Along with Rizzoli & Isles, Death In Paradise is one of my favourite crime shows. Its 9th series is currently airing on BBC.
It’s not your usual crime drama. It’s very light-hearted and many people have accused it of being too formulaic. In a way it is but that is part of its charm. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and the humour is very family friendly and funny.
If you’ve never seen it the basic premise is this:- Set on the Caribbean Island of Saint Marie, a British police inspector leads a team of officers who, amongst other things, have to deal with the abnormally high murder rate for such a small island. The island itself has changed hands through history, being owned by the Dutch, French and English. The island is made up of mostly French and English speaking people.
The lead inspector is an officer seconded from the Metropolitan Police and he lives in ‘The Shack’ on the beach along with Harry the Lizard. In Series 1, DI Richard Poole (Ben Miller) arrives on the island to investigate the murder of the previous inspector, Charlie Hulme. At the start of Series 3, Richard Poole is murdered and DI Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) arrives on the island as the new inspector whose first case it to solve Poole’s murder.
Humphrey eventually finds love and returns to London during Series 6. Newly widowed DI Jack Mooney (Ardal O’Hanlon) takes over as the new DI. Unfortunately, Jack who is my favourite so far, is due to leave part-way through Series 9. Hopefully he gets a nice ending, not like the theories that are flying around Reddit! Actor Ralf Little, of The Royle Family fame, is taking over as DI Neville Parker.
All of the detectives so far have had their quirks and odd methods of detection.
The resident Detective Inspector is aided by a team of three. A Detective Sergeant and two Officers.
Camille Bordey (Sara Martins) is the DS from Series 1 to 4. DS Florence Cassell (Josephine Jobert) took over and stayed until Series 8. DS Madeleine Dumas (Aude Legastelois) has recently joined the cast to replace Florence.
Past officers include Officer Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules) left to go travelling with his father, Officer and later Sergeant Fidel Best (Gary Carr) moved to a different island due to his promotion. The current team consists of Officer JP Hooper (Tobi Bakare) and fresh-out-of-the-academy Officer Ruby Patterson (Shyko Amos) who brings a new level of humour to the show.
The writers are very good at coming up with new and inventive ways of murdering people and whilst there is a set formula for each episode, they still manage to fool me.
There are a number of recurring characters, but the main two are Police Commissioner Selwyn Patterson (Don Warrington) who is also Uncle to Officer Ruby Patterson- I can guarantee that he will stick his nose in somewhere during the investigation!
The other is Catherine Bordey (Elizabeth Bourgine) a local bar owner, Mayor of Saint Marie and mother to original DS Camille Bordey. I began keeping count of how many free drinks Catherine gave away but had to give up!
If I had to choose my ultimate team it would be the following:-
DI Jack Mooney (Ardal O’Hanlon)
DS Florence Cassell (Josephine Jobert)
Officer JP Hooper (Tobi Bakare)
Officer Ruby Patterson (Shyko Amos)
Whilst I miss Jack and Florence, I can’t wait to see what Ralf Little brings to the show! The casting is always spot on!
Though I’d love to see an episode that brought Fidel, Camille, Humphrey, Jack, Dwayne and Florence back to the island to work with the new team! Maybe I’ll write a story myself!
If you aren’t in the UK but have access to any of the BBC Worldwide Services that show DiP then I highly recommend you check it out.