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Foyle's War: Set 7
DVD | Box Set
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A new war, a new enemy
“An enthralling new chapter” —The Observer (U.K.)
“One of the best mysteries on television” —The New York Times
As the enormously popular mystery series returns, World War II is over, but the Cold War simmers in 1946 London. DCS Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen, Out of Africa) has retired from police work when Britain’s secret intelligence service compels him to join its ranks. Reunited with his former colleague, newlywed Sam Wainwright (Honeysuckle Weeks, My Brother Tom), Foyle faces new—but no less deadly—threats in the world of spies and counterintelligence.
Also starring Honeysuckle Weeks and featuring Ellie Haddington (Life Begins), Tim McMullan (The Woman in Black), Jeremy Swift (Oliver Twist), Rupert Vansittart (Holy Flying Circus), and Daniel Weyman (Great Expectations).
The Eternity Ring—Returning from America, Foyle gets drawn into an MI5 investigation of a Russian spy ring in which Sam, his former driver, has been implicated.
The Cage—Foyle’s inquiry into the deaths of several Russian defectors leads him to a mysterious military facility.
Sunflower—Foyle is charged with looking into assassination attempts against an ex-Nazi defector under MI5’s protection.
Sets 1-6 recap (6 min.), 4 behind-the-scenes featurettes (86 min.), introductions by writer & creator Anthony Horowitz (15 min.), and photo gallery
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Here is a statement from Acorn's own website --
"Series 8 ((which will likely be released as set 7 on DVD in the U.S.) will be set during the early period after World War II with Foyle focusing his attention on the world of espionage as he gathers secret intelligence in support of Britain's security, defense and the Government's foreign and economic policies. The stories will range from Foyle identifying highly placed atomic spies to a true story of government corruption. A world of transition where the values and certainties of the war have given way to austerity, exhaustion and doubts about the direction the new government is taking".
To correct some of the bad misinformation that's going on here, both the UK "series 7" and the US "set 7" are the same. I buy the UK versions (a region-free DVD player is needed) because they come out months sooner than the US versions. And many times, the US versions are edited. If the series was shown here on PBS, and there is a PBS logo on the front of the DVD (ie, Downton Abbey DVD's) they are edited usually. FYI, the episode titles for series 7 AND set 7 are: The Eternity Ring, The Cage, and Sunflower. Only 3 episodes. And longtime fans of the series will probably miss the Paul Milner character, played by Anthony Howell - he's not in this series. Honeysuckle Weeks returns as Sam, but no Milner.
It was nice to see Foyle again, but it's strange that he's taking orders from others, as he's working for the government instead of the police. The "old" Foyle that I know and love would have told them to bugger off instead of letting them recruit him so easily - literally after he just gets off the ship, returning from his trip to America. Buy Foyle does get to quietly correct and politely admonish his superiors, something he's very good at. He has a quiet strength about him. If you've seen Michael Kitchen in other roles, this role is not really a stretch for him, he really does speak and act that way.
This series deals more with the post war "cold war" that was also going on in England. It's a tad darker than the first 6 series I think. Even Sam has lost some of her youthful good nature, maybe that's down to struggling through the war and it's aftermath, I don't know, but she's not as cheerful this time out.
This series may not 100% up to par with the middle series of Foyle's War, but it's still a great show. The acting is great, and if you watch a lot of British TV shows, you'll know many of the actors by sight.
So again, in England, there are and have only been 7 SERIES of this show, no matter what US TV or Acorn US has done with the numbers. They are not "seasons" in the UK, they are series. Partly because they're very short series, and they can come and go at any time, not in the autumn like here in America (I lived in London for two years). Heck, there were 4 years between the 1st and 2nd series of Fawlty Towers.
If you want to know more about what happens with Sam and her husband, then, by all means get the final three sets (7-9). It is also interesting to learn more about Mildred Pierce over the final three sets.
But, having said that, I just didn't find this quite as interesting as seasons 1-5. I've been thinking about why this is, and offer the following:
1) Without Milner in the mix, the the chemistry just isn't what it used to be.
2) The clarity of justice is far more muddied; working for the Intelligence Services, it is harder to tell who is right and who is wrong. This reason is probably the major ones. The new shows are more depressing than getting a feeling of justice done. It was satisfying to see Foyle arrest the wrongdoer. It was satisfying to see the "bad guy" caught... but I get no such satisfaction from any of the shows in the sets 7-9.
3) I didn't care for the new opening as much
Let me add that there were still some fun and good moments throughout; it's not all bad -- thus, the three-star rating instead of one. But none of the new shows holds a candle to my all-time favorite, The While Feather (season 1, #2) - the show dealing with Dunkirk was excellent.
Another minor point: I was very shocked and unhappy when the character of Sam first appeared in the first show... the bubbly, happy person was withdrawn and sour... it turns out that there was a reason for this and it turns around, but for a re-introduction, I remember thinking "If this is how Sam will be as a married woman, I don't think I want to watch this".
I'm a huge fan of Foyle's War, seasons (or sets) 1-5, but once was enough for this set. I didn't even bother to purchase season 8 or 9 - I watched them on streaming to know what would happen, but I really wasn't motivated to purchase them.