Foyle's War (series 2)

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Foyle's War (series 2)
No. of episodes4
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List of Foyle's War episodes

Series 2 of the ITV programme Foyle's War was first aired in 2003; comprising four episodes, it is set in autumn 1940. Series 2 was broadcast in the United States on PBS on Mystery!, on 18 and 25 July, and 1 and 8 August 2004, as Foyle's War II,[1] and on Netflix as of April 2014.[2]


"Fifty Ships"[edit]

Writer: Anthony Horowitz Director: Giles Foster Airdate: 16 November 2003 Net duration: 99 minutes Set: September 1940 Viewers: 9.30 million
Guests: Clive Merrison, Amanda Root, Janine Duvitski, Tom Georgeson, Geoffrey Chater, Nicholas Le Prevost, Henry Goodman, Guy Henry, Bryan Dick
The building where Stewart lives is partially destroyed by a high-explosive bomb, and Foyle, there to check on her, soon learns of the theft of valuables from the damaged building. Now homeless, she bunks temporarily with Milner, until his wife comes home one night unexpectedly, forcing Stewart to sleep in a police cell. Foyle also investigates the apparent suicide of an alcoholic handyman, Richard Hunter, who has Oxford University ties to a visiting American millionaire, Howard Paige. Complicating matters, Hunter's son Kenneth appears connected to a gang of auxiliary firefighters, who are secretly looting bombed-out houses. Meanwhile, Hans Maier, a "Dutch refugee", is found, but when he turns out to be a German spy he faces execution. Surprisingly his cousin, the wife of the local doctor, lives nearby and seems complicit in his arrival. In the end, Foyle's investigations reveal the truth behind Paige's complicity in both stealing Hunter's synchromesh concept and in his murder. Stopped by Paige's minder from arresting the American, who is responsible for convincing the U.S. to supply arms to the UK, Foyle vows to bring Paige to justice after the war.

Cast and Characters[edit]

This episode introduces Foyle's former love, Elizabeth Lewes, whom he had intended to marry but was declined permission by her father some 20 years ago. Later, true to his word, in "The Eternity Ring" (Series 7, Episode 1), Foyle returns from America after confronting Paige.

Background and Production[edit]

The title refers to the Destroyers for Bases Agreement, under which the United States traded 50 U.S. Navy destroyers to the U.K. in exchange for land rights in certain British colonies. The agreement was a reversal of the U.S.'s isolationist policy and a precursor to the much more substantial Lend-Lease programme. The episode also reveals the darker side of the war effort: those willing to profit in wartime at the expense of their countrymen. The subplot with the character Hans Maier is based upon a real incident in which the German spy, Carl Meier, was caught in a similar way to the depiction in the episode.[3]

"Among the Few"[edit]

Writer: Anthony Horowitz & Matthew Hall Director: Jeremy Silberston Airdate: 23 November 2003 Net duration: 99 minutes Set: September 1940 Viewers: 8.78 million
Guests: Damian O'Hare, Christina Cole, David Troughton, Sean Baker, Selina Cadell
At a Home Guard checkpoint, Foyle and Stewart are surprised by a lorry that rams the barricade and speeds off. When the pursuit culminates, they inadvertently uncover an illicit fuel racket stemming from the local centralised fuel depot. Unable to find a better agent, Foyle allows Stewart, using her driving training, to infiltrate the depot run by manager Michael Bennett. She befriends another female driver, Connie Dewar, and is soon invited to the singles world of dances, servicemen and "neutral" Irish labourers. She is surprised to learn that one of the young men in Dewar's group is Andrew Foyle. His best friend and Dewar's beau, is another RAF pilot named Rex Talbot. Soon Stewart notices an irregularity at the depot, when Dewar fails to fully empty the tanker, but before anything can be done, she is found dead. Foyle's investigations reveal how Talbot's secret crush on Andrew led to Dewar's accidental death; that she was pregnant when she died; that the baby's father was the local nightclub manager—a former racketeer tied up with the thefts and the attempted bombing of the depot; and Pamela Bennett's complicity with the thefts.

Cast and Characters[edit]

The relationship and sense of trust between the Foyles is tested when Foyle learns details of Andrew Foyle's secretive sexual relationship and "engagement" to Dewar's friend Violet Davies. Foyle again "bends the rules" to the needs of wartime by allowing Talbot, who has confessed to accidentally causing Dewar's death, to lead the squadron on one last sortie (where he is killed), and then by consoling his son afterwards by praising Talbot as a good man.

