“It’s a lot different from last year,” says star Kris Marshall. And it’s easy to see why – series four saw the departure of Sara Martins and Gary Carr, and the arrival of Joséphine Jobert and Tobi Bakare.
“Last year was a great transition year with a lot of changes. As ever with changes, you never really know how it’s going to play out until it plays out on TV. This year we were actually able to concentrate more on the genre itself,” he says, adding: “Each episode has a very different feel to it this year.”
“It’s got a little bit shady,” teases Don Warrington. “It’s shady when it needs to be,” adds Marshall.
“We’ve become very comfortable with where we are in our box and we’re looking for new places in that box,” laughs Marshall. “That box is more rectangular than square and there are little darks bit off in the corner.”
“It’s not dark or shady, but it’s a case of looking for new areas of that. We turn the box upside down and see if there’s anything we haven’t looked at.”
“The series is a celebration of the genre,” reveals Marshall. “People think that Death In Paradise could be written in a week [but] it’s one of the hardest jobs to write. You’ve got to get fun and a murder in an episode. You can’t just string it together. We do what other shows do in two hours in 59 minutes AND have a beer at the end of it.”
It wouldn’t be Death in Paradise without its weekly death, but this year things are ramping up a notch. There will be “new ways of people getting killed,” promises Marshall, teasing “some brilliant, brilliant murders.”
“We’ve got someone who gets killed on the boat while everyone on the boat is underwater diving; we’ve got a guy who is dead but sends a text message saying, ‘Someone has murdered me,’ from beyond the grave; we have another guy who arrives on the island and doesn’t know anybody, checks into his hotel room and is murdered during the night.”
“One episode this year took me three days to solve a crime and I was mortified. That’s not the done thing; it should be wrapped up before nightfall!” says Marshall.
“Someone gets married,” teases Marshall.
“That alone changes things,” adds Danny John-Jules. “Imagine one of Starsky or Hutch getting married. How many times do you see people getting married in a detective show?”
“It would spoil a big part of your enjoyment,” chuckles John-Jules.
Death in Paradise series 5 starts on Thursday 7th January at 9:00pm on BBC1
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news