual goodies, let alone it easily being the best season yet, Morse is still rather unafraid to breach cop protocol when working on a case, but this time he's more self assured in his personal life too. Has a girlfriend, undertakes the formality of a senior office of having a junior under his wing, and while he's a detective of Sherlock Holmesian brilliance, he's also precocious and more than capable of making mistakes.
For as Detective Inspector Fred Thursday (Roger Allam), his mentor and principal supporter, once so aptly put it, "You're a good detective ... and a poor policeman." But, Morse is getting there, bit by bit, episode by episode and here in this new season, and with the threat of their cozy little police station being closed down for good (due to a county merger already in place to rename them), the criminals don't take a holiday either.
Morse's recent promotion has him now reluctantly "saddled" with a young, precocious new recruit DC George Fancy (Lewis Peek), while Thursday is beginning to think about life after the police. Fancy is also making in roads with the female WPC on shift, Shirley Trewlove (Dakota Blue Richards), which doesn't please everyone either.
Even with the subplot of a Boxing Gym-owner / local gangster engaged in a personal war with a newly-incorporated onto his patch Jamaican gangster wannabe, co-stars such as both DS Jim Strange (Sean Rigby) and Dr Max Derbryn (James Bradshaw) seem to take a back seat in this fifth season.
However, the always-brilliant (just listen to his voice and I dare you not to beg for him to read a bedtime story to your child!) PCS Reginald Bright (Anton Lesser) is most definitely front and center - if not wholly due to trying to desperately save a drowning ship (ie: the station). Come the very end, changes are forthcoming for everyone, adjustments have to be made (at work and in personal lives), and blood is spilled (on both sides of the thin blue line). This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of: