Monday, February 15, 2016

Foyle's War (TV Series) - Season 1

Foyle's War is a series that I've always thought I should watch because it seemed interesting, but until the other day I had only seen one or two episodes and been fairly bored by them. So since I was already bored the other day I tried watching it again from the beginning and finally got the story from the start and found myself rather enjoying the first season! 

The stories do move slower as each episode runs about 90 minutes and World War II isn't my most favorite time period but I do enjoy this series most times.
With lovely 1940's fashions, pretty music, gorgeous scenery, interesting mysteries and many recognizable actors throughout the series Foyle's War is a fun series and I'm looking forward to watching more of the episodes in future.

This is my third film review for the 2016 Period Drama Challenge I'm hosting. Check out all the details of the challenge at the official post.

Foyle: "I'm a policeman. I'm here to do a job. Simple as that. If I start bending the rules, I might as well pack it in."
Sam: "Yes, but she was a German." 
Foyle: "Well, it doesn't make any difference at all. She's a human being, She was murdered. Murder is murder. You stop believing that, and we might as well not be fighting a war, because you end up like the Nazis." 
--Season 1, Episode 1

A Bit About The Main Characters:

Michael Kitchen as DCS Christopher Foyle - The quote above is why I like Foyle. It doesn't matter the circumstances surrounding a victim's murder, murder is murder and must be punished, even in the middle of a war. I enjoy Foyle because he's very even tempered and thoughtful as a detective and keeps his emotions buried deep down. His interview style is interesting because most times all he has to do is ask one question and let the person he's interviewing talk themselves into trouble. He loves fly fishing, golfing and getting letters from his son Andrew who is in the RAFs. Michael Kitchen's other period dramas include: The Buccaneers (1995), Kidnapped (1995), Oliver Twist (1999) and Lorna Doone (2000). 

Honeysuckle Weeks as Samantha Stewart "Sam" - Sam is a rather plucky gal who is assigned to Foyle as his driver. He is impressed by her right away when she stops a criminal from running away. Over time she pushes a bit into Foyle's personal life and becomes a good friend him. Her stories of growing up as a minister's daughter are quite funny. Ms. Weeks' other period dramas include: Lorna Doone (2000) and Poirot: Cards On The Table.

Anthony Howell as Paul Milner - A disabled veteran who consults on Foyle's first case (well, in Episode 1) and later works on as his junior officer. His wife Jane has a hard time accepting the loss of his leg and isn't very supportive of him. He has a hard time in the first season figuring out where he stands on the war since he's been wounded, all part of figuring out who he is as a man.
Anthony Howell's other period dramas include: Roger Hamley in Wives & Daughters (1999). 

Julian Ovenden as Andrew Foyle - Andrew isn't in many of the episodes but I enjoy his character mostly because through his scenes and the letters he sends it shows the softer side of his father DCS Foyle. Julian Ovenden's other period dramas include: The Forsyte Saga (I don't recommend this), A Christmas Carol: The Musical (2004), Poirot: After The Funeral and Downton Abbey (Season 4 & 5).

Season One By Episode:

Episode 1: The German Woman
Story: The German wife of a rich and influential aristocrat exempted from wartime internment is found decapitated in the midst of anti-German feeling.
Content: Two Germans are handled rather roughly and taken to an interment camp, a bomb hits a pub with people inside, victim is beheaded while out ridding (bloody hand and face are shown but nothing else), another victim is run over by a car, a love affair is mentioned, some heavy kissing. 
Recognizable Actors: David Horovitch, Edward Fox, Robert Hardy, Joanna Kanska, Rosamund Pike, Dominic Mafham, Julian Ovenden, James McAvoy
Thoughts: Neat to meet all the characters. Moves fairly slowly but right up until the end it was hard to figure out who the murderer was and when Foyle did figure it out his true metal was tested (an that's where the quote comes is). 

Episode 2: The White Feather
Story: The arrest of a young girl on a sabotage charge brings Foyle into contact with a group of English Nazi sympathizers.The arrest of a young girl on a sabotage charge brings Foyle into contact with a group of English Nazi sympathizers.
Content: Nazi sympathizers make jokes and sing a degrading song about Jews, the victim is shot with a gun, another attempted murder victim is shown, wounded soldiers are shown being treated, a dead man's face is shown.
Recognizable Actors: Charles Dance, Michael Simkins, Maggie Steed, Tobias Menzies, Paul Brooke, Patrick Godfrey
Thoughts: I didn't really like Charles Dance's character at all but then he's a Nazi sympathizer in this and you're supposed to like her. The identity of the murderer wasn't very surprising but interesting nonetheless. 

