Death in Paradise,
BBC First, Friday 8.30pm (ABC, Saturday, 7.30pm)
HOW does a show go on when it loses its lead actor? It’s a question that a show like Doctor Who has turned into an art form (actors are asked when they are leaving the moment they start).
But in its six series history, another British show is starting to get replacing its lead character.
Death in Paradise – the little whodunnit show set on a tropical island has just introduced its third lead actor, with Kris Marshall quitting to be closer to his young family.
Ardal O’Hanlon – best-known as the moronic young priest in Father Ted – is DI Jack Mooney who takes over from Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) who took over from Richard Poole (Ben Miller).
There was so much talk at the start of the third series when Miller left and Marshall (My Family) stepped into his shoes. What would happen – would viewers take to Marshall’s Humphrey Goodman? It’s history now that the show not only survived but flourished with Marshall and his character becoming much-loved.
So what now? O’Hanlon slipped quietly into the middle of the sixth series as the recently widowed Jack Mooney with very little hoopla and very little fuss and the show, which British actors must see as a busman’s Caribbean holiday, has continued on as normal.
Death In Paradise is a harmless, fun, murder mystery show with great scenery and more than a touch of humour and it seems that O’Hanlon more than fits the bill – his new character is nicely dishevelled and a little lost and chaotic but in the end he always gets his man (and it seems the show has too).
– Tania Phillips