Death in Paradise: BBC One Crime Drama Set in the Caribbean

Ben Miller, Sara Martins and Danny John-Jules star in Death in Paradise, an eight-part crime drama due to start on BBC One on Tuesday 25 October 2011. It is set on the fictitious island of Saint-Marie, as Steve Rogerson reports.

When a traditional English policeman – Detective Inspector Richard Poole (played by Ben Miller) – finds himself assigned to the Caribbean island of Saint-Marie, the expectation is that he has the posting of a lifetime, but he hates it, hates every minute of it. That is the setting for Death in Paradise, a new eight-part crime drama due to start on BBC One on Tuesday 25 October 2011.

Poole does not like the sun and the sand, he hates the sea and he is not over keen on the Caribbean style of policing. But he tries to get into the swing of things when a British cop is murdered and he is the investigator in charge helped by local police officers Camile Bordey (played by Sara Martins) and Dwayne Myers (played by Danny John-Jules).

Writer Robert Thorogood got the idea for the show when a British policeman was sent out to head up a murder enquiry during the Caribbean Cricket World Cup. “I imagined an uptight and by-the-book London copper trying to solve a murder in the sweltering heat of the Tropics,” he said in the BBC press release. “There was a series in this. I was sure of it.”

But Thorogood in those days did not have any writing credits to his name and it took him a long time before he convinced the BBC to go with the show, and he only did that with the help of Tony Jordan from Red Planet Pictures.

“When I got into the room with Tony Jordan, I pitched Death In Paradise to him, and he loved it,” said Thorogood. “And with Tony now championing the idea, the BBC commissioned a script from me and – to cut a very long story short – the series was eventually greenlit two years later.”

Actors in Death in Paradise

Ben Miller is well known these days as James Lester in Primeval and Howard Steel in The Worst Week of My Life, but his career dates back to the early 1990s with appearances on the likes of Paul Merton: The Series and French and Saunders. He also became a regular on Armstrong and Miller on Channel Four from 1997 to 2001, the forerunner of the BBC’s The Armstrong and Miller Show, which is still running today. More recently, he was Martin Logan in The Book Group, Stewart James in Doc Martin, the priest in Popetown and Jonathan Pope in Moving Wallpaper. He also appeared as himself in the first episode of Episodes.

French actress Sara Martins had a number of one-off and film roles before her first recurring TV role as Estelle in CID from 2006 to 2007. She went on to play Jeanne in Merci, Les Enfants Vont Bien!, Sophie Devailly in Les Tricheurs, Fleur in Pigalle, la Nuit and Hélène in Signature.

Danny John-Jules is best known for his portrayal of Cat in the science-fiction comedy Red Dwarf. Other roles include Barrington in Maid Marian and her Merry Men, Byron Lucifer in The Tomorrow People, Ed in The Crouches and Lenny Bicknall in MI High.

Death in Paradise also stars Gary Carr as Fidel Best, Lenora Crichlow as Lily Thomson and Don Warrington as Selwyn Patterson.

Team Behind Death in Paradise

Filmed on location in Guadeloupe, Death in Paradise was written by Robert Thorogood, produced by Red Planet Pictures and Atlantique Productions in association with BBC Worldwide and Kudos Film & Television for BBC One and France Télévisions.

Commissioned by Ben Stephenson, controller of BBC drama commissioning, and Danny Cohen, controller of BBC One, the show has as its executive producers Tony Jordan for Red Planet Pictures and Polly Hill at the BBC.

For the original report go to

19 thoughts on “Death in Paradise: BBC One Crime Drama Set in the Caribbean

  1. So the clever detective is white, his charming, sexy, but not so clever assistant is a half-blood, and the dumb hands are black….do I need to say more?

    1. Not at all. He may be seemingly a clever detective but, as is true for Jeeves and Wooster, it is the no2 in command and the other officers that identify the critical clues and get the case brought to conclusion. The white CID shows awkwardness in his inability to manage the heat and certain aspects of the culture. It focuses on them gelling as a team. If you haven’t watched it…then you cannot really judge

  2. I think the series is great. The characters all have their part to play in solving the crime. However, I do feel that the Inspector does, too suddenly, put 2 and 2 together to solve everything. It is as though the programme was going to overrun so the writer jumped a bit and does not give all the clues to the viewer until the ‘Poirot moment’.
    A bit more of providing clues to the viewer throughout the programme would make it more enjoyable.
    I hope that there will be many more series to come.

    Perhaps Dwayne ‘Dibley’ could progress in rank.

  3. I love,love,love it. Not only is it clever, it also is very funny. I have a liking for Ben’s lovely lizard.

  4. I love the series ‘Death in Paradise.’ I hope the crew is presently filming more episodes. As an observer, the characters seem to work very well together. I began watching the series in 2012. I love the Carribean beauty. My old college buddy attended the medical college in Guadeloupe. The British by-the-book policeman adds to the favor of the laid back carribean life style. People from different countries and cultures are a part of our everyday life, and its makes living more interesting and educational.

  5. The series ‘Death in Paradise’ is very entertaining. I would like to see what all the detectives see in terms of clues. I then can see how observant I am. I particularly like Sara Martins; she reminds of the lovely women of Montreal and other towns in Quebec, where I lived from 1948 to 1976. I would like to hear her speaking in French; humour in different languages is hilarious.

  6. I have just discovered “Death in Paradise” and absolutely love it. Thanks to the 500 channel world here in North America, I have found it being repeated somewhere. Just set the PVR to: “record series” and they just keep popping up.

  7. My husband & I have been viewing seasons 1 & 2 on Netflix as well as the new season 3 episodes. Love the local scenes, the music & the team. A delightful group of actors. Love trying to ID the killer(s) & the reason why.

  8. My husband and I thoroughly enjoy all three seasons. we also like trying to figure out the murderer. Love that the drama is light and airy, love that the humor is truly fun and not profane, love the interactions on the team, love peeking at the island culture. :Please say there will be more episodes – seasons. And soon! from beverly in dry, hot Phoenix. on July 31, 2015 at 2:: 52 P.M.

  9. I absolutely love this series. I was sadden that they ‘killed’ off Poole, but Goodman is a good replacement. I’ve been watching this on Netflix, but had originally watch on our local stations. I love all the characters and of course Harry! My only fear is that like all great shows this series will end. But hopefully not soon.

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