By David Hennessy
With Endeavour, the Inspector Morse prequel, currently showing on ITV, The Irish World caught up with its Edinburgh born Irish director, Colm McCarthy and found him at work on another high profile detective show as Colm is at the helm of an episode of the third series of Sherlock.
Son of Cork playwright, Sean McCarthy who worked at the Abbey Theatre and wrote several episodes of Glenroe during a long and illustrious career, Colm has been acclaimed for his body of work which includes Hustle, Spooks and Murphys’ Law. Colm has done much work in Ireland, also taking charge of The Tudors, Single-Handed and more recently, Ripper Street. He also recently directed the Doctor Who Easter special in what is a special year with Doctor Who marking its 50th birthday.
Calling the shots for the very first one-off instalment of Endeavour which aired last year, Colm is pleased with all its subsequent success: “Absolutely delighted that first and foremost it got such a positive response with not just fans of Morse tuning into it but also a new audience coming to the show as well and liking it for itself which was really pleasing and then when they commissioned it, I was very happy particularly for Russell Lewis, the writer, who’s a great guy.”
Was Colm a fan of Morse himself? “Do you know what? I wasn’t really. I was probably a bit young and I spent most of my childhood in Ireland and the rest in Scotland and I don’t think the show was as big there as it was in England. But I knew the reputation of it and coming up as a director, I was very aware of it as being the starting place of Anthony Minghella, Danny Boyle and John Madden and all these film makers who I admired.”
Colm directs one episode of the current run. Was it important for he and the other directors to get on the same wavelength regarding style? “No, the strongest single thing Dan McCulloch, the producer, brought to it was a sense that they should all be unique films. Right from what we did with the pilot, it’s the genesis story, and I remember him saying to me that what excited him was the idea of Chris Nolan going back and doing the origins of Batman: ‘What would Chris Nolan do with Morse?’ I remember him saying that to me. I thought that was very exciting. Similarly, he wanted each film to have its own big filmic vision.”
For the full interview, see the April 27 edition of The Irish World