Death in Paradise (TV series)

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Death in Paradise
Alt=Series titles in holiday style passport stamp
Genre Crime, drama, comedy
Created by Robert Thorogood
Starring
Composer(s) Magnus Fiennes
Country of origin United Kingdom
France
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 24 (List of episodes)
Production
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
Broadcast
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 lighthearted crime drama television series created by Robert Thorogood and starring Ben Miller (Series 1–2), Kris Marshall (Series 3—present) and Sara Martins (Series 1—present). The programme is a joint UK and French production, filmed on the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe.

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] The BBC announced on 9 April 2013 that Ben Miller would exit Death in Paradise at the start of Series 3, while a new detective, Detective Inspector Humphrey Goodman (played by Kris Marshall), would be arriving in his place.[2] Series 3 began airing on 14 January 2014. On 28 February 2014, Death in Paradise was renewed for a fourth series.[3]

The third series started a second showing on BBC One on August 4, 2014 [4] and the UK's Alibi channel started rerunning earlier series from August 16, 2014.[5]

Synopsis[edit]

A detective is assigned to investigate a murder on the paradise island of Saint-Marie in the Caribbean.[6] Maladroit London detective Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) arrives at the start of Series 3, drafted to investigate the stabbing death of his predecessor, the strait-laced Richard Poole (Ben Miller), who, at the start of Series 1, had arrived to investigate the murder of his predecessor — and stayed on to head the island's detectives, his personal hell on Earth.[7]

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.

Characters[edit]

  • 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. He generally formed a good bond with his new team despite the occasional personality clash (as opposed to his old role in London, where his colleagues threw a party after his departure). In the final episode of Series 1, Poole heard his old job in London was still available; but the commissioner delayed telling him until Poole had only a few hours to apply. He missed the deadline and became the island's permanent detective chief inspector.
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.
He sometimes used his modest beach house, shared with a small lizard he named Harry, as a makeshift forensic lab, improvising equipment to make up for the island's lack thereof. However, evidence and bodies normally have to be flown to Guadeloupe for examination, incurring a time penalty of half a day or more in investigations.
  • Detective Inspector Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall), assigned to Saint Marie after Poole was stabbed in the heart with an ice pick 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 an outsider. He obsessed over small details and was extremely maladroit.
  • 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.
  • Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules): Lacking ambition, but with complete faith in his seniors and perhaps too-good an understanding of the criminal mind.
  • Sergeant Fidel Best (Gary Carr): Young, hard-working and, at the start of series 3, recently promoted.
  • Commissioner Selwyn Patterson (Don Warrington): The island's police commissioner, responsible for hiring its accident prone detective inspectors.
  • 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.

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).

Appearances of main and recurring characters[edit]

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— 8
DS Camille Bordey Sara Martins 2011— 1.1— 24
Fidel Best Gary Carr 2011–2015 1.1–4.1 24
Dwayne Myers Danny John-Jules 2011— 1.1— 24
Commissioner Selwyn Patterson Don Warrington 2011— 1.1— 13
Catherine Bordey Élizabeth Bourgine 2011— 1.1— 19
DI Richard Poole Ben Miller 2011–14 1.1–3.1 17
Aidan Miles Adrian Dunbar 2011 1.7–1.8 2
Sally Goodman Morven Christie 2014 3.1, 3.8 2
Florence Cassell Josephine Jobert 2015— 4.2— 2

      Character has a major role in the current series.

      Character is no longer featuring in the series.

Notes:

  • Sara Martins only appeared at the very end in Episode 1.06 due to an injury however she was still credited and therefore was still counted as a main character in the episode.
  • Aside from the main cast, the only actor to appear in more than one episode of the programme was Adrian Dunbar, who played Aidan Miles in Episodes 7 and 8 of Series 1, and Morven Christie, who played Sally Goodman, in Episodes 1 and 8 of Series 3.
  • Only Sally Goodman's voice featured in Series 3, Episode 1. She did not physically appear until Episode 8.
  • Episode count is as of Episode 3.8
  • Garry Carr will depart in Series 4 Episode 1, when taking up a job on a neighboring island. Josephine Jobert will replace him, as Florence Cassell. Don Warrington as Commissioner Selwyn Patterson will play a larger role than usual.

Episode list[edit]

Three series of eight episodes each, airing in late 2011, early 2013 and early 2014, respectively, have been produced so far.

Production[edit]

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.[8] 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.

Reception[edit]

The first episode received final viewing figures of just over 6 million, outperforming ITV’s celebrity reality series 71 Degrees North.[9]

Series 2 started with just over 8 million viewers[10] and a 28.8% share of the audience for the 9-10 pm time slot.[11] 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%.[12]

DVD release[edit]

Series 1 of Death in Paradise was released as a region-2 two-disc set on 8 October 2012.[13] Series 2 was released on three discs in region 2 on 4 March 2013. Series 3 was released on three discs in region 2 on 10 March 2014.

US release[edit]

Series 1 and 2 are being shown in the San Francisco Bay Area on KQED "Mystery Night" in 2013.[14] Series 1 aired in January and February 2013, Series 2 aired in April and May 2013, and then Series 1 began repeating on October 6, 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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Death in Paradise series three confirmed". Radio Times. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  2. ^ Munn, Patrick (2013-04-09). "Ben Miller Exits BBC One's 'Death In Paradise', Kris Marshall Cast As New Detective". TVWise. Retrieved 2013-10-27. 
  3. ^ Plunkett, John (27 February 2014). "David Walliams to star as BBC bags Agatha Christie drama deal". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Series 3: Episodes, BBC One. Retrieved: 5 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Death in Paradise: Episodes airing soon", Alibi TV. Retrieved: 5 August 2014.
  6. ^ Death in Paradise, BBC One. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  7. ^ Death in Paradise, Alibi TV. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  8. ^ (French) Meurtre au paradis. L’industrie du cinéma teste la Guadeloupe sur France-Antilles le 11 septembre 2011.
  9. ^ "Death in Paradise launches with nearly 6 million viewers". ATVtoday.co.uk. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  10. ^ "Top 30 Programmes". BARB. 2013-02-03. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  11. ^ Plunkett, John (9 January 2013). "Death in Paradise returns with nearly 7 million viewers". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  12. ^ "Tuesday Ratings: Death in Paradise Continues To Perform For BBC One". ATV Today. 2013-01-30. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  13. ^ "Death in Paradise – Series 1 (DVD)". BBCShop.com. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  14. ^ Episode 106, KQED Plus: Fri, 15 Feb 2013 – 7:59pm

External links[edit]