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.
In the prelude to the 1945 General Election, Foyle is pressured to remain in his job given the absence of replacements. His former CO asks for his help finding an escaped Russian prisoner of war, Ivan Spiakov, who had fought with the Germans in Normandy. Spiakov, seeking refuge, meets a former POW colleague, Nikolai Vladchenko, then heads to “The Russian House” in London. Despite being moved to a safe-house, the location is raided by the army and he is captured. Milner, now a newly promoted Detective Inspector in Brighton, is called to Redwood Lodge to investigate the death of Stewart’s new employer, a famous artist. Milner appears cool and distant when Foyle arrives at the scene following on the trail of the Russians. Foyle’s investigation into the Russians then leads him to the supposed safe house, which leads to an attempted hit. Foyle learns of forced repatriations to the Soviet Union, which if exposed, could reveal complicity by the British government.
- Series Six was broadcast in the United States on PBS stations on Masterpiece Mystery! as Foyle’s War VI on 02, 09 and 16 May 2010, and on Netflix as of April 2014.
- Set: June 1945.
- Guests: Eleanor Bron, Christopher Good, Tim Pigott-Smith, Marcel Iureș, Tom Goodman-Hill, Giles Taylor, Michael Elwyn, Dimitry Drannikov, Rob Heanley, Polly Maberly, and Marek Oravec.
- Foyle is still in “retirement” after his resignation at the end of All Clear. His former World War One CO, Brigadier Timothy Wilson, arrives from the War Office to enlist his help with the search of a German-sympathiser and ethnic Russian POW. Meanwhile, Milner, keen to step out of Foyle’s shadow and prove himself as a detective, is now in Brighton with his new wife, Edie, and recently-born daughter, Clementine Elizabeth. Meanwhile, Stewart has returned to civilian life and had just started working as a domestic for the well-to-do artist, Sir Leonard Spencer-Jones, before considering another offer from Adam Wainwright to work at a guest house. Also at the house is another anti-communist Russian POW who is now the groundsman, and serves as a witness to murder.
- The major theme of this episode is the emerging effects of the Cold War in post-war Britain, and the commencement of the repatriation of enemy combatants from the UK. For Russian combatants, particularly for enemy sympathisers, anti-communists, and those with knowledge of atrocities, the pending deportation situation was bleak. Part of the plot, therefore, centres on members of the Russian Liberation Movement (aka “White Russians”), who are seeking to avoid repatriation to the USSR. In this context, mention is also made of Almanzora, a ship used by the British to transport returnees to Odessa, during the repatriation of Cossacks after World War II (and in which ex-troops from the West Indies immigrated to Britain in 1947). The show should not be confused with the 1989 novel, The Russia House, by John le Carré.
Foyle’s War Series
You can find a full index and overview of Foyle’s War here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 11 April 2010.
- Running time: 93 minutes.
- Rating: 15.
- Country: UK.
- Language: English.