The popular laid-back island mystery series Death in Paradise will return for its ninth season in 2020, but there are big changes in store for the residents of Saint Marie.
The most significant is that, once again, the series will be swapping out its lead detective. Star Ardal O’Hanlon has decided to seek less tropical pastures in the coming months and will be departing the series at some point this season. O'Hanlon, who joined the series in 2017, is the third actor to lead the Death in Paradise ensemble, following both Ben Miller and Kris Marshall. (At this point, we have to wonder if this island secretly has a TARDIS hidden somewhere on it.) But, thankfully, his replacement has already been tapped.
Ralf Little, probably best known for his roles on The Royle Family and Our Zoo, will take over - and, surprise, he's actually appeared on the show before. Little appeared in a pair of Death in Paradise episodes back in 2013, but will return in 2020 as an all new character, Detective Inspector Neville Parker.
There's no official word yet on how the official transition from O'Hanlon to Little's characters will work, but Parker will join the show prior to DI Jack Mooney's departure. (Let's just hope it's less traumatic than DI Poole's, shall we?) He'll be sent, somewhat reluctantly, to the island of St. Marie to investigate the mysterious death of a woman from his hometown of Manchester.
Shyko Amos, who joined the cast in its eighth series to fill the void left behind by Danny John-Jules' departure, will return for Season 9, as will longtime regulars Tobi Bakare, Don Warrington and Elizabeth Bourgine. Joséphine Jobert, who exited the show midway through last season, won't be back for this new run of episodes either.
Get a first look at the new season below.
The new season is airing this January on BBC One, and is expected to cross the pond later this year. Season 8 of Death in Paradise is currently streaming on Britbox, so it feels likely that platform will also become the streaming home for these new episodes. But, Season 9 will also be available for broadcast on PBS stations nationwide this spring, so just keep an eye on your station's local listings. (I can guarantee you this show will air at different times in different places, so be vigilant!)
What do you think about the prospect of another detective taking things over in St. Marie? Let's discuss.