The so called ‘permissive society’ comes under the spotlight as Endeavour is tasked with protecting conservative social activist, Joy Pettybon, after she receives a death threat while visiting Oxford to promote her ‘Keep Britain Decent’ campaign. Also staying near Oxford and recording their new album are a band called The Wildwood and their manager Ralph Spender, who is desperate to maintain their squeaky-clean image in the media spotlight. However, their harmony is disrupted when the body of local brickie, Barry Finch, is discovered in the middle of Oxford and it transpires that Finch was working at Maplewick Hall, where they band are staying, before he died. Delving into the social revolution of the time, Endeavour finds himself caught in the crossfire of bitter liberalising forces and deep reactionary conservatism both fighting for the consciences of the British people in 1967. And in this collision of two worlds, Endeavour must explore all avenues before more killings occur.
The ‘white heat’ of technology takes centre stage in the first film, as Lovelace College is taken over by a team of research scientists who are developing a ‘thinking’ machine to equal and even outstrip the capabilities of man’s own mind. As a Russian academic prepares to do battle with the Joint Computing Nexus (JCN or Jason for short) in a game of chess, the Cold War is played out on a chequered field and Endeavour and Thursday are plunged into their most perilous, baffling and darkly terrifying case to date. Throwing himself into his work to mask the heartache of Joan’s departure, Endeavour is quickly consumed by his duties when one of the research team is found drowned near Magdalen Bridge. Assuming it to be a suicide on first inspection, the circumstances become more suspicious when two more victims are also found drowned nearby in East Cowley Baths. Is there more to the deaths than meets the eye?