'Foyle's War' returns with crimes of espionage
Michael Kitchen, left, and Honeysuckle Weeks are shown from the series "Foyle's War," premiering its new season on "MASTERPIECE Mystery!" on PBS on Sept. 15, 22, and 29. (AP Photo/PBS- ITV, Bernard Walsh)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The premise: A small-town policeman goes big time with cloak-and-dagger intrigue, showing the spymasters how it should be done.
The change of pace for retired Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle of Hastings, England, comes in Sunday's return of "Foyle's War," which moves the PBS "Masterpiece Mystery!" series from the stark horrors of World War II into the shadows of the Cold War.
For Foyle addicts — and there are millions of them in the U.S. and worldwide — it's a chance to see their hero on a different stage. For those yet to discover the smartly written and produced series starring the remarkable Michael Kitchen, it's a good time to join in.
Shifting Foyle to security agency MI5 in London (with Dublin playing stand-in), lets newcomers to the drama avoid the fog of confusion. There's also easy accessibility: The three new episodes can be streamed on digital channel Acorn TV the day after their PBS debut, and Acorn has the library of past seasons on home video and streaming.
Longtime fans may miss cast members who weren't able to come along this season, including Anthony Howell as Detective Milner and Julian Ovenden as Foyle's war-hero son. But consolation comes with the return of Honeysuckle Weeks as Foyle's loyal sidekick, Samantha, married to a political hopeful (Daniel Weyman), and Ellie Haddington as the chillingly efficient MI5 bureaucrat Miss Pierce.
Viewer devotion and an unusual production deal with Acorn made the program's seventh-season return possible. First, however, series creator Anthony Horowitz had to decide there could be life for Foyle after the cease-fire.
"When I got to the end of the war, 1945, I thought that was the end of that," said Horowitz, a novelist as well as screenwriter. But urging from fans and executive producer Jill Green, who also happens to be Horowitz's wife, did the trick.
Michael Kitchen, right, and Honeysuckle Weeks are shown from the series "Foyle's War," premiering its new season on "MASTERPIECE Mystery!" on PBS on Sept. 15, 22, and 29. (AP Photo/PBS- ITV, Bernard Walsh)
"It was a fantastic thing, in the end. It reanimated us, inspired us, gave us a new language, characters and new things to play with," Horowitz said. "And I also was delighted to have left policemen and police stations and bodies in the libraries behind me."