Next on the Netflix queue is the first season of Battlestar Galactica, but since the first disc is listed as having a "very long wait" we've started in on a recent BBC series called Foyle's War.
Next on the Netflix queue is the first season of Battlestar Galactica, but since the first disc is listed as having a "very long wait" we've started in on a recent BBC series called Foyle's War. Initially rented as fodder for my recent interest in WWII (I'm also slogging through many of the epic WWII movies from the 60s -- for completeness sake; they're not very good by themselves), Foyle's War is set in Britain beginning in spring 1940, just as the German army began its conquest of western Europe (thus ending the eight-month "phony war" following the fall of Poland). However, the show is a fairly standard detective drama centered on murder-of-the-week cases solved by a character called Christopher Foyle (hence the show's title). I wouldn't describe myself as an ardent fan of the detective genre, despite my regular watching of modern-day detective-like shows such as Law & Order, and CSI (Las Vegas only).
Foyle's War is, simply put, great. The writing and acting are compelling, the complexity of the stories is just right. Most of all, it totally nails the cultural context and background aspect for me: the first episode dealt with German citizens living in Britain, the second dealt with British anti-Semites/fascists (Foyle's assistant, a wounded veteran of the failed Norwegian defense in April 1940, isn't so sure those guys are completely wrong, which makes things very interesting), and the third dealt with conscientious objectors and pacifists. Throughout each 90-minute episode is weaved other details of the war experience in Britain, from general anxiety about an impending German invasion, to working-class fishermen racing to rescue anyone they could find off the beaches of Dunkirk to a secret coffin-making factory (preparing for the Blitz). Foyle's son is also a new recruit in the RAF, so all in all it's a very rich setting. All three primary contexts are also just the kind of history I'm interested in regarding the war years, and it's so far been a refreshing change from the rah-rah-yet-weepy rhetoric about the "Greatest Generation."
Posted: Fri - November 4, 2005 at 03:37 PM
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Published On: Nov 05, 2005 11:41 AM