Set in the mid-sixties, this prequel centres around the early career of Endeavour Morse (Shaun Evans). After leaving his Oxford college without a degree, and spending a short time as a cipher clerk, Morse joins the police working under veteran DI Fred Thursday (Roger Allam). This show was preceded by "Inspector Morse" (1987-2000) starring John Thaw and Kevin Whately.
Early June 1967. A missing persons case -‐ that of Danish au pair INGRID HJORT - proves far from routine, pulling ENDEAVOUR into the dueling worlds of Oxford scientiﬁc academia, the city's vast parks, Night School and the untamed wilderness of the Oxfordshire countryside.
Endeavour, recruited by his old college mentor Felix Lorimer to look into the safety of his estranged younger wife Nina, contemplates his police career as well as having to contend with unexpected strife in his personal life. Meanwhile, the murder of Cedric Clissold - a manager with a line in fashion - stirs up old gangland grudges as a notorious crime family appear to be in the frame as prime suspects.
Jeannie Hearne is spirited away in the middle of the night with no explanation. Her body is found the next day in the countryside, alerting the attention of the Oxford City Police. Endeavour may be suspended, but with the case been so close to his home, he begins a investigation of his own.
April 1967. As spring blooms, the death of artist Simon Hallward in a horrendous house‐fire leaves Oxford City Police baffled as to the cause of the blaze. When a young housewife dies, seemingly of the same mysterious ‘tummy bug’ that has seen half of Chief Superintendent Bright’s men go on Sick Leave, DC Endeavour Morse’s investigation leads him to an inner‐city supermarket, Richardson's, owned by a wealthy family of the same name, descended from a line of Quakers.
The ‘white heat' of technology takes centre stage in the first film, as Lovelace College is taken over by a team of research scientists who are developing a ‘thinking' machine to equal and even outstrip the capabilities of man's own mind. As a Russian academic prepares to do battle with the Joint Computing Nexus (JCN or Jason for short) in a game of chess, the Cold War is played out on a chequered field and Endeavour and Thursday are plunged into their most perilous, baffling and darkly terrifying case to date. Throwing himself into his work to mask the heartache of Joan's departure, Endeavour is quickly consumed by his duties when one of the research team is found drowned near Magdalen Bridge. Assuming it to be a suicide on first inspection, the circumstances become more suspicious when two more victims are also found drowned nearby in East Cowley Baths. Is there more to the deaths than meets the eye?
The so called ‘permissive society' comes under the spotlight as Endeavour is tasked with protecting conservative social activist, Joy Pettybon, after she receives a death threat while visiting Oxford to promote her ‘Keep Britain Decent' campaign. Also staying near Oxford and recording their new album are a band called The Wildwood and their manager Ralph Spender, who is desperate to maintain their squeaky-clean image in the media spotlight. However, their harmony is disrupted when the body of local brickie, Barry Finch, is discovered in the middle of Oxford and it transpires that Finch was working at Maplewick Hall, where they band are staying, before he died. Delving into the social revolution of the time, Endeavour finds himself caught in the crossfire of bitter liberalising forces and deep reactionary conservatism both fighting for the consciences of the British people in 1967. And in this collision of two worlds, Endeavour must explore all avenues before more killings occur.
Whispers that Cowley General contains a cursed ward - and a seemingly innocuous death - set off a chain of events that lead Endeavour to investigate the dark depths of the hospital. While there, he is forced to confront his own ghosts as he discovers a chilling secret.