Endeavour series 2, episode 2 - TV review

Bone-chilling and intriguing: this was another gripping, white-knuckle instalment

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The Independent Culture

Endeavour took a pseudo-supernatural turn this week, focusing on a museum murder mystery linked to a brutal series of killings dating back a century.

‘Nocturne’ combined horror and crime thriller to create a great whodunit. There were creepy little girls in Victorian garb flitting around stately homes at the dead of night and murderers pacing about the same corridors with razors in hand.

The ‘ghost story’ concerning the 100-year-old murders created a sense of unease that kept the audience on edge. There were plenty of terrifying instances throughout that left the heart racing; it was all done brilliantly and added to the suspense.

The scene where Morse looks into a mirror only to see a girl dressed in white gown holding a bloodied croquet mallet was one of the most frightening moments of the whole episode.  

Interestingly, the World Cup served as wall paper to the story and had no real part to play in the case. It was purely context to the episode and reminded viewers that this is supposed to be a prequel to Inspector Morse set in the Sixties - even if it feels very contemporary.

While Shaun Evans and Roger Allam are brilliant as Morse and DI Thursday, it is the young cast who really shine as the suspect schoolgirls.

They show just how poisonous and nasty teenage girls can be to one another through their sniping and bullying. But when it comes down to it, and the bodies start to appear, they revert back to the scared little children they really are.

'Nocturne' was a gripping watch and it was only the last segment that let the episode down. It all got a bit silly and convoluted towards the end, with a complex web of colonialism, inheritance and lies that would have left many with glazed eyes.

It was so complicated that it was left up to Morse to explain the whole thing in a drawn out piece of exposition that came straight out of the textbook on how to write television police procedurals.

Added to this was the clichéd moment the killer dragged a girl up a set of stairs at knife-point, in a last ditch attempt to escape, with the police in pursuit. It was never going to end well - it rarely does.

Despite this slight flaw, ‘Nocturne’ was very enjoyable and fit the two-hour running time without dragging its feet.