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Foyle's War: Set Four

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

History meets mystery in this award-winning PBS series, with four all-new feature-length episodes set at the height of World War II. Michael Kitchen (Out of Africa) returns as the laconic Christopher Foyle, detective chief superintendent in the English town of Hastings. War has torn the social fabric of this once-quiet coastal community, and Foyle’s investigations explore the violence and opportunism that the conflict has fostered on the home front.

Also starring Anthony Howell and Honeysuckle Weeks, and featuring Kenneth Colley, Dermot Crowley, Liz Fraser, Philip Jackson, Michael Jayston, Corey Johnson, Jonah Lotan, and Roy Marsden.


  • INVASION—As the first American GIs arrive to build an airbase near Hastings, the murder of a barmaid further strains already-tense relations between the locals and the Yanks.
  • BAD BLOOD—A top-secret experiment in biological warfare goes horribly wrong, complicating a murder investigation and threatening the life of Foyle’s faithful driver, Sam.
  • BLEAK MIDWINTER—The death of a young munitions worker and the murder of Paul Milner’s wife seem linked, and Foyle strives to clear his sergeant from suspicion.
  • CASUALTIES OF WAR—While investigating gambling and sabotage, Foyle takes in his troubled goddaughter and her severely traumatized son, who refuses to speak.

    DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE making-of documentary, production notes, the historical truth behind each episode, and cast filmographies.

  • Amazon.com

    The excellent Foyle's War returns with four episodes (each on its own disc) that first appeared on television in 2006 and '07. As before, the show's "history meets mystery" tagline pretty much sums it up, as Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle solves murders and various other heinous crimes in and around bucolic Hastings, England, while World War II rages on at home and abroad. "Invasion," the first episode, marks the arrival of American forces in 1942, not long after Pearl Harbor. Not all the locals are thrilled to see them; disparaging remarks about the G.I.s showing up "late" are common, and many a stiff upper lip curls at the Yanks' brash, boisterous behavior. Thus when a Hastings barmaid turns up strangled at a dance arranged by the Americans to get to know their hosts, fingers are quickly pointed at the "invaders." But Foyle and his assistants, Sgt. Paul Milner (Anthony Howell) and driver Samantha "Sam" Stewart (the delightfully named Honeysuckle Weeks), have other suspects, and the detective, who comes on a bit like Columbo without the trench coat and other idiosyncrasies, manages to sort through them while somehow keeping the Brit-Yank enmity from festering and dealing with the deadly effects of the illegal "hooch" the barmaid and her employer were brewing.

    This balance of deftly intertwined elements typifies a series in which each installment is essentially a 90-minute movie; in "Bad Blood," murder, romance both illicit and international, and the appalling specter of Britain's experiments with biological weapons like anthrax are all on the bill, while gambling, sabotage, personal tragedy, and yet more murder feature in "Bleak Midwinter" and "Casualties of War." The mysteries aren't especially confounding; what the quietly persistent Foyle does is less interesting than how he does it. And while it's set in wartime, the war and its impact on the English (who endure the death and injuries visited upon their young men, along with shortages of gas, electricity, and such) is more often a backdrop than a central focus. Each disc includes a several pages of often fascinating text about the "historical truth" behind a given episode, while other bonus features include cast filmographies and a brief "making of" documentary on disc 1. All in all, while it may not appeal to fans of the fast-paced, effects-laden cop procedurals popular on American TV, Foyle's War is a classy production, well written (by creator Anthony Horowitz), nicely photographed, and well worth the investment of both time and money. --Sam Graham

    Special Features

    • Complete UK broadcast edition
    • Making-of documentary
    • Production notes
    • Historical truth behind each episode
    • Cast filmographies

    Product Details

    • Actors: Michael Kitchen
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
    • Number of discs: 4
    • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
    • Studio: Acorn Media
    • DVD Release Date: July 17, 2007
    • Run Time: 400 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B000PC6YTY
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,156 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Foyle's War: Set Four" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    We look forward to Set five.
    Great Acting, Great Detective Series, Great Historical learning about life in England during WWII and it's effect on people and everyday life.
    Well written, well cast and acted.
    Brook B. Petersen

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    63 of 63 people found the following review helpful By F. S. L'hoir VINE VOICE on July 8, 2007
    Format: DVD
    Upon watching the last thrilling episode, in which Foyle confronts the insurmountable stumbling blocks of wartime necessity headlong by tendering his resignation----After all, the Ruhr dams must be busted!----I had to go online to make sure that a new season was coming up. I have become addicted to this low-key but absorbing, instructive, and endlessly entertaining mystery series. And there are still about three years of World War II to go.

