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Seasons 9 and 10
David Jason, Robert Glenister, John Lyons
Based on characters created by R.D. Wingfield
4 episodes including a two-parter
7 ? Hours
MPI Home Video 2006
A Touch Of Frost is that British police procedural series starring David Jason. For those used to CSI Miami or the CSI franchise, Law And Order and the Law And Order spin-offs, A Touch Of Frost is definitely a different approach to a television mystery show. This not just because the coppers in A Touch Of Frost prefer to have a cuppa when the going gets tough instead of a stiff belt. Each episode has Detective Inspector Jack Frost tackling more than one case at a time, there are many incidental scenes that serve to make Jack Frost a real person and not just a recurring character on a series so you actually see him grow, evolve, and have a life outside the investigation, and there is that dry British humor that gives this non-violent and non-graphic mystery show its very own tone. Frost is not a television mystery for the average couch potato as not everything is telegraphed and solved with some magic leaps of logic or instant confessions. Instead, Frost is a thinking man’s or woman’s kind of show.
A Touch Of Frost Seasons 9 and 10 is a seven and a half hour 3 DVD set containing Mistaken Identity, the season 9 two-parter, and the three season 10 shows: Hidden Truth, Close Encounters, and Held In Trust. One thing that is immediately clear while watching any episode of this British television mystery is how superior to American fare the filming is. There are many shots in this series that are simply beautiful and this definitely adds to the viewing experience.
Mistaken Identity is a two-part mystery, some 3 hours total, where Detective Inspector Jack Frost has to tackle the mystery surrounding a floater at the local water treatment plant, a local bum who is mugged because he saw something, a wheelchair-bound man and his wife found burned alive in their home and what happened to the gardener she was having an affair with, an ice-cream vendor whose business is melting away, a burglary at a local stable and the intrigue around the stable owner’s daughter, a rider, and a stable hand, and a thirteen-year old bank job. All this while Jack Frost gets sort of involved with a lady psychiatrist and His Majesty’s Inspector General does his round to make sure all the paperwork is done correctly and all the politically correct terminology is used in said reports. There are a few more incidentals in this story to boot. This particular episode of A Touch Of Frost does take its time to tell the story but definitely tense ending makes up for it.
Season 10 of Frost opens with an n excellent, tight, captivating episode, Hidden Truth. A young woman and her son (Sophie Stanton, Leagh Conwell) are under witness protection so she can testify against a local mobster. The hit man has already attempted a hit, wounded a policewoman, and is still looking for her. Add to this intrigue a second hit man set out as a decoy for the cops, trouble in the special forces team, a black sheep inspector Frost calls in on the case, someone on the inside giving information to the baddies, and a 5.3 million quid winning lottery ticket Jack Frost owns but has lost, well, misplaced, and you have the makings of a great mystery. The writing is superb in Hidden Truth, the suspense taut, the humour at its usual British understated best, and David Jason is in fine form.
Close Encounters, the second episode on DVD 2 of A Touch Of Frost Seasons 9 and 10, is definitely a creepy little number. A string of burglaries, a local moving man’s son disappears, and a very bright but autistic teen who sees aliens vandalize a local quarry and kill the security guard are the plot elements in this one. A comic element comes when Frost has a gang of take-out delivery bikers chase after an impostor in a very British car chase scene. Frost does not come across very well in his early dealings with Laurence, the autistic teen (Jim Sturgess in a great performance). What makes this episode chilling is you are very adroitly made to see things through Laurence’s Area 51 conspiracy filled mind so that everything that happens to him seems to be very weird and scary.
Held In Trust is the very bittersweet A Touch Of Frost episode that closes season 10 (although some list this episode as the season 11 opener). The apparent hit and run of a pedophile, a young boy who disappears at a football game, another boy’s body found at the dump are the dark elements of this one. A secret admirer sending Detective Inspector Jack Frost flowers, balloons, and a basket of goodies adds a little humor though, in the end, the joke is wasted on the viewer. Frost is up for promotion to Chief Inspector and Mullett does everything he can to force his hand. Not all is well that ends well.
A Touch Of Frost is an outstanding British mystery series and the four episodes on this 3 DVD set are well worth the investment.