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A Touch of Frost
A Touch of Frost title card.jpg
Series title card
Genre Police procedural
Created by based on the characters created by
R. D. Wingfield
Starring David Jason
Bruce Alexander
John Lyons
Theme music composer Ray Russell
Composer(s) Ray Russell
No. of series 15
No. of episodes 42 (List of episodes)
Production
Producer(s) Yorkshire Television/ITV Productions
Running time 34x 100 minutes
6x 75 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel ITV
Picture format 4:3 (1992–2000)
16:9 (2001 onwards)
Original airing 6 December 1992

A Touch of Frost is a detective television series produced by Yorkshire Television for ITV in the United Kingdom.

It stars David Jason as Detective Inspector William Edward Frost, known almost universally as Jack. He is experienced and dedicated to his work, but he is always clashing with his superiors. Frost's interactions with the bureaucratically-minded Superintendent Norman "Horn-rimmed Harry" Mullett, played by Bruce Alexander, provide the main comic relief.

On 15 September 2008, David Jason announced that he is retiring the role of Frost after 17 years, because Frost was now "the oldest detective on British television".

Contents

Characterisation

Frost as depicted by the comic actor David Jason is a very empathic and sensitive detective whose talents are set off by human failings. He is frequently shown to shirk paperwork, leaving his subordinates to do the work. His foil is his boss Superintendent Mullet (played by Bruce Alexander), a social climber concerned with appearances. Frost is widowed in the first episode. He had planned to leave his terminally ill wife, and after drinking he recklessly approached an armed man who shot him; as a result of which he was awarded the highest British civilian award, the George Cross. This alone by making him "the Chief Constable's blue-eyed boy" protects Frost from being fired or retired by Superintendent Mullet. He is respected and admired by his colleagues and is shown to be a good-hearted, if flawed, character.

Setting

The series is set in the fictional town of Denton, which appears to be in the West Yorkshire police area.

The programme is produced by ITV in Leeds, and most of the outdoor locations are shot in West Yorkshire. Several of the scenes are filmed in the small town of Castleford, West Yorkshire.

Supporting cast

Unlike most TV detectives, Frost does not have a single regular sidekick, and indeed some of his sidekicks are seen in only one or two episodes. There are, however, a number of regular supporting characters who are frequently seen and often promoted to a "sidekick" role:

  • DS George Toolan (John Lyons), Jack's long-time friend and colleague, with whom he shares an office. George is about the same age as Jack, but a rank lower. He is more cautious. He appears (in some capacity) in most episodes. Originally DCI Allen's assistant, he is later partnered with Frost in most episodes. In the first novel his name was George Martin, and he did not appear in subsequent books, but was retained for the series and remains one of the three original police characters still with the show.
  • WPC Hazel Wallace (Caroline Harker) is a young, happy-go-lucky uniformed officer. In the first novel, she was originally named Hazel Page and did not appear in any subsequent books, replaced in succession by other female officers, but was retained in the series for continuity. In the first episode she starts a relationship with DC Clive Barnard, but this quickly fizzles out when he is transferred away from Denton. Upon his temporary return in season 3, Barnard attempts to rekindle their romance but she is already in another relationship. At the end of the same series she moved to CID, and though she ceased to be a regular she continued to make guest appearances in later series, and was promoted to detective sergeant.
  • DC Clive Barnard (Matt Bardock), nephew of the Chief Constable. Most people believe he has only got into CID through his family connections, but Frost sees beyond that after the first episode and takes Barnard under his wing. Later promoted to DS, but killed off in a 1997 episode.
  • DS Terry Reid (Robert Glenister). A tough London detective, he has often been in trouble in the past for his extreme methods, though he has mellowed by the time we see him.
  • DCI Jim Allen (Neil Phillips), the first DCI in the series. Little is known about him in the show, but in the novels he and Frost are twin DIs (his upcoming promotion to Chief Inspector is mentioned in the first book, but never seems to come about), and he appears snobbish and uptight, sharing Mullet's dislike of Frost. In the series however he and Frost get on quite well, often working together, sharing jokes about Mullet and concern for each other's emotions on particularly harrowing cases. They share only one significant argument in the series. He appears in season 1 and 2 only, and is temporarily replaced by DCI Charles Hawkes in the first episode of season 3.
  • DCI Jim Peters (Nigel Harrison), seemingly replaces Hawkes as the DCI of Denton CID. He is more laid-back and humorous than Allen and appears to have a better relationship with Frost. He is seen in season 4 and 5, but from 6 onwards he is gone.

