Fans of British television mystery and detective series may already be familiar with “Foyle’s War.” This long-running show set during and after World War II has eight seasons worth of shows and was first shown in Britain in 2002. For those scouring Netflix in search of a different twist on foreign police and detective dramas, it may be considered a lucky find, with all eight seasons currently available for Netflix streaming.
Update: For a period of time beginning in June 2014, “Foyle’s War” was not available for instant viewing on Netflix. This has since changed. “Foyle’s War” is available for streaming on Netflix through nine seasons – called “series.” Shows come and go at Netflix as contracts expire and are renegotiated, so this could change.
“Foyle’s War” stars Michael Kitchen as Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle, a low-key, but determined and honest cop in Hastings, Sussex, England. Early in the first series he acquires loyal assistants, Sam (Samantha) Stewart, played by Honeysuckle Weeks, a military women who somewhat improbably becomes his driver, and Detective Sergeant Paul Milner, a wounded war veteran played by Anthony Howell.
“Foyle’s War” season 1 takes place in 1940 with Britain under immediate threat from Nazi Germany. On the surface, everything seems quite proper, but much tension lies underneath. The series does an effective job in presenting the complexities of wartime, regardless of the era. Class differences, preferential treatment, conscientious objectors and racism are all encountered in the early episodes.
By most standards, the show has limited amounts of sex and violence. Relying more on the quality of the writing, acting and production, the 90 minute episodes still manage to keep your attention. The settings are scenic and anyone with even a passing interest in history will be intrigued with how the show, which is noted to be historically accurate, contrasts with our own image of what “necessary war” is. As “Foyle’s War” was first aired shortly after 9/11, it is easy to draw some comparisons between then and now.
The initial series (seasons) of “Foyle’s War” have four episodes each; later seasons have three. You may not feel compelled to binge watch “Foyle’s War,” but it is a reliable source of entertainment for your Netflix movie list. The series was created by Anthony Horowitz.
January, 2017, Update: Netflix, AcornTV, and Hulu all have eight or nine series (seasons) of Foyle’s War available.