‘Death in Paradise’ review: The gang head to London in Season 6 Episode 5

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After last week’s slightly more formulaic episode, this week’s Death in Paradise goes international as the gang relocate to London for an investigation into a British sailor’s death whose potential suspects have all fled back to the UK.

“They all checked out this morning. Got the first flight home at 6am.”

This is a really busy episode. And an ambitious one, with half the episode set in London, as well as Saint Marie. The change of locale is a lovely twist with some culture clash comedy and a grittier London providing a different backdrop to proceedings for the Honore Police. This also provides regular Death in Paradise director Richard Signy a chance to be artistic and experimental with the new location, which he embraces fully.

“Look at you all righteous. You don’t know my story.”

After the reference to Dwayne’s father in last week’s episode, this reviewer didn’t think it would become a bigger plotline, but it became a strong piece of development for both actor Danny John-Jules and the Dwayne character when he confronts his father, Nelson, in London. It goes a long way to explaining why he is the way he is, but also provides some lovely development for the actor and reinforces the importance of this London jaunt.

“You and Martha… You miss her, don’t you?”

The loss of Martha still resonates with Humphrey and Kris Marshall’s subtle but affective performance really drives that home. The relocation to London gives him ample chance to catch up with her. However, that may have to wait, given that this episode is so well paced that she is only referred to by name.

We have to wonder what that means for the series though. Rumours are out that Kris Marshall is leaving Death in Paradise at the end of its current run and with it being such a big hit for the BBC they are probably doing all they can to continue the show.  The Martha storyline looks set to see Humphrey leave Saint Marie behind to follow true love.

More obviously, the inclusion of Ardal O’Hanlon as bumbling but sharp D.I Jack Mooney fits the bill as a suitable replacement, exhibiting all the characteristics of Kris Marshall’s Humphrey (and indeed Ben Miller’s previous Richard Poole).

The one issue with the episode is that it possibly wastes very good actors in minimal roles. In the Club’s John Marquez is offed within minutes and well known TV faces such as Amy Beth Hayes (Mr Selfridge), Claire Rushbrook (Secrets & Lies) and Luke Newberry (In the Flesh) have no more than minutes on screen.

In a final set of interesting twists the show ends on a sharp cliff hanger and one that involves the main suspect of the original murder being found murdered himself, effectively rebooting the story for next week.

In a rarity for Death in Paradise, the mystery literally continues…

Aired at 9pm on Thursday 2 February 2017 on BBC One.

Buy the complete Season 1-5 boxset on Amazon.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know below…

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