Saturday, January 03, 2009

Foyle's War

This period between Christmas and New Year’s has been a delicious interlude, one I am reluctant to give up. There have been no appointments, no meetings, no real obligations. Instead of going skiing or on some other trip, my family has stayed home and hung out. This has left lots of time for cooking (my 13-year old made a chocolate pie today, all by herself!) reading (a book about the history of Berkeley by Chuck Wollenberg for me; Outliers by Malcom Gladwell for my husband) and lots of movies.(The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Slumdog Millionaire, Gran Torino)

But mostly this has been a vacation about Foyle’s War, the BBC series about a detective on the south coast of England during World War II. It had a six -season run on the television and I have been steadily making my way through each episode. I have seen ten one and a half hour shows in the past few weeks. I have grown quite fond of curling up on the couch, covered by a blanket and entering the world of Hastings.

Foyle’s War stars Michael Kitchen as Christopher Foyle, a widowed DCI in a small town police force. Foyle is itching to work directly for the war effort as he sees his job investigating murders and thefts as less important than fighting the Germans. But his superiors won’t let him quit. The job – and the series – explore the impact of the war on Great Britain. Each episode features a crime, but touches on much larger war themes like the use of radar, black market smuggling, the question of whether America will ever enter the war, the fate of Jews in central Europe, and more.

Kitchen is fantastic, -- detached, intellectual, never giving anything away as he interrogates various suspects. He has that British reserve that is both admirable and frustrating. The viewer wonders where he put all that pent-up emotion. The supporting case is also excellent. I especially like Honeysuckle Weeks, who plays Foyle’s young, somewhat naïve driver. In real life, her personality is quite outrageous – how else could it be with a name like Honeysuckle? Anthony Howell plays a police sergeant and Foyle’s right-hand man. He has lost much of one leg in the war, which pushes his wife away. We see him navigate recovery and readjusting to the world.

Anyway, Foyle’s War has been a wonderful escape into another time and another place.

1 comment:

Julia Flynn Siler said...

I also became a fan of Foyle's War over the holiday season. Thank you for posting the link to the Mail's profile of Honeysuckle Weeks. I expected her character and Michael Kitchen's to run off together...but, then again, that would be completely out of character for the reserved Foyle! It also sounds like your stay-at-home holiday was a lot like ours...:)