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Shout Out / Endeavour

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Hoo boy. Series writer Russell Lewis loves these, and not just when they refer to the original series...

  • Colin Dexter's Creator Cameo appearances in Inspector Morse continued in this series (as they did in Lewis) until ill health prevented them. Following this, a picture of him usually appears.
  • Aside from Morse himself, the younger versions of two characters from Inspector Morse appear in most episodes:
    • Max the pathologist. Only ever referred to by his first name in the original series he gets the same surname as he had in the books — de Bryn — in Endeavour.
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    • Strange, Morse's boss in the original, is introduced in "Girl" as a uniformed constable. His first name (never mentioned in the original) is Jim, named after James Grout, the actor who played him in said original.
  • Dorothea Frazil, the Oxford Mail journalist, is played by Abigail Thaw, daughter of John Thaw who played Morse in the original. A 'frazil' is a type of ice crystal, so 'D. Frazil' means 'de-ice', or rather, 'thaw'. Her connection with the original show is lampshaded when Frazil meets Morse for the first time:
    Frazil: Have we met before?
    Morse: No.
    Frazil: In another life, perhaps.
  • This being an Inspector Morse prequel, there are musical and literary allusions throughout - just like in the original. Same goes for the main character's ability to solve cryptic crosswords, which sometimes becomes a key plot point.
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  • More particular to Endeavour are a wealth of cultural references (some specific to The '60s, others less so) and nods to real-life events. Some of the former imply that the events of certain novels, TV shows and films (among them the Bond books, Blackadder and even the Indiana Jones movies) actually happened in the Morseverse! These can be fairly obscure and viewers may only spot them on the second (or even third) viewing.

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    TV Film (2012) 
  • "Endeavour" (sometimes referred to as "Pilot"):
    • Naturally - this being the first episode of the prequel - there are several nods to Inspector Morse:
      • Once back in Oxford, Morse meets up with Alexander Reece, a student contemporary of his who is now an academic. This is a younger version of the character who commits a murder and then becomes a murder victim in the episode "The Last Enemy". He knew Susan, the love of Morse's life and the reason for him dropping out of university (following the ending of their relationship) but he thinks her name was Wendy, reflecting the ambiguity between the novels and the TV series on this subject.
      • The episode begins with Morse being teetotal (due to his Quaker upbringing). After he faints in the mortuary (thus establishing his aversion to looking at corpses), Fred Thursday takes him to a pub and buys him pint of ale to help deal with the shock. The rest is history.
      • The red Jaguar Mk.II that Morse admires in the garage forecourt is the Cool Car that he drives throughout the original series.
      • When Morse contemplates where he might be in twenty years, he looks in the rear-view mirror and finds himself staring at the late John Thaw as his older self. Then the theme music begins. He's snapped out of his daydream by Thursday shouting his first name, one of very few times he's addressed as such.
    • Before he and several other CID officers get sent to Oxford to assist with the Tremlett case, Morse is stationed in Carshall Newtown. This place is not only fictional, but was the setting for Angus Wilson's novel Late Call which was published in 1964.
    • When Morse is shown to his room by his landlady, she says that the previous tennant was called Mr. Bleaney — a nod to the Philip Larkin poem of that name, which was written in 1955. The other men staying there, Mr. Goldberg and Mr. McCann, are named for characters in Harold Pinter's 1957 play The Birthday Party.

    Series 1 (2013) 
  • "Girl":
    • Morse and Strange go for a drink in the White Horse - an Oxford pub that made several appearances in the original series. Their reading material is Moriarty's Police Law - not an ironic reference to Sherlock Holmes's arch-enemy but a real book on British police procedure which would be essential reading for constables looking to take their sergent's exam.
    • Jakes quips "I know it's not Gideon's Way". This was an ITV crime series broadcast between 1964 and 1966, based on the novels by John Creasey. The title character, George Gideon, is a dedicated senior police officer who's also a pipe-smoking family man ... not a million miles from Fred Thursday.
  • "Fugue": When Dr Cronyn (or rather, the psychopathic murderer who's posing as Dr Cronyn) talks of other serial killers and cases, he refers to "the bodies in the swamp at Fairvale", suggesting that the events of Psycho actually happened in the Morseverse.
  • "Rocket":
    • The Broom family, owners of the missile factory in which the murders take place, are basically the Plantagenet Royal Family as depicted in The Lion in Winter. Patriarch Henry (Henry II; Henry Broom) has three sons - Harry (deceased: Henry the Young King; Harry Broom), Richard (Richard I of England/Richard the Lionheart; Richard Broom) and John (John of England/Bad King John; Johnnie Broom), and his estranged wife whom he dislikes (Eleanor of Acquitaine; Nora Broom) has returned. The death of the favoured son has caused a Succession Crisis. On top of that, there's a proposed merger with the French. Their home has the same name as the Plantagenets' palace — Chinon — and even their surname refers to Plantagenet, which comes from planta genista, meaning 'broom flower'.
