Foyle's War (TV Series 2002–2015) Poster


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Father knows best
ddelamaide8 August 2007
This is a compelling and oddly comforting drama. There is the setting and the time -- Hastings, on the southern coast of England during World War II. Hastings of course was the site of the last successful invasion of England, in 1066, and that threat seems real in the early days of the war. In the series, it is a provincial town where Deputy Chief Superintendent Foyle tries to solve local crimes of theft and murder, while dealing with wartime problems of black markets, sabotage and espionage. In addition to meddling from police superiors with their own agendas, Foyle must contend with bureaucratic and military interference from London as the war creates situations that lets criminals go free.

Then there are the scripts and the actors, not to mention the overall quality of the production -- lucid photography, theme music with echoes of Brideshead Revisited, period clothing, vehicles, etc. The writing is measured, intelligent, no wasted words. Honeysuckle Weeks and Anthony Howell in the supporting roles of Samantha Stewart and Paul Milner are excellent and play off each other well.

But the show belongs to Michael Kitchen and you wonder why you've never seen this actor before and when you will see him again. He conveys the competence and integrity you want in your hero, but the real attraction, I think, is that he is the ultimate father figure. He is concerned about people without wearing it on his sleeve; gruff, even curt, but letting us glimpse the tenderness behind it; and he is wise, not only a clever detective but wise in the ways of the human heart. He is a father not only to his son, Andrew, an RAF pilot, but also to Sam and Milner and to any number of characters in the various episodes, including his goddaughter in the last (final?) episode. Invariably, this father knows best. While he conveys a sense of vulnerability, you never have the feeling Foyle has really made a mistake. This is why I think the films are comforting. With all the chaos of war, and darkness of human behavior, Foyle moves through it all, self-possessed, caring, and ultimately, even when circumstances beyond his control keep him from actually incarcerating the wrongdoer, successful in protecting his charges from evil.
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Intelligent, original and brave
sacha_brady2 August 2005
Foyle's War tackles a great many of perceived truths of World War 2 head on, attempting to show a view of wartime Britain in a new light. These are dealt with against the backdrop of a murder which the considered, but burdened detective is called to.

Michael Kitchen is absolutely superb as Christopher Foyle. He plays him with a subtle mix of determination and humanity; each performance is multi-layered, giving the viewer the opportunity to see something new each time. The support cast is also extremely good, with each character given appropriate depth and screen time.

Overall, this is one to get if you like to watch well-crafted, intelligent drama.
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Much more than a detective drama...
ANeary13 August 2004
Foyle's War follows the life of a detective and his team based in Hastings in the south of England during the Second World War.

Although he is obviously called on to investigate crimes, the programme deals with so much more - there is a real feel for what it must have been like to be in Britain when it stood alone against Hitler, when the outcome was not just uncertain, but may well have meant invasion and persecution. The period is therefore much more than a "backdrop". For instance, Foyle's son is in the RAF, and his sergeant was seriously wounded in Norway.

