Flash Review: Death in Paradise
Every episode plays out in the same way – there’s a victim, a handful of guest stars who might have done it, and our loveable, ragtag Saint Marie Police Department who must figure it all out to the backdrop of a beautiful Caribbean island. But that’s not quite all there is to Death in Paradise (2011-). Sure, each episode might be an hour’s light entertainment with a clever but quickly solved mystery, but, if you add them all together, they tell a greater story. The four leads are brilliantly cast, each bringing something different to the show:
1) Ben Miller: pedantic, cynical, genius.
2) Kris Marshall: clumsy, lovelorn, buffoonish.
3) Ardal O’Hanlon: caring, kind, lost.
4) Ralf Little: allergy-ridden, pathetic until it matters.
The tone has changed over time, with each lead actor changing the fabric of the programme, even as every episode ultimately keeps the same basic plot. It is exciting to see where Little will take the show in his first full series.
Beyond the leads, the colourful side characters are brilliant too. Don Warrington’s Commissioner, Danny John-Jules’s Dwayne, and Joséphine Jobert’s Florence are all stand-outs, whose company I have enjoyed for hours on end. Sure, the mysteries might not be to the same standard as Vera (2011-), but the inflection of humour gives Death in Paradise its edge. You might think I’m crazy at first for recommending this show, but the longer you spend with the characters, the more you’ll enjoy it.
At time of writing, all 9 series of Death in Paradise are available to watch on the BBC iPlayer, with a new episode of series 10 released every Thursday.