We all knew it was coming.
It was no surprise that Ben Miller, aka DI Richard Poole, was poised to leave the sunny shores of Saint Marie behind. But killed with an ice pick before the opening credits?! He should have just scarpered back to drizzly ol’ England, shouldn’t he?
For dedicated fans of the BBC1 murder mystery it was all a bit much. According to Twitter there was anger, denial, genuine tears… But bafflingly the same couldn’t be said for Richard’s friends and colleagues.
Why was nobody in the show grief stricken by his brutal and violent death? Where were the tears, the distress, the upset…?
Even if the character’s departure wasn’t a surprise for us, it should have been for Richard’s loyal colleagues Camille, Dwayne and Fidel. Yet they mourned DI Poole for about 12 seconds (yes, I counted) before his desk was cleared, his home emptied and a brand new, bumbling British detective was drafted in to replace him. Talk about moving on quickly…
As someone who has watched Death in Paradise for the last two years, seen Richard find his place on Saint Marie, cement friendships with his fellow policeman and flirt, albeit awkwardly, with lovely Camille, I felt a bit cheated by his swift send off.
In fact, even Camille, who seemed to be on the cusp of falling for the gawky detective at the end of series two, didn’t appear to be that bothered. She seemed more upset when her old school friend Jamelia was poisoned mid-song in series two.
In a way, the BBC were clever to have him pop his clogs in the opening minutes. We barely had a chance to reacquaint ourselves with the tea-drinking, suit-and-tie wearing detective before he was cold in his sun-lounger. But, after two series, it just didn’t feel like a fair farewell.
Andeven if everyone on Saint Marie will have completely forgotten the grouchy Englishman by episode two, you can be sure that fans won’t. So will Death in Paradise die alongside DI Richard Poole?
Well, actually, maybe not. Even if fans would rather Ben Miller hadn’t jumped ship, Kris Marshall’s sincere and surprisingly endearing DI Humphrey Goodman seems to be a fine alternative so far – and the show went to great pains to prove he isn’t a straight swap, even if that just means he prefers lemonade to PG Tips.
Death in Paradise continues on Tuesday at 9:00pm on BBC1