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.
American engineers begin to arrive in Hastings, resulting in some tension from the locals. For David Barrett, owner of the farm at Hawthorn Cross, it becomes hostility due to a forced land requisition for an aerodrome. For Susan Davies, a local barmaid, the arrival represents an opportunity for adventure and freedom. Some six weeks later, an army friend of Milner’s, Will Grayson, returns home on leave but soon dies in a house fire after an apparent accident. Milner is shocked at the loss, and begins to investigate the possible causes. Captain Keiffer, commander of the Americans, invites Foyle to speak to his men about England and the English. Davies, now pregnant to an American GI, blackmails her boss Alan Carter into continuing to run a profitable yet illegal still on his property. However, she is soon found strangled to death at a dance held by the American soldiers. Suspicion initially turns to the American boyfriend, and then on Barrett, and then finally his nephew who was engaged to Davies. The arrest of Carter over the illegal still ends the investigation as Foyle realises it was he who killed Davies to stop her profiting from the toxic alcohol linked to the death of Grayson.
- It is the only series to be divided into two parts, one comprising two episodes screened in 2006, and the other comprising two screened in 2007. It was the last series of four episodes; later series had only three. It is set in the period from March 1942 to March 1943.
- The two episodes for Part 2 screened in Denmark on 05 and 12 September 2006, some months before their ITV debut. Part 1 was broadcast in the United States on PBS on Mystery! on 17 and 24 June 2007, and Part 2 on 01 and 08 July 2007, as Foyle’s War IV. The series was added to Netflix as of April 2014.
- Set: March 1942.
- Guests: Jay Benedict, Zoe Tapper, Philip Jackson, John McArdle, Andrew MacLachlan, Peter Jonfield, Corey Johnson, Jonah Lotan, Keith Barron, and Peter Youngblood Hills.
- The episode marks the transfer of Station Sergeant Ian Brooke to Hastings from Deptford in London, and also the arrival of Captain John Keiffer and his 215th Engineer Battalion (Aviation) who plan to establish a US Army Air Force landing field nearby. Foyle is befriended by Keiffer, an engineer from Northbridge, Massachusetts, which deepens since the two share a common interest in fly-fishing. Keiffer also mentions the loss of his younger brother on the Reuben James in October 1941. Milner’s friend, Will Grayson, is a fellow survivor of the failed Norwegian Campaign and the man who helped rescue and evacuate him from Trondheim. Stewart meanwhile receives a Dear Jane letter from Andrew Foyle, who is now stationed at RAF Debden, and as a result, accepts a date with Keiffer’s driver, Private Joe Farnetti (which irks the senior Foyle who thinks she is being somewhat unfaithful).
- The arrival of American “Doughboy” forces to England, which began on 26 January 1942, marked the start of another dramatic change to the English wartime homefront as anti-US forces resentment (such as “late to the last war, late to this one” or “over-sexed, over paid and over here”) began again. Around this time, forced land requisitioning for military use increased sharply while rationing of basic goods continued. RAF Debden where the younger Foyle is stationed parallels the story of transferring resources to American Forces, since it was transferred some six months after this episode (on 12 September 1942) to the Eighth Air Force.
- Filmed: March to April 2005.
Foyle’s War Series
You can find a full index and overview of Foyle’s War here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 15 January 2006.
- Running time: 94 minutes.
- Rating: 15.
- Country: UK.
- Language: English.