Background and Production[edit]

This episode addresses petrol theft and black-marketeering in the new era of wartime rationing, in which petrol was the first item to be restricted.[citation needed]

"War Games"[edit]

Writer: Anthony Horowitz & Michael Russell Director: Giles Foster Airdate: 30 November 2003 Net duration: 99 minutes Set: October 1940 Viewers: 8.90 million
Guests: Alan Howard, Emily Blunt, Christopher Benjamin, Ian Redford, Tim Preece, Laurence Fox
A young secretary, originally from Hastings, falls to her death from the high-rise London headquarters of a food manufacturing company. Soon afterwards an unreported and apparently unrelated burglary of the country house belonging to Sir Reginald Walker, the company's owner, draws Foyle's attention, particularly since Harry Markham, the prime suspect and member of the Home Guard, is shot and killed during "war games" on the Sussex Downs, where Foyle is acting as referee. The situation is complicated by the return of a corrupt former police colleague, Jack Devlin, and the involvement of a barrister friend of Foyle's, Stephen Beck (a German who fled to Britain in 1935, now secretly working for British intelligence), who had both met Markham only days before his death, and who also knew the dead secretary. Using evidence unknowingly taken by local children as salvage, Foyle confronts Walker and his son, Simon, uncovering their illicit connections with the Nazis and the younger Walker's hand in the two murders.

Cast and Characters[edit]

This episode marks the temporary return (prior to reassignment to North Africa with the 7th Armoured Division) of Foyle's former police sergeant, now British Army captain, Jack Devlin, who left with the BEF for France and was wounded by shrapnel there, and it provides details of how Devlin was involved in planting evidence and perverting the course of justice in the Markham case six months earlier. Throughout the episode, Foyle is confronted with moral dilemmas and legal compromises made for the sake of the war. It also marks the first appearance of Hilda Pierce, played by Ellie Haddington, who later appears in the episodes "The French Drop" and "All Clear", before becoming a lead character in series 7 and 8.

Background and Production[edit]

This episode introduces children competing to win minor salvaging competitions, particularly with aluminium, glass and used paper. It also deals with the phenomena of the looting of Jewish treasures and the continued collaboration of British companies with the Germans in the guise of war profiteering contrary to the Trading with the Enemy Act 1939.

"The Funk Hole"[edit]

Writer: Anthony Horowitz Director: Jeremy Silberston Airdate: 7 December 2003 Net duration: 99 minutes Set: October 1940 Viewers: 9.74 million
Guests: Joanna David, Nicholas Farrell, Jonathan Tafler
The theft of rationed goods from a government warehouse goes wrong when guards critically shoot one of the perpetrators, 19-year-old Mathew Farley. When his mother reports him missing, investigations lead to a local guesthouse, Brookfield Court, a home patronised by well-off Londoners with the means to move to safer territory. It is at this time that Foyle is accused of making seditious remarks in a bunker during an air raid in London. Detective Chief Inspector Collier arrives from London to investigate, and Foyle is temporarily suspended and placed under house arrest. Investigations soon refocus on the house when Farley's body is uncovered in the woods nearby, and the house is also searched for contraband. The plot thickens when Frank Vaudrey, a London town councillor, is also found dying at Brookfield Court. Milner is unconvinced by Collier's conclusion of suicide, and risks his career by giving Foyle details of both cases. Foyle then secretly travels to London, where he soon learns the truth of Vaudrey's complicity in the deaths of Collier's mother and sister during a botched air-raid evacuation—clear evidence that Collier is the killer.

Cast and Characters[edit]

Andrew is temporarily on medical leave for one week, after forcibly having to ditch his plane into the English Channel due to fog. After an invitation for a drive at his father's suggestion goes bad, he apologises to Stewart and takes her to see Gone With the Wind. After the movie, while walking back home, they share a kiss and begin a relationship. Meanwhile, Foyle's tense relationship with his former boss's successor is also shown, when he arrives unannounced in London, and confronts him over the handling of the case against him. Also, in Foyle's absence, Stewart is unwillingly compelled to temporarily return to her position at the Mechanised Transport Corps depot.

Background and Production[edit]

In the first year of the war, the British government made dire predictions of the amount of bombing in major cities that would occur and moved large numbers of people out to the countryside. Later, the government reversed these predictions, but certain people who had the means to pay preferred to stay in their temporary lodgings, out of danger. Such hotels and guest houses became known as "funk holes" because their residents' actions were regarded as cowardice.[citation needed] Further, with daily goods and pet-food in short supply due to wartime rationing, black marketeering of foodstuffs was also an ongoing issue for the authorities.

International broadcast[edit]

Series 2 was broadcast in the United States on PBS on Mystery!, on 18 and 25 July, and 1 and 8 August 2004, as Foyle's War II,[1] and on Netflix as of April 2014.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Series II: Episode Descriptions". PBS. Archived from the original on 20 November 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b Thomas, Chet (2 April 2014). "More British TV Shows on Netflix: 'Foyle's War'". Netflix TV Shows Review. Archived from the original on 8 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Secrecy and firing squads: Britain's ruthless war on Nazi spies". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 December 2018.

External links[edit]