|Created by||R. D. Wingfield|
Detective Inspector William Edward "Jack" Frost, GC QPM, is a fictional detective created by R. D. Wingfield—characterised as sloppy, untidy, hopeless with paperwork—but unmatched at solving mysteries. The character has appeared in two radio plays, ten published novels, and a TV series spanning 42 episodes between 1992 and 2010.
"Jack" is a nickname, alluding to Jack Frost.
The character first appeared in a radio play entitled Three Days of Frost first transmitted on BBC Radio 4 on 12 February 1977. He was portrayed by Leslie Sands. The character's second appearance was also on BBC Radio 4, in a play entitled A Touch of Frost, transmitted on 6 February 1982. In the second radio play the character was portrayed by Derek Martin.
Wingfield published six novels about DI Frost, starting with Frost at Christmas in 1984. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, three new Frost books were published under the name James Henry. In the case of First Frost, this pseudonym refers to James Gurbutt and Henry Sutton, but in Fatal Frost and Morning Frost it refers to Gurbutt only.
- Frost at Christmas (1984 / 1995, Bantam Crimeline, New York), ISBN 0-553-57168-0 (U.S. mass market paperback edition)
- A Touch of Frost (1987 / 1995 Bantam Crimeline, New York), ISBN 0-553-57169-9 (U.S. mass market paperback edition)
- Night Frost (1992, Constable, London / 1995, Bantam Crimeline, New York), ISBN 0-553-57167-2 (U.S. mass market paperback edition)
- Hard Frost (1995 UK & U.S.) ISBN 0-553-57170-2 (U.S. mass market paperback edition)
- Winter Frost (1999, Constable, London / 2000 Corgi Books, London) ISBN 0-552-14778-8 (Corgi Books paperback)
- A Killing Frost (2008, Bantam Press / Corgi Books, London) ISBN 0-552-15689-2 (Corgi Books paperback)
- First Frost (2011, Transworld Publishers Ltd)
- Fatal Frost (2012, Bantam Press)
- Morning Frost (2013, Bantam Press)
- Frost At Midnight (2017, Bantam Press)
Beginning in 1992, television adaptations of the novels, and further stories based on the characters have been transmitted on ITV in the UK. The series stars David Jason as Frost. This series has been broadcast under the umbrella title A Touch of Frost. To date, there have been thirty-eight stories broadcast (forty-two episodes, if counted individually). These have been released on VHS and DVD internationally.
Three endings were filmed for the final episode. The first ending saw Frost the victim of a hit-and-run on his wedding day, and later suffering a fatal heart attack in hospital. The second ending saw his colleague George Toolan die instead, as a result of the car crash. The third was similar to the second with Superintendent Mullet being the victim. The second ending was the one officially used (with David Jason's support). The ending in which Frost dies was screened during a tribute to the show on ITV1 on April 6, 2010.
Frost is a recipient of the George Cross, which sometimes serves as a plot element in allowing him to get away with actions that would otherwise have landed him in trouble. He tends to experience survivor guilt whenever his George Cross is brought to mind.
- Fan page about the radio plays of R. D. Wingfield, by Alison and Nigel Deacon.