The international hit mystery series continues with four stories set in 1941, as World War II rages over Europe. Michael Kitchen (Out of Africa) stars as detective Christopher Foyle, whose loyalties are put to the test as ... more »his investigations uncover unpleasant truths that powerful people would rather keep hidden. Grounded in historical fact and filmed in London and the southern counties of England, Foyle?s War opens a unique window on a significant time and place. As seen on PBS. Also starring Anthony Howell, Honeysuckle Weeks, Julian Ovenden, and featuring Corin Redgrave, Bill Paterson, Stella Gonet, Samuel West, Angela Thorne, and James Wilby. THE MYSTERIES: THE FRENCH DROP?Investigating a suspicious death, Foyle gets caught up in the rivalry between the established spy agency MI5 and the newly created SOE (Special Operations Executive). ENEMY FIRE?Sabotage, murder, and adultery at a pioneering RAF hospital brings Foyle face to face with the devastating physical and emotional consequences of war. THEY FOUGHT IN THE FIELDS?A murdered farmer and the crash landing of a German plane present a confusing case, especially as spring is in the air and even Foyle is not immune to a whiff of romance. A WAR OF NERVES?An unexploded bomb at a busy shipyard leads to a startling discovery in a complex story of greed and politics. DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE behind-the-scenes documentary with interviews and exclusive "making-of" footage, production notes, and cast filmographies.« less
As WW2 rages around the world, DCS Foyle fights his own war on the home-front as he investigates crimes on the south coast of England. Later series sees the retired detective working as an MI5 agent operating in the aftermath of the war.
Creator: Anthony Horowitz
Stars: Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks, Anthony Howell. Each episode is a Who's Who of British acting talent.
This set has 4 episodes - All outstanding
"The French Drop" - In occupied France, a British agent named "Facteur" is killed when he steps on a mine after parachuting in near Rouen. The agent is linked to a tense standoff between Major General Sir Giles Messinger of MI5 and Colonel James Wintringham of Special Operations Executive. Back in Hastings, a body is found after an explosion in a bookshop. Although it seems apparent that Messinger's son William committed suicide, the facts available are inconsistent. Following the trail to SOE, and their "dirty warfare" training centre at Hill House, Foyle meets Wintringham and Hilda Pierce, and with the help of Milner and Stewart, is slowly able to uncover the true identity of the body and the story behind it. Foyle then reveals that William and Facteur are the same person, and that the explosion and body-theft were part of a cover-up in order to avoid SOE being shut down by MI5. He decides to remain quiet over SOE's blunders regarding the "Facteur" mission, and accepts accusations of mis-investigation from Messinger, losing the naval job but believing he has best aided the war effort
"Enemy Fire" - The RAF requisitions Digby Manor as a burns medical unit led by surgeon Patrick Jamieson and Dr. Brian Wrenn. Group Captain Lawrence Smythe disapproves of Jamieson's unconventional yet effective methods. The owner, Sir Michael Waterford, and his housekeeper, Mrs. Roecastle, are troubled at the eviction but comply. Numerous acts of sabotage then occur at the manor, and investigations reveal it to be work of the housekeeper, upset at the requisition. Meanwhile, Peter Preston, the new ARP warden informs Wrenn of his wife's affair. Andrew Foyle is relieved when his friend Greville Woods is sent on a night reconnaissance mission instead of him. The mission ends after Woods crashes and suffers serious burns, and Andrew goes AWOL in Stewart's flat, suffering from severe exhaustion. Gordon Drake, the central figure in the story, being somehow connected to everyone, is murdered. Foyle and Milner are able to determine that even though Wrenn initially assaulted him, it was Preston, his brother-in-law, who killed him over his harsh treatment of his sister.
