The third series of the BBC One crime drama/comedy Death In Paradise
will start on Tuesday 14th January
, with the run of eight one-hour episodes seeing the departure of Ben Miller
as Det Insp Richard Poole, to be replaced by Kris Marshall
as Det Insp Humphrey Goodman.
Returning are Sara Martins
as Det Sgt Camille Bordey, Danny John-Jules
as Officer Dawyne Myers, Gary Carr
as the newly-qualified Sgt Fidel Best, Don Warrington
as Commissioner Selwyn Patterson, and Élizabeth Bourgine
as Camille's mother Catherine.As previously reported
, guest stars will include Peter Davison
, Michelle Ryan
, Clarke Peters
, Adrian Scarborough
, and Sophie Thompson
. The new series will also see Philip Jackson
and Rhys Thomas
Interviews with cast members plus synopses for the first three episodes are given below. Please note that they contain what some may consider spoilers, so readers assume responsibility for clicking to reveal the contents.
What were your first thoughts when you saw the script and saw your end?
I was shocked when I first read the script, but then found the scenario very comical. I loved the fact he was dispatched with an ice pick, I thought that was really poetic and quite funny. It was very bold, imaginative and a really great end to Richard Poole.
How did it feel to film your the last scene?
It was emotional. No matter how much you imagine what it is going to be like - filming your own death - to be lying there in your character's costume in a pool of fake blood feels quite final, and you can’'t help but feel a little vulnerable! Richard entered with a bang and left with a bang.
How was it shot?
I had a fake knife in my chest - the handle was sticking out and it was on a plate under my clothes. Then, I had a tube that ran up inside the costume to the point where the ice pick would go in which fed the fake blood up through a pipe. We had a man there with a bag of blood and what looked like a bicycle pump forcing the liquid through the tube so you could get a real shot of the blood spreading. It looked great! We don't ever go too over the top on the gore though - it's not that sort of show.
What did you think of the fact that Richard met his end with an ice pick?
I thought it was great because obviously you want to kill Richard with something to do with heat, given his aversion to it, so I kind of guessed it was something to do with that. However, I never guessed an ice pick – that was a brilliant idea!
What is your lasting memory from your time on the show?
I have so many very vivid memories of Death In Paradise. Everything seems more alive in Guadeloupe, mostly because the jungle is just two steps over your shoulder. It's also because the people are so much larger than life. It's the local people I will miss most, many of them worked on the crew and were huge characters. One of my memories is being taught to dance the zouk by our props master, Jean Michelle. Whenever we were at the bar he would drag me on to the dance floor to do the zouk, which is an incredibly intimate dance, usually done with a man and a woman!
Are you happy with the way your exit was written?
I think it was the right choice. If Richard was in too much of the series, it would be odd. You really want to establish a new character as soon as possible and what I particularly liked was that Richard came to the island to investigate a murder of a detective inspector and that the new detective does exactly the same. I love the way history repeats itself.
What do you think of Kris in action?
The thing that struck me the second I saw him was that he had the air of someone who knew exactly what they were doing. He had really thought about the character and I was so impressed by his professionalism. It is a huge responsibility to bear - remembering all those lines in the heat and carrying a lot of story - but he adjusted well and was incredibly impressive.
Are you going to be watching the first show go out?
I'm going to be running my whodunit Twitter competition as ever, inviting people to guess the murderer. You have to put the correct name of the murderer, you also need to have means, motive and opportunity, followed by #whodunit. This time I have a dog in that fight so let's see if we can catch the guilty party!
What we can expect from the new series of Death In Paradise?
It's still a fish-out-of-water story, but there is a new fish in town. As it is such a popular existing show it was very important that I fitted in with the show rather than the show fitting around me. Fans can expect lots more of the same, with lots more fun and puzzling murders.
Tell us about Det Insp Humphrey Goodman.
Humphrey is in his early 40s, married and was a detective inspector with the Metropolitan Police in London before being transferred to Saint-Marie. He's kind of stuck in a rut and wants a change in his life but doesn't quite know what it is he wants. However, when he gets a call to go to Saint-Marie he seems to drop everything and gets on a plane with just a suit and two shirts! He shows up in Saint-Marie with the intention of his wife following on afterwards because she is a botanist and he thinks she'd love the rainforest on the island, but I don't think things are going to work out that way.
