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 secret biological warfare experiment with anthrax at a nearby base becomes dangerous when an infected sheep carcass is lost in transit. Martin Ashford, a Quaker, is accused of murdering Thomas Jenkins, a survivor of Convoy PQ 17 and DSM recipient. Ashford’s sister, Edith, now a nurse, asks her old school friend Milner for help. Foyle agrees to do so, but his visit to nearby Hyde initially irks his old friend DCS David Fielding. Investigations show that Ashford and Jenkins had had a run-in at a local pub over his wife’s affair. Foyle also investigates the theft of cattle at nearby Foxhall Farm, a property owned by Brian Jones, Jenkin’s father-in-law, where Ashford was a labourer. The murder weapon, a veterinary trocar belonging to Ted Cartwright, but seemingly lost at Foxhall Farm, is given to Foyle by Fielding. Meanwhile, Elsie Jenkins and Stewart are both infected with anthrax. Later investigations lead to Henry Styles, another Quaker, who guides Foyle to Captain George Halliday, commander of the secret anthrax research facility, and assistant researcher Mark Wilcox. In the end it is revealed that Leonard Cartwright also survived the sinking of the Navarino, despite being shot by Jenkins, and killed him to stop his bullying and duplicity.
- 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: August 1942.
- Guests: Peter Sandys-Clarke, Ben Meyjes, Philip Franks, Caroline Martin, Tom Harper, Roy Marsden, Jonah Lotan, Kenneth Colley, Gawn Grainger, Hugh Sachs, and Tim Delap.
- Joe Farnetti, Stewart’s American boyfriend from California, proposes on the beach to her, but she stalls for more time. Farnetti states he did his training at Fort Benning in Georgia. Edith Ashford, an old school friend of Milner (and sister of the accused) re-friends him and expresses a romantic interest. Foyle and Fielding are shown to be old yet distanced colleagues and ex-WW1 soldiers. Fielding mentions “bad blood” after surviving a chlorine gas attack during the Second Battle of Ypres.
- Milner mentions the abolition of private petrol rationing, a law which came into effect on 01 July 1942. Mention is made by Leonard Cartwright of Convoy PQ 17 and of the sinking of the Christopher Newport and Navarino which happened on the 04-05 July 1942. Simon Higgins (the blinded scientist on the bed) refers to The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and Foyle is given streptomycin to treat Stewart – although in error as streptomycin was not discovered until 1943.
- Filmed: April to May 2005.
Foyle’s War Series
You can find a full index and overview of Foyle’s War here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 22 January 2006.
- Running time: 94 minutes.
- Rating: 15.
- Country: UK.
- Language: English.