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Foyle's War: Set 1 [DVD] [2002] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Michael Kitchen , Honeysuckle Weeks    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product details

  • Actors: Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks, Anthony Howell, Ellie Haddington, Jay Simpson
  • Writers: Anthony Horowitz
  • Format: Anamorphic, Box set, Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Mar 2003
  • Run Time: 412 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B00007KLE8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 211,246 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Foyling (sic) the bad guys on the home front 26 Aug 2004
By Joseph Haschka HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Perhaps it's my affection for England - a love that makes my wife roll her eyes - that causes me to have a higher regard for BBC and ITV small screen productions than those of America, which seem so crass in comparison. So many of the former seem uncommonly funny, intelligent, or both. FOYLE'S WAR is an uncommonly intelligent detective drama, a period piece set on England's south coast in 1940. And, to keep the record straight, my wife's dedication to this series is at least as pronounced as mine, if not more so.
Michael Kitchen is Detective Inspector Christopher Foyle, who's ordered to remain at his post as homicide investigator for Hastings and its environs; he'd much rather be doing his bit for King and Empire fighting the Nazis across the Channel. Indeed, his son is a flying officer with the RAF. The two other series regulars are Samantha "Sam" Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks), the Women's Royal Army Corps enlistee assigned as his driver, and Paul Milner (Anthony Howell), Foyle's assistant inspector recently returned to home front duty after being wounded with the Army during the disastrous British invasion of Norway.
In Series One,the murders occur in contexts that include sexual harassment, anti-semitism, police brutality, local jingoism, sabotage, and conscientious objection - all set against a backdrop of Luftwaffe bombing raids and the fear of imminent amphibious invasion by the German Wehrmacht.
The character of Foyle - intelligent, perceptive, reserved, compassionate, wounded by his wife's recent death, worried for his son's safety - epitomizes the phrase "still waters run deep." The viewer embarks into each episode wondering what new layer of Foyle's persona will be revealed.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  869 reviews
168 of 172 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Foyling (sic) the bad guys on the home front 1 Aug 2004
By Joseph Haschka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Perhaps it's my affection for England - a love that makes my wife roll her eyes - that causes me to have a higher regard for BBC and ITV small screen productions than those of America, which seem so crass in comparison. So many of the former seem uncommonly funny, intelligent, or both. FOYLE'S WAR is an uncommonly intelligent detective drama, a period piece set on England's south coast in 1940. And, to keep the record straight, my wife's dedication to this series is at least as pronounced as mine, if not more so.

Michael Kitchen is Detective Inspector Christopher Foyle, who's ordered to remain at his post as homicide investigator for Hastings and its environs; he'd much rather be doing his bit for King and Empire fighting the Nazis across the Channel. Indeed, his son is a flying officer with the RAF. The two other series regulars are Samantha "Sam" Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks), the Women's Royal Army Corps enlistee assigned as his driver, and Paul Milner (Anthony Howell), Foyle's assistant inspector recently returned to home front duty after being wounded with the Army during the disastrous British invasion of Norway.

In Series One,the murders occur in contexts that include sexual harassment, anti-semitism, police brutality, local jingoism, sabotage, and conscientious objection - all set against a backdrop of Luftwaffe bombing raids and the fear of imminent amphibious invasion by the German Wehrmacht.

The character of Foyle - intelligent, perceptive, reserved, compassionate, wounded by his wife's recent death, worried for his son's safety - epitomizes the phrase "still waters run deep." The viewer embarks into each episode wondering what new layer of Foyle's persona will be revealed. (Not to give too much away, but I've just seen the first episode of Series Two, which gives evidence of an old and tragic love affair involving Foyle and a now-married gentlewoman.) And the evolution of the relationship between Foyle and the occasionally cheeky Sam is one of the major delights of the miniseries as the latter proves she's smart, intuitive, and potentially more useful than just a lowly chauffeur.

The various murders investigated by the trio are never straightforward, but involve clever plot twists and hidden motives, the solutions to which silently gestate in the Inspector's mind before being revealed at the end of the story, much like the Sherlock Holmes mysteries of old.

