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.
A conscientious objector, David Beale, loses his tribunal appeal and is later found dead in his cell. At the house of Lawrence Gascoigne, the judge who sentenced him, Joe Cooper, an observant 11-year-old boy, who was evacuated from London is struggling to cope with his new surroundings, is killed by a hand-grenade booby-trap in the summerhouse. Foyle’s investigation reveals a relationship between the judge’s daughter, Susan, and a local worker, Peter Buckingham. He also becomes suspicious of the actual purpose of the mysterious factory at which Buckingham works. Later, while guarding the house, Milner is caught in an apparently compromising position with Susan and is asked to leave. Shortly thereafter, the judge is found shot dead inside a room with locked windows, and Foyle’s investigations centre on the gun used, and finally on his wife, Emily, who was appalled by her husband’s treatment of Joe.
- Set: June 1940.
- Guests: Allan Corduner, Oliver Ford Davies, Danny Dyer, Ian Puleston-Davies, Sophia Myles, David Tennant, Cheryl Campbell, John Shrapnel, Tony Maudsley, Mali Harries, Nicholas Audsley, Madeleine Worrall, Gregg Prentice, and Elliot Cowan.
- Milner is seen limping and uses one walking stick; it appears he is becoming accustomed to his false leg. However, his wife, Jane, continues to be upset by it. She leaves him, saying she is going to stay with her sister Kate in Wales. The episode reveals Foyle’s long-standing friendship with Carlo Lucciano, the restaurant owner, which dates back to when Foyle was married. Foyle mentions that his son Andrew is undergoing pilot training with the RAF in Scotland. Tony Lucciano asks Stewart to be “his girl” and write to him while he is serving. She appears reluctant but finally agrees. There is no reference to Tony after this episode. The boy Joe (Greg Prentice) and his father Eric (Ian Puleston-Davies) are identified by the surname “Pearson” during the episode, but are credited as “Cooper”.
- The plot centres on an 11-year-old boy who was evacuated from London. In the months leading up to the war, 1.5 million people were moved: 827,000 children of school age; 524,000 mothers and young children (under five); 13,000 pregnant women; 7,000 disabled persons; and over 103,000 teachers and other “helpers”. However, as a coastal town, Hastings was preparing for invasion, and in June 1940, vulnerable civilians were evacuated from southern and eastern coastal areas of Britain. At the end of the episode, it is heard that Italy has declared war on Britain and France, which occurred on 10 June 1940. Horsted Keynes railway station on the historic Bluebell Railway doubled for Hastings railway station.
- Filmed: May and June 2002.
Foyle’s War Series
You can find a full index and overview of Foyle’s War here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 10 November 2002.
- Running time: 97 minutes.
- Rating: 15.
- Country: UK.
- Language: English.