42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2010
A very welcome return for Christopher Foyle. After spending the 1939-45 war policing in Hastings on the South Coast of England, having been persistently denied the chance to do something more directly for the war effort, these three episodes take him to his retirement but with the hope of something more to come.
This could have been a series too far with the apparent finality of VE Day but Anthony Horowitz has found a way of moving the story on and is ably supported by the cast.
Several of his old cases saw him involved with intelligence operatives so maybe he could have a place there in the future. There is room for dramatic tension because he often deplored their aims and methods. He is also off to America to complete some unfinished business, possibly with Henry Goodman's character in Fifty Ships?
This series has the usual top notch performance from Michael Kitchen ably supported by Honeysuckle Weeks and Anthony Howell, although Howell is rather under-used in these three stories.
Sam Stewart has to find a new role now she can no longer work with Foyle. Milner, now a police Inspector, is finding his feet and uncomfortable with his old boss. All three stories see Foyle still involved with new cases, bringing his humanity and knowledge of the nature of man to his investigations.
The Russian House and Killing Time, despite the need to build new roles for Sam and Milner, are up to the usual standard of all of the Foyle stories of the previous series.
But what marks this series out is The Hide, which is superb and outshines for me all of the Foyle stories so far, which is saying a great deal as I can't think of any that are not extremely good.
James Devereaux, a soldier returned from the war, is accused of treason and refuses to defend himself, seemingly intent on being hanged. It's impossible to explain just why it is so good without giving away the plot so all I will say is that Andrew Scott as Devereaux is mesmerising. He gives a wonderfully subtle performance and his scenes with Foyle are breathtakingly moving and very powerful.
If you are worried that this may be a series too far, don't be. If you have never seen Foyle's War but like well-made, well-acted, intelligent detective stories with a feel for time and place and depth of characterisation, give them a go and you won't be disappointed.
64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
If Sherlock Holmes can be brought back from death at the Reichenbach Falls, then Christopher Foyle can certainly be recalled from permanent retirement at the Hastings Police. And fortunately for viewers, ITV has had the good judgment to bring such a scenario to fruition. As far as this viewer is concerned, Foyle, Sam, and Milner--such wonderful characters, they seem like old friends--can go on solving mysteries as long as possible, not only in the period immediately after the war but also into the Cold War, the beginnings of which are intimated in "The Russian House."
As usual, the mysteries are absorbing. I especially enjoyed watching the low-key, snail's-crawl 'car chase' in the first episode; the slowness of the pace heightened the suspense even more than would the customary high-speed television cliche of cars careening through the streets in wrong-way traffic.
In addition to being a superlative detective series, "Foyle's War" continues to act as a mirror of history. It is fascinating to discover some of the War's dirty secrets that had been first hidden and then, conveniently, forgotten, such as the one that serves as the background for "The Russian House." The best thing about the continuation of the series, however, is its concentration on a period of history that is so often neglected--the depiction of what it was like to live in Britain just after the war, with rationing, food shortages, bomb-damage, displaced persons. Especially compelling is its portrayal of the men and women who had given their hearts' blood to service for so many years, dreaming that there was no place like Home, and then upon returning sometimes discovering that Home had no place for them. All the characters of the series have been defined by their wartime personae, as Sam and the young man she meets in London indicate (She has spent most of the war as Inspector Foyle's driver and the young man has spent the war at Bletchley). With the end of the war, they are analogous to actors who had been performing in a very long play after the applause has died down and the curtain has descended. They must go back to reality, but to a new reality.
So here's to Christopher Foyle: may he (and Michael Kitchen) continue to flourish! And thank you, ITV, not only for allowing him to do so, but also for providing us television viewers with such outstanding entertainment.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2010
Just to put peoples' minds at rest. My copy has just arrived from Amazon and it DOES contain the 3 new episodes currently being shown on ITV1
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2010
Foyle's War, Series 6, was totally as I expected it to be: a continuation of the previous series but this time with a more realistic and less abrupt ending. Both Milner and Sam gradually become marginal figures as one would expect them to become with the war over. What I appreciate in particular is the conscientious attention to minute historical details (eg boarding houses for displaced persons, racism in the Army, etc.)in addition of course to the suspense that builds up in each instalment and the various subplots that cut across the main plot.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 26 October 2010
An excellent collection of stories with the usual close attention to historical detail. However as seems to be usual in many historical series the producers do not trouble to get ecclesiastical detail right. Milner's child seems to have been baptised according to the Alternative Service Book which was not issued until 1980, the Prayer Book of 1662 -or perhaps that of 1928 - was what would have been used.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
"Foyle's War, Series 6", is the latest, unexpected arrival in a British mystery television series produced by Britain's ITV stations. So, just when we had reluctantly said goodbye to this outstanding police procedural --it had reached its planned conclusion -- we get more. Thank you, gods of ITV.
