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In Appreciation of Foyle’s War

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  • Tony Ruiz
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    #351537

    I don’t know if there is already a thread about this…if so, feel free to delete.

    If you want to find a show that is consistently excellent, I suggest you look no further than Foyle’s War.  The British mystery series, which debuted in 2002, just completed its series run this year.  Set in England during the height of World War II, the show follows the many cases of Detective Chief Superintedant Christopher Foyle, the mild mannered head of a small coastal town police force.  He is joined by his driver, Samantha Stewart, and his deptuy, Paul Milner, as they investigate not just murders, but poitical corruption, weapons deals, racial prejudice, and terrorism. 

    What sets Foyle’s War apart from other mysteries/procedurals, are the political and social impacts of its World War II setting.  Characters are never one dimensional, and even our protagonists are not immune from the reach of the war.  Foyle worries about his son, a pilot in the RAF.  Sam struggles to find her place as a woman in the war, always looking to be useful, and often having the door slammed in her face.  And Milner, injured in the first war, struggles to reconnect to a wife who struggles to deal with her husband’s permanent injuries.

    The acting is always first rate.  Honeysuckle Weeks brings both vulnerability and optimism to Sam.  Over the course of the series, she becomes more grounded and conflicted, but still maintains an upbeat spirit.  But the heart of the series is the great Michael Kitchen as Foyle.  Think of Columbo without the quirks or the trenchcoat.  Kitchen’s Foyle is a model of economy.  With a bare minimum of words, Kitchen is absolutely dynamic. I have no idea how he conveys so much emotion in so few words.  This is a detective who never yells, never bangs the table, rarely even cracks a smile.  Yet, every emotion–frustration, rage, sadness, joy–registers.  It’s the complete opposite of an Emmy-style performance, and yet it is also a master class of acting.

    I’m sure that there are few who would share my appreciation of this absolutely phenomenal show, but if you do, I would love to hear your thoughts.

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    Tony Ruiz
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    #351539

    FYI…the entire series, with the exception of the final 3 episodes, is available on Netflix.

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