Downton Abbey Fans: Have You Checked Out Foyle’s War?

I remember back when I was working in the Orem Public Library media department (loved that place!), a lot of people would come in for the TV series. Foyle’s War was a constant favorite. I never had the time or interest back then to check it out–too busy with grad school and the like–but when it popped up in Netflix a week or two ago, I decided to see what the fuss had been about.

Complete awesome.

The show is a series of 1.5 hour murder mysteries, all set against the backdrop of Britain in World War II. It’s not a series about the war–it’s a series that’s historically informed by the events of the war. Think of it like Mad Men without the booze and hopeless feeling that none of the characters will ever redeem themselves. Or Downton Abbey, with people getting murdered.

Good times.

Denisa and I both really love the show. The plots are twisty turny and very complex, the actors do a splendid job (I particularly like how consistent Foyle is played, and we both think Sam is fantastic) and the balance of history and mystery is just right. You get details about how life was like back then, without it turning into a Ken Burns production. For example, there’s a mystery that takes place right before Dunkirk, and you see the character’s responses to the rescue effort. The show starts at the beginning of the war, so you have the firs  few episodes filled with people second guessing Britain getting involved. You see that even WWII wasn’t a “everybody knows this war is the right thing to do” sort of thing. True, it dabbles in a bit too much melodrama now and then, but so did Downton, so I’m okay with it.

I really like how the episodes are self-contained, so you can consume one per evening and not be tempted to go for two. (3 hours of Foyle, it turns out, is a bit much. 1.5 is super. Speaking from experience.)

If you’re a fan of mystery or period dramas, I heartily encourage you to add this to your queue. Anyone out there already seen it? Am I just late to the party again?

6 thoughts on “Downton Abbey Fans: Have You Checked Out Foyle’s War?”

  1. Yep, you’re late to the party. 🙂 This has been a favorite of mine for years. And I like your comparison of it to Mad Men without the hopelessness. That’s actually why I stopped watching Mad Men–it was too depressing.

  2. I adore Foyle’s War (and actually just rewatched it myself.) They’re apparently about to/just filmed another season, covering the American loose ends, which I think will be fascinating.

    I particularly love the period detail, and Sam.

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