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Series: Death in Paradise

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.

The third season saw Poole leave the show and replaced with DI Humphrey Goodman, played by Kris Marshall, a man previously best known for BT adverts.

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"..
  • Actor Allusion: Danny John-Jules plays a character called Dwayne. Sound familiar? (Word of God says it's a coincidence, however.)
  • 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.
  • 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 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).
  • 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.
  • Conspicuous CGI: The recurring lizard sometimes suffers from this.
  • 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.
  • 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, almost always after reading a book related to the subject of the investigation. Goodman also has them, but not always in that way.
  • 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.
  • Finger-Licking Poison: The stamp variant occurs in a series 3 episode: 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.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: He doesn't end up literally breathing fire, but in episode #3.4 D.I. Humphrey Goodman accidentally eats a Scotch bonnet pepper, thinking it is a tomato. He is then shown being force-fed vast quantities of milk, as this the only alternative to taking him to hospital.
  • 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.
  • Genius Ditz: Humphrey Goodman is a clumsy and tactless 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 killed on stage at their reunion gig.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Killed Off for Real: DCI Poole was found dead at the beginning of season 3, with his death and replacement being the focus of the first episode. While other comedy cop dramas have bumped off recurrers, killing your lead is pretty much unheard of.
  • Leitmotif: Poole has one for when he finds an important clue, or has a Eureka Moment.
  • 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.
    • The teaser often ends with the dramatic discovery of a corpse...then immediately goes into the bright, holiday programme-like theme tune of the intro. 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 a series 3 episode: It turns out that the victim was the target all along, and was killed by the person thought to be the target of the attack.
  • 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 the series 1 finale 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 season 2, episode 6 is a darker case - he treats policing like being in a gang, and bullies and harasses Richard for preferring scientific methods.
  • Orgy of Evidence: In a series 3 episode, 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", DI Poole is able to solve a murder while lying delirious in his sickbed, being fed information by Dwayne and Fidel.
  • 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 INSPACE: 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • The Summation: At the end of every episode, after Poole's Eureka Moment.
  • 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.
    • Poole as well. Realizing that the woman claiming to be his best friend from college is her supposedly dead sister, he leaves (and gets sent to the island) enough clues to expose her as his killer.
  • Those Two Guys: Fidel and Dwayne.
  • Too Good To Be True: In episode 3 of season 1 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".
  • Super OCD: Poole.

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alternative title(s): Death In Paradise
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