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Death in Paradise (TV series)

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Original language(s)

Program creator

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Country of origin
United KingdomFrance

First episode date
25 October 2011

Death in Paradise (TV series) httpsichefbbcicoukimagesic480x270p03dmn8

Crime dramaDetective fiction

Ben MillerSara MartinsDanny John-JulesGary CarrDon WarringtonÉlizabeth BourgineKris MarshallJoséphine JobertTobi BakareSally BrettonArdal O'Hanlon


An english detective roams the caribbean death in paradise series 1 episode 1 bbc one

Death in Paradise is a British-French crime comedy drama television series created by Robert Thorogood, starring Ben Miller (series 1–3), Kris Marshall (series 3–6) & Ardal O'Hanlon (series 6–present). The programme is a joint UK and French production filmed on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe and broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom and France 2 in France. Death in Paradise has enjoyed high ratings, leading to repeated renewals. A sixth series began broadcasting on Thursday 5 January 2017. The series will return in 2018 for a seventh series.


Death in paradise intro ending


British detective Richard Poole (Ben Miller) is assigned to investigate the murder of a British police officer on the fictional paradise island of Saint Marie in the Caribbean. After he successfully finds the murderer, he is reluctantly required by his supervisors to replace the victim and stay on as the detective inspector (DI) of the island, solving new cases as they appear, and being the object of many fish-out-of-water jokes. At the start of Series 3, Poole is killed and maladroit London detective Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) arrives to investigate the death of his strait-laced predecessor. He then stays in the job as chief investigator on the island. However, in the second half of Series 6, he follows his heart and resigns so he can stay in London with his new girlfriend Martha Lloyd. His replacement on Saint Marie is DI Jack Mooney, played by Ardal O'Hanlon. The British detectives work alongside the local Saint Marie police team to solve murders.


While Death in Paradise has continued to be in the top three most popular programmes on British television, critics have called the crime drama "unremarkable" and "...an undemanding detective show, with nice Caribbean scenery." The show is known for its formulaic approach to its plots. Each episode is roughly the same in both style and narrative structure. Each episode begins with a pre-credits sequence showing the events leading up to a murder, and often the discovery of the body afterwards; this sequence also serves to introduce that particular episode's guest characters. The police force of Saint Marie are subsequently informed of the murder, preliminary investigations and interviews take place to establish the suspects and photographs of the suspects and crime scene are placed on the whiteboard at police headquarters. Often towards the end, the lead DI will have a moment of realisation, perhaps brought on by something that someone says or does or by some occurrence. In this moment, the how, why, and who of the murder are comprehended by the DI, but are not revealed to the audience. The suspects are then all gathered together and the DI talks through the evidence; often, flashbacks are used to show what happened. The murderer and the motive are revealed in the denouement of the episode. Normally, each episode ends with a comedic scene or a celebratory trip by the police force to Catherine's bar. The final episode of most series has included a subplot wherein the lead DI is tempted to return to the UK by the prospect of a job offer or personal relationship, but in the end, they decide to remain on the island.

Saint Marie

Death in Paradise is set on the fictional Caribbean island of Saint Marie, 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 63 square miles (160 km2) in size. Saint Marie is a British Overseas Territory, but about 30 percent of its people are of French culture due to previous history, with the language still widely spoken.

The back-story appears to be a blend of two real-world islands near to Guadeloupe, with size and location aligning with Marie-Galante (in real-life politically affiliated with Guadeloupe, not independent of it), and history and language aligning with Dominica.

In the TV show, the fictional Saint Marie island has a volcano, rainforest, sugar plantations, a fishing harbour, an airport, a university, a convent, approximately 100 public beaches and a Crown Court. It also has its own newspaper, The Saint Marie Times. Honoré, the main town, has a leisure/commercial marina, market, bars, and restaurants as well as the police station. Its main economic ties are to Guadeloupe, the UK, and France. The island's main religions are Catholicism and Vodou, with several religious festivals featuring in the programme, including the Saint Ursula Festival (in reality, a major festival of the Virgin Islands) and some Vodou festivals. In series 6 the neighbouring town to Honoré is named as Port Royal.

Other locations

Episode 3.7 is largely set on an islet just off Saint Marie; it is privately owned and relatively small. This episode was actually filmed on the island of Kahouanne, around 1.9 kilometres (1.2 mi) off the north-west coast of Guadeloupe where the series is normally filmed. It can often be seen in the background from a beach on Saint Marie.


