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 Nuremberg trials begin wrapping up, a prominent translator, professor William Knowles from University College London is found murdered in Hyde Park. Foyle is brought in to investigate when the address of Clayton Del Mar, a prominent American oil tycoon, is found on the body. As with other episodes, it is clear to Foyle that political, business, and intelligence machinations are at play. Knowles’ connection to a German businessman on trial in Nuremberg, Hermann Linz, deepens when Linz is found murdered in his high-security cell. Foyle tours Linz’s workplace in Monowitz concentration camp as part of his investigation, finding clues to Global American Oil and the illegal export in 1940 of tetraethyllead (disguised in barrels of High Castle whisky) from the UK via Tenerife to Germany for use by the Luftwaffe. The Soviets, now fearful of post-war American interference in the oil politics of Iran, assassinate Del Mar to prevent him influencing the current negotiations.
- The first two episodes were broadcast at 8:00 pm on ITV, the final one was transmitted at 9:00 pm.
- “Elise” was broadcast in the United States as Foyle’s War VIII, on PBS’ Masterpiece and on Acorn TV.
- Set: October 1946.
- Guests: John Mahoney, Nigel Lindsay, Jaime Winstone, Vincenzo Nicoli, Hermione Gulliford, Joseph Drake, and Amanda Lawrence.
- Adam Wainwright is forced, on two fronts, to address the issue of women who went to work during wartime and do not want to give up their jobs post-war. One of his constituents does not want to be demoted to accommodate a returning soldier whose job she had filled, competently, in the soldier’s absence. Meanwhile, at home, the Wainwrights struggle over his desire for her to quit her job to become a stay-at-home mother. While Foyle investigates the deaths of Knowles and Linz, Sam Wainwright decides to volunteer for a risky undercover job to find a “Friends of Himmler” photograph (taken by Knowles from the university archive) incriminating Del Mars’ father and his Nazi sympathies. Foyle, unaware of her pregnancy, agrees. Foyle also seems to strike up a mutual intellectual appreciation with Dr. Elizabeth Addis, a colleague of Knowles at UCL.
- The story takes place shortly after the Nuremberg trials, which ended on 1 October 1946. Linz and others like him were on trial because his firm, IG Farben, had during WWII hired Monowitz concentration camp inmates from the SS. Del Mar and his father, who own Global American Oil, represent war profiteers who, like Linz (and Strasser in the previous episode), should also have been tried during the Nuremberg trials. However, MI5 had a history of looking the other way and of protecting influential people like him because, in this case, the government desired his influence to help the UK build a presence with the Shah of Iran and ultimately, a countervailing presence to the Soviet Union in the Middle East.
Foyle’s War Series
You can find a full index and overview of Foyle’s War here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 04 January 2015.
- Running time: 88 minutes.
- Rating: 15.
- Country: UK.
- Language: English.