Foyle's War (2002–2015)
8 user

The Russian House 

The escape of a Russian POW sets off a chain of events that leads to murder and rekindles a conflict between Foyle and his former subordinate.


Stuart Orme


Anthony Horowitz (written and created by)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Marks ... Anton Valyshkin
Marek Oravec ... Ivan Spiakov
Rob Heanley Rob Heanley ... Army Sergeant
Giles Taylor Giles Taylor ... Andrew Bennet
Tim Pigott-Smith ... Brigadier Timothy Wilson
Tom Goodman-Hill ... Maurice Jones
Valerie Minifie Valerie Minifie ... Woman
Michael Kitchen ... Christopher Foyle
Michael Elwyn ... Police Officer
Jon Glover ... Police Officer
Honeysuckle Weeks ... Samantha Stewart
Dimitry Drannikov Dimitry Drannikov ... Nikolai Vladchenko
Christopher Good ... Sir Leonard Spencer-Jones
Anthony Howell ... DI Paul Milner
Polly Maberly ... Edith Milner


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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery | War






English | Russian

Release Date:

2 May 2010 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Foyle tells Sam that when he retires he intends to go to America. Sam asked why? Foyle replies unfinished business. This relates to Howard Paige in the episode "Fifty Ships" for the murder of "Richard Hunter". See more »


Although it is 1945, a 1948 Rover P3 75 Sports Saloon can be spotted in one of the scenes. See more »


Monsieur Duveen: [after being questioned by Foyle about the two Russians] Neither of these men were here.
Christopher Foyle: You're quite sure of that?
Monsieur Duveen: Have we given you any reason to doubt us?
Christopher Foyle: Since you mention it, Vladchenko had nowhere else to go in London. Spiakov told him specifically to come here, and it would be interesting to know, uh, since you've no idea where I've come from, why he'd have had to have 'come up' to London?
Monsieur Duveen: I beg your pardon?
Christopher Foyle: You just asked me when he 'came up' to London.
Monsieur Duveen: Doesn't everybody come up to ...
See more »

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User Reviews

The aftermath of war
5 November 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.

Although a fine episode as one would expect from 'Foyle's War', "The Russian House" is not quite up there with the series' best to me. A little more thought agreed could have been put into the tension between Foyle and Milner, that was not comfortable to watch and didn't seem in character. There is a huge amount to admire about "The Russian House" otherwise. 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 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. 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. All the conflicts, social/ethical themes and how the period is portrayed are handled beautifully and tastefully, as is the aftermath of the war and British government.

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.

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.

Christopher Good and Tim Piggott-Smith (rest in peace) are particularly good of the excellent supporting cast.

In conclusion, fine episode. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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