Shaun Evans reveals why he turned down big ‘Endeavour’ contract

Endeavour star Shaun Evans has revealed that he insists on only signing up for one season of the 1960s-set crime drama at a time.

The Inspector Morse prequel series launched in 2012 and a fourth season aired in the UK earlier this year, celebrating the 30th anniversary of Morse on ITV.

Filming is currently underway around Oxford and the South East of England on six new feature‐length films, with Evans returning again as Detective Sergeant Endeavour Morse.

Fans should make the most of every episode, however, as Season 5 could be the show’s last.

Shaun Evans explained to Digital Spy how being tied to making Channel 4’s school drama Teachers has put him off committing long-term to Endeavour.

He said: “[Teachers] was my first job out of drama school and it was a funny experience. I enjoyed it for the most part, but I didn’t enjoy the fact that I didn’t know where it was going. I found that irritating and I found it difficult to work like that. I loved all the other actors – I thought they were terrific – but I just didn’t find it as fulfilling as I’d hoped that I would.

“Ultimately, I knew it wasn’t somewhere that I wanted to stay, to be honest. I was lucky that they let me out of the contract.”

The actor added: “When we started with [Endeavour], there were no contracts, no ‘You’ll be doing this for six years’ – because of that experience. I just don’t really like starting a job if I don’t know where it finishes. I want to know where something begins and ends, so that you can invest something in it. If there’s no end in sight, there’d be a tendency to play yourself or to not put any creativity into it.”

Endeavour being a prequel to the original Inspector Morse series starring John Thaw seems to have put his mind at ease somewhat.

Evans said: “I think it’d be super difficult otherwise – it’d be like going completely into the unknown. I know where this is going – and so that takes a weight off my mind.”

Season 4 begins in the US later this month on Masterpiece on PBS and is available now on DVD.

Season 5 will air on ITV in early 2018 and will introduce Poldark actor Lewis Peek as new recruit Detective Constable George Fancy, whom Morse has to reluctantly mentor.

Writer Russell Lewis teased earlier this year: “As production begins on Endeavour ’68, many of the global tensions of that most turbulent year have found their way into our six new mysteries. ’67’s Summer of Love seems already a distant memory. Dark clouds are gathering at home and abroad as, after almost 100 years, the long history of Oxford City Police comes to an end. A terrible storm is set to blow through the professional and personal lives of newly promoted Detective Sergeant Endeavour Morse and Oxford’s Finest, leaving devastation in its wake.”