    • Additionally, Alice Vexin is named for Alys of France, Countess of Vexin. Alys was rumoured to be Henry II's mistress.
    • Reg Tracepurcel could be related to Bertram Tracepurcel, the character played by Dennis Price in the Peter Sellers film I'm All Right Jack (subverted, though, because Reg is a union man and Bertram runs the missile factory in the film which, just like the one in this episode, has issues with union militancy).
  • "Home":
    • When going home to visit his dying father, Morse encounters with his stepmother Gwen, with whom he has always had a dreadful relationship, and his half-sister Joyce. Both appear in the original series episode "Cherubim and Seraphim" in which Joyce's daughter Marilyn commits suicide, leaving Morse devastated.
    • Morse's dying father looks a lot like John Thaw. Word of God is that this was the result of makeup rather than a genius casting decision.
    • Vic Kaspar, a London Gangster transplanted in Oxford who has previous with Fred Thursday, is in fear of his associates. They're identified as the Fletcher brothers - the name of the employers of Get Carter's Villain Protagonist.

    Series 2 (2014) 
  • "Trove":
    • Morse encounters (and verbally gets the better of) arrogant academic Matthew Copley-Barnes, who appears in the original series episode "The Infernal Serpent". He is not nice.
    • The stolen jewel, the Wolvercote Trove, forms part of an Anglo-Saxon belt buckle. Its corresponding part is the titular jewel in the original series episode "The Wolvercote Tongue".
    • When Morse is following up a clue in London, he sees a sign for "R. Duck, Theatrical Agent, Fourth Floor." Withnail's Uncle Monty names his first agent as "Raymond Duck. Four floors up on the Charing Cross Road."
    • In the same scene, there's a sign for Pacific All-Risk Insurance which is the firm that Fred Macmurray's character works for in Double Indemnity.
    • The prominent advertising for Grimsby Pilchards calls to mind Tony Hancock's unsuccessful attempts to advertise pilchards in "The Bowmans". The Grimsby Pilchards poster's ongoing defacement over the rest of the second series and its and eventual replacement is a reference to the Philip Larkin poem 'Sunny Prestatyn' which is about poster vandalism.
    • Talent agent Val Todd has a phone call from Mr. White from Play-Tone and another from "Lane from SCDP".
    • A poster is seen for a holiday camp whose staff members wear bright yellow blazers; the first letter of the camp's name is obscured, but the rest reads "aplins".
    • One of the judges of the beauty contest is racing driver Danny Griffon, whose family is at the centre of the plot of the pilot episode of Lewis.
    • This episode also deals with Strange's first brush with Freemasonry. He goes along with it, thinking it could be good for career advancement. Given that he goes on to rise higher in the police than the more capable Morse, it probably is.
  • "Nocturne":
    • Part of the investigation involves a killing spree that took place in 1866 (investigated by one Detective Constable Cuff). The circumstances are reminiscent of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, a book about a real-life Victorian murder which was made into a series for ITV (the channel on which Endeavour is broadcast in Britain). Morse investigates a Victorian murder in the original series episode "The Wench Is Dead"; although the circumstances are very different, a book about the murder which turns out to have got it completely wrong is used as an important plot device, as it is in this episode.
    • When Morse and Thursday visit the College of Arms, the herald they speak to refers to a colleague, Sir Hilary - the herald James Bond consults (and later uses as a cover identity) in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
    • According to the road signs, Blythe Mount School for Girls is not far from Midwich.
    • Not only is Lewis Carroll referenced, he becomes a plot device. Early on, Bunty Glossop quotes from Through the Looking-Glass. Later on, when Bunty has a knife at her throat, Morse uses a reference to The Jabberwocky to provide her with a clue for how she can escape. It works.
    • Since this episode is set in England in the summer of 1966, references to a certain football tournament are unavoidable. Despite being unable to hide his disinterest, Morse somehow manages to draw England in the office sweepstake.
  • "Sway":
    • There are plenty of nods to Alfred Hitchcock - a character called Norman, a stuffed crow, a blonde femme fatale and a murder method (combined with an attempt by the murderer to frame someone else) reminiscent of Frenzy.
    • Lisk, the smarmy love rat and Red Herring murder suspect, knowingly styles himself on the Michael Caine character in Alfie which was released in 1966 - the year in which this episode is set.
    • The doomed wartime romance between Fred and Luisa has clear overtones of Brief Encounter. This is one of several instances where characters look back to what they did in the the Second World War. Appropriately, this episode is set in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday. Most of the characters are wearing poppies, and a sales assistant at Burridge's is reprimanded for turning up to work without one.
  • "Neverland":
    • The law firm Morse visits has a Mr Vholes as one of its partners.
