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.
Foyle investigates threats against a former senior Nazi SS officer, Brigadeführer Karl Strasser, now living undercover in London as a Dutch art professor, and protected by MI5 in exchange for providing Soviet counter-intelligence. Strasser, while working for Pierce, has proven his value by exposing “Red 5”, a Soviet network operating in Sweden. However, American officials led by Lieutenant Colonel Hoyt Jackson want him arrested and turned over as a war criminal. Meanwhile, a survivor of Strasser’s massacre, Capt. Thomas Nelson, still suffering from PTSD, spots Strasser on the street and begins threats on his life. Foyle, through Nelson, also becomes aware of Strasser’s war crimes in Normandy in 1944 and exposes his superior’s attempts to foil the Americans by faking Strasser’s death. Foyle then considers the counter-need to protect the German for the greater good his information offers, but Strasser is ultimately arrested by the Americans after a tip-off from Valentine.
- 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: September 1946.
- Guests: Tamzin Outhwaite, Rupert Vansittart, Daniel Weyman, Daniel Hill, Charles Aitken, Lars Eidinger Jeremy Swift, Richard Dillane, Andrew Tiernan, and Jimmy MacDermott.
- Foyle’s personal life is not expanded in this episode apart from his increasing work collaboration with Valentine. Much of the character focus in the episodes of this series centre on the developing personal lives of Sam Wainwright, news of her pregnancy, and the evolving political career of her husband. Adam Wainwright, now a PPS, also deals with a politically influenced land valuation, which he exposes leading to the resignation of his minister from parliament.
- The film is based around the fictionalised events of a massacre of 26 US soldiers known as “Operation Sonnenblume (Sunflower)”, when in fact the actual Operation Sonnenblume happened in North Africa in 1941. In August 1944, Mortain – the village with the sunflower farm referred to in the episode – was an important battle site within the wider Normandy Campaign and the eventual Falaise Pocket, but the incident bears similarity with the later Malmedy massacre. In the show, the Americans also attempt to pressure MI5 into handing over Strasser by threatening the 1943 BRUSA Agreement and loan terms the US has extended the UK.
Foyle’s War Series
You can find a full index and overview of Foyle’s War here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 07 April 2013.
- Running time: 89 minutes.
- Rating: 15.
- Country: UK.
- Language: English.