A Touch of Frost

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Frost: Get on the radio to the station son and tell Sergeant Wells we found a body in the churchyard. And when he stops laughing, tell him I think it is young Paula Barkner

A Touch of Frost (1992-2010) was a detective television series produced by Yorkshire Television for ITV. It was based on a series of books by R D Wingfield.

It starred Sir David Jason as Detective Inspector William Edward Frost, G.C., known as Jack to everyone but his late wife. He is a down-to-earth, straightforward copper who is more interested in banging up crooks than figures and statistics. His immediate superior, Superintendent Norman "Horn-rimmed Harry" Mullett, is a by-the-book, procedural man who seems to see Jack as a personal insult.

Let's be fair. Jack is, by whatever measure, a bent copper. He has planted evidence, bribed, bullied and tricked, but he does it to get the criminals behind bars. Old, grumpy and misogynistic, Frost has a near endless supply of dirty jokes and considers teaching someone how to fiddle his expenses claim to be a cornerstone of police training. He is not as great a detective as some other TV detectives are shown, but he is good at his job.

He also has the George Cross, a fact that has saved his career more than once, after he tried and failed to commit suicide by armed criminal.

The show concluded in a two-part final in April 2010, with Georgie being killed after the bitter ex-husband of the woman Jack was about to marry drove his car into theirs.


Tropes used in A Touch of Frost include:
  • Anti-Hero: Jack, Type III.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: One is featured in the very first episode.
  • Da Chief: "Horn-rimmed Harry" Mullet.
  • Death Seeker: In the aforementioned suicide attempt.
  • December-December Romance: Jack himself in the last series, with RSPCA investigator Christine Moorhead (Phyllis Logan).
  • Downer Ending: Frequently, even when the killer is caught.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Frost's real first name is the normal sounding William, but prefers to go by the obvious nickname Jack.
  • Epunymous Title: "Night Frost", "Christmas Frost", "Hard Frost"...
  • Never Live It Down: In an unusual in universe example, Frost tends to get depressed whenever people refer to him winning the George Cross, feeling that he doesn't really deserve it.
  • No One Is Indispensable: Subverted once when, after saying it, Mullet is forced to admit that yes, for the moment at least, Jack is indispensable.
    • On the other hand when Frost starts catching flak for letting go a child abuser who's later blamed for a murder, a friendly journalist points out that if the publicity is bad enough anyone is expendable, even decorated heroes, so Frost had better get off his backside and find the real killer (he does).
  • Old-Fashioned Copper: And doesn't it piss off Mullet.
  • Overtook the Series
  • Police Procedural
  • Useless Security Camera: In one episode, Frost asks Toolan if he managed to get the evidence from the camera for a murder that had happened in an alley, only to be told that it was facing the wrong way.
  • You Do Not Have to Say Anything