Sidekick killed as Frost signs off

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Fans of the ITV show starring Sir David Jason were kept in suspense about the main character's fate until the final moment after two alternative endings were filmed.

In the end, it was curmudgeonly copper Detective Inspector Jack Frost's sidekick, Det Sgt George Toolan - played by John Lyons - who was killed while Frost was seen walking hand in hand with the woman he planned to spend the rest of his life with.

The two-hour episode came to a dramatic climax on the day Frost was due to marry RSPCA inspector Christie Moorhead, played by Phyllis Logan, after being unlucky in love throughout the show's 18-year history. Loyal Toolan was his best man but tragedy struck as the two men prepared to go into the church for the ceremony when Frost's fiancee's alcoholic ex-husband drove his car into the side of their vehicle.

Emotional scenes saw Frost join Toolan's wife at the policeman's hospital bedside as doctors switched off his life support machine.

In a poignant finale, Sir David's character stood by the coffin and said "goodbye George" before joining Christine in the pews. After telling him she stood by the vows she made during the couple's wedding rehearsal, Frost admitted he could finally leave behind the job which he had spent years devoted to.

The final instalment, called If Dogs Run Free, saw Frost deploy his familiar style of detective-work to bring a dangerous criminal, played by Adrian Dunbar, to justice. The series, which began in 1992, was based on the books by RD Wingfield.

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