Tag Archives: Matthew Slater Composer

THE ENDEAVOUR INTERVIEWS 2019: Matthew Slater

For me, as an aficionado of Horror and German Expressionist Cinema, I know that some of the most potent screen images come from those early silent films such as Cesare abducting and dragging his prey across the oblique cityscape in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), the shadow of Count Orlok slowly ascending the staircase in Nosferatu (1922) and the thrillingly iconic creation of Maria in Metropolis (1927). These films, along with many others directed by cinematic pioneers like FW Murnau and Fritz Lang, inspired and influenced the Hollywood Horror Film and paved the way for the Universal Monster Cycle of the thirties and forties among other masterpieces of the genre.

And yet, when Universal first resurrected a host of classic gothic literary monsters for the sound era, they were reluctant to fully embrace the transition from silent film to talkies and the art of the music score. Many films frequently had music over the opening and closing title cards but anything more was usually restricted to diegetic (source) music such as if a character was at a concert, playing a record or listening to the radio. Indeed, their defining productions of Dracula and Frankenstein (both 1931) scream out for a full orchestral soundtrack. However, when James Whale was persuaded to direct a sequel, The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), this time the monster demanded a music score and it remains one of the greatest examples of the art of scoring a horror picture ever composed.

Given my affection for classic monster movies and their music, I was most intrigued to hear that the second episode of series five of Endeavour would feature a Mummy! I’d already met and later interviewed composer Matthew Slater and so I was obviously aware of the virtuoso and genius inventiveness that has immeasurably enhanced the mystery, the thrills and the romance of Endeavour. But how would Matt approach scoring an episode about an aged horror icon visiting Oxford to promote his latest cinematic tale of terror? I’m very pleased to have the opportunity of interviewing Matt again to talk about the making of CARTOUCHE and the horror film scores that have inspired him…

The monster demands a mate! And a music score…

The monster demands a music score!
– An exclusive interview with composer Matthew Slater

Interview copyright © Damian Michael Barcroft 2019

Header image © Anne Miller

Black and white photography © Geraint Morgan Photography

DAMIAN: Matt, I’m thinking back to the first truly great and influential Horror/Fantasy film scores and two obvious examples immediately spring to mind that I’d like to discuss, Max Steiner’s King Kong (1933) and Franz Waxman’s The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), unless you can think of anything that predates these?

MATT: Considering that just a little bit before those dates we were still in the land of silent movies, I think you’re probably right.  I’m sure there were some fantastic scores improvised by the musicians playing along at the time, but yes, I’d agree with you over Steiner and Waxman being the big boys.  Or, in films like Dracula in 1931, no bespoke score was recorded, and classics were used instead, which could also bring equal power and emotion to a movie. A concept not foreign to Kubrick.

DAMIAN: Let’s deal with Max Steiner first who, I think, composed over a hundred and fifty scores including music for Gone With the Wind (1939) Casablanca (1942), The Big Sleep (1946), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) and The Searchers (1956) to name but a few. However, would you say that it was King Kong that established him as one of early Hollywood’s most important composers?

MATT:  I think King Kong certainly had a significant impact on Steiner’s career by its sheer Wagnerian size, much like Kong’s stature in fact.  His use of themes and leitmotifs which have become commonplace these days would also play an extensive part in the success of the film. Bernard Hermann and Eric Korngold were also around at the same time and writing some fantastic scores.  The list could go on, but depends on whether we’re just talking about the horror and fantasy genres at that time.

DAMIAN: As a composer, can you explain the impact that the score had on audiences back then and why it continues to be so influential today in terms of elevating the status and respectability of the monster and fantasy genres?

MATT: If I knew that, I’d be John Williams!!  I think therein lies the answer though.  It’s not always the tune that bears the most importance in a film, its what it is designed to accompany on screen and how to emote the audience at that point.  That’s the genius of people like Rozsa, Steiner, Waxman, Hermann, Goldsmith and Williams. Matching the tune to that moment in time.

