Series: Death in Paradise

Death in Paradise is a French-British crime drama, created by Robert Thorogood, that premiered in 2011. It is a joint Anglo-French production between The BBC and France Télévisions.

A detective from the London Metropolitan Police Service is assigned to oversee the Honoré police station on the fictional Caribbean island of Saint Marienote  where he has to deal with the surprisingly high murder rate while trying to come to grips with the wholly foreign environment he's landed in. He's ably assisted by the local police force while they themselves are trying to figure out their new boss.

The show currently stars Kris Marshall as DI Humphrey Goodman, Danny John-Jules as Officer Dwayne Mayers, and French actress Josephine Jobert as DS Florence Cassell.

The series has a character page that Needs Wiki Magic Love.


Contains examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Angela Young keeps calling Fidel "Freddie" in "An Unhelpful Aid". Richard calls her "Helena" in the climax, decidedly not accidentally.
  • Agent Scully: Poole is a dogged scientific rationalist, and immediately rejects any suggestion that a case might involve prophecies, miracles or curses.
  • Always Murder: Well, it is in the title.
  • Animal Assassin: In "A Deadly Curse", one Victim of the Week (who is deathly allergic to insect bites) is murdered when the killer releases a kissing bug in his cell.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Poole is adamant about rationalism in any case involving voodoo, magic, or even Catholicism, but also relies heavily on gut feelings, especially in "Missing a Body?", and is a follower of the Church of England. Camille and Catherine call him out on this hypocrisy in "Predicting Murder" and "A Dash of Sunshine."
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Poole.
  • Blackmail: Proves to be a motive for some murders, such as in "Murder Onboard".
  • British Stuffiness: Take a wild guess. If Poole's black suit doesn't give it away, his reluctance to embrace anything on the island will.
  • Bully Hunter: Richard Poole hates bullies - he doesn't go outside of the law to pursue them, but he's particularly scathing towards those criminals he catches who use such tactics.
  • The Butler Did It: Discussed Trope in "Wicked Wedding Night." Turns out to be Right for the Wrong Reasons.
  • California Doubling: Guadeloupe for the fictional Saint Marie. Saint Marie is said to have formerly been French before being traded to Britain, explaining the mixed population (and actors).
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Dwayne.
  • Clothing Reflects Personality:
    • The three English detectives to work on Saint Marie all dress differently: Charlie Hulme, a hard-drinking Life of the Party, wears Hawaiian shirts; Richard Poole, a grumpy, uptight nerd, wears plain grey suits in spite of the heat; the awkward but affable Humphrey Goodman wears light, comfortable blazers.
    • One season two episode does the same with accessories, when the team all need to measure travel times: eager and by-the-book Fidel uses the station-issue stopwatch; science nerd Richard uses his own personal stopwatch; old-fashioned Dwayne uses his wristwatch; modern woman Camille uses her smartphone.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Camille had to make sure that Poole wouldn't accidentally offend anyone due to his tactless personality. When Goodman came along, she had to make sure his absentmindedness and tendency to wander off on wild tangents wouldn't hinder their investigations.
    • Florence took over minding Goodman after Camille left for Paris.
  • Conspicuous CGI: The recurring lizard Harry sometimes suffers from this.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: In "A Murder on the Plantation", Roger Seymour was stabbed in the back with a machete, and used his dying strength to write the letters ' J O H' in his own blood, which are the first three letters of his killer's father's first name.
  • Cover Identity Anomaly: In "Death of a Detective", a woman has assumed the identity of her sister. However, she had never read the novel on which her sister did her dissertation at Cambridge.
  • Defective Detective: Thankfully, and unusually for BBC, averted; Poole is mildly uptight compared to the locals but otherwise is a reasonably nice, well-balanced individual.
    • Similarly with Goodman: he's clumsy and can be very tactless, but is just as nice a guy.
  • Dirty Cop:
    • Sgt. Thomson in the pilot is involved in human trafficking and killed DI Charlie Hulme when he investigated Thomson's accomplice.
    • Doug Anderson in the sixth episode of season 2. He's a drinker and as it turns out, he worked with a friend in a "Strangers on a Train"-Plot Murder scheme.
