On a scale (I mentioned something like this on a previous post) where 1= who they? and 10= I dress up and go to conventions, the TV light drama “Death in Paradise” registered a ‘2’ for the first series. Through the happenstance of channel hopping I alighted on series 2 and the rating rose to ‘6’ – “I try not to miss an episode”. After that, catch-up TV (BBC iPlayer) earned its keep. I couldn’t tell you the names of the actors and only vaguely know the characters’ names. However, the murder-mystery compressed into a single hour has the two elements that make it work for me.

Firstly, there is a crime, a puzzle, sufficiently baffling to keep one guessing with clues to make it possible to work it out before the denouement at the end. Secondly, there is enough wit and gentle humour to make us sympathetic to the main characters without the programme taking itself too seriously. The two uniformed policemen get away with being cousins to Laurel and Hardy as well as standing in the long tradition of TV cop shows.

I enjoy the show but can’t remember the name of the Ben Miller character who is the fish-out-of-water Detective Inspector transplanted to a tropical island from Blighty. His intelligence and naiveté formed the core of the show. So when he and “Camille” started to become close towards the end of series two, they either had to get married or one of them had to die.

Series 3 opens with Ben Miller’s character becoming the murder victim and a new bumbling detective enters the scene. I can’t remember the bloke’s name but I remember him from a long-running series of TV adverts for British Telecomm (BT). Promotion for him – but what did that do for “Death in Paradise”?

Well, it is the same but different. I still head for the iPlayer, though I prefered the other guy – but I understand why they had to change it.

“Death in Paradise” is what it says on the tin: a comedy-drama. Chocolate, not steak, but a decent chocolate at that.

Four stars or 7 out of ten.

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