Endeavour viewers heartbroken as final series begins

Endeavour is airing its final series. (ITV)
Endeavour is airing its final series. (ITV)

Endeavour fans have been sharing their heartbreak that the Morse prequel series has begun its final season - with a particularly emotional scene for its star.

ITV1 debuted the ninth and final season of Endeavour on Sunday, the period detective drama that follows the early career of Morse before his well-known later story.

Read more: Why is Endeavour ending?

It stars Shaun Evans as Morse and Roger Allam as his colleague Fred Thursday, who does not feature in the later stories which the show's stars have said will be explained by the finale.

Viewers could not believe the beloved show was ending as one tweeted: "Am I the only one who thinks that #Endeavour should continue after this series?"

Endeavour will bow out after nine series. (ITV)
Endeavour will bow out after nine series. (ITV)

Someone else agreed: "Can’t help thinking there is going to be a window for a new middle years series to take us from 1972 to 1987 ?? We fans should write it, if no one else will! Forgive me, I’m already grieving, I think."

One fan wrote: "I adored John Thaw's #Morse. Now, I have the same level of affection for #Endeavour. The subtle, nuanced emotions Shaun Evans and @All_Allam portray with a single look is a breathtaking masterclass in acting. I'm not ready to say goodbye. Not even a little bit."

Read more: Roger Allam teases a death in Endeavour finale

Another person added: "Totally not ready for it to be the final series. Already had a lump in my throat as it started and this scene....! Heartbreaking. Amazing acting. Intrigued by all the mentions of old storylines coming together too. Brilliant episode."

One scene that particularly moved viewers was Morse finding out that his colleague Jim Strange (Sean Rigby) is marrying his former flame and Fred's daughter, Joan Thursday (Sara Vickers).

It prompted one viewer to tweet: "Shaun Evans deserves every award for his portrayal of Morse anyway but that scene after he's been asked to be best man? Heartbreaking and so well delivered!"

Someone else added: "Everyone's heart broke just a little bit there @ that Joan + Endeavour scene? No, just me then?!"

Another person wrote: "I don't think my heart can cope with this for the next two weeks. An astonishing return to form."

Endeavour is based on Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse novels, which were previously adapted for TV starring John Thaw as an older Morse.

There are three episodes in the final series of Endeavour, which continues on Sundays at 8pm on ITV1.