For some reason that remains unclear to me, nobody does period drama on television like the British. Recently released to DVD, Foyle's War: Set 4 proves to be no exception.
The series, which takes place during World War II, follows Michael Kitchen as Christopher Foyle, Detective Chief Superintendent in the town of Hastings on the British coast. The secondary characters feature Foyle's driver, Samantha Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks), and Sergeant Paul Milner (Anthony Howell) as his second in command.
A veteran of World War I, by the time Set 4 of the series comes around (covering Series 4 & 5), Foyle has more than accepted that he will not make it into the War Department to aid in fighting WWII. However, every episode is not without its links to the war, either via spies, profiteering, the arrival of U.S. soldiers, or some other hook. Due to Hastings's proximity to the Continent, none of the war elements of the plots feel in any way out of place.
The four feature-length episodes that make up Set 4 take place between 1942 and early 1943. The episodes often make references to historical events so as to better establish when they are taking place. In the first episode, "Invasion," much time is spent on the arrival American GIs to England, and a base they are establishing outside Hastings.
One of the strongest of the four episodes, this one focuses extensively on Foyle being placed between the townsfolk of Hastings and the fish-out-of-water Americans. The usually reserved Foyle is cajoled into helping the Americans understand differences between themselves and the British. In the way that only fiction can make happen, Foyle's helping the Americans creates tension and awkwardness when a British barmaid just happens to be found murdered on the American base and Foyle wishes to investigate. While the barmaid lived in Foyle's community, the American base is, technically, American soil, thus her death did not happen in his jurisdiction. Foyle negotiates the difficulties with aplomb, which is just about how he seems to do everything, and manages to solve the case.