|Index||4 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
MIDSOMMER MURDERS recently got criticised because there wasn't ethnic
minorities appearing in the show . Perhaps mindful of pre-emptive
criticism the producers of A TOUCH OF FROST made an episode revolving
around racial tensions in Denton a town that previously and
subsequently had little in the way of black faces . If you're expecting
a British version of THE WIRE then you're going to be disappointed
I can't remember much about this episode since seeing it at Christmas but one action sequence will remain with me a lifetime . Jack Frost is told one of Denton's black community wants to talk to him . Frost goes in to the interview room where he is physically threatened and presses the panic button
Cut to the police canteen where four police constables nonchalantly leave the table giving the impression they're a bunch of stoners in a Dutch smoke-shop . They enter the interview room where Mr Ghetto-boy barges through them and runs down the corridor where the police chase after him in hot pursuit . Well rather warm pursuit . Well rather ice cold pursuit so cold in fact Mr Gangsta has managed to run down so many corridors you think he's in fact the first black DOCTOR WHO . He almost escapes until a policeman carrying a tray of tea gets caught up in the great chase
By now you're expecting the Benny Hill theme to start playing but the sequence continues as the OTT sequence resembles the Norman Wisdom comedy ON THE BEAT as a couple of dozen cops chase Ghetto Boy up endless flights of stairs where he comes to a dead end . Frost manages to push his way through the police scrum and says the generic dead pan line " You're nicked me son " to which he receives a punch on the nose
So remember if you want to commit a crimeand almost get away with it the Denton police station is the best place to commit it
"A Touch of Frost" ventures into the topic of racism. A series of big box stores have been burglarized and it seems that the perception is that minorities are responsible. When Frost comes to the precinct, he finds he has been given a black partner, who, according to the rest of his colleagues, was sent because he is black. He points this out himself to Frost. Frost has a young woman who earns money by keeping her ear to the ground and pointing out possible criminal activity. Despite Frost's discretion, one night her apartment is torched with her in it. This a complex situation because she has a little boy (who was out at the time). The episode shows the gross prejudice of the police and the community. It also shows how people function under these circumstances. Frost comes to realize at some point that he may be as bad as the rest. He uses offensive casual references with his partner, who really controls himself. Unfortunately, the police are more interested in keeping a facade than actually changing their ways. It's another credit to the honesty of this series.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Racial tension dominates this very strong episode as Jack and D.C. Carl
Tanner investigate a series of burglaries.
An informant of Frost's is killed after revealing too much information, and Jack wants revenge. But will he simply believe that a black person is involved?
A thrilling car chase sequence awaits the final conclusion to the case, while credible performances from Lennie James and David Jason probably lets the viewer think about the aspects of racism that are still rife worldwide today.
It certainly brings home the truth of racial discrimination in the police force as well as the outside world, and is told to great effect.
'A Touch of Frost' is a personal favourite of mine, and one of my
favourite shows from the detective/mystery genre. Do have a preference
perhaps for the earlier-mid-show episodes over the later ones, but none
of the episodes are less than watchable and none do anything to
embarrass the show.
So much appeals about 'A Touch of Frost'. Love the mix of comedy and dark grit, the tension between rebellious Jack Frost and by-the-book Mullet which has led to some humorous moments, how he interacts with the rest of the staff, the deft mix of one or two cases and Frost's personal life, how Frost solves the cases, the production values, music and of course David Jason in one of his best roles.
On first viewing of "A Minority of One" several years ago, expectations were high after such a great and remarkably consistent first season. Those high expectations were more than met. Later 'Frost' episodes had a lighter touch with more humour, but "A Minority of One" deals with such hard hitting subjects of racial tension and prejudice that too much humorous moments would have threatened to feel like they don't belong in the episode and jar.
This said, the tone and characterisation are so well-established for so early on. When you see examples of shows that take time to settle and don't find their feet for sometimes as much as a season, this not particularly easy feet is remarkable.
Visually, "A Minority of One" looks great, matching the dark, gritty tone of the episode beautifully with atmospheric lighting and the stylish way it's shot. The music is haunting without being over-bearing while the theme tune is one of the most iconic in the detective genre (or at least to me it is).
"A Minority of One's" script is again very well written, with the tensions dealt with intelligently and with sensitive tact rather than being preachy. The story is tense and gritty, with the hard-hitting subjects the episode explores handled with not a shred of heavy-handedness while delivering highly on emotion, thrills (such as the climax) and shocks (without being gratuitously so). Nothing feels disjointed or misplaced here.
Frost is a remarkably well-established character for so early on, and one cannot help love his interaction with the rest of the officers and his chemistry with Bruce Alexander's stern and by-the-book Mullet, who constantly despairs of Frost's unconventional approach. Frost also deals with the tension between him and Tanner, the prejudicial nature showing both characters being at fault while not making them less likable.
Jason excels brilliantly as Frost, and Bruce Alexander, John Lyons and Lennie James are a great match. Support is fine too.
In conclusion, after such a great first season Season 2's opening episode "A Minority of One" doesn't disappoint. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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