Why did Endeavour end and why is there not a season 10 of the classic Endeavour Morse crime drama?

The Endeavour end might have come as a surprise to fans given it's popularity but there sadly won't be season 9 of the Colin Dexter drama

Why did Endeavour end? Seen here is Shaun Evans as Endeavour Morse

Watching Endeavour end was a bittersweet experience for long-time fans of the Inspector Morse prequel as we said goodbye to DS Endeavour Morse and DCI Fred Thursday forever. 

From the return of Endeavour’s DS Jakes to the Endeavour finale gunshot, season 9 was one of the most emotionally-intense and intriguing of all. Even before it landed it was revealed that this would be the final installment of the crime drama, which was a prequel to Inspector Morse and focused on the younger Morse as he started out. Given its enduring popularity, though, many fans might well have been left wondering why Endeavour wasn’t going to return for a season 10. 

Here we reveal what you need to know about the decision to have Endeavour end, including whether it was canceled…

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

SHAUN EVANS as Endeavour and ROGER ALLAM as DI Fred Thursday.


Was Endeavour canceled? 

Having amassed legions of fans across the world since it first landed in 2012, many fans were no doubt left confused - not to mention more than a little sad - when it was confirmed that the season 9 Endeavour ending would also be the show’s final outing. This episode, appropriately titled Exeunt, brought Endeavour Morse and Fred Thursday’s days working together to a heart-wrenching close. However, it might be some small comfort to long-time viewers that Endeavour wasn’t canceled at all and the choice to end after season 9 was instead a deliberate decision by the show’s creator, and the regular cast members were made aware of it. 

Why did Endeavour end and why isn’t there a season 10? 

Given the classic crime drama’s popularity over its 11-year run some fans might be surprised to learn that the decision to have Endeavour end at season 9 was made by Russell Lewis, the creator. He apparently wanted to ensure the hit Inspector Morse prequel “went out on a high” at the height of its popularity rather than continuing and losing the magic that made it so beloved by viewers. 

Of course, the fact that it was an Inspector Morse prequel also meant there was a point in the future where, if they continued, Endeavour and Inspector Morse would meet timeline-wise.

SHAUN EVANS as Endeavour and ROGER ALLAM as Fred Thursday.


Opening up to RadioTimes.com, the show’s executive producer Damien Timmer suggested that Russell had always kept in mind the endpoint that he wanted for Endeavour Morse and Fred Thursday in the prequel.

"From the first Endeavour pilot, Russell has known exactly where he wanted to end the saga of Endeavour Morse and Fred Thursday. We put off this awful day for as long as we possibly could, but there was a point a few years ago where we agreed as a creative team that it was time to prepare for the final end, and go out on a high!” he declared.

Damien went on to praise the support of ITV which aired Endeavour in the UK, saying, “ITV has been the most generous and supportive partners and were very respectful of the team's decision to make this the final series. We have now made more Endeavour films than there were Inspector Morse stories.”

SHAUN EVANS as Endeavour


Meanwhile, Shaun Evans who played the young DS Endeavour Morse in Endeavour discussed the amount of consideration that went into how the Endeavour end would play out.

“You can’t please all of the people all of the time,” he explained. “What we wanted to do was to end Endeavour in a way that was fitting to all of the enormous work we had put into it over the last 10 years and also to all of the huge support we have had every year from the audience.” 

The Endeavour end was made all the more emotional as the show had to deliver a believable reason why DCI Thursday, his wife Win, son Sam and daughter Joan would never be mentioned or seen by DS Morse again. The Thursdays weren’t in either Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse books or the TV show so their farewell had to be final and very emotional.

ROGER ALLAM as Fred Thursday


Ultimately, it seems that Russell Lewis’ decision to have Endeavour end when it felt right and the show was still very popular is the reason that there won’t be a season 10. Although it would technically be possible that Russell could decide to come back with more Endeavour episodes this is highly unlikely given the beautiful and poignant way season 9 rounded off everything. 

Fans who aren’t quite ready to say goodbye to Morse and Thursday forever can re-watch all their investigations together on ITVX in the UK and via Amazon Prime and PBS in the US. UK-based viewers can also enjoy the original Inspector Morse series and the Lewis sequel focused on Morse’s former DS Robbie Lewis via ITVX. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!