Other regular characters include a newspaper journalist named Sandy Longford (Bill Stewart), who is always pestering Frost for information on his latest case, and sometimes has some useful information of his own, and police archivist Ernie Trigg (David Jason's real-life brother Arthur White). Frost's most frequent love interest is nurse Shirley Fisher, played by Lindy Whiteford, who appears in eight episodes.

Production

The saxophone solo heard during the show's theme music is performed by Barbara Thompson.[1]

The series is based on the novels of R. D. Wingfield:

At a press conference in London on the 15th of September 2008, David Jason announced that he will quit the role of DI Jack Frost.[2] Jason's main reason for quitting the role was that he is now the oldest detective on television and he felt that it was 'natural' to retire as Frost. Sir David said: "You wouldn't want me to play Frost in a wheelchair, would you?"

"Frost is getting a little long in the tooth. I still enjoy doing it and it's a great part but I just think he's got to retire. It'll be a sad day."

In May 2009 it was announced that Sir David will film three endings to the final episode, and will then help decide which one is shown.

Episodes

Episode Title First broadcast Main sidekick Notes
Series 1
1 Care and Protection 1992-12-06 DC Clive Barnard Frost's wife dies and first appearance of Shirley Fisher
2 Not with Kindness 1992-12-13 DS Gilmore (Tony Haygarth)
3 Conclusions 1992-12-20 DC Webster (George Anton)
Series 2
1 A Minority of One 1994-01-09 DC Carl Tanner (Lennie James)
2 Widows and Orphans 1994-01-16 DS Maureen Lawson (Sally Dexter) Start of Frost's relationship with Shirley Fisher
3 Nothing to Hide 1994-01-23 DC Costello (Neil Dudgeon)
4 Stranger in the House 1994-01-30 WPC Hazel Wallace
Series 3
1 Appropriate Adults 1995-01-08 DS George Toolan (John Lyons)
2 Quarry 1995-01-15 DC Clive Barnard
3 Dead Male One 1995-01-22 DS George Toolan Frost moves in with Shirley.
4 No Refuge 1995-01-29 DS Maureen Lawson
Series 4
1 Paying the Price 1996-01-07 WPC Claire Toms (Colette Brown) Frost's house burns down
2 Unknown Soldiers 1996-01-14 DS George Toolan
3 The Things We Do For Love 1996-01-21 DS Frank Nash (Neil Stuke)
4 Fun Times for Swingers 1996-01-28 DS Rab Prentice (Russell Hunter)
5 Deep Waters 1996-02-04 WPC Lindsey Hunter (Katrina Levon) Barnard, now promoted to DS, also appears.
Series 5
1 Penny for the Guy 1997-02-09 DS Liz Maud (Susannah Doyle) Bit-part guest appearance by a young Daniel Casey, later to take up major role as Detective Sergeant Gavin Troy in ITV's Midsomer Murders.
2 House Calls 1997-02-16 DS Liz Maud
3 True Confessions 1997-02-23 DS George Toolan Frost is suspended.
4 Love Me Tender
(AKA No Other Love)
1997-03-02 DS Clive Barnard Barnard is killed, and Frost tenders his resignation.
Series 6
1 Appendix Man 1999-03-07 DS Hazel Wallace Mullet pretends that Frost is on "extended compassionate leave", and Frost returns to work.
2 One Man's Meat 1999-03-14 DS George Toolan & Kaiser (a dog)
3 Private Lives 1999-03-21 DS Sharpe (Philip Jackson)
4 Keys To The Car 1999-03-28 DS Bill Dorridge (Paul Jesson)
Series 7 / 1999 Christmas Special
Part 1 Line of Fire (1) 1999-12-25 DS Bill Dorridge & PC Susan Kavanagh (Georgia MacKenzie) The first two-part story.A detective is killed in strange circumstances and a mysterious death takes place at a power station when a worker falls to his death.Plus Frost is taken hostage during an armed robbery at a bank.
Part 2 Line of Fire (2) 2000-01-01 DS Bill Dorridge & PC Susan Kavanagh
Series 8 / 2001 New Year Special
Part 1 Benefit of the Doubt (1) 2001-01-14 DS Terry Reid (Robert Glenister)
Part 2 Benefit of the Doubt (2) 2001-01-15 DS George Toolan Reid spends most of this episode in a hospital bed. Guest starring Colin Farrell and David Birkin
Series 9 / 2002 New Year Special
Part 1 Mistaken Identity (1) 2002-01-27 DC Ronnie Lonnegan (Michelle Joseph) First appearance of Pam Hartley (Susan Penhaligon)
Part 2 Mistaken Identity (2) 2002-01-28 DC Ronnie Lonnegan Guest starring Kate Maberly
Series 10
1 Hidden Truth 2003-01-19 DS Terry Reid Frost loses his winning lottery ticket
2 Close Encounters 2003-03-03 DS George Toolan and DS Wallace Wallace has had a baby since her last appearance.
Guest starring Jim Sturgess
3 Held In Trust 2003-09-14 DS Terry Reid Frost gets promoted, then suspended at the conclusion of the episode.
Series 11
1 Another Life 2003-10-26 DS Maureen Lawson Guest starring Amanda Root. Frost is allowed to return to duty as a DI.
2 Dancing in the Dark 2004-02-22 DC Jasper Tranter
Series 12 / 2005 special
1 Near Death Experience 2005-09-25 DS Sharpe
Series 13 / 2006
1 Endangered Species 2006-11-05 DC Robert Presley (Blake Ritson) Episode aired on ITV1, Sunday 5 November 2006 at 9pm UTC
Series 14 / 2008
1 Dead End 2008-10-19 DS George Toolan Guest starring Cherie Lunghi.[3]
2 In The Public Interest[4] 2008-10-26 DS George Toolan Guest starring Mel Martin, Tam Williams, Julia St. John, Paul Shane and Adrian Lukis.
3 Mind Games 2008-10-12 DS George Toolan Guest Starring Keith Barron.
Series 15 /
Part 1 If Dogs Run Free (1) TBC DS George Toolan
Part 2 If Dogs Run Free (2) TBC DS George Toolan

