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 RAF requisitions Digby Manor as a burns medical unit led by surgeon Patrick Jamieson and Dr. Brian Wrenn. Group Captain Lawrence Smythe disapproves of Jamieson’s unconventional yet effective methods. The owner, Sir Michael Waterford, and his housekeeper, Mrs. Roecastle, are troubled at the eviction but comply. Numerous acts of sabotage then occur at the manor, and investigations reveal it to be work of the housekeeper, upset at the requisition. Meanwhile, Peter Preston, the new ARP warden informs Wrenn of his wife’s affair. Andrew Foyle is relieved when his friend Greville Woods is sent on a night reconnaissance mission instead of him. The mission ends after Woods crashes and suffers serious burns, and Andrew goes AWOL in Stewart’s flat, suffering from severe exhaustion. Gordon Drake, the central figure in the story, being somehow connected to everyone, is murdered. Foyle and Milner are able to determine that even though Wrenn initially assaulted him, it was Preston, his brother-in-law, who killed him over his harsh treatment of his sister.
- Series 3 was broadcast in the United States on PBS on Mystery!, on 11, 18, and 25 September, and 02 October 2005 as Foyle’s War III, and on Netflix as of April 2014.
- Set: February 1941.
- Guests: Bill Paterson, Peter Blythe, Simon Woods, Jonathan Slinger, Alexandra Moen, Shaun Dooley, John Wood, Richard Huw, and Martin Turner.
- Foyle is shown visiting the grave of his wife on the ninth anniversary of her death. The tombstone reads: “Rosalind Foyle, June 1902-February 1932, RIP”. Wrenn was the surgeon who had amputated Milner’s leg. Andrew Foyle receives a promotion to flight lieutenant, and is transferred to a training position by Wing Commander Turner, who understands the service he has already performed.
- The hospital and its patients are broadly based on the work of Archibald McIndoe and his “guinea pigs”. Waterford’s story of battle-fatigue and self-injury 25 years ago parallels that of Woods’ injuries and Andrew Foyle’s stress in this war. Andrew Foyle’s transfer to a training position at an Operational Training Unit (OTU) is slightly inaccurate. 605 Squadron was a front line unit February 1941 and RAF Debden did not have an OTU until March 1941 when No. 52 OTU formed to train fighter pilots using the Hawker Hurricane, so it would be unlikely for him to fly a Spitfire to a unit with Hurricanes. The scenes at the ‘factory’ where Ann Preston worked, were filmed at IWM Duxford’s Hangar 3, featuring The Old Flying Machine Company’s Spitfire from Series 1.
Foyle’s War Series
You can find a full index and overview of Foyle’s War here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 31 October 2004.
- Running time: 93 minutes.
- Rating: 15.
- Country: UK.
- Language: English.