It's June 1945 and Detective Chief Superintendent Foyle is still on duty as they are unable to find a replacement for him. He's approached by Brigadier Timothy Wilson, his former commanding officer from his own military service in World War I, who is looking for a Russian POW, Ivan Spiakov, who has escaped and is believed to have been seen in the Hastings area. He's described as a troublemaker who fought for the Germans during the war and was due to be deported back to Russia. Foyle's initial inquiries reveals gossip about Russia not being very welcoming to returning POWs. Sam Stewart meanwhile works in nearby Brighton for Sir Leonard Spencer-Jones who has a Russian POW, Nikolai Valyshkin, working for him a gardener. When Nikolai expresses a deathly fear of having to return to Russia, Sir Leonard tries to arrange for him to stay in the UK. When Sir Leonard is shot and Nikolai disappears, DI Milner turns out to be the officer in charge of the case. With Nikolai missing, Foyle and Sam ... Written by
Did You Know?
The killing of over 2000 repatriated Russians in Odessa really occurred in 1945. Caucasians and Ukrainians were sent back to Russia, but the majority of those deported at Stalin's request were Cossacks. Estimates vary, but minimally tens of thousands were deported; some were civilians. Many ended up dying in frozen Siberia gulags. As in the story, many committed suicide rather than return. Three out of the 154 repatriated from Fort Dix, New Jersey killed themselves rather than go back. After Stalin's death in 1953 Khrushev pardoned the survivors. See more
In the chase at the beginning of the episode, the escaped prisoner is cornered on a disused railway viaduct. These would have been pretty much unknown at the time - before the Beeching cuts of the 1960s. See more
It was very good of you to return after your predecessor...
In very unfortunate circumstances.
It's my experience that most death is unfortunate, but all that was some while ago.