A First-Rate British Detective Series!
Tiggah | Calgary, Alberta Canada | 05/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A Touch of Frost is an outstanding British mystery series, and it is high time it was released on DVD. This set contains the entire first series--three 100-minute episodes entitled "Care and Protection", "Not with Kindness", and "Conclusions." At the time of writing, series two is also available (for preordering), and I only hope that the video company will see fit to release the entire series.
David Jason (Only Fools and Horses, The Darling Buds of May, Open All Hours, Micawber), who personally is one of my favourite British actors, stars as Jack Frost, a dedicated, single-minded detective inspector with a nose for ferretting out criminals. Frost is a bit like a dog with a bone when he sets his mind on something, and he doesn't worry too much about letting little things like rules, procedures, tactfulness, or even legality get in the way of finding out the truth--if he can get away with it, that is. This is a man whose loathing for the criminal element--for those who hurt or destroy the lives of others--verges on the personal. At the very least, his dedication to duty is more than just a job for him, it's his whole life--his raison d'etre. Certainly, his personal life suffers greatly from his dedication--indeed obsession--with his work.The series opens with Frost's wife on her deathbed. Even in such a situation (perhaps, indeed, because of it--for Frost does not handle personal tragedy well), he is unable to spend the time at his wife's side that is expected. While this may sound rather morbid and depressing, I must emphasize that overall the series is not. Certainly, the crimes that are committed are serious and tragic, but like the Inspector Morse series (a series with which this one compares well), the episodes are punctuated by quite a healthy dose of humour, and like Morse it is primarily character humour. In other words, it arises out of the idiosyncrasies in the inspector's character, which become more apparent as we become more familiar with the character. In Frost's case, apart from his questionable tactics, he's extremely disorderly, and his dedication to his work is matched only by his loathing for paperwork--a trait which often has him at odds with his punctilious boss, Superintendent Mullett. Indeed, Frost is perennially ducking into doorways or skipping out of the office in attempts to avoid the unwelcome confrontations. One thing Frost does not have, unlike Inspector Morse, is a regular "Sergeant Lewis" in tow; rather, he has a different sergeant assigned to him for almost every episode. One aspect which, in my opinion, makes A Touch of Frost such a good series is the powerful punch of irony that usually occurs at the end of each episode. Often one can really sympathise with the killer or at the very least understand his or her motivation. Sometimes we find that it's one trifling incident--someone in the wrong place at the wrong time--or a petty misunderstanding that sets the wheels in motion for a tragic outcome. Often it seems that the bringing of the criminal to justice is the greatest injustice.In conclusion, this is a well-acted and an extremely well-written mystery series--one with quite hard-hitting stories, thus making the comic relief all the more welcome. It is a series which I recommend very highly to fans of British mysteries in particular--if you enjoy shows like Inspector Morse, for example, or have enjoyed PBS's erstwhile Mystery! series, I'm sure you'll enjoy this one. I would, however, go so far as to recommend this series to anyone looking for a superior quality mystery series, British or otherwise. Personally, I've always wondered why it was never made a part of PBS's Mystery! series, for it was certainly worthy of inclusion."
The real thing
Gwen Kramer | Sunny and not-so-sunny California | 05/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a huge fan of English cozy mysteries but am fast running out of shows. So, I decided to try something a little more serious and "A Touch of Frost" sounded interesting so I took a chance.What first struck me when watching it was how real everything looked. David Jason, in the title role, looks like a real cop, the town looks like a real town and the people act like real people. The situations are dramatic but you always believe in the characters.Frost is a sloppy, intelligent, gruff and thoroughly likable character in spite of, or maybe because of, his rough edges. The mysteries are literate and manage to get their point across without being horrifically graphic. (Though there is violence and some innuendo and a very brief glimpse of a breast, I can't recommend this show for children)"Care and Protection"- When the young daughter of a local woman goes missing, Frost is called in. Relieved, since he is dealing with a terminally ill wife, Frost sets to work. But when a decades old corpse with a severed arm and a suitcase attached is discovered during the search for the girl, Frost finds himself dealing with two cases at once. In this episode, he is teamed up with the fairly amiable but spoiled nephew of the superintendant. Very good episode that deals with the triple drain on Frost's emotions, his dying wife, a cold case he didn't want and the missing child whose chances for survival decrease as time passes."Not With Kindness"- Following the death of his wife, Frost is at odds with her Americanized sister. Meanwhile, a papergirl's body is discovered in a graveyard and she may or may not be a victim of rape. The subplot deals with an affluent couple who are being harassed by phonecalls and and deadly practical jokes. Frost is partnered with an even sloppier career cop who has an irritatingly happy family life. A rather sad episode that deals with the dangers of grief."Conclusions"- A fatal hit-and-run leads Frost to the spoiled rotten son of a mamber of parliament. Meanwhile, there has been a robbery at a local casino and an armed and dangerous fugitive is loose in the area. When a patrolman is brutally murdered, the manhunt is on. Frost is partnered with a surley new transfer who has a perfectly rotten homelife and a brooding manner. He's almost too surly for Frost!I highly recommend this series to all fans of cozies who are ready to try something a little more serious and to any mystery fan, especially if you want something a little more realistsic than is offered in this country."
Gwen Kramer | 04/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A British detective series,with Frost playing the role of an
unpolished Morse,who is smart and streetwise.Like Morse,he
doesn't care for paperwork.In the first 2 episodes,his "sidekick"
changes.Each episode is about 100 minutes,so there is good amount
of material for the price. The photography is excellent,and one
gets to see "real" people. Frost Season 2 is to appear shortly.a"
Love Jack Frost!
K. M. | Houston, TX | 08/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This series is thoroughly enjoyable! Frost is cranky, disorganized, competent, irreverent, and completely lovable. I've enjoyed this series completely and can't wait to order each of the others. If you like good detective stories with a twist, you will get a kick out of A Touch Of Frost--and don't be surprised if you think you have each story figured out and find yourself wrong! Though Frost has his own way with detective work, he always gets the job done."