Paradise is a cracking ensemble29/09/2019 - Author: admin - Comments are closed
On patrol: Danny John-Jules (right) and Death in Paradise co-star Gary Carr.Whether in the Caribbean or deep space, Danny John-Jules believes chemistry is key.
Death in Paradise is regularly described as a classic murder mystery tinged with humour; is it a fair assessment?
It definitely has elements of a classic British murder mystery series, but we added ingredients like the main character (Richard Poole, played by Ben Miller) being a fish out of water and having extra hurdles to get over instead of just solving the crime. He has two objectives, really – one is to get through the day, and the other is to solve the crime. Unfortunately, his personality obstructs him getting through the day, which in turn makes it harder to solve the crime.
The second series recently screened in Britain and averaged almost 8 million viewers a week. Why has it struck such a chord with the public?
I think that a very successful television character is one that the audience loves and hates at the same time, and that’s exactly what Richard Poole does. He annoys the hell out of you, but he’s so endearing at the same time.
How important is the chemistry between Death in Paradise’s ensemble cast?
I always find that if you have a great ensemble (cast), you can get around anything. If you’ve got eight episodes, are all of them going to be real humdingers? No. But your ensemble can always get the audience to the point where they don’t feel disappointed or cheated if one episode isn’t as strong as others. I think it’s the basis of all good television shows.
What’s it like filming the show on a Caribbean island?
Because there’s so much work to do, you tend to not have as much free time as you think. When you’re not learning lines you’re in the hotel on Skype. But I love it because my mum and dad are from the next island and my dad still lives there. I can get on a ferry and be on my dad’s island in an hour, and I took my kids to see my dad for the first time, which was nice.
It was recently announced that Ben Miller will leave the show during the third season and Kris Marshall (My Family) will join the cast in the lead role. Will it change the show’s dynamic?
Ben’s character took over from a previous character at the start of the series and he’s now being replaced, so from a writing point of view it won’t change much. With a good strong ensemble cast, you should be able to accommodate any new character. Kris Marshall has been in huge shows before and he’s very well known, so there’s no reason he won’t slot right in.
Last year, the Red Dwarf team (of which John-Jules was part) reunited for its first full series since 1999. Were you worried about how it would be received?
Not really, because there’s always been such great rapport between the cast. Some people said we were too old to do Red Dwarf again, others said we would screw it up. But we’re nominated in two categories at the Monte Carlo Television Festival this year. Twenty-five years after we started, Red Dwarf is as strong as ever.
What can you reveal about the next series of Red Dwarf, reportedly being worked on by the show’s co-creator and writer Doug Naylor?
He’s definitely been writing new stuff and there’s a rumour it might even be a co-BBC production. I think it will definitely happen; the response last year was excellent. The cast [are] ready to rock’n’roll.
Death in Paradise, ABC1, Saturday, 7.30pm.
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