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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

FOYLE’S WAR (2002-07)

This British set WWII homefront drama turned out exemplary tv for a remarkable 19 episodes over five seasons. A deceptively quiet show about a chief detective whose local investigations get entangled with the war effort, it constantly worked thru morally grey areas bringing a sharp focus to the skewed priorities endemic, possibly necessary, in wartime. The regular cast and guest stars were uniformly superb with Michael Kitchen’s Foyle reaching Alec Guinness levels of subtle revelation. Over the run, his two aides, the delicious & deliciously named Honeysuckle Weeks and the gallantly handsome Anthony Howell, endearingly started to pick up some of Kitchen’s mannerisms. Modern films about WWII can be far more realistic than the old classics, but they miss so much of the essential spirit of the times which many of the films made on the spot often caught. At it’s best FOYLE’S WAR, especially in the first two seasons, honestly balanced the old & new values.

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