Beyond Paradise: BBC confirms Death In Paradise spin-off

The BBC has confirmed a Death In Paradise spin-off series, Beyond Paradise, which reveals what happened to DI Humphrey Goodman after he left the Caribbean island of Saint Marie.

The top-rated Death in Paradise has kept armchair detectives enthralled for over a decade, and has featured different detectives in its decade on BBC One. Now Beyond Paradise will tell the story of what happened to Goodman (played by Kris Marshall) after he returned to the UK.

Seeking a quieter life away from the stress of the city, Humphrey has taken a job as Detective Inspector in fiancée Martha’s hometown. However, they soon find that country life is anything but peaceful and Humphrey can’t help but be distracted by the town’s surprisingly high crime rate with a new, and very different, case challenging him each week.

Filming will start on location in the UK later this year, it will air on BBC One in the UK and BritBox internationally.

The Tower season 2: Everything we know about recommissioned ITV series

The Tower has been recommissioned by ITV for a second series.

The channel released the news this morning, and that’s not all – we know what it’s going to be about.

Will Gemma Whelan return in The Tower season 2?

Gemma Whelan will return as DS Sarah Collins is Tahirah Sharif, who was recently BAFTA-nominated for her role as PC Lizzie Adama, alongside Emmett J Scanlan as DI Kieran Shaw and Jimmy Akingbola as DC Steve Bradshaw.

Commented Polly Hill: “It’s a real thrill to be recommissioning The Tower with an excellent cast and script from Patrick Harbinson and the team at Mammoth Screen. The characters, brilliantly created by novelist Kate London, certainly resonated with our audience who are keen to learn what happens next.”

What is the second series of The Tower called?

In this second series, The Tower receives a sub-title and will be known as The Tower II: Death Message.

What is series 2 of The Tower about?

The series opens with Lizzie returning to Farlow station. Her boss and former lover, DI Kieran Shaw (Emmett J Scanlan), partners her with Arif Johar (Michael Karim).  Their first call is to a domestic violence complaint against Mark Brannon (Charley Palmer Rothwell), who is accused of beating up his girlfriend, Georgina Teel (Rosa Coduri) and terrorising their young daughter Skye.

Lizzie persuades Georgina to tell the truth about what Brannon has done to her, enabling Lizzie and Arif to arrest him. However, once the case gets to court, Lizzie finds herself cross-examined on the stand, leaving the whole case on a knife edge.

Meanwhile, Sarah Collins has transferred to Homicide Command. New boss DCI Jim Fedden is not welcoming: he asks her to re-open the case of a missing school girl, Tania Mills, who disappeared on the day of Princess Diana’s funeral, 6 September 1997. Sarah knows that Fedden has handed her an impossible challenge, but she throws herself into it with typical determination and thoroughness.And, gradually, perhaps helped by the fact that she too was a teenager of Tania’s age back in 1997, she begins to uncover clues that previous investigations had overlooked.At the end of the first episode, Sarah’s investigations take a further twist, which means she and Lizzie cross paths again…

The antagonistic relationship between the experienced Sarah Collins and the novice cop Lizzie Adama is at the heart of The Tower II, as they are forced to work together for the first time and begin to get a sense of each other’s unique strengths. 

When will The Tower season 2 be on?

ITV says filming will start on the series will begin in late summer, so expect this in early 2023.

NORDIC NOIR End Of Summer to be adapted by Viaplay

Stand by for a new Swedish crime drama.

End Of Summer, based on the best seller by Anders de la Motte, will premiere on the Viaplay streaming service in 2023 and will have six episodes.

On a summer’s evening in 1984, a five-year-old boy vanishes in rural southern Sweden. The police investigation fails to find the truth, leaving behind rumours, suspicion and a grieving family. Twenty years later, the boy’s older sister Vera is leading a group therapy session in Stockholm, when a young man describes a strangely familiar childhood memory of a disappearance. A shaken Vera travels home to her fractured family to uncover, once and for all, what really happened in the summer that never ended. 

de la Motte said: “It’s incredibly exciting that End of Summer will become a TV series. I’ve worked on this with Harmonica Films for a long time, and with Viaplay we’ve now made it happen. End of Summer is my first book to be filmed, and for personal reasons the story is very close to my heart. I’ve read the script and seen the cast list, and I’m very confident that this will be something really special.”

