Doc On The Box – Death In Paradise Series Five – Half-Time Report

Well, it’s four episodes into Series Five and it’s time for the half-time report for Death In Paradise.

Death In ParadiseWhat the casual blog-follower may not realise is that the only reason that Death In Paradise is made by Rob Thorogood and co is to challenge me. OK, so it’s possibly that it also exists for millions of viewers to enjoy a good puzzle and the Caribbean sunshine, in the company of one of the most agreeable casts of any TV show out there. But in my eyes at least, it’s a chance to pit my wits against the only plot-driven mystery show currently out there.

I mean, did you see Midsomer Murders this week? The one with the Midsomer Bike Race. Was there anything indicating the killer before they were unmasked – and it had the default “I’m a loony” motive to add insult to injury as well…

Regardless, I’ve got into the habit of keeping score – last series ended up a 4-4 draw. So who’s got the upper hand so far?

I really think that they’ve had a good think about red herrings this series. There were a couple of times last series where the killer was signposted a bit by the fact that one character couldn’t have done it – hence they were probably the killer. The writing team have been a bit more cunning this time…

Episode One – The single member of a diving team who remained on the boat is murdered while the rest of the group are on the bottom of the sea bed. But if nobody approached the boat, how could anyone have killed him and ransacked the boat?

An old chestnut and I guessed at a reasonable part of the solution. But I got the wrong killer and hadn’t figured out a number of problems with my basic idea – so that’s 1-0 to Death In Paradise.

Episode Two – The outgoing governor of Saint-Marie drinks a glass of champagne given to her by Commissioner Patterson – only to collapse dead as it’s been laced with cyanide. Patterson swears that he would have seen somebody drop poison in the glass – but the bottle is clean, as are all the other glasses…

The killer was pretty obvious – the weakness from the previous series – but my cunning theory as to how it was done was completely out there. Actually quite pleased about that, as my theory was one of my least favourite tricks. But that makes it a score-draw. So 1.5-0.5

Episode Three – A model is strangled at a fashion show. But two suspects were talking to each other, another was on the phone behind a curtain, another was on the catwalk and another was at the back of the audience taking photographs…

Got this one before the credits – it reminded me of one of my absolute favourite mysteries. Very curious if the writers were inspired by it. If they were, they know which book I’m talking about. But this was a win for me – 1.5-1.5

Episode Four – Dwayne’s mentor has died of ill health – apparently. But as the coffin goes up in smoke, he gets a text message from a phone that was sealed inside the coffin by Dwayne himself. The message – “I WAS MURDERED”…

A much more serious tone for this one – an interesting change which still felt true to the spirit of the show while giving some background to Dwayne. The mystery was a lot more straightforward than usual – the impossible text is almost an afterthought and the killer wasn’t clued as precisely as normal. But my ridiculously complicated theory was miles off so it’s definitely a win for the writers here.

So, at half-time, it’s 2.5-1.5 to Death In Paradise – but I came back from a worse score last year. But even if I solved every episode or was outwitted at every turn, it’s still the highlight of my week (televisually speaking). Looking forward to the next four weeks…


  1. I’ve enjoyed this series hugely, as always, but you’re being far too polite about the cluing for episode four – the only clue has no significance, the one thing that could have been considered and used as evidence is ignored, and catching the murderer relies on them confessing…shame, shame on you DIP! However, it is stil the best thing currently on “real” TV by a country mile.


  2. I thought in episode 2 that if the eventual solution was possible, then someone should have noted a problem with their first theory before.


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