Death in Paradise
is a crime drama premiering in 2011, a joint Anglo-French production between The BBC
and France Télévisions. Created by Robert Thorogood, it stars Ben Miller of Armstrong And Miller
as Richard Poole, a straitlaced London Met policeman who is assigned to a case on the fictional Caribbean island of Saint Marie (played by French overseas département Guadaloupe). Status Quo Is God
kicks in and Poole ends up sticking around for further cases and struggling to adapt to the different climate and working methods as a Fish out of Water
. His partner and rival is Camille Bordey, a detective sergeant on loan from the Guadeloupe police played by French actress Sara Martins.
Contains examples of:
- Accidental Misnaming: Angela Young keeps calling Fidel "Freddie" in episode six.
- Agent Scully: The Church of England, scientifically minded Poole in the second episode about the voodoo curse.
- Always Murder: Well, it is in the title.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Poole is adamant about rationalism in the third episode of the first series (which involves a voodoo curse) but relies heavily on gut feelings, especially in the fourth episode.
- Camille calls him out on this hypocrisy in the sixth episode of the second series.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Poole.
- British Stuffiness: Take a wild guess.
- The Butler Did It: Discussed Trope in the second episode. Turns out to be Right for the Wrong Reasons.
- California Doubling: Guadeloupe for Saint Marie. Saint Marie is said to have formerly been French before being traded to Britain, explaining the mixed population (and actors).
- Conspicuous CGI: The recurring lizard sometimes suffers from this.
- 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.
- Discreet Dining Disposal: Poole pours the chicken soup into a plant pot in episode six.
- Donut Mess with a Cop: Discussed Trope between Fidel and Dwayne while on a stakeout in episode four.
- Dramatic Irony: A few times, the murderers discover their crimes to be misled or pointless. In one instance, 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.
- Eureka Moment: Poole is prone to them.
- Evil Brit: A few get involved in the investigations.
- Fanservice: Poole swaps buttoned-up shirt and tie for prim striped pyjamas in episode six - open all the way.
- The Finicky One: Poole to a tee.
- Fish out of Water: Poole.
- Foreign Queasine: How Poole feels about the local cuisine, especially seafood. He is delighted when Camille's mother cooks him roast beef in the third episode.
- Foreshadowing: in the first episode, the female cop's cell phone has "I Shot the Sheriff" as a ringtone. Turns out later that she murdered the police officer whose death started the whole series and caused Poole to be sent to Saint-Marie.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: 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...
- 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.
- I Am Very British: Poole.
- It Tastes Like Feet: Poole's fever-induced description of Camille's mother's chicken soup in episode six is colourful, if less than flattering.
- 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.
- Locked Room Mystery: A literal description (though not an example) in the first episode, an example (though not a literal description) in the second. Episodes three and four have shades, as the emphasis is often on how the crime was committed as well as why.
- Mood Whiplash: Whimsical humor pads many episodes, which contain some rather dark and gruesome (and at times rather heartbreaking) deaths.
- Not so Above It All: Poole's British Stuffiness does relent occasionally, but he often doesn't show it in public.
- Playing Against Type: Ben Miller is primarily known for comedy, but here plays a dramatic role (though not without some humour).
- Not quite. He seems a lot like a less sarcastic James Lester, who he has played in Primeval for the last 4-5 years, a serious role with some humour. So he has some experience
- 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 IN SPACE!: Jonathan Creek, just where it's sunny.
- Romantic False Lead: The murderess police officer in the first episode plays the same mildly flirtatious role that Camille takes on in episode two onwards.
- Running Gag: The lizard in Poole's house.
- Scenery Porn: Honoré Island
- Science Hero: Poole.
- 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 in the first episode of the second season, 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.
- 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 trying in vain across the island to find a decent cuppa (eventually, Camille's mother makes him some!)
- "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.
- Thanatos Gambit: 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 at the evidence that could bring him to justice.
- The Summation: At the end of every episode, after Poole's Eureka Moment.
- Those Two Guys: Fidel and Dwayne.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: Detective Sergeant Angela Young in episode six.
- Super OCD: Poole.