DVD releases

MPI Home Video has released Series 1-13 on DVD in Region 1. [1]

Endangered Species DVD was labeled as series 12 and not series 13 in the UK. Series 14 was released labeled as series 14 therefore series 13 is missing in the UK,

DVD Name Ep # Release date
Season 1 3 30 March 2004
Season 2 4 25 May 2004
Season 3 4 28 July 2004
Season 4 5 23 November 2004
Season 5 4 29 March 2005
Season 6 4 28 June 2005
Seasons 7 & 8 4 27 September 2005
Seasons 9 & 10 5 25 April 2006
Seasons 11 & 12 3 31 October 2006
Seasons 13 1 29 April 2008
Seasons 14 1 27 October 2008

International broadcasters

Country / Region Alternate title/Translation TV network(s) Series premiere Weekly schedule
Australia Australia Seven Network, UKTV and 7Two Wednesday, 8:30pm
Belgium Belgium VRT Saturday, 8:40 pm
Canada Canada Knowledge, SCN, TVOntario
Croatia Croatia Frostov pristup ("Frost's approach") HRT
Denmark Denmark En sag for Frost ("A Case for Frost") DR1, TV 2 Charlie Wednesday, 10 pm
Finland Finland Komisario Frost ("Inspector Frost") YLE
France France Inspecteur Frost ("Inspector Frost") France 3 TMC
Italy Italy Jack Frost La7 March 2006 Saturday, 2 pm
Japan Japan フロスト警部 ("Detective Inspector Frost") Mystery Channel
Netherlands Netherlands KRO Wednesday 21:20-23:05
New Zealand New Zealand TV One (New Zealand), UK.TV
Norway Norway Detektiv Jack Frost ("Detective Jack Frost") NRK1
Poland Poland Sprawa dla Frosta ("A Case for Frost") Universal Channel 6 December 2007 Thursday, 9 pm
Romania Romania Frost ("A Touch of Frost") Universal Channel
Slovenia Slovenia Frost Kanal A
Sweden Sweden Ett fall för Frost ("A Case for Frost") SVT1, Kanal 9 Varying nights, 9pm
United States United States A&E Network

References

  1. ^ Biography page of Barbara Thompson.
  2. ^ Daily Telegraph David Jason quits as Frost.
  3. ^ "IMDB 'Dead End' page". IMDB. May 2008. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1191821/.  
  4. ^ "ITV picks up new 'Touch of Frost'". Digitalspy. 15 October 2007. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/programming/a77732/itv-picks-up-new-touch-of-frost.html.  

External links

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