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|Index||53 reviews in total|
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'!
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.
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.
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).
Foyle's War has a good and quite believable wartime atmosphere, largely
due to the good sets and costumes. The stories are also often good.
There are some quite glaring problems, though. One is the anachronistic
speech, for which the revered Michael Kitchen is often to blame. He
tends towards the dreaded (and very modern) "uptalk" which turns normal
statements into seeming questions, as in, "My name's Foyle? I'm a
policeman?" His extremely mannered performance is a bit of a trial
overall, in my opinion. He manages to make underacting into a kind of
Some of the phraseology is too modern, too. For example, British people did not talk about the 'train station' until very recent times. It was just called the station, or, in full, the railway station.
Foyle's two sidekicks are better than him. In particular, Honeysuckle Weeks excellently picks up on Deborah Kerr's role as Colonel Blimp's driver Johnny (in the famous 1943 film). She seems exactly in period and lifts the series.
I have seen all of the first three seasons. Historically well
researched, Foyles War depicts a Detective Inspector of remarkable
ability, insight and character. Foyle, and his two underlings, a driver
and a junior detective have a moral compass that is tested in this
wartime drama. Set during WWII, before the US entered, and before The
Soviet Union became political allies, much that is beautiful can be
seen among the deprivation.
Foyle cares for his family, but the war threatens to tear all apart. Even the criminals have motivations that are above that of the modern crim. As character studies alone, this sure beats the flawed Kinsey Reports, because this fiction has real people.
From what I've seen of the series (the first two seasons), the producers have gone to great lengths to create an accurate portrayal of 1940's Britain, with the ever present home guard on watch, the preparations for invasion, etc. The argument that Mosley's British Union of Fascists are unrealistically portrayed as Nazi sympathizers is not very convincing. Mosley was married at the home of Joseph Goebbels, with Hitler as one of the wedding guests, and his sister-in-law, Unity Mitford, was a fervent supporter of the Nazis. In fact, she ultimately attempted suicide when war broke out, after writing a farewell letter to Hitler, because she was so distraught at the man she so admired being now at war with her country. Mosley was interned during the war, and rightly so, since his sympathies, and those of his followers, were clearly with the enemy.
I found the comment about the rank of Detective Chief Superintendent,
not being introduced, until post World War 2, nit picking. It takes
nothing away from the entertainment, to me. Do not people watch this
kind of programme, just to be entertained? If one looks for them, one
can find flaws in anything.
Samantha, adds a welcome touch of mischievous humour. However her comment, about hoping for a German Invasion, just so she could get a cup of tea,was OTT. Something as traumatic as that should not have been so trivialised. The reality thankfully never happened. Another likable person, apart from Mr Foyle, was the Uniformed Superintendent.
p.s. For your information. The Oxford English Dictionary, gives 'Trivialized.' as a correct spelling for this word.
I was just a kid during WWII and remember some of the conditions. My mother was a butcher, my aunt worked on a lathe and our neighbor lady worked the farm because the men were in the Army. There were no bombs falling here in the U.S. This program gives you an peek into what it was like in England. I'm no expert but it seems like there was a lot of attention to detail like every one carrying gas masks, the white strips on the cars, the scarcity of food along with a many other details. Someone else would have to find fault with the casting because I can't. The storyline kept me engrossed. I liked the absence of a nemesis (other than Hitler). To me that's contrived. There are "frustrations" because of the war effort. I'll look for something similar.
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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