Thursday, July 22, 2010

British TV Series:" Foyles War" *****

This Summer I have been using my Netflix account to watch each episode of the British TV series "Foyles War." It's a detective series set during World War II in the South of England. Each episode is a self contained murder investigation and the episodes are in chronological order corresponding to the progress of the war. I have always been interested about life in England during World War II and each episode blends fact with fiction. I learn something new about the war in each episode.

According to Wikipedia:
The programme is set during, and after, the Second World War in Hastings, England, where Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) attempts to catch criminals who are taking advantage of the confusion the war has created. He is assisted by his driver Samantha "Sam" Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks) and Detective Sergeant Paul Milner (Anthony Howell).
Foyle, a widower, is quiet, methodical, and very observant and is frequently underestimated by his foes. Many of his cases concern profiteering, the black market, and murder. Foyle often comes up against high-ranking officials in the British military or intelligence services who would prefer that he mind his own business, but he is tenacious in seeking justice.

The stories are largely self-contained. There are some running strands, mainly involving the career of Foyle's son Andrew (played by Julian Ovenden), a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force, or Foyle's continuing relationships with cameo characters.

Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) is a somewhat lonely and sad figure who does his duty in an understated British way. He served in World War I and his wife, the love of his life, died between the two wars. They only had one child, a son, who at the beginning of the war left Oxford to join the RAF and is a Spitfire fighter pilot who fights in the Battle of Brittan. Foyle worries about his son but you can only see it in his eyes because he is not one to show emotion. Most of his sons friends in the RAF have "bought it" and he is one of the few who remains from the start of the war.

Foyles assistant, Detective Sergeant Paul Milner (Anthony Howell) lost his leg in Norway in the early part of the war when England tried to prevent Germany from taking over that country in a bungled attempt that met with disaster. Foyle goes to the hospital where Sergeant Milner is convalescing, and feeling sorry for himself, and talks him into coming back to work for him with his new prosthetic leg.

Foyle doesn't drive so the Transport Department has assigned him Samantha "Sam" Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks)as his driver. She is always available for comic relief as she tried to "help" with Foyles investigations.

Each episode features a interesting fact about the war. One episode deals with how England medically treated RAF pilots who were burned in combat . Anther deals with the neo Nazi movement in England. You learn how England removed all the street signs in Southern England and advised citizens to hide or destroy maps so as to confuse an invading German Army.

Click on the title for more information about the series.