DAMIAN: Can you highlight some its defining musical features so that a layman such as myself without any musical knowledge or training can go back to the score and understand its monumental achievements?

MATT: Simply put, it’s the operatic feel, nature and enormity of the score which often gets that Wagnerian label.   A nod to Tristan und Isolde probably goes a little way to help that association with Steiner’s King Kong. Perhaps his use of unconventional harmony might also go to make that bond between the two composers.  Again, it’s not necessarily the notes or harmony themselves that particularly define a composer but more their application and placement in film, opera or ballet. Hermann’s Cape Fear and those descending intervals for instance. Inseparable. John William’s three-note Jaws motif, inexorably linked to the fish with the big teeth.

DAMIAN: And Franz Waxman, another prolific and groundbreaking Hollywood composer with credits such as Rebecca, The Philadelphia Story (both 1940), Suspicion (1941), Sunset Boulevard (1950), and Rear Window (1954), to what extent did he advance the parameters for the potential of horror film music even further than Steiner with his sophisticated and multifaceted score for Bride?

MATT:  I think all composers draw upon each other for the development of their respective genres, it’s almost impossible not to.  Much like score styles go in and out of fashion all the time. Look at the recent moves we’ve had towards scores become a more sound design element to films rather than having distinctive musical context and harmonic structure.  I’m not saying they are lesser scores by any means at all, just a fashion, as were electronic scores in the 70’s and 80’s. Even orchestral scores have gone in and out of appeal over the life of cinema and TV. I think the question might require a somewhat lengthy essay on the matter, so I’ll thin it down a little if you don’t object.

When it comes to comedy and horror the music plays an enormously important role.  Take the score away and see how well defined those moments become. As I’ve mentioned before, for me, it’s the application of the music rather than the specifics of thematic, harmonic and textual content.  As important as those facets are, the genius is also in the placement.

DAMIAN: Personally, I’d go as far as to say that the music to the final scenes with the creation of the Bride, with the constant thumping heartbeat-like repetition and the chimes evoking wedding bells, is the single most thrilling and exhilarating moment in the history of horror scores. Again, can you highlight some of the tricks the composer uses here to create both the horror and pathos of the scene?

MATT:  Waxman’s use of low ostinati, low woods, timpani and brass give that feeling of doom and impending horror giving way to the full slush and pathos of high string chord portomenti patterns.  Tubular bells and harp give that bridal feel all within those moments after “she’s alive!!”. A hint of Wagner’s Bridal Chorus perhaps in some perverse way?

DAMIAN: I don’t know if anyone else has ever thought of this but Frankenstein’s monster meets the blind man who is playing Schubert’s Ave Maria, do you think given James Whale’s celebrated dark sense of humour, that this was a joke because the little girl drowned by the monster in the first Frankenstein was called Maria?

MATT: I’ll pop along to my next local pub quiz, put that on the list of questions and get back to you.

DAMIAN: Endeavour’s ears may well be pricking up right about now because both the music of Steiner and Waxman have elements of Wagner as you’ve mentioned which might also be viewed as an extension of the German Romantic tradition and also the fact that so much opera has embraced elements of the supernatural such as scenes incorporating gods, monsters and magic. To what extent do you think operatic terms like Ombra and Sturm und Drang can be applied to the scores for Kong and Bride?

MATT: Take the picture away from Kong and Bride, add a few lyrics, a stage, singers – arguably not then operas and therefore applicable?  Joking aside, I think you’re probably right; they could well apply. Demons and misunderstood creatures feature in score in terms of horror, pathos and misconstrued perceptions.

DAMIAN: In addition to Kong and Bride, I’ve come up with a list of what I consider to be some of the greatest or influential music scores in either the horror, thriller or monster film genre: Dracula (1958, James Bernard), Vertigo (1958, Bernard Herrmann), Psycho (1960, Herrmann), Cape Fear (1962, Herrmann), Jaws (1975, John Williams), The Omen (1976, Jerry Goldsmith), The Silence of the Lambs (1991, Howard Shore) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992, Wojciech Kilar). What would you add to this list?

