Death in Paradise (TV series)

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Death in Paradise
Alt=Series titles in holiday style passport stamp
Genre Crime, Comedy-Drama
Created by Robert Thorogood
Composer(s) Magnus Fiennes
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 4
No. of episodes 32 (27 currently aired) (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s) Matthew Bird
Tim Key
Tim Bradley
Location(s) Guadeloupe (France)
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Red Planet Pictures and Atlantique Production, in association with Kudos for the BBC and France Télévisions
Original channel BBC One
Original run 25 October 2011 (2011-10-25) – present
External links
Website BBC Death in Paradise

Death in Paradise is a British lighthearted crime drama television series created by Robert Thorogood and starring Ben Miller (Series 1–2), Kris Marshall (Series 3—present), Sara Martins (Series 1—4) and Danny John-Jules (Series 1—present). The programme is a joint UK and French production, filmed on the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom.

After consistently high ratings during the second series, on 12 February 2013, Death in Paradise was commissioned for a third series by Ben Stephenson.[1] Series 3 began airing on 14 January 2014. On 28 February 2014, Death in Paradise was renewed for a fourth series.[2] The fourth series aired on 8 January 2015 on BBC One.


A British detective, Richard Poole (Ben Miller) is assigned to investigate a murder on the paradise island of Saint-Marie in the Caribbean,[3] yet when he finds the murderer he is forced to stay as the chief inspector on the island, solving murders which just keep happening.[4] At the start of Series 3, Richard is killed and maladroit London detective Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) arrives to investigate the death of strait-laced Richard and then stays in the job as chief investigator on the island.

The format sees a new murder taking place each episode, with the Saint Marie team trying to track down the murderer. Towards the end, all the suspects gather. Then, how the murderer went about doing it, as well as who the murderer is, are revealed.

Saint Marie[edit]

Saint Marie is described in Episode 3.3 as a "pretty island" that is "situated in the Eastern Caribbean Sea" and "one-tenth the size of its north-west neighbour Guadeloupe". This would make Saint Marie about 160 square kilometres (62 sq mi) in size, which is slightly bigger than Bromley (the largest borough in London). The location and name of the island suggests it is based on the real-world island of Marie-Galante, which has a matching size and location, although the real-life Marie-Galante is part of Guadeloupe and not independent of it. In the TV show, the fictional Saint Marie has a volcano, rainforest, sugar plantations, a fishing harbour, and an airport.

Honoré, the main town, has a leisure/commercial marina, market, bars, and restaurants, as well as the police station. The island is a British Overseas Territory, but about 30% of its people are of French descent, with the language still widely spoken and its main economic ties are to Guadeloupe, the UK and France. The island's main religions are Catholicism and Vodou, with several Vodou religious festivals.


