Replying to a Data Lounge query on cozy British murder mysteries, one forum member wrote:
…an interesting lesson on writing and showrunning. Foyle’s War should work outside of the premise. Michael Kitchen and Honeysuckle Weeks are both good actors and their characters were interesting. Yet once WW2 was taken out of the equation, the story wasn’t interesting anymore. I think part of it was that having Weeks’ character marry put a wedge in the boss/employee relationship and the show just fell to pieces after that. Thank goodness they always kept the relationship as father/daughter. If they had Weeks have romantic feelings for Foyle, it would have ruined the entire show including the episodes already broadcast.
Foyle exchanges smiles and “how-are-you’s” with an unsuspecting Elizabeth Addis before proceeding to burst her bubble of pleasure at seeing him. Ouch.
Elizabeth Addis is probably wishing she could restart her life right about now.
Reading Hannah Long’s blog reviews of the episodes comprising Foyle’s War S9 was almost more enjoyable than watching:
Love the interview with Honeysuckle Weeks in the Spring 2015 issue of Prose ‘n Cons™ Mystery Magazine. True to form, she reveals some wonderful behind-the-scenes details about Foyle’s War and Michael Kitchen.
On Sam and Andrew:
Weeks concedes that delaying Sam’s marriage took a bit of persuasion. “There was talk of a marriage to Foyle’s son Andrew (the R.A.F. pilot) as early as series three I think, but I fought with Anthony for years to allow Sam to remain a ‘spinster of the parish.’
On whale meat:
In one scene, food shortages reduce Sam and Adam to eating whale meat as a protein source. If she looks a bit queasy, admits Weeks, “it was because I had a very hard time not retching at the smell of those whale steaks sizzling in the pan.”
On Sam and Adam’s house:
The interiors of Sam’s house were shot in a former brewery the art department turned into a sound stage. “You could still smell that oddly yeasty aroma from the fermenting hops,” says Weeks.
And on Michael Kitchen!
Considering the seriousness of the subject matter, you might assume that the set of Foyle’s War was a reserved and quiet place, but Weeks assures it was not. “If you were to go into Michael Kitchen’s trailer at lunchtime you could hear him playing the classical guitar. Or, if we happened to be filming at some grand country house, you’d often hear him behind its equally grand piano.” …Weeks prizes her relationship with Kitchen. “He is a decidedly avuncular figure in my life and a person I often go to for professional advice.”
So that’s how MK passes the time in between takes. Doesn’t really dispel the notion of a reserved set — unless he was pounding out a rock tune… 🙂
Wonder if he had a go at this piano:
Playing the piano really should have been another one of Foyle’s pastimes, as it has been for MK from an early age:
Old friend of mine in the 60s he used to come into my bedroom and play the piano. – Joe Walsh
Goodbye, Mr. Foyle.
John Donne said, “No man is an island, entire of itself.” but, I’d argue, that Foyle comes as close to proving him wrong as any fictional character and MK played that perfectly.
This is inspired. Thank you for sharing, KT. In light of your comment, I particularly got a kick out of this New Yorker cartoon. →
Mary McNamara of the LA Times makes “a case for an Emmy (or more) for Foyle’s War“:
Created and written almost entirely by bestselling novelist Anthony Horowitz, “Foyle’s War” is the Mona Lisa of television: small, quiet, utterly hypnotic and mysteriously perfect.
A small and often silent man, as kind as he is morally rigorous, Foyle stands guard over basic humanity as the whirlwind of war and modernity threatens to uproot the good with the bad. Year after year, he has been brought to vivid vibrant life by Kitchen, an actor of rare and controlled brilliance. Each season, he gave the performance of a hundred lifetimes while appearing to do little more than shrug off his coat, bite his lip and refuse endless offers of tea.
…the final episode of the series, “Elise,” is what the American-based Acorn TV, which has co-produced the series since its return, will submit in all the relevant television movie categories — some of which it better win, despite the low-key nature of its radiance and, perhaps more significant, the famous long-standing refusal of its leading man to do any publicity.
Neither should matter at all if the awards are truly about excellence.
Kivrin has written a lovely Foyle vignette that picks up after this final scene.
From a review of Elise by cultbox.co.uk:
If we started by asking ‘How do you live after the War?’ we end up asking ‘How do you live with what you did during it?’ In the final section of the episode we discover that in Hilda’s case, she can’t live with what she has learnt. An unshowy performance by Ellie Haddington as Hilda makes her final, shocking action all the more moving.
As for Foyle himself, he and the late Hilda Pierce could hardly be described as bosom buddies but there’s a streak of honour and absolute integrity that runs through them both…
…which is why, no doubt, our final shot is of Foyle leaving Hilda’s funeral and very pointedly turning away from Dr Addis and any possibility of a future with her. Is there some hint of attraction there? Yes, probably. But the fact that she can live with the horrible truth that killed Hilda, means she can no longer figure in his world.
Michael Kitchen’s spectacular mouth shrug and squint.
The cover and page 2 of this month’s Tattenhall Parish News include photos and an article on the filming of Foyle’s War S9 in the village. Only one small photo each of HW and MK.
A couple more photos in this tweet. Video of the filming of MK and HW arriving at the electrical shop here. One lucky lady commented on facebook that she “was sitting in the post office window writing a birthday card when this was filmed and received a gorgeous smile from Michael Kitchen. …Michael has the most gorgeous smile – I was on cloud nine for the rest of the day.”
Hmmm, I wonder who that could be. Looks like we can rule out Hilda as the deceased – if the scenes are being shot in order.
Seriously, could the photographer not have moved his arm slightly to the right so we could see That Man’s face?! Sheesh. Nice that Hilda’s up and about.
The FW crew are quite adept at teasing us with their photos and tweets that reveal only so much.
Looks like the bad guys are planning something big on the last day of filming for Foyle’s War S9. No doubt Foyle will foil their plot.
So much for those hoping for the demise of Adam, as I do believe that’s Daniel Weyman with MK in this photo from yesterday’s filming in St. James Garden/Cemetery. Yikes, I certainly hope those flowers aren’t for Sam!
In a second photo the man at the center looks a bit like Sam’s father, but I would think there’d be more mourners in attendance if the deceased were Sam.
TMO Sam is talking to Foyle(second photo)and standing beside Adam(third photo)!Happy Easter!
Their stances do resemble HW’s.
Another photo from the set:
The production returns today to one of the first Liverpool locations used for the filming of S9 — St. John’s Gardens. Here’s a fun picture of all the extras waiting in the wings.