Tag Archives: Series 8

Foyle's War: The Eternity Ring: Michael Kitchen: Honeysuckle Weeks: press photo in radioactive room

Missed this interview with Anthony Horowitz when it was published in The Sunday Times on March 24, 2013, the day Foyle’s War S8 premiered. At the time, AH believed S8 would be the finale of FW:

Will I ever kill Foyle off? No. But I don’t think I’ll write any more either. It’s quite likely that I’ve written my last episode of Foyle’s War.

Of Michael Kitchen, he had this to say:

“…and Michael [Kitchen, the actor who plays Foyle] has been happier more than I can ever remember.”

“He has taken over the part. He now questions every line: he is quite demanding in what he will not say; he is always challenging. This is good for me. It makes for an interesting collaboration.”

“We discuss things all the time. We have a read-through; he will phone me while they’re shooting; I get notes from him; he will worry about certain lines. The very last line of the whole series — he wrote [it] at the very last minute.”

Wish we could have seen more of that off-screen happiness, as there certainly wasn’t much for Foyle to be happy about in S8.


Not only should Netflix retain Foyle’s War, but it should change its cover art for the show to this:

Super HD photo from the showreel of Gavin Struthers, Director of Photography for Foyle’s War S8.

Foyle's War: The Hide: Michael Kitchen: Rupert Frazer: papers for America 1
Foyle's War: The Hide: Michael Kitchen: Rupert Frazer: papers for America 2
Foyle's War: The Hide: Michael Kitchen: Rupert Frazer: papers for America 3Foyle's War: The Hide: Michael Kitchen: Rupert Frazer: papers for America 4

Foyle's War: The Hide: Michael Kitchen: Rupert Frazer: papers for America 6

When S7 ended, Foyle was all smiles after his replacement in the police force finally arrived, allowing him to resign and pursue other interests, including a trip to America to carry out his vow to bring Howard Paige to justice.  In 2010 Anthony Horowitz said that he very much hoped the next installment of the show could be shot in America to follow the Paige storyline.  That would have been awesome in more ways than one (MK on American soil!), but unfortunately, budget limitations precluded filming in the US.

Hoping for a book from AH someday…

A visitor to Chatham Historic Dockyard took a photo of this scene as it was being filmed:

Foyles War

I think Foyle used up his entire allotment of smiles for S8 in the first half hour. By the end of the series, the good humor he often displayed in earlier series had long since disappeared, quashed by a more lonely and cynical outlook that I hope doesn’t transfer to S9.

Came across a few photos I’d not seen before of Michael Kitchen filming Sunflower in St. Patrick’s Close outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin back in Dec. 2012.

One more showing him ducking from gun shots.

…for the first few years of Foyle, arguably for the entire first 7 years. Whimsey, nuance, humour, all mixed nicely with murder and death. No such luck with Foyle the Spy.

This, among other interesting comments from A_Different_Drummer’s IMDB review, hit the nail on the head for me with respect to the abrupt changes in S8. Still, I’ll take Foyle the Spy if that’s what entices MK to continue working and AH to continue writing FW.

anonymous said:

Heartily agree with you KF. I’ll watch anything with MK in it once, but will go back to the WWII episodes of Foyle again and again. Crossing my fingers that AH has found some inspiration for S9.

Always nice to know there are others who feel the same way I do, anonymous.  Thanks.

DVD Talk‘s in-depth review of FWS8 is probably the most negative one I’ve read, but I must say I agree with much of his harsh criticism, particularly with regard to the change in setting and the new storylines:

To put it succinctly: the central pull of Foyle’s War—murder, corruption, and moral turpitude on the seemingly quiet, almost forgotten English homefront, while the world hangs in the balance overseas—has necessarily been lost.  …  creator and writer Anthony Horowitz’ largely self-contained mysteries provided a skeleton for dramatized re-examinations of the largely ignored social and ethical issues—and their huge transformations—that cropped up in even the most remote English towns and villages, due in no small part to the pervasive, often-times corrosive impact of the Second World War.

The small, tight, interconnected village of the previous Foyle has been replaced with amorphous metropolitan London, while the circumstances of war on the civilian, and the use of those pressures as excuses for illegal activity, have largely been replaced with overly-familiar spy plots involving atom spies, spooky “good guys” who may not be so “good,” Nazi collaborators, and ridiculously enough, large, large chunks of screen time devoted to—wait for it—romanticized mid-to-late 1940s Labour Party politics (Horowitz’ uncritical approach to “Super-Labourer” Adam Wainwright would be risible if it wasn’t so monstrously dull).

The critic also believes the character of Foyle has been lost:

That dedication to duty, and even more, his dedication, love, and utmost respect for the law, both official and ethical, kept Foyle constantly at odds with others who saw the war as yet another excuse to flout the conventions of the legal system—as well as a convenient bypass for committing morally questionable actions. And so I ask again…where is that Foyle here? If we go with the first episode’s set-up—that Foyle is basically blackmailed into joining MI5 on the basis of helping Sam…along with the vague threat of deportation—then fine: that works within Foyle’s moral universe. He’s doing this shadowy spy world stuff to help his friend Sam, and also so he isn’t sent back to America as a possible murder suspect. However, once this threat passes (we never hear another word from his superiors threatening deportation), why, exactly, is Foyle doing what he’s doing? Why is he compromising his principles to help a system he doesn’t believe in: deadly, double-dealing, no-holds-barred international espionage, with no “right” or “wrong” in sight?