How does Humphrey get on with his new team?
To begin with, not very well at all - they think he is quite odd, a bit of an idiot and in the way. Of course, they are grieving over the loss of their previous boss and don't react well to some guy from London coming in and literally treading all over their investigation. However, gradually, as the series goes on, he begins to fit in as their little odd boss. They still think his methods are slightly off the wall, but as the series progresses they become a good team.
Does Humphrey feel a very different character from ones you have played in the past?
Obviously he's not as young as some of the characters I have played in the past, but then I'm not as young either! I read that Jack Nicholson once said that two-thirds of every character you play is yourself - you can never get too far away from yourself. So, Humphrey's character is partly me, just a heightened, exaggerated version! There are probably also links to other characters I have played in the past.
How was it moving out to Guadeloupe for six months?
It was amazing, but quite hard to begin with. I went out by myself first, then my wife and son followed a month later. It was hard to begin with because the pressure was on - not just starting a new job but as the lead on a big, existing, and popular series. It was tough again when my wife came out and she obviously had to find her feet with our son. When you have an eight-month-old son you are still working out how to look after him, let alone when it's 35 degree heat! However, it soon all slotted into place. We were well looked after and lived locally, with our son going to the local crèche. My wife was teaching yoga to the cast and crew, which was great. I did miss England, which is natural when you are away from home. This is, until I got home and I thought, what am I doing back here? I want my flip-flops back!
What was it like joining such an established cast?
It was daunting to begin with because I have never joined an existing show and cast before, and as it's such a popular show you don't want to mess it up. I was really honoured and humbled by the BBC entrusting me with one of their most popular shows. That really meant a lot to me. I just wanted to assimilate myself but still keep the series familiar to viewers. Of course, it's set in the same place, the other cast members are still the same, so not much has changed, but I want people to like it as much as they did before. I don't think it would have been as easy as it has been if the established cast hadn't made me feel so welcome. They were amazing.
What guest stars did you enjoy working with?
Sophie Thompson who is in the first episode - she and I have done the last four jobs together! She is clearly following me around and I can't seem to stop it! It's always lovely to work with Sophie though. I have worked with quite a few before, including Adrian Scarborough and Phil Jackson. It's lovely actually, it's like they all come out to see you. One of my favourite people to work with though was Rhys Thomas who is in episode two. We are about the same age, both have kids and one night did an awesome karaoke-off! We sang Under Pressure - he sang the Freddie Mercury bit and I sang the David Bowie bit, and it was awesome!
What can we expect from the new series of Death In Paradise?
The new series obviously has a new dynamic because we have a new lead character, Humphrey Goodman. It follows the same format that fans love and know about the show, but it has new experiences and encounters. The big thing for the group is adjusting and adapting to a new character - someone who, again, is foreign, but completely different to Richard Poole.
What effect does Richard's death and departure have on the team?
The team loved Richard, even though he was quite odd! They adored and loved him, so his death is devastating for them, but at the same time they owe it to him to solve his murder case and find out who the killer was. I think every episode they think about Richard and want to do the best they can in honour of him.
How does Humphrey fit into the team?
What's great is that Humphrey isn't trying to be Richard Poole, he's a completely different character. He brings a lot of energy - and chaos! - but it's great for the team because he's the complete opposite of Richard, who was very by-the-book and all about rules and logic. He was like a scientist in that way. Humphrey's not like that at all, he's the oddball and brings a lot of madness, but he gets the result.
How has being promoted to sergeant changed Fidel?
In this series, Fidel's trying to figure out what a sergeant does and how he slots into that role, you see him really try to figure out how it all works. It's a big learning curve for him. Dwayne is guiding him, but obviously in Dwayne's way and Dwayne's rules. Dwayne knows his stuff and is a great officer, but Fidel's a sergeant now. Dwayne may think he knows best but Fidel is his boss now!
There are some great guest stars in the new series. With whom did you enjoy working?
I loved working with all of them but Clarke Peters was particularly cool. I was so excited by him in The Wire. I also remember seeing him in a play in the West End when I was about seven and thinking "This is amazing, this is what I want to do!" The guest stars keep getting more and more exciting every series.
You've had huge success in the past 12 months. What's next for you?
