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"Foyle's War"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Foyle's War" More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Where would we be without it?

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
13 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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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

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...???

Author: Keith G from Cambridgeshire, UK
10 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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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Life during World War 2

Author: Ray Massart from Belgium
3 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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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

First class drama with one nagging flaw

Author: Bert45 from New Zealand
10 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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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Oswald Mosley

Author: glen chapman from Cincinnati, Ohio
30 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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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Subtly Addictive

Author: pruiett from United States
10 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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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Maximum Stars

Author: jrh291 from United States
25 May 2011

I've never seen a better show on television. Granted, if I were in my twenties, I'd be bored to tears. Now, however, I've already seen 10,000 American cop shows. I won't criticize them, after all I watched the ones I enjoyed for a long time. They are what they are, by now each show must contain a certain number of spreadsheet elements to appeal to the largest market in its time period. Men handsome, women thin, good story, great clothes, good story-up to 2.7 stories, that is 1 main story and an average of 1.7 additional plot lines for gays, seniors, teenagers, ethnics, or anyone outside the main story. "Foyle's War" is deep, thoughtful television art. Great premise. Acting is tremendous. Only the bad guys overact. To see the characters is to love them. Sets and details have been discussed at length and it's all just gorgeous.It may offend some American sensibilities at times, as it is the British perspective of the war, not the "universal perspective" we think is gospel. Each episode is like a movie. Not a show to be enjoyed with children around. Attention must be paid. Catch an episode on PBS. Take out a couple at the library, then buy a whole season so such art is supported financially. So I say.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Impeccable detail to the era.

Author: sculptagain-1 from United States
17 April 2011

I give this series a 10 merely because I haven't found a better one - so I need a level of damn good to start from. The impeccable eye to details (along with the acting and castings, of course) are amazing. The phrases used by the actors throughout are specific 1940's UK. The acronyms, side-line gilts of humor, all were from those times. Every detail seems to be worked out in filming these many seasons of Foley. Stewart and Milner are great sidekicks for Foyle. Stitched into each episode is personality and era society. But it is the War that brings the entire series into a history lesson - especially here in the States. No one in today's USA lives today that can imagine what the British lived through during this period unless they were there. Even then, the culture and society of the UK was foreign (and still is) to the States. That's unfortunate.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

It's all in the Character Development

Author: VReviews from United States
20 August 2010

All the story elements are present for an entertaining TV series: WWII era, mystery, personal conflict, British detective intrigue, southern England countryside villages, and authentic costumes. Lay on top of that, outstanding writing (Anthony Horowitz) and acting (Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks, Anthony Howell), and you've got "Foyle's War".

Series I consists of four episodes that introduces and then slowly develops the main characters with a subtlety that sets British drama apart. Rather than spelling out the character's personality and back-story quickly, the viewer is given a glimpse into their lives, and then little by little the depth and connections are further developed within each episode.

Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle is the quintessential steady, determined, low key, and close-to-the-cuff British detective whose simple statements belie the thinking behind the man. Kitchen masterfully portrays the nuanced emotions of Foyle through facial, and body motions that are consistently delivered. Samantha 'Sam' Stewart played by Weeks, is perfect as Foyle's driver for her ability to portray the odd mixture of humor, enthusiasm, naiveté and an old soul quality to her character. Howell does a fine job in his portrayal of Detective Sergeant Paul Milner by conveying both the assistant's calm professional diligence and personal melancholy.

Both the mystery to be solved and the personal lives of the characters come together to deliver an enlightened and satisfying portrait of the English home front in the early days of the war.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Fine Period Detective Series

Author: gpeevers from Canada
28 April 2009

Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) is a widowed middle-aged detective stationed on the south coast of England at the outbreak of the Second World War; Foyle has a son Andrew who is a student at Oxford before volunteering with the Royal Air Force.

Due to wartime shortages in manpower amongst the Police, Foyle requests a driver and gets a uniformed civilian volunteer named Samantha Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks). Foyle also recruits a disabled war veteran and former police detective Paul Milner from his hospital bed as his Sergeant.

The series serves both as a good period piece drama with some very informative and interesting historical elements combined with some very good detective/mystery story elements.

The series puts considerable emphasis on a number of social issues of the time and also paints a very evocative portrait of England during the war. The production values are very impressive especially when you consider this is a period television series with considerable scope and budget limitations.

The standouts for me amongst the regular cast are Michael Kitchen who is incredibly effective in underplaying his role while still managing to make Foyle a very sympathetic character, and Honeysuckle Weeks who seems perfectly suited to her character. The interplay between these two characters is certainly a highlight of the series.

The series has attracted some very impressive talent which has included such veterans as Edward Fox and Charles Dance as well as up and coming talent like James McAvoy and David Tennant (Doctor Who).

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