A Touch of Frost (1992–2010)
4 user

Private Lives 

A woman is discovered in critical condition in a quiet village on the outskirts of Denton, the apparent victim of a hit-and-run incident. Frost's investigation exposes the secret life of a rural England corner.


David Reynolds


R.D. Wingfield (characters created by), Russell Gascoigne (screenplay)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
David Jason ... DI Frost
Philip Jackson ... D.S. Sharpe
Bruce Alexander ... Supt Mullett
Peter Egan ... Richard Darrow
Paloma Baeza ... Rachel Darrow
Maureen O'Brien ... Marion
Ross Boatman Ross Boatman ... Owen Kimble
Rachel Power Rachel Power ... Emily
Tom Chadbon ... Graham Rutherford
Lesley Clare O'Neill Lesley Clare O'Neill ... Paula
Paul Brightwell ... Leo Armfield
James McKenna James McKenna ... Sgt Brady
Arthur White Arthur White ... Ernie Trigg
Miranda Pleasence ... WPC Holland
David Blair David Blair ... PC Martins


Jack investigates an accident where Byrony Darrow was hit by a car while walking home. In a coma and unlikely to recover, Jack starts looking into her background. Her husband was at home with their daughter when the accident happened but there is evidence of sexual activity and Frost suspects that she may have been having an affair. What he learns about her shows that she had a far more complex life than anyone imagined. Separately, Jack investigates a robbery at a local brewery. Jack describes the robbery as "OTT" - over the top - since the thieves wore ski masks and used a sawed off shotgun when there was only one elderly security guard on duty. Using information from the police archives, he manages to lay a trap for the would-be thieves. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


John Lyons (DS George Toolan) does not appear in this episode. Until this edition, Lyons had appeared in every single episode since its beginning in 1992. See more »


DI Frost: Years I've been in the job. You can't believe the secrets that people keep.
See more »


References The Big Sleep (1946) See more »

User Reviews

Robbery and a hit and run with Jack Frost
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.

It does agreed stretch reality and credibility at times, especially in the nature of the robbery (Frost sums it up to a tee calling it "OTT") and the at times over the top portrayal of the villagers. Toolan is noticeably absent after being in every episode up to this point, and he is very much missed and his absence deeply felt.

"Private Lives" is typically a very well made episode however. 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 hit and run case is the better executed of the two cases, with a lot of things not what they seem. The ending is a shock and to me not once foreseeable and not expected at all.

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. Sharpe is a fun partner for Frost.

Jason is impeccable, and Phillip Jackson (best known to me as Chief Inspector Japp in 'Agatha Christie: Poirot', another favourite of mine) contrasts with him brilliantly. Bruce Alexander is typically solid too, while Peter Egan gives one of the show's best supporting turns to me.

Overall, very good episode if not quite a classic. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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Release Date:

21 March 1999 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

Yorkshire, England, UK

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