thought you would like this.xxx
dmsmcc asked: Thanks for the timeline, which I also had surmised, (Thank goodness - I'm not the only one). I realised Morse's half sister Joyce was too old to suit timeline so maybe she was around 8 years old (I assume) when her mother married Senior Morse and he legally adopted Joyce? I belong to a group who do not consume alcohol for religious reasons and I think Morse - being raised Quaker for the first 12 years of his life would have objected more to having to drink his first pint.
All the credit goes to jaffacakeaddict!
- The Pilot and Series 1 are set in 1965, Year Zero, shall we say. We know he was at police training college for 2 years before that, and in the army for an unspecified period before joining the police.
- Morse dropped out of university just before his finals, which was 7 years ago, according to Alice Vexin in Ep 3, so 1958. (Incidentally, it seems extremely unlikely she would have to remind him it’s been 7 years not 6, what with it being the year his fiancee ran off with someone else and he dropped out of college, failed to take any of his exams, had a semi-breakdown, and ran away to join the army. I mean, I remember the exact date I left university, and none of those things happened to me)
- Standard degrees are 3 years, and nobody took gap years back then, so we can safely assume Morse “went up” to Oxford in October 1955, at the age of 18.
- Which means, as we’re currently in the depths of Winter 1965, Morse is now 28.
- If he was 18 before September 1955 (which he would have to be in order to qualify for that year’s university intake), he must have been born between September 1937 and August 1938.
- Morse was 12 when his mother died, which according to the dates on her grave, was May 17th 1950. So his 13th birthday must have fallen somewhere between then and the end of August 1950 (for him to be 18 in October 1955). Born in Summer 1938 then.
- His mother’s birthdate on her grave is given as April 22nd 1921, which means she must have only been 17 when she gave birth to him. That’s very, very young – cough shotgun wedding cough. Of course, getting married young might have been part of her religion, but from what I know about Quakers, that seems doubtful. Also, from everything we know about him, I would guess that Morse’s father probably wasn’t a Quaker himself (he might have given his daughter a more interesting name otherwise, I mean; Endeavour… and Joyce).
- Incidentally, teetotalism is one of the pillars of the Quaker religion, but we also have a casual reference to Morse’s father being “a taxi driver, until he lost his licence” (Pilot), which makes me wonder if Morse Senior was a bit of a drinker, at least, after the death of his first wife, and that was another contributory factor towards Morse taking “the pledge” not to drink alcohol. These days Morse Senior likes a flutter on the horses as well; so either he’s fallen very far from his Quaker beginnings, or he was never one to start with. Mind you, he does know his Proverbs. (Joyce: “When I told Pops (about Morse being back in Oxford), he just said, Proverbs 26:11.” – that’s the one that goes, “as a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly”. Delightful.)
- Joyce is only his half-sister; that’s Morse canon, but she does also tell him, “You remind him of your mother”, which suggests they’re sticking with canon in this series too. However, even if Morse Senior remarried Gwen the Evil Stepmother and had Joyce within a year of Constance’s death, that’s still only 1951, which would make Joyce 14 years old in our Year Zero of 1965. Clearly, both the actress playing her and the character of Joyce are in their early 20s, at the very least. I imagine the writers and producers probably had this conversation: “Hmmm, that doesn’t work at all, does it? oh sod it, no-one will notice except fangirls…”
- In the deathbed scenes in Ep 4, Morse Senior is clearly meant to be in his late 50s, at the very least (I would have said late 60s). He would have been a decade, maybe even 15 years older than Constance when he married her and got her pregnant (in whichever order that happened). I appreciate that they picked an actor with more than a passing resemblance to John Thaw in his Morse heyday though; nice touch, that.
So, the Endeavour timeline:
- April 22nd 1921: Constance Morse is born
- Somewhere between May 17th and the end of August 1938: Endeavour Morse is born
- May 17th 1951: Constance Morse dies
- October 1955: Endeavour Morse goes to Oxford University, age 18
- October 1956 – sometime in 1957: Meets, falls in love with and gets engaged to Wendy-who-preferred-to-be-called-Susan, who sounds like a total flake, if you ask me.
- Spring 1958: Fiancee runs off with her ex. Has breakdown. Drops out of university before final exams (which are usually in May/ June).
- 1958/59: Joins army (cipher clerk in the Signal Corps, “doesn’t take”)
(there may be a period of doing something else/ not doing anything/ having another breakdown between leaving the army and joining the police)
- 1962/63: Joins the police force, undertakes 2 years of basic training.
- Late 1964/ early 1965: Sent to Carshall New Town police station (which is probably meant to be somewhere like Slough or Swindon – either way, not far from Oxford)
- Spring 1965: Seconded to Cowley Road police station in Oxford. Meets Detective Inspector Fred Thursday, without whose intervention Morse would almost certainly have quit the police force and ruined his life. Let’s face it; dropping out of university and the army and the police force within the space of ten years is not going to look very good on any subsequent job applications, is it? A deeply unfulfilling job shelving books in the basement of a polytechnic library somewhere boring like Hull or Leicester, and drinking himself to death within fifteen years, I reckon. Or worse; it’s Morse canon that he tried to kill himself as a teenager…
- Spring 1966: Series 2, obviously (There’d bloody well better be, ITV!)
(I should say; I am very bad at maths. I was once fired from a job counting shoe boxes in a warehouse for that very reason. After only three hours. If anyone finds any errors in my dates, please do let me know, I shall not be offended!)