Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4
Episode 1: The German Woman
It is May 1940 and Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle feels his skills would be better used aiding the war effort than investigating domestic crime on the South Coast.
His superior officer, Assistant Commissioner Summers disagrees and sends him back to Hastings. The only help he is given comes in the form of cheerful driver Samantha Stewart.
The first bombs are falling. Paranoia and anti-Nazi feeling are growing amid the rationing and nightly blackouts and Foyle finds himself investigating a conspiracy to avoid enlistment.
Meanwhile, an elderly couple, German Thomas Kramer and his English wife Elsie are arrested in the middle of the night at their cottage in the village of Lower Fenton. They are declared 'enemy aliens' and interned, causing Elsie to suffer a fatal heart attack.
The Kramers' nephew, Mark Andrews seeks help from local landowner and magistrate Henry Beaumont. Mark loses his temper, asking why Beaumont's German wife Greta is still free. The atmosphere is also strained between Greta and her stepdaughter Sarah who is engaged to Naval officer Michael Turner.
As Foyle prepares to bid farewell to his son Andrew, who is going to train as an RAF pilot, his investigation leads him to The Bell pub and hotel, run by landlord Ian Judd. But as he tries to question Judd, an air raid warning sounds and a stray bomb drops, killing barmaid Tracey Stephens.
The next day, Greta is brutally murdered while out riding her horse and a swastika is found carved into a nearby tree. Foyle needs an assistant and chooses Paul Milner, a former police sergeant who has been badly wounded at Trondheim. The two begin to ask questions -- and soon discover plenty of people had reason to kill Greta.
Episode 2: The White Feather
Detective Sergeant Paul Milner is adjusting to life as Foyle's assistant after losing his leg at Trondheim. He finds himself drawn to the oration of the charismatic Guy Spencer, a prominent member of the pro-Hitler organisation, The Friday Club.
Isaac Wolf, a local young Jewish man happens to pass the entrance to the meeting and cannot hide his disgust. The guards follow and he is brutally beaten.
Detective Chief Superintendent Foyle is asked by Chief Superintendent Hugh Reid to interview Edith Johnstone, a girl who is accused of sabotage near a military camp. It's a hangable offence but Edith seems defiant. She boldly tells Foyle she will have the last laugh, crudely raising one hand in a faint echo of a fascist salute.
The investigation leads to The White Feather Hotel, where Edith was a chambermaid, and to her sweetheart David Lane and his father Ian, both local fishermen.
A domineering woman called Margaret Ellis runs The White Feather. She hosts a social gathering of prominent people who all sympathise with The Friday Club ideals. Rosemary Harwood, who works in Lord Halifax's office, also attends the occasion. She has with her a letter stolen from the War Office that could seriously damage the war effort.
A talk at the hotel with Guy Spencer as guest speaker comes to an abrupt end when Margaret Ellis is shot in the darkness of a power cut. Was the killer aiming for Spencer? Is David Lane seeking revenge for the 'brainwashing' of Edith, or is someone looking for retribution for Isaac Wolf?
As Foyle and Milner unravel the interwoven evils of The Friday Club, Milner is forced to confront his own attitude and his allegiance to Foyle. The climax brings a tragedy of its own, with the events of Dunkirk and the bravery of those who go to rescue the stranded soldiers.
Episode 3: A Lesson in Murder
When David Beale, a conscientious objector, dies in police custody and a brick bearing a threat is thrown through the window of Gascoigne, the tribunal judge who had him arrested, Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle begins an enquiry.
However, when Joe, a young evacuee staying with Gascoigne, becomes the victim of a grenade booby-trap at the summerhouse, the investigation turns to murder. Foyle and Detective Sergeant Milner suspect someone is out for revenge and go through Gascoigne's cases for clues.
An imperious man in his late fifties, Gascoigne lives in a grand house with his intensely reserved wife Emily and their daughter Susan. Susan has been banned from having a romantic alliance with Peter Buckingham, because Gascoigne considers him beneath his daughter's station.
Foyle's inquiries lead him to the factory where Peter works. But when he is barred from the site -- which apparently makes munitions -- he becomes suspicious.
Sam Stewart, Foyle's driver, becomes friendly with Tony, an English-Italian waiter who works in his father's restaurant, where Foyle frequently eats. Tony confides in her that he has joined up, so she is shocked when he is found prowling around Gascoigne's house with his acquaintance Jack Winters.
Milner is sent as a bodyguard to Gascoigne but he is dismissed when he is accused of being caught in a compromising position with Susan. Within hours there's another murder. Could the death of the young evacuee be a smokescreen for a maze of family conflict and prejudice against pacifists? And what is the real work of the factory?
Episode 4: Eagle Day
Detective Chief Superintendent Foyle and Detective Sergeant Milner are called to investigate the discovery of a stabbed body found in the aftermath of a bombing raid. The dead man is identified as Graham Davies and the one lead is a gold locket he was clutching in his hand.
Andrew, Foyle's RAF pilot son, returns from his training. He is posted to Hastings in a Top Secret operation that tests his prowess as a Spitfire pilot against the new RDF system -- radar.
As he becomes part of the team, Andrew realizes that all is not well -- and that the unease among the girls who work as plotters at the radar station has something to do with the senior officers, Wing Commander Keller and Group Captain Graeme -- and with an event that took place some months before.
Foyle and Milner's enquiries reveal Davies was a lorry driver for the Whittington Gallery in London. The gallery has removed its priceless collection to the safety of a Welsh mine, using a meticulous checking system which seems to eliminate the possibility of theft.
Milner eventually traces the locket to Harold Smith and his wife Enid. It belonged to their dead daughter Lucy, who served with the WAAF, and they claim it was stolen from their Eastbourne house a few weeks earlier.
Sam Stewart has to deal with the arrival of her father, the Reverend Iain. He has decided to put a stop to her work as Foyle's driver and take her home.
Events build to a climax when Andrew is arrested for treason and Foyle has to find him, torn between his desire to help his son and his duty as a policeman. A second murder complicates matters further and, as the truth emerges, Hitler begins his Eagle Day bombing raids...
Production Notes | Story Synopsis | Russell Baker
Cast + Credits | Links + Bibliography | The Forum
Home | About The Series | The American Collection | The Archive
Schedule & Season | Feature Library | eNewsletter | Book Club
Learning Resources | Forum | Search | Shop | Feedback
Masterpiece is sponsored by: