Show name: Beyond Paradise
Release date: 2023
Genre: Crime drama
Starring: Kris Marshall, Sally Bretton, Zahra Ahmadi
Created by: Robert Thorogood, Tony Jordan
Studio: BBC One
Length: One hour per episode
I just love a good spin off, and they work best when you’ve had just long enough to really miss the main character.
DI Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) was happy enough on St Marie, but he came back to the UK in order to pursue his relationship with Martha Lloyd (Sally Bretton).
This took them to London, but a few years on finds the couple struggling with fertility issues.
A move to Martha’s home town of Shipton Abbott in Devon, closer to her mother (Barbara Flynn), is intended to reduce the couple’s stress levels.
When Beyond Paradise opens, Humphrey is looking forward to tackling serious crime in the local area with his irrepressible optimism and proven attention to detail.
Humphrey has a team of three employees with him at the local police station, some of whom are more welcoming than others.
Meanwhile, Martha’s new restaurant faces financial challenges and she takes on a partner in the venture.
In the first episode of Beyond Paradise, a local businesswoman Gwen Tyler (Montserrat Lombard) is found seriously injured after a fall from a ladder.
From the position of the ladder, damage to the balcony and the location of the injured woman, Humphrey is convinced that this is a case of attempted murder.
The second episode adds to the feel that, while a serious crime will feature in every episode, we aren’t necessary going to see a murder take place every time.
I liked that, because sometimes it can be a stretch to imagine so much violent crime in an incredibly safe place to live.
In this case, a jealous husband is pushed to the limit by his wife’s infidelity and the whole family disappear. His ageing mother (Ruth Madoc) is left confused about what has happened, but doing her best to help police.
The third episode of Beyond Paradise revolved around art, something closely linked to the beautiful county of Devon.
The apparent theft of a valuable painting, whose creator is disputed already, takes Humphrey and the team of a local stately home.
The fourth episode centres around a dead body found in the middle of a crop circle, after a reported alien sighting. The fifth finds Humphrey and Martha at a crossroads in their relationship while he tries to find a triple arsonist attacking local farms and businesses.
And let’s not forget the season finale!
Beyond Paradise has such a feel-good atmosphere to it. It was wonderful to see Humphrey and Martha again, and their ongoing struggles with IVF introduce plenty of tension into their situation. I longed to know that their relationship would survive this challenge intact.
Devon and Cornwall are two of the most beautiful parts of the UK and a superb choice of location for the series.
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