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.
From the somethingawful.com forum:
One of my favorite character actors is Michael Kitchen, now probably best known for playing Foyle in the Foyle’s War series, but he’s played villains, romantic leads, supporting grey-moraled characters, etc. and he always always turns his characters into real people living in the present moment. It’s like you can see him going through the process of making decisions (as the character), you can see him thinking and having mental revelations and shifting loyalties and all other sorts of dynamic internal processes that real people have in their daily lives. All of his body language and facial expressions seem like personal quirks of that particular character occurring organically in the moment, rather than gestures called for by the script.
I’ve never seen him be himself in an interview, and I couldn’t begin to tell you what the guy is like in real life because he so completely disappears into his roles and makes them feel like real, distinct, individual living people. Is he gregarious and charming? Is he quiet and cold? Who knows?
Also, take the character of Foyle for a moment — the character is emotionally very guarded and more cerebral. Michael Kitchen can be standing there with a poker face and (in-character) convey nothing, but to the audience, you somehow know exactly what’s going on in his head. He’s working on two levels.
Love this take on Michael Kitchen and his acting. I do hope we haven’t seen the last of his mastery on screen, as he seems to have vanished altogether of late. Wherever he is and whatever he’s doing, here’s hoping he’s enjoying a very happy birthday today.
I’ve seen that look before.
On the anniversary of Rosalind’s death, Foyle speaks about his wife to Sam.
(Location: St Ethelreda’s Church, Old Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK)
A laughter break from investigating crime.
Harking back to the days when Andrew received more than a passing mention.
After making Dr. Wrenn sweat with his expert interrogation skills, Foyle sees his way to letting the distraught man off the hook without further punishment.
What is the style of hat that michael kitchen wears in foyles war?
A type of flat-brimmed trilby/fedora. You might be interested in reading some of the discussion regarding Foyle’s War at The Fedora Lounge.
From PBS’s live chat with Julian Ovenden today. Nice to know JO is open to returning.
Crossing my fingers for a FWS10 and a clear schedule for JO when and if the occasion arises:
From the LA Times:
Kitchen is the sort of detective hero Americans were more used to once — not young, not buff, not crazy. He doesn’t waste words — as much as a catchphrase as he can muster is to preface a sentence with “Well” (which does, oddly, work as a kind of catchphrase) — or suffer fools gladly. (He dispatches them with a wit so dry as to be indistinguishable from simple declaration.) There is a moral intensity to Foyle that Kitchen expresses by the slightest raising of his voice or quickening of his words or birdlike cocking of his head. (He also tends to break up his sentences, in the Shatner way, minus the gasping drama.) Like other great detectives of fiction, he is superhumanly observant, adept at spotting the overlooked detail and seeing a puzzle where everyone else just sees a picture. But there is nothing flashy in any of it, which makes him all the more attractive.
Wonderfully accurate description of Foyle and Michael Kitchen’s acting style. Love the part about “Well” being his catchphrase.
I would like to ask a favour. I know you sometimes take requests re GIFs and I was rather fancying something in the manner of black waders, corduroy jacket, fishing rod and a peaceful look on his face. My ipad doesn’t want to go back any further than April 2013 in your archive and I know they are in there somewhere. Only if you have the time of course. A late birthday gift. TY
Happy belated birthday. I hope this is what you had in mind.
Thanks for another lovely image from Foyle’s War. What a nice way to start the weekend.
How very kind of you. Your note certainly made my weekend nicer.
This is too cruel, Acorn DVD, to show Michael Kitchen telling an uproariously funny joke on the set of Enemy Fire without letting us in on it! (Clips are from “The Making of Foyle’s War, Part 1”.)
(How sad that director Jeremy Silberston passed away barely two years after these joyful moments of him here with the cast were captured on film.)
I noticed in the recent set of gifs you put up, that Foyle’s wife was 30 when she died in 1932, was she not his son’s mother then, as he seems too old to have been? Was she his second wife? Is this explained at any point on the programme? Thanks if you can help! Love your blog. 🙂
Rosalind was Foyle’s only wife and Andrew’s mother, but you’re right that she seems too young. Foyle’s War fans including myself have delved into the age discrepancies within the Foyle family and have come to the conclusion that the writers of the show goofed — Anthony Horowitz has even admitted as much. First of all, Andrew’s exact age is unclear, since in the first episode, which takes place in the summer of 1940, Foyle says he has a 23-year-old son, but then in Among the Few from S2, which takes place in the fall of 1940, Foyle notes that Andrew is only 22. If we assume that Foyle had a momentary lapse (as hard as that is to believe) and that Andrew is 22 in 1940, then he would have been born in 1918, which would imply that Rosalind was no older than 15 when she married Foyle before the end of WWI. The writers probably did not intend for Foyle to have a child bride! Foyle would have been around 24 at the time of his wedding, since he enlisted at the start of WWI and was 21-22 at the time, according to a conversation in Bad Blood:
Lastly, when Rosalind died at age 29, Andrew should have been around 13, not 8 as he tells Sam in The Funk Hole.
This was probably much more detail than you wanted, but I hope it helps with your confusion. Thank you for visiting my blog. I’m happy to know you enjoy it.