Death in Paradise Christmas Special - clapperboard

Return to Paradise – another new Death in Paradise show

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The latest branch of the sun-soaked “Paraverse” takes place in Australia. 

With a new season of Death in Paradise incoming, as well as a second outing for the Devon-based Beyond Paradise, the BBC have confirmed that the franchise is growing another branch.

Set in Australia, Return to Paradise takes investigations down under. Plus, in a move that has been a long time coming, a female DI will front the show.

Here’s the setup for Return to Paradise

Set in the idyllic, beachside hamlet of Dolphin Cove, Return to Paradise is six gripping, twisting and fiendishly clever murder mysteries – all against the spectacular backdrop of the Australian coastal landscape.

Australian ex-pat Mackenzie Clarke is the seemingly golden girl of the London Metropolitan police force – with an intuitive approach to detective work, she has built a reputation for being able to crack the most impossible of cases. However, she’s suddenly forced to up sticks and move back to her childhood home of Dolphin Cove, a beautiful, coastal paradise… and Mackenzie’s worst nightmare.

Having escaped her hometown at the earliest opportunity six years ago, Mack vowed she’d never come back, leaving a lot of unfinished business and unanswered questions. On her return she’s still no fan of the town, and the people of Dolphin Cove are certainly no fans of hers. In fact everyone would prefer her not to be there, including Mackenzie herself.

But when a murder takes place in Dolphin Cove, Mack can’t help but put her inspired detective brilliance to good use and determines, despite her reservations, that she needs to make the best of it, including tying up the loose ends with the man she left at the altar six years ago.

Return to Paradise is created and executive produced by Peter Mattessi, James Hall and Robert Thorogood. The writers are Mattessi, with Elizabeth Coleman, Alexandra Collier and Kodie Bedford.

The six-part series comes from by BBC Studios Productions Australia with Red Planet Pictures for the ABC, in association with the BBC. It films in 2024 and will are on BBC One and the iPlayer.

‘The Paraverse’

It remains to be seen what, if any, connective tissue the series will have with St Marie on screen. The comments from Alex Jones, Joint-MD of Red Planet Pictures, could be taken either way…

“We are so proud of the global success of both Death in Paradise and Beyond Paradise – each selling to hundreds of territories, watched by millions, and regularly claiming the position of top rated drama in most of them. Return to Paradise is a brilliantly exciting new addition to ‘The Paraverse’ which we are sure audiences will love just as much. It is a completely original drama but takes the essence of what viewers love about Death in Paradise – the fish out of water premise coupled with the most cleverly plotted murder mystery – and gives it a uniquely Aussie flavour. We are thrilled to already have the BBC on board as broadcast partners for the show in the UK, which means that us Brits will be sure to get to meet Mackenzie and the residents of Dolphin Cove!”

Death and Beyond

In the wider Death in Paradise universe, the main show is back for another Christmas special, ahead of Series 13. With Ralph Little’s DI Neville Parker now well past the episode count of his predecessors, might it be his last?

Beyond Paradise series 2 filming - Kris Marshall & a clapperboard

Meanwhile, the Kris Marshall fronted Beyond Paradise is also getting a festive outing. Then, in season 2, there’s a dangling plot threat about the future of the Shipton Abbot police station.

We’ll keep you posted.