A Touch of Frost (1992–2010)
4 user 1 critic

Dead End 

An old antagonist teams with frost to investigate the kidnapping of two bus drivers and the death of a clown.


Roger Bamford


R.D. Wingfield (characters creator), David Gilman (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
David Jason ... Insp Jack Frost
Bruce Alexander ... Supt Mullett
John Lyons ... DS Toolan
Cherie Lunghi ... DS Annie Marsh
Dearbhla Molloy ... Linda Heal
Stephen Kennedy ... Andy Heal
Sarah Ball Sarah Ball ... Sarah Heal
Jason Maza ... John Heal
Vicki Hopps Vicki Hopps ... Jessica Green
Daren Elliott Holmes Daren Elliott Holmes ... Mark Harrison
Joe Renton Joe Renton ... Tony Woods
Arthur White Arthur White ... Ernie Trigg
Brett Allen Brett Allen ... Robert Trusham
Vincent Riotta Vincent Riotta ... Philip Townsend
James McKenna James McKenna ... Sgt Brady (as James Mckenna)


The Heal family is appalled to see the man whose lorry killed three of their members some years earlier is driving a bus. Because the lorry's mechanism was faulty he was acquitted of dangerous driving but the Heals are not happy and Andy Heal goes to the bus depot for a confrontation. Later the driver and his conductress are abducted from their bus. The conductress is diabetic and needs her insulin shots and, after a television appeal, she is dumped, alive, in town, not far from an alley where a clown is found dead. He recently entertained at a children's party where one of the mothers has a pathological phobia of clowns, and believes she attacked him without knowing. However, it turns out that he was also a thief, robbing the houses he visited and his killer may have been somebody else. In solving the death and finding the bus driver Frost's work is not helped by having to work with a female sergeant who had once reported him for being unprofessional. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

19 October 2008 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

ITV Productions,Excelsior See more »
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Technical Specs




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Did You Know?


[DS Toolan has discovered the body of a clown wearing a red nose, a red wig and white make-up]
Insp Jack Frost: Who the hell is that?
DS Toolan: [reading the clown's badge] That's Charlie the Chuckling Clown.
Insp Jack Frost: Well he ain't got much to laugh at now, has he?
[later, at the police station]
Supt Mullett: Who would kill a clown?
Insp Jack Frost: Oh, I dunno. Punch and Judy, maybe?
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User Reviews

You can't win them all... not every case.
7 July 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

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, the first six seasons were top notch with a few not-quite-outstanding-but-still-very-good episodes but most of them being near-perfect to masterpiece. Was not sure initially as to whether the Seasons 7-9 two parters would work, having seen two parters not quite work with 'Lewis' for example, but all three worked brilliantly.

Most of Season 10 was of a very high standard, "Held in Trust" was my personal favourite of the episodes but Jim Sturgess' performance in "Close Encounters" is one of the show's best supporting turns. Was a little let down however by "Hidden Truth", which was still decent and much better than a lot of weaker episodes from other shows but considering the high quality of Seasons 1-9 decent didn't seem quite enough. "Another Life" and "Dancing in the Dark" were very good episodes for Season 11, though neither high points. "Near Death Experience" was one of my favourite latter season episodes, while the next episode "Endangered Species", while a long way from bad (pretty decent still) is one of my least favourites of the series.

"Mind Games" was a great return for 'A Touch of Frost' after a two year absence, so hopes were high were "Dead End". Always did think, even when viewing it when it first aired, that it was a couple of steps down after "Mind Games" and still do. It's still a decent episode, but when you see a show that a vast majority of the time does very good to brilliant ones decent, like was said for "Hidden Truth", doesn't quite seem enough. It is one of my least favourite episodes of the show overall, but even 'A Touch of Frost' at its weakest was much better than most shows at its weakest (in a list that includes other favourites like 'Criminal Minds' and 'Midsomer Murders').

To me it was just too obvious who the real intended target was all along. Even when they had parts suggesting that the other victim was the intended victim, from what we found out about them such a treatment was just far too extreme, whereas it was easy to see from the beginning why the actual intended victim was targeted.

It is agreed too that while Frost and Marsh's argumentative banter was entertaining to begin with it did start feeling very overdone and credibility straining. The climax was definitely a tense one and did have my heart in my mouth, though Frost in the role he was in did seem out of the character and the outcome was just too easily foreseeable, at least to me.

However, the production values still look great. 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 theme tune still iconic.

Good deal of the script is taut and thought-provoking, with the most amusing lines coming when investigating the "Charlie the Chuckling Clown" case. Marsh's line about not winning them all sums things up very well. The story does have tension and suspense on the most part, if let down by some predictability in some parts. The abduction case is compelling and one does root for the victims, especially when one sees how they're treated (which is 'Criminal Minds'-like agreed). The clown case balanced well and was interesting too, if not quite as memorable as the other case.

Frost is remarkably well established as a character, with his faults but also good qualities. Even with a more conflicted side, he is closer to the old Frost than the unnecessarily rude and acrimonious character seen in "Endangered Species". The supporting characters are well drawn.

Can't fault Jason as Frost, he is simply brilliant in the role as always with not one foot put wrong. All the supporting cast are on point, Bruce Alexander and John Lyons don't disappoint and Cherie Lunghi is a breath of fresh air.

Overall, one of my least favourite 'Frost' episodes but still decent. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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