Episodic crime shows nearly all follow a formula of setting up a crime, leading you astray with red herrings and a backflip / epiphany at the eleventh hour before revealing the killer.
It’s been used in shows like Midsomer Murders, Murder She Wrote, Doctor Blake and Miss Fisher, to name a mere handful (and even by House with disease as the crim!).
Death in Paradise is enjoying worldwide popularity adopting the same practice, including enduring beyond lead actor changes.
Ardal O’Hanlon, who joins at the at the end of series six as DI Jack Mooney, offers some further thought on why the show has succeeded.
“It’s quite simple. You know exactly what you’re getting every week. You’re going to get an ingenious puzzle, which is going to be at the heart of it all. You’re going to get a little bit of comedy banter between the two uniformed police [Dwayne and JP],” he tells Radio Times.
“So people know what to expect. And I think people in a childlike way enjoy that. I think that the show is designed quite cleverly in that sense. You’re going to get a little bit of an insight into the domestic situations of the various characters, so it’s a balancing act between comedy, very light drama, it’s very accessible and it looks gorgeous.”
“Another potential reason is that it’s clearly a fantasy world,” he says. “It’s not really rooted in any specific island. Like it’s kind of a French island or a British island, what is it? So it’s almost like an island designed by committee. By world committee. By the illuminati, actually, have designed this show. Because it’s so clearly a fantasy, it’s not rooted in any sort of gritty urban milieu.”