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.
Two local youths, brothers Terry and Frank Morgan, break into a local wealthy mansion but are co-opted into an apparent pacifist sabotage ring led by Spaniard Jose de Perez. Meanwhile, Milner is asked to infiltrate and investigate a gambling ring as Foyle is confronted by the new straight-laced Assistant Commissioner Henry Parkins. In addition, Foyle’s goddaughter Lydia Nicholson and her traumatised young son James come from London to stay unexpectedly. As he struggles to readjust to sharing his house, things become difficult as Lydia suddenly goes missing, and is later found alive after a suicide attempt. Meanwhile, a local reports hearing a shot fired near a secret admiralty research centre. Upon investigation, the body of Michael Richards, a local teacher with gambling debts, is found half-buried in the woods near where his wife Evelyn works. The leader of the facility, an old professor acquaintance of Foyle, is initially unable to provide any assistance, but seems surprised when Foyle asserts that Richards was lured there by his wife and killed by her Danish lover Hans Lindemann. However, when Foyle is again prevented from bringing the culprits to justice due to national concerns, he immediately tenders his resignation in protest.
- 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 1943.
- Guests: Kate Fleetwood, Kevin Doyle, Michael Jayston, Stanley Townsend, Harry Eden, Abigail Cruttenden, Dermot Crowley, Gerard Kearns, and Joshua Lewis.
- Stewart notes that The Wizard of Oz is playing at the Palace Theatre. She also brings the Brighter Blackout Book (1939) to Foyle’s house to amuse young James. Also, when Milner chats with one of Michael Richards’ students, they mention the Sexton Blake and Just William books.
- The episode again touches upon the theme of immunity from justice despite the war that aims to champion such noble ideals as British law and order. Much of the episode’s historical content was inspired by the invention of the bouncing bomb and the Dambusters raid of 1943, as portrayed in the film The Dam Busters. Writer Anthony Horowitz planned his story to “shadow” one aspect of the bomb’s development; the episode depicts a group of scientists experimenting with a mechanism to put backspin on the bomb. The test sequence was designed to replicate the actual tests, including a depiction of the official cameraman, which allowed them to add in archive footage. Another historical reference in this episode is the bombing of the Sandhurst Road School, in Catford, South East London, on 20 January 1943, in which 38 children and six teachers were killed, and some 60 other children and adults were injured.
- Filmed: March to April 2006.
Foyle’s War Series
You can find a full index and overview of Foyle’s War here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 15 April 2007.
- Running time: 94 minutes.
- Rating: 15.
- Country: UK.
- Language: English.