  • Detective Inspector Richard Poole (Ben Miller): A British inspector assigned to the island to investigate the previous inspector's murder, Poole was instructed to remain on the island as the new police detective. Despite his distaste for the island and inexperience with tropical weather—to the point that he continued to wear his old (wool) suits despite their impracticality—he often showed a useful knack for making deductive leaps based on minimal information and random events. In Series 2 he grew slightly more relaxed. He recommended Fidel for the sergeant's exam. Poole briefly returned to London, but in spite of his distaste for Saint Marie, he chose to return. However, Richard was murdered in the first episode of series 3 at a Cambridge university reunion by Sasha Moore, when he threatened to expose her identity theft, and was replaced by DI Humphrey Goodman.
  • Detective Inspector Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall), assigned to Saint Marie after D.I Richard Poole left the show after being tragically murdered at a reunion of university colleagues at the start of Series 3 to stop him revealing a case of identity theft. — This murder proved ineffective, as clues from the investigation helped Goodman reveal the motive and the killer's identity, adding Poole had 'solved his own murder'. Goodman stayed on in Saint Marie in Series 3 after his wife Sally announced she was leaving him via answering machine message shortly after he arrived on Saint-Marie. He inherited Poole's beach house home and his position as Saint Marie's detective inspector. Keener to blend in than Poole had been, he often behaved and dressed like a more blatant tourist. He obsessed over small details and was extremely maladroit. He is in love with Camille, but has concealed his feelings to avoid them affecting their personal relationship
  • Detective Sergeant Camille Bordey (Sara Martins): A former undercover investigator, she was assigned to the precinct because her cover was blown when she was arrested at the same time as a minor criminal during Poole's first investigation. She was the team's best investigator after Poole, often handling the computer side of things. Initially she and Poole did not get along as a result of a culture clash. Over time their relationship became a friendship, and showed some hints of romance — when he briefly left the island, she admitted she admired him considerably and was pleased when he chose to return. His murder in the opening scenes of the first episode of Series 3 clearly upset her and she was unsure about his successor, although she warmed to Humphrey over time. It was confirmed that Series 4, Episode 4 would be her last - Camille takes an undercover job in Paris.
  • Officer Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules): Lacking ambition, but with complete faith in his seniors and perhaps too-good an understanding of the criminal mind. He is the outgoing member of the team who often uses various illegal means to solve crimes and develops a love interest in Sergeant Cassell in Series 4.
  • Sergeant Fidel Best (Gary Carr): Young, hard-working and, at the start of series 3, he has a wife, Juliette and a young daughter. Promoted by Richard Poole in series 2 to sergeant. He is confirmed to have been promoted to a neighboring island at the start of series 4.
  • Commissioner Selwyn Patterson (Don Warrington): The island's police commissioner, responsible for hiring its accident prone detective inspectors, who holds a wrath of fear over his team and makes infrequent appearances to advise the team over difficult cases.
  • Catherine Bordey (Élizabeth Bourgine): Camille's mother and owner of a bar, where the team often discusses cases. Poole's relationship with her is strained. She raised Camille as a single mother and is very close to Camille, who spends much of her spare time in the bar.
  • Sergeant Florence Cassell (Joséphine Jobert): Cassell replaces Fidel at the start of series 4, becoming the latest addition to the Saint Marie team, and a love interest for Dwayne.
  • Officer JP Hooper (Tobi Bakare): Replaces Camille in Series 4, Episode 5. He is described as 'young, naïve and eager to please.'

Note: The only other recurring characters were Aidan Miles, played by Adrian Dunbar (in Episodes 7 and 8 of Series 1, was possible love interest for Catherine until Poole exposed him as a murderer) and Goodman's ex-wife Sally, played by Morven Christie (heard in Series 3, Episode 1 and seen on the island in Series 3, Episode 8, trying to get him back).

Character appearances[edit]

The original team: Left-to-right: Sara Martins, Danny John-Jules, Gary Carr and Ben Miller
Character Actor Years Series Episode Count
DI Humphrey Goodman Kris Marshall 2014— 3.1— 12
Officer Dwayne Myers Danny John-Jules 2011— 1.1— 28
Sergeant Florence Cassell Joséphine Jobert 2015— 4.1— 4
Catherine Bordey Élizabeth Bourgine 2011— 1.2— 22
Commissioner Selwyn Patterson Don Warrington 2011— 1.1— 15
DI Richard Poole Ben Miller 2011–14 1.1–3.1 17
Sergeant Fidel Best Gary Carr 2011–14 1.1–3.8 24
DS Camille Bordey Sara Martins 2011—2015[5] 1.1—4.4[6] 28

      Character has a major role in the current series.

      Character is no longer featuring in the series.


  • Sara Martins only appeared briefly at the very end of Episode 1.06 due to an injury-her absence was explained on screen as Camille being away on a course in Paris. Therefore, she was still credited as a main character in the episode.
  • Aside from the main cast, the only actor(s) to appear in more than one episode of the programme are Adrian Dunbar, who played Aidan Miles in Episodes 7-8 of the first series in 2011 and Morven Christie, who played Sally Goodman in Episodes 1 and 8 of Series 3 in 2014. However, only her voice featured in Series 3, Episode 1 and she only physically appeared in Episode 8.
  • Episode count is as of Episode 4.4

Episode list[edit]

Four series of eight episodes each, airing in late 2011, early 2013, early 2014 and early 2015 respectively, have been made so far, with 32 episodes having been produced as yet.


Deshaies' church is right next to the fictional Honoré police station'.