If Foyle’s moral compass is everything to him, why is he plodding through this ghostly, spectral espionage realm where there are no morals (there’s no mistaking the fact that Kitchen, when you can find him on-screen here—I bet he agreed to continue this series as long as his shooting schedule was light—looks either ill-at-ease…or bored)?

The critic obviously didn’t read MK’s recent interview before making that last parenthetical statement. 

Read the entire review here.


This episode of Foyle’s War is super violent and bloody.

One aspect I always liked about Foyle’s War was the limited graphic violence, so I’m not enjoying this new direction at all.

From Anglotopia.net:

Michael Kitchen is still awesome as the quietly enigmatic Christopher Foyle and really many of us would watch him reading silently, whether or not he had crimes to solve!

Foyle's War: Broken Souls: Michael Kitchen reading 1
Foyle's War: Broken Souls: Michael Kitchen reading 2

anonymous said:

It’s amazing that almost all the FW fans have the same sense of what is really important in the episode!And we have you to offer us the deleted scenes!Thanks again.

Well, at least based on the small sample size opining on the MK forum and this blog…  The editors of the US FW obviously had different ideas, and who knows, their views could be representative of the FW fan base at large.  Many viewers may not care much whether these scenes are included, but for those who do, I’m glad to be able to share them.

abjectadmirer said:

Those who do not care may as well watch Midsomer Murders. I invite them to clear orf out of the Foyle fandom forthwith.

Agreed.  But from all the comments and reviews I’ve read on S8, I just get the feeling that most viewers have been sold on the new setting and atmosphere of the show and don’t particularly miss the lack of humor and fun Foyle/Sam interaction.

abjectadmirer said:

Well, the first cut scene didn’t have any Sam in it. But it did have Foyle. To my mind, in a series called “Foyle’s War” you don’t cut Foyle. You cut everything else first. It’s a no-brainer.

One would think.  That first scene not only had Foyle but his dry wit as well, so the cut is doubly egregious.

pdx144 said:

Everyone should email their PBS station and tell them they must never, ever cut a scene that Michael Kitchen is in. There’s plenty of other scenes to easily cut. Grrrrr

Seriously, he is the star of the show after all.  Every precious moment of his screen time should be preserved.

Vote here.

anonymous said:

Thanks for posting AH’s suggestion about voting and the link (and all the other incredible work you do on this site!!). I went through the voting process but could not complete the “puzzle”!! I was only able to apply the blue paint. Any thoughts?

You’re welcome! I’m happy to help promote MK since he certainly doesn’t do it himself.  That captcha was unlike any I’ve ever encountered.  I painted the bottom half of the trophy with one brush and the top part with the other brush and it worked.

Two decades after The Russia House, Michael Kitchen is still looking a little moody and a lot sexy working with British intelligence, this time in Foyle’s War S8 premiering tonight in the U.S.!

From a review by the A.V. Club:

… most of the credit for the character’s success really must go to Michael Kitchen, who consistently hits the right notes in the role. His interactions with his MI5 handlers consistently reveal a righteous indignation, but it’s only towards the end of the episode that he determines the specific reasons why his unwanted new bosses are so objectionable. His investigative and observational skills are on frequent display in “The Eternity Ring,” and Kitchen nicely underplays these moments. He is not driven by a compulsion to solve puzzles, again separating him from a Holmes or a Morse; solving mysteries is simply his job, and he’s damn good at it.

abjectadmirer said:

“hits the right notes in the role”? He IS the bloody role. (Whoops Shiraz)

Amen to that, Shiraz or no Shiraz.

War Is Over, but Enemies Are Afoot in London

This grayer, chillier “Foyle’s War” may not suit everyone, but it’s admirable, and a bit remarkable, that Mr. Horowitz has moved the show forward in a way that makes historical and dramatic sense. It wouldn’t work, of course, if Mr. Kitchen did not remain at the center, communicating an entire worldview in the way he says “Oh, I see” or tells a weaselly major, “I’ve come to give you another opportunity to tell me the truth.”

Two things I like about the review by the NY Times:

  1. The critic is ambivalent as I am about the significant change in atmosphere of the revamped Foyle’s War; and
  2. He showers praise on Michael Kitchen.

pdx144 said:

I agree with you about the new episodes and the praise. Love that FW and MK are all over the US press for a change.

It has been a long drought.

abjectadmirer said:

Sadly the critic, Mike Hale, also thought Hastings was a “fictional seaside town” (I did him the favour of emailing him, and he has since corrected the mistake).

Yes, I noticed his mistake, too.  Hastings is obviously not on his list of places to visit as it is for some of us. Glad you set him straight.

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. 

Foyle's War: Enemy Fire: Michael Kitchen: Well...

From a review of Foyle’s War S8 on Bostonherald.com:

As for the incomparable Kitchen, he has this wonderful tick where his mouth shrugs, not his shoulders. It’s Foyle’s answer to all sorts of observations and accusations and it’s probably the only “eccentricity” this detective will allow himself to exhibit. 

Foyle's War: The Cage: Michael Kitchen mouth shrug

The new season of “Foyle’s War” could be the best ever.

– according to the WSJ

abjectadmirer said: No. That will be the next one.

I, for one, am counting on it.  Please don’t disappoint, AH, with more overly dark story lines.