    • When Thursday contemplates retirement, he suggests that another officer called McNutt could take Morse under his wing. In the original series episode "Masonic Mysteries", Morse visits a retired McNutt and refers to him as his mentor.
    • When Thursday suggests he'll probably die as a policeman rather than retire, Morse recites the final verse to 'May' by A. E. Housman - the same verse he quotes in "The Remorseful Day" shortly before his own death (which takes place shortly before he's due to retire).
      Ensanguining the skies
      How heavily it dies
      Into the west away;
      Past touch and sight and sound
      Not further to be found,
      How hopeless under ground
      Falls the remorseful day.

    Series 3 (2016) 
  • "Ride":
    • The story is basically The Great Gatsby, including a Gatsby who throws wild parties, a Daisy, a Tom Buchanan, a Meyer Wolfsheim, a Nick Carraway (Morse), an "old sport" catchphrase, a shooting in the water, and a woman getting run over by a car.
    • An old university friend of Morse's, Anthony Donn, appears in this episode. In the original series episode "Deceived by Flight", he's a murder victim.
    • Two other characters from the original series, Roly Marshall from "Deceived by Flight" and Julius Hanbury from "Ghost in the Machine", are mentioned in passing.
    • One of the characters is named Lord Belborough presumably after the character in Chigley.
  • "Arcadia":
    • Charity worker Marion Brooke also appears in the original series episode "Masonic Mysteries". In both episodes, she works for Amnox, the Morseverse's Fictional Counterpart of Oxfam.
    • Artist Simon Hallward's landlady is called Mrs Crevatte as is artist Anthony Hancock's in The Rebel. Hallward is also the surname of the artist who paints The Picture of Dorian Gray.
    • When the blackmailer demands money from the police, Morse is the officer who will drop it off. From there, things get a bit Dirty Harry as he has to take the money in a bag to a telephone box and wait for instructions that send him to another telephone box, etc. Fortunately, Jakes (in his last episode) avoids the fate of many a colleague of Harry Callaghan and gets to leave the show alive.
    • Jakes and his fiancee leaving on the back seat of a bus is reminiscent of the final scene in The Graduate which was released in 1967, the year in which this episode is set. Earlier on in the episode, the relations between the Maddox and Richardson families are similar to those between the Braddocks and the Robinsons in that film. Mrs Richardson, the Mrs. Robinson equivalent, tries to seduce Morse.
  • "Prey":
    • The whole episode can be seen as a retelling of Jaws, albeit set in rural England with a man-eating tiger instead of a man-eating shark.
    • Crevecour Hall, the home of the Mortmaigne family, also appears in the Lewis episode "The Dead of Winter". One of the staff, Philip Hathaway, is the father of James Hathaway.
    • A body is found with marks suggesting an attack by a tiger or similar big cat. Morse raises the possibility that a weapon specially made to leave such marks could have been used. The Sherlock Holmes story "The Veiled Lodger" includes such a weapon, though in both cases the marks turn out to be from an actual animal attack.
    • Bright recalls being in India near Pankot, and mentions there being trouble with the Thuggee cult — implying that the events of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom are historical fact in the Morseverse.
    • Characters say "It's in the trees...." "It's coming" — confirmed by Word of God as a reference to both Kate Bush's 'Hounds of Love', and the film 'Night of the Demon'.
    • The land agent, named Craven, is revealed to have been a big game hunter. This is a reference to the Marvel Comics character Kraven the Hunter.
    • When Craven is hunting, the tiger pulls the "clever girl" raptor trick, which Craven acknowledges with "clever kit" before the tiger kills him.
    • One of the victims of a tiger attack is named Ricky Parker. Richard Parker is the name of the tiger in The Life Of Pi. In turn, the name in the novel was taken from a couple of people (both real and fictional) with that name who were victims of cannibalism.
    • Given the presence of a tiger, it's worth noting that this episode is set in 1967 - the year The Jungle Book was released in cinemas. Longleat, Britain's first drive-through safari park (situated within the grounds of a stately home) had opened the previous year.
    • When Morse and Strange are drinking in a pub, Morse notices that Strange is drinking lager and comments that he used to drink Farmer's beer. In the original series episode "Sins of the Fathers", the Farmer's Brewery is trying to take over the smaller Radford's Brewery.
    • The LP that Strange gives to Morse as a house-warming present, Classics up to Date by James Last, is real. It was released in 1966.
  • "Coda":
    • Several key events in this episode form the back-story for the original series episode "Promised Land":
      • The funeral scenes at the beginning of each episode are almost identical. Even Thursday's summary of what happened for Morse's benefit in "Coda" is exactly what Strange says to Lewis in "Promised Land":
        Thursday: You know what they say about funerals. There’s always someone catches their death.