  • Discreet Dining Disposal: Poole pours the chicken soup into a potted plant in "An Unhelpful Aid." Then he has Dwayne and Fidel dump the evidence outside underneath a tree.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: Discussed Trope between Fidel and Dwayne while on a stakeout in "Missing a Body?"
  • Dramatic Irony: A few times, the murderers discover their crimes to be misled or pointless. In "A Murder on the Plantation," two siblings conspired to kill their boss (and for one, fiancee) for his inheritance, only to discover after he was terminally ill and planned to hand it them legitimately anyway.
  • Dying Clue: In "A Murder on the Plantation", the Victim of the Week writes the letters 'J O H' in his own blood.
  • Eureka Moment: Poole is prone to them, almost always after reading a book or hearing someone mention a phrase seemingly unrelated to the subject of the investigation. Goodman also has them, but not always in that way.
  • Even the Dog Is Ashamed: In the first episode, Richard throws an undercover Camille in the cells with a local thief and an unclaimed goat. She proceeds to mock and humiliate him, and the camera repeatedly cuts from her laughing, to the thief laughing, to the goat. Bleating. In a laughing sort of way.
  • Evil Brit: A few of the criminals have been British ex-pats, from Cockney murderers to aristocratic crimelords.
  • Fanservice: Poole swaps buttoned-up shirt and tie for prim striped pyjamas in "An Unhelpful Aid" - open all the way.
  • Finger-Licking Poison: The stamp variant occurs in "Ye of Little Faith": the murderer knows that the victim writes postcards each time she lands somewhere new, including licking stamps to send them, and uses this knowledge to poison the stamps and thus the vic. And in doing so gets an alibi since the actual death occurs on the ground while the murderer is still on an aeroplane en route.
  • The Finicky One: Poole to a tee. If it's not classic British food or weather, he's completely unhappy.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: He doesn't end up literally breathing fire, but in "Ye of Little Faith," Humphrey accidentally eats a Scotch bonnet pepper, thinking it is a tomato. He ends up being force-fed a large quantity of milk, as this the only alternative to taking him to the hospital.
  • Fish out of Water: Poole's British Stuffiness contrasts greatly with the relaxed approach of his co-workers on Saint Marie.
  • Foreign Queasine: How Poole feels about the local cuisine, especially seafood. He is delighted when Camille's mother cooks him roast beef in "Predicting Murder."
  • Foreshadowing: In "Arriving in Paradise," Sgt. Lily Thomson's cell phone has the ringtone "I Shot the Sheriff". She's the one who murdered DI Charlie Hulme, whose death started the whole series and caused Poole to be sent to Saint-Marie.
  • Fox-Chicken-Grain Puzzle: DI Goodman likens how the Mystery of the Week of the "Old Times" episode was carried out to this puzzle. Fidel keeps trying to figure out the puzzle for the rest of the episode.
  • Genius Ditz: Humphrey Goodman is a clumsy and tactless fellow whose only real competency lies in police work.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Turns out to be the killer's motive in "Music of Murder", where a band's lead singer is shot dead on stage at their reunion gig.
  • Henpecked Husband: Humphrey is clearly in awe of his wife Sally, and it's suggested that their relationship was unequal to the point of abuse. He becomes a lot more confident and able to make decisions for himself when she's not around.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: In "Predicting Death," the murderer needs to hide a body. What does he do? He dissolves most of the organs in lime, which only left a skeleton. Oh and he happens to be a teacher — and the anatomical skeleton in his classroom looks very real...
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Neither Richard nor Humphrey got on well with their families; Humphrey was bullied by his siblings and derided by his dominating father, while Richard was sent to a boarding school, where he was terrorised and abused by one of the staff.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: Averted — it is made clear that this is how the ignorant Poole views voodoo, but the writers have Shown Their Work when the locals correct him.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: A male version is the murder victim in a series 3 episode.
  • I Am Very British: Poole.
  • I Call It "Vera": Poole has a telescope he calls 'Lucy'. Camille is incredulous that he named it.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Dwayne is the oldest member of the team, Fidel is the youngest. They are clearly pretty good friends, and Dwayne even gives Fidel that pair of baby football shoes, an adorable sign of affection.
  • It Tastes Like Feet:
    • Poole's fever-induced description of Camille's mother's chicken soup in "An Unhelpful Aid" is colourful, if less than flattering.
