Sat­is­fies with sur­prise guest star in fi­nal sea­son

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de­buted on Mon­day on the stream­ing ser­vice Acorn TV. (The one­time PBS drama will be syn­di­cated to public TV sta­tions in­May.)

Did the ac­tor, a self-pro­fessed fan of Foyle’s War, ask to be part of the fi­nal hur­rah?

“It was just one of those lucky things,” he says. “My agent called and said, ‘They want you for some­thing called Foyle’s War. Are you familiar with that?’”

His quick re­ply: Yes, and sign me up. In High Cas­tle, Ma­honey plays an Amer­i­can busi­ness­man who prof­ited dur­ing the war years and, with his son (Nigel Lind­say), seeks to in­crease the fam­ily’s wealth from oil in the re­shaped post­war world.

Their ob­sta­cles in­clude the qui­etly bril­liant Christo­pher Foyle (played by the es­timable Michael Kitchen), a for­mer po­lice de­tec­tive and now MI5 in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer, and his ever-chip­per as­sis­tant Sa­man­tha ( Honey­suckle Weeks). The Soviet game.

Marty Crane was “a very de­cent man, an hon­est man. What I’m play­ing here is not: I’m not nice to Honey­suckle in the scenes I have with her. I’m rot­ten to my son in the scenes I have with him,” Ma­honey says, sound­ing quite sat­is­fied with play­ing an ev­i­dent bad guy.

The sec­ond episode is pro­pelled byUKten­sions over the for­ma­tion of aMid­dle Eastern Jewish state, and the third puts the spot­light on Foyle’s MI5 boss Hilda Pierce, played again with crisp author­ity and new depths by El­lie Hadding­ton.

Pierce is a for­mi­da­ble col­league— and spar­ring part­ner

Union

also

is

in

the — for Foyle, and the vet­eran ac­tors make the most of their scenes.

For Ma­honey, the se­ries cre­ated by An­thony Horowitz hit the sweet spot of what he en­joys as a reader and viewer.

“I love es­pi­onage and I love mys­tery and I love sur­vival and over­com­ing big odds like they did” in war-bat­tered Bri­tain, he says.

The 74-year-old ac­tor is a UK na­tive whose early child­hood co­in­cided with the war: He was born in 1940 in Black­pool, Eng­land. That’s where his preg­nant mother had been evac­u­ated for safety, but the fam­ily soon re­turned to its home in­Manch­ester.

The few mem­o­ries

that stuck for Ma­honey in­clude hud­dling in an air-raid shel­ter and play­ing among bombed­out houses. His four older sis­ters shared their ac­counts, in­clud­ing tuck­ing him into a baby car­riage out­fit­ted with a shield against feared gas at­tacks.

One sis­ter, who moved to the Mid­west af­ter mar­ry­ing a US sailor, was re­spon­si­ble for Ma­honey’s de­ci­sion to make his life in Amer­ica. He vis­ited Chicago as a col­lege stu­dent and fell in love with it.

“The lake, the sky­line, the mu­se­ums, the sym­phony, the lyric opera,” he says, with gusto. Add in re­li­ably friendly Mid­west­ern­ers, Ma­honey says, and it’s“my fa­vorite place in the world”.

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