Foyle's War (series 3)

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Foyle's War (series 3)
No. of episodes 4
Season chronology
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Series 4
List of Foyle's War episodes

Series 3 of the ITV programme Foyle's War was first aired in 2004; comprising four episodes, it is set in early 1941. Series 3 was broadcast in the United States on PBS on Mystery!, on 11, 18, and 25 September, and 2 October 2005 as Foyle's War III,[1] and on Netflix as of April 2014.[2]


"The French Drop"[edit]

Writer: Anthony Horowitz Director: Gavin Millar Airdate: 24 October 2004 Net duration: 94 minutes Set: February 1941 Viewers: 9.10 million
Guests: Ronald Pickup, Angela Thorne, Samuel West, Deborah Findlay, Timothy Carlton, Tony Haygarth, Lydia Leonard
In occupied France, a British agent named "Facteur" is killed when he steps on a mine after parachuting in near Rouen. The agent is linked to a tense standoff between Major General Sir Giles Messinger of MI5 and Colonel James Wintringham of Special Operations Executive. Back in Hastings, a body is found after an explosion in a bookshop. Although it seems apparent that Messinger's son William committed suicide, the facts available are inconsistent. Following the trail to SOE, and their "dirty warfare" training centre at Hill House, Foyle meets Wintringham and Hilda Pierce, and with the help of Milner and Stewart, is slowly able to uncover the true identity of the body and the story behind it. Foyle then reveals that William and Facteur are the same person, and that the explosion and body-theft were part of a cover-up in order to avoid SOE being shut down by MI5. He decides to remain quiet over SOE's blunders regarding the "Facteur" mission, and accepts accusations of mis-investigation from Messinger, losing the naval job but believing he has best aided the war effort.[3][4]

Cast and Characters[edit]

In Hastings, Foyle and Milner (whose marriage is now breaking up) spend time dealing with petty crimes and black marketeers. Foyle, wanting to do more to help the war effort, goes to the Admiralty to see his brother-in-law Commander Charles Howard in hope of being offered a job at Naval Command in Liverpool. This ultimately fails. Foyle also has a run-in at SOE with an ex-con called Mason (alias Leo Maccoby) he helped imprison some three years earlier. Stewart returns to her hometown with Foyle, and meets her uncle Aubrey Stewart, the local vicar. This episode features the second of three appearances by the recurring character Hilda Pierce, played by Ellie Haddington (previously in the Series 2 episode "War Games", and then in the Series 5 episode "All Clear"); she then becomes a lead character in Series 8.

Background and Production[edit]

The title of the episode is taken from the phrase "French drop", which is a well-known vanishing trick involving sleight of hand. Horowitz was also inspired by the Special Operations Executive, which Churchill created in 1940 to develop techniques of sabotage and subversion. By setting the story in the early days of the SOE, Horowitz was able to use the conflict between the new SOE and the older yet under-prepared Security Service and Secret Intelligence Service as a backdrop to the plot. Many of the details are authentic, such as the use by the SOE of carborundum powder to disable cars,[5] and some characters are based on people involved with the SOE, such as the former Shanghai Municipal Police officer. Throughout the episode, numerous people are also seen carrying around gas masks in small cardboard boxes with a carry string attached, indicating the concern of possible chemical weapon attacks of the time.

"Enemy Fire"[edit]

Writer: Anthony Horowitz Director: Gavin Millar Airdate: 31 October 2004 Net duration: 93 minutes Set: February 1941 Viewers: 8.15 million
Guests: Bill Paterson, Peter Blythe, Simon Woods, Jonathan Slinger, Alexandra Moen, Shaun Dooley, John Wood, Richard Huw, Martin Turner
The RAF requisitions Digby Manor as a burns medical unit led by surgeon Patrick Jamieson and Dr. Brian Wrenn. Group Captain Lawrence Smythe disapproves of Jamieson's unconventional yet effective methods. The owner, Sir Michael Waterford, and his housekeeper, Mrs. Roecastle, are troubled at the eviction but comply. Numerous acts of sabotage then occur at the manor, and investigations reveal it to be work of the housekeeper, upset at the requisition. Meanwhile, Peter Preston, the new ARP warden informs Wrenn of his wife's affair. Andrew Foyle is relieved when his friend Greville Woods is sent on a night reconnaissance mission instead of him. The mission ends after Woods crashes and suffers serious burns, and Andrew goes AWOL in Stewart's flat, suffering from severe exhaustion. Gordon Drake, the central figure in the story, being somehow connected to everyone, is murdered. Foyle and Milner are able to determine that even though Wrenn initially assaulted him, it was Preston, his brother-in-law, who killed him over his harsh treatment of his sister.

Cast and Characters[edit]

Foyle is shown visiting the grave of his wife on the ninth anniversary of her death. The tombstone reads: "Rosalind Foyle, June 1902-February 1932, RIP". Wrenn was the surgeon who had amputated Milner's leg. Andrew Foyle receives a promotion to flight lieutenant, and is transferred to a training position by Wing Commander Turner, who understands the service he has already performed.

