Appellate Judge Amanda DeWees has been said to have a frosty touch, but she says it's just poor circulation.
Our reviews of A Touch Of Frost: Season Two (published July 13th, 2004), A Touch Of Frost: Season Three (published September 29th, 2004), A Touch Of Frost: Season Four (published February 23rd, 2005), A Touch Of Frost: Season Six (published August 24th, 2005), A Touch Of Frost: Season 13 (published April 23rd, 2008), A Touch Of Frost: Season 14 (published July 29th, 2009), and A Touch Of Frost: Seasons 11 And 12 (published December 20th, 2006) are also available.
"You tend to lose sight of what it's about, how it all started. It started with a real man or woman, a body whose life has been beaten out of it. That's why we're here. For that man, or that woman."—Detective Inspector Jack Frost
Season Five of A Touch of Frost sees this strong British detective series at the top of its form, with four fine episodes that superbly balance suspense, crime drama, pathos, and comedy. If this season has a running theme, it's Frost developing doubt about his profession—whether because police presence seem to bungle a ransom payoff, or his own judgment about a former offender seems to put others at risk, or an old and trusted colleague is discovered to be corrupt. Frost's personal feelings come to the fore more than usual in these episodes, as he explores romance with different women, finds himself empathizing with suspects that his colleagues condemn, and ultimately makes a serious decision about his vocation based on an emotionally ravaging experience. This season also takes the series' look into less gritty territory when the Denton police squad moves into handsome new quarters—but that doesn't mean that the inner workings are any tidier, especially when Inspector Mullett decides to start downsizing.
Season Five features four 100-minutes episodes on three discs:
• "Penny for the Guy"
It was only a matter of time before Frost was teamed with a feminist
partner, and the crackling working dynamic between Maud and the politically
incorrect Frost adds vigor to this well-plotted episode. The unusually
self-possessed prime suspect creates an effective challenge for Frost, and some
tart commentary on the intersection of commerce and philanthropy (in the person
of the supermarket mogul who is approached to ransom the kidnapped boy) adds
interest. Frost also encounters a woman from his past under new circumstances,
who brings the prospect of romance into his life.
• "House Calls"
This was one of the few Frost mysteries where I could see the solution ages
before Frost cottoned onto it—in fact, he had to have it spelled out for
him in a confession. That made this episode less compelling to me. Likewise, the
secondary plot about the con man's murder wasn't very interesting until the end,
but then it became both surprising and compelling. Frost also begins a
relationship with the delightfully earthy Kitty Rayford (Gwyneth Powell), who
probably knows him better than any woman he's previously been involved with.
• "True Confessions"
This episode offers an unusual variation on the sanctity-of-the-confessional
wrinkle in that the priest (a very athletic, hunky priest with a mane of red
hair who drives a motorbike—definitely putting a new face on the church!)
comes forward of his own accord in his desire to help the police, and wants to
help as much as is within his power given the restrictions of his vocation. The
solution to this mystery is a real surprise and nicely satisfying. The powerful
plot line in which Frost comes under suspicion for evidence tampering is
excellent, putting Frost head to head with a tough, ambitious female
investigator and forcing him to confront the possibility that a trusted former
colleague may have been breaking the rules of police procedure. We also get to
see a rare glimpse of Mullett's good side when he defends Frost against the
accusations of misconduct. This highly charged story line can't help but make
the murder investigation pale a bit in comparison.
• "No Other Love"
The main plot of this episode gets off to a slow start, but the secondary
plot thread about Olive, the elderly offender, is instantly gripping. Jean
Heywood's performance as a woman who has reached the breaking point is delicate
and heartrending, and Frost's understanding of her situation shows him at his
most compassionate. Once the main plot line gains some momentum, it becomes
absorbing, building to a riveting confrontation with a truly chilling character.
Warning: Do not read the plot synopsis for this episode on the disc case (and on
the Amazon site)—it contains an unforgivable spoiler that ruins the
After the meaty feature commentary that came with Season Four, it's a particular letdown to have no extras included in this set. Audiovisual quality is very good, however, except for some serious grain in some scenes of "House Calls." Acting is excellent throughout, and David Jason as Frost is superb; see especially his performance in "No Other Love." I think this is the best season yet, and the only reason the judgment score isn't higher is because of the total lack of extras. Despite that drawback, fans of Inspector Frost will find this a very satisfying season to own.
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