    • In "Predicting Murder", Inspector Poole comments that a local cocktail consisted of nothing but rum, lime and ice, but somehow tasted like paint stripper.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Poole is a pretty pompous, stuffy and uptight man and it's almost like he's allergic to having fun at times, but when it comes down to it he's pretty nice.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In a late series 4 episode, Humphrey is unsatisfied when one of the suspects confesses less than halfway into the episode, leaving a few seemingly minor loose ends (such as why the victim kept a roll of sticky tape in a locked safe) and without The Summation. He's right to be.
  • Leitmotif: Poole has one for when he finds an important clue, or has a Eureka Moment.
  • Locked Room Mystery:
    • A literal description, though it turns out not a true example, in "Arriving in Paradise."
    • An example, though not a literal description, in "Wicked Wedding Night."
    • "Predicting Murder" and "Missing a Body?" as the emphasis is often on how the crime was committed as well as why.
    • "An Unholy Death" plays it straight with the murder of a novice nun in her locked cell.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Whimsical humor pads many episodes, which contain some rather dark and gruesome (and at times rather heartbreaking) deaths.
    • The teaser often ends with the dramatic discovery of a corpse...then immediately goes into the bright, holiday programme-like visuals of the intro and instrumental of "You're Wondering Now". This may be deliberately invoked.
  • Murder by Mistake:
    • The first Victim of the Week in "Wicked Wedding Night". Poole even remarks during the Summation Gathering that the case made no sense till he realised that the first victim had never been the intended target.
    • Inverted in Humphrey's second episode, where the poisoning victim was the target all along, and was killed by the person thought to be the target of the attack.
  • New Meat: Series 4 introduces JP Hooper, a police officer who is fresh out of Police College. Dwayne takes advantage of the new guy's naivete while showing him the ropes.
  • Not So Above It All: Poole's British Stuffiness does relent occasionally, but he often doesn't show it in public.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Inspector Chris Ricketts in "Amongst Us" acts like a bumbling tourist, while secretly breaking into sealed crime scenes and leading investigating officers off the trail. Subverted. He's entirely innocent, except in that he really is so bumbling and incompetent that he completely missed the criminal and got his star witness killed.
  • Old-Fashioned Copper:
    • Dwayne is a very mild example - he's the most casual about protocol of the team, and occasionally advocates stirring up witnesses to get information.
    • Met officer Doug Anderson in "A Dash of Sunshine" is a darker case - he treats policing like being in a gang, and bullies and harasses Richard for preferring scientific methods. He also turns out to be the killer, as he hired a friend to kill his wife in exchange for previously personally killing the friend's wife.
  • Orgy of Evidence: In "Ye of Little Faith," the Victim of the Week has been poisoned, and nobody has been able to find the poison or work out how it has been administered. The killer then plants the poison at the scene of the crime to try and frame somebody else, but this inadvertently gives the police the information they need to solve the case.
  • Phone-In Detective: In "An Unhelpful Aid", Poole is able to solve a murder while lying delirious in his sickbed, being fed information by Dwayne and Fidel.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Gary Carr left the show and Fidel's absence is explained as the character having taken a job on another island.
    • Sara Martins departed the show in Series 4. Camille was written out by by having her take an undercover assignment in Paris as a way of advancing her career.
  • Rank Up: Over the course of the series Fidel studies for, takes, and passes his sergeant's exam.
  • Red Herring: They set up enough ominous shots of Camille during the first part of the pilot to make you think that she's the one who shot Charlie Hulme, and then they have her revealed as an undercover cop investigating the man Charlie Hulme was killed while investigating.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Poole initially views his assignment as this, and it's implied his London Met colleagues dislike him and also see it this way.
  • Recycled INSPACE: Jonathan Creek, just where it's sunny.
  • Romantic False Lead: The murderess police officer in "Arriving in Paradise" plays the same mildly flirtatious role that Camille takes on in episode two onwards.
  • Running Gag:
    • The lizard in Poole's house. Poole is thrown off by him at first, but by series 2 has given the little guy a name (Harry) and is feeding him. After Poole dies, Humphrey continues the tradition.
    • Goodman scribbling case notes on anything he can find (tissues, playing cards, restaurant menus) rather than having a notebook.
