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Foyle's War:The French Drop was created and written by Anthony Horowitz and produced by Greenlit Productions for ITV1.
This summary is in no way intended as a substitute for viewing this fabulous episode.

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Spoilers Ahead!

February 1941

Night, in northern France.
Two Frenchmen on bicycles watch a parachutist descending over an area of woodland and make for his landing point. On landing, the parachutist checks his compass and a roughly drawn map of the route between St Etienne and Rouen, then walks out of the trees and across open ground. He steps on a landmine and is killed instantly. The cyclists hear the explosion, express alarm and turn back.


A day or so later.
Foyle enters a ministry building in London and asks at the reception desk to see Commander Howard. He is asked to wait.

The commander is in a meeting with Admiral James Francis, Sir Giles Messinger and Lt Col James Wintringham. The colonel is demanding a ship to get his agents into Brittany, as all special-duty flights are now reserved by the secret intelligence services. Sir Giles, speaking for the Secret Intelligence Service, says that they were there first, and why should more flights, fuel and men be supplied when after seven months there's been nothing to show for it. Wintringham retorts that they would make more progress if Messinger didn't block every operation. In reply, Messinger is scathing of the Special Operations Executive, saying they are amateurs and upstarts who waste time and resources. When Wintringham points out results have been achieved in that contact with the Polish Home Army has been made, Messinger counters by saying it was lost again and two agents have vanished in Poland, and one in Czechoslovakia. Wintringham angrily accuses him of spying on his organisation and the Admiral has to cool down the heated exchange. Howard says there is a ship in Portsmouth that can be used and Francis asks Messinger if he has any further comment to make. Sir Giles warns, "One more mistake - I'll prove you should have listened to me in the first place."


Howard collects Foyle from the lobby and takes him to his office. He enquires about his son and laments that he is not much of an uncle to Andrew. Foyle reminds him that he's the only uncle he's got.

Howard tells the DCS that he might have for him the kind of job he's been longing for. He would be reporting to Admiral Sir Percy Noble, who is heading up the new Western Approaches Command Centre. Foyle is very interested and thanks his brother-in-law for the promised recommendation. Howard tells him that the job couldn't be more important because if any more shipping is lost, the country will starve, but he is puzzled as to why, when Foyle is so highly spoken of and doing such a good job where he is, he is so determined to leave.

Foyle explains, "Andrew flies Spitfires. I know the work you're doing here. This morning I arrest a man for speculating in breaches of the 1939 Prices of Goods Act, selling batteries at tenpence-ha'penny a time."

Howard takes the point. "I'd better speak to Sir Percy."


In the car, Sam asks her boss if everything is all right and when he replies that he thinks so, she says, "You're not really planning to leave, are you?"

He asks her where she got that from, but instead of explaining, only comments with feeling that he can't leave the force because "What would I do without you?"

He smiles and says she will easily find another job, but Sam says it wouldn't be the same and jokingly suggests that he could take her with him and make her an honorary Wren. Foyle is discomforted. He tells her that nothing has been decided yet and requests that she keep it under her hat. She replies glumly, "Mum's the word."


Sunday morning.
In Leavenham Parish Church, the vicar begins a service by welcoming those who have recently arrived in the village while, in the churchyard, a man covertly makes notes of the inscription above one of the graves: Edward Harper 1921-1941.

After the service, Colonel James Wintringham tells Hilda Pierce that he has had news from France: Facteur is dead. Shocked, Hilda asks what happened. Wintringham says it doesn't matter, but Sir Giles must not hear the details. He says he has a plan, but Hilda is displeased, saying he has too many plans. The colonel tells her that Sir Giles has indicated that there is a spy in the camp, so she must discover who it is.


In Hastings police station, Jack Fenner, a profiteer, faces Milner across a desk in the interview room and asks how much longer he is to be kept there. Milner says his shop on Albury Street is getting well known for supplying batteries, razor blades, spare parts for radios, even thermos flasks, provided people are willing to pay. Fenner is exasperated, "Look, what is this? It's a penny here and tuppence there. Things come my way and I pass them on."

Milner says that men are losing their lives every day to keep the supply lines open and asks if a penny here and tuppence there is all Fenner thinks they are worth. The profiteer sneers, saying that he'll only get a 5 fine and be sent home again, so Milner can just go ahead.

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