'Foyle’s War', the absorbing detective drama starring Michael Kitchen as a Detective Chief Superintendent (DCS) battling crime, the Axis and the odd English traitor on the home front during World War II. And there’s always an absorbing whodunit (or mad bomber or rogue pilot or warped priest) and a psychological twist to keep things interesting. But the best thing about the show isn’t always Foyle or the great plots - it’s his female driver Samantha Stewart. She’s tough without being stony. Righteous without being preachy. Girly without being frilly.
Honeysuckle Weeks was the actress who played Sam and she gave her thoughts on some aspects of the series.
She started off the show as quite a young person, and I’ve tried to keep that youthful essence as the show has progressed over the last seven years; partly because that is part of her appeal as a character, but also because I instinctively feel that people living during that time had a greater degree of innocence. The war has its effects on her of course, especially in her relationships with men, but it’s her spirit of ploughing on and making do and grace under fire that shines through more than world-weariness, I would say. She brings relief from some of the plot’s darker aspects by being resolutely cheerful, which is great fun to play. During the first season one could say she has more pluck than sense, but as the series progresses she gradually becomes less of a spanner in the works and more of a cog in the engine, so to speak. She has a stoical attitude to adversity and puts the idea of ‘duty’ before self, and this I think informs all the characters in 'Foyle’s War', a selfless attitude which perhaps we’d do better to hold onto today!
My favorite episode is probably 'Among the Few,' which is largely to do with doctors in a hospital that specializes in treating burns victims. It sounds grim, but in fact it’s an incredibly uplifting episode because of the moving relationships that are built up between doctor or nurse and patient, and the bravery of the men who struggle on through life even though their bodies and faces are destroyed. It’s about the heartache of the sweethearts who have to come to terms with the disfigurement of their pilots, and the carousing spirit of the staff who try to improve the lot of their heroic wards. In short, it’s an episode that I think champions all that is best in the human spirit. Oh... and of course, there’s a gripping murder case with lots of explosions and spitfire aerodynamics on the side. It’s also exquisitely shot. Source here.
The first episode of 'Foyle's War' was aired in 2002. The series was canceled after the fifth season (2008), but was revived in 2010 to run for another three years. A total of 28 episodes were created by screenwriter and author Anthony Horowitz.
Will there ever by another unexpected revival of 'Foyle's War'? Anthony Horowitz said “It had to come to an end sometime. We went from 1940 all the way through to 1947 – and I told countless true stories about the war. I felt that there were no more true stories to tell about that period, I’d sort of covered pretty much every area”.
He's wrong of course, because 1947 was essentially the start of the Cold War and that tense period could produce some very interesting scripts.
Since Michael Kitchen will turn 70 in 2018, he will probably not be particularly interested to participate. That said, we could contemplate a structure like 'Morse' morphing into 'Lewis' and 'Lewis' hanging into 'Endeavour'.
So, 'Foyle's War' could become 'Stewart's Peace' with Honeysuckle Weeks in the starring role. She confessed to me that the prospect was 'most cockle warming'.