Filming will begin “shortly” in and around Helsingborg in Sweden.

BBC Four confirms Trom transmission date

One of the series we’ve been looking for – and indeed been following from its inception – is Trom.

Set in the Faroe Islands, it follows journalist Hannis Martinsson (Ulrich Thomsen), who unexpectedly receives a message from Sonja, his estranged daughter, claiming that her life is in danger.

Hannis reluctantly returns home to the Faroes to investigate, and discovers Sonja’s body in the bloody waters of a whale hunt. His search for answers soon brings him into conflict with the local police and uncovers a web of secrets within the close-knit community.

As is tradition on BBC Four, Trom will be shown in double-bills every Saturday night.

Trom: Saturday 9th July, 9pm, BBC Four

BBC renews Sherwood for season 2

One of the crime highlights of the year, James Graham’s Sherwood is getting a second series.

after tonight’s series one finale (Tuesday 28th June), Graham released a statement saying he was keen to explore more ‘red wall’ towns in native East Midlands.

“I’ve been so deeply moved by the response to Sherwood. These stories come from my home, and I want to specifically express gratitude to my community for whom I know these subjects can be difficult, but – I hope – important ones to explore.

“The East Midlands and former Red Wall areas like it are never just one thing, politically or culturally, and it’s been the honour of my life to give voice and character to a place I love. It’s a county of great stories and legends, past and present, and I can’t wait to show audiences more.

“It’s also a joy to see our incredible cast be so celebrated, along with lead director Lewis Arnold, who I owe a great debt, and Ben Williams. None of this would have been possible without House Productions championing and supporting me every step of the way, and without the public service remit of the BBC.”

The BBC said: “We are thrilled that James Graham and the team at House have agreed to return to the world of Sherwood a second time. This series has been met with an incredible reaction from audiences on the BBC thanks to the amazing work of all involved.”

It’s not clear at this stage whether series two will be a continuing story or a brand-new tale. More news as we get it.


REVIEW Sherwood (S1 E6/6)

Sherwood has been just terrific so far, expertly weaving an intricate murder mystery into an engrossing tale of a fraying community pushed to the very edge of its sanity.

But as terrific as it has been, a crime drama often lives and dies by how it lands. So far, writer James Graham has paid close attention to his characters, giving them deep, rich histories, and to his community that is still suffering the after-effects of the miners’ strike back in the 1980s.

Such gnarly and dense social context has been truly great for this drama, giving it a depth that we’ve not seen for a long time.

It changed slightly from a whodunit into a cat-and-mouse and, to some extent, a whydunit as the story evolved. We knew fairly early on that lone crossbowman, Scott Rowley, killed Gary Jackson and was the man wreaking havoc around Ashfield. But why?

Graham also gave us a compelling and intriguing mystery concerning a ‘spy cop’, one of five undercover Met police officers sent to Ashfield to infiltrate different groups, cause trouble and sow seeds of mistrust. State agitators, sent to heighten the conflict and who were content to sit back and let the two warring groups tear themselves apart.

In episode five, we found out that the spy cop who stayed in the town was Daphne Sparrow, now the matriarch of a crime family.

Such a fantastically delicious juxtaposition.

In fact, Sherwood has been full of these terrifically drawn characters, and I’ve really marvelled at how Graham has managed to keep all the plates spinning. I cannot tell you how difficult it is to create a compelling, addictive murder mystery – with all the beats, and with all the cliffhangers that we come to expect and demand – that is given equal weight to a really meaty character drama. One often overshadows the other – procedural snuffs out character, or vice versa. Rarely are they balanced.

But they are here.

Let’s just take a moment to list some of the amazing characterisation and stories explored in this six-part series. Ian St Clair – the white-knight cop – and his relationship with his wife Helen, his community, and what happened with his dad and brother in the 1980s; what happened to Kevin Salisbury during his stationing in Ashfield, his relationship with Jenny and how that affected him for the rest of his life; the dynamics within the Sparrow family; the sad tale of Andy Fisher, losing his wife and then exploding in a fit of murderous rage; his victim Sarah Vincent and her relationship with her father, and now an unapologetic Tory councillor in a mostly Labour area; the Jackson sisters and their causes of their estrangement… the list goes on and on. And there was even time for a star cross’d relationship between the younger members of the Jackson and Sparrow families.