MATT: You’ve left me some thinking to do as we have a very similar list – although with my last choice it’s a combo between score and use of songs that works so well.  The Thing (1982, John Carpenter), Clash Of The Titans (1981, Laurence Rosenthal), Alien (1979, Jerry Goldsmith), Arrival (2016, Johann Johannsson), Poltergeist (1982, Jerry Goldsmith),  Presumed Innocent (1990, John Williams) and Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 (2017, Michael Giacchino).

DAMIAN: I suppose after the Universal Horror Cycle, the other most significant series of classic monster reinventions arrived on the screen courtesy of Hammer and although they employed various other great composers such as Tristram Cary, Don Ellis, Christopher Gunning, Laurie Johnson, Carlo Martelli, Mario Nascimbene, Franz Reizenstein, Harry Robinson, David Whitaker and Malcolm Williamson, to what extent do you think James Bernard was responsible for the sound we now associate with the studio and did you watch or listen to the soundtracks of any of their Mummy series as research for CARTOUCHE?

MATT:  Subconsciously, who knows.  But no, I didn’t listen to anything before scoring CARTOUCHE.

DAMIAN: I think your music for Endeavour far exceeds the expectations of any recent television drama series, but I was completely blown away by the music for CARTOUCHE – especially the ‘March of the Mummy’ theme. It was simply stunning and completely indistinguishable from a big-budget Hollywood score. Tell me about some of your first ideas in response to Russ’ script, the retro sound, the orchestration and choice of instruments… Matt, just bloody tell me everything please?

MATT:  Thank you so much!   There was so very little time to score those moments as I initially thought we were going to clear something original for use.  I think I wrote those moments the day before the recording session. I’ve always been a big believer of putting the music budget on the screen, so since I’ve been scoring Endeavour, we’re using the size of the orchestra not uncommon in feature films.   Mammoth Screen’s excellent appreciation of the importance of music in Endeavour has been a significant factor in what we can now achieve. Russ’ characters always seem to conjure their themes almost instantly. The strength of screenwriting helps enormously with music.

DAMIAN: Was there a guide music score for this film?

MATT: Some, but with the more recent films we’ve been using far less guide music than ever before which allows for a much broader scope of music context, remit and creativity.

DAMIAN: I know Russ is obviously a huge enthusiast but was the director, Andy Wilson, also a fan of the horror genre and can you tell us a little bit about working with him during the spotting session?

MATT:  You’d have to ask Andy about that; however, he was an excellent director with which to collaborate.  Allowing me to do what I needed to do, told me what he liked and didn’t, I revised then we achieved completion — all in a matter of hours at the review process in my studio.    A joy.

DAMIAN: During our first interview, we discussed the influence of working with Barrington for over twenty years and the extent to which you balance honouring and respecting the musical heritage of Morse, Lewis and Endeavour, while also enjoying the freedom to creatively pursue your own or new styles and tastes. Do you agree, particularly with series six, that you seem to be increasingly experimental (APOLLO is perhaps a good example of this?) in extending this soundscape while still remaining consistent with music universe of Endeavour?

MATT:  The path of now scoring the majority of Endeavour has been laden with many challenges.  I’d rather not go into details over the whys and wherefores. However, what I will say is that I’ve slowly been able to make Endeavour more my style while still hopefully keeping the viewers feeling like they aren’t suddenly watching a complete different series; but we have moved on and are developing the sound of Endeavour while still nodding to the Oxford history.

Absolutely.  Endeavour is a robust set of stories and characters and constantly evolving plots. Score wise we need to reflect that; otherwise, the music becomes static. What I try to do is add a score personality to each episode, so if you heard the score in isolation, you could probably guess the film from which it came. Thank you for noticing!

