With the welcome news that ITV has renewed the excellent “Foyle’s War” for a ninth series, the time would seem to be ripe for Patrick Malahide to appear in a period mystery/Cold War drama – or at least I really wish that he would. 🙂
It would have been perfect had Mr. Malahide appeared on “Foyle’s War” when it was covering homefront activities (and mysteries) during World War II, since he has proven very adept at fitting into that milieu and looking as if he belongs there: see “After the War“, “Miracle at Midnight“, or “Into the Storm” for evidence of that. Plus it also would have been delightful to see him butting heads with Michael Kitchen’s Chief Inspector Christopher Foyle in some capacity – although preferably not, as fearless Admin has said, as either “the murder victim or the murderer“! Well… okay, that could be interesting, too. “Foyle’s War” covered a large number of WWII-era themes and events with a high degree of historical accuracy and attention to detail, and it would have been fascinating to see Mr. Malahide portraying a character in that environment.
But we still have our chance! “Foyle’s” has now moved into the Cold War era and Chief Inspector Foyle has retired from policing – only to take up a new career as part of MI-5 and the rapidly expanding business of post-war international espionage. Perhaps Mr. Malahide’s character could have moved from relatively straightforward (for certain values of “relatively” and “straightforward”) military-based World War II spying into the somewhat more complicated machinations of the Cold War. Foyle has already earned the reputation of being entirely willing to defy those in authority and do end runs around them when his morals and sense of justice come into conflict with theirs; imagine the interesting clash that could ensue if Mr. Malahide was to play one of his superiors! With his own ulterior motives, of course.
The possibilities are endless, but there are a couple of character types that I think would work particularly well: either a very bluff and hearty officer type, perhaps a bit like Monty only more so, who could run roughshod over Foyle, interfere in his careful, meticulous investigations, and gradually drive him insane; or an infinitely sly, calculating, and cunning mid- to higher level MI-5 bureaucrat who’s used to moving in the shadowy world of spying, very ambitious and seeking to make a name for himself, and doesn’t mind if he has to tread on an ex-policeman to do it. Even better if he sneers at the ex-policeman while he does so and throws lots of roadblocks in his way – but of course his motivations, once discovered, would prove to have lofty principles behind them, even if his methods are somewhat underhanded. 😉 The ends justify the means!
Sadly, it seems to be a running theme that Foyle’s enemies never get away with their nefarious schemes for long, even if he has to wait out an entire war to see that they face justice. So there’s the possibility that Mr. Malahide’s character wouldn’t have a lot of longevity unless he’s very cunning indeed, which would make him even more fascinating. I think Foyle could really use a recurring antagonist who can meet him on an equal (or higher) level, and whose intellectual powers pose a formidable challenge.
There is, of course, the added benefit that this would require Mr. Malahide to wear a lot of late Forties/early Fifties wardrobe (including hats!), rumble around in period cars (preferably expensive ones), and generally look and act extremely dashing and mysterious, although I swear this is not my primary motive for wishing for this role – mostly. 😉 But wouldn’t it be incredibly fun to see? I think so.
The pictures illustrating this article are from 2004’s “The Rocket Post“, which we haven’t yet recapped, but will at some point.