To carry all of this off, you need a top-notch cast, and the likes of David Morrissey, Robert Glenister, Lesley Manville, Lorraine Ashbourne, Adeel Ahktar et al were all brilliant.

But now to the ending.

When Scott Rowley was finally caught by members of the community (a nice touch… the community putting animosities aside and teaming together to capture him) as he sought to sneak in and out of his family home, the thought was that he was doing what he was doing because he knew who the spy cop was and was taking out key players in the miners’ drama as an act of some sort of revenge.

Not so. In custody, he told a stunned St Clair and Salisbury that he had no idea who the spy cop was, although he quite enjoyed toying with the police making them think he knew who it was. No, Scott Rowley murdered Gary Jackson because he was fed up with his uncle lording it over everyone, and he continued his spree because… he wanted to make a name for himself. He had been passed over by his birth mother, his dad didn’t care about him and his life was going nowhere.

Was this satisfactory? I’m not sure. I’m still not sure after watching it a second time. Part of me thinks this was a bit… of a cop-out. In crime dramas, we like to not only see the bad guy get his comeuppance but also to find out why he did it. After all the build-up – the spy cops, the history of the miners’ strike – I was expecting something more. Much more. To see Scott Rowley (clearly a highly disturbed psychopath) laugh his head off because there was no real reason for committing the atrocities he did, felt like a bit of a cheat.

And yet, they were perfectly plausible human reasons for doing what he did – we heard that he had been rejected by his birth mother, rejected by his dad and, in a sense, rejected by his whole community.

The Scott Rowley issue had been resolved fairly early in the episode, which left a good half an hour to build up the tension again… would Daphne Sparrow be found out? She came perilously close on numerous occasions, and she was ready to end it all after it seemed her true identity would be revealed.

However, thanks to St Clair’s intervention, she stayed her pistol. Not to live happily ever after, but at least to live.

And this seemed to be the message – the big theme – in this series: no matter who you are, what you did 30 years ago and what you believe, it’s ok to change, and it’s ok to heal. Healing, reconciliation, redemption. They’re all needed in order to live life.

So while I perhaps had a few issues with some of this final episode – I’d be interested to know what you thought of it – Sherwood was one of those rare things: a crime drama that gave us characters and characterisation you could luxuriate in, the type and quality of which we haven’t seen since Happy Valley.

Paul Hirons

Episode rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Series rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.





Sherwood is now on the BBC iPlayer in the UK

REVIEW Sherwood (S1 E5/6)

Every series has one, especially every crime drama series.

Sherwood is no different.

So much is going on in this superb British series, we needed an explainer episode. And make no mistake, this is the explainer episode.

As recently the series finale of Welsh-language series, Y Golau, on S4C, we’ve discussed the use of flashbacks and the best, most impactful and judicious times to use them. However, episode five of Sherwood was more or less one big flashback, which not only revealed what really happened on that fateful night back in 1984, but also the nature of St Clair and Salisbury’s beef and, crucially who the spy cop was. It was thrilling, nicely staged and added more weight to what is already an undeniably weighty (in terms of social context) story.

If you’re reading this review you’ll no doubt know what happened, but I was so impressed by the production design and the new characters – St Clair’s brother and father (oh hello, Mark Addy!), the moral dilemmas they all faced, the betrayals, how families were torn apart… the female spy cop’s training back in London and her expert infiltration into Ashfield life, the guilt she felt after spreading the gossip that indirectly caused the fire that claimed lives… Salisbury and Jenny’s forbidden love and their role in it all… it was like an episode within an episode and it was just terrific. Hat tip also to director Lewis Arnold, especially during what seemed like one single, mega-take in the miners’ club that was comparable to Scorsese’s famous opening shot in Goodfellas.

So after that little lot, we know a lot more about the story, and who really is who in Ashfield.

And one person we now know is not the spy cop is Helen St Clair, even though she was pegged as the infiltrator at the end of episode four. In this episode, she met with Salisbury to explain she actually came to Ashfield under witness protection, which just happened to coincide with the troubles.