DAMIAN: You also told me that working on each film presents its own excitement and challenges as every film is so different in terms of the musical demands. Which film of series six have you found to be the most challenging or demanding this year?

MATT: Having far less guide score this year has made the whole process more comfortable and more creative.   I’m very fortunate to be trusted to that extent, and it’s a huge honour to work with Damien, Deanne, Russ, Helen, Shaun in his capacity as director, Johnny and Jamie plus and all the cast and crew.  It’s a dream to be part of such a family. I have to mention Abbey Road, Air Studios, The London Metropolitan Orchestra, Accorder/Peer, Paul Golding and everyone that’s part of making the music work.  It’s a massive team effort.

DAMIAN: Finally, as I think I’ve mentioned to you before, I own all the Morse albums that have ever been released in addition to the ones for Lewis and Endeavour but I’ve played these in rotation every time I start work on new interviews with the cast and crew which I began in 2013 – I need something new! I’m sure like myself, there are many fans who would like to buy the COMPLETE scores from EVERY series of Endeavour. What are the chances of this, or at least a highlights album, actually happening?

MATT:  I’m always overwhelmed about people asking for the music, and it’s something I’d love to be able to provide.    We’ll do our best to make something happen. Watch this space.

DAMIAN: Matt, thank you very much indeed.

MATT:  It’s always a pleasure, thank you for such challenging questions!!!

THE ENDEAVOUR INTERVIEWS 2018: Russell Lewis Part II

Will the reader please cast their eye over the following lines, and see if they can discover anything harmful in them?

EXT. OXFORD COLLEGE. QUAD – DAY
The topless towers of Oxonium. Not a cloud to spoil the view.
TILT DOWN to BIRD’S EYE VIEW – wet flagstones… rain.
Coloured umbrellas pass below. A song and dance number begins. An ‘Outside Broadcast’ for a ‘Light Entertainment Special’ featuring MIMI, a chanteuse. HUGE STYROFOAM LETTERS spell out her name. DANCERS in coloured RAIN GEAR splash their way around the quad as…
MIMI: Like summer tempests came my tears, love, when I learned you’d been untrue. But after rain must come a rainbow. So, until then here’s what I’ll do…

PUNCH, BROTHERS, PUNCH!

(or Les infortunes de la vertu)

