On the Edge
; January 16, 2006; Daily Express; Simon Edge

Daily Mail Review
; January 16, 2006; Daily Mail; Peter Paterson

Today's Choices
; January 17, 2006; Radio Times; DB

The Times Online
; January 14, 2006; David Chater

The Guardian
; January 14, 2006; JNR

The Independent
; January 14, 2006; JR

The Daily Mail
; January 14, 2006; Weekend Magazine; SH


On the Edge - January 16, 2006; Daily Express; Simon Edge

"The Jerries are coming!" shouted a boy in flannel shorts at the start of Foyle's War (Sunday, ITV1). It was actually the Americans, arriving by the jeep-load to build a concrete air-base in rural Sussex, but that was scant consolation to the farmer whose land the base was destined for. "We're worried about 'Itler invading. What's the point? The incasion's 'appened," he complained as Lord Haw Haw crackled in the background.

Not everyone was displeased.For Susan Davies, resident trollop-cum-bootlegger, the GI's arrival meant rolls in the hay and lots of customers for her lethal moonshine. It also meant strangulation at the village dance - to the strains of the jitterbug - although in this cripplingly slow episode, the murder took nearly as long to happen as it did for the Americans to enter the war.

The farmer confessed, which was a sure sign that he didn't do it, and later we found out who really did. By that stage I cared almost as little as the cast seemed to.

Incidentally, have you noticed that half of them have started to speak like Michael Kitchen? You know. Putting inappropriate. Full stops between words. To produce a. Truncated rhythm. At one point he asked the farmer, "Do you know that, erm. You could hang for this?"

He also changes full stops to commas, stringing a series of seperate sentences into one. It's exhausting to listen to.




Daily Mail Review - January 16, 2006; Daily Mail; Peter Paterson

Talking of Robert Lindsay, I received lots of complaints from readers when Jericho, his not wildly successful detective series set in London's Soho just after the war, supplanted Foyle's War last year in the ITV1 schedule.

Well, Foyle's War has returned, along with its lugubrious star, Michael Kitchen, but only for two episodes. Slow deliberation is a phrase that must have been devised for his wartime copper, Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle.

Even when someone offered him the use of the world's finest fishing rod last night, he paused for about five minutes before saying, "Thank you. Yes. I'd like that", which took him another five.

The story was called Invasion, a reference not to Hitler's army, but the arrival in darkest Kent in 1942 of a company of American army engineers building an aerodrome.

Having his land requisitioned was too much for choleric farmer David Barrett - an excellent performance by Keith Barron - who made his feelings clear by blowing out the windscreen of a U.S. jeep with his shotgun.




Today's Choices - January 17, 2006; Radio Times; DB

Foyle's War. 9.00pm ITV1. January 22, 2006

Tonight the horrors of biological warfare are visited on sleepy Hastings and a war hero is mysteriously stabbed on the beach. Now, that might sound dramatic, but this being Foyle's War, it's all being played out at a pace that only a tortoise waking from a long hibernation would find racy.

Still, no-one watches this for thrills and spills. We watch it for the wonderful Michael Kitchen, with his placid voice and crinkly forehead and a noble air of a a man doing good in a dirty world. And fot the convincing whiff of 1940a Sussex. And, of course, for Honeysuckle Weeks as Sam, his plucky driver with the dodgy fashion sense. (Her off-duty wardrobe of checked coats and stripey knitwear makes you glad we usually see her in khaki.) This week, she's in trouble: rarely has the claim, "It's just a scratch, sir" been so wide of the mark. - DB




The Times Online - January 14, 2006; David Chater

Not even the superb Michael Kitchen can rescue this one. In the first of a new series, US forces have arrived in England — and every worn-out cliché about the Americans being over-paid, over-sexed and over here is given the umpteenth airing, fleshed out by cardboard characters speaking stilted dialogue against a manicured setting.

It is hard to know what is worse — seeing the Second World War given the Rosemary and Thyme treatment, watching the considerable talent of actors such as Kitchen and Keith Barron squandered, or just having to sit through the sheer ineffable tedium of it all. How ITV can keep producing dramas of such stupefying banality remains a mystery. And this is usually one of its more reliable offerings.




The Guardian - January 14, 2006; JNR

The Yanks have arrived on Foyles patch and the locals don't like it. Meanwhile Milner's friend dies in a mysterious house fire. Could there be more to his death than blah blah blah. One of the G.I's has a crck at Sam, a woman who's upper lip is so stiff he'd break his front teeth if he went for a snog. For a murder mystery this plods like hell."




The Independent - January 14, 2006; JR

The second world war is the setting for this series which has become one of ITV 1's most reliable ratings bankers. One of the reason for the enduring popularity is Michael Kitchen who stars as the frustrated detective. 'Invasion' the first episode in a new run of the period crime drama, is set in April 1942 against a backdrop of local hostility to a platoon of American G.I's who have been tasked with constructing a aerodrome near Hastings. Foyle is sent to investigate a murder in which one of the US soldiers is implicated.




The Daily Mail - January 14, 2006; Weekend Magazine; SH

The eminently watchable Michael Kitchen returns for a new series of the World War II-set detective drama, which opens with Hastings being overrun by American GIs. With the locals far from welcoming, Foyle is forced to play piggy in the middle when farmer David Barrett objects to the Yanks requisitioning his land to build an airfield. Meanwhile, the barmaid fiancée of Barrett’s nephew starts secretly dating one of the GIs, with tragic consequences that leave Foyle’s diplomatic skills stretched to the limit.