"They Fought in the Fields" - After an air raid, two Luftwaffe airmen, Sabartovski and Schimmel, are captured and handed over to the POW interrogation service's Major Cornwall. Meanwhile, on Hugh Jackson's farm, his son Tom (who works as a guard at the POW camp) finds his father shot dead in an apparent suicide. Also on the farm are two Land Girls, Rose Henshall and Joan Dillon, and wood selector Barbara Hicks. Soon, another German airman, Weiser, is found nearby with his pistol missing, and he is taken to the camp's infirmary by Cornwall. However, irregularities come to light after examining the farmer's body, and Foyle finds blood while Milner finds a pig carcass in a freshly dug grave, revealing black marketeering at the farm. After Foyle learns Henshall is pregnant with Hugh Jackson's child, they also find Andrew Neame, the man who supposedly ran away with Jackson's wife 11 years ago. He denies running away with her, and the truth is revealed - Jackson killed and buried her, and that Weiser is actually a secret agent sent to silence Sabartovski, and he shot Jackson after being discovered.
"A War of Nerves" - Seeking to crack down on organised crime, Milner goes undercover in the building business, which leads Foyle's team to possible racketeering at the Talbot Shipyard. Assistant Commissioner Rose directs Foyle to investigate communist leader Raymond Carter, who is in Hastings with his fiancée and Rose's daughter, painter Lucinda Sheridan. Carter rebukes Foyle for his inquiry, and Sheridan goes on to explain his commitment to the People's Convention. The story then follows Royal Engineers Captain Hammond, Jack Archer, and Ernest Jones, who are called to the shipyard, and find a cache of money which they steal. Foyle later learns from a shop steward and union agitator, Derek Woodgate, that only 200 people work at the yard, while the Talbot brothers have been receiving wages for 400. Later, the body of Jones is found, killed by Talbot henchmen, and Hammond decides to booby trap a suitcase, ending up killing himself and the Talbot brothers. The money is then returned to the government.
?For more nuanced performances watch the DVDs and not the sh
Rudolf Schmid | Kensington, CA | 09/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"?Series 3 of the excellent series Foyle's war was first telecast in the U.S. on PBS on 11, 18, 25 Sep. and 3 Oct. 2005 and was released on DVD on 1 Nov. 2005. However, watching the DVDs of all series is preferable if one wants to see the unexpurgated episodes. Here are the first telecast dates for series 1-4 of Foyle's war: series 1: telecast UK Oct.-Nov. 2002, US in Feb. 2003 (on Masterpiece theater, with Russell Baker introducing) series 2: telecast UK Nov.-Dec. 2003, US in July-Aug. 2004 (on Mystery) series 3: telecast UK Oct.-Nov. 2004, US in Sep.-Oct. 2005 (on Mystery) series 4: was filmed in spring 2005 and will be telecast in 2006 The PBS broadcasts in the US are edited for a 90-minute period, which includes the Mystery (or Masterpiece theater) opening-closing sequences, between-program promos, etc. This means that each episode is really only 85 minutes long at best. Region 1 DVDs (U.S., Canada), in contrast, are about 100 minutes per episode, as are the region 2 DVDs (Europe--see www.amazon.co.uk): specific values for the 4 episodes on series 2 are (for region 1) 98.5, 97.9, 98.3, 98.3 minutes. Thus in the U.S. for the proper, more nuanced episode watching Foyle's war on DVD is essential and preferable to viewing it on PBS.
Note: In a 28 Sep. 2004 interview with creator-writer Anthony Horowitz, he was asked: "Do you realise that the show is edited to pieces when it's shown on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in the states?" Horowitz replied: "Yes we're very sorry about that. It's not something I'd choose to do. It's American networking. I'd advise all American fans to get their hands on the English DVDs to see them in full." I note here that American fans need only get the *American* DVDs to see the episodes in full. Also, if you first watch the shortened PBS telecast, you may later wonder about some lengthier scenes when you watch the DVDs."
