April 11, 2010

WHILE "LOST" AND X-FILES" SHOULDN'T HAVE GONE MORE THAN THREE SEASONS...:

The return of Foyle's War: Anthony Horowitz, writer of Foyle’s War, explains how its fans helped bring the crime drama back from the dead. (Anthony Horowitz, 09 Apr 2010, Daily Telegraph)

So why should anyone care about a single death in an English seaside town?

The series has always had a devoted following – it’s actually sold in about 30 countries around the world. ITV had seen no slip in the ratings (the ‘final’ episode, in 2008, was watched by 7.3?million people), which made their decision all the more strange.

Part of the reason was financial. Foyle’s War is undoubtedly an expensive series to make. But senior executives also had their eye on their favourite chimera – the ‘yoof audience’. This was certainly a mistake. As far as I can tell, our viewers are not exclusively old.

And then came the audience feedback, the letters to the press. I wouldn’t say it was a storm of protest but it was certainly a squall and enough to get ITV to change its mind.

The only problem? For that ‘final’ episode, I’d fast-forwarded to VE Day, missing out 1944 in its entirety: no Sevastapol, no Monte Cassino, no Warsaw uprising. February 1944 saw a renewal of the Blitz on London. In June, the first flying bomb arrived. [...]

When we were ‘invited’ back, I had lengthy conversations with the producer, Jill Green, and of course with Michael Kitchen. None of us wanted to proceed just for the hell of it. But we all agreed that there were still stories to tell.

The betrayal of the Russians was one of them. There were 1,200 Russian prisoners in Britain when the fighting ended; they had taken the side of the Germans against Stalin. Exactly what to do with them became one of the great issues of 1945 and their eventual betrayal – they were sent back to certain death – remains one of the war’s darkest secrets.


...great detectives ought never be taken off the air.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 11, 2010 8:27 AM
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