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.
As the new MI5 chief, Sir Alec Meyerson, assumes control of the department, three Russian defectors housed in apparent safe houses are killed by Soviet agents. Valentine, in charge of the safe houses, becomes desperate to find answers. The situation is complicated by the brutal death of another Russian, the doctor who attempted to save him, and the disappearance of two different women named Evelyn Greene. One, a Foreign Office Russian translator, is later identified in the Russian sector of Berlin, while the other is simply a person who shares the same name. Foyle, aided by his new assistant Sam Wainright, begins by tracing a NKVD tattoo noted on the dead Russian, which leads him to the secretive Barton Hall. Here, he uncovers details of a covert interrogation operation, and sends in an operative to rescue the innocent Greene. In the process, he exposes Major George McDonald as a Russian sympathiser, responsible for both Greene incidents and the murders.
- 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-September 1946.
- Guests: Rupert Vansittart, Jonathan Hyde, Laura Way, Rufus Wright, Jeremy Swift, Ross Armstrong, Simon Coury, Alexandra Clatworthy, Radosław Kaim, and Ruth McCabe.
- Adam Wainright, with the support of Sam Wainright, is successful in his bid to win the Peckham by-election as a Labour Party candidate.
- Much of this story is loosely based on the real “Tin Eye”, Lieutenant Colonel Robin Stephens, who successfully ran Camp 020, an interrogation centre near London during the Second World War. References are also made in the episode to ongoing housing and food shortages, food rationing, the Lend-Lease programme and abuses of the Official Secrets Act. Women’s multi-style coupon busters shoes, fashionable at the time, also serve as a plot point as does Dr Ian Ross’ tick-borne tropical disease research.
Foyle’s War Series
You can find a full index and overview of Foyle’s War here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 31 March 2013.
- Running time: 86 minutes.
- Rating: 15.
- Country: UK.
- Language: English.