Sunday, July 20, 2008

Reasons to Love Sundays

For at least the time being, Sunday nights are proving to be unusually opportune occasions for television watching in America. The USA Network has fresh episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent running at 9 p.m. EST/PST, followed at 10 p.m. by In Plain Sight, the new Mary McCormack drama that finds her trying to balance her dysfunctional family life with her career as a U.S. marshal assigned to the federal witness protection program. I thought I’d had it with Sunday night television after The West Wing and Crossing Jordan were both canceled, but I guess I was wrong.

And then, of course, there’s Foyle’s War, the British-made series starring Michael Kitchen as a police detective in World War II-era East Sussex. The second of three final, 90-minute Foyle’s episodes shows tonight on PBS-TV, beginning at 9 p.m. on Masterpiece Mystery! The episode is entitled “Broken Souls,” and is set in October 1944. A brief synopsis of the show reads:
In order to ease the boredom of the blackout, Foyle has taken up chess. His tutor is psychiatrist Dr. Josef Novak, a Polish Jew who works at Sackville House in Hastings. Sackville House has been requisitioned by the War Office for the rehabilitation of servicemen traumatised by war. Novak’s family in Poland were rounded up and sent to a concentration camp by the Nazis while Novak was out of the country. Unable to return home or help his family, Novak had no choice but to come to Britain as an exile.

When one of Dr. Novak’s colleagues, Julian Worth, is found murdered, Foyle is called upon to investigate. There’s no shortage of suspects as it becomes quickly apparent that Worth was not a well-liked man. Soon after the discovery of the body, Novak attempts suicide but is found just in time by Foyle and Milner. As he is carried to the ambulance, Novak implies that he was responsible for Worth’s murder. Foyle is not convinced.

News reaches Hastings Police station of a 14-year-old telegraph boy who is missing from his home in London. Tommy Crooks had been evacuated to Hastings earlier in the war and his father thinks he may have made his way back to the coast. When a German POW working on a farm near Sackville House is found dead, it is revealed that Tommy has good reason to hate the Nazis more than most and finding him becomes Foyle’s top priority.
I’ve been watching Foyle’s War ever since it debuted on U.S. television in, I believe, 2003. It hasn’t disappointed me yet. I shall be extremely sorry to see it end.

READ MORE:Honeysuckle Had a Wonderful Foyle’s War but She Wishes Sam--and Her Knickers--Had Been Sexier,” by Richard Barber (The Daily Mail).

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