Death in Paradise may be television’s most cheerful murder mystery drama, but the BBC1 show is about to take a very “dark” turn – with a series eight double bill that defies the show’s usual conventions.
The first indication that episodes five and six would be something a little different came with the trailer at the end of the previous episode, where flashes of scenes from Beyond the Shining Sea were set to the thud of a heartbeat. Then there was a sudden gunshot – and the screen cut to black.
“It’s definitely got a slightly darker tone, I would say that about it,” DI Jack Mooney actor Ardal O’Hanlon teased ahead of the broadcast.
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“There’s some really dynamic, very dramatic scenes. Something that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with Death in Paradise.
“It’s got all the normal Death in Paradise ingredients, but it’s got this other dimension as well. There’s also kind of a love story, which is explored in episodes five and six.”
Shyko Amos, who joined series eight as Officer Ruby Patterson, added: “It’s definitely a departure from what Death in Paradise normally is.”
According to the BBC’s official synopsis, in episode five “a fishing community is excited about the arrival of their festival queen for an annual celebration, but when her boat arrives with only her dead body on board, DI Mooney is left, yet again, with a baffling mystery to solve. What could a missing loaf of bread have to do with the crime?
“Meanwhile, Florence and Patrice look forward to their wedding, which is only a week away, but a huge strain is put on their relationship when the groom is drawn into the murder case as a former employer and long-time friend of the victim.”
DS Florence Cassell (Joséphine Jobert) can’t wait to marry her fiancé Patrice Campbell (Leemore Marrett Jr), but this latest murder case is set to hit very close to home.
Jobert has revealed that she was initially skeptical about Florence’s whirlwind love story, but came around to the idea once she discovered more about the storyline.
“I was a bit afraid because I didn’t want her to become the girly girl,” she admitted. “But when the producer called me a few months before we started filming, he told me about the storyline, and he told me, ‘OK you’re going to have a love story’. I was like, uh no – please no!
“And then he told me what was going to happen with that love story, and I was like, ‘It’s brilliant, I love this, let’s do this. Are you sure? Because it’s crazy!’ And he said, ‘Yeah – we’re going to do this.'”
As for what happens in episodes five and six, Jobert hinted: “Her boyfriend gets involved in the storyline, the whole investigation, and she wants to make it clear that, ‘This is my job, I don’t want you to interfere with that, so just please let me do my job, I know what I’m doing.’
“And then things happen and– it’s very – lots of love, drama, fun. It’s really exciting!”
Episode 5 of Death in Paradise airs on Thursday 7th February at 9pm on BBC1