Foyle's War Set 7
Recurring character(s): DCI Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen), Samantha Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks), Hilda Pierce (Ellie Haddington), Arthur Valentine (Tim McMullan), Adam Wainwright (Daniel Weyman)
Original air date(s): 03/24/2013 to 04/07/2013
DVD Date: 09/24/2013
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 274 minutes
Note(s): Two of the screenplays are written by series creator Anthony Horowitz; "The Cage" is by David Kane.
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Review: After an absence of several years — the last episode to air previous to the first in this set was in 2010 — Foyle's War returns for what is called by Acorn Media an "encore". The extras on the DVD set suggest there will be no more episodes filmed and yet earlier this year creator Anthony Horowitz hinted that a new season of three episodes was being planned.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. When we last saw Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen), he had resigned (again) from the Hastings Police Department and was heading to America for reasons unknown. In the opening episode ("The Eternity Ring") of this set, he has just returned. But before he can even pass through customs, he's whisked away by government agents, who want to enlist him in post-war investigations.
There are far too many coincidences in this first episode to make it all that credible from a mystery/suspense perspective, but it is great to see Foyle back in action. Missing this season is Sergeant Paul Milner (Anthony Howell), but Foyle does reconnect with Samantha Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks), who is now married to a MP Labor Party candidate and working at odd jobs to help support her husband's effort. Written by Anthony Horowitz, the episode is light on plot and serves more to reintroduce — and introduce — characters, who will recur through the season.
The second episode ("The Cage") is more classic in terms of storyline for the series as a whole, the intricate integration of historical events with a fictional crime. It also nicely balances Foyle as a police officer with Foyle as a quasi-government agent. It is by far the best episode of the three and ironically not written by Horowitz.
Finally, the third episode ("Sunflower") is slightly disappointing in that it is heavy and history and politics and light on mystery and crime. Indeed, there is no link whatsoever between the primary storylines — or if there is, it is inconsequential to the point of being non-existent — which may be a first for the series.
What's missing entirely from this set is an episode related to Foyle's time in America. There are repeated references to something that happened there, but what exactly it was — and why the Americans are still interested in him — continues to be a mystery.
Despite some of the shortcomings of a couple of the episodes in this set Foyle's War remains one of the best crime dramas ever written and produced. The production values are as high as ever, and there is a strong sense of time and place. I highly recommend this set, but I will also say I miss the Anthony Horowitz of old, the screenwriter who so cleverly devised the storylines of so many of the episodes of this series as a whole, but one who seems to be now more interested in writing about political history than in crafting crimes and their solutions.
Here is a listing of the episodes in this set.
"The Eternity Ring": Fresh from a stay in America, Foyle encounters MI5 agents Hilda Pierce and Arthur Valentine, who draw him into the hunt for a suspected Russian spy ring. As part of his investigation, Foyle reconnects with Sam, now working for a nuclear scientist and married to political candidate Adam Wainwright.
"The Cage": Looking into the deaths of several high-ranking Russian defectors, Foyle finds ties to the apparent suicide of an unidentified Russian man and the disappearance of a young woman. His search leads him to a government listening station that may not be what it appears.
"Sunflower": When an MI5 intelligence asset fears for his life, Foyle must protect the ex-Nazi from assassination attempts—and American authorities. Meanwhile, new MP Adam tries to help a farmer reclaim his land and uncovers information that could threaten his career.
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