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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
140
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 7 October 2013
some of the crimes are a bit gory at times, but that doesn't detract from what is a tremendous pleasure to watch- I only hope that there are more episodes after series 8!
As an aside, noticing a few comments about subtitles- there are subtitles if you use Netflix to watch Foyle's War- but beware, the quality of these subtitles leave a lot to be desired!
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on 1 July 2014
As a baby-boomer I usually avoid historical drama from this period since it is all too often devised to appeal to the nostalgic element of my generation. As one who regards the past as valuable experience rather than something to yearn for, I, therefore, ignored Foyle when it was first broadcast. The series was repeated recently on Australian television, and I watched a couple of them and realised what I had missed. I immediately ordered the boxed set and am halfway through enjoying them without the distraction of pointless and inane TV advertising.

This is drama of the highest order; beautifuly written, faultless acting from the superb Michael Kitchen and a phallanx of the best British character actors, and impeccable period 'feel'. The puzzles are reasonable quality, but that's not what this is really about. The effect of war on ordinary, and not-so ordinary, people is portrayed brilliantly and pulls no punches. Britain did not transform itself into a land of instant heroes, dedicated to democracy and stopping the Nazis. People were scared, not surprising seeing how fast the rest of Europe had fallen, and had no illusions about how poorly-prepared the country was for fighting. Small wonder that Churchill was terrified that they would want to negotiate with Hitler. Against this backdrop Foyle goes about his business of solving crime, seeking out truth, and trying to ensure justice. He is one of literature's great humanitarians, dedicated to doing what is obviously, and sometimes less obviously, right and fair. He is calm, organised, brave, and utterly unmoved by the machinations and posturings of the great and the good. His most potent weapon is a quiet, but ruthless and devastating logic backed by a profound sense of the ridiculous and natural humour and irony. This is a series that not only gives considerable enjoyment from its sheer quality - it makes you want to be a better person - not my usual reaction to television!
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on 20 July 2013
Like many people I have hearing problems. When " Foyle's War " first came out on DVD I was so impressed that I bought it straight away and sadly, found that there
were no subtitles when the package arrived at my home. I rarely buy anything that does not have subtitles. " Foyle's War " was the exception.
This is TV entertainment of the highest quality spoiled for me and I am sure, for many other people by of the lack of subtitles.
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on 12 July 2013
Watched Series 7 DVD that has subtitles. I incline to agree that info re whether or not the product has English subtitles would help esp. for non-native speakers of English.
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on 16 November 2013
I love this series - pure nostalgia. I am fascinated by this era in the 20th century. "Foyle's War" is so well written and the actors are brilliant. It is the best TV series ever and is the only boxed set I have ever bought.
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on 13 November 2013
Michael Kitchen gives a wonderful performance in this series as do so many of its Cast. I missed seeing this series on TV so grabbed the opportunity when is was made available as a boxed set. I first Saw Michael as a very young man in the 1980's Film "Das bunker"
This was a series that is a delight an viewable many times.
Eric Frith Malta.
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"Foyle's War" is a British police television drama which is set during and after the Second World War. Early 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 is Detective Chief Superintendent. But when he presents himself, he usually just says: "My name is Foyle. I'm a police officer." He is a modest man. At the end of the war he retires, but he is still involved with some investigations. In season 7 he starts to work for British intelligence, MI5.

Samantha "Sam" Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks) serves as his driver during the war. When Foyle retires, she tries to find a new job and a new life. When Foyle starts to work for MI5, she becomes his assistant. Paul Milner (Anthony Howell) serves 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. A new season is scheduled to be broadcast in 2015. When a season has been broadcast on television, it becomes available on DVD.

"Foyle's War" is an outstanding drama, for three reasons: (1) it is entertaining; (2) there 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.

When Foyle tries to investigate crimes committed on the home front, he 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. The Cold War between East and West is beginning, although no character uses this term.

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. In most cases, "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 war and 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 1-7 (broadcast 2002-2013 and released on DVD in 2013) comprises 25 episodes which are set in the years 1940-1946:

*** SERIES 1
The German Woman // The White Feather // A Lesson in Murder // Eagle Day

*** SERIES 2
Fifty Ships // Among the Few // War Games // The Funk Hole

*** SERIES 3
The French Drop // Enemy Fire // They Fought in the Fields // A War of Nerves

*** SERIES 4 part 1
Invasion // Bad Blood //

*** SERIES 4 part 2
Bleak Midwinter // Casualties of War

*** SERIES 5
Plan of Attack // Broken Souls // All Clear

*** SERIES 6
The Russian House // Killing Time // The Hide

*** SERIES 7
The Eternity Ring // The Cage // 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. Anthony 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 background information about the drama, see The Real History Behind Foyle's War by Rod Green (first edition 2006, second edition 2010).
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on 22 August 2013
The series is excellent but was sorry to see that it had no subtitles, as I am hard of hearing it would have been an asset
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on 2 May 2015
AWESOME, awesome, awesome; an incredibly enjoyable and intriguing police drama based in WW2! Excellent acting, excellent plots, realism beyond measure (except for the embarrassing spitfire plane(s) cardboard cut-out silhouettes used at RAF fighter aerodromes - while one or two real ones used in the foreground - that were blatantly easy to see, used as fillers to make a full squadron seem to be in residence) and each show a decent 140x mins rather than the bog-standard 40x mins that most TV show's are these days. The added time per show allows the plot to be examined in far greater detail and more twists and turns to be added... though it does sometimes get to be a tad bit irksome how each show is so quickly wrapped up with all the clues/evidence revealed in a succinct manner as if the whole saga was quite obvious from the get go! As each show/season progresses, each individual show's plots get more intricate and requires more sleuthing by the viewer (aka Sherlock Holmes understudy) and sometimes it can be quite difficult to determine whether 'the butler did it or not' (as in who dun-it).

Overall, I give this series a 5/5 as all the aspects of it (the lame spitfire props notwithstanding) come together in an enjoyable presentation (especially as to the absence of any gratuitous violence - especially against woman - nudity/sex, foul language etc) and one which any member of the household (though not small children) could easily watch, enjoy (even if just as part of a history lesion), and talk about afterwards too. I'm keeping this one in my DVD collection for future viewing again.
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on 28 October 2013
I missed some of the Foyle's War programmes on TV so bought the box set.

Absolutely marvelous and I do have to wonder why they don't make more series on TV.

Michael Kitchen can do more with a look or glance than actors can do with lines and lines of dialogue.
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