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Episode three: Sway
November 1966. Oxford's dreaming spires darken as Bonfire Night beckons. A housewife, Mrs Vivienne Haldane, found choked to death in her own home marks the third strangling in a month, setting Oxford City Police on edge. Pulled tight around the victim's throat - a silk black stocking. Though the victims bear little relation to one another beyond the superficial, DC Endeavour Morse bridges the divide: the three victims are married women, all of whom have been found shorn of their wedding rings.
As a city-wide manhunt for a multiple murderer brews, Endeavour unearths a private diary kept hidden by Mrs Haldane, detailing periodic infidelities with an anonymous 'Mr X'. Her husband, a bloated mathematician, offers precious little information. But the specificity of the murderous stocking - a high-line brand, 'Le Minou Noir' - opens a new avenue of investigation.
Endeavour traces the garment's provenance to Burridges, an innocuous department store, save for being the stocking's sole supplier across Oxford. As its denizens fall under suspicion, the investigation draws out painful memories for DI Fred Thursday, for whom a chance encounter with shopgirl Luisa Armstrong rouses reminiscences of wartime strife and unbidden promises.
As the suspect list narrows, and the Oxford Strangler stalks his next victim with increasing desperation, other common strands begin to pull into focus. But Endeavour and Thursday, grappling with personal travails in their private lives, miss a deeper tragedy unfolding, not far beneath the surface.
Shaun Evans (The Take, The Last Weekend) returns in the lead role as young Morse, with Roger Allam (The Thick of It, Parade’s End) as his senior Detective Inspector Fred Thursday, in the second series of Endeavour, the phenomenally successful ITV crime drama and prequel to Inspector Morse.
The new series of Endeavour will comprise 4 x 120 minute films; Trove, Nocturne, Sway, and Neverland. All four are written by acclaimed screenwriter and Morse contributor, Russell Lewis. Colin Dexter, whose first Morse story was published in 1975, continues his association
Writer Russell Lewis said: "1966 brings Endeavour a fresh quartet of baffling mysteries set to test his brain and body to breaking point. Though offset by the possibility of love unlooked for, against a backdrop of growing change in Britain and the wider world, Endeavour must face a challenge that threatens to take from him all he holds dear... Family. Friends. Colleagues. The old order changeth... but not without a fight. To the death."
Endeavour debuted in 2012 as a feature length story to celebrate the 25th anniversary of inspector Morse. This became the highest performing new drama title to air on ITV that year.
The first full series of Endeavour screened earlier in 2013, with each of the four episodes averaging 7.0m and a 25% share, making it one of the best performing drama series on ITV so far this year alongside Broadchurch and Mr Selfridge.
Endeavour - Shaun Evans
DI Fred Thursday - Roger Allam
Ch Supt Reginald Bright - Anton Lesser
PC Strange - Sean Rigby
DS Peter Jakes - Jack Laskey
Dr Max Debryn - James Bradshaw
Dorothea Frazil - Abigail Thaw
Win Thursday - Caroline O’Neill
Joan Thursday - Sara Vickers
Sam Thursday - Jack Bannon
Monica - Shvorne Marks