The series has been filmed on the French island of Guadeloupe in the Lesser Antilles, mainly in the commune 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. The site of the Honoré police station is a church hall in Deshaies with the priest's office appearing as their incident room. 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. However, Marshall's family joined him on the island during his first three six-month shoots and his son Thomas enrolled at a local school, however his family did not join him during the filming of the sixth season following the birth of his baby daughter Elsie, thus leaving him feeling "bereft and empty" and he quit the show. From episode 7 of the sixth season the lead role will be taken by Ardal O'Hanlon playing DI Jack Mooney, a London colleague.

Viewing figures

Regarding ratings, the series has gained popularity with every new series. The first series averaged around 5 million viewers, the second around 7 million and the third and fourth around 8 million each. Series 1 began with a premiere that received final viewing figures of just over 6 million, outperforming ITV’s celebrity reality series 71 Degrees North. The rest of the first series performed well, with 5–6 million viewers every episode. Series 2 started with just over 8 million viewers and a 28.8% share of the audience for the 9:00–10:00pm time slot. 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 program for the time slot with an audience share of 25.8%.

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. Episode 5 later surpassed the viewing figures for the premiere, receiving a consolidated figure of 8.84 million. Series 4 premiered with 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 8.92 million tuning in, and it was the second most-watched program of the week in the UK. Later the same series, episodes 4 and 7 both surpassed 7 million viewers in overnight figures, the first episodes to do so. Episode 7 also was the first episode to surpass 9 million in consolidated figures. However, figures for the finale took a significant downturn, receiving 8.31 million viewers; it lost 800,000 viewers from the previous episode, became the least-watched episode of the series and had fewer viewers than the previous series finale.

Critical response

The series has received mixed reviews from critics, with most criticism (as noted above) directed towards its formulaic structure. The first series was praised for its refreshing style and setting. Kris Marshall's introduction at the start of series 3 was particularly well received, with Rebecca Smith of The Daily Telegraph citing Marshall as a "winning addition" to the cast. The series 4 premiere was described as "a little piece of escapism" and was generally praised. Mark Monahan of The Daily Telegraph criticised the laid-back tone of the series, calling it too methodical with nothing unique about it besides the setting.


Red Planet Pictures was nominated for, and won, the "Diversity in a Drama Production Award" for Death In Paradise. Sara Martins, Danny John-Jules, Don Warrington and Tobi Bakare collected the award at a ceremony supported by the BBC and ITV that took place on 15 February 2015.


In the U.K., all series were shown on BBC One. The first series was broadcast in late 2011. The second series was broadcast in January 2013, with subsequent series filling the same January slot; all series were shown in a 9:00–10:00pm slot.

In France the programme is broadcast on France 2.

In the U.S., many, but not all, member stations of PBS broadcast Death In Paradise. Series 1 and 2 were broadcast in the San Francisco Bay Area on KQED Mystery Night in 2013. Series 1 aired in January and February 2013 and series 2 aired in April and May 2013.

In the New England area, WGBH-TV started airing Series 1 and 2 in 2013. Other PBS stations that air the programme as of 2016 include WPBA, WLIW, WTTW, KAET, KUAT and WNED, among others.

All episodes of series 1–4 are available on Netflix for online streaming.

In Australia, recent series have aired nationally on Foxtel within a few hours of their UK release. Series 1–3 were broadcast on ABC One a few months behind original broadcast in the U.K. Generally, this was shown in a 7:30pm Saturday timeslot.

In Canada, all series have been broadcast on BBC Canada on Thursdays at 9:00pm. The last two series have been shown about a month after the BBC One showing.

Theme music

The theme music is an instrumental version of a Jamaican song from the 1960s, "You're Wondering Now," written by Coxsone Dodd, originally recorded by Andy & Joey in Jamaica. It was later made famous by The Skatalites and 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 cover version recorded by The Skatalites in 1994 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 the French version, the opening song is "Sunday Shining" by Finley Quaye.


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 extant tunes.


The creator of the show, Robert Thorogood, signed a three-book deal to write Death in Paradise novels featuring the original characters (D.I. Richard Poole, D.S. Camille Bordey, Officer Dwayne Myers, Sergeant Fidel Best and Comm. Selwyn Patterson). The first of these, A Meditation on Murder (A Death in Paradise novel), was published in January 2015. Early reviews were generally favourable, with the Daily Express in particular being complimentary, giving it four stars. The second book was released in 2016 with the title The Killing of Polly Carter.


Death in Paradise (TV series) Wikipedia

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