Background and Production[edit]

The hospital and its patients are broadly based on the work of Archibald McIndoe and his "guinea pigs".[citation needed] Sir Michael's story of battle-fatigue and self-injury 25 years ago parallels that of Woods' injuries and Andrew's stress in this war.

"They Fought in the Fields"[edit]

Writer: Rob Heyland Director: Jeremy Silberston Airdate: 7 November 2004 Net duration: 92 minutes Set: April 1941 Viewers: 8.48 million
Guests: Nigel Terry, Joe Armstrong, James Wilby, Stella Gonet, Anatole Taubman, Paula Jennings, Trevor Cooper
After an air raid, two Luftwaffe airmen, Sabartovski and Schimmel, are captured and handed over to the POW interrogation service's Major Cornwall. Meanwhile, on Hugh Jackson's farm, his son Tom (who works as a guard at the POW camp) finds his father shot dead in an apparent suicide. Also on the farm are two Land Girls, Rose Henshall and Joan Dillon, and wood selector Barbara Hicks. Soon, another German airman, Weiser, is found nearby with his pistol missing, and he is taken to the camp's infirmary by Cornwall. However, irregularities come to light after examining the farmer's body, and Foyle finds blood while Milner finds a pig carcass in a freshly dug grave, revealing black marketeering at the farm. After Foyle learns Henshall is pregnant with Hugh Jackson's child, they also find Andrew Neame, the man who supposedly ran away with Jackson's wife 11 years ago. He denies running away with her, and the truth is revealed - Jackson killed and buried her, and that Weiser is actually a secret agent sent to silence Sabartovski, and he shot Jackson after being discovered.

Cast and Characters[edit]

Foyle is shown to understand German (in addition to French from the last episode) due to his war service. He also explains that he was part of a police football team that played while in Germany in 1936. Stewart is scoffed at by Dillon because of her "cushy" driving job, and decides to help the Land Girls with the potato crop.

Background and Production[edit]

With the air and sea campaigns around the UK, a number of POW camps were set up, as depicted in this episode. The programme also focuses on the voluntary service of the Women's Land Army, started by the government in June 1939 to increase agricultural production.

"A War of Nerves"[edit]

Writer: Anthony Horowitz Director: Gavin Millar Airdate: 14 November 2004 Net duration: 94 minutes Set: June 1941 Viewers: 8.19 million
Guests: Peter Capaldi, Peter-Hugo Daly, Charles Pemberton, David Westhead, Dugald Bruce Lockhart, Joanna Horton
Seeking to crack down on organised crime, Milner goes undercover in the building business, which leads Foyle's team to possible racketeering at the Talbot Shipyard. Assistant Commissioner Rose directs Foyle to investigate communist leader Raymond Carter, who is in Hastings with his fiancée and Rose's daughter, painter Lucinda Sheridan. Carter rebukes Foyle for his inquiry, and Sheridan goes on to explain his commitment to the People's Convention. The story then follows Royal Engineers Captain Hammond, Jack Archer, and Ernest Jones, who are called to the shipyard, and find a cache of money which they steal. Foyle later learns from a shop steward and union agitator, Derek Woodgate, that only 200 people work at the yard, while the Talbot brothers have been receiving wages for 400. Later, the body of Jones is found, killed by Talbot henchmen, and Hammond decides to booby trap a suitcase, ending up killing himself and the Talbot brothers. The money is then returned to the government.

Cast and Characters[edit]

In this episode, it is revealed that Sergeant Eric Rivers, who normally mans the front desk, has a daughter named Gwen. Further, Stewart agrees to testify on behalf of Jack Archer, Gwen's fiancé, later agreeing to be her bridesmaid.

Background and Production[edit]

The Chatham Dockyards provided the location for the shipyard, featuring both HMS Ocelot and HMS Cavalier.[6] The shipyard racket is based on a real case of fraud by Frederick Porter of Liverpool in 1942, whose ship scaling business embezzled over £300,000 from the government.[5] Rose also invokes Defence Regulation 18B as an extra-legal means of getting to Carter. The episode ends with the announcement of Operation Barbarossa.

International broadcast[edit]

Series 3 was broadcast in the United States on PBS on Mystery!, on 11, 18, and 25 September, and 2 October 2005 as Foyle's War III,[1] and on Netflix as of April 2014.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Series III: Episode Descriptions". PBS. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Thomas, Chet (April 2, 2014). "More British TV Shows on Netflix: 'Foyle's War'". Netflix TV Shows Review. 
  3. ^ "Foyle's War". Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  4. ^ Foyle's War Series 3 (DVD). ITV. 
  5. ^ a b Peo Notes from writer Anthony Horowitz, PBS website
  6. ^ Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office Foyle's War- A War of Nerves Film Focus".