There are, of course, uneven moments to Series One which allow for only four stars. I trust, as the show matures, that it will only get better. The areas that need no improvement are the period costuming, props and sets, all of which are superbly done and a delight to an Anglophile.
125 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Count this for six stars at least 9 May 2003
By Irreverent - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This is a worthy new addition to the best British mystery series -- heavy praise from me. As a red-eyed fan of Morse, Dalgliesh, Poirot, Holmes (Brett), Smiley, Wimsey, etc., I am picky, having hosed off Oscar(R) winners and sequel spawners with a couple of stars and a flood of sarcasm. However, my only misgivings about the five-star award to this (thank heaven only the first) "Foyle's War" set is that Amazon.com would not allow me to give it all the stars it merits.
I especially like its Britain -- no London / manorial ambience: Hitler lurks 30 miles across the Channel washing at our feet, the Battle of Britain has yet to be won, the Yanks not yet "overpaid, oversexed, and over here." At any time, a storm of Nazi bombs, naval gunfire, and assault troops could smash into the deceptively tranquil seaside setting, making the visit from William the Conqueror 874 years earlier seem like a romp in the meadow.
Foyle is recently widowed, and must also solve cases not only amid the chaos of the Dunkirk rescue and attempts to set up coastal defenses, but also knowing that his son is one of the outnumbered pilots keeping the Nazi storm offshore, even falsely accused by a dishonest superior in one episode. Foyle is human, doesn't drive(!) and is not delighted that his driver Sam turns out to be a Samantha -- until she conks a felon escaping him. Kitchen and Weeks are perfect, with Weeks's heroic status multiplied by learning from the DVD extras that she DID OVER ONE HUNDRED TAKES of eating the same sandwich and still made it look like her first bite. Too bad we so seldom find actors as uniformly marvelous as in British productions.
I will expand no more on the excellent reviews by others who appreciated this series, except to agree most enthusiastically. This is not only a superb mystery series, but an excellent reminder, in a setting not well-known in the US, of the courage and determination that the ordinary Brits found among their sometimes lovable quirks at a time when they stood alone as others caved in to Hitler.
The technological quality of the DVD's is superb. These great British TV series are reason enough to stay with the 4:3 format and leave wide screens to those whose taste has sunk to (or never rose above) Hollywood.
57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great new mystery series 13 Mar 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Fans of Inspector Morse who are still mourning the death of John Thaw will find this series a satisfying replacement, which was the intent of the British television moguls who first televised it. Like Morse, Kitchen's Foyle is a man of many layers, silent when others would be losing it. Both of his 'sidekicks' are engaging, with problems of their own (though neither replaces 'Robby', who was Morse's Greek chorus). What makes this series unique is how it brings World War II to life. The second episode, 'The White Feather', is striking in its topicality - the pacifists vs. those who see war as inevitable. In the light of what we know now about Hitler, the outcome of our own 'war' may be seen by future generations just as differently. Foyle joins the ranks of other great British detectives and I hope he will be around a long time.
For the main reviewer, Foyle is not a London detective. He lives on the coast (mainly because it would have been too expensive to try to get a 40's look in London). For those who think Foyle is 'righteous', I think we could substitute 'principled'. I was around for that generation and many of them lived by what they thought was right, not by what lie they could 'spin'.
Give this series a chance and I think you'll be hooked.
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For more nuanced performances watch the DVDs and not the shortened PBS telecasts 8 Sep 2005
By Rudolf Schmid - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
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.
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inception of a Grand Series, Great! 17 Aug 2010
By John F. Rooney - Published on Amazon.com
"The German Woman" is the first episode of the first year of the British TV series "Foyle's War". The plot focuses on the wife of a wealthy, influential official. The woman of German extraction is getting preferential treatment because of her husband's position and power. Germans living in Britain were classified as aliens, and if they lived within five miles of the coast, they were supposed to be evacuated and interned because they were deemed to be a threat. The wife was permitted to stay in the family mansion and carry on her regular activities which included energetic horseback riding. The excuse for her being allowed to stay was that the family doctor had certified that she wasn't well enough to be moved.
Police Detective Chief Inspector, Christopher Foyle (subtly delineated by Michael Kitchen) wants to serve in the forces, but his commander says that ordinary crime such as murder will continue despite the war and must be investigated. In the series many of the murders that take place are motivated by wartime events and the upheavals brought about by a nation under siege. It starts in England in 1940 during World War II. Anti-German sentiment ran high during the war, and this hatred percolated into murder. Thus we have Foyle, the civilian cop, doing his necessary job to solve a crime.
This episode has a complicated but easy-to-follow plot with many nooks and crannies. We see Foyle's first meeting with his perky and inquisitive female military driver, Samantha, called Sam (played by Honeysuckle Weeks). She turns out to be a good detective. He also hires on Sergeant Milner who has lost a leg in the war. Foyle's university son is headed for RAF service.
It's a neat plot with a good helping of suspects and two murders. The episode has beautiful views of the bucolic countryside and outstanding acting. Edward Fox plays a cameo role. The series hallmark is authenticity. People carry their gas mask bags; we see the vintage vehicles, clothes, railroad trains, and see the importance of radio in a pre-TV period.
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