Death in Paradise has aired the unexpected exit of series regular Officer Marlon Pryce (Tahj Miles), who marked the occasion with a heartwarming hug with formidable Commissioner Selwyn Patterson (Don Warrington).


Over the past few years, Marlon has become a vital, beloved fixture on the BBC series, with his growth from petty thief to accomplished police officer one of the show's biggest triumphs.

When he made his debut, the character was a teenage hustler who had been arrested countless times, giving Sergeant JP Hooper (Tobi Bakare) the runaround, including stealing his police badge, before finally being captured.

Then, instead of handing him a jail sentence, the commissioner recruited Marlon on the Youth Offenders Police scheme, which gave him an opportunity for redemption.

Marlon had a rocky start, refusing to take his circumstances seriously and pocketing cash meant for the department's motorbike repair. But after pleading for one last chance, his transformation truly began – and the skill set he'd gained from his former lifestyle even came in handy.

More like this
Shantol and Marlon standing next to one another whole Selwyn stands at a lectern addressing a crowd, and Catherine stood on his other side
The cast of Death in Paradise. Red Planet Pictures/Denis Guyenon

Unlike any other officer, Marlon knew exactly how certain types of criminals operated, with his unconventional methods cementing him as a key part of the team, in turn broadening his colleagues' horizons, and creating the space for him to form a solid bond with the Commissioner.

Of course, that didn't stop cheeky Marlon from pushing his luck, which included trying out various nicknames for a highly unimpressed Selwyn and offering DI Neville Parker (Ralf Little) some rather direct opinions. And yet, Marlon's unique persona also had its benefits.

He brought a refreshing new flavour to the team, allowing Neville to find more humour in his own life, and encouraging good friend DS Naomi Thomas (Shantol Jackson) to break out of her comfort zone.

His relatable reactions to the most baffling cases were always a big hit, and one of many attributes that will be keenly missed by his friends and colleagues who went to great lengths for him in his final episode.

Marlon, with a bandage on his head, talks to the Commissioner as they sit in a car in Death in Paradise
Taj Miles as Marlon and Don Warrington as Selwyn. BBC

After he explained that he would be accompanying little sister Jocelyn (Miai Leonie Phillip) to Kingston, Jamaica, where she had won a scholarship, Naomi and Selwyn were saddened that there were no job openings for him at another police force in the city.

The problem may have been fixed a little too easily when the commissioner reunited with JP to secure Marlon a role after all, but we can forgive this. Allowing him to fall out of police work would have been entirely the wrong way to say goodbye.

Still, it was a farewell that we didn't see coming, and it's simply too soon. After all, Marlon was particularly instrumental in cracking this week's murder mystery, with the victim being his old associate Ray (played by Holby City star Guy Henry).

While it was fun to see Marlon's old life collide with his new one yet again, his work on this case reminded us just how much he has changed. Gone is the lazy lad who merely wore the uniform, stood back and watched. In his place is an experienced officer who leapt into action to apprehend a killer.

And those final action scenes could have paved the way for Marlon's next chapter. After last year's setback, when he ignored senior advice and took his sergeant's exam too early, it would have been great for Death in Paradise to show how much Marlon has improved in the interim, with a successful second attempt.

While JP's return was the perfect send-off for him, bringing the character full circle, there was still so much left to explore as he said his goodbyes.

We only hope that Marlon will one day return to the island with a high-flying, but typically humorous, update.

Death in Paradise airs on Sundays on BBC One at 9pm. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10 – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.