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Everything we know about Death in Paradise spin-off, Return to Paradise

Find out everything to know about Return to Paradise

Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
20 April 2024
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We are loving Beyond Paradise’s return for season two, but the spin-off is getting us even more hyped up for the third show to enter the Death in Paradise cinematic universe; Return to Paradise! With casting announcements and plot details coming in thick and fast, here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming BBC comedy-drama… 

Who is the lead detective? 

With Kris Marshall heading up Beyond Paradise, and Ralf Little (until recently) being the lead detective, this time we have our first female detective lead the way! The story follows a London Met police officer named Mackenzie Clark, who will be played by the former Home and Away star Anna Samson. 

Anna Samson as DI Mackenzie Clarke in Return to Paradise© John Platt
Anna Samson as DI Mackenzie Clarke in Return to Paradise

The Australian actress was originally born in the UK before growing up in Nigeria and eventually moving to Sydney as a teenager. She has some seriously impressive shows and movies in her filmography, including the HBO series The Leftovers, Dead Lucky, Hunters, Winners and Losers and Crime & Punishment.  

Anna Samson will play Mackenzie
Anna Samson will play Mackenzie

Although Anna hasn’t spoken about the news just yet - she did reshare the casting announcement, which read: "Filming has officially commenced on Return to Paradise, Australia’s original spin-off series of the global smash-hit murder mystery franchise Death in Paradise. Taking charge as the franchise’s first lead female detective is @annamaysamson as Mackenzie Clarke, who’s made a name for herself for cracking uncrackable murder cases.” 

What is it about? 

Mackenzie is smashing it in London Met, but after an incident at work, she reluctantly returns to her hometown of Dolphin Cove. Having left the town – and her ex-fiancée – six years earlier, she doesn’t receive a warm welcome back, but the local police station could certainly benefit from her skills - and she is soon tasked with finding out the killer in her first murder case. 

WATCH: Beyond Paradise is a hugely successful spin-off from Death in Paradise

Want more info? 

The official synopsis for the upcoming drama reads: “Australian ex-pat Mackenzie Clarke is the seemingly golden girl of the London Metropolitan police force – with an intuitive approach to detective work, she has built a reputation for being able to crack the most impossible of cases. 

“However, she’s suddenly forced to up sticks and move back to her childhood home of Dolphin Cove, a beautiful, coastal paradise… and Mackenzie’s worst nightmare… Having escaped her hometown at the earliest opportunity six years ago, Mack vowed she'd never come back, leaving a lot of unfinished business and unanswered questions. 

Death in Paradise cast celebrates show's 100th episode© BBC
The DiP cinematic universe is heading to Australia!

“On her return she’s still no fan of the town, and the people of Dolphin Cove are certainly no fans of hers. Everyone would prefer her not to be there, including Mackenzie herself. But when a murder takes place in Dolphin Cove, Mack can’t help but put her inspired detective brilliance to good use and determines, despite her reservations, that she needs to make the best of it, including tying up the loose ends with the man she left at the altar six years ago.” 

Who else is in the cast? 

There is an impressive group of cast members for this one, with Ted Lasso star Lloyd Griffith joining Anna, alongside fellow Home and Away alum Tai Hara, Total Control actress Catherine McClements, The Artful Dodger star Andrea Demetriades and Gold Diggers actor Aaron McGrath. 

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How does it link to Death in Paradise or Beyond Paradise? 

Since Death in Paradise and Beyond Paradise have a clear link in that Humphrey Goodman was a detective on the island of St Marie before heading to settle down with his fiance in Devon, it stands to reason that Return to Paradise might also see Mackenzie have some sort of link to someone from the DiP universe. We’ll have to watch and find out! 

Kris Marshall as Humphrey Goodman in Beyond Paradise © Red Planet Pictures/Joss Barratt/BBC
Kris Marshall as Humphrey Goodman in Beyond Paradise

Speaking about the new show, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition Sue Deeks said: “Everything we all love about Death in Paradise - the humour, the beautiful scenery, the likeable characters, the ingenious plots - now in a fabulous Australian setting. I cannot wait for BBC viewers to be introduced to Detective Mack and the good (and not-so-good!) folk of Dolphin Cove. What a treat we have in store!” We can’t wait!

When will it be released? 

Since filming is currently underway in Sydney as well as the Illawarra coastal region, there is yet to be a release date for the new show - but watch this space!

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