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.
After a year in the US, Foyle returns by ship to the UK, where he is intercepted at immigration and “invited” to a meeting with British intelligence, which includes an old acquaintance, Hilda Pierce. MI5 suspects that British atomic research has been infiltrated by the Soviets, and uses Stewart’s (now Mrs Wainwright) connection as secretary to Professor Michael Fraser to leverage Foyle to investigate. Foyle, whose neutrality, police expertise, and instincts are sought after, is reluctant to get involved, but realises that the investigation may disadvantage his former driver if not undertaken by himself. The trail of evidence he uncovers leads back to an intelligence “house of cards”, when Foyle detects that the fictitious Eternity spy ring is part of a power play by Pierce to oust her supervisor. He also detects the real reason behind the theft of U233 from the Arnwell Atomic Research Facility by Fraser was the hope of preventing the further use of nuclear weapons.
- Series Seven was broadcast in the United States on PBS stations on Masterpiece Mystery! as Foyle’s War VII on 15, 22 and 29 September 2013, and on Netflix as of April 2014.
- Set: August 1946.
- Guests: Ken Bones, Stephen Boxer, Nicholas Jones, Kate Duchêne, Gyuri Sarossy, Joe Duttine, Dylan Charles, Jennifer Hennessy, Sam Clemmett, Emma Lowe, Nathan Gordon, Jeremy Swift, and Gabrielle Lloyd.
- Foyle returns from a trip to the US, during which he pursued former industrialist and now senator, Howard Paige (“Fifty Ships“). It is revealed that Paige committed suicide, allegedly after being hounded by Foyle, although Foyle was unaware of Paige’s suicide. The episode reintroduces the recurring character Hilda Pierce, played by Ellie Haddington (“War Games“, “The French Drop” and “All Clear“), turning her into a regular MI5 character, and Foyle as one of her operatives. It also introduces the regular character of Arthur Valentine, another MI5 operative played by Tim McMullan.
- The episode also reintroduces Adam Wainwright, now Stewart’s husband, as a Labour candidate in the local government by-elections, though he is played by a new actor (Daniel Weyman, as opposed to Max Brown). Another character is Sergeant Frank Shaw, a former constable and POW, who struggles as he returns from Singapore to a family and reality that has changed and evolved in the six years he was absent.
- The episode begins with the 16 July 1945 Trinity nuclear test in New Mexico, USA, and is framed within the rising mistrust of the developing Cold War between the West and the Soviets. The main nuclear scientists portrayed in the episode, Dr. Max Hoffman and Professor Michael Fraser, are loosely based on John von Neumann and Klaus Fuchs, respectively.
Foyle’s War Series
You can find a full index and overview of Foyle’s War here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 24 March 2013.
- Running time: 87 minutes.
- Rating: 15.
- Country: UK.
- Language: English.