Foyle’s War is a British detective drama television series set during (and shortly after) the Second World War, created by Midsomer Murders screenwriter and author Anthony Horowitz and commissioned by ITV after the long-running series Inspector Morse ended in 2000.
It began broadcasting on ITV in October 2002. ITV director of programmes Simon Shaps cancelled Foyle’s War in 2007, but complaints and public demand prompted Peter Fincham (Shaps’ replacement) to revive the programme after good ratings for 2008’s fifth series. The final episode was broadcast on 18 January 2015, after eight series.
The series begins in May 1940, a time when local German aliens are being interned, the bombing of England has commenced, and anti-German feelings are running high. Meanwhile, Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle’s request for a service transfer is again denied, and he returns to local police work in Hastings, on the southeast coast of England. Since he does not have a driving licence, he is assigned a driver by the name of Sam Stewart – who, to his surprise, turns out to be a young woman from the Mechanised Transport Corps. Investigating the vicious murder by near-decapitation of the local magistrate’s wife, who is, in fact, a Sudeten German, Foyle finds corruption (specifically a scheme to keep eligible men from being drafted into military service) and other forms of collusion taking place. Much of the case centres on a local pub, and the case ends with an arrest of a cryptographer at the Admiralty who had developed a relationship with the dead woman. During this time Foyle also often visits Paul Milner, a former policeman whose lower left leg was amputated while serving in the army, and finally encourages him to become his assistant.
- Set: May 1940.
- Guests: Robert Hardy, Rosamund Pike, Benedict Sandiford, Edward Fox, David Horovitch, Joanna Kanska, Andrew Powell, Paul Putner, Tom Chadbon, Neil Conrich, Sam Troughton, James McAvoy, Philip Whitchurch, and Dominic Mafham.
- William is played by Cassian Horowitz, the son of series creator Anthony Horowitz.
- Sergeant Milner is revealed to be a survivor of the British Expeditionary Force’s (BEF’s) expedition to Northern Norway and the Battles of Trondheim and Narvik.
- The episode is set very shortly after the German invasion of Norway and Denmark.
- Squerryes Court, Westerham, Kent is used as the grand home of estate owner Henry Beaumont (Robert Hardy) and his family.
- Filmed: Summer 2001.
Foyle’s War Series
You can find a full index and overview of Foyle’s War here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 27 October 2002.
- Running time: 99 minutes.
- Rating: 15.
- Country: UK.
- Language: English.