A Touch of Frost moves into its sixth season in much the same style as it's handled earlier ones. The popular British detective series continues to offer a selection of feature-length mysteries starring David Jason as the curmudgeonly Detective Inspector Jack Frost. (I confess to not understanding the apparent obsession with giving punning names to detectives in mystery series, especially ones that are otherwise entirely serious, like A Touch of Frost.)
Season 6 continues with Frost investigating crimes in the town of Denton, with each mystery handled with a realistic, slightly gritty style. Some continuity between seasons is provided, and we also get a touch of character development and interaction as Frost gets himself in hot water because of his tendency to come on too strong in the pursuit of justice. Realistically speaking, though, the episodes are all stand-alone.
"Appendix Man" starts off with Frost still attempting to recover from the death of his partner, but soon enough he's drawn into an investigation of a rather suspicious suicide. Interestingly, this mystery turns out to have a connection to the unknown body fished out of the river in the third-season episode "Dead Male One."
"One Man's Meat" likewise has a sub-plot focusing on Frost's private life, as he takes in a lodger; the main focus of the story, though, is on Frost's simultaneous investigation of two deaths: that of a homeless girl, and that of an environmental health officer, who ends up leading Frost to investigate a local meat-packing plant.
"Private Lives" offers a good change of pace; instead of the usual murder investigation, Frost is called on to investigate an accident that was nearly lethal, but not quite. Aficionados of British mysteries will not be surprised to find that the victim's seemingly quiet town has a lot going on beneath the surface.
The season ends with another murder in "Keys to the Car," in which the recovery of a stolen car leads to the discovery of a dead body. Somehow there's a connection between the body (who turns out to be a drug dealer), the owner of the car, and the thief, a gigolo with a record of pulling off scams.
The four episodes presented here offer solid entertainment for fans of the series; I've never been quite able to be hooked by the character of Frost, but certainly the stories are well constructed and offer a reasonable variety in terms of plot and character.
This two-DVD set is packaged nicely in a single-wide keepcase, making it more compact than earlier seasons.
The series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1. For a 1999 production, the image quality is quite disappointing. The image overall tends to be pixellated, with many jagged edges, and edge enhancement is visible on many occasions. In an odd reversal of the usual for British television, indoor shots are muddy and unappealing, but outdoor shots look more natural and pleasing to the eye.
The Dolby 2.0 soundtrack is nothing to write home about. It's rather muted and flat-sounding, with a rather hollow quality to it at times. English subtitles are included.
There are no special features on the set.
A Touch of Frost: Season 6 gives fans of the British mystery series another set of four feature-length mysteries to add to their collections. It's not gripping enough that I'd recommend going out and buying it if you haven't seen any of the Frost episodes before, but if you're a fan it's easy to recommend it, despite the rather lackluster transfer. I'll give it a mild "recommended" rating.