An exclusive ENDEAVOUR interview

Composed and conducted by Damian Michael Barcroft

Lyrics by Russell Lewis

~~~

With thanks to Lorenz Milton Hart and Richard Charles Rogers

& Matthew Slater for the images of RAK Studios

~

DAMIAN: I remember the day well and, of course, that bloody song – talk about involuntary musical imagery! And good God, wasn’t it hot?

RUSS:  Extremely.  The dancers in their plastic macs, sou’westers and good quality rubber boots had my sympathy.  As did Sharlette – our wonderful vocalist.  But yes – perhaps our most blisteringly hot shooting day since we began in 2011.

DAMIAN: Aside from Tiger-gate, was opening an episode of Endeavour with a pop song and dance routine one of the most bold and surprising creative decisions thus far?

RUSS: Ha!  Always with the tiger.  It wasn’t for me.  Like Mister Walken – I’m a hoofer at heart. The sequence began as a salute to Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, and evolved from there.

DAMIAN: I’ve said this before but you’re a very modest fellow, often frustratingly so for the purposes of these interviews, but let us simply assume, for the benefit of this piece, that you are indeed a VERY accomplished and successful screenwriter. The songs you wrote for CANTICLE, particularly ‘Make Believe’, were extremely catchy and, if we didn’t know better, genuinely sounded like a popular hit from the period. So, at what point did you feel confident as a lyricist and discover these hidden musical talents?

RUSS: Well – like the man said, I’ve a lot to be modest about.  As a youth I used to weep in Rod Argent’s Keyboard Shop on Denmark Street.  The usual teenage thing – bands; song-writing; colour me Les McQueen.  That particular creative muscle hasn’t been exercised for a long time, but if one has any facility for that sort of thing – it’s a bit like riding a bike.  And, of course, I was very fortunate to have Matt Slater on hand to do the heavy lifting.

DAMIAN: Are you familiar with another song entitled ‘Make Beileve’ from Show Boat?

RUSS: I haven’t seen Show Boat for decades.  I landed on that for a title as it was a massive hidden clue and a pointer towards the dangerous delusion at the heart of the matter.

DAMIAN: Wouldn’t it have been a bit naff and possibly even embarrassing if the songs weren’t up to scratch, and if that had been the case, would you have had someone else rewrite the material or perhaps scrap it all together?

RUSS: Seeing as much of the story depended on a credible soundtrack, I can’t imagine we’d have scrapped it. We just had to apply ourselves.

DAMIAN: Matthew told me you wrote some sections of the song in the script but then he asked you to write more verses to help him complete the music which you both did in about thirty minutes? Thirty minutes! This can’t be true can it?

RUSS:  I think it was about that.  We were clearly dragging our feet that day.

DAMIAN: And is it really true that two actors during one of the playback scenes were trying to Google one of the songs to see who originally wrote it back in the sixties?

RUSS:  I did hear that this was the case.

DAMIAN: You visited the recording of the songs at RAK Studios, what was it like to hear your lyrics performed alongside a rhythm section, brass and strings?

RUSS: Enormous fun. Like Abbey Road, it’s a place with an incredible history.  So – hugely exciting. The place was packed.  Sharlette; the boys from The Wildwood; Shaun came down; Helen Ziegler [producer]; Michael Lennox, the Director.  And I was there with my son James.  All of us cluttering up the control room – getting under the feet of the engineers, &c.  It was a very special day.  And in the middle of all the madness was Matt Slater – keeping his head and getting on with business. It was a privilege to see him working, as always.  Whatever madness we’ve thrown at him over the last couple of series, he never fails to deliver all we’ve asked for, and always a great deal more besides.

©Matthew Slater

©Matthew Slater

©Matthew Slater

DAMIAN: Did you celebrate with Rum, Scotch and Coke?

RUSS: I would refer you to Endeavour’s opening line in First Bus to Woodstock.

DAMIAN: In addition to Tony Hancock and those bloody Carry On films, almost every set of our interviews contain some mention of The Beatles. Can you remember when they split up and were you one of those fans who retreated to their bedroom in tears?

RUSS: I would have been seven – so…  unlikely.

DAMIAN: And what about when Zayn left One Direction?

RUSS:  I’m still mourning Geri’s departure from the Spice Girls.

DAMIAN: Do you listen to much modern music and what was the last album you purchased?

RUSS: I listen to all sorts of things.  iTunes tells me my last purchase was a movie soundtrack that was in heavy rotation during the writing of MUSE.

