Tag Archives: Acorn Media

DCI Jane Tennison/Helen Mirren: Don’t call me “ma’am”. I’m not the bloody queen.

DCS Christopher Foyle/Michael Kitchen: Well, unfortunately, the facts appear to suggest otherwise.



(Why was MK’s mirror image used on the DVD cover?)

Gorgeous Alibi production stills on Acorn Media’s pre-order page for the DVD.

The DVD runtime is 2.5 hours, so it seems Acorn’s release is the uncut version! It’s also in widescreen and hopefully remastered with better picture quality. Preview here.

From the New York Times, Nov. 13, 2017:

The infallible drama fodder of betrayal, love and murder gives this mini-series its edge.

If only a new Michael Kitchen project were being featured in the current NYTimes rather than a film that’s 14 years old. Sigh.

In Dandelion Dead (1994), a mustachioed Michael Kitchen plays the real-life figure, Major Herbert Rouse Armstrong, a country solicitor who was hanged in 1922 for the poisoning death of his wife. In the first part of this mini-series, Armstrong comes off as a sympathetic and somewhat humorous character, but then he starts to go off the rails and seals his own fate — a depressing development to watch.

How do I love this scene. Let me count the ways. Lapels waving in the breeze, contemplative close up, understanding between friends, wildflowers, quaint village church, Michael Kitchen, Alan Howard.

(Location: Dunsfold Church, Surrey, UK)

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Foyle’s unfinished business.  Howard Paige should be scared, very scared.

bplutchak said:
March 23, 2013

I so wish they had had the budget to film in America and have the new series start with Paige’s comeuppance. I loved this episode and I loved Foyle’s ability to compromise without sacrificing his morals.

Yes, in a perfect world, Foyle’s War would have an unlimited budget. 

Handsome cover art for Foyle’s War DVD box sets from Acorn Media

Read a lengthy, in-depth, glowing review of Foyle’s War and the DVD sets at From the Archive: A British Television Blog: Michael Kitchen.

The review from Huffington Post, though, sums up the show better for me:

I’m delighted that Foyle’s War is out in a new, compact set collecting the entire run of this series. Now in retrospect, I can see it started out at a peak, and then slowly but inexorably declined. That doesn’t detract from the accomplishment of Michael Kitchen as the tight-lipped but marvelously expressive and eagle-eyed Foyle…For two or three years, it was the best show on TV. The quality dipped and by the end was almost distressingly low. (Sam was stuck in the same role by the end as she was at the beginning. Milner disappeared. The son went away.) Oh well. Rather than worrying about what might have been, it’s still a show with a great deal to savor.

Well, Sam did evolve, but not in a good way.

Goodbye, Mr. Foyle.

KT said:

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 NPR:

This season is to be the last for Foyle’s War. Michael Kitchen plays Christopher Foyle, a senior police official turned intelligence operative at the close of World War II, and his performance has inspired a near-rhapsodic response from critics. But the financing for this season of the show appeared in doubt — so Acorn decided to buy the rights and produce Foyle’s War itself, earning much of the cost back from foreign broadcasters.

Foyle’s War will run later this year on individual PBS stations, but not on PBS as a network.

Michael Kitchen prepares to film this scene:

Thanks to Acorn for posting these wonderful behind the scenes stills of Foyle’s War S9 filming. More on Pinterest.

And from the S9 featurette, A Day in the Life of Foyle’s War:

Came across some discussion on the city-data.com forum about Michael Kitchen’s continued refusal to do publicity even for the DVD bonus material.

New trailer for Foyle’s War S9

My top 20 Michael Kitchen roles:

1. Greg Brentwood in Alibi (2003)

Simply love every minute of this film.

From an interview with Sophie Okonedo:

Okonedo says: “It was really good to work on and I particularly enjoyed working with Michael Kitchen – I’ve always thought he was brilliant.”

They are such an odd couple – I don’t think many people would have thought about casting Michael and I together. “They obviously thought we would be so opposite that it would be interesting and something rather rare on television.”

“It is not a comedy and it is not a straightforward thriller. I suppose it is an idiosyncratic take on a thriller about two very odd people who would not normally meet or have anything to do with each other.” Michael Kitchen describes Alibi as “perhaps a thriller”, but admits to enjoying the comic aspects of the story. He adds: “Paul Abbott is up there with the very best screen writers around, of which there are precious few.”

anonymous said:

Is there anywhere to obtain a video copy of the Masterpiece Theater Love Song with MK?

Sadly, like so many outstanding MK features, Love Song has never been released commercially.  We must make do with the low quality version on YouTube for which I am nevertheless most grateful.  Perhaps if we petition AcornTV… ?  ; )

acorntv said: I’ve sent this request along to our acquisitions team 🙂

Much appreciated, AcornTV!

anonymous said:

Thanks for continuing to post and congrats on Acorn TV following you. Michael Kitchen fans may not have numbers that Sherlock does, nor their facility with social media, but at least we have steady jobs and disposable income. That has to count for something, right?

Thanks for your note.  I can only assume that those in charge at Acorn and ITV did the math when they decided to renew Foyle’s War, and hopefully Michael Kitchen’s popularity among segments of the demographics means he will continue to receive offers for roles in other projects that are attractive enough to keep him working.