Foyle's War (2002–2015)
4 user

Bleak Midwinter 

The death of a woman in a munitions factory becomes linked with the murder of Milner's estranged wife as he falls under suspicion and Foyle strives to clear his name.


Gavin Millar


Anthony Horowitz (written and created by)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Kate Ambler Kate Ambler ... Grace Phillips
Gavin Brocker ... Harry Osborne
Ann Beach Ann Beach ... Hilda Greenwood
Sian Brooke ... Phyllis Law
Ron Cook ... Eddie Baker
Caroline Martin ... Edith Ashford
Anthony Howell ... Paul Milner
Michael Kitchen ... Christopher Foyle
Michael Parkhouse Michael Parkhouse ... Brian Tremayne
Alexander Perkins ... PC Peters
Jay Simpson ... Sgt Brooke
Honeysuckle Weeks ... Samantha Stewart
Will Beer ... Eric Clayton
John Kane ... Neville Johnson
Mali Harries Mali Harries ... Jane Milner


December 1942: DCS Foyle investigates the death of Grace Phillips who died in what appears to be an accident in a munitions factory. Grace, who had been living with her boyfriend Harry Osborne, had become very sad of late and had mysteriously mentioned something about thievery to a fellow worker just a week before her death. Sgt. Milner's estranged wife Jane, whom he's not seen for over two years, visits him unexpectedly. Jane knew the dead girl and had important information for her husband, but she is killed while on her way to tell him. When evidence points to Sgt. Milner as the perpetrator, Foyle is forced to suspend him. Meanwhile the staff at the police station are overly preoccupied with the evidence gathered in a racketeering case - especially a plump turkey. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery | War

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

11 February 2007 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jane Milner refers to the marriage act. In this act one of the grounds for divorce is that of abandonment for a period of at least three years. If she had stayed away for three years she would have no legal grounds to fight a divorce. As she had been away for less than three years, Paul would have to fight her in court, proving that her attempt to return was not due to reconciliation but because she wanted to take advantage of him. See more »


The opening title says it is set in December 1942, the season its name indicates.. There is a lot of 'snow' on the ground at a funeral. But the trees are green. See more »


Edith Ashford: You're doing what you can.
Christopher Foyle: No, I'm doing what I believe is right.
See more »

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User Reviews

One bleak December
4 November 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Loved 'Foyle's War' and was immediately hooked when first getting into it. Love it even more now, on re-watches things that didn't quite make sense at first are clearer and things that were not noticed or appreciated before are and much admired. Everything that came over as brilliant on first viewings still are brilliant on re-watches.

"Bleak Midwinter" is the weakest 'Foyle's War' episode up to this mid-way point in the series and one of the lesser episodes generally, having said that it is still a good episode with a lot of impressive things. It does suffer from an uncharacteristic lack of suspense and the person behind the murder is obvious far too early (don't think it was ever intended to be but it came over that way). There is also a character that is so over-the-top bad, almost out of kilter so, that there is no doubt straight away that they were either involved or knew something, very like how in the ITV Poirot adaptation of 'Taken at the Flood' how the character of David Hunter was written.

However, "Bleak Midwinter" has a lot to recommend. Have always admired the visual detail that went into 'Foyle's War' and how high quality the production values are, with beautiful costumes, the evocative way the characters are made up, the look of the houses and cars, pretty locations and authentic-looking scenery. The music is in keeping with the mood and doesn't overpower the drama while still making an impact.

Writing is intelligent, sophisticated and thought-provoking, establishing Foyle's personality with so much depth already and providing some tense and heart-tugging moments. The story has its issues, but is still compelling and never dull. It does require full attention as ever, and is mostly very clever and intriguing, pacing itself deliberately but as ever with a lot happening things don't feel dull and there are some nice twists and turns.

All the conflicts, social/ethical themes and how the period is portrayed are handled beautifully and tastefully and there is a real sense that war itself is a central character. Milner is developed very well here and one really feels sorry for him, even when one is not that desperately sad to see his wife go.

One thing that wasn't picked up by me but now is and admired hugely is the tackling of what was seen as truths but some really misconceptions and seeing British during the war in a new light. This was a bold move and dealt with a lot of honesty and tact. The background information is so well researched and is every bit as interesting as the mystery itself. The character tensions were also handled very well and added a lot of intrigue.

Michael Kitchen is truly superb as Foyle, subtle, intensely determined, commanding and above all human. One of the most interesting television detectives there's ever been and Kitchen has rarely been better. Honeysuckle Weeks is charming and loyal, with some nice touches of subtle humour as ever, and Anthony Howell is wonderful.

Support acting is mostly solid, though few are outstanding. Ron Cook and Paul Jesson give two of the better performances overall, though Gavin Brocker's performance could have done with more subtlety.

Altogether, pretty good but didn't wow me and a slight disappointment. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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