Foyle's War (2002–2015)
6 user

Fifty Ships 

After Foyle is a guest at a friend's home at a dinner for an important American diplomat, a suicide victim and German agent both are discovered near the house.


Giles Foster


Anthony Horowitz (written and created by)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Honeysuckle Weeks ... Samantha Stewart
Rebecca Johnson ... Jenny Wentworth
Steven O'Donnell ... Henry Jamieson
Marlene Sidaway ... Mrs. Esther Harrison
Clive Merrison ... Dr. Alan Redmund
Paul Foster Paul Foster ... Colin Morton
John Rake John Rake ... Air Raid Warden
Bryan Dick ... Kenneth Hunter
Michael Kitchen ... Christopher Foyle
Nicholas Le Prevost ... Arthur Lewes
Amanda Root ... Elizabeth Lewes
Anthony Howell ... Paul Milner
Sam Redford Sam Redford ... Tom Fairweather
Tim Treloar ... Bob Fraser
Tom Georgeson Tom Georgeson ... Richard Hunter


September 1940: DCS Foyle investigates the murder of Richard Hunter whose body is found on a nearby beach. Although made to look like a suicide, Foyle has his doubts. Hunter was a heavy drinker and not very successful in life, but Foyle learns that he went to Oxford university. Howard Paige, a senior American government official is in the UK on top secret business. Foyle becomes re-acquainted with his first true love, Elizabeth Lewes, who he was unable to marry when her father refused them permission. Samantha Stewart finds herself homeless when her boarding house is bombed and, unable to find suitable lodgings, has taken to sleeping in the cells. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery | War


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

16 November 2003 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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Did You Know?


At the end, Paige leaves in a RAF transport plane. The plane is the C 47 Skytrain, known to the RAF as the Dakota. This is the most famous military transport plane of WWII. There were versions for paratroopers, infantry, cargo, and fancied up VIP carriers. However, the first of the 2000 Dakotas delivered to the RAF arrived in 1942. See more »


A man handling one of the stolen coins asks, "Who's Edward I-V?" Someone who doesn't understand Roman numbers probably would not be able to read the archaic lettering on a coin minted no later than 1483 -- and Edward IV's coins read EDWARDUS REX with no number. See more »


Dr. Alan Redmund: [to Foyle when told of Hunter's suicide] Richard Hunter was a wreck of a human being. I don't think I've ever met anyone who had less reason to be alive.
See more »


Referenced in Foyle's War: The Eternity Ring (2013) See more »


Moonlight Sonata
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
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User Reviews

Murder, American diplomats and bombings
31 October 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee 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.

"Fifty Ships" is another wonderful 'Foyle's War' episode, with everything that is so good about the show very much in evidence. It couldn't be a more perfect way to start Season 2 and to me is among the best episodes of the series. Personally didn't have a problem with Henry Goodman's American accent, American accents are not easy to do for a Brit and Goodman does make a valiant effort and did quite well to my ears, better than a lot of Brits attempting American accents. Like with many 'Foyle's War' episodes, on re-watch there was much more appreciation had for how well established the character development, tone and themes are for so early on and things that didn't quite connect entirely at first made more sense on re-watches.

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. Oh and there are a couple of juicy comeuppances here for the characters one appropriately hates by the end of the episode. 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 and the twists and turns that slowly unfold keep coming until the typically surprising denouement.

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. Sam's subplot is done in a way that makes it easy to root for her and Foyle and Howard Paige's chemistry has beautifully done 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, have really admired what the show does with his character.

The supporting cast are right on point. Amanda Root is a likable presence and Clive Merrison and Janine Duvitski were interesting to see together. Henry Goodman particularly enjoys himself as a purposefully obnoxious character.

Overall, another 'Foyle's War' winner. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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