      • The funeral at the beginning of "Promised Land" is that of Peter Matthews, one of the bank robbers in "Coda".
      • Kenny Stone, the criminal-turned-supergrass who Morse and Lewis go to Australia to find in "Promised Land", appears in the "Coda" funeral scene, but only on police film footage.
    • Thursday reveals that his mentor was Sergeant Vimes of Cable Street.
    • In the post-robbery climax, Morse distracts Cole Matthews, one of the bank robbers, by claiming that he's fired all of his six shots. As he's dragged away, Matthews begs to know if he had or not.
    • Morse bumps into an old professor of his, the campy classical scholar Jerome Hogg. Hogg comments about a male student "I think he prefers oysters even with all my [Hogg's] blandishments". This is a reference to Spartacus which has a scene where snails and oysters are used as a metaphor for respectively homosexual and heterosexual relationships. Hogg also appears in the original series episode "Greeks Bearing Gifts".
    • When Morse and Trewlove are searching a car, they find some "stag" films with very highbrow Parallel Porn Titles. They are Hedda Gobbler and Moaning Becomes Electra, referring to plays by (respectively) Henrik Ibsen and Eugene O'Neill.
      Morse: Only in Oxford.
    • Joan leaving home at the end of the episode plays out like the Beatles song "She's Leaving Home" from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was released in 1967 - the year in which this episode is set.

    Series 4 (2017) 
  • "Game":
    • A computer features prominently; part of the episode is set at Lovelace College, another in the long list of fictional Oxford colleges that exist in the Morseverse.
    • The "thinking machine" is called the Joint Computing Network, or JCN for short - a nod to IBM, each of the initials being one letter along in the alphabet (if you move the initials the other way, you get HAL). It's programmed in "Forbin-66", a play on the real life computer language FORTRAN-66.
    • Trewlove's chess knowledge is such that she is able to identify the Russian's opening move as "the Kronsteen Variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined". Kronsteen is the chess grand master in From Russia with Love who devises the plan to kill James Bond. In the novel, Kronsteen wins his chess match with "a brilliant twist into the Meran Variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined, to be debated all over Russia for weeks to come".
    • After a second death at a swimming baths the receptionist says that nothing like this has happened in the eight years she's worked there and "In 1957 no one died. In 1958 no one died." Fortunately Thursday cuts her off before she can reproduce the entire Overly Long Gag from The Day Today.
  • "Canticle":
    • Joy Pettibon, the TV morality campaigner, is based heavily on the real-life Mary Whitehouse.
    • TV chat show host Julian Calendar is modelled on Simon Dee; one of the few surviving episodes of Dee's series opens with him wearing what look like academic robes and declaring "They're all wearing it," just as Calendar does in this episode.
    • Rock band The Wildwood have echoes of The Kinks and early Pink Floyd. The former even get a mention, as the manager's alibi is that he was on the phone to a music producer organising an American tour with the Kinks; this falls apart after Trewlove points out that the Kinks are banned from touring America.
    • It may be coincidental, but the band's manager is named Ralph and their personal physician is Dr. Bakshi.
  • "Lazaretto":
    • Morse encounters the mother of his lost love, Susan. Susan herself, who is only seen in the crowd scene at her father's funeral, appears in the original series episode "Dead on Time" when she helps her terminally ill husband to die. She reconnects with Morse when he starts to investigate her husband's death, but then decides to kill herself as part of a pre-arranged suicide pact with her husband, leaving Morse devastated.
    • Bright's hospitalisation with a perforated ulcer mirrors Morse being hospitalised with a similar condition in the original series episode "The Wench is Dead".
    • The episode, mostly set in a hospital, features a plethora of references to the medical entries in the Carry On films:
      • Maidenhead Town Hall serves as the exterior of Cowley General after having previously been Borough General Hospital in Carry On Doctor and Longhampton Hospital in Carry On Again, Doctor.
      • The ward in which much of the episode is set, Fosdick Ward, shares its name with the setting for Carry On Doctor.
      • Dr Powell is mentioned as having previously been employed by Longhampton (the hospital in Carry On Again, Doctor) and Finisham (the maternity hospital in Carry On Matron).
    • The characters of Dr Dean Powell and Sister Clodagh McMahon are named for the characters Mr Dean and Sister Clodagh in the book and film Black Narcissus (set in a hospital/school in the Himalayas); the doctor's surname comes from the film's co-director, Michael Powell.
    • The name of Chief Surgeon Sir Merlyn Chubb is a reference to the popular "Doctor" film franchise, whose chief deuteragonist was the head surgeon Sir Lancelot Spratt played by James Robertson Justice. Both men taking their name from Arthurian Legend characters (Merlin and Lancelot) and whose surname was a type of small fish; chub and sprat, with the last letter doubled.
  • "Harvest":
    • Dowsable Chattox, the Tarot-reading recluse, is played by Sheila Hancock - John Thaw's widow.