The historical mystery series set in the quaint - and historical--south coast English city of Hastings during World War II, made its ITV debut in October, 2002. Set 6 comes to us now as a boxed three DVD set consisting of the complete UK broadcast edition of three new mysteries, approximately 300 minutes. With subtitles, too. As with the previous episodes, that took us through World War II, these encore episodes, that are set immediately after the end of the war, are based on substantial research into lesser-known facets of the war and its aftermath. They are handsomely filmed on location, with excellent period costume, accurate transportation, and interiors, no lack of extras and vehicles; the cop shops and streets are bustling, as they should be. The plots are intriguing, complex, many-layered, driven by compelling characters, chief of which must be Michael Kitchen, (Out Of Africa [DVD] ;Reckless [DVD] ) playing Detective Chief Supervisor Christopher Foyle, a man of undying rectitude, yet with a sly sense of humor. The brilliant scriptwriter Anthony Horowitz (Agatha Christie's Poirot - Complete Collection [DVD] ; Midsomer Murders - Series 1-2 - Complete [DVD] ), who created the series and wrote most of its episodes, has also found ways to bring back co-stars Anthony Howell as Foyle's former subordinate, Detective Inspector Paul Milner, and Honeysuckle Weeks as Foyle's former driver, Samantha Stewart. In addition, the current series features such guest stars as Tim Pigott-Smith (The Jewel In The Crown - Complete Series - 25th Anniversary Edition [DVD]  ), and Eleanor Bron (The House Of Mirth [DVD] ); also Max Brown, Christopher Good, and David Yelland.
The mysteries are:
The Russian House. June 1945. The end of the war finds Britain holding Russian prisoners of war, who fought for the Germans. The country is anxious to repatriate them without incident, as the Russians are somehow holding 20,000 British POW's that it wants back. A couple of Russians escape. Foyle, who wants to retire, still agrees to help British Intelligence officials search for them. His investigation bumps into a murder investigation run by his former subordinate Milner: there's some conflict between them. Sam also shows up: she'd been working for the murder victim. As I have noted before, scriptwriter Horowitz is always at his strongest in tales of father/son conflict, and he's created one here.
Killing Time. July 1945. Black American GI's are being warehoused in Hastings, killing time, as they wait to be returned to the States. Racial tensions accompany these men, and impinge on the British.
The Hide. August 1945. DI Milner looks into the murder of a young woman in Brighton; Foyle is drawn into a search for the motives of an accused traitor who refuses to defend himself, and therefore will be hanged. The investigations converge. Another of Horowitz's particularly strong stories of father/son conflict.
This series is literate and thoughtful, as it has explored the moral gray areas of war. It has won numerous awards, been greatly praised by the critics, and proven extremely popular. If you are a mystery fan who isn't yet familiar with it, you don't know what you're missing. The episodes are free-standing; you can begin here with series 6, but untold pleasures await you should you go back to the beginning, with series 1.
61 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2010
I noticed yesterday (FEB 28th -posting has since been removed correctly and wouldn't you know it it has reappeared as of March 21, note also that the reviews of April 1 and April 20th are in error too!). that someone posted that THIS NEW Foyle's dvd is the last 3 episodes of Foyle from the previous series, BUT if you check out ACORN Media's website in the UK, you'll see under the product description for series 6 that the title's on THIS 3 disk set are NEW and are: "The Russian House", "Killing Time", and "The Hide". I wish some people would check things out from the source before misleading others, that this isn't the new series. GO CHECK OUT THE ACORN UK WEBSITE AND YOU'LL SEE THAT THESE OTHER REVIEWERS ARE INCORRECT. ACORN IS THE MANUFACTURE OF THESE FOYLE'S WAR DVD SETS.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
"Foyle's War" is a British police television drama which is set during and after the Second World War. Most episodes take place in Hastings in the south of England - famous as the site of the Norman Conquest in 1066 - but sometimes other locations are used, for instance London.
The main character is Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen). During the war his official title was Detective Chief Superintendent. But when he presented himself, he usually just said: "My name is Foyle. I'm a police officer." He is a modest man. When the war in Europe ends in May 1945, he retires, but he is still involved with some investigations.
Samantha "Sam" Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks) served as his driver during the war. When Foyle retires, she tries to find a new job and a new life. Paul Milner (Anthony Howell) served as a Detective Sergeant under Foyle during the war. After the war he is promoted to Detective Inspector in Brighton.
The first episode of "Foyle's War" was broadcast on television in 2002, and it is still running. As far as I know, a new season is scheduled to be broadcast in 2015. When a season has been broadcast on television, it becomes available on DVD.
In my opinion, "Foyle's War" is an outstanding drama, for three reasons: (1) it is entertaining; (2) it is a challenge: can you figure out who is guilty and who is innocent before the truth is revealed? (3) It is educational, because it shows the basic facts of life in England during and after the Second World War.
Most episodes begin with several story lines. At first the viewer does not know how they are connected with each other. Eventually one of the story lines, perhaps even two, will lead to a crime, or two crimes, which Foyle and his team will have to investigate.
The crimes committed are often based on or inspired by real historical events. Historical accuracy is an important element of the project, although there are a few cases, where historical accuracy has been violated. To give just one example: in the episode titled "Bad Blood," set in 1942, streptomycin is used to cure a patient, but this drug was not developed until 1943.
