July 12, 2008

PERSONALITY PIECE:

On the Trail of Evil in the Midst of War (GINIA BELLAFANTE, 7/12/08, NY Times)

Foyle’s War,” the British drama commissioned by the ITV network to fill the void created by the departing “Inspector Morse” eight years ago, has lasted as long as the Second World War itself, the setting for the show’s crime solving, but the tenure has hardly bred fatigue. The sixth season, which was seen in England earlier this year (and begins on Sunday on PBS as part of “Masterpiece Mystery!”), had been slated as the last, but fans apparently refused to think in funereal terms, and the series’s creator, Anthony Horowitz, has since discussed charging on.

“Foyle’s War” is exacting in its period details and outstanding in its personalization of political disturbance and fury. At the center is Detective Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen), shut out of the action on the front lines and sent to Hastings on the south coast of England to counter war’s residual malfeasance: the murder, bribery and wretchedness committed by profiteers, the politically ambitious and, nearly as often, those whose psychological balance war has irreparably destabilized.

The series borrows from Graham Greene (topically it is “The Third Man” without the noir worldview) and from Tolstoy the conceit that war penetrates every psyche and circumscribes most human interaction. Guilt, rage, prejudice, so diffuse when the bombs are dropping, regularly make the innocent suspect.


Interesting that Michael Kitchen carries the show with an affectless manner that has made him an ideal sociopath on other British mysteries.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at July 12, 2008 7:35 AM

If you're disgusted with bad reruns and silly reality shows, Netflix has Foyles War previous seasons. At home we're savoring each episode one by one.

Posted by: Jim Siegel at July 12, 2008 4:15 PM

If you're tired of bad reruns and silly reality shows, you can find previous seasons of Foyle's War at Netflix. At home, we're savoring each episode one by one.

Posted by: Jim Siegel at July 12, 2008 4:19 PM

Seriously, though, about last night's episode--is there really a town in Germany that doesn't have a church? Really? Not of any sort?

Posted by: b at July 14, 2008 11:11 AM
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