    • Chattox was the surname of one of the Pendle Witches.
    • The Uncanny Village of Brampton could be a shout-out to many cop/mystery dramas - but, given the villagers' overt paganism, the most likely is The Wicker Man. The novel on which that film was based, David Pinner's Ritual, was published in 1967 - the year in which this episode is set. That said, the paganism sub-plot is largely a Red Herring.
    • The nuclear power station, meanwhile, is reminiscent of The China Syndrome.
    • Selina mentions that, on the day Laxman disappeared, she went to a cinema to see a film about "the borstal boy who became a runner". That's The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, in which John Thaw starred.
    • The talk of Morse possibly transferring to a unit in London based at Tintagel House could be an Arthurian Legend reference ... but it's more likely to be a shout-out to The Sweeney, as it's where the Flying Squad used to be based in real life.

    Series 5 (2018) 
  • "Muse":
    • The real-life formation of the Thames Valley Constabulary (later known as the Thames Valley Police) affects the characters in various ways. As well as the Oxford City Police, the police forces that were merged to form the Thames Valley Police were the Berkshire Constabulary, the Buckinghamshire Constabulary, the Oxfordshire Constabulary (hitherto referred to as the 'County' force on Endeavour) and the Reading Borough Police.
      • One of the important parts of the 1960s police reforms was addressing corruption by removing police forces from local council control, making them stand-alone forces answerable directly to the Home Office. If you watch carefully there are a few references to this.
    • Early on, there is mention of a mysterious international jewel thief called "The Shadow", whose thefts include "the Lugash diamond". Morse is disinclined to believe that this is linked to the theft he's investigating, saying "It's all a bit Simon Templar".
    • A significant character is Eve Thorne, who models for an artist called Pickman.
  • "Cartouche":
    • The murderer's motive, revenge for the wartime death of his brother, is taken from a part of the novel The Riddle of the Third Mile that was Adapted Out of the original series episode "The Last Enemy" (one of two episodes not to have the same title of the novel on which it was based).
    • Max greets Morse as "Nayland Smith".
    • As a child, Thursday used to love going to the cinema to watch Laurel and Hardy films and Maroon Cartoons.
    • One of the witnesses interviewed by Morse is an usherette named Betty Perske. She shares her name with a famous film actress who is better known by her stage name, Lauren Bacall.
    • Cinema organist Leslie Garnier is mentioned as having been a performer on the SS Happy Wanderer, the ship from Carry On Cruising.
    • Carol mentions a film starring Diana Day - the beauty queen from "Trove" who has evidently moved up in the world.
    • Fred Thursday's brother Charlie turns up in Oxford and asks for a loan. Charlie doesn't just have London Gangster links; he knows the Krays...
      Fred: No-one's leaning on you? The twins?
  • "Passenger":
    • Patrick Dawson, one of Ronnie Box's Robbery team, also features in the original series episode "Second Time Around". By then, he's an old rival of Morse's who is revealed to have killed the man he suspected of murdering his daughter, although Morse works out that he'd actually got the wrong man. In that episode, Morse recalls a debate he had with Dawson over capital punishment at a police conference in 1969; as this does not feature in Endeavour, it may count as a mild example of a Noodle Incident.
    • Ronnie Box dresses like Frank Bullitt and acts like Jack Regan.
    • Morse follows up a clue at a motel near Birmingham - the Crossroads motel, to be precise. He's even seen driving to Kings Oak, the fictional village where the motel was based.
    • Norborough station is from an episode of The Avengers (1960s).
    • Gidbury's chocolate factory is presumably the Morseverse's Fictional Counterpart of Cadbury's.
  • "Colours":
    • Fred and Win Thursday took dancing lessons at the Stuart-Hargreaves ballroom dancing studio, another reference to Hi-de-Hi!
    • The debate between fascist sympathiser Lady Bayswater and civil rights activist Marcus X mirrors a real-life Oxford Union debate involving Malcolm X in 1964.
    • Lady Bayswater's name, Charity Mudford, is a play on Unity Mitford, an ardent admirer of Adolf Hitler.
    • During Thursday's confrontation with Lady Bayswater, mention is made of two British fascists, "Spode and Webley". Both are literary parodies of Sir Oswald Mosley — Roderick Spode from P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves novels, Everard Webley from Aldous Huxley's Point Counter Point.
    • The King's Own South Oxfordshire Regiment, at whose base the murders occur, fought at the battle of Mboto Gorge.
    • The victim, Jean Ward, was a wayward member of the Creighton-Ward family, meaning she was related to Lady Penelope.
    • Morse's new-found smoking habit relates to the Morse of the novels, not the original series. In the books, he smoked cigarettes - a character aspect that was removed for the adaptation.
