A little over a year ago, Kris Marshall was faced with the daunting task of replacing Ben Miller as the principle character in Death in Paradise, the BBC comedy/mystery/drama set on the fictional Caribbean island of Saint Marie. Marshall took over as the island’s new lead detective, DI Humphrey Goodman after his predecessor was found with an ice pick in the chest. Not a great way to finally be able to leave the island. While I was a bit skeptical at first as I routinely enjoyed the extremely uncomfortable nature of DI Richard Poole’s way of trying to deal with the island paradise and it’s laissez faire way of life, IMHO, the former star of the long-running BBC comedy, My Family, has pulled it off perfectly. While there were similarities between DI Goodman and Miller’s character of DI Richard Poole, there were a few very important differences.
Primarily, Marshall’s character seems to actually enjoy the time he has spent on Saint Marie. While both possess the brilliant ability to use deductive means to solve crimes, DI Poole took an instant distaste for the island’s tropical weather and never really looked comfortable walking around the island in a suit while DI Goodman embraced the islands laid-back lifestyle early on with a willingness to fit in, especially after his wife splits with him via voicemail. He even likes his beach house mate, Harry the lizard.
With series 4 of Death in Paradise is just around the telly corner in early 2015 on both BBC One in the UK and public television in America, Marshall is definitely enjoying his time on the self-proclaimed ‘less-gritty than other trendy police dramas’ series. “Not every show has to be shot down in a Danish alleyway”, Marshall told Radio Times. When asked about what it was like filming in such intense Caribbean heat for six months at a time, Marshall said, “Eighty per cent of the time it’s the most amazing job in the world. The other 20 per cent, it’s like putting on a wet suit, getting into a sauna and doing Hamlet. It’s that hot. In the police station the walls close in on you. You start to go mad.” Marshall also likes the fact that the murders are “…friendly murders” and considers Death in Paradise a cross between Colombo and Scooby-Doo.
The streets of the crime-ridden island of Saint Marie are going to get pretty crowded for series 4 with a over-abundance of guest stars this season including Downton Abbey‘s Amy Nuttall and James Fox, Call the Midwife‘s Leo Staar, Outnumbered‘s Tyger Drew Honey and Broadchurch‘s Will Mellor will join Eastenders‘ Hetti Bywater, Coronation Street‘s Natalie Gumede, Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter), Neil Morrissey of Men Behaving Badly, Line of Duty, Me & Mrs. Jones fame, Sally Phillips (Miranda, Veep), Jo Absolom (Eastenders, Doc Martin) and Nick Moran (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels). Returning to Saint Marie’s police force to assist DI Goodman will be Camille (Sara Martins) and Dwayne (Danny John-Jules). Unfortunately, Fidel (Gary Carr) gets a job on a neighboring police force and leaves the island in the capable hands of DI Goodman, DS Camille Borday and policeman Dwayne Myers.
Death in Paradise S4 will return to BBC One in early 2015 and will be available on public television in the States beginning April 2015.