The scripts are intelligent, the plots engrossing and, with casts drawn from the cream of British actors, the performances are impeccable.
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Excellent Period Piece
the_real_berserker215 January 2005
These shows do a great job of creating an image of the British Home Front that is very different from the one romanticized in the history books. We get a very real feeling that the British public "knew" the war was lost in the darkest hour, yet still kept a stiff upper lip. This tension, combined with wartime secrecy, energizes the drama. The war is like the weather is in other mysteries; criminals often use it as cover for their activities (blackmarket petrol, draft dodging, burglary, blackmail, and the like hidden by blackouts, bombing raids, and official secrets) and it's the job of the police to uncover all of the layers. In doing so, Chief Inspector Foyle asks hard moral questions - even in wartime, when thousands are being killed every day, is murder murder? The "bigger picture" is often cited as justification by the criminals, and, through association, this paints the leaders of the war with the same brush. A great show for children - this can spark interest in the period while also teaching moral lessons. Unlike some nihilistic modern fare, Foyle's War strives to show moral clarity through the confusion.
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Just watched Season 3-
paristeri7 November 2005
My sister who lives in Minnesota, told me about this series after she started getting at the library.. I got Season 1 & 2 for her birthday, watched them and pre-ordered Season 3.. Everyone in my family now is watching it-that would be Minn, Washington state, and Florida. My Dad was a B-17 pilot during WWII, both he and my mother really enjoy this story. One really bonds with the characters and the added plus of learning about wartime Britain is fascinating. I highly recommend this series-really good stories and history too. Each DVD seems to have an extra about the actual events that take place in the story. More and more I find I am looking towards the UK, for quality entertainment both in movies and TV..Hope they keep it coming!
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What an eye-opener
trextracey1 November 2004
What a great series {so far}. Well done to the cast & all the many others associated/involved with this series. Both my parents were caught up in the war: My Dad was in the RAF, & my mum being nine years younger was evacuated from Portsmouth to an Aunt who lived in the 'country'. I never knew what a 'funk hole' was until watching this series, & when I mentioned it to my Mum, she quite calmly said 'oh yes we all knew about them'. I'm sure others may think that some things are not accurate, but books don't always tell the truth: if ever in doubt ask someone who lived through this time period. Let's hope series three lives up to the other two.
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Perfect casting in a splendid series
french-michaelfrench10 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Michael Kitchen absolutely shines in this fine series; it is about moral dilemmas rather than crime. Kitchen's characterisation of a fearless good man in hard times is magnificent; we know we can trust exactly what he says and even if some of his solutions are a bit deus ex machina we cannot resent it because his moral force absolutely justifies the end. The other actors do a great job of presenting the shades of grey through which he moves. My favourite is still Simon West. Who can resist Kitchen's throwaway response to "It's not a good time"? And his magnificently insulting summing up in the French Drop? I know little enough about the Home Front around this period, and that I learnt from Dad's Army! But the muted colours and all the obscure minutiae of a rationed and regulated society provide a feeling that this is how it was, even if it wasn't.
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A release from the horde of (at best) mediocre murder mysteries that 'grace' our screens!
gaiter8823 September 2006
The most derogatory remark I've ever heard an intelligent people make about this program is that it drags on a bit, but quite frankly that's only because ITV go and stick 25 minutes of adverts into a otherwise perfect fluid 95minute program. I suppose you could argue that the sheer lack of offended and dishearten viewers is testament to its boring nature, but that quite frankly is nonsense as well. You see the thing about this program is that it soothes you, it's relaxing to watch but doesn't insult your intelligence. I could go on for pages and pages about the acting, writing and attention to period detail but I won't bother because by the looks of it many before me have done so already. The two simple and only facts you really need to know about this program are that Kitchen is an underrated genius and that as detective/murder mysteries go this is, and will remain, a timeless masterpiece.
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a show of substance
llwkr25 November 2007
Foyle's War is unique in it's blending of history and fiction. I just finished watching a special feature that filmed the stunt preparation for a spitfire crash in "Enemy Fire". I am amazed at the thought and detail that go into making these films.

This is one of the rare productions that makes you think 'outside the box'. Anthony Horowitz has really perfected his craft in putting together scripts,a cast and a crew that can carry off a challenge like this. The concept of a detective solving crimes during a war is in itself a thought-provoking basis for a series. The challenge of balancing right and wrong is integrally woven into each show, and I find myself thinking about moral dilemmas presented in each episode long after watching.

