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» » Foyle's War The German Woman (2002–2015)

Short summary

Series premiere. England, May 1940: Set against the backdrop of Hastings, East Sussex, during World War II, Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle is thwarted in his attempts to serve his country in the war effort. Instead, his duty is to serve his local community, effectively sitting out the war, by investigating petty crimes and an occasional murder or two.

The German bomber that appears in this episode resembles a twin engine Dornier Do-17, which would be correct in 1940.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Narder
    I've only seen one edition of this series but instantly I could see what a classic series it must become (and I normally don't like detective series of any description - saw this one by chance). This is excellent.

    The period production is brilliant with lots of old cars, houses, and a brilliant recreation of the 1940s; add to this the War in the background and the programme gives a magnificent depiction of the domestic front during the War, what with all of the profiteering, the pressure on police, etc. How do you deal with mundane murder at home when it's magnified a thousand fold in the battlefield?

    That is the main theme of the series.

    Michael Kitchen is a revelation and will surely go down with the greatest of all television detectives - along with Poirot (Suchet), Maigret and all the others. It's as if his whole career has been waiting for this role.

    Fantastic series.
  • comment
    • Author: Made-with-Love
    This really just gets better all the time. The character development of the main protagonists is gently, but effectively carried out, with Michael Kitchen's performance as the quietly calm Superintendent simply outstanding. His ability to convey the full range of emotions, without ever having to resort to shouting or histrionics could be used a Masterclass. Anthony Howell as Det Sgt Paul Milner gives an equally outstanding performance, particularly as he is reduced to a minor character in the first two evidently introductory episodes. Now that the series seems to be hitting its stride, he has progressed from shell-shocked self pity to a nicely judged desperation when faced by his unsympathetic wife. These two main characters are both likeable and plausible and have the ability to gain our sympathies to the extent that the odd plot weakness (notably the final denouement of week 3) can be overlooked. I want to know what happens to them so I do hope there will be a further series.
  • comment
    • Author: sunrise bird
    This is an excellent period crime drama in the style of Agatha Christie but with more bite. Michael Kitchen is superb as D.S.Christopher Foyle, and the supporting cast are all strong, including a surprisingly quiet but highly effective performance by Robert Hardy. The first in a series of four, this murder story with its background of tensions and suspicions in a small village shortly after the outbreak of the first World War has a satisfying array of characters, a good plot, and allows you a small glimpse of Foyle the man as well as Foyle the detective. Michael Kitchen is an actor who doesn't need words to tell you what he's thinking, and I hope that his performance, and the series itself, gets the recognition it undoubtedly deserves. It's a delight to watch.
  • comment
    • Author: FreandlyMan
    One of 6 episodes produced, the only drama series i have not missed an episode of in the last decade. Michael Kitchen heads an excellent cast with strong support from the other regulars characters all developed brilliantly over the series(such as his enthusiastic driver, with a a clergyman father's old values overthrown by his daughter's enthusiasms and benefit to the police). What distinguishes this episode and those that followed is the viewer is unable to understand fully the motive for the main murder let alone whodunnit. Its educational in that it focuses on the seriouis side of those at home during the war - no Dad's Army here, and the main detective's natural assumptive way in dealing with people is so refreshing, no mannered acting, just intelligent and to the point. Such lines as "No, you're still lying like you did when we last met, what's it to be " are great. Hopefully more to come.
  • comment
    • Author: Pedora
    The two episodes that I have seen are wonderfully written and the acting is superb. Michael Kitchen is appropriately low keyed and is probably George Smiley's cousin. The 1940's are vividly presented and the historical revelations of the mixture of defeatism, fear and resolution are effectively portrayed.
  • comment
    • Author: Thorgahuginn
    It's 1940 and England is under siege by the Germans. The U.S. is in maintaining its isolationist pose which the Japanese are going to change in a year. The episode begins with an Austrian man, who was a part of the Austrian Philharmonic but had to leave after speaking out against the oppressors, being put in an internment camp along with his wife. He was seen taking a picture of his wife with a borrowed camera and hence labeled a spy. His wife dies at the camp and their nephew tries to intervene and get him out. We are introduced to Detective Foyle's, who has been sent to a village to root out a ring that is taking money to keep young men out of the army. While there, he runs into a frightened community, who are bristling at anything Deutsch. A rich man has a wife who is German and she becomes a suspicious character. After a bomb is dropped on the village, she is murdered. There are numerous layers to investigate here, including the death of a young bar maid. Also, Foyle's son heads off to war. This is the story of a man trying to reclaim his purpose and dignity. It is a subtle and masterful use of acting and wonderful settings to tell a very good story. I look forward to more.
  • comment
    • Author: Malaris
    Loved 'Foyle's War' and was immediately hooked when first getting into it. Love it even more now, on re-watches things that didn't quite make sense at first are clearer and things that were not noticed or appreciated before are and much admired. Everything that came over as brilliant on first viewings still are brilliant on re-watches.