A Trip Back in Time: Solving Murders Amid the Bane of War.
mirasreviews | McLean, VA USA | 11/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Foyle's War" is as much an exploration of the era in which it takes place as it is a series of murder mysteries. Writer/creator Michael Horowitz based the stories on real institutions and circumstances of World War II, as they were experienced by the 2 generations of Englishmen and women whom we see in the films. The attention to detail in dress, speech, and production design is extraordinary. Series 3 takes place in 1941 and incorporates the Women's Land Army, the early years of Special Operations Executive, and the military's pioneering burn treatment centers into the mysteries. Michael Kitchen stars as quiet, perceptive Detective Superintendent Christopher Foyle, a widower and veteran of the First World War, who feels he should be contributing more to the war effort in spite of his great success as a crime-solver. Sergeant Paul Milner (Anthony Howell), a veteran who lost one leg and perhaps his marriage, is Foyle's right-hand man. And Samantha "Sam" Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks) is Foyle's spirited, youthful driver. "Foyle's War" is a wonderful trip back in time, where ever-popular murder mysteries are set against the intriguing background of a world at war.
The DVDs (Acorn Media 2005): PBS cut these episodes down to 85 minutes for American television. The DVDs contain the full 100-minute versions, which truly are better. There are 4 DVDs, with one episode per disc. Bonus features on Disc 1 are: "The Making of Foyle's War" (24 min) which follows one day of filming "Enemy Fire" on an RAF airstrip in Buckinghamshire, including filming the crashing spitfire. "Production Notes: Anthony Horowitz" (text) comments on history and characters. This was also on the PBS web site. "The Truth Behind `The French Drop'" (text) discusses the SOE that was created by Churchill in 1940 for purposes of sabotage and subversion. In "Cast Reflections" (text), 6 cast members comment on their characters and the series. There are also "Cast Filmographies" for 6 cast members.
"The French Drop" finds Foyle still dissatisfied with being a police detective and trying to get a transfer to Naval Intelligence. He's distracted from his discontent when a young man is found blown to bits in a book depository, apparently a suicide. The only clue to his identity is an engraved gold pocket watch, which indicates that he is William Messinger, son of Major General Giles Messinger (Ronald Pickup) of MI5 and an agent himself for the super-secret Special Operations Executive (SOE), specializing in "the arts of ungentlemanly warfare". Foyle tangles with William's commanding officer Colonel James Wintringham (Samuel West) and interdepartmental rivalries in the intelligence community to unravel this complex case in which no one seems to be who they say.
In "Enemy Fire", the Royal Air Force has requisitioned Digby Manor, the stately home of Sir Michael Waterford (John Wood), to use as a burn treatment center under the administration of the unorthodox Dr. Jamieson (Bill Paterson). Dr. Brian Wrenn (Jonathan Slinger), a surgeon at the center, has become frustrated by a rash of petty accidents that appear to be sabotage. Meanwhile, DCS Foyle's son Andrew (Juilan Ovenden), an RAF Spitfire pilot, is showing signs of battle fatigue from constant sorties and sleep deprivation, exacerbated by an incompetent mechanic, Gordon Drake (Shaun Dooley). Violent and predatory, Drake makes enemies left and right. So it's no great surprise when he's found dead. In Foyle's words, "It seems half of Hastings decided to do away with him at much the same time."
"They Fought in the Fields" refers to the volunteers of the Women's Land Army, who kept Great Britain in meat and potatoes throughout the war in exchange for a pittance wages. Two Germans airmen bail out of their plane as it crashes in the English countryside and are picked up by Detective Foyle and Sergeant Milner. On the nearby Jackson farm, Rose (Paula Jennings) and Joan (Jenny Platt) of the Women's Land Army assist elderly Mr. Hugh Jackson (Nigel Terry), while their outspoken tenant, pole selector Barbara Hicks (Stella Gonet), takes a dim view of men. Mr. Jackson is found murdered in his home, and another German parachutist is found dangling from a tree. Sam joins Rose and Joan on the farm in search of clues to Jackson's murder. And Foyle suspects something is going on between those 3 Germans at the POW camp where they have been incarcerated.