So that was a clever twist, and throughout this episode we saw more development in the present day, juxtaposed with backstory from the 1980s. But of course, we needed to know what was happening with Scott Rowley and Andy Fisher out in the woods. Rowley used Fisher to help throw the Met super-cops off his scent, while Andy himself was still debating whether to end it all or turn himself in.

I know I keep mentioning Andy Fisher, but he’s such an intriguing, engrossing and morally complex character (one of many in the series) – at once repugnant, sympathetic and vulnerable. And this combination was worked for all it was worth in an emotional end for him. Honestly, I thought Adeel Akhtar was simply superb as this difficult-to-portray character. He’s played despicable characters before, but here he did the business yet again. I genuinely think he’s one of the most underrated actors in the country.

There’s so much to say about every episode of Sherwood, and it’s very impressive how so much heavy characterisation is being juggled with plot and tempo in such exemplary fashion.

And there’s even time for a twist – a big twist – right at the end: the revelation of the identity of the spy cop. It was none other than Ma Sparrow herself, known as Daphne Dunne in the 1980s. As if to confirm her hidden identity, an arrow thudded into her front door.

Perfectly constructed, executed and with a huge emotional wallop.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 5 out of 5.





Sherwood airs on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK

REVIEW Rig 45: Murder At Sea (S1 E1/6)

Rig 45 has been around for a while – since 2018, in fact. When this Danish series was first mooted there was a frisson of excitement. It boasted an intriguing concept and a great cast. So the fact that it has only now made it to the UK is a slight concern. Usually a show that’s been sitting on the shelf for a while is because it’s not that great, or because there’s a budget or contract consideration.

It’s safe to say that the alarm bells were ringing when I sat down to watch episode one.

So let’s get into it. Somewhere in the North Sea (I’m guessing it’s the North Sea) is an oil rig, populated by a crew that’s essentially locked in. A Finnish staff member is on a harness and up high, making repairs on one of the towers when she becomes disorientated and short of breath. A hitherto redoubtable and well-liked member of the team, Ritva eventually falls to her death despite the best efforts of her colleagues. A terrible accident.

Or was it?

Called out to investigate the accident is Andrea, sent by the rig owners to find out what happened and to see if they’re liable for any insurance money. In fact, insurance money is playing heavily on the crew when she arrives. Rig 45 follows a pattern we see in all locked-room mysteries – an investigator shows up and the people locked in are all suspicious. The uneasy atmosphere takes a turn when Andrea is attacked and knocked unconscious when she goes to inspect the contents of Ritva’s locker, but her attack is dismissed by some as fiction. She must have slipped and bumped her head.

And all of Andrea’s investigations of course take place in darkness – no lights are turned on at any point. And as she begins to find strange things and disturbing patterns of behaviour in the crew, there’s lots of whispering in corridors, scowls from some of the crew quite obviously being set-up as the bad guys (Douglas, in particular) and it’s quite obvious that there are secrets bubbling under the surface.

So far, so familiar. In fact, we saw many of these tropes in Vigil last year.

It has a great cast fill of familiar faces, that is not in doubt – Gary Lewis, Ciaran McMenamin, David Dencik, Christian Hillborg, and the brilliant Søren Malling, for instance. And they all mostly speak in English, occasionally switching to Swedish or Danish. Because of this cast, the action and plot are fine, just fine. It’s nicely executed, the beats are scattered on point, it all looks really good and you can’t go wrong with a locked-room mystery.

But it all seems a bit flat. The dialogue and script – written by Ola Norén – has that stilted feel of a story written by a non-English speaker. All fine, but strangely off-kilter and not quite right. It doesn’t flow.

All that being said, on first watch Rig 45 isn’t the high-profile disaster it could’ve been. Instead, it’s a watchable, tense and fun series that is perfect for a bit of Friday-night escapism.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Rig 45: Murder At Sea is on More4 and All4 in the UK

The 10 Best Crime Dramas This Week (Monday 27th June – Sunday 3rd July)

This week, we say goodbye to the excellent Sherwood, which finishes up with another two episode. Elsewhere, Channel 4 roll out The Undeclared War, a starry cyber-thriller from Peter Kosminsky. Enjoy!

