Having met his old girlfriend Shirley at the hospital and arranged for them to have lunch, Jack Frost's day gets off to a bad start when he happens to be in a bank when someone decides to rob it. The investigation of DC Tim Fox's murder continues and Frost has arrested DI Mark Newcombe, who was having an affair with Fox's wife, Helen. He claims that she killed her husband accidentally in an argument and he just helped her cover it up. Frost is starting to have second thoughts about the case. Elsewhere, the case of the cat killer takes on a new twist when an animal owner not only has her dog shot but someone then cuts the breaks on her car resulting in a major accident. She worked at the local power plant where a worker recently fell to his death and Frost begins to wonder if there might be a connection. He's put PC Susan Kavanagh, a computer expert, in charge of finding any patterns to the animal killings and realizes, he hopes not too late, that he may have put her in grave danger. Written by
[Frost and Shirley are having a blazing row]
You want the shoulder to cry on. You want the sex. But you don't want to give *anything* in return. You're scared.
DI Jack Frost:
What the *hell* did you expect? What did you want? Me as I am? No? What then? Some nine-till-fiver who doesn't give a toss about his job? Someone who just wants to come home, go shopping and have a curry every Friday night? Did you think I've *ever* been that? Do think it's just lacking a good woman that keeps me working all hours...
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After a terrific first half, the second half delivers just as highly
As has been said by me numerous times already, '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 (mostly through Frost's snide comments and quips) 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.
There may have been people initially sceptical about whether the show would work, and with Jason (a mainly comedic actor) in a departure from usual in the lead role. Scepticism very quickly evaporated, with the first season containing three consistently great episodes, even with the darker and grittier approach with less humour, that established the tone and characterisation so brilliantly so early on with no signs of finding-their-feet. Seasons 2 and 3 continued that high standard, "Appropriate Adults" and "Stranger in House" particularly being show highlights. Season 4 was also very good, particularly "Paying the Price" and "Deep Waters", the weakest "Unknown Soldiers" still being pretty good. All four episodes of Season 5 were brilliant, especially "Penny for the Guy" and "No Other Love". Season 6 wasn't quite as consistent, but all episodes ranged from good to great, the best being "Keys to the Car".
"Line of Fire", the first of four two-parters for the show, the others being "Benefit of the Doubt" from Season 8, "Mistaken Identity" from Season 9 and "If Dogs Run Free" from Season 15 (the final season), is just terrific. Can be iffy about episodes being split into half, having been done with variable execution on 'Lewis' for example, but not here.
It's a very well made episode as to be expected. It matches 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.
The script is well written, with a few very amusing quips from Frost, and is thought-provoking with lots of things you don't expect. The story is absorbing with a good deal happening while not rushing through it or trying to do too much. Plenty of suspense and intrigue, with an ending that is one of the show's most suspenseful and worthy of Hitchcock.
Frost is a remarkably well-established character , 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's new partner is a good character and works well with Frost.
Jason continues to excel impeccably, while Paul Jesson, Bruce Alexander, John Lyons and Nicky Henson support him solidly.
In conclusion, terrific second half to one of the show's generally better two-parters. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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