Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Death in Paradise

(Uk, France, 2011)

Ben Miller, of the sketch comedy team of Armstrong and Miller, is D.I. Richard Poole, a painfully straight-laced cop who is sent to the tiny island of Saint Marie in the Caribbean to solve the murder of another cop. He does, and then finds himself re-assigned to this “tropical paradise,” which he hates. The heat, the lack of resources, and worst of all, the impossibility of getting a decent cup of tea.

This TV series is written to a strict formula, but that’s not a problem for me if the formula works. In this case it is the old-fashioned British type, where at the end all the suspects are gathered together in one room and the brilliant detective reveals who the murderer is. The stories also often involve things like locked rooms and other conventions of the whodunit.

If you’ve ever watched Doc Martin, you will be struck by a certain resemblance, and it is certainly not accidental. Pool and Doc are both very much fish out of water, big city men banished to rural backwaters. Both are never seen wearing anything but a suit and tie, and black dress shoes. Neither of them are fools, but they are sometimes tripped up by a continuing tendency to see those around them as fools, and failing to understand that these people know the territory much better, and are smart in their own ways. The supporting cast of cops is good, and Miller is suitably baffled and brilliant, by turns. We will keep watching it.