S1 E5&6/6

As the manhunt closes in on Scott and Andy’s location, the search for the spycop turns back the clock to 1984 to reveal their identity and the events of that fateful night. At Scotland Yard, Kevin receives a text from Helen arranging to meet. Dawes and Kevin discuss Raggett’s suicide and the information from Raggett as to the identity of the officer who stayed behind.
Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th June, 9pm, BBC One

S1 E4/6

Maurice Ward recounts how Jenkins remained unscathed despite a series of illegal incidents. Baltimore is rocked by the Freddie Gray protests.
Tuesday 28th June, 9pm, Sky Atlantic

3 The Undeclared War *NEW UK PREMIERE SERIES*
S1 E1/6

A leading team of analysts, buried in the heart of GCHQ, secretly works to ward off a series of cyber-attacks on the UK in the run-up to the 2024 general election. When a routine stress test of internet infrastructure goes awry, 21-year-old GCHQ intern Saara Parvin suddenly finds herself operating on the invisible frontier of high-stakes cyber warfare. In a thrilling cat-and-mouse game, newcomer Saara and the team must try to stay one step ahead and anticipate their opponents’ every hidden move. 
Thursday 30th June, 9pm, Channel 4

S1 E2/8

Having got the scooter back, Bea, Mahdi and Ludo carry out deliveries, but when Ludo gets fired they decide to start their own cocaine business. 
Tuesday 28th June, 10.10pm, Sky Atlantic

6 Rig 45: Murder At Sea *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE*
S1 E2/6

After a second accident, the atmosphere on the rig is edged with unease as crew members become convinced that there is a stowaway saboteur on board. The strength of the hurricane makes escape from the rig impossible and removes all hope for help from the outside world.
Friday 1st July, 9pm, More4

S3 E3/4

Social media influencer Rose Boleyn checks into Bath’s exclusive Ford & Flynn clinic for a nose job, but the routine procedure goes horribly wrong and she dies on the operating table. McDonald and Dodds must separate the fact from the fiction as they try to discover whether Rose’s life was really as glamorous as it looked.
Sunday 3rd July, 8pm, ITV

8 Miss Scarlet and the Duke *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE*
S2 E3/6

Eliza is forced into hiding when she is the prime suspect in a series of break-ins at city mortuaries. While the Duke tries to find other suspects, Eliza turns to Moses for help.
Tuesday 28th June, 9pm, Alibi

9 The Ruth Rendell Mysteries: The Inspector Wexford Specials *REPEAT*
A collection of classic mystery adaptations of bestselling author Ruth Rendell featuring an all-star line up including Colin Firth, James Callis, Amanda Redman, James D’Arcy, Honeysuckle Weeks, and George Baker as Inspector Wexford.  The stories are filled with suspense and combine vivid plots with a keen understanding of the motivations and machinations of the human mind, bringing Rendell’s work to life with every wicked irony and startling twist intact.
Thursday 29th June, Acorn TV

10 A Touch Of Frost *REPEAT*
S2 E4/4

The surly detective tries to get out of attending a reunion of George Cross holders because a serial rapist has struck again on his patch. Righteous indignation prompts him to take the most desperate professional gamble of his entire career by using PC Hazel Wallace as bait in a trap. He eventually picks up a lead involving the most recent victim’s father, but comes under pressure from within the force to back down or be thrown off the case.
Monday 27th June, 11.40pm, ITV3

REVIEW Sherwood (S1 E4/6)

Cor, just when you think you’ve got a handle on where Sherwood is going, it goes off in a different direction.

Take Scott Rowley. The crossbowman-at-large looks, for all the world, to be Gary Jackson’s murderer. In tonight’s opening scene, friend of Ian and Helen St Clair, Jacob Harris, is playing golf with two friends – one female, the other male. Suddenly, there’s another arrow out of the blue, which thudded into their golf cart, and then into Harris’s female friend’s stomach. It was a horrid scene.

Tasked with interviewing Harris in the hospital was Salisbury, which may not have been the best idea because he shithouses Harris superbly with his wife Jenny (the woman who he still loves) standing next to him. Thanks to some expert manoeuvring, he basically uncovered an affair between Jacob Harris and his female golfing partner. You can tell he took some pleasure from exposing him.