  • "Quartet":
    • The episode opens with the filming of the British heat of the European "silly games in silly costumes" programme Jeux sans Frontières.note 
    • A drawing by one of the murder victims leads Morse to a house on Sebastopol Terrace, which is where Eric and Hattie live.
    • After Eddie Nero's pub is trashed, Strange offers to "put the squeeze on" the witnesses, and Thursday responds, "Forget it, Sergeant, it's Summertown."
    • Fred Thursday's not happy with "all this cloak-and-dagger mob". There are quite a few espionage shout-outs...
      • Morse and Claudine's punting trip has echoes of James Bond and Sylvia Trench's similar outing in From Russia with Love.
      • The stairs near the Albert Hall where Morse follows Singleton were used in a scene in The Ipcress File.
      • Sebastian Fenix acts like a Bond villain - he's got a tank of deadly fish in his office, and tells Morse that his secretary can make him a martini.
      • When Morse updates Thursday about his meeting with Singleton and the attempt on his life, Thursday comments: "We're the police, not Danger Man."
      • Millie Bagshot's name references real-life intelligence officer Milicent Bagot.
  • "Icarus":
    • This episode draws heavily on two films set in minor public schools:
      • Unman, Wittering and Zigo (1971, based on a 1958 radio play) is about a teacher called Mr Ebony who joins the staff of a boarding school as a replacement for a man who died in mysterious circumstances, and comes to suspect that the pupils may have had a hand in his predecessor's death (in "Icarus", the dead teacher is named as Mr Ivory).
      • If, especially in terms of the scene near the end when one of the boys takes a rifle from the CCF armoury, makes his way to the bell tower and starts shooting at staff and pupils.
    • One schoolmaster refers to a colleague at a previous school by the name of 'Old Wilkie'.
    • Morse's cover story when he is posing as a teacher is that he used to teach at Bamfylde, the school in R.F. Delderfield's novel To Serve Them All My Days.
    • Trewlove, wanting to move to a First-Name Basis, says "Do call me Shirley".
    • When Morse arrives at Coldwater, one of the teachers jokingly welcomes him to 'St Bastard's'.

    Series 6 (2019) 
  • "Pylon":
    • Ann Kirby's disappearance happens on the day of Prince Charles's investiture as Prince of Wales (1st July 1969). This helps provide Dr Sheridan with an alibi as a college porter remembers having a conversation with him about the investiture at around the time when Ann went missing, meaning that Sheridan couldn't have abducted Ann.
    • The pedestrian crossing that Bright is helping to publicise in the public information film is a "Pedestrian Light Controlled Crossing", known as a Pelican (originally spelled 'Pelicon') crossing for short. These were introduced in Britain in 1969, the year in which this episode is set.
    • Ronnie Box takes the mickey out of Bright's appearance in the public information film with an actual pelican by referring to him as 'Johnny Morris' - the presenter of the 60s and 70s children's TV show Animal Magic.
    • The registration of Morse's squad car - 264HZ - refers to the frequency that piano tuning-forks are set to.
    • The policeman guarding Stanley Clemence is secretly reading The Beano while pretending to read a newspaper.
  • "Apollo":
    • This being set in July 1969, the Apollo 11 moon landing forms the backdrop of this episode. Hence the title.
    • Appropriately, part of the plot revolves around a film studio producing a Supermarionation-style TV puppet show called Moon Rangers.
      • Jeff and Hildegarde Slayton, the brother-and-sister team behind the show, are named after Donald 'Deke' Slayton (NASA's Director of Flight Crew Operations at the time of the moon landing) and based on Gerry and Sylvia Anderson (although they were married).
      • A map of the Lunar surface displayed in the show's control centre set clearly features an installation very reminiscent of Moonbase Alpha.
      • Moon Rangers is described as "Bonanza in Space", which echoes the description of a certain other space-based show as "Wagon Train to the Stars".
      • A mute character in Moon Rangers is reminiscent of Marina from Stingray.
      • Among the puppets and props in the Slaytons' office, there's a model of Lady Penelope's house.
    • Mrs Trellis, the Wingqvists' servant, is named after the correspondent of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.
    • Morse mocks Joan's outfit by comparing her to a supporting character in Doctor Zhivago.
    • Strange has never heard of Jacqueline Susann (at the time, a best-selling novelist) leading to an amusing misunderstanding when he's questioning Hildegarde Slayton:
      Slayton: A solitary supper, and then I took Jacqueline Susann to bed.
      Strange: [awkwardly] I see ... and where might we reach Miss Susann?
      Morse: Um ... I think Miss Slayton is referring to a novel by the popular authoress of that name.
  • "Confection":
    • The main plot - a 'poison pen' campaign with deadly results - owes much to Agatha Christie's The Moving Finger.
