Anthony Horowitz Q&A: ‘Foyle’s War’ creator
"Foyle's War" sprung from the fertile imagination of Anthony Horowitz, the wordsmith responsible for a shelf full of young adult fiction including the "Alex Rider" series as well as new Sherlock Holmes and James Bond tales. During our recent webcam chat, he reveals the reason he decided to end the long-running series. "We ran out of war but were all keen to keep going. The Cold War continues, Stalin replace Hitler as an enemy. We reinvented ourselves, left Hastings and came to London and entered the world of intelligence and did six more but I realized I was running out of stories."
"Foyle's War: Elise, The Final Mystery" marks the last of an impressive 28 telefilms, with Horowitz writing this one solo as he had 21 of the others (he also co-wrote two more). The story shifts between 1946 and the darkest days of the war. Foyle must find those responsible for gunning down his boss Hilda Pierce (Ellie Haddington). He discovers her wartime duties including recruiting young women who would be sent into German-occupied France to work with the resistance. However, there was a traitor in their midst and many of them, including the title character, were killed.
Horowitz was inspired by a real-life incident, as he had been for many of the most compelling stories in the series. As always, his attention to detail is matched by that of the production staff who do a crackerjack job recreating these two pivotal points in British history. "What I really wanted to do was to tell real stories that no one knew and to tell them in the envelope of a murder mystery series."
The first six seasons of "Foyle's War" were set in a seaside town during WWII and followed a police detective (Michael Kitchen) and his assistant, Samantha "Sam" Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks), as they solved crimes. The final two seasons took the pair to post-war London where they become ensnared in the mysterious world of espionage. Foyle made an unlikely spy and spent as much time navigating the labyrinth that is MI-5 as he did righting wrongs. And while Sam found herself a fellow, rising politican Adam Wainwright, and got hitched, she continued to keep her hand in the game.
This Brit hit is finally eligible for the Emmys because of the participation of an American producer. Acorn TV, which specializes in programming from across the pond, stepped in to co-produce for the first time to ensure this final episode reached US audiences. It did the same for "Agatha Christie's Poirot: Curtain, Poirot's Last Case."
Acorn boasts a slew of acquistion titles, including the best of British TV as well as that from other Commonwealth countries like Canada and Australia. While it delivers a range of new fare, such as the popular "Doc Martin" and "Midsomer Murders," it also offers an extensive back catalogue that includes such Emmy darlings as "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Prime Suspect." Now, with "Foyle's War" and "Poirot," it could have a couple of Emmy winners of its own. To that end, Acorn is making the two telefilms available to all TV academy voters via a website. It offers a hassle-free way (no ID, no password required) to watch these two top-notch telefilms.