As Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour comes to an end after a decade, Roger Allam, who co-stars with Shaun Evans, has revealed his emotions when filming the final scenes.
Endeavour series nine is the last and the first episode goes out on ITV on Sunday at 8pm, with the three episodes finishing on March 12.
The Inspector Morse franchise launched in the late 1980s, and Inspector Morse was followed by Lewis and Endeavour series, so it's the end of an era for the Oxford-based detective series.
Roger Allam who plays DCI Fred Thursday, said filming his final scenes with Shaun Evans who plays a young Inspector Morse were emotional.
He said: "Those final two scenes between Thursday and Endeavour were wonderful to act with Shaun. And terribly emotional as well. Because we have been having exchanges in pubs and outside of the car for all of these years.
“To realise that these were the last ones had a big impact on us as well and helped in the playing of it. Because it’s literally true that this is the parting of the ways for both the characters and the actors. Let’s say it helped access the emotions of the scene.
“Although Shaun and I have seen each other since and we will see each other again. It’s like this when you end the run of a play. You know you will never meet again to do this thing we have done over all of these years. It’s right, of course, but it’s very sad."
Mr Allam added that he was 'filled with admiration' for Shaun Evans.
"He has had the most extraordinary energy and commitment to Endeavour over all of these years,he added.
"We have worked together questioning the scripts, I’m sure often to writer Russell Lewis’s annoyance. But always with the view of finding out what’s going on.
"So we have interrogated our story together in a way I’ve never experienced with any actor before. Certainly over such a long time. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to do that with.
"Shaun also had an extraordinary energy when he was directing some of the films, including the first one in this final series.
"I don’t know how he could have done it…well, he is a tad younger than me, this is true. But he moved with the most extraordinary ease behind and in front of the camera."
Mr Allam said his co-star used his camera team tremendously well, always taking advice, and dealt with them with such respect.
He added: "And he was also good at talking to actors about what the scene is about and how we should pitch it and things like that. Just really great.”
Asked how he felt about his final scene, Mr Allam said: “It didn’t quite have the impact I thought it would.
"The thing that really had the impact for me emotionally was strangely doing the last bit of ADR - re-recording dialogue - in the studio, some weeks after filming had finished.
"I had to do one of those big emotional scenes as part of that.
“I realised it was the last time I will ever speak with Fred’s voice. That had more impact than anything. You don’t quite believe it’s over in a way because it’s always been here for the last 10 years. You think, ‘Oh well, we’ll meet again and do it in the future.’ So it hadn’t quite hit home that we wouldn’t be doing that ever again. I’m sure watching the final film will be like that as well. All things that make you realise you’re not going to do it again."
The actor said he saw the final scenes with Shaun Evans at the orchestral recording.
"It was tying lots of things together," he said.
"The beginning and end of Endeavour and the start of Inspector Morse. I think that will have a huge impact for people. At least I hope it will. Especially for those who have watched all of Inspector Morse and all of Endeavour as well."
On completing 36 films across 10 years, Mr Allam concluded: “That really does give me satisfaction. I’ve never done anything for as long a time as this. I’m sorry that it’s finished but I think it’s right that it has. Because we have managed to have a very good beginning, a very good middle and a very good end. And you can’t really ask for more than that in terms of drama and storytelling.”
In the final series, DCI Thursday applies for a promotion to nearby Carshall, where Endeavour started his police career.
The promotion means that because of the money he lost to his brother Charlie he can serve for three more years in Carshall, increase his pension, and then call it a day.
The new series, set in the early 1970s, finds Endeavour and Thursday entering a new era of change both professionally and personally with the return of some familiar faces along the way including Sam, played by Jack Bannon, who arrives back from Northern Ireland following his service in the British Army.
Filmed in and around Oxford the cast reunited with Shaun and Roger includes Anton Lesser (Killing Eve, Game of Thrones) who returns as CS Reginald Bright, Sean Rigby (Gunpowder) as DS Jim Strange, James Bradshaw (Close to The Enemy) as Dr Max DeBryn, Abigail Thaw (Miss Scarlet and the Duke) as Dorothea Frazil, Caroline O’Neill (The A Word) as Win Thursday and Sara Vickers (Watchmen) as Joan Thursday.
This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.
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