Creating a successful spin-off can be a daunting task. It requires striking a delicate balance between maintaining the essence of the original while introducing fresh ideas and characters that capture audiences’ attention. For every spin-off that becomes a beloved classic, like Frasier or Angel, there are others that fall short, such as Joey or Joanie Loves Chachi.
Fortunately, Beyond Paradise rises to this challenge by boldly taking beloved characters from Death in Paradise and placing them in a new setting with new challenges.
The series follows the relocation of DI Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) and his fiancée, Martha Lloyd (Sally Bretton), to the small town of Shipton Abbott in Devon.
While the new show retains some of the DNA of its parent- stunning scenery, endearing local characters, and a one-mystery-per-episode format – it differs in one crucial respect: it has a much less body count. Instead, the series focuses on Humphrey’s complex cases, which involve a stolen painting, a missing family, and an arsonist who takes inspiration from the Three Little Pigs.
In Shipton Abbott, Humphrey discovers that everyone is in everyone else’s business, both figuratively and literally. His new team, including PC Kelby Hartford (Dylan Llewellyn) and DS Esther Williams (Zahra Ahmadi), take some time to warm up to their new DI, who is untidy, eccentric, and unorthodox in his methods.
Despite this, he soon wins them over, and they find themselves willingly participating in his strange physical exercise to prove a point about the case.
The team’s most pressing case involves a woman, Gwen Tyler (Montserrat Lombard), who claims to have been assaulted by the ghost of a 17th-century witch. Humphrey and Esther investigate and upgrade the case to attempted murder when they discover that Gwen was dragged across the floor and her ladder was moved.
The case leads them to uncover a web of adultery, financial mismanagement, and data tampering, which is a far cry from the witchcraft Old Mother Wheaten is famous for.
Beyond Paradise deviates from the standard detective series format by eschewing the traditional drawing-room reveal. Instead, Humphrey takes us back to the crime scene and explains in real time what happened, providing a fresh and exciting perspective on the traditional detective show.
While Beyond Paradise shares some similarities with Death in Paradise, it stands out with its unique approach to storytelling and focus on complex cases. It’s a welcome addition to the genre and is sure to keep audiences entertained.