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TV Review: Endeavour - Series 3 Episode 3: 'Prey'

The penultimate episode of this series of Endeavour sees brooding detectives and big cats taking to the streets of Oxford. Katy Sandalls reviews

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Image: ITV
Image: ITV

Endeavour is one of those shows that you can give forgive for being a little repetitive. It's set in 1960s Oxford so you can't expect too much out of the ordinary to happen. This week was very much the exception to that though. Lions and tigers and bears oh my...

Well not quite all of those but something was on the loose in Oxford and it wasn't just Morse's anger. Our favourite young detective was brooding this week as he got passed up for promotion for his future boss Jim Strange. Strange for his part did not attempt to be the new Jakes, something that often happens when a character departs, and instead tried to jolly up his colleague whilst Morse cursed the establishment. Morse doesn't do brooding particularly well, neither does Thursday for that matter. There's definitely something wrong with him physically, but maybe there's also an issue mentally too. Perhaps, this all might come to a head in the final episode.

Then Hathaway appeared... The beauty of having waited two years for this series is that the Lewis story has been allowed to develop. It was only last series that the character of Phillip Hathaway, father of James, was properly introduced to the cast of Lewis. Nevertheless it was a nice touch to link two characters that will never meet through one man in a seemingly nonchalant way. The setting of a stately home seemed to fit with James' recollection of his childhood at the very same Crevecoeur Hall that we witnessed in the Lewis episode "The Dead of Winter". This was definitely the same Mortmaigne family, though a different strand to the one we were used to. A very young Phillip Hathaway was left fairly traumatised by the events of the episode, which has been dubbed one of the strangest in the series' history.

A series of unusual deaths have to be linked but how? The logical answer seems to be the most ridiculous; could something be lurking in the woods on the outskirts of Oxford? Many will question the sanity or logic of the episode but the cast and writers managed to make the implausible seem plausible. A feat that was particularly difficult considering that sometimes the tiger that was superimposed into the scene didn't always fit properly.

A point that I forgot to mention last week was the introduction of a new character WPC Trewlove as played by Golden Compass actress Dakota Blue Richards. This week she was given more to do than just tell Morse that he was right about his theories, but she appeared to me to be a bit robotic in her dialogue. This was a real shame since her character really should be pushing boundaries. Perhaps she will come into her own in the final episode but I remain to be convinced by her.

The story behind the big cat also seemed a little excessive but considering the extent to which love has driven people in past Morse and Lewis episodes, it's not so surprising that Lady Mortmaigne went as far as she did. There's definitely a precedent for it but it did seem over the top.

All in all the episode succeeded in its maintenance of continuity with the future episodes and provided a change to the routine investigations that the team face. It lacked believability in some elements and was a little extravagant in others. Unfortunately we arrive at the last episode of the series next week. It looks like it may be an action packed one just like last series as we head for "Coda".

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6 Comment

Maggie Crooke Posted on Saturday 11 Jul 2020

Really enjoying 'Endeavour'. It has a gentle atmospheric pace that is mesmerising and deeply agreeable. Well done to everyone concerned...just brilliant!


Jane Saunders Posted on Saturday 11 Jul 2020

Absolutely fabulous, Shaun Evans, what an actor, teamed with Roger Allam what a team, please make series 4, pretty please


Susanna Posted on Saturday 11 Jul 2020

I've enjoyed every moment of every series. So sad that next week is the last one?
I sincerely hope not!
Its intelligently written leading the viewer to gradually tie together all the dislocated images at the beginning.
Brilliantly acted. We are watching Endeavour become Morse.


Mamajana Posted on Saturday 11 Jul 2020

Am I the only one who sees this episode as a parody of Jaws? The ME says, "this was not a boating accident!" And there are several scenes reminiscent of scenes from Jaws. You have the chief who kills the tiger/shark (Roy Scheider vs. Chief Bright). You hear Chief Bright's monologue about killing a tiger in India vs. Queeg's monologue. You have the professional hunter killed by the tiger/shark at the end. Several more parallels. Wicked!


Sirianni Posted on Saturday 11 Jul 2020

I thought the same thing.


Frieda Posted on Saturday 11 Jul 2020

We saw a new broadcast and are trying to find the music played and sang in the opening scenes of this episode.
I sounded like a mass or requiem.
Does anybody know what it is?


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