DAMIAN: The first few films including First Bus to WoodstockGirl, Fugue and probably quite a few more since feature typewriters and very particular mention of typefaces (a Smith Corona Deluxe Electric typewriter and Elite Number 66 typeface in Canticle) is this yet another example of your curious fascinations?

RUSS: A writer’s pre-occupation.  I started on type-writers.  Rewrites were a particular treat. Change a word or a line – re-type the entire page.

DAMIAN: Again, and far too many to mention them all, there are lots of literary and cultural references but I’m especially intrigued by connections to The Wind in the Willows which feature in CANTICLE. Is Kenneth Grahame’s classic a particular favourite?

RUSS: Published only six years before all the old certainties were blown to hell by the Great War, there’s something about its prelapsarian idyll that seems to connect with the back to The Garden innocence of the flower-children.

And the tragic death of Alistair, a.k.a. ‘Mouse’, the Grahames’ only child, while up at Oxford, to whom The Wind in the Willows had first been told as a bedtime story, lends another layer of connection.  It doesn’t take much detective work to get from there to The Piper At the Gates of Dawn.

DAMIAN: And there’s some interesting narrative parallels with Cherubim and Seraphim from the original series isn’t there?

RUSS: Very much so.  I think Morse’s comment to Lewis about his never having taken recreational drugs still stands. Endeavour was poisoned with hallucinogens.  I draw a distinction.

DAMIAN: And finally before we move on from the references and nods, are you an avaricious consumer of the Marquis de Sade’s work?

RUSS: Essential bedtime reading.

DAMIAN: Let’s now talk about some of the characters. Given his dislike for hippies and Germans, the fact that he won’t even hug his own son in public as he leaves for the army and generally displays certain personality characteristics that are probably out of touch even in the sixties, isn’t it somewhat surprising to find that Thursday has such liberal views on recreational drugs and homosexuality?

RUSS: It didn’t strike me as particularly liberal.  He states that he smoked hash as a fact, and that it didn’t do much for him.  That’s hardly an endorsement.  He upholds the law that he’s obliged to uphold.  I think the war probably put a lot of things into perspective for him.  When you’ve looked death in the eye, you tend not to sweat over the small stuff.  Judge not.

DAMIAN: Thursday has a difference of opinion on homosexulaity in an unfilmed scene in which Strange says that ‘poofs’ are ‘not right’ and ‘neither use nor ornament’, to which Thursday replies ‘We had one in the platoon. North Africa. Harris. Bravest man I ever knew… Sniper [shot him at] Second El Alamein. I closed his eyes. Brave to the last. If he’d made it back to Civvy Street, I might’ve had cause to nick him. And that can’t be right. Comes down to it, we all bleed red’. Is it realistic that a soldier would have been openly gay during WW2 or is this something the chap simply told Thursday in confidence?

RUSS:  If you’ll forgive me – there’s a danger of overthinking this.  I can’t imagine it was a conversation that ever took place.  There’s nothing new about don’t ask, don’t tell.  It was an assumption made, I’m sure, based upon Harris’s demeanour – as right or wrong as that might seem to us now.  Had Thursday served with…  I don’t know…  our own Charles Highbank – the window dresser from Burridges, played by best beloved Adrian Schiller – it’s somewhat unlikely Thursday would have mistaken him for a raging heterosexual.  There’s really no more to it than that.  But I think the important thing here is that such experiences – living cheek by jowl with a man, sharing the same foxhole – would have made Thursday, and others, question the orthodoxy – and indeed the law – that invited – if not required – them to view such men with suspicion and contempt.

DAMIAN: Were Strange’s comments cut for fear the audience might find them offensive?

RUSS:  Never.  No – for length.

DAMIAN: Is there sometimes a certain danger that television is rewriting history and is it convincing that most of the main characters of period dramas happen to share the contemporary views of the people who write them?

RUSS: Which is why I had Strange express the views I did.  Had it made the cut, it would have given some of the more predictable period context to offset Thursday’s view.

DAMIAN: I’m not sure if you’re allowed to say but to what extent was Mrs. Pettybon based on Mary Whitehouse?

RUSS:  Mrs.Pettybon was a composite – much like The Wildwood.  The inspiration was Edna Welthorpe (Mrs) – Joe Orton’s alter-ego – guardian of public morals — created in the 50s long before Mrs.W came to public prominence.  What we were looking to present was a type, of which Mrs.Whitehouse was perhaps the most well known – but she was certainly not alone in her crusading.  It was an attitude one was holding up for inspection, rather than an individual. As I’ve possibly mentioned before, ‘67 saw the death of Orton, Brian Epstein and Joe Meek.  This, together with the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, as a result of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, was in my mind when I started developing the story.

