Death in Paradise

Death in Paradise is not your average soap opera, rather an original novel idea from the BBC, featuring a detective who would give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money.

When the local police chief is murdered on the (non-existent) Caribbean island of Saint-Marie, a detective from Croydon is sent out to solve the crime, and ends up staying. No, he would much rather be home in South London, tracking down rioters, or maybe he could bring the killer of Jill Dando to book – unlike his brethren who didn’t even ask the unlikely suspect the two most important questions.

Detective Inspector Richard Poole is not so much an ace sleuth as a genius, although it takes another kind of genius to dream up the situations he and his team find themselves in, and write the scripts.

Brilliant detective though he is, Poole has no social graces at all, and is almost certainly the only person on the island of Guadeloupe (where the series was filmed) who wears a suit and tie all the time. As Mr Coward said: mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

The BBC has commissioned 8 episodes, though undoubtedly more will follow. Danny John-Jules appears in a supporting role, looking very different from when he played the Cat in the classic soap opera Red Dwarf along with Craig Charles as Lister; the latter having now found a new home in the ITV soap Coronation Street.

Last night saw episode 6, although currently all the previous episodes are on BBC iplayer, for those who can receive them.

[The above review was first published November 30, 2011 [UK time], not November 29 as shown on the archived version.]

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