BBC’s Death In Paradise celebrates a decade of curious killings ahead of 10th series

CAPTION: Death in Paradise
CREDIT:
copyright unknown

Get a daily dose of showbiz gossip straight to your inbox with our free email newsletter

Sign upWhen you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. OurPrivacy Noticeexplains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy noticeInvalid Email

Scorching Caribbean sunshine, white sands and crystal blue seas may not be the typical backdrop for a murder mystery.

But for the past 10 years, the fictional island of Saint Marie has become one of the most deadly places on earth, with more than 70 killings. And the eight million viewers of Death in Paradise have enjoyed every second.

Now as the show gets set for its 10th series fans are sure to expect even more drama and familiar faces.

To celebrate we look at some of the show’s most deadly secrets…

The Four Leading Men

For the past 10 years, the fictional island of Saint Marie has become one of the most deadly places on earth, with more than 70 killings
(Image: BBC/Red Planet)

So far, four different actors have played the lead role in the BBC series, Ben Miller, Kris Marshall, Ardal O’Hanlon and Ralf Little.

Miller played the role of DI Richard Poole between series one and series three, before Marshall took the reins as DI Humphrey Goodman.

Then, in series seven, O’Hanlon starred in the leading role as DI Jack Mooney.

And finally, Little appeared last year in series nine as DI Neville Parker.

And one thing all the men had in common was their difficulty to acclimatise to the heat.

Little said: “I don’t know why Ardal was the only one who managed to not have a jacket.

“It was only me and Ben who had ties and jackets. Ben had it worse costume-wise.”

Curious Killings

Saint Marie has seen the deaths of a backpacker, a cricketer, and a professional poker player – to name but a few
(Image: BBC/Red Planet Pictures/Greg Fawcett)

Saint Marie has seen the deaths of a backpacker, a cricketer, and a professional poker player – to name but a few.

Even the show’s original detective, DI Richard Poole (Ben Miller), met a sticky end in season three, when he was stabbed to death with an ice pick while at a reunion. And a riddle helped DI Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall), solve the case.

Yet although each victim comes to an unusual end, the clever clues throughout the series helped viewers to piece together exactly whodunnit.

Beethoven, sticky tape and a Rubik’s cube have all been hints which help viewers to solve the crimes.

Executive producer Tim Keys says: “The genre is suitable for family viewing, parlour games people play along with.” Death in Paradise is filmed in the French Caribbean region of Guadeloupe – and most of the filming takes part of the western side of the island.

Tropical Scene

So far, four different actors have played the lead role in the BBC series, Ben Miller, Kris Marshall, Ardal O’Hanlon and Ralf Little
(Image: BBC/Red Planet Pictures/Denis Guyenon)

Saint Marie’s centre, Honoré, is actually the small town of Deshaies and the police station is the office of the local priest.

Potentially one of the most beautiful locations is La Perle Beach, where DI Goodman’s shack is based, with its stunning white beaches and picturesque palms.

Tim says: “You can’t cheat that feeling, when you turn the camera on out in Guadeloupe and on a beautiful day it just infuses the whole programme with it.”

Kick Start

The show is the perfect summery antidote to the country’s January blues when it appears on our screens each winter

The show is the perfect summery antidote to the country’s January blues when it appears on our screens each winter.

Not even coronavirus was going to stop the cast from providing their fans with a dose of vitamin D(eath).

Little said: “The show is so essential for that escapism in January that we knew we had to aim for the same slot.”

Most of the crew had already flown in before the first lockdown. However, as a result of the island’s restrictions filming didn’t start again until July.

Comeback Cast

Despite being murdered in series three, Ben Miller’s character, Richard Poole will be thrilling fans as he returns to the show
(Image: Daily Mirror)

Despite being murdered in series three, Ben Miller’s character, Richard Poole will be thrilling fans as he returns to the show.

But he isn’t the only former cast member making a comeback for the 10th anniversary, for, Poole’s sidekick, DS Camille Bordey (Sara Martins), will also be making a return. DS Florence Cassell (Josephine Jobert) is also back after a two-year absence and Rising Damp star Don Warrington is returning as police Commissioner Selwyn Patterson.

Famous Faces

Alongside the show’s regular cast, there are often a host of celebrity favourites making a guest appearance
(Image: BBC)

Alongside the show’s regular cast, there are often a host of celebrity favourites making a guest appearance

Helen Baxendale, who played Emily Waltham during season four and five of Friends, appeared on the show in 2014, as villain Helen Reid, other well known characters include Matthew Horne.

And, this year, viewers can look forward to seeing Jason Manford and Emmerdale hunk Kelvin Fletcher.

Tim explains: “I always think guests have the best jobs. They fly in for a fortnight and aren’t working every day.”

Keep It Quirky

The show has been slammed by viewers for its “unbelievable” storylines. However, the light-hearted, anti-realism of the show is one of its biggest charms.

Miller said: “I’m looking across the bay and a bride falls off the top of a building. It was quite obviously a dummy. It didn’t even bend.“I said, ‘Oh right, so that’s so you can track it for the special effect later, is it?’ He said, ‘No, that is the effect… We don’t want it to look too realistic’. That’s part of the genius of the show.”

Caring Crew

The show is just as vibrant behind the scenes. But Tim admits that filming so far away from home can have its drawbacks. He says: “There’s a lot of fun behind the scenes and a lot of socialising. But working away from home for that long brings a lot of challenges for people and the weather is a huge challenge for us.

“Anybody who has been to the Caribbean knows what the weather can do and how quickly it can turn. But everybody looks out for each other. When someone is struggling because they are away from home, people gather round them and give them a hug.”

And dealing with the pandemic, Tim says: “Everyone knew what was at stake and wanted to work and prove that the industry could keep going through this.”

The Tenth Series

The show is just as vibrant behind the scenes
(Image: PA)

Tim says: “I’m really proud of this series, this year more than every other.

“The 10th anniversary year of the show does what we wanted it to do – which is celebrate the past, give the audience flashbacks, but drive the show forwards. It’ll be the usual mix of really good storytelling, some heartfelt moments.

“I think it will surprise the audience and show them that it’s not just a series that is resting on its laurels.”

The Future

Recommissioned for two more series, will the show run for another 10 years?

“Fingers crossed, I hope so,” Tim says. “We believe it can run and run and run. We’ve got loads of stories still to tell. It’s a very hard line to walk.

“You want to deliver the audience the show they expect but you don’t want to be accused of just doing the same thing.” He teased: “We can do two-parters and have surprising ways of telling stories.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *