Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Cast: Shaun Evans, Roger Allam, Anton Lesser, Sean Rigby, Dakota Blue Richards, James Bradshaw, Sheila Hancock, Sara Vickers, Alex Mann, Simon Meacock, Caroline O’Neill, Natalie Burt, Michael Pennington, Joanna Horton, Jane Whittenshaw, Chris Coghill, Emily Forbes, Grahame Fox.
It can never be too much of a coincidence that in times of deep disharmony, of scaremongering and deep fear biting at the ankles of those immersed in watching world events, that a television drama, even of the murder/crime genre, can take you back to the roots of the nuclear power debate and show just how close such thinking can wreck the environment and kill thousands of people if there was an accident or act of sabotage.
It is the nuclear family of old, the fatal statistic that measured life after World War Two and which shadowed the following decades like a spectre at the feast, the fear of being blown out of history, the shadow on the wall, or worse falling sick to radiation poisoning and ending your days in distressing agony; it is one that has played out in the minds of television audiences and one that will continue to do so as the current climate continues to dominate our thoughts.
Endeavour’s final case of the series is the aptly titled Harvest, the time when all things are gathered and blessed and prepared for the final days of the year. It is in this harvest that the fall out is felt as villagers in an Oxfordshire town are reminded that closing your eyes to a situation is not the answer, not the solution to ills that come from the darkest parts of a human heart. The excruciating agony of a preventable death is heightened for the young Morse by the savagery of life taken in another way as Inspector Thursday’s daughter also succumbs to her own her harvest and bitter reaping.
With the makers of the Morse spin off pulling an absolute gem out of the bag by involving the late John Thaw’s wife, Sheila Hancock in the episode and having the series not end on a major cliff hanger, the next series is able to take any direction it wants to, one that doesn’t deviate too far obviously from the future already established in the much loved original.
Harvest is an apt reminder that at the end of it all, should the unthinkable ever happen, the pain and suffering felt for some because of humanity’s folly is second only to the misery we cause whilst alive and have something to live for.
Ian D. Hall