In "A War of Nerves", Foyle's undercover investigation into stolen black market supplies is interrupted when Assistant Commissioner Rose (Corin Redgrave) insists that he investigate left-wing activist Raymond Carter (Peter Capaldi), who has come to town for a meeting of "The People's Convention". Unexploded German bombs are falling all over. When Captain Hammond (Dugald Bruce-Lockhart), Jack Archer (Samuel Oatley), and Ernest Jones (Fergus O'Donnell) of the bomb disposal unit enter an abandoned machine shop at Talbot's ship yard to diffuse one of them, they find a stash of cash and decide to keep it. But Earnest is abducted, Commissioner Rose is putting pressure on everyone everywhere to incriminate Raymond Carter, and all roads seem to lead to the shipyard and its owners, the brothers Talbot (David Westhead & Matthew Flynn)."
BETTER AND BETTER
GEORGE RANNIE | DENVER, COLORADO United States | 12/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This series just keeps getting better and better. I loved Series 1 and 2 and didn't perceive that there was anyway Series 3 could be any better. I'm pleased to say that I WAS WRONG! Series three is awesome. The characters are more intriguing maturing in a most realistic manner with the stories being even more fascinating. A fine example is "A war of Nerves" that episode truly kept me on the edge of my seat. Likewise, "A French Drop" is spectacular! If you're into "Good" mysteries, you can't get any better than this. So buy this disc; you'll love it! "
How do they do it??
phantomfan | Ohio, USA | 11/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Foyle's War season 3 was a long time coming (or at least it felt like it!) and I am happy to say that it measures up in every way to the excellent standard already set.
To get the nitpicking out of the way first, the picture quality seems a little less pristine than in the previous release, with the dark scenes, and even a few of the daytime scenes, a little grainy. Minor matter. Also, the "making of" documentary on disk one was nothing of the sort, merely a roughly narrated "day on the set" coverage of the making of one scene in particular. It is interesting to watch, but a true "making-of" would be very welcome at this point in the series. Also a minor matter.
Nit-picking mode: off.
What continues to impress me about this series is the meticulous attention to detail and to historical accuracy. Each story is built around actual events, from which the mystery naturally springs. Season three finds the stories becoming more graphic (yes, that pinkish stuff all over the walls is brains), and evolving somewhat from the cozy-mystery-in-a-large-estate of season one to a grittier (dare I say more realistic?) type of mystery. And yet the show brilliantly manages to maintain that charm and humor that have made it so popular.
The best episode of the lot is the first, The French Drop, guest starring the wonderful Ronald Pickup and the equally wonderful Samuel West (Hornblower fans will recognize both). A fantastic episode with an expertly maintained sense of tension. Has to be watched again to be appreciated! And there is plenty of humor, with Sam doing a bit of sleuthing on the side, and Sgt. Rivers selling raffle tickets for an onion.
Of the remaining three episodes, the fourth, A War of Nerves, is the most unique - there is no murder until nearly two-thirds into it, and there is never any question of whodunit, or why. But in its own way, this episode might be one of the most brilliant, exploring a vast range of human emotion, from the terror and futility of those who have the job of disarming unexploded bombs, to the love and fear of a girl anxious to marry her beau before the war takes his life, to the desperation of a father willing to do anything to protect his daughter. And underneath it all is the ugliness of greed.
Through each new challenge, DCS Foyle remains his enigmatic self, and Michael Kitchen maintains his character with perfection, allowing us to see more and more of him at every turn, and yet still shrouding Foyle in mystery. Acting simply doesn't get any better.
The DVDs offer more extras than the previous two seasons, all of which are welcome. The "story behind the story" is really the meat and potatoes of the series, and crucial to fully appreciating each episode. Also, cast reflections (all text) are entertaining and sometimes insightful reading.
I could wish for more special features, a true "making-of" or an interview with Michael Kitchen would be a good start, but their lack in no way affects the greatness of this set. I am amazed at the quality of this series, absolutely unmatched in television today.
Now...looking forward to Season Four!
Best history lesson ever
Betsy Blueberry | Douglas, MA United States | 12/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I loved this program and all that went with it - my daugher who is a freshman at Dordt College loved it also - worth every cent and more. The stories intriguing, the film work is gorgeous - and the characters have depth and intelligence."