Return to Paradise - Anna Samson as McKenzie Clark with a canine friend

Return to Paradise – Australian ‘Death in Paradise’ spin off begins filming

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The show takes the murders and mojitos formula Down Under. 

As filming begins, the BBC have revealed a first look at the detective who leads Australian investigations in Return to Paradise. The show transplants the familiar Death in Paradise format to locations across Sydney and the idyllic Illawarra coastal region.

In a long-anticipated move, Return to Paradise‘s lead is female: Anna Samson (Home and Away) plays DI Mackenzie Clarke.

Here’s the official synopsis for Return to Paradise:

Return to Paradise follows DI Mackenzie Clarke, an Australian ex-pat who’s made a name for herself in London’s Metropolitan Police for cracking uncrackable murder cases. When she is accused of tampering with evidence, Mackenzie returns to Australia, back to the last place she ever wanted to be – her hometown of Dolphin Cove. Having fled the town six years ago, infamously leaving her ex- fiancée Glenn at the altar, Mackenzie is not welcome there.

Return to Paradise - Anna Samson as McKenzie Clark with a canine friend
(Image: John Platt)

But with no other job options, and a unique talent for solving a mystery, no matter how challenging, a reluctant Mack joins the team at Dolphin Cove Police Station. Once a case lands on her desk, she can’t rest until she’s figured it out, and the killer is in handcuffs. It’s that tenacity and work ethic that might just, over time, help Mackenzie win over her new colleagues, and the people of Dolphin Cove.

Joining Anna Samson, the ensemble cast includes Lloyd Griffith (Nolly), Tai Hara (Colin From Accounts), Catherine McClements, Celia Irelan, Andrea Demetriades (The Artful Dodger) and Aaron McGrath.

Return to Paradise‘s co-creators and executive producers are Peter Mattessi, James Hall and Robert Thorogood. The producer is Di Haddon. Additionally, Kylie Washington and Warren Clarke are executive produces for for BBC Studios Productions Australia, Belinda Campbell and Tim Key for Red Planet Pictures, and Rachel Okine and Brett Sleigh for ABC.

The show will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK later this year. In Australia, it will appear on the ABC and ABC iview.

The rest of the Paraverse

Meanwhile, the second series of the UK based Beyond Paradise continues on Friday nights.

Plus, with its 13th series wrapped up, there’s plenty of tabloid speculation over Ralf Little’s successor on Death in Paradise itself. We’ll keep you posted.