Ben Miller is leaving Death in Paradise during series three, to be replaced on the crime-riddled island of Saint Marie by Kris Marshall.
Details on how uptight DI Richard Poole will make his final farewell remain shrouded in secrecy (maybe he’ll become a victim of Saint Marie’s latest murderer? Perhaps he’ll finally make his move on Camille and they’ll transfer together to rainy London? Or an especially excessive heat wave will have him running to the airport without a backwards glance?) but however he makes his exit, one thing’s for sure, the show will suffer without him.
Nice as they are, Camille, Dwayne and Fidel just aren’t strong enough characters to carry the drama without their leading light – take Ben Miller’s fish-out-of-water detective and his weather inappropriate wardrobe out of the mix I’m not sure what you’d have left…
Which is precisely why series three will likely see the producers hit the reset button and fob us off with a new replacement: uncomfortable Englishman take two.
What are the chances that My Family’s Kris Marshall, who is set to enter the fold as Richard’s replacement – “bright, but rather disorganised and gawky DI, Humphrey Goodman” – will also be a rain-loving, middle-class British detective? Whether willingly or unwilling drafted onto the island, would it be fair to assume he’ll have trouble adapting to the way of life on Saint Marie? Will he too hate sand and shirk a cold beer in favour of a pot of tea at the end of a long day? Maybe he’ll step up and have a little flirt with the lovely Camille too…?
And, convincing character or not, are we going to want to watch as the story starts all over again but with Humphrey at the reins instead? I’m not sure I am.
Death in Paradise may have become a surprisingly lucrative hit for BBC1, securing millions of viewers in spite of its lukewarm reception from critics, but that’s not reason enough to press on without the show’s leading man…