A Touch of Frost

1992 | United Kingdom

Spanning eighteen years and forty-two episodes, A Touch of Frost became one of Britain's best loved Television Detective shows, and starred actor David Jason in the title role. 

Although Jason was better known for his much-loved comedic roles in Only Fools and Horses and Open All Hours, the British Public continued their on-screen love-affair with him, despite his change in genre. 

The television series took place in the fictional town of Denton, and was based on R.D. Wingfield's series of 'Frost novels'. The content of the first four books made up a total of eight of the forty-two episodes, whilst the last two were never used as their content was thought to be too graphic for the tone of the show. 

In the opening episode, Detective Inspector Jack Frost finds out his wife has terminal cancer prompting him to go out and get drunk before breaking police protocol by approaching an armed man, who promptly shoots him. Despite his recklessness, he is awarded the George Cross (the highest award a civilian can receive for gallantry). It is an award that makes him the Chief Constable's blue-eyed boy and this, combined with his unorthodox but highly successful method of closing cases, saves him from the axe that social-climbing Superintendant Mullett would like to wield in Frost's direction. Frost frequently clashes with his superiors, but his flaws are outweighed by his dedication to the job and his desire to pass on his detective skills to the plethora of detective sergeants that accompany him on his cases. These detective sergeants are often hand-picked by Mullett in an effort to undermine Frost. However, Frost's mixture of dedication and flawed genius always wins over the detective sergeants who help him solve the cases, leaving Mullett simmering at Frost's continued presence. 

After his wife's death, Frost has a variety of love interests which include Shirley Fisher, the nurse who looked after his wife as she was dying, but she can't deal with Jack prioritizing his job over her. He then has a mostly physical relationship with childhood friend and ex-prostitute Kitty Rayford, but this fizzles out. His final one is Christine Moorhead, who is still with Jack when the series comes to a close. They plan to marry, but Christine's jealous ex-husband plans to kill Jack. However, drunk, her husband instead kills Jack's colleague and long-time friend George Toolan, and this is the main reason that Frost decides to retire. This storyline was written after, on 15 September 2008, David Jason announced he was quitting his role as Frost, citing that at 68 Frost was the oldest detective on television and should retire. 

A number of well-known actors made their major debut as Frost's sidekicks including: Damian Lewis, Matt Bardock, Neil Stuke, Ben Daniels, Nathaniel Parker, Mark Letheren, Jason Maza, Colin Buchanan, and Marc Warren. Many of them came and went in interesting ways including Bardock's characters (Clive Barnard) who died in the line of duty and was fittingly buried along with Frost's George Cross. The show's theme music also became iconic due to skills of saxophonist Barbara Thompson.  

Published on November 26th, 2018. Tim Rands - 2014.

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