The first episode, The Eternity Ring, sees Foyles joining British Intelligence and investigating murders connected to British Atomic Research at the end of the war in 1945.
Warning, spoilers… There will be murders. Michael Kitchen will wear a hat.
Foyle nestles at the cosy end of the detective spectrum, but it’s always enjoyable viewing, and is lifted by a taciturn performance by Kitchen as Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle. When he was originally given the scripts, Kitchen – I’ve rather missed him from the Bond reboot, to be honest – apparently asked for fewer lines for his character, knowing that where an actor is concerned, less is more,
Originally conceived as The Blitz Detective, the show started in 2002 when ITV were actively seeking a replacement for Morse, and the Foyle’s Wat concept was chosen from 300 submissions.
The character was named after Christine Foyle, the bookseller, because creator Anthony Horowitz wanted something very redolent of that time-period. Her nephew Christopher has unsurprisingly has made a cameo in the series.
Hotrowitz has said that this series will be his last, but that the programme may continue without him. Foyle’s War has proved a tenacious beast. It was actually canned by ITV in 2007 but a viewer outcry brought it back, so don’t count the series out yet.
He actually stated that the sudden cancellation – for financial reasons – did him a favour and proved to be a financial shake-up. That post-war period, with its Cold War secrets and huge social change, has proved a fertile ground for television and crime writers.
Horowitz is a bit of an inspiration as a writer. He’s an incredibly prolific writer of screenplays and novels, publishing his first at the age of 23 and going on to produce a slew of children’s books – the Alex Rider series, included – as well the Sherlock Holmes sequel The House of Silk.
For television, he’s written Foyle, Poirot, Midsomer Murders, Crime traveller, Collision and Injustice, which is being remade for American television, I believe. His television credits stretch all the way back to Robin Of Sherwood. He wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of his own Stormbreaker, and is apparently working on the script for the sequel to Peter Jackson’s Tin Tin movie.
He’s said he started writing at the age of eight, inspired by Tin tin, and hasn’t stopped since. As a child, he was brought up in a wealthy environment, but when his father died, his family discovered he had stashed the money away in a false name somewhere and the money had vanished. With a backstory like that, his future as a writer was written in the stars.
Foyle’s War, ITV, Sunday, 8pm