The packaging of a certain kind of manufactured rock and roll band – the management keeping wives and girlfriends out of the picture, so as not to puncture the myth of their potential romantic availability to the young fandom, lest it affect record sales, &c, was also a building block.  The morality of that deceit seemed worth examining – just as much as the moral soapboxing of Mrs.Pettybon.

You know – we’re in the whodunit business, and the notion of a bigger, darker – at least for the period – secret, beyond that being presented on the surface, is key.

But the other big jumping off point was in thinking about whether it would be possible to murder someone without killing them.  If you change their personality, their cognitive abilities, irreversibly – say through spiking them with hallucinogens – it could be argued that the person they were beforehand has effectively been – for want of a better term – ‘murdered’.  The period certainly contained enough ‘acid casualties’ to make it something worth exploring.

DAMIAN: Were the OCD characteristics displayed by Mrs. Pettybon such as the extreme scrubbing of her hands a bit much and didn’t she run a slight risk of becoming something of religious caricature?

RUSS: Out, damned spot!  She did drive her husband to suicide – so she had something to be guilty about.  How does one depict someone who is a religious caricature? The point is that she wasn’t genuinely religious at all. The dissonance between her professed faith and her eagerness to cast the first stone seemed to me vast and obvious.  There was an exchange which we lost from the final cut between Mrs.P and the band’s manager after their appearance on Julian Calendar’s show.  It seemed to my mind to sum up what she was about.

MRS.PETTYBON: Is our car here?
ENDEAVOUR:
 Yes, yes, it’s, er… A taxi.
MRS.PETTYBON: What happened to the nice car that brought us?
RALPH: 
That’s showbusiness, Mrs.Pettybon.
MRS.PETTYBON: I’m not in showbusiness.
RALPH: 
Actually, dear, you are. Boys.
RALPH loads his charges into the TAXI.

She was a fame hungry charlatan who would turn up to the opening of an envelope.  That was the point.  The only appropriate response is ridicule and derision.

DAMIAN: Her daughter, Bettina, is yet another character who has something of a crush on Endeavour, what do you think makes him so attractive to women – especially those who might best be described as vulnerable or troubled?

RUSS:  That he looks remarkably like Shaun Evans possibly has something to do with it.

DAMIAN: Why were references to Bright’s spasms of pain deleted from this and the previous film, surely their inclusion would have made the events of the next film more dramatic and less out of the blue?

RUSS:  Length – again – very likely.  What can I tell you?

DAMIAN: There were two beautiful moments that appeared in the script but sadly didn’t make it on film as originally written: the first has Thursday hold the hallucinating Endeavour gently rocking him back and forth as he calls out ‘Fred?’, to which Thursday replies: ‘That’s right, son. That’s right. It’s Fred. You’re safe now. I’ve got you.’ I’m sure this would have elevated an already great scene to one of the most touching in the entire series so why cut it?

RUSS: On the day, that was the way it went on the floor.

DAMIAN: The second is the corned beef scene in the hospital at the end of the film which originally began with the following ‘ENDEAVOUR – a whiter shade of pale. Somewhere between this world and the next. An angel’s wings brush his cheek. A pair of soft lips find his own’ and Joan says off screen ‘Look after yourself, Morse.’ Again, this is beautiful so why lose it?

RUSS: As with the previous.  ‘Ask me no more…’

DAMIAN: So, while CANTICLE revealed your flair for lyrics, what can you tell us about CARTOUCHE and what new tricks or talents might you still have hidden up your sleeve?

RUSS:  Hmm.  I don’t know about new tricks.  Just an old dog’s selection of fire-sale novelties, gee-gaws and bagatelles from a well-travelled sample case of deceit and legerdemain.  Umm… What can I tell you about CARTOUCHE…  Tonight’s late-night double-feature examines – amongst other things — the fading grandeur of the local flea-pit.  Other aspects of the story were a sobering reminder that all too often the more things change, the more they stay the same.  So…  Two for the Circle.  And don’t forget your popcorn.

DAMIAN: Will there be any more singing and dancing in this series?

RUSS:  Some.

~

‘Why did I write this article? It was for a worthy, even a noble, purpose.  It was to warn you, reader, if you should came across those merciless rhymes, to avoid them—avoid them as you would a pestilence.
A Literary Nightmare by Mark Twain
~