Thursday, 14 January 2016


[Spoiler-Free] A sparkling cyanide episode particularly hilarious from a French perspective.

« We have a bit of a problem. »

The outgoing governor of Saint Marie dies poisoned at her leaving party in the gardens of Government House after drinking a glass of champagne served by Commissioner Patterson (Don Warrington). DI Goodman (Kris Marshall) searches for the "future Mrs Humphrey" on a dating website under the guidance of Dwayne (Danny John-Jules) when he's interrupted by a phone call from his superior. They join Florence (Joséphine Jobert) and J.P. (Tobi Bakare) on the crime scene. Quite embarrassed, the commissioner is excluded from the investigation.

« "You can't trust the French as far as you can throw them. »

The team finds out that Spinner's Rock, an inhabited rock between Saint Marie and Saint Robert, could be a motive for the governor's death. The place is owned by the British and claimed by the French (« The correct title is La Roche de la République. ») Behind the island diplomacy lies blackmail, bugging and treason. Nothing is what it seems, even the murder, and Humphrey needs "a highly technical piece of cutting edge kit". Writer Dan Muirden's first Death in Paradise is a coup de maître. His resume includes Father Brown, The Coroner and New Tricks but in the past he also worked as a diplomat!

« You British complain about having lost your identity in the world. Well, I disagree. You're just as hypocritical as you ever were. »

Muirden's clever and fun script is served by a delightful performance from French actor Valéry Schatz as the vaping François Tromeur, "President of the General Council of Saint Robert". Tromeur is arrogant, untrustworthy and... Parisian (Selwyn dixit). The regular cast is at its best. Lucy Cohu drops by on Saint Marie as Governor Caroline Bamber. Adetomiwa Edun plays her private secretary Ellery Wallace (which sounds like "Ellery Queen" and "Edgar Wallace"). Charlotte Hope and Nigel Lindsay are the other guest actors.

Catherine Bordey is played by Élizabeth Bourgine. Episode directed by Edward Bennett. Death in Paradise is produced by Red Planet Pictures for the BBC. Yvonne Francas is the producer. Series creator Robert Thorogood is the co-executive producer. Tony Jordan and Tim Key exec produce. Musique composed by Magnus Fiennes.!valry-schatz/c1o2y (An interview with the supremely talented Don Warrington).

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