By Colin Roberson
Friday 29th April 2011
ITV is making a prequel to the long-running series which ended 11 years ago with the death of the grumpy tec, played by the late John Thaw.
Writer Colin Dexter, 80, who dreamed up the Oxford cop for a series of novels, is an adviser for the new one-off drama.
It will focus on the young Endeavour Morse as he earns his stripes with Thames Valley Police. It is also likely to chart real ale and opera-loving Morse's stint at Oxford University and his time in the Army.
A show source said: "There is a whole rich seam of potential stories about Morse's personal life that we can mine.
"Colin Dexter did not give away huge amounts about Morse's past, preferring to make him an enigmatic character.
"He didn't even let readers know his first name until late in the 12 novels he wrote about him. Colin is advising and naturally has many ideas about what should be said about Morse - or what should not be given away."
ITV has yet to start casting the title role but a production team is being assembled. The show is earmarked for screening next year as a special to mark the 25th anniversary of the first Morse episode shown in 1987.
If it goes well there is expected to be a series. It could mean the end of the current spin-off Lewis, based around Jaguar-driving Morse's sidekick, played by Kevin Whately.
Inspector Morse ran for 33 episodes over 13 years. Nearly 14million viewers tuned in for the final episode The Remorseful Day in 2000 when Morse died of a heart attack in hospital.