Sunday, September 11, 2005

Hurray! Foyle’d Again

[[T U B E]] * Much is being made of the imminent new American TV season, with its shameless retreads of proven-popular formulae (Close to Home, Criminal Minds), its plethora of supernatural exploits (Ghost Whisperer, Night Stalker, and of course Supernatural), and its credulity-stretching concepts (Commander in Chief). Blah!

But fear not, my fellow TV-heads: The third season of Foyle’s War debuts tonight on PBS stations, as part of that network’s acclaimed Mystery! series.

For those of you unfortunate enough to have missed seeing this rattling good, World War II-era British series before, it follows the investigations of Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle, who pursues criminals in the south of England--even as far greater malfeasances and terrors are visited upon soldiers on the European continent. The patient, widowed, and dogged Foyle is played by Michael Kitchen, who’s probably still best known to U.S. audiences as the eponymous monarch in To Play the King (1993), the second series sequel to Ian Richardson’s House of Cards (1990). Assisting Foyle here are the spirited Samantha Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks), Foyle’s young but hardly naïve driver, the daughter of a vicar; and Sergeant Paul Milner (Anthony Howell), a former soldier who was sent home after losing part of a leg in battle. Significantly more character-rich and complex (not to mention comprehensible) than, say, Tony Shaloub’s Monk, Foyle’s War begins its new four-episode season with “The French Drop,” which has Foyle delving into the devious realm of international spying, after he and Milner discover the charred remains a young man who only looks to have committed suicide. Three additional episodes are scheduled for Sunday broadcast between now and October 2. Check your local listings for airtimes. Don't miss it.

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