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.
Milner arrests a prominent trucking racketeer, Bill Burton, and is threatened by his “powerful friends”. Meanwhile, DCS John Meredith, Foyle’s uncharismatic replacement, has created unease at the station, and a number of officers have transferred or left to join the army. At a nearby Air Ministry building, where Stewart now works as a civilian, Airman Henry Scott, a capable but highly strung cartographer is troubled by irregularities within map data, but is later found hanged in local woods. His friend and confidant, a local Catholic priest from St. Jude’s, Martin Keppler (a German refugee), attends an ecumenical conference against the war and the seemingly wanton bombing of Germany into unconditional surrender. Milner later becomes the subject of an attempted shooting, which leaves Meredith dead instead. At the urging of Assistant-Commissioner Henry Parkins, Foyle then agrees to return from self-retirement to solve the case, and soon exposes Wing Commander Stephen Foster’s role in bribe taking and hiring Burton’s nephew Adam Everitt, and Keppler’s true role as a spy, and his complicity in both murders.
- Series Five was broadcast in the United States on PBS stations on Masterpiece Mystery! as Foyle’s War V on 07 and 14 June 2009, and on Netflix as of April 2014.
- Set: April 1944.
- Guests: Fiona Glascott, Martin Hutson, Julian Wadham, Robert Whitelock, Nicholas Day, Elizabeth McKechnie, Malcolm Sinclair, Philip Fox, Vince Leigh, Clifford Rose, and Michael Jayston.
- Foyle has been in “retirement” after his resignation a year earlier at the end of Casualties of War. Stewart has been removed as a police driver (in the Mechanised Transport Corps) by Foyle’s replacement, Meredith, and has been working as a librarian in the Air Ministry’s cartography facility at Beverley Lodge for the last six months. She is also “assisting” Foyle as his typist in writing his book on the Hastings Constabulary (even though she does not appear to be that capable). In addition, her uncle Aubrey Stewart (Brian Poyser), a priest, returns from the episode “The French Drop“, when he visits Hastings for the bishop’s conference. Milner, unhappy since Foyle’s departure, seeks his counsel after finding Meredith difficult to work with and considers leaving Hastings. However, by the end of the episode, the original team is reunited when Foyle and Milner both decide to stay, and Stewart quits to rejoin them.
- The episode mentions increased troop movements down to the south coast and that “the end of the war is in sight”, indicating a pre-D Day setting. The cartography activity at fictitious Beverly Lodge (filmed at Langley Park, Slough, Berkshire) is based on the secret map-making activities undertaken at Hughenden Manor during World War II, which was not known until two years before the shooting of this episode. Anthony Horowitz based much of the story on the experiences of Victor Gregory, a cartographer at Hughenden, and who was engaged as a consultant during the shooting of the episode. Another theme is various efforts by the Church to: preach forgiveness of the enemy; establish relations with the German church (such as the German Confessing Church); and, grant Germany a conditional (rather than unconditional) surrender to prevent the unnecessary killing of innocents by indiscriminate bombing of German cities. The efforts of Dietrich Bonhoeffer are mentioned, as are events reflecting the real-life George Bell, Bishop of Chichester.
Foyle’s War Series
You can find a full index and overview of Foyle’s War here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 06 January 2008.
- Running time: 93 minutes.
- Rating: 15.
- Country: UK.
- Language: English.