    • Most of the episode takes place in the village of Chigton Green, which pretty obviously takes its name from the locations in the classic 60s stop-motion Trumptonshire Trilogy, set in the villages of Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley. Many of the village characters' names come from those shows:
      • Farmer Bell, Carraway the fishmonger and Murphy the baker are named for characters in Camberwick Green.
      • Clamp the greengrocer and PC Potter are named for characters in Trumpton.
      • The Cresswell family share their name with the biscuit factory owners in Chigley.
    • Morse mentions speaking to a Rhodes Scholar named Clinton. 42nd US President Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University between 1969 and 1970.
    • The vet mentions having had to deal with a lady with a very overfed Pekingese. This calls to mind the recurring storyline in All Creatures Great and Small where James Heriot had to deal with an overfed and overpampered pet Pekingese called Tricki-Woo, belonging to Mrs Pumphreys.
    • Cresswell's is mentioned as being at risk of being taken over by a larger rival chocolate manufacturer, Gidbury's. This mirrors the situation regarding Radford's Brewery in the original series episode "Sins of the Fathers". The murders of Murray Cresswell in "Confection" and Stephen Radford in "Sins of the Fathers" look very similar (respectively, their bodies are dumped in a vat of chocolate and a vat of beer).
    • Cresswell's 'Happy Families' brand is named after an Inspector Morse episode in which a hate campaign features prominently - although in that episode, it's initiated by the press and directed against a rich family. And Morse.
    • A novel by Kent Finn, the author who appeared in "Game", is seen early on in the episode.
  • "Degüello":
    • The house that Morse and Thursday visited in "Pylon" gets visited by the police again after two of the squatters die of drug overdoses. Cleared of squatters, it goes on the market. At the end of the episode, Morse buys it and moves in. It's the house he lives in throughout the original series.
    • The tower blocks are named after the Oxford Martyrs. The collapse of Cranmer Tower mirrors the real-life Ronan Point disaster which took place in 1968.
    • When an Oxford don mentions that he's writing a paper on Edwardian erotica, Thursday replies that he's "more of a Holly Martins fan".
    • Deborah Teagarden could be related to Aurora Teagarden, the protagonist of a series of crime novels by Charlaine Harris.
    • The glasses-case found on the body from Cranmer House is from Dinkley Opticians. Dinkley is Velma's surname.
    • Councillor Burketts's secretary is a Miss Lansbury.

    Series 7 (2020) 
  • "Oracle":
    • The Women's Liberation Movement meeting portrayed in this episode really happened - and was organised by (among others) Sally Alexander, who was John Thaw's first wife and the mother of Abigail Thaw. She's played by Molly-Mae Whitmey, Abigail's daughter. Meaning that when Dorothea Frazil interviews her, Abigail Thaw is interviewing her daughter, who's playing her mother.
    • The women-only Lady Matilda's College also appears in the Lewis episode "Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things" in which it is the last Oxford college to go co-educational. There have been several references to students of this college as "Matilda-beasts" throughout the series. The real-life Oxford college of St Hilda's was a women's college (with students nicknamed "Hildabeasts") from its founding in 1893 until it started admitting male students in 2008.
    • When Ludo visits Morse's house and checks out his record collection, he comes across a Rosalind Calloway LP. She was the opera singer who appeared in the pilot episode and turned out to be the murderer; after her arrest, Morse failed to prevent her from committing suicide.
    • In the pub where Morse interviews Jenny Tate, bottles of Radford's beer can be seen. Morse investigates a murder at the Radford's Brewery in the original series episode "Sins of the Fathers".
    • Fred Thursday's uncharacteristically crude quip - directed towards his wife, of all people - about where he's going to keep the canaries he's just bought refers to the 60s and 70s TV magician David Nixon.
      Fred: Where are we going to keep them? Up my arse, Winifred! That’s where we're going to keep them. Like David Nixon!
  • "Raga":
    • The 1970 general election forms a backdrop to this episode. In real life, though, no neo-fascist candidates stood in Oxford constituencies.
    • TV cook and murder victim Oberon Prince was, according to Ludo, "no Robert Danvers". Robert Danvers is a celebrity chef played by Peter Sellers in the 1970 film There's a Girl in my Soup.
    • Rosemary Prince tells Morse that, as far as Oberon's TV cookery show was concerned, "I was Johnnie to his Fanny". No, that's not rude - it's a reference to 60s and 70s TV cook Fanny Cradock who was often assisted by her husband Jonnie.
    • Bright tells Dr Sardar that he during his time in India, he was in Pankot and Chandrapore. He had previously referred to Pankot, the village in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, in "Prey". Chandrapore, meanwhile, is the fictional city in which A Passage to India is set.
  • "Zenana":
    • Jenny tells Morse that as a child playing hide-and-seek, she hid in her aunt's wardrobe which was "full of fur coats" - a nod to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Her sadistic "cousin Kevin", meanwhile, is a nod to Tommy.
