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Exclusive: Beyond Paradise star Kris Marshall reveals major change from original series

The actor is reprising his role as DI Humphrey in the spin-off show

kris marshall
Nicky Morris
Nicky MorrisTV and film writer
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Kris Marshall had a tough act to follow when he replaced Ben Miller as Death in Paradise's lead detective in season three. The Love Actually star joined the show as DI Humphrey Goodman, who was summoned to the island to investigate his predecessor, Richard Poole's murder. 

While Ben's departure was met with great sadness from fans, it didn't take long for Kris to win them over with his portrayal of the clumsy London detective. After making his mark on the crime drama – and to the devastation of viewers – Kris decided to hang up his linen blazer in season six, handing the reigns over to Ardal O'Hanlon for three seasons before the current lead, Ralf Little, stepped in.

WATCH: Kris Marshall creates 'havoc' as he returns as Humphrey Goodman in Beyond Paradise

 

Now, after five years away, Kris has returned to the role in Beyond Paradise, a spin-off show that focuses on DI Humphrey's life back in the UK having left Saint Marie and the Honoré Police Station behind.

The new drama, which premieres tonight (Friday 24), follows Humphrey and his fiancée Martha Lloyd (Sally Bretton) as they embark on new adventures in Shipton Abbott on the Devonshire coast.

During filming in autumn last year, HELLO! visited the show's set in Cornwall to catch up with Kris, who revealed the major differences between the spin-off and the original series and what it was like reprising his role after half a decade. 

kris sally cover

Kris and Sally reprise their roles as Humphrey and Martha in Beyond Paradise

On what viewers can expect from the new drama, Kris explained: "What I would say for all fans of Death in Paradise is we don't stray hugely from the path of what people enjoy about the show. So there's a great crime and 'who dunnit?' to solve. That's the sort of bedrock of the show, just like [the original]."

READ: Why these Death in Paradise stars left the show 

He went on to say that while there are parallels between the two shows - such as Humphrey's new sidekick Selwyn the duck, who mirrors his old companion, Harry the Caribbean lizard - there are plenty of differences and one big change. "There are no murders. None," revealed Kris. "Not in this series anyway. 

sally kris beyond© Photo: BBC

The series sees Humphrey and Martha embark on a new way of life in the UK

"With Death in Paradise, the clue is in the title. We do have death in Beyond Paradise but we don't have murders because it needed to be a completely new show, otherwise it would be really lazy to just do a show where you plonk it in Devon and Cornwall.

"It wouldn't work really, because a huge amount of the attraction of Death in Paradise is its setting."

Kris, who is familiar with Cornwall having previously owned a home in the nearby village of Polperro for ten years, explained how the show's investigations differ from those in the flagship drama. "Our crimes are more suited to the surroundings," he said. "They are a bit more quirky and a bit more Celtic and pagan and folklore-ish. 

beyond paradise cast© Photo: BBC

Kris alongside co-stars Zahra Ahmadi, Dylan Llewellyn and Felicity Montagu 

"It's a bit more bucolic, as you would expect in the UK – not necessarily people being stabbed in a wonderful, five-star Caribbean hotel."

Another big difference is the "denouement" of each episode, according to Kris. "In Death in Paradise and a lot of these shows, like Poirot and Agatha Christie, all of the suspects would be sat around in a room and the brilliant, slightly-crazy detective would come in and say, 'It was you, it could have been you… it was you!' We don't do that," he explained.

"We still have the summing up and the denouement but it's done in a much more interactive way," he said, adding: "I think it's completely unique and hasn't been done before."

MORE: Ralf Little's first role on Death in Paradise revealed amid exit rumours - and he looks so different

On how he felt stepping back into Humphrey's shoes, Kris explained: "I was a little bit reticent because I'm five years older and yet, I kind of feel even more energised than I did when I first started. As soon as I put on that linen jacket, I thought: 'This is great!'"

kris zahra© Photo: BBC

Kris said it didn't take long to get back into character

Although Kris had been away from the role for five years, it didn't take long to get back into character. "I remember my boss saying to me, 'You've done your research really well to get back into character,' and I went, 'I haven't really done any, actually'," Kris recalled.

"Just as soon as I put the jacket back on, and it sounds twee, but as soon as I put the linen jacket and brogues back on, it was like, 'I'm back,' and all the quirks came back and I really love that."

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