The series has been filmed on the French island of Guadeloupe in the Lesser Antilles, mainly on the site of Deshaies (which doubles for the fictional town of Honoré on the fictional island of Saint Marie), with the help of the Bureau d’accueil des tournages de la Région Guadeloupe.[7] Ben Miller left the series at the start of series 3 as he believed he was spending too much time away from his family, his wife was unable to join him on the island during production as she couldn't bear the heat. Kris Marshall's family have on the other hand joined him on the island during the six month shoot and he is proud his young daughter has enrolled at a local school and is learning French.


Viewing figures[edit]

Regarding ratings, the series has gained popularity with every new series. The first series averaged 5-6 million viewers, with the 3rd averaging 8 million. The premiere of the 4th series was the most-watched premiere to date.

Series 1's first episode received final viewing figures of just over 6 million, outperforming ITV’s celebrity reality series 71 Degrees North.[8] The rest of the first series performed well, with 5-6 million viewers every episode.

Series 2 started with just over 8 million viewers[9] and a 28.8% share of the audience for the 9-10 pm time slot.[10] This was up by 1.3 million viewers, and 5% audience share, from the opening of the previous series and was, up to that time, the highest-rated episode of the drama on BBC television. Series 2 enjoyed consistently high ratings, with overnight figures for the first four episodes all passing the six-million figure and the fifth only slightly missing out with an overnight rating of 5.97, which was still the highest-rated broadcast programme for the time slot with an audience share of 25.8%.[11]

Series 3 began with 8.69 million, at that time the most-watched episode of the programme so far. The rest of the series was, on average, the most-watched to date, with consolidated figures of over 8 million for every episode.

Series 4's premiere episode achieved an overnight rating of 6.9 million, the same as the premiere of series 2. However, consolidated figures showed that it was in fact the most-watched episode of the programme to date, with almost 9 million tuning in and it was the second-most watched programme of the week in the UK. [12]

Critical Reception[edit]

The series has been generally well received by critics. The first series was praised for its refreshing style and setting. Kris Marshall's addition to the cast at the start of series 3 was particularly well received, with Rebecca Smith of 'The Telegraph' citing Marshall as a 'winning addition' to the cast. [13] The series 4 premiere was described as 'a little piece of escapism,' and was generally praised.

DVD release[edit]

Series Region 2 Region 1 Discs
1 8 October 2012[14] 17 June 2014[15] 2
2 4 March 2013 16 Sep 2014[16] 3
3 10 March 2014 5 May 2015[17] 3
4 2 March 2015 N/A N/A


Series 1 and 2 were broadcast in the San Francisco Bay Area on KQED "Mystery Night" in 2013.[18] Series 1 aired in January and February 2013 and series 2 aired in April and May 2013. In the New England area, WGBX started airing Series 1 and 2 in 2013.


Theme Song[edit]

The theme song is a Jamaican song from the 1960s, "You're Wondering Now", written by Coxsone Dodd, originally recorded by The Skatalites and Andy & Joey in Jamaica. It was later made famous in Europe by ska band The Specials and later still by Amy Winehouse as featured on some editions of the deluxe version of her album Back to Black. In the first episode of the third series, the original song recorded by The Skatalites is played at the bar. It appeared on the official Death in Paradise soundtrack, released in January 2015, alongside other music from all 4 series.


In January 2015, an official soundtrack compiling 26 songs from the first 4 series of the show was released by the BBC. It contains original music for Death in Paradise and already existant tunes.


  1. ^ "Death in Paradise series three confirmed". Radio Times. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  2. ^ Plunkett, John (27 February 2014). "David Walliams to star as BBC bags Agatha Christie drama deal". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Death in Paradise, BBC One. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  4. ^ Death in Paradise, Alibi TV. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ (French) Meurtre au paradis. L’industrie du cinéma teste la Guadeloupe sur France-Antilles le 11 septembre 2011.
  8. ^ "Death in Paradise launches with nearly 6 million viewers". Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "Top 30 Programmes". BARB. 3 February 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  10. ^ Plunkett, John (9 January 2013). "Death in Paradise returns with nearly 7 million viewers". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "Tuesday Ratings: Death in Paradise Continues To Perform For BBC One". ATV Today. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Death in Paradise – Series 1 (DVD)". Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Episode 106, KQED Plus: Fri, 15 February 2013 – 7:59pm

External links[edit]