  • Scenery Porn: Honoré Bay, and Saint Marie Island in general.
  • Science Hero: Poole. Facts and forensics always win out over spiritual and supernatural explanations.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Played with; Poole is almost always seen wearing an impeccable black suit... which, in the tropical climate of the Caribbean, tends to make him look rather hot and sweaty.
  • Ship Tease: Poole and Camille get one at the end of "A Murder on the Plantation", when Camille mistakes Poole for the blind date her mother has set her up on until she is corrected and pointed in the right direction.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The murder of Poole at the start of "Death of a Detective" bears a strong resemblance to Hercule Poirot's description of what he would consider to be the most interesting hypothetical murder to solve at the start of The ABC Murders and later used as the premise for Cards on the Table. The only difference is that the setup to the crime involves a game of charades rather than bridge.
    • At the end of an episode involving a murdered bird-watcher there's a mini-Reveal that the Saint Marie green parrot is actually extinct, the last breeding pair having been killed by a hurricane two years ago. Dwayne and the manager of the parrot sanctuary where the murder took place start quoting the "Dead Parrot Sketch".
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The jaunty, upbeat theme tune invariably crashes in just as the Cold Opening ends with the discovery of a gruesome death.
  • Spot of Tea: Poole delivers a Character Filibuster on its importance in the fourth episode as a means to stall some suspects while Camille searches their house. He spends the second episode, "Wicked Wedding Night", trying in vain across the island to find a decent cuppa. Much to his surprise, it comes from Camille's mother.
  • "Strangers on a Train"-Plot Murder: Done in "A Dash of Sunshine", although the first murder is not seen; having already taken place in another country.
  • Strictly Formula: A common complaint about the series is its rigid adherence to its structure, to the point that every single season finale has had a temptation to return to England offered to the lead detective. (Although, as any fan of the original Law & Order can tell you, a strict adherence to structure can be charming in and of itself.)
  • Suicide, Not Murder: Played with in a series 4 episode. It was suicide, although the victim had help from one of the 'suspects', who was a doctor lying about the victim having a terminal illness in order to manipulate him into taking his own life.
  • The Summation: At the end of every episode, after Poole's Eureka Moment.
  • Summation Gathering: Poole always performs this. Lampshaded in "Death of a Detective" when Camille prepares to summon the suspects after new-boy Goodman solves the case, only for him to ask "why?". He goes through with it, and carries on with it thereafter because he enjoyed it the first time.
  • Superdickery: In a Season 1 episode, a woman Dwayne has a one-night stand with is found murdered the next morning. The preview implies dramatically that Dwayne is a suspect, but in fact Poole only treats him as one for about five minutes (because he is annoyed that the others didn't invite him out for drinks with them), and then dismisses the idea.
  • Super OCD: Poole. He'll spend a whole case obsessing over a minor out-of-place detail that, naturally, turns out to be the key to the whole mystery.
  • Thanatos Gambit:
    • "Predicting Death": A lady foretells her own death in front of Dwayne and poisons herself in the classroom of the man she believes killed her daughter to frame him. Ironically she killed herself in plain view of the evidence that could bring him to justice.
    • "Death of a Detective": Poole as well. Realizing that the woman claiming to be Sasha Moore, his best friend from college is her supposedly dead sister Helen Reed, he leaves (and gets sent to the island) enough clues to expose her as his killer.
  • Those Two Guys: Dwayne and Fidel. Later, Dwayne and Hooper after Fidel's departure.
  • Too Good To Be True: In "Predicting Death," all of the evidence points to one person. Naturally, Richard feels it's all too neat.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Detective Sergeant Angela Young in "An Unhelpful Aid".
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: They set shots of Camille up in the pilot to make you think that she's the killer, or at the very least, she's involved in Charlie Hulme's death. Then it's revealed she's an undercover cop investigating James Lavender for human trafficking.
  • Vow of Celibacy: Played for Drama in "An Unholy Death", as part of the murder motive when a nun is found asphyxiated at the island's convent. The priest attached to the convent had previously broken his vow and fathered a daughter, who then came to the convent looking for him and joined to get close to him. The mother superior, who was in love with the priest and was trying to keep him from breaking his vow again, misinterpreted their affection and killed the daughter.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Some of the murders happen as direct or indirect results of infidelity.