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 young secretary, originally from Hastings, falls to her death from the high-rise London headquarters of a food manufacturing company. Soon afterwards an unreported and apparently unrelated burglary of the country house belonging to Sir Reginald Walker, the company’s owner, draws Foyle’s attention, particularly since Harry Markham, the prime suspect and member of the Home Guard, is shot and killed during “war games” on the Sussex Downs, where Foyle is acting as referee. The situation is complicated by the return of a corrupt former police colleague, Jack Devlin, and the involvement of a barrister friend of Foyle’s, Stephen Beck (a German who fled to Britain in 1935, now secretly working for British intelligence), who had both met Markham only days before his death, and who also knew the dead secretary. Using evidence unknowingly taken by local children as salvage, Foyle confronts Walker and his son, Simon, uncovering their illicit connections with the Nazis and the younger Walker’s hand in the two murders.
- Set: October 1940.
- Guests: Alan Howard, Emily Blunt, Christopher Benjamin, Ian Redford, Tim Preece, and Laurence Fox.
- This episode marks the temporary return (prior to reassignment to North Africa with the 7th Armoured Division) of Foyle’s former police sergeant, now British Army captain, Jack Devlin, who left with the BEF for France and was wounded by shrapnel there, and it provides details of how Devlin was involved in planting evidence and perverting the course of justice in the Markham case six months earlier. Throughout the episode, Foyle is confronted with moral dilemmas and legal compromises made for the sake of the war. It also marks the first appearance of Hilda Pierce, played by Ellie Haddington, who later appears in the episodes “The French Drop” and “All Clear“, before becoming a lead character in series 7 and 8.
- This episode introduces children competing to win minor salvaging competitions, particularly with aluminium, glass and used paper. It also deals with the phenomena of the looting of Jewish treasures and the continued collaboration of British companies with the Germans in the guise of war profiteering contrary to the Trading with the Enemy Act 1939.
- Series 2 was broadcast in the United States on PBS on Mystery!, on 18 and 25 July, and 01 and 08 August 2004, as Foyle’s War II, and on Netflix as of April 2014.
Foyle’s War Series
You can find a full index and overview of Foyle’s War here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 30 November 2003.
- Running time: 99 minutes.
- Rating: 15.
- Country: UK.
- Language: English.