    "The German Woman" is a wonderful beginning. When first getting into 'Foyle's War', there was the thought that it was hard to get into at first. Not so when re-watching "The German Woman", where for so early on so much is so well established in terms of character development, tone and themes. The story is a complicated one but also a very compelling and clever one where the surprises keep coming, the final solution was shocking but made sense, everything that needed to make sense did.

    Always have admired the visual detail that went into 'Foyle's Show' and how high quality the production values are, with beautiful costumes, the evocative way the characters are made up, the look of the houses and cars, pretty locations and authentic-looking scenery. The music is in keeping with the mood and doesn't overpower the drama while still making an impact. Chopin C sharp minor Nocturne is one of the most touching and haunting beautiful pieces for piano and in general ever written.

    Writing is intelligent, sophisticated and thought-provoking, establishing Foyle's personality with so much depth already and providing some tense and heart-tugging moments. The story is complicated, with a lot of strands that requires full attention, but clever and from start to finish intriguing. It paces itself deliberately but with so much going on it's never once dull.

    One thing that wasn't picked up by me but now is and admired hugely is the tackling of what was seen as truths but some really misconceptions and seeing British during the war in a new light. This was a bold move and dealt with with a lot of honesty and tact. The character tensions were also handled very well and added a lot of intrigue as is Foyle's personal life.

    Michael Kitchen is truly superb as Foyle, subtle, intensely determined, commanding and above all human. One of the most interesting television detectives there's ever been and Kitchen has rarely been better. Honeysuckle Weeks is charming and loyal and Anthony Howell is wonderful.

    In the supporting roles, particularly standing out are an appreciatively restrained Robert Hardy, a luminous and hardly ill-at-ease Rosamund Pike very early in her career and an unnervingly suspicious Joanna Kanska. Dominic Mafham was also effective.

    Overall, truly wonderful beginning and did a truly great job setting up for what was to come. 10/10 Bethany Cox
  • comment
    • Author: Wizard
    Crime Traveller was a science fiction series by writer Anthony Horowitz that was so flawed, it rather put me off Horowitz's other works.

    Foyle's War concerns the tenacious and methodical Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle who in the first episode wants a transfer.

    The episode begins in May 1940 when Germans living in Britain are labelled as aliens and are being interned. One Austrian émigré and his wife are interned when he seen using a camera and his wife dies. His wife's nephews wants an investigation and have his uncle released, especially when a German woman in the village who is married to the local squire and magistrate is free to do and go as she pleases.

    However once her decapitated body is found, Foyle investigates, he is assisted by his new lady driver and an injured policeman in hospital.

    The German bombings in the southeast coast of England has inspired anti German feeling which means there are a lot of suspects. Foyle uncovers favours were used to ensure that the victim avoided internment and a complex web of lies which led to her murder.

    This is a strong opening episode, not an easy one to fathom. Foyle is a honest copper but not the most likable or chatty. He is rather short with his new driver but more caring towards the injured policeman and also anxious about his son joining up. The production values were good.
  • comment
    • Author: Arakus
    ITV had tried several times to find a replacement for Inspector Morse, when it brought us Foyle's War it managed to do just that. The German Woman sets the precedent for a wonderful series, it was beautifully written, superbly acted, fantastically produced, interesting, and simply captivating.

    Foyle's War often makes you think of how the War affected different groups of people. We all have ideas of what life was like for everyday Brits, but for Germans living in the UK, life must have been unbearable, the episode manages to show both sides of the argument, and weave the natural fears into the plot. The writing is so incredibly rich, there is so much going on, so much detail, it's impressive when you think of how much is going on, the introduction of Foyle, the story of his son, Samantha's character and story, Milner's story and the actual crime and corruption surrounding the main players.

    It is no wonder is lasted so long, and developed such a loyal following. What an immaculate start to a superb series.
  • Episode cast overview, first billed only:
    David Horovitch David Horovitch - Thomas Kramer
    Elizabeth Bell Elizabeth Bell - Elsie Kramer
    Robert Pickavance Robert Pickavance - Eric Stephens
    Neil Conrich Neil Conrich - Policeman 1
    Andrew Powell Andrew Powell - Official 1
    Paul Putner Paul Putner - Official 2
    Michael Kitchen Michael Kitchen - Christopher Foyle
    Edward Fox Edward Fox - Asst. Commissioner Summers
    Benedict Sandiford Benedict Sandiford - Mark Andrews
    Robert Hardy Robert Hardy - Henry Beaumont
    Joanna Kanska Joanna Kanska - Greta Beaumont
    Rosamund Pike Rosamund Pike - Sarah Beaumont
    Dominic Mafham Dominic Mafham - Michael Turner
    Honeysuckle Weeks Honeysuckle Weeks - Samantha Stewart
    Robert Goodale Robert Goodale - Bob Keegan
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