I'm doing a play at the Royal Court called The Pass which is a brilliant story and really interesting subject matter. I'm also making a music album in Paris with some amazing musicians, which is very exciting. I can't wait to finally get that off the ground.
What can you tell us about the new series of Death In Paradise?
I think each series goes from strength to strength. The characters have been developed further, we've got loads more guest stars this year, some who have come from as far away as Hollywood, so I hope the audience will feel like they're getting more of what they've been craving over the last year.
What's in store for your character Dwayne this coming series?
Dwayne is becoming more accepting of the new status quo at Honoré Police Department and having these strange English detectives join the team. They're a bit too meticulous for his liking, but Dwayne has developed into a very good policeman. He now uses his "streetwise" much more to help solve the crimes.
How has the dynamic changed on set following the departure of Ben Miller and the arrival of new cast member Kris Marshall?
The dynamics on set have stayed pretty much the same. We've had two very funny guys as the lead - one whose sense of humour is slightly drier than the other, but two people who are always up for having a good time. They're both very hard-working - it is a lot of work for the lead guy in the series. Obviously once the work is done, though, they both enjoy themselves, go out to dinner, and have fun with the cast and crew. The leading man always has to be in the thick of it, and both guys were quite happy to take up that mantle and be the life and soul of the party. As far as their on-screen characters are concerned, Richard Poole and Humphrey Goodman are different, particularly in their approach to solving the crimes. What keeps them both interesting is the supporting characters around them such as Dwayne, and the way they react to the new arrivals. As long as they are not local they're going to have a certain way of working that is going to be different to the locals, and that's what brings the comedy.
What has it been like filming on the beautiful island of Guadeloupe?
Filming in Guadeloupe is a dream come true, particularly because the island that my parents live on is literally a two-hour ferry ride away! I was fairly familiar with the local surroundings for this reason, but to be out there filming a TV show is amazing! How many people in their career get to go and film in the Caribbean? I'm one of the small community of actors that have acquired that privilege. At the same time, though, if you have to do a scene running through a jungle in 100 degrees, then you might not be so happy to be on the island!
Is it difficult for you to blend comedy with drama in the show?
Not really, because I don't like going in for the gag. I have always believed that comedy comes out of real-life situations. I've been known to laugh harder at dead- straight cowboy films than comedies before. Just look at Blazing Saddles - it was inspired by real cowboy movies. Experiencing that kind of comedy was a big learning curve for me. I think that playing for the laugh has not really worked for me. I tend to play for real and if the scenario is funny then we will laugh anyway!
What is it about this show that sets it apart from other series?
What sets Death In Paradise apart is that, unlike other genres where the characters have been brought up in the same scenario, Death In Paradise takes a detective and puts them in a completely alien surrounding where people do things completely different. The cases get solved but you see the characters learning from each other, culturally and professionally.
Written by Robert Thorogood.
The team is left stunned and heart-broken when Detective Inspector Richard Poole (Ben Miller) is found murdered with an ice pick following a university reunion he was attending.
Battling their grief and determined to catch the killer of their friend, Camille (Sara Martins), Fidel (Gary Carr) and Dwayne (Danny John-Jules) are joined by new detective inspector Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) to help them get to the bottom of the tragic and mysterious case. Unfortunately, Humphrey's naturally bumbling and accident-prone ways mean he doesn't make a great first impression.
With the crime scene a remote villa only accessible by car, all the attendees of the reunion are prime suspects. However, after 25 years of not seeing one another, who could possibly hold a grudge against Richard? Did trip organiser Angie (Sophie Thompson) have an ulterior motive for the reunion? Has Richard's old flame Sasha (Helen Baxendale) got something to hide? Or has Sasha's husband James (Mark Bazeley) finally let his jealous streak take over?
To make matters more complicated, the murder appears to have been committed in plain sight of all those at the party. How did someone stab Richard with no-one seeing? Humphrey is increasingly baffled and, still not feeling part of the team yet, takes solace in knowing that at least his wife will soon be joining him on the island. If only he can just solve this case first and show his new team what a brilliant detective he is . . .
Written by Daisy Coulam.
When a stand-in working on a zombie film being shot on the island suddenly dies on set, Humphrey and the team are called to investigate the murder. The victim appears to have been poisoned, but why would someone want to murder a lowly stand-in who had only been on the island a week?
