WW II police drama 'Foyle's War' collected in boxed set

05:00 AM, Mar 16, 2013

'Foyle's War: The Homefront Files' (2002-2008, Acorn Media, not rated, $149) contains all 22 of the roughly 100-minute episodes from the first six series. Acorn Media/


Written By by Steve Jones, USA TODAY

Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) will be fighting on a different front when Foyle’s War returns to PBS Masterpiece Mystery! in September. After seven seasons of bringing all manner of murderers, war profiteers and corrupt officials to justice in the coastal town of Hastings during World War II, the British sleuth will be ferreting out spies and traitors as the world slips into the Cold War.

It will be the first new Foyle episodes in three years, and he will reunite with former driver Samantha Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks) as he tackles his new cases. But before that, there’s a whole summer to catch up on his original ones.

Foyle’s War: The Homefront Files (2002-2008, Acorn Media, not rated, $149) contains all 22 of the roughly 100-minute episodes from the first six series, which coincide with the progress of the war from May 1940 to May 1945. The seventh series (2010), which takes place in the immediate aftermath of the war, will be released on DVD in September in time for the airing of the new episodes.

The series — created and written by author Anthony Horowitz — is rich in period details and depicts the impact historical events had on everyday life even when far removed from any fighting. Foyle’s pursuit of justice often brings him into conflict with high-ranking officials who bristle at a small-town cop scrutinizing people above his station.

The show not only re-creates the look of the times, but the anxieties, attitudes, suffering and sacrifice as well. The dogged Foyle has to cut through layers of classism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia (especially toward Germans) from a citizenry beset with shortages and rationing.

Foyle, who has his own concerns about his RAF fighter pilot son Andrew, is assisted by Detective Sergeant Paul Milner (Anthony Howell), an army veteran who lost his leg in the war. His difficult readjustment to civilian life is complicated by his wife’s lack of empathy toward his injury. Still, he proves an able investigator, who will eventually be promoted to detective inspector.

Foyle’s War first aired on Britain’s ITV in 2002, replacing the popular, long-running detective show Inspector Morse after star John Thaw died. The critically acclaimed Foyle was canceled after five series in 2007, but viewers demanded its return. The supposed final episode, “All Clear,” during which World War II ended, aired in 2008. The sixth series proved to be one of Foyle’smost popular. Not long after that, the network announced that more Foyle episodes would be forthcoming.

But while the war may have changed, Foyle’s determination to crack through conspiratorial puzzles is still the same.