Starring: Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks Rating: 8/10 This eighth (and apparently last) season of Foyle’s season War finds the series continuing to move smoothly into the post-war era and a Le Carré-ish world of cloak and dagger. As ever, the show brews up a nice balance between intrigue and history lesson.
High Castle, the first of the three new episodes, concerns itself with a shady American oilman with connections to the Nazis, with a sub-thread to do with the situation of women suddenly being excluded from the workplace to make way for returning menfolk. It’s a satisfying, glossily produced mystery, and things get even better with the next episode, Trespass. This looks at the predicament of Jews after the war, with Zionists agitating for a Jewish state on the one hand and, on the other, a charismatic Mosley-like figure stirring hatred in the streets. It’s brave stuff, sensitively written by show creator Anthony Horowitz, an example of the series at the best.
So, too, is the final episode, Elise. After the redoubtable Miss Pierce gets shot, Foyle is drawn into the murky world of WWII’s SOE and the plight of its female agents. As well as exploring one of the spy world’s greatest conundrums, it paints a picture of a country still feeling the toll of war in various ways.
Eight seasons in, Honeysuckle Weeks continues to chew her dialogue and the plots creak every now and then as they try to find her something to do, but other than that, Foyles War seems to be in fine fettle in this latest outing. As for Michael Kitchen, he’s not called upon to do much more than display his usual array of owlish tics and mannerisms, but he remains a compellingly watchable embodiment of decency and common sense. A shame, then, that the series has been axed, but at least it’s going out on a high. There are two hours’ worth of extras, including chats with the ebullient Horowitz which cast a light on the historical background of the stories, and some nicely made behind the scenes featurettes with lots of talk about the period’s four-wheeled stars. All of which adds a lot of value to the box set.