I highly recommend this series for all ages.
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Excellent Historical Mystery
5860backup4 January 2005
I have never been one for the sort of "crime drama" which is popular in the US. But I am a big fan of mysteries. In the past few years I have really become involved with historical mysteries and this seems to be one of the best. Notice history comes first - mystery second. Solving the crime though central to the plot of the Foyle's War stories it is not the key. The important part revealing how people "back then" felt about and reacted to what was going on. I think Foyle's War does an excellent job. You can feel the tension and weariness about the war. I also liked that though the various characters try to justify their actions because "there's a war on" you can tell that internally they know what they are dong is wrong or right. Though Kitchen and cast do an excellent job bringing out these feelings and ideas without words and without over acting, I think we also have to give credit to the Director and the cinematographers.
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This is very , very good.
squareeyes1 November 2004
I'm constantly amazed by Michael Kitchen's ability to be intense and agonised but still seem laid back to the point of being almost comatose at times . Very well written and directed apart from the odd driving through the countryside scene with Foyle's and Sam's dialogue being obviously overdubbed . Speaking of Sam , I'm not sure if the fragrant Miss Weeks (Honeysuckle , flowers , oh forget it!) is being slightly tongue in cheek with her Dame Anna Neagle/Celia Johnson " frightfully super " accent but hey , a woman in a uniform is a woman in a uniform ! She can talk anyway she likes . Always very excellent guest actors like Bill Paterson and John Wood so all in all , a quality show .
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Finest television of All Time
clotblaster10 July 2009
There is really nothing with which to compare this episodic series. The pacing, the acting, and the plots blend to create a superb fictional experience. I find very, very little to like in today's movies (No Country for Old Men being an exception) and much more to like on television, which I understand his heresy to some, but Six Feet Under, Doctor Findlay, Morse, Midsomer Murders, The Shield etc. far surpass any movie I've seen in a long time. This show in particular shows what can be done in cinema but not in writing--very, very unique. Seeing Foyle, his driver and his immediate subordinate act their parts really helps make this a fine viewing experience. Kitchen, playing the lead, is a fine actor and performs admirably, but the writing is what makes this show--Horowitz, the writer and creator, never varies from show to show. He controls the unfolding of this show, without the viewer having to worry about different writers muddling the waters. I highly recommend this show and would urge viewers to watch the series sequentially, starting, of course with the first episode.
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One of the best!
krazylegs8822 February 2009
My wife and I became obsessed with the British crime series "Midsomer Murders". We've seen all the episodes available. Then my wife latched onto "Foyle's War" and we've become big, big fans of this series also. We agree with everyone about Michael Kitchen's performances and the historical background against which the story unfolds. Everything about this show looks authentic, feels authentic and sounds authentic. Not having lived through that time we are learning so much about the period. We're beginning to learn more about just exactly what England went through during the war by connecting some of these events in a time line. We are looking forward to the possible three new episodes to be filmed in the spring of '09. And we wouldn't mind if the series went on for longer than the war lasted. We let "M*A*S*H" get away with it. This is one series that deserves to be on longer.
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ejbleendreeble15 May 2006
Michael Kitchen is simply outstanding -- there is no other word for it.

The three series I have seen are a model of understatement. The supporting cast is excellent. In Series 2 and 3 Foyle appears as a more self-confident man, and therefore I prefer by a small margin the first series, where he seems less sure of himself and less ready to brook authority.

There is a tendency in the plots for Foyle to reveal the complicated machinations of each case in the last few minutes with what can sometimes appear to be astonishing insight, but this is a minor quibble. Well worth seeing -- and re-seeing.
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Baby You Can Drive My Car
cutterccbaxter4 March 2005
This is a good idea for a mystery series and it is done well. Michael Kitchen gets a lot of acting mileage out of a slight tilt of the head or a raised eyebrow. He's definitely the master of delivering lines in a low key manner. All the episodes I saw were well constructed narratives and the WW II era was recreated very well. I hope this series continues on for it seems like the producers are capable of coming up with more intriguing stories. Credit must be given to the parents of Honeysuckle Weeks for not only producing a talented daughter but giving her such a charming name. It's a nice little touch to have her character drive Foyle around as he does not drive a car.
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Steve Dolesch31 May 2006
Personally, I find Foyle's War very well done for a war time series and a police series for that matter. I also like the characters' personalities. Foyle does not use foul language nor does he raise his voice along with other main characters. Sam's character is actually uplifting as a chauffeur and her being helpful to Foyle. For most police series I rather watch British series such as Foyle's War, Midsomer Murders, New Tricks, Rosemary & Thyme, A Touch Of Frost, etc. rather than those hyper tension ones that American networks are bringing out.

