A Touch of Frost (1992–2010)
5 user

Keys to the Car 

Frost investigates a dapper con man with a taste for golf at posh clubs and other people's cars, especially after the body of a drug dealer is found in the trunk.


Adrian Shergold


R.D. Wingfield (characters created by), Malcolm Bradbury (screenplay)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
David Jason ... DI Frost
Bruce Alexander ... Supt Mullet
Melanie Thaw Melanie Thaw ... Asst CC Cremond
Paul Jesson ... DS Dorridge
Alexi Kaye Campbell Alexi Kaye Campbell ... Richie Dearne
Danny Nussbaum ... Luke Hands
John Warnaby John Warnaby ... Warrinder
Anthony Smee Anthony Smee ... Teddy Joyner
Manouk van der Meulen ... Marijke Hoogenbloom (as Manouk Van Der Meulen)
Jonathan Coy ... Ben Pecksmith
Hannah Yelland ... Philly Williams
Michele Winstanley Michele Winstanley ... Nicky (as Michèle Winstanley)
David Gillies David Gillies ... DI Holmes
John Lyons ... DS Toolan
James McKenna James McKenna ... Sgt Brady


With Superintendent Mullett off work on a fortnight's leave, DI Frost is called on the carpet by the newly promoted Assistant Chief Constable for using unorthodox questioning techniques on suspected drug dealer Richie Dearne. Mullett calls Frost in when Ben Pecksmith has his Mercedes stolen at the local golf club. Turns out the thief travels from club to club, stealing cars as he goes along. Things take an interesting twist when the Mercedes is recovered the next day, with Dearne's body in the trunk. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Did You Know?


Filmed entirely on location in Darwen, Lancashire, England. See more »


[last lines]
Assistant Chief Constable Anne Cremond: Inspector, I can't find it easy to admit this, but I have to say...
DI Jack Frost: I know what you're going to say, ma'am. If you'll excuse me, I could do with a bloody good cup of tea.
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User Reviews

Best of Season 6
3 July 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

'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".

"Appendix Man" and "One Man's Meat" were pretty good, if a couple of steps down from the brilliant previous season. "Private Lives", while still not up to the same level of the previous season, is an improvement but it's the conclusion to the sixth season "Keys to the Cars" that fares the best.

Maybe there are a few too many coincidences in solving the case. Otherwise there is really not much to "Keys to the Car" that comes over as wrong.

"Keys to the Car" is typically very well made. 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 many twists and turns and things you don't expect. The ending ties everything together more than satisfactorily and is a fine ending on its own. Liked the erotic tension too, plus Toolan is back after being sorely missed in "Private Lives".

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 Manouk Van Der Muelen support him solidly. John Thaw's daughter Melanie also appears.

Overall, great episode and Season 6's best. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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Release Date:

28 March 1999 (UK) See more »

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