I noticed an internal inconsistency regarding Foyle's family: Foyle is a widower. In one episode he visits the cemetery where his wife is buried. According to the tombstone she was born in 1902 and died in 1932. So far so good. Foyle has a son whose name is Andrew (Julian Ovenden). In one episode Andrew says he was eight years old when his mother died. If this is true, he was born in 1924. But this cannot be true, because it does not fit the general story line:
In 1940, when the story line begins, he is ca. 20 years old. He has finished school; when the war began in 1939, he was studying at a university. He has joined up and is in training to become a pilot. In other words: he was born in 1920, and when his mother died in 1932, he was 12. If he was born in 1924, he would be only 16 in 1940; too young to study at a university and too young to join the war effort as a pilot.
"Foyle's War" is created by screenwriter Anthony Horowitz who is also the author or the co-author of most episodes. All episodes are well written and all actors play their roles very well. Each episode is a self-contained story which runs for more than 90 minutes, but at the same time there is long-term development, from one season to the next, from the beginning of the war to the end of it, and beyond.
War brings out the best and the worst in people. On the home front, war creates new crimes, such as stealing food and petrol, known as racketeering. During the war many government institutions are shrouded in secrecy. Many people are not allowed to talk to outsiders about their jobs. Some of them may use the high level of secrecy to commit a crime or to protect a person who has committed a crime because he or she is considered essential for the war effort.
As a policeman, who has to investigate crimes committed on the home front, Foyle is often rebuffed by people in high places. But he does not back down. The more someone tries to keep him out, the more he will try to find out what goes on behind closed doors. His argument is something like this:
"Victims of theft and murder deserve justice, even though we are in the middle of a war. If crimes like theft and murder are allowed to take place, we are no better than the enemy."
The end of the war in 1945 does not mean the end of crime; only new types of crimes. There is still work to do for Foyle.
Each episode raises questions about legality and morality. What does the law say? And what is the right thing to do?
One reason for the high quality of this drama is the British understatement, as opposed to a typical US action drama, where there can be shooting and fighting all the time. "Foyle's War" is not hectic. The pace is slow, but still intense. Since each episode runs for more than 90 minutes, there is time for reflection and time for a moment when no one says anything. Foyle does not talk much, but he listens carefully to other people and he observes every detail around him. When he talks, his lines are usually short and clear. He is a person of authority, not because he can beat somebody up, but because of his honesty, integrity, and his sharp mind.
While the crimes are serious, there is also room for a bit of humour from time to time. The funny situations are often created by or connected with Sam, whose character is quite different from that of Foyle. The two characters complement each other very well.
Series 6 (broadcast in 2010 and released on DVD in 2010) comprises three episodes which are set in the year 1945:
*** "The Russian House"
*** "Killing Time"
*** "The Hide"
I do not wish to spoil the viewing for anyone. Therefore I am not going to reveal any details about these episodes. All I will say is sit back and enjoy the show. But please be careful: you may easily become addicted!
PS # 1. David Horowitz - the creator of "Foyle's War" - has also written a book about the famous detective Sherlock Holmes: "The House of Silk" (2011, 2012)
PS # 2. For some background information about the television drama, see "The Real History behind Foyle's War" by Rod Green (first edition 2006, second edition 2010).
39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2010
Despite the product description, the assertions of some other reviewers, and yes, despite even the testimony of an amazon,co.uk representative, this box set undoubtedly contains the three new (2010) episodes of Foyle's War, the last of which will be aired the day before the set is released.
The three episodes which were aired in 2008 indeed comprised the sixth series of Foyle's War, but for DVD purposes those were called the "fifth series" (as two earlier, abbreviated seasons were combined in one DVD set) and that set has been available since April 2008, just after those episodes were aired.
To those in doubt, I will make the following three points:
1) As another reviewer pointed out, this set is advertised on the Acorn Media website, where the description clearly states that the episodes are set after V-E day (i.e., the 2010 episodes).
2) Note that the rating on this box set is 12, which means that none of the episodes contained in it has a stricter rating than 12. The episode "Broken Souls" from the 2008 season is rated 15-- as, indeed, is the box set that contains it.
3) If the naysayers are correct, then the 2010 episodes are not yet available on DVD, and apparently won't be for a number of months (since it cannot even be pre-ordered yet). Yet on the American amazon.com site, there is an item called "Foyle's War-- Set 6" which will be released on June 1 (not even six weeks away) containing the 2010 episodes, as the product description asserts. Are we to believe that this fine British program will be released on DVD in the United States before it is available in the UK itself? Hardly a likely scenario.
I'd be interested to hear responses to these points from anyone who thinks I'm incorrect.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2010
We love the Foyle's War series and, although the first two of these programs are pretty dark, we enjoyed these new episodes. Michael Kitchen and the supporting cast were, as always, superb and the superb.
As an aside so was the service by Amazon.co.uk. We received our DVDs faster than some of our orders in the US, where we live.