Beyond Paradise – get ready for a Shipton Abbot Christmas Eve

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We return to Shipton Abbot for a festive special that promises a tough mystery. 

2023 saw the expansion of the “Paraverse” with Kris Marshall returning to the role of DI Humphrey Goodman.

Death In Paradise‘s former detective swapped St. Marie for the South West, relocating to his fiancé’s childhood home. Now, before a second series in the New Year, we’re ready for a festive visit to Shipton Abbot.

Kris Marshall as Humphrey Goodman, Barbara Flynn as Anne Lloyd and Felicity Montagu as Margo Martins (Image: BBC/Red Planet Pictures/Joss Barratt)

Here’s the synopsis

As the countdown to Christmas begins, residents of Shipton Abbott are left stunned as a string of bizarre burglaries occur overnight. When DI Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) and DS Esther Williams (Zahra Ahmadi) investigate the break-ins, it soon becomes clear that these are no usual smash-and-grab cases. With a lack of evidence to go on except a mysterious pile of ash at each location, the team are stumped…

To make matters worse, CS Charlie Woods (Jade Harrison) and Police HQ are breathing down the necks of the small station team to prove their worth. Feeling the pressure, are the detectives able to crack this baffling case, or is their beloved station at risk of soon facing closure?

Beyond Paradise Christmas Special 2023 - Sally Bretton as Martha (complete with Santa hat)

Sally Bretton as Martha (Image: BBC/Red Planet Pictures/Joss Barratt)

Back in town, as Office Support Margo Martins (Felicity Montagu) decorates the station office, PC Kelby Hartford (Dylan Llewellyn) is tasked with babysitting a cheeky young shoplifter (Isaac Vincent-Norgate), who apparently goes by the name of Rishi Sunak…

Meanwhile, as the Christmas market gets the community into the festive spirit, Esther’s teenage daughter, Zoe (Melina Sinadinou), is less than impressed as she’s made to work in Santa’s Grotto dressed as an elf. And elsewhere, a chance encounter gives Martha (Sally Bretton) food for thought about what the future could hold for her and Humphrey…

Ahead of the Special, the BBC have released interviews with the cast

Kris Marshall talks about the show being granted a Christmas Special…

It’s a great honour to be granted a Christmas special for what was, this year, a new show. I really feel privileged – as I think we all do, because usually it takes two or three series to bed in and to be granted a Christmas special. To get that at the end of our first series was a real boon for us.

The special is very Christmassy, unsurprisingly! It’s also very heart-warming, fun, and has a recognisable storyline but with its own unique spin on it. It has great cast, it’s funny and is one of our best shows so far. There’s a lot to be excited about!

He also talks about filming Christmas in the middle of the year:

It was hot. I know a lot of the other cast had to wear Christmassy, wintery clothing – like mittens and Christmas jumpers – but I maintained that Humphrey, as is his character, wouldn’t wear coats or jumpers. He just wears the same thing all the time. So, I got away with it a bit! Although I had to act cold, because not wearing the warm clothing meant I had to pretend that it was chilly and I wasn’t wearing the adequate clothing for it.

It was very interesting filming in Looe, we filmed a Christmas market scene which is quite a significant part of the episode, and it must have been 28 or 29 degrees that day. We were filming with fake snow and lots of jingle bells, while literally twenty feet away there was people on the beach in their budgie smugglers filming us. It made for an interesting dichotomy. Because it stays lighter longer in the summer and gets darker earlier in the winter, a lot of our scenes were at night and we had to film very late, but you had this kind of weirdly brilliant thing where, once you’ve finished filming the Christmas episode, you could then go to the beach!

Meanwhile Sally Bretton teases the show…

It is so lovely. There is music, Christmas markets and a heartwarming story at the centre of it.

The Beyond Paradise Christmas Special airs on BBC One at 9pm on Christmas Eve.

You can catch the first series on BBC iPlayer, where the special will also appear on the 24th December.