    • Carl Sturgis's lawyer is a Mr Vholes - who has previously been referred to in the show, in addition to being a namesake of one of the lawyers in Bleak House.
    • Morse's description of Fred Thursday as "the best and wisest of men" echoes Dr Watson's comment about Sherlock Holmes after the latter's assumed death at the Reichenbach Falls in "The Adventure of the Final Problem".
    • When Ludo greets Morse at the cemetery, he slightly misquotes a line from the "All the world's a stage" speech from William Shakespeare's As You Like It.
      Ludo: We all have our entrances and exits.
    • Ludo mentions that Violetta grew up in poverty on "the back streets of Naples", a nod to the Peter Sarstedt song "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?".

    Series 8 (2021) 
  • "Striker":
    • The use of the distinctly un-Morse-like "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who over the opening credits could be construed as a nod to CSI: Miami, which uses that song as its main theme.
    • Eamonn Andrews appears as an Historical Domain Character (played by Lewis MacLeod) to present the This is Your Life red book to star footballer Jack Swift; the circumstances in which he does so ('interrupting' a fashion show that Swift is attending) are reminiscent of the circumstances in which Eamonn Andrews did this to George Best in Real Life in 1971, the year in which this epiosde is set.
    • Oxford Wanderers FC is a Fictional Counterpart of Oxford United (although they were actually in the Second Division in the early 1970s, not the First as is implied to be the case with Wanderers); among the other football teams mentioned is Fulchester, the team Billy the Fish plays for in Viz.
    • Robert Fenner, the Oxford Wanderers chairman and fashion designer, could well be related to Harold Fenner, owner and proprietor of Fenner's Fashions in the 1960s-70s sitcom The Rag Trade ... which starred Sheila Hancock (John Thaw's second wife note ).
    • John Sarson's thesis is a Marxist interpretation of Pride and Prejudice ... although the title, "Reader, I Controlled the Means of Production", is actually a nod to Jane Eyre.
    • The poetry of Alfred, Lord Tennyson gets a couple of nods:
      • Thursday slightly misquotes from "The Charge of the Light Brigade" when Morse queries why he's been assigned to be Jack Swift's bodyguard.
        Thursday: Ours is not to reason why.
      • Frazil quotes from "Morte d'Arthur" when referring to John Paul Martinelli looking to become 'the new Jack Swift'.
        Frazil: The old order changeth, yielding place to new.
  • "Scherzo":
    • A taxi is sent to 52 Festive Road, the fare to go on Mr. Benn's account.
    • There are quite a few nods to the Awful British Sex Comedy films of the 1970s...
      • One of the taxi drivers is called Joe North, the name of the protagonist in Adventures of a Taxi Driver.
      • The driving instructor works for Noglea, the driving school in Confessions of a Driving Instructor.
      • Father Mahoney's window cleaner is called Lee Timothy, which is similar to Timothy Lea who is the protagonist in Confessions of a Window Cleaner.
    • At the Masonic dinner-dance, Strange and Joan dance to "Earth Angel" — the song George and Lorraine danced to at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance in Back to the Future.
    • The motive behind the murders — a man finds out that his daughter has been starring in pornographic films and goes after the men responsible for making said films — is reminiscent of Get Carter and Hardcore.
    • Gwen, Morse's hated stepmother, has previously appeared in the Series 1 episode "Home"; she was also in the Inspector Morse episode "Cherubim and Seraphim" which also features Morse's half-sister and brother-in-law, referred to in passing here as "living in sin". The barbed conversation between Morse and Gwen recalls the older Morse's reminiscences about his father having been a taxi driver who once drove the Aga Khan.
    • Morse taking one of the blue movies home to watch — purely for work purposes, of course — brings to mind his fascination with erotica, a characteristic that features in the novels but was understandably Adapted Out of the TV series.
  • "Terminus":
    • The randy bus conductor could've walked straight out of On the Buses. A defaced poster in the background, originally reading "It's a grand life on the buses", but altered to "It's a randy life on the buses", continues that reference.
    • A group of people stranded in a snow-bound hotel with a murderer in their midst is reminiscent of The Mousetrap and The Shining.
    • Thursday mentions a drying-out clinic in Surrey that he thinks Morse should go to to get himself sorted out. When James Bond's drinking was found to have become too much of a problem at the start of Thunderball, M sent him to a drying-out clinic in the same county.
    • The episode references Halloween with a murderer who wore costume on his murder spree. The name Loomis is used for the murderer this time but in the original Halloween movie this is the name of the doctor out to stop him, and a place named Haddonfield is mentioned as part of the bus line central to the plot.
    • At the end of the episode, Morse says "Thaw is coming", ostensibly about the snowstorm being over, but is also a reference to how the timeline is now rapidly closing on the John Thaw era of the Morse tv series.