Outcry and popular demand brings about additional installments of the wildly popular crime drama Foyle’s War. Penned by Anthony Horowitz, the most recent installments may honor the end of one war but begins the start of an equally threatening one.
Foyles War, Series Seven (2013) TV Show Review
England is not the same place it once was. The horrors of a second world war are still raw in the minds of the people. Upon his return to his homeland Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) sees the stark remnants. Just back from America, two things consecutively happen soon as he sets foot on British soil. He meets again with a former policeman he once worked with in Hastings after spending years as a POW. But most recently, MI5 requisites his services and leads him again into the acquaintance of the formidable Miss Pierce (Ellie Haddington). Disinterested in working for the government spooks, Foyle helps them uncover a Russian spy ring known as “The Eternity Circle” until he learns they’re looking at Sam (Honeysuckle Weeks). Not believing that his former driver is involved, Foyle agrees to help MI5 in order to make sure no harm comes to Sam, and her politically minded husband, Adam (Daniel Weyman).
Pushing forward in his investigation, Foyle learns that working among his colleagues involves learning the ins and out of politics. He also realizes that protecting the wrong people is MI5’s business. He soon discovers there are more shady dealings going on inside the walls of the MI5 offices rather than out. Which then becomes a question of figuring out who is trustworthy and who is not.
Nothing ever stays the same. This is something we know, but golly, it’s hard when we have to wave good-bye to a beautiful piece of nostalgia. And if we’re honest, this series is just that. This series has a gripping identity and more poignant moments than any unsuspecting viewer will expect, but is now a duller, less shiny version. Where it once manages to be quaint and terribly brilliant, it feels as if there’s a weight on everyone’s shoulders. Seeing this come to a close is the end of an era and seeing it return (in 2011) is a joyous occasion. Now, a new year brings us three all new installments and people, oh my stars, the change is REAL.
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Rather than move viewers with the things that easily humanize the stories, these new installments miss the same focus on people. Now the angles zero in on political schemes and governments protecting former war enemies. It’s a new mine field for everyone to navigate, leaving us and Foyle more exasperated than satisfied justice is served. The first few minutes of ‘Eternity Circle’ starts out well with its terrifying knowledge before it kind of fizzles out. The character’s seem only half-hearted, and the mystery not as intelligent as the prior chapters. Part of me understands the emotions, and another part misses all the spunk, and humor this series builds on. Fortunately, the final episode is the best of the group (more on this later) and also has a wonderful conclusion.
Those who are unfamiliar with this series may suffer in places from a lack of knowledge as the show references cases from season past. (Such as an American entrepreneur who did escape Foyle’s reach or the history between Samantha and Foyle.) Sam is no longer the same plucky girl we laugh with and end up loving; now she seems weary and less interested in sleuthing whereas before she’s eager and willing to do nearly anything. We see glimpses of the old Sam, and though rare, it’s a ray of sunshine. She and Adam are cute together (in rare moments of spontaneity) but if memory serves correct, I prefer the former actor from the last series better.
Where the first two installments aren’t the best of the bunch, ‘Sunflower’ is brilliant! Saving it for last is a great strategy as it whets our anticipation, wanting more and it’s all the harder to say good-bye. (Plus Foyle gets an epically good moment at the end!) It’s dark and covers a frightening period but counteracts it by offering the human side of the story through Foyle’s eyes. Avid fans will pick up on the little changes. They add up and offer new perspectives, sometimes for the better, oftentimes they leave the show worse for the wear; there is a dullness where once this was a bright copper penny.
In the end, don’t let my cynical ramblings ruin anything. Any fan of this ITV series (myself included!) will enjoy set seven. It’s really the bees knees. Horowitz puts out another solid edition of mystery, mayhem and of course, the keen investigative eye of Christopher Foyle. That’s worth any flaws.
Content: There are a handful of deaths, including one under the ruse of suicide [blood is splattered on the wall] and another finds a man badly injured stumbling into the hospital covered in blood. There is talk of the horrors of war [including a home that is still being used for emotional torture – holding a blank gun to someone, playing music 24/7, etc.) and one man is mentally ill as the result of being shot in the head [we catch flashback glimpses and hear the shot]. There’s references to extra-marital affairs; it’s revealed one man is a homosexual/transgender and belongs to a “club” [everything regarding this is subtlety discussed]. A minor British slang or profanity may be present although nothing comes to mind.