Having gained all the evidence, it all seems to point towards the idea that the film's lead actress Lexi Cunningham (Michelle Ryan) was actually the intended victim in a plan gone wrong. From here, the team quickly focus their investigation on three key suspects: film director Carl Collins (Rhys Thomas), script writer Arnold Finch (Peter Davison), and on-set runner Susie Jenkins (Hannah Tointon). But why would any of them want their lead actress dead?
With the three suspects in mind, Humphrey and the team start to discover that the world of film-making is just as duplicitous and scheming as one might expect. The film set is teeming with ruthless ambition, creative jealousy, and behind-the-scenes affairs. All three suspects have a motive, but which one did it?
Written by Paul Logue.
Det Insp Goodman and the team are called to investigate the death of an old school friend of Fidel's, Carlton Parish (Steve Cole), who has been shot at his home.
Last seen at an art viewing held at a gallery owned by connoisseur Leo Pascal (Adrian Scarborough), Carlton was in attendance with wealthy, older woman, Dorothy Foster (Sharon Small). Witnesses also claim to have seen Carlton having an altercation with Marc Campese (Tristan Gemmill), the owner of private members' club The Reef Club. With only a call from Carlton claiming that a woman was going to kill him to go on, Humphrey and the team start analysing their suspects.
They soon discover that Carlton made his living as a male escort and, as a result, has sparked motives in a number of disgruntled female exes, including the "Dragon Lady" (Josette Simon) herself, Judge Ann Stone, and Marc Campese's wife Lauren (Vinette Robinson). Did any of the loved-up women have reason to kill Carlton?
With emotions running high, Fidel is finding it tough to investigate his old friend's murder, forcing him to confront some long-buried issues. Will he be able to put these aside in order to bring his friend's killer to justice?
The guest cast lists plus character names for all eight episodes are as follows:Episode 1
Sasha Moore: Helen Baxendale
Angie Birkett: Sophie Thompson
James Moore: Mark Bazeley
Roger Sadler: Tim DuttonEpisode 2
Lexi Cunningham: Michelle Ryan
Arnold Finch: Peter Davison
Carl Collins: Rhys Thomas
Susie Jenkins: Hannah Tointon
Thea: Phoebe Thomas
Big Dave: Peter BankoleEpisode 3
Leo Pascal: Adrian Scarborough
Dorothy Foster: Sharon Small
Marc Campese: Tristan Gemmill
Lauren Campese: Vinette Robinson
Judge Stone: Josette Simon
Carlton Paris: Steve ColeEpisode 4
Adam: Raza Jaffrey
Simone Magon: Kathryn Drysdale
Helen Williams: Sophie Colquhoun
Paul Bevans: Daniel Lapaine
Max Leigh: Chris Geere
Natasha: Felicite Du JeuEpisode 5
Marlon: Clarke Peters
Jacob: Simon Shepherd
Drew: James Musgrave
Charlotte: Haydn Gwynne
Theo: Eriq Ebouaney
Lena Bell: Nina Toussaint-WhiteEpisode 6
Captain Jack: Paul Barber
Alec Burton: Mark Heap
Matt Webster: William Beck
Gloria: Lisa Kay
Dan Parish: Ciaran McMenamin
Marc: Richard Huw
Yasmin: Hannah John-KamenEpisode 7
Alexander: Joseph Marcell
Terrance: Jimmy Akingbola
Joseph: Chris Obi
Anna: Nikki Amuka-BirdEpisode 8
Colin: Rupert Vansittart
Jim: Phil Davis
Emma: Kate Fahy
David: Philip Jackson
Sylvane: Sara Niles
Judith: Joanna David
Pam: Michele Dotrice
Sally: Morven Christie
The programme, which is filmed on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, doubling for the fictional island of Saint-Marie, has gone from strength to strength over the past two series, bringing in an average consolidated figure of almost eight million viewers each episode for the second series.Death In Paradise
is a Red Planet Pictures production in association with BBC Worldwide, produced with the support of the region of Guadeloupe. It was created by Robert Thorogood
. Tony Jordan
and Belinda Campbell
are the executive producers for Red Planet Pictures and Polly Hill
is the executive producer for BBC One.