Episode 3: A Lesson In Murder
Story: Foyle investigates the suicide of a pacifist and death threats to the judge who ruled against his conscientious objector status.
Content: A naked man is chatised by being hosed down with freezing cold water (his front and behind aren't shown), a victim is hanged in a police cell, a summerhouse is blown up by a grenade and one character tragically dies in the explosion, shots are heard and another victim is found dead, effects of war are talked about, when the the murder is explained the second victim is seen shot in the chest three times, a mod is seen blowing up a shop and there is a death talked about.  
Recognizable Actors: Oliver Ford Davies, Sophia Myles, David Tennant, Elliot Cowan, Cheryl Campbell, Allan Corduner.
Thoughts: The actors are awesome in this! David Tennant spouts poetry and Sophia Myles is secretly in love with Elliot Cowan and his Irish accent! This is the first time we get to see the lovely Sam out of uniform and she looks so pretty in a blue dress dancing with a handsome man! Nice to see Sergeant Milner getting around more but sad that his wife isn't more supportive. The murder in this is so very sad! Neat to see Foyle's friends, someone that knew his deceased wife even. Probably my favorite episode of this first season, very sad in some ways but has it's lovely parts too!

Episode 4: Eagle Day
StoryFoyle investigates a man found with a knife in his stomach in a bombed out building while son Andrew gets involved in a top secret radar program.
Content: A bomb falls on an apartment complex and a man is found dead in the wreckage with a knife in his stomach, Sam and her father talk about lack of morality with the war, Sam tries to get information out of an RAF officer at a pub and he pinches her, another victim is stabbed in the chest, a girl's suicide is talked about and the reason she killed herself (seduced and pregnant) are spoken of, bombs go off and characters must run for cover.
Recognizable Actors: Anthony Calf, Roger Allam and Anton Lesser. 
Thoughts: Neat to see Andrew getting his flying orders and talking to his father about flying. One scene even briefly touches on Foyle's wife and that she's been gone eight years. Anton Lesser make a wonderful museum curator and shares interesting tidbits about an art museum hiding their paintings in a cave in Wales! They even get to visit Wales and talk to a Welshman (love their accents!). Sam has to deal with her minister father disapproving about her job and almost has to leave! An interesting story of how two murders are tied together!

Recommendations: This show isn't rated but most of the episodes I'd give a PG-13 rating for mild cursing, violence and some more adult themes (such as war and love affairs). I quite enjoyed this series and I think it would appeal to those who enjoy other period dramas such as Poirot, Miss Marple, Granchester and Endeavour. 

Have you seen Foyle's War (TV series)? 

Do you have a favorite season, episode or character?


Homeschool Mom said...

I teach courses in the Era of the World Wars and the History of England, so this show has been one of my favorites.

Lois Johnson said...

I really need to finish this series. I watched a couple seasons some years ago and then never got any further.... I think school distracted me. I loved this show though. Foyle's quote is so perfect. :)

Elisa said...

I saw some of the series on and off when it was originally on PBS. The show had a good run--the 8th and final season had Foyle investigating in the early years of the Cold War.

Hamlette said...

I've been wanting to see this for a while, but it hasn't crossed my path yet. Are you linking this up with Rose's '40s Week celebration on An Old-Fashioned Girl this week? Because if not, you should -- it's perfect timing!

Sarah said...

I have enjoyed watching some Foyle's War with my family. 1940's are my particular favorite, so that might have something to do with my enjoyment of it. :)

Birdie said...

I adore Foyle's War, especially the first seasons. I love Foyle and Sam, they're such an odd pair, but they can work so well together. And I love how it shows all kinds of things going on in British society during WWII.

Jessica said...

I watched some of the first episode and was enjoying it until the part where the German lady was beheaded. I am very sensitive and something gruesome like that in a movie/TV show can bother me so much that my stomach hurts for a while and my sleep is disturbed.
It was disappointing to have to stop watching, because the series seemed interesting and I enjoy period dramas for the scenery, sets and costumes, etc.

Thanks for reviewing the episodes. Now I know that there are other gruesome type things that would bother me, too, and won't bother trying again. ha

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