Endeavour final season: Why is it ending? When is it on TV?

It's the final season of Endeavour. (ITV)
It's the final season of Endeavour. (ITV)

Morse prequel series Endeavour is about to head into its ninth and final season, as Shaun Evans bids farewell to the beloved detective.

Here's all you need to know about the last series of Endeavour, including when it starts and why it's ending.

When is Endeavour's final season on TV?

The last season of Endeavour begins on Sunday, 26 February at 8pm on ITV1.

It will run for three two-hour episodes, which air weekly.

Read more: Roger Allam teases a death in Endeavour finale

Who stars in Endeavour?

Roger Allam and Shaun Evans star. (ITV)
Roger Allam and Shaun Evans star. (ITV)

DS Endeavour Morse is played by Shaun Evans as a younger version of the famous Inspector Morse, based on Colin Dexter's novels and played by John Thaw in the original TV adaptation.

Evans stars alongside Roger Allam, who plays his boss DCI Fred Thursday.

Other cast includes Anton Lesser as CS Reginald Bright, Caroline O'Neill as Win Thursday, and Sara Vickers as Joan Thursday.

Why is Endeavour ending?

Endeavour will bow out after nine series. (ITV)
Endeavour will bow out after nine series. (ITV)

The prequel series to Inspector Morse is bowing out at one season longer - the original series ran for eight instalments.

Evans said of his final turn as Morse: "I think Endeavour’s aloneness and isolation is cemented in this series. He has felt that way throughout but there has always been a tantalising option dangled right in front of him. If he only could reach out and grab it.

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"What we discover in these final three films is that, for one reason or another, he cannot reach out. And so his isolation and lonesomeness is completely cemented. And that’s where I wanted to leave it. Because then it’s a good place to be picked up again 15 years later in 1987 when the Inspector Morse series with John Thaw started."

He added: "In terms of the story there needed to be a full stop between Endeavour and the Thursday family. All parts of the Thursday family. I felt that needed to be a very definite full stop."

Reginald Bright is retiring. (ITV)
Reginald Bright is retiring. (ITV)

Allam added that there needed to be a clean break from the Thursday story before the later Morse picked up.

He said: "We wanted there to be an end. A point where Endeavour can move off into John Thaw’s Inspector Morse. It felt the right time. We had done plenty of films.

"From my point of view I also wanted something that had emotional heft that gave a good reason why Morse never mentioned Thursday in the later John Thaw years. Which I think we do satisfactorily in this. I think we covered all of those bases very well.

"Thursday says to Chief Supt Reginald Bright in this series that Endeavour is the soul of discretion and if a secret wants keeping, Morse will take it to the grave. And, as the audience will discover, there is something about Thursday that Endeavour will, indeed, take to his grave.

"There are also echoes of Inspector Morse in the final episode which I hope will be emotionally satisfying for the audience."

What happens in the final season?

The end is here. (ITV)
The end is here. (ITV)

Morse and Thursday still have a number of missing person cases and grisly murders to look into before the final three episodes draw to a close.

But there is plenty of change happening around the day-to-day police work, too, as Bright looks forward to retirement, Thursday is moving on, and his daughter Joan gets set to marry.

Allam said: "The whole group is moving on. Bright is retiring. Thursday is leaving. Jim Strange (Sean Rigby) is set to move away with Joan. Not to mention Strange’s impending marriage to Joan which is several twists of the knife for Endeavour. So it does feel like everyone is leaving. In both our story and, of course, in reality."

Endeavour season 9 begins on Sunday at 8pm on ITV1.