Foyle's War (2002–2015)
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A Lesson in Murder 

Foyle investigates the suicide of a pacifist and death threats to the judge who ruled against his conscientious objector status.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Madeleine Worrall ...
Florence Beale
Lawrence Gascoigne
Policeman 1
Policeman 2
Bill Ferris
Raymond Brooks
Paul Milner
Gregg Prentice ...
Joe Cooper


June 1940: Foyle investigates the death of David Beale, who hanged himself while in police custody. He had been placed in custody for breach of the peace for causing a ruckus in the aftermath of having been refused conscientious objector status. Soon after, the judge presiding at Beale's hearing, Lawrence Gascoigne, has a brick thrown through his window with a threatening note attached. The case becomes a murder investigation when a member of Gascoigne's household is killed. Foyle must determine if this is as a result of Beale's death or another, as yet unknown, motive. Sgt. Milner's wife announces that she's going to visit her sister in Wales. Italy enters the war with tragic results for Foyle's friend, restaurateur Carlo Lucciano. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery | War


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Release Date:

10 November 2002 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Sophia Myles was David Tennant's girlfriend at the time and they would both work together again on "Doctor Who", which Myles appeared in the 2nd series as Madame De Pomapdour in the 4th episode of that season "The Girl in the Fireplace". See more »


At the dance, the saxophone player is obviously not actually playing the instrument, as there is no finger movement on the valves. See more »


Theo Howard: I still believe on pacifism, Florence. That hasn't changed, but I'm as capable of killing as the next man.
See more »

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User Reviews

A lesson one cannot refuse
27 October 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Loved 'Foyle's War' and was immediately hooked when first getting into it. Love it even more now, on re-watches things that didn't quite make sense at first are clearer and things that were not noticed or appreciated before are and much admired. Everything that came over as brilliant on first viewings still are brilliant on re-watches.

"A Lesson in Murder" continues the exceptionally high quality set by the first two episodes and goes very well with them. As said before, there was the thought that it was hard to get into at first. Again, on re-watch there was much more appreciation had for how well established the character development, tone and themes are for so early on. The story is a complicated one but also a very compelling and clever one where the surprises keep coming. As one can expect from 'Foyle's War' the denouement is not an expected or obvious one and rings true.

Have always admired the visual detail that went into 'Foyle's War' and how high quality the production values are, with beautiful costumes, the evocative way the characters are made up, the look of the houses and cars, pretty locations and authentic-looking scenery. The music is in keeping with the mood and doesn't overpower the drama while still making an impact.

Writing is intelligent, sophisticated and thought-provoking, establishing Foyle's personality with so much depth already and providing some tense and heart-tugging moments. The story is complicated, with a lot of strands that requires full attention, but clever and from start to finish intriguing. It paces itself deliberately but with so much going on it's never once dull. The beginning is one of the show's most thought-provoking and moving.

One thing that wasn't picked up by me but now is and admired hugely is the tackling of what was seen as truths but some really misconceptions and seeing British during the war in a new light. This was a bold move and dealt with a lot of honesty and tact. The background information is so well researched and is every bit as interesting as the mystery itself. The character tensions were also handled very well and added a lot of intrigue. A wonderful job is done with Milner, whose story really resonates touchingly, while the scenes between Foyle and Spencer are riveting and has degrees of tension.

Michael Kitchen is truly superb as Foyle, subtle, intensely determined, commanding and above all human. One of the most interesting television detectives there's ever been and Kitchen has rarely been better. Honeysuckle Weeks is charming and loyal, with some nice touches of subtle humour as ever, and Anthony Howell is wonderful, his character development resonating touchingly.

The supporting cast are more than up to their level. Cheryl Campbell, John Shrapnel, David Tennant and Sophia Myles are all excellent but it's Oliver Ford Davies at his most unforgettably loathsome who is particularly memorable.

In conclusion, brilliant once again. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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