Wondering where you’ve seen the Endeavour cast before? Mystery solved! Learn all about the start studded Season 6 cast and what else you’ve seen them in, including some MASTERPIECE fan favorites.
Endeavour star Shaun Evans may be best known for his role as the young investigator DC Endeavour Morse for the past seven years, but the Liverpool native is a man of many talents – including, most recently, directing an episode of Season 6, a role which he took to happily and quickly. “I think the best way to work is to create an atmosphere where everyone can do good work,” Evans told the MASTERPIECE Studio podcast. “So if you create an atmosphere of lightness and joy and freedom to be creative, then you’re halfway there.”
On top of roles in Boy A, Being Julia and Cashback, the MASTERPIECE leading man also spends much of his time exploring photography and writing. “I love my work,” Evans said in a RadioTimes interview. “But if I’m not doing that, I’m taking pictures, I’m writing every day, reading books. The first job I ever had was in a camera shop, so taking pictures and being interested in photography and developing has always been a part of my life. Writing as well. I want to be better. I want to improve as best I can.”
John Thaw originally played (spoiler alert) Chief Inspector Morse in the Inspector Morse series, which ran from 1987 to 2000.
Endeavour star Roger Allam may be well known as Morse’s curmudgeonly counterpart and partner-in-solving-crime DI Fred Thursday, but did you know that Allam also played Inspector Javert in the original London stage production of Les Misérables? Or that he’s won two Laurence Olivier Awards, which recognize excellence in London theatre? Allam’s resume includes roles on Game of Thrones, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, V for Vendetta, and even alongside Downton Abbey star Maggie Smith in the film The Lady in the Van.
Allam’s Thursday returns this season carrying the burden and living with the consequences of Season 5’s events. “Fred is in a very bad way because of the demotion and the death of George Fancy,” he said. “The end of the last series also saw his brother take all his money meaning he couldn’t retire, so relations are very bad with Win. He’s not in a good way at all.”
Endeavour’s favorite Home Office Pathologist is played by James Bradshaw, known for his roles as Gordon Grimley in the TV series The Grimleys, and as Mr. Samgrass from 2008’s Brideshead Revisited. He currently also stars in Hollyoaks as DS Geoff Thorpe. Originally, the role of Max was played by Peter Woodthorpe in the Inspector Morse series.
Anton Lesser plays Morse and Thursday’s former boss, Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright, who was demoted after the events of Season 5. Lesser may be recognized for recent roles as Qyburn on Game of Thrones and Harold MacMillan on The Crown. MASTERPIECE fans will recognize him from his role as Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII (later anointed to sainthood) Thomas More in Wolf Hall and as Mr. Merdle in Little Dorrit. Lesser has appeared in a number of other MASTERPIECE productions over the years including The Escape Artist, The Mill on the Floss, and Trial by Fire among others.
Sean Rigby plays Detective Sergeant Jim Strange, originally played by James Grout in Inspector Morse. After graduating from the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in 2012, Rigby’s young career has landed him roles not only on Endeavour, but also in BBC’s Gunpowder, and in short films Isabella, The Baby Shower and Crossing Seas.
Caroline O’Neill plays Win Thursday, the wife of Fred and mother of Joan Thursday. O’Neill is known for her work on the 1999 U.K. version of Queer as Folk, Coronation Street, Waterloo Road and Last Tango in Halifax (alongside MASTERPIECE alumni Derek Jacobi of Les Misérables, and Nicola Walker, star of Unforgotten!). MASTERPIECE Mystery! fans may remember her from appearances in Agatha Christie’s Marple, Upstairs Downstairs and Inspector Lewis.
Joan Thursday, daughter of Win and Fred, and close friend to Morse, is played by Sara Vickers. Vickers attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and graduated in 2010, after which she nabbed roles in Privates, Sunshine on Leith, Lovesick, and Shetland. She’ll also appear in the upcoming HBO show Watchmen, set to premiere later this year.
Abigail Thaw plays Dorothea Frazil, journalist and editor at the Oxford Mail newspaper and good friend to Endeavour Morse. Thaw is the daughter of the late John Thaw, who originated the role of Morse in the Inspector Morse series. The role on Endeavour has connected her to her father in a special way.
“For me, being on the set with all these people who had worked with my father, who I’d never met but were extremely welcoming…it was a very sweet, very moving experience,” she said in an interview in Season 1. “I felt Dad was there some way.”
After graduating from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), where she met her partner Nigel Whitmey (with whom she has two children), she appeared in roles in Casualty, Vanity Fair (1998) , and Caring for the Recently Deceased.
Simon Harrison plays DCI Ronnie Box, who Thursday is now working under at the Castle Gate station, despite their past as adversaries. Harrison has appeared in roles on Outlander (as the nation’s first president, George Washington), Everest and Transformers: The Last Knight.
Oliver Chris plays Dr. Elliot Wingqvist in “Apollo”, the second episode of Season 6. The night of the Apollo 11 launch, a car accident leads Morse into a murder investigation that involves the Wingqvist family. Chris previously had roles on the original U.K. version of The Office, Rescue Me, and Green Wing. MASTERPIECE fans will recognize Chris from King Charles III as Prince William and from Sharpe’s Challenge.
Blake Ritson appears in Episode 2 as Gabriel Van Horne, whose role in the events of the party night may help to solve the case. MASTERPIECE fans may recognize Ritson as Charlie Havistock in Indian Summers, The Duke of Kent in Upstairs Downstairs, Idek in God on Trial, Edmund Bertram in Mansfield Park, and Mr. Elton in Emma.
Alice Orr-Ewing plays Natalie Wingqvist, one of the suspicious party hosts in Episode 2: “Apollo.” While Orr-Ewing may be best known for her roles in Academy Award winning films such as The Theory of Everything and Atonement, MASTERPIECE fans will recognize her best as Lady Flora Hastings, the Lady-in-waiting to Victoria’s mother in Season 1 of Victoria, whom the young queen accused of carrying Sir John Conroy’s child, when in fact she was suffering from cancer.