    As this series continues, the leading characters, Chief Inspector Foyle (Michael Kitchen) and Samantha (Honeysuckle Weeks), become ever more engaging. The settings of Hastings and the Sussex countryside become ever more picturesque. Moreover, as the mysteries become ever more intriguing, the narrative of Britain during the Blitz----the people's hardships, their gallantry, and in many cases their victimization by unscrupulous profiteers----becomes indelibly compelling. The series would make an excellent teaching tool in a history class, since it not only presents a fascinating account of the war but it also gives a realistic depiction of the toll that war takes on the civilian population. This splendid BBC series puts a human face both on casualties and survivors, whom the modern media tend to dismiss with the callous and meaningless catchphrase, "collateral damage."

    Whew! I can now rest easy. There will indeed be another season of "Foyle's War" in 2008.
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    51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Douglas H. Haden on June 11, 2007
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    From Michael Kitchen to Honeysuckle Weeks to the plots to the scenes, this is as flawless a series of movies as I can remember. Classy, poignant at times, funny.

    Conveys the WWII period in England in depth without detracting from the plot. Despite the quality of backstory and the depth of the primary characters, these episodes remain mysteries. Amidst the background of war in England in the forties, Foyle hunts what some might see as petty murders or "just thieves". It reminds me of Night of the Generals, showing the single-mindedness and bulldog grip a police officer can have even though the world around him seems to be crumbling.

    An expensive, quality piece of storytelling and movie making.

    I have the series-to-date and eagerly wait for more.
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    Format: DVD
    Michael Kitchen triumphs again as detective chief "superintendent Christopher Foyle. He often identifies himself, however, rather more charmingly: "My name is Foyle. I'm a police officer." No badge is shown or papers presented while so introducing himself. Such would be superfluous though as Kitchen's Foyle, in mannerisms, demeanor, as well as the way his carries himself, makes it rather apparent that he is in law enforcement. And to boot, all this takes place in the early days of the 4th decade of the 20th century, "in the beautiful southern English countryside amid the disorder and danger of World War II"(to quote the packaging).

    As in all Foyle episodes a murder takes place and Kitchen methodically goes about solving it. He has a sergeant for assistance as well as an actress side-kick (whose most unusual name in real life is Honeysuckle Weeks) who plays an army soldier seconded to drive for Foyle, who is without a license to do so. Like in many detective dramas the who did it is rather less important than the drama getting to that point. Actually, these hour and forty minute long Foyle episodes often go by for me without my giving much serious contemplation toward the solution Foyle seeks. Ever play chess and really focus on 3, 4, 5, 6 possible moves in advance and then play a casual game of chess just for fun? That's how I personally watch Foyle's War. I'm not too interested in guessing then second guessing again & again who I think is the murderer. (I do do that often with David Suchet's Hercule Poirot Agatha Christie mystery dramas, but alas, do too much guessing wrong there, however.
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    Format: DVD
    "Foyle's War" Series 4 takes us once again to see World War II from the homefront, the homefront being the town of Hastings on England's southern coast. Perspicacious and taciturn Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) does his best to maintain justice for both civilians and military in a time of war and powerful politics. He is aided by Detective Sergeant Paul Milner (Anthony Howell), whose soldiering was cut short by injury, and by his adventurous young MTC driver Samantha "Sam" Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks). Again, PBS chose to air shortened 85-minute versions of these episodes. Unfortunate, since the substance of daily life in a nation at war is in the details. You'll find the full 100-minute versions on the DVDs. The "Series 4" DVDs technically comprise Series 4 and 5, for a total of 4 episodes.

    These four episodes take place March 1942-March 1943. The mysteries revolve around events or circumstances that were reality for many British at home while their men fought abroad: GIs arrive in England as the US enters the War in Europe, experiments with biological warfare, resentment and lower pay for women doing dangerous jobs at a munitions factory, touchy international politics hamper efforts to contain saboteurs. I rate Series 4 slightly lower than previous series, because these episodes felt more contrived. The stories seem far-fetched, and DCS Foyle exhibits less depth than he used to. There are an awful lot of top secret facilities in Hastings and its environs and too many coincidences. A little carelessness too: Streptomycin was not discovered until 1943, but they're using it in Hastings in 1942. Nevertheless, "Foyle's War" is undeniably entertaining.
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