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Endeavour Season 8 Release Date, Cast And Plot - What We Know So Far

Inspector Endeavour Morse may not rank among the greatest detectives in TV history, but he's certainly an engaging, interesting character with his love of opera, penchant for ale, and knack for crime solving. First appearing on screen in the beloved British detective series Inspector Morse that ran between 1987 and 2000, his younger self has since become just as entertaining.

The prequel series Endeavour is a melancholy, atmospheric detective series that takes place in Oxford throughout the '60s and '70s, often turning back time to when Morse (Shaun Evans) was first starting out on the Oxford police force. Over the course of its seven seasons, he's climbed from detective constable to sergeant while solving murder mysteries and trying to stick to his values amongst often corrupt officials. Alongside him is his mentor and father figure, Detective Chief Inspector Fred Thursday, played by V for Vendetta's Roger Allam.

Morse's transformation from a young, bright eyed and idealistic police officer to the much more cynical man of Inspector Morse is a slow burn, but it's captured fans' interests for seven seasons so far.  According to Entertainment Daily, ITV has confirmed that season 8 is in the works. So, here's everything we know about the upcoming season so far.

When will Endeavour season 8 release?

While Endeavour has been regularly releasing a season per year for the past few years, it's possible fans will have to wait a little longer for season 8 because of, what else, the coronavirus pandemic. ITV officially announced season 8 when season 7 began filming in August 2019, but creator and writer Russell Lewis hinted to RadioTimes that the upcoming season may be delayed.

He said, "The hiatus in production may throw a spanner in the works in terms of the rather happy timeline in which we've found ourselves across the past four series – with our story year being exactly 50 years distant from the year of broadcast – but we shall cross that frayed rope bridge over crocodile-infested waters when we reach it. There are some clear waypoints in '71, if that turns out to be the year we address."

Endeavour has a history of release dates between June and August, so it's possible season 8 could come in summer of 2021, but it may be pushed back a few months. ITV has confirmed it will be three episodes long and that they expect it will air this year (via Oxford Mail).

Who will be in Endeavour season 8?

It wouldn't be Endeavour without Endeavour, of course, so fans can expect Evans' to come back as the detective. Most likely, the series will further focus on his strained relationships with Thursday and Joan (Watchmen's Sara Vickers). Vickers was absent last season, due to the actress having a baby, but Morse's letter to Joan suggests she could make her return in season 8. Evans told RadioTimes she would "definitely be back."

Endeavour's built on the characters, of course, so in all likelihood, the regulars will all be present for the new season. However, there may be some newcomers, like Violetta (Stephanie Leonidas) of season 7. Evans said to PBS, "I'm looking forward to seeing the people, the family that we've created that's both in front of and behind the camera, and being able to really pick apart—with people who are often times much brighter than I—what the best way is to tell these stories in the most satisfying way."

What will be the plot of Endeavour season 8?

Season 7 brought the series into the 1970's with a string of murders and a thematic focus on women's rights, bringing the historic Women's Liberation Movement conference into the story. Looking forward, season 8 will likely latch onto a historical moment of its chosen year — most likely 1971 or 1972 — to incorporate into the story surrounding Morse and his colleagues.

Lewis said to RadioTimes he's "unhealthily obsessed with that early 70s aesthetic" including "the jump to decimalization and intimations of our joining the European Community." For those who aren't British, 1971's Decimal Day marks when Britain switched over their currency to a base 10 system — effectively turning Britain's notorious great train robbery into a pointless endeavor. Lewis also said there will be plenty of Easter Eggs and references to era-relevant media in season 8: "I'm glad to report that there is a fair bit of that type of mischief waiting in the wings [for series eight]. A little more sunshine across the board. Heaven knows we'll all be ready for it by then."

Ultimately, however, he knows where the story is going. Endeavour is a prequel, so fans can count on the story inching its way closer to the Morse of Inspector Morse. Lewis said in August 2020, "Everything is in the planning stage. We know the cards that remain in our hand, and it's very much a case of arranging the order in which they're played in order to bring about the desired 'grand slam.'"