Foyle's War – reviews of 'intriguing' new series

Long-running detective drama returns with more complex, shadowy tales from post-war era

Foyle's War

What you need to know

A new series of the long-running British detective drama Foyle's War is screening on ITV. The series, created by screenwriter and author Anthony Horowitz, focuses on police detective Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) who investigates crimes related to the events of the Second World War and its aftermath.

The current run sees Foyle working for British Intelligence and investigating a series of post-war crimes. In Episode 1 Foyle was called on to solve a murder related to business deals between the US and German firms implicated in Nazi war crimes and the Nuremberg trials, while other episodes deal with post-war espionage.

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The series co-stars Honeysuckle Weeks as Foyle's assistant Samantha. Episode 1 is available on the ITV Player. Episode 2 screens 11 January.

What the critics like

Foyle's War is back and is "still as exciting as ever", says Terry Ramsey in the Daily Telegraph. In fact it's better now there is no war, as the shifting currents of the post-conflict era, and of Foyle's own position, make it a more intriguing, shadowy and complex series than before.

"Horowitz has imbued Foyle's War with longevity by anchoring it among some lesser-known and frequently shameful occurrences in the margins of WWII," says Adam Sweeting on the Arts Desk. The series opener, drawing on historical events involving unscrupulous US oil barons and German industrialists, is the kind of story that could have been used in a big-budget movie and Kitchen's performance is as deft and detailed as ever.

This story, exploring the moral limits of realism, has its background in the real trial in Nuremberg of executives from the German chemical company IG Farben who manufactured the gas used in gas chambers, and "Horowitz's treatment does not cheapen it", says Andrew Billen in The Times. As always Kitchen's tortoise-like performance is a pleasure.

What they don't like

Foyle is now being filmed in Liverpool (instead of Hastings), but using it as a stand-in location for London just doesn't work and damages our suspension of disbelief, says Adam Sweeting on the Arts Desk. "Let's hope we haven't passed what we might call Peak Foyle."

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