Inspector Foyle

Trying to fill the void left by the departure of Inspector Morse - yes, I have seen the entire British mystery series, all thirty three episodes, more than once - I discovered another splendid British drama on Masterpiece Mystery! entitled Foyle's War. Those of you who have seen the show will agree with me when I say it is outstanding. Those of you who have not seen it, read on...and once you have finished reading, hurry to your local branch of the Mercer County Library System and check out the first set. You are in for a treat!

Foyle's War follows the course of the Second World War from 1940 to 1945 and we witness the terrible toll the war takes on the home front. In the charming coastal town of Hastings, on the Southern coast of England, Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Christopher Foyle battles crime at home while World War II rages across Europe. Clever, honest and methodical, Christopher Foyle - a man of few words - is a dedicated policeman who is committed to maintaining law and order during this dreadful time. Michael Kitchen, as DCI Foyle, gives a wonderful performance and manages to convey a depth of feeling with his eyes, facial expression or by a mere tilt of his head.

"As a quiet man who makes a religion of honor, responsibility and competence, Mr. Kitchen gives a performance that is, by current standards, miraculously understated. The cast and the set of his lips communicate fine shades of irritation and disapproval as well as dry humor, while the awkward tics of his speech indicate both shyness and the care with which Foyle thinks."  
Hale, Mike. "War Is Over, but Enemies Are Afoot in London." New York Times 13 Sept. 2013: C6. Print.

Assisting Christopher Foyle with his wartime sleuthing is his driver, Samantha Stewart, played with marvelous verve by Honeysuckle Weeks (yes, that is her real name), and sergeant Paul Milner, a loyal and accomplished ex-soldier.

The creator and primary writer of Foyle's War is Anthony Horowitz. A prolific author of children's books, and young adult novels, Horowitz has written the script for many popular television shows such as Midsomer Murders and Agatha Christie's Poirot. In Foyle's War, Horowitz's eye for period detail and penchant for historical accuracy gives the show authenticity and adds to its appeal.

Series one through six depicts the war years and that is where it was all supposed to end.  Due to overwhelming demand from viewers, series seven was created - "It’s like a gift from the gods," wrote New York Times columnist, Mike Hale.
Hale, Mike. "A War Ended, but, It Turns Out, Crime Didn’t." New York Times  29Apr. 2010: C12. Web.
Series seven captures the moral and ethical confusion in the immediate aftermath of the war; at the end of the series DCI Foyle retires from the Hasting's police force. But, again due to popular demand, we have been further rewarded with series eight, which deals with the post war years - all the subterfuge and intrigue of the Cold War. Series eight has a grittier tone and is markedly different from the previous shows. Christopher Foyle now works for MI5, in the "murky world of espionage."
Deacon, Rosy. "Review: Foyle's War." The Yorker 27 Mar. 2013: n. pag. Web. 19 Oct. 2013. 

Gone is the show's "formerly mellow tone and picturesque look." I missed the bucolic setting of Hastings and the quaint charm of the previous series, but Foyle's steadfast focus remains unchanged: unearthing the truth, even as he realizes "how shaky the moral ground can be when your enemy isn't as clearly evil as the Nazis were."
Hale, Mike. "War Is Over, but Enemies Are Afoot in London." New York Times 13 Sept. 2013: C6. Print.

Series One (2002)The German Woman; The White Feather; A Lesson in Murder; Eagle Day
Series Two (2003) Fifty Ships; Among the Few; War Games; The Funk Hole
Series Three (2004) The French Drop; Enemy Fire; They Fought in the Fields; A War of Nerves
Series Four (2006) Invasion; Bad Blood
Series Five (2007) Bleak Midwinter; Casualties of War
Series Six (2008) Plan of Attack; Broken Souls; All Clear
Series Seven (2010) The Russian House; Killing Time; The Hide
Series Eight (2013) The Eternity Ring; The Cage; Sunflower

- Rina B.


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