I watch it with my wife on either TV Ontario or WPBS from the US. we like it very much.
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First class drama with one nagging flaw
Bert4510 February 2015
I was an early fan of Foyle's War, especially Michael Kitchen's portrayal of the title character, which is a master class in fine nuance and understatement. The way Kitchen can convey a wealth of meaning with the slightest glance or change in tone when speaking is wonderful to watch. It's almost as if he was born to play this character. Also, the whole concept of police work having to continue as normally as possible in a time of war is intriguing. In many ways, the job would have been so much harder with the backdrop of war and the resultant shortage of resources and increase in disruption. It was a fine idea from the start. Having said that, I found as the series went on and I began to review earlier episodes that something about it had begun to irritate me, and I eventually realised that it was the way in which most of the other characters - apart from Foyle's own inner circle - were portrayed as uniformly negative. Granted, this is a crime and murder-mystery series, so Foyle is dealing primarily with criminals and red-herring characters. But sometimes, it seems as though the writer Anthony Horowitz wants us to believe everyone in wartime Britain was either rotten to the core or afflicted with moral cowardice. No doubt not everyone displayed the "bulldog spirit" that got the nation through those difficult years - every country at war has its share of defeatists, shirkers and traitors - but Horowitz seemed unwilling to allow that positive determined quality in any of his "guest" characters, whether major or minor in the story. This is especially true of anyone in a position of authority. Just about every single person that Foyle deals with who holds rank or official status is portrayed in varying degrees as arrogant, callous, treacherous, obstructive or incompetent - sometimes a combination of these. It's as though Horowitz wants us to think that either Britain's entire wartime leadership was working against its own national interests or that there was never a sense of righteousness in the fight against Nazism. Foyle's War sometimes seemed to be against his own government and his own superiors. On the odd occasion this might have been a useful plot device, but was it necessary for it to be such a constant theme? I can't help wondering what the motive was for this, but I do know that over time it began to spoil my enjoyment of the show.
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Excellent Series and I hope for many more episodes!
pabobfin9 February 2006
This series (to date rented from online rental rentflix company) builds credibility in all characters, intricate though typically British murder mystery confrontations, come-uppances to the antagonists who deign to impugn Foyle in the beginning of episodes (with excellent plot lines throughout) and a believable interplay between complex characters. The only question NOT answered to date is WHY Foyle does not drive. Fortunately because he doesn't, he gets to have Sam as a driver. Maybe that is the reason! Would buy this boxed set when it is available, have not seen it yet. The realism achieved by set design, as well as the opportunity to see a real spitfire flying in many scenes makes it a pilot's movie as well. The series musical theme is also hauntingly beautiful. Foyle's quiet calm and non-reactive traits are especially lovable.
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Fascinating detective stories...extremely well acted and produced...
Neil Doyle24 April 2007
I came across this quite by accident and tuned in on a very interesting episode entitled: FOYLE'S WAR II: The Fifty Ships. Very understated but impressive performance by Michael Kitchen as the inspector who looks into the murder of an Englishman in a picturesque London village during World War II.

It's done in the best manner of British mysteries with lots of interesting characters involved in the plot, which never becomes too convoluted or hard to follow (as some of these mysteries tend to do). The doggedly determined Foyle seems to be hounding a certain man he believes is responsible for the murder, although there's a clever plot twist at the end involving America's role in the war as an allie of Great Britain which gives the murderer a way out.

Summing up: Satisfying, handsomely mounted production is a treat for mystery fans.
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Where would we be without it?
TheLittleSongbird13 April 2010
For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by detective dramas. Having grown up with Inspector Morse, Touch of Frost, Taggart and Midsommer Murders, as well as the Agatha Christie adaptations with Joan Hickson and David Suchet(I also enjoy New Tricks, no matter how corny some of it is, it is entertaining), I first heard about this series two years ago. Since then, I have been hooked, I admit it was a little hard to get into at first, but I love the acting and how much visual detail goes into the series. The series really does look amazing, set during the 2nd World War, with beautiful costumes, pretty locations and authentic-looking scenery. The scripts are intelligent, sophisticated and absorbing as you would expect from a talented writer like Anthony Horowitz, and I will say I loved the concept, solving crimes amidst the backdrop of the war, not a bad idea now, is it? And of course, the acting is wonderful, with Michael Kitchen superb as Christopher Foyle, subtle, intense determined and most of all human who asks himself questions that only he can answer. Morse was quite a complex detective as well, more complex than he was in the books I'd say, but he was complex in a different sort of way to Foyle. Anthony Howell is also great as Sergeant Milner, as is the beautiful Honeysuckle Weeks as Sam. Also, the stories are intriguing and multi-layered, yes there may be the odd occasion where a plot point mayn't completely make sense first time, but this is only occasionally. Overall, a truly excellent series, where would we be without it? 10/10 Bethany Cox
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The terrors of nightly bombing raids are only matched by the fear and hysteria of the population at the prospect of the seemingly inevitable German invasion...???
Keith G10 August 2008
Positively the worst and most misleading summary I have yet seen on IMDb! (Unless I have been completely hoodwinked - I was born just after the war!) According to my knowledge gleaned from various sources and what I have been told over the years, there may have been concerns at the individual level, but there was certainly no mass terror or hysteria displayed as a result of bombings or the prospect of an invasion of the UK, during the darkest days of WW2!

