“Thursday and Morse’s relationship is going through some changes, and that carries on throughout this series,” says Roger Allam, in his characteristically understated manner.

He is talking of course about the new series seven, kicking off next Sunday. So what’s gone wrong? “Thursday is suffering from empty nest syndrome, he didn’t have the best year and his wife walked out. It wasn’t great, but Win has come back and he’s had to keep on working after a loan he made to his brother remains unpaid.”

“Coming from London’s East End, and having gone through the war with some of the most terrible violence, on a horrific scale, that feeling of anger is readily available to him”

He also chose the wrong path in the last series, taking up with the thugs and accepting extortion money. How does Roger feel about DI Thursday’s new dark side?

“I’m not condoning it, but I think it’s due to the continual level of violence he is subjected to doing that job and that he witnessed during the war as a younger man.

“Coming from London’s East End, and having gone through the war with some of the most terrible violence on a horrific scale, that feeling of anger is readily available to him,” Allam explains.

“It’s the life he has been through, but I think things are a bit better in this new series. Fred is content at home, Wynn is back, he has the ground under his feet. But I think it must become tiring and he gets more despairing that murder just goes on and on as well as the violence of people.”

READ OUR FULL INTERVIEW WITH SHAUN EVANS HERE: https://www.oxinabox.co.uk/shaun-evans-talks-to-us-about-the-new-series-of-endeavour-directing-the-first-episode-falling-out-with-thursday-and-morses-terrible-taste-in-women/

Being able to expand on Thursday’s character, and delve into his make up, must be quite liberating? “That’s the great thing about these three episodes, that you see various aspects of the lives of the characters trying to solve the crimes.

“Not just them dealing with the process of murder but the ordinary side of their lives as well, that’s what makes them more attractive. And it means, as an actor, you get to play a more rounded character, which in turn makes things more interesting.

Allam is also excited about the period of the seventh series, the 70s. “There is a real feeling of how the world has changed over the years in this. It’s more poppie, jaunty and upbeat.

“I was at school in the 1970s. Everyone thinks the 60s and 70s were so much fun and that everything was always great but there was a huge nuclear war threat, Vietnam, there was plenty going on. Yes the music changed but there was an oil crisis, a three day week and the Heath government…….

And a murder that remains unsolved at the end of the first episode, which Allam says is significant.

“I love the fact that each film (episode) is a thriller with lots of pieces of the puzzle to solve.

Each film took 23 days to shoot. But less takes place in Oxford itself than you’d imagine.

“Practically, Oxford is very difficult to shoot in, especially in the summer, and because Endeavour is a period show that makes a massive difference, but we get to Oxford when we can because the audience needs to see it’s dreaming spires.

And how did Roger Allam feel about being directed by his literal partner-in-crime Shaun Evans in the first episode? “He is absolutely great and seems to move from in-front of the camera to behind the camera, with great ease.

“He has the same discipline as an actor as he does as a director and does both with great grace and encouragement. And yet it’s a hard task. Luckily, Shaun knows the characters, and the comings and goings, which helps.”

As for Roger Allam himself, I know he is definitely a family man, and tries to spend as much time at home with his wife and two children as possible.

“I try not to be away from home too much. And while Endeavour is hard work, I’m rarely away for long. So I always try to leave a gap between jobs.”

Interviews with Anton Lesser (Chief Superintendent Bright) and Abigail Thaw (Dorothea Frazil, Editor, Oxford Mail newspaper and John Thaw’s daughter) to follow.

Endeavour Series 7 is now confirmed to start on Sunday 9 February at 8pm on ITV.