During dinner at a friend’s, those of us who watch the British TV/PBS series Foyle’s War got to joking about Christopher Foyle as James Bond, now that the series has moved the character into the world of cold war intelligence and spying, and what roles the other Foyle’s War characters would play if they were in a 007 movie. I promised I’d write it up and post on the blog.
- Sam as Moneypenny, without a doubt. She’s an executive assistant, and Moneypenny is an executive assistant (we’re being modern and politically correct, you understand). Sam’s teasing relationship with Foyle is similar to that of 007 and Moneypenny’s, just without all the wanton-woman sexy stuff. Totally works.
- Milner as the other MI5 (6?) character, Tanner. Who? Right, well, Tanner appears in several Bond flicks, but is not that well-recognized or memorable (save the most recent Skyfall, perhaps). Since Michael Kitchen played the role in a couple of Bond movies, it seemed there should be some sort of hat-tip acknowledgment of that fact. Tanner seemed the perfect fit for Milner, but more to the point, we’d love to see that character back in the show.
- Miss Pierce is, most definitely, “M.” It’s almost as though Pierce was written with “M” in mind all along.
- CIA agent Felix Leiter could be played by that American (Major? Colonel?) that befriended Foyle and later returns sadly “shell-shocked”(not the bad-guy in one of the later episodes). He had that corny, good-ol-boy, John Wayne affectation about him that Leiter also has in several Bond films. Another perfect fit.
- Foyle’s War didn’t offer up a recurring character with scientific expertise, so “Q” would have to be a new actor. “Q’s” gotta be quirky, posh, irascible…and then we hit on the idea of actor Hugh Laurie’s “Dr. House” as “Q.” That really got us giggling (or maybe it was because of the wine we were drinking…anyway….)
- Gotta have a juicy Bond-style villain. We thought of the Nazi guy from the most recent series. He had the right kind of maniacal creep factor to be “The Very Evil Bad Guy with Plans to Dominate the World.” His bad-guy nickname—because all Bond bad guys have nicknames—has to be Sunflower (of course). His associate could be the other evil-doer, Nazi sympathizer bad-guy played by actor Charles Dance, who is always creepy in all his roles.
Last, but of course, not least, are the Bond Girls. We had to really think on this one since our boy Foyle is not a randy sex hound. That is, that we can prove. We know he’s admitted to (ahem) “knowing” at least two women in his life, due to the fact he has two sons, and by different women (oh, the salacious scandal of it all). Nevertheless, we agreed that in this rendition of the popular spy series there could never be a bikini-and-knife-clad Halle Barry provocatively emerging from the tropical surf, sparring with Foyle with a multitude of overwrought double entendres, and then having her rough-and-tumble way with him in the sack (sorry, MK, but them’s the breaks). There are, however, a few women who could reprise their roles. They couldn’t be Bodacious Bond Babes, but they could perhaps be something along the lines of Foyle’s Bits-of-stuff.
- First and foremost is his deceased wife. In this regard, both characters share the same story: She might not have been the first, but she was the one, and both characters carry their grief very obviously on their sleeves. Since she’s only referred to in the series, I personally elected Eva Green to take on a flash-back role as Foyle’s wife because I liked her so much in the role of Bond’s one-and-only with Daniel Craig in Casino Royale. Besides, I figured it was the decent thing to do since we refused MK access to Halle Berry.
- The next girl we thought of, since she only had romance on the brain, was the woman from an early-on series, to whom we learn he proposed marriage and was turned down because her family did not approve of a lowly copper. In that episode she throws herself, so to speak, at Foyle in an effort to make amends for her youthful mistake of not standing up to her family, as well as to escape her loveless marriage. A woman suggesting that she and Foyle become illicit lovers definitely qualifies her as a bit-of-stuff. She also translates nicely into being one of the nymphomaniac Bond girls for suggesting something as improper as an extramarital affair. But this is Foyle we’re talking about, not Bond, so she deserved to be rebuked for being so untoward. Being rebuked by Foyle is not as gratuitously sexy as the S&M bouts Bond has with Grace Jones, but it will just have to do.
- Then there is the sad-but-beautiful volunteer WWI nurse, who we learn about through Foyle’s flashbacks. She fits the 007 femme fatale when you think about it. She’s the woman who seduces Bond into submission in order to put him in some sort of compromised position. In Foyle’s case, this lovely-but-forlorn lady seduces a young, vulnerable Foyle into a torrid, lusty affair (we thought we ought to try to sex it up a bit by calling it that), and since she ALSO was a married woman, AND became pregnant with Foyle’s child, AND told him to go away and not be part of the child’s life, she most definitely qualifies as a Bad Bond-style Foyle Girl. If you spin it right, she was pure evil, playing with Foyle’s heart like that, and, most importantly, his moral propriety. Simply awful. Not to disparage a tragic murder, but like all those uber-bad-Bond girls, she ended up dead, so … it could work.
- Finally there’s the lady who surveyed trees and falls victim to Foyle’s charms. “Bra, Tears and Tree-Spy Girl,” we called her. She was as close as we could get to the Very Attractive, Easily Seduced, Completely Expendable and Kind-of a Spy Bond Girl. Why? Primarily because of two scenes: The one where Foyle confronts her as to why her brassiere was in a strange man’s bedroom (the only time in the whole series that Foyle and a woman are in that sort of lurid intimacy), and the scene with her collapsing in dramatic tears in Foyle’s arms because she hates men. So, OK, the crying scene isn’t lurid or sexy, and it’s kind-of ironic to have a man-hating woman as one of the bit-of-stuff girls. But, consider Foyle’s disregard-but-nevertheless-compassion for her, which is very Bond-ian, and her weird gov’t gig as a tree surveyor that she is supposed to keep all official-secrets-act about. Anyway, there she is throwing herself into Foyle’s arms, and later, wearing a pretty dress for him that she made out of a parachute, bringing him ginger ale while he is inexplicably moping outside while everyone is having a great time inside at the party, asking about his love life, and then leaving a little “love note” for him that she no longer hates men, which I suppose is kind of like saying, “I hope it was as good for you as it was for me,” before being sent off on another top-secret mission to consider the fitness of another tree. How Foyle Girl can you get?
Curious what I think of the series? Go to The “Wow” of Foyle’s War
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