In fact, one thing that is unfailingly depicted throughout the whole, excellent series of Foyles War is the calm control and sangfroid of the main characters that was typical back then, even if it seems to have disappeared somewhat these days. This was exemplified in the way that Foyle managed to winkle out the truth in the various situations he encountered by means of shrewd observation and reasoned deduction, without any trace of unnecessary drama, raised voices or arm-waving and the series is all the better for it - the modern trend in TV/movies that portrays police work as panicky, fraught and highly-charged emotionally is unrealistic (certainly unBritish) and, thankfully, absent in this excellent series.

Anyone who enjoyed tapping into the lost, old-worlde charm of this UK series set during WW2 may well enjoy the equally good (but far funnier) lighthearted but soulful comedy series 'Dad's Army'!
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Life during World War 2
Ray Massart3 August 2006
The main advantage of this series is that it not only gives us a vivid description of life in Britain during World War 2 but also adds all the ingredients that are inherent to good detective stories. The threat of a possible German invasion obviously had an enormous impact on the inhabitants and these aspects are often discarded in many historical accounts of this tragic period. "Foyle's War" concentrates on what really went on in the average person's mind and does not avoid revealing the darker side of human nature in general. Themes such as the undeniable sympathy for Hitler and Nazi Germany that existed in certain aristocratic circles, the growing hatred towards refugees and Jews, the plight of young children who were sent to the countryside in order to avoid the bombings in the major cities and were often worse off than had they stayed with their parents, are touchy subjects which are not avoided in a series that certainly aims at painting a truthful picture. Most episodes are very slow paced as if to illustrate how insignificant a crime committed by an individual basically is compared to the imminent danger of the destruction of a whole nation. This atmosphere of gloom and doom often leads the protagonists to reflect profoundly on the meaning of war and life in general which gives the series an extra dimension.The acting is exquisite and contributes largely to the sense of contained despair that many must have experienced at that time in history.
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Oswald Mosley
glen chapman30 May 2014
I've never met the reviewer, Theo Robertson, but I hope I never do. I really dislike people popping off about things of which they know so little. Oswald Mosley was both a fascist, hoping to brand his New Party after Mussolini, and a personal friend of Joseph Goebbels( yes, that Joseph Goebbels). Upon the secretive circumstances of Mosley's second marriage it was conducted at Goebbel's private residence in Berlin. One of the guests was Adolph Hitler.

This is exactly how it happened. Mosley sympathized with fascism, anti-semitism, and extreme nationalism. In the episode, White Feather, the character of Guy Spencer may have been based on Mosley and in no way is it off the mark, as Theo Robertson alleges. Foyle's War is fiction but pretty accurate to the time and tenor. It's a right good show.
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Subtly Addictive
pruiett10 November 2013
I gave this series a nine. But it borders on a ten. When I began in episode one of the first season, I was not sure. It seemed depressing and the character D.C.S Foyle seemed unemotional, cold, and hard to warm up to. As I continued in the series, Foyle did not change much, but I adapted and began to truly appreciate the work that went into creating feature-length episodes with intriguing plots and subplots. There is genius in the writing, producing, and acting. The sets and period equipment are very well done and seem very consistent.

I am an avid videophile, and watch all the "old fashioned" stuff, whether made from 1930-1950 or made to depict this period. Nearly all the "modern" attempts to depict the Word War II period take such liberties and do such violence to the memory of the people and cultures involved, that they are distasteful and unwatchable in my assessment. This British-made "modern" treatment is, on the other hand, superb. The idea of mixing wartime England with a police/mystery story is just amazing and well done. Both elements are given appropriate coverage and the balance is artistically maintained.

I highly recommend this series for its quality. It serves as a pleasant respite from the poorly-researched and purposefully irreverent and salacious junk on TV and the screen today. Well done Foyle's War.
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Hoping for More
connor-133 June 2012
I cannot get over how much I like this series. The writing is terrific; I care a great deal about the characters; and WWII has become one of my historical obsessions. What more can I ask for ... except a lot more episodes? I will be happy if we get to follow everyone for as long as the good writing holds out.

I am a voracious reader of history, so I am not entirely sure why I had not gotten to this war until about the last decade. The only explanation that I can come up with is that I am in the vanguard of baby boomers, so the era involved my parents too much. When they neared the end of their lives, I found I needed to know much more about the two most important eras they lived through ... the War and the Great Depression. My family comes from near Madison, Wisconsin not Hastings, England, but I like to think that Foyle's War captures the ethos of their generation in which millions of good people found a way to fight the extraordinary evil of the time. That they had to deal as much or more with the idiots on their own side is also a big theme as Christopher Foyle tries to do his job. Thus, I guess I see my family in this wonderful series.
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