Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
Cast: Shaun Evans, Roger Allam, Anton Lesser, Sean Rigby, Dakota Blue Richards, Pearl Appleby, Jack Bannon, James Bradshaw, Robbie Carpenter, Samantha Colley, Mark heap, Jerome Hogg, Conor Lovett, Harry McEntire, Tom McKay, Tom Mothersdale, Caroline O’ Neil, Abigail Thaw, Sarah Vickers, Jimmy Walker, Bronson Webb.
It is the final dance that must come to any series, the peek behind the curtain to what must take place next, and as Endeavour reaches the end of its third series, the situation for the young Morse reaches a crossroads, his mentor is failing to grasp how life must change, his old tutor is embroiled in a scandal and as always the young Detective only sees what he has got when it is far too late. The Coda is the final appreciation in a dance that has to change.
This may be a programme that highlights the life of the young Morse, a character so beloved by British television viewers, but it also is very much a look at how policing has changed, or perhaps not in some cases, from the brutality of the Post War aggression and how it had to revolutionize and adapt in the wake of the Progressive late 1960s, the Flower power generation starting to make their mark and rebel against what is still to be considered the hangover of Victorian repressive behaviour.
Nowhere is this more marked than in the different approaches made between Endeavour and Detective Inspector Thursday. The old style method of attack when cornered, when placed into an impossible situation which requires the fist or the aggressive bullet, and that of the considered and the intellectual based thought, whilst never advocating violence of any sort, both have their place, both are arguably to be sought when dealing with absolute viciousness employed by those who are willing to take hostages and who without any forethought take the lives of both civilian and unarmed policeman in equal measure.
In a series which has dealt with the idea of how policing was to change, Coda brings it completely to the viewer’ attention that even in rural England, in the dreaming spires of Oxford where Tolkien and C.S. Lewis once bantered over the merits of talking Fauns and aggressive Dwarfs, the villain doesn’t understand the difference between the thin line that separates robbery and murder and even those close to home are liable to find themselves mistaking the blur for natural affection.
With Roger Allam as Detective Thursday and Shaun Evans as the impressive young Morse, the programme differs from many of the usual suspects that do the rounds, especially when in comparison to police dramas made in America, it is a single truth in a grain of murky misrepresentations and one that should keep the viewer enthralled for years.
Ian D. Hall