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.
Foyle busts a restaurateur for offering illegal Christmas foods which are then confiscated as evidence. He then begins to investigate the death of Grace Phillips, a munitions worker who accidentally killed herself on the job. Tensions at the funeral begin to cast suspicion on her scheming lover, Harry Osborne, just as suspicions fall on Milner over the sudden and “convenient” murder of his wife after a public row over their divorce in a hotel. Meanwhile, another worker, Phyllis Law, tries to blackmail Eddie Baker, the factory foreman, over a dubious collection for Phillips’s ageing mother (since she discovered she was in fact an orphan). It is also revealed that Phillips and Mrs Milner knew each other as hairdressers before the war. Constable Peters admits his duplicity in manipulating evidence to get back at Milner over his earlier reprimand of him. In the end Foyle confronts Osborne in the bank cellar, where it is revealed that Osborne had Phillips steal explosives in order to break into the safe at the bank next to the hairdressers, later using rat-poison to silence her, and killed Mrs Milner to steal back a condemning letter written by Phillips.
- 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: December 1942.
- Guests: Ron Cook, Liz Fraser, Gavin Brocker, Paul Jesson, Caroline Martin, John Nettleton, John Kane, Ann Beach, Kate Ambler, Mali Harries, and Sian Brooke.
- Milner and Ashford continue their budding relationship, but things are complicated by the sudden return of Milner’s wife Jane (Mali Harries) after a two-and-a-half-year absence. Stewart and Brooke spend the episode lobbying Foyle for the chance to eat a confiscated turkey before it spoils.
- This episode focuses on the problems within a war-time munitions factory, such as health and safety, and pay inequality for munitionettes. Jane Milner mentions the 3-year separation cool-down period for a divorce under the Matrimonial Causes Act. It also revisits the theme of black-marketeering.
- Filmed: February to March 2006.
Foyle’s War Series
You can find a full index and overview of Foyle’s War here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 11 February 2007.
- Running time: 93 minutes.
- Rating: 15.
- Country: UK.
- Language: English.