But what this scene did – or seemed to – is to expose Scott Rowley as the killer. It wasn’t explicitly shown in previous episodes. Despite him traipsing around the woods with a crossbow on his back, we never actually saw him shoot his arrows at anyone. And you know what crime dramas are like – they like to take you down avenues, present suspects like they’re bang to rights and then reveal things differently.

But certainly, at this moment, Scott Rowley looked like the man.

A clever twist – one of several in this episode – saw the Met called in to assist with people power and boots on the ground (as well as helicopters and all the bells and whistles the Met can bring to a manhunt). The return of the Met was, of course, extremely loaded. The last time they were in Ashfield was the miners’ strike, and we all know how well that went for everyone.

But still, they were needed. And their presence – dozens of officers almost marching through the streets – upped the urgency and upped the jeopardy. Ashfield was already a community on a precipice, but with the Met back in town you just felt that it was only a matter of time that someone – or something – would break.

Before we get to the really big news in this really great episode, we need to talk about Andy Fisher. On the run and deep in the woods, he turned into an almost Gollum-like figure, chatting to himself madly as he considered what to do. Take his own life? Turn himself in? Talk about a person unravelling.

It was heartbreaking and strange and conflicting, and and excellent writing by James Graham once again, who has made him so… multi-faceted. Andy Fisher was a murderer who carried out an act of shocking violence, but I couldn’t help but feel slightly sorry for him, as strange as that sounds. He had stored up years of pent-up rage and emotion after the untimely death of his wife, and it didn’t take much for him to snap. Graham has placed him in a grey area – a man who did an awful thing, the worst thing, but provided reasons for it. Andy Fisher is just one of a whole boat-load of characters in Sherwood who are written with this kind of depth and nuance.

But back to the episode. There was a twist when Fisher encroached on the part of the forest Scott Rowley was hiding in. Rowley knocked him unconscious and dragged him back to his camp. Why would he do this? It was a strange move for a man on the run who had been stalking the Met officers searching the forest for him. (And hadn’t those hapless campers we saw encounter Rowley and Fisher heard there was a nutcase with a crossbow at large in the forest?)

But now then… we also got some interesting developments when it came to the ‘spy cop’ story strand. St Clair and Salisbury had already determined that the best way to catch Rowley was to figure out who the spy cop was because they were convinced the two parts were connected. They got confirmation from an NUM lawyer (oh hello, Lindsay Duncan!) that spy cops not only existed but also Thatcher’s government actively courted and encouraged all-out war between the miners in order to serve their anti-union, pro-free-market aspirations (I’m sure this political dimension will enrage many). “We’re an old country with a lot of past,” she told them, sagely.

Now armed with the confirmation that spy cops did indeed exist, it was time to really focus on who the culprit might be. I thought it might be Julie Jackson, or perhaps even Daphne Sparrow (just hunches on both) or even Ian St Clair or Kevin Salisbury themselves. But an interesting name cropped up… Helen St Clair, Ian’s wife.

Salisbury found that her file had been made restricted, so suddenly Helen was the prime suspect – she had come from out of town for reasons unknown, so she ticked all the boxes.

More intrigue happened when Salisbury travelled back to London to confront his boss over the whole spy cop concept. He gave him a name of a former officer pictured in a newspaper article – Robbie Platt, the same name in Gary Jackson’s notebook from episode three. Robbie Platt – not his real name – turned out to be a man on his death bed, who admitted that there were five undercover officers circulating and working undercover in Ashfield in 1984. They each had a romantic poet’s name for a codeword. All of them had come back, except one.


As the addled former officer decided to say no more, that’s when Helen St Clair telephoned Salisbury. Yikes!

A lot more happened in this episode, too. Shout-out to the aforementioned Daphne Sparrow (played brilliantly by Lorraine Ashworth), the matriarch of the Sparrow family really kicked arse tonight (why does she remind me slightly of Ma Boswell in Bread?). And a shout-out to the merest hint of reconciliation – both between St Clair and Salisbury and between Julie and sister Cathy Rowley.

It’s these stories of healing and of redemption that make Sherwood so compelling and gives it a real human quality in among all the sturm and drang.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.




Sherwood airs on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK