A Touch of Frost

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A Touch of Frost
Alt=Series title over a headshot of Frost peering through cell bars
GenrePolice procedural
Based onCharacters created by
R.D. Wingfield
StarringDavid Jason
Bruce Alexander
John Lyons
Theme music composerBarbara Thompson
Jon Hiseman
Composer(s)Barbara Thompson
Jon Hiseman (1992–97)
Ray Russell (1999–10)
No. of series15
No. of episodes38 (List of episodes)
Production
Producer(s)Yorkshire Television
Running time34 x 100 Mins
6 x 75 Mins
2 x 120 Mins
Production companiesITV Studios
Broadcast
Original channelITV, STV, UTV
Picture format4:3 (1992–2000)
16:9 (2001–10)
Original run6 December 1992 –
5 April 2010
 
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A Touch of Frost
Alt=Series title over a headshot of Frost peering through cell bars
GenrePolice procedural
Based onCharacters created by
R.D. Wingfield
StarringDavid Jason
Bruce Alexander
John Lyons
Theme music composerBarbara Thompson
Jon Hiseman
Composer(s)Barbara Thompson
Jon Hiseman (1992–97)
Ray Russell (1999–10)
No. of series15
No. of episodes38 (List of episodes)
Production
Producer(s)Yorkshire Television
Running time34 x 100 Mins
6 x 75 Mins
2 x 120 Mins
Production companiesITV Studios
Broadcast
Original channelITV, STV, UTV
Picture format4:3 (1992–2000)
16:9 (2001–10)
Original run6 December 1992 –
5 April 2010

A Touch of Frost is a television detective series produced by Yorkshire Television (later ITV Studios) for ITV from 1992 until 2010, initially based on the Frost novels by R.D. Wingfield. Writing credit for the three episodes in the first 1992 series went to Richard Harris, with screenplays credited to Wingfield.[1][2]

The series stars David Jason as Detective Inspector William Edward "Jack" Frost, an experienced and dedicated detective who frequently clashes with his superiors. In his cases, Frost is assisted by a variety of different detective sergeants, with each bringing a different slant to the particular case. Comic relief is provided by Frost's interactions with the bureaucratically minded Superintendent Norman Mullett, played by Bruce Alexander.

A number of young actors had their major debut as supporting cast in the show, including Matt Bardock, Ben Daniels, Neil Stuke, Nathaniel Parker, Mark Letheren, Colin Buchanan, Jason Maza, Damian Lewis and Marc Warren.

Background[edit]

The series is set in the fictional South-Midlands town of Denton, and is marked by a gritty tone. It is believed that Denton is in Oxfordshire, with many references to Reading, Oxford, and in particular, Swindon, especially in the earlier episodes, as the M4 and A417 are often seen, and the map of Swindon was seen in the control room, although a map of Reading was used occasionally. The programme is produced by ITV in Leeds, and most of the outdoor locations are shot in West Yorkshire. Several scenes are filmed in and around the city and district of Wakefield and neighbouring small towns of Pontefract and Castleford, West Yorkshire.[3] The role of Frost was notable in changing the public perception of David Jason from a predominantly comic actor to a dramatic actor.

At a press conference in London on 15 September 2008, David Jason announced that he would be quitting the role of DI Jack Frost. Jason's main reason for quitting the role was that Frost was by now the oldest detective on television and he felt that it was 'natural' to retire as Frost. At 68 a police detective would already have been retired for eight years. 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."[4]

Several episodes have direct allusions to "Star Trek". Dr McCoy's catchphrase "I'm a doctor not a ..." is heard in several episodes, turned into "I'm a police surgeon, not a ..." or "I'm a pathologist, not a ...". Frost himself states that "the only place with more warp factors than Denton is Starship Enterprise", in response to a remark by Mullett about warped minds.

Cast[edit]

CharacterNumber of EpisodesYear(s) FeaturedPortrayed by
Supt. Norman Mullett421992–2010Bruce Alexander
DCI Jim Allen51992–1994Neil Phillips
DCI Charlie Hawkes31995Matthew Marsh
DCI Jim Peters41996–1997Nigel Harrison
DI Jack Frost421992–2010David Jason
DS George Toolan391992–2010John Lyons
DS Sandy Gilmore11992Tony Haygarth
DS Hazel Wallace111992–2003Caroline Harker
DS Clive Barnard41992–1997Matt Bardock
DS Maureen Lawson31994–2003Sally Dexter
DS Frank Nash11996Neil Stuke
DS Rab Prentice11996Russell Hunter
DS Liz Maud21997Susannah Doyle
DS Billy Sharpe21999-2005Philip Jackson
DS Bill Dorridge31999–2000Paul Jesson
DS Terry Reid42001-2003Robert Glenister
DS Annie Marsh12008Cherie Lunghi
Sgt. Bill Wells151992–2010Paul Moriarty
Sgt. Arthur Hanlon101992–1995Bill Roarke
Sgt. Johnnie Johnson101992–1996Stuart Barren
Sgt. Don Brady251996–2010James McKenna
PC Timmy Lambert21992Martin Moss
PC Chris Jordan41992-1994Ian Driver
PC Keith Stringer51992-1994Christopher Rickwood
PC Harry Simms121992-1996George Thompson
PC Ernie Trigg271994–2010Arthur White
PC Mike Austin31994Colin Buchanan
PC Donny Craven31996Ian Mercer
WPC Claire Toms11996Colette Brown
WPC Lindsey Hunter11996Katrina Levon
WPC Elizabeth Brent31996Jan Graveson
WPC Annie Holland21997-1999Miranda Pleasance
WPC Susan Kavanagh22000Georgia MacKenzie
WPC Harmison12006Emily Corrie
DC Andy Webster11992George Anton
DC Mark Howard91992–1996Jon Sotherton
DC Carl Tanner11994Lennie James
DC Frank Costello11994Neil Dudgeon
DC Mike Ketley41994-1996Jim Shepley
DC Tony Collier21997Charles De'Ath
DC Ronnie Lonnegan22002Michelle Joseph
DC Jasper Tranter12004Nicholas Burns
DC Robert Presley12006Blake Ritson
Dr. William McKenzie201992-2008David McKail
Dr. Derek Simpkins181992-2006David Gooderson

Characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

Detective Sergeants[edit]

Other characters[edit]

Jack's Girlfriends[edit]

Production[edit]

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

Despite the show still being produced when the last two novels were written, they were never used as source material for episodes, possibly due to their more graphic subject matter. "Hard Frost" was the last and perhaps most closely referenced novel filmed, and was split across two almost-unrelated episodes due to its length. This also occurred with "A Touch of Frost" (split across three episodes) and "Night Frost" (two episodes, although the element of DS Gilmore's marriage break-up was used in season 4 episode "The Things We Do for Love", which has no other reference to "Night Frost"). By discarding several minor sub-plots in "Frost at Christmas", the two major cases were able to be investigated in the one episode, being the pilot "Care and Protection".

The iconic saxophone solo heard during the show's theme music was performed by Barbara Thompson.[5]

The aspect ratios of A Touch of Frost have been the subject of discussion. From series 1 through to 5, the series was originally shown and transferred to DVD in the 4:3 aspect ratio (which was still mostly the UK television norm in the 1990s). From series 6 onwards, the show was shown in a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. The DVD releases reflected this change. However, from 2012, ITV3 HD have been broadcasting a growing number of episodes of the series in high definition, remastered from the original 16mm source. In these HD versions, even the opening series are shown in widescreen. Comparisons to the 4:3 version of the shows (still available on DVD) have shown that the frame has been "opened-up" to include previously unseen parts of the frame. This means that the episodes fit the widescreen ratio without cropping out important material. [6]

Episodes[edit]

DVD releases[edit]

TitleNumber of EpisodesRegion 1Region 2Region 4
The Complete First Series330 March 200418 October 20044 August 2008
The Complete Second Series425 May 200418 October 20043 November 2008
The Complete Third Series428 July 200418 October 20043 November 2008
The Complete Fourth Series523 November 200418 October 20042 February 2009
The Complete Fifth Series429 March 200518 October 20042 February 2009
The Complete Sixth Series428 June 200518 October 20041 May 2009
The Complete Seventh Series227 September 200518 October 20041 May 2009
The Complete Eighth Series227 September 200518 October 20041 May 2009
The Complete Ninth Series225 April 200618 October 200426 June 2009
The Complete Tenth Series325 April 200618 October 200426 June 2009
The Complete Eleventh Series231 October 200621 November 200531 July 2009
The Complete Twelfth Series131 October 200621 November 200531 July 2009
The Complete Thirteenth Series129 April 20086 November 200631 July 2009
The Complete Fourteenth Series328 July 200927 October 20088 June 2010
The Complete Fifteenth Series230 November 201012 April 20108 December 2010
The Complete Series 1-520N/A18 October 200427 November 2009
The Complete Series 6-1013N/A18 October 2004N/A
The Complete Series 6-1522N/A16 August 2010N/A
The Complete Series 1-1542N/A15 August 2011N/A

International broadcasters[edit]

CountryTranslationTV network(s)
Australia AustraliaSeven Network, UK.TV and 7Two
Belgium BelgiumVRT
Canada CanadaKnowledge, SCN, TVOntario
India IndiaKaramchandDD 1
Croatia CroatiaFrostov pristup ("Frost's approach")HRT
Denmark DenmarkEn sag for Frost ("A Case for Frost")DR1, TV 2 Charlie
Finland FinlandKomisario Frost ("Inspector Frost")YLE
France FranceInspecteur Frost ("Inspector Frost")France 3 TMC
Italy ItalyJack FrostLa7
Japan Japanフロスト警部 ("Detective Inspector Frost")AXN Mystery
Lithuania LithuaniaFrosto prisilietimasLRT
Netherlands NetherlandsKRO
New Zealand New ZealandPrime (New Zealand), TV1, UK.TV
Norway NorwayDetektiv Jack Frost ("Detective Jack Frost")NRK1
Poland PolandSprawa dla Frosta ("A Case for Frost")Universal Channel
Romania RomaniaFrostUniversal Channel
Slovenia SloveniaFrostKanal A
Sweden SwedenEtt fall för Frost ("A Case for Frost")SVT1, Kanal 9
United States United StatesA&E Network

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/id/1206994/index.html The British Film Institute's page on A Touch of Frost.
  2. ^ http://epguides.com/TouchofFrost/guide.shtml Seasonal credit list forA Touch of Frost at epguides.com
  3. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=219015
  4. ^ Daily Telegraph David Jason quits as Frost.
  5. ^ Biography page of Barbara Thompson.
  6. ^ http://www.avforums.com/forums/blu-rays-dvds-download-services/1567695-touch-frost-series-1-5-dvd-aspect-ratio.html

External links[edit]