‘She needs to go, quick sharp’ – New ‘Death in Paradise’ cast divide viewers

TV tonight Kate O'Flynn plays Izzy Parker.
Kate O'Flynn plays Izzy Parker (Image credit: BBC1)

Death in Paradise introduced two new characters on Friday, provoking two wildly different reactions from the audience – as far as viewers are concerned, DI Neville Parker’s sister Izzy can get the next flight out of Saint Marie, while Darlene Curtis can stay for ever.

Strictly speaking, Darlene is not a new character – she appeared as a love interest for Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules) in season 7, but her return in the latest episode suggested she is joining the core cast.

Darlene (Ginny Holder) is an attractive, no-nonsense local who reappeared as a nurse at a rehab clinic and was initially under suspicion when a pop star died, apparently from an allergic reaction to aspirin. But Darlene put up a spirited defence and was soon crossed off the suspects’ list.

Darlene Curtis

Ginny Holder plays Darlene Curtis (Image credit: Denis Guyenon/BBC)

At the end of the show, the commissioner (Don Warrington), impressed, offered her a job at the station, commenting that she ‘will be a great fit for the team’ – and Death in Paradise season 11 fans couldn’t agree more.

One fan posted: “I knew they were setting Darlene up as recurring (at least) character as soon as she mentioned Dwayne”.

Another viewer agreed: “Setting it up nicely for Dwayne to make a surprise return: “Darlene??! What the hell are you doing here???!” Can just hear him saying it lol”.

It’s hard to imagine they would reintroduce Darlene without also bringing back Dwayne, especially as the commissioner appeared to be smitten with her.

Nothing like a love rivalry to upset the apple cart and provide juicy drama.

A less desirable cast addition was the sister of Neville (Ralf Little), Izzy (Kate O’Flynn), who arrived unannounced and much to the DI’s annoyance. It soon became apparent why.

Izzy is a grade A irritant – selfish, lazy and feckless… Pretty much the opposite of her brother.

A Death in Paradise viewer summed up the feelings of many, writing: “Izzy needs to go, quick sharp.”

Another fan was straight to the point: “Can Neville please put his sister Izzy on the next plane back to the U.K. I’m finding her really irritating and dislikable.”

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Another fan had a tip for the producers, commenting: “I think they need to tone down her mannerisms and annoying traits, like they have with Neville’s allergies and issues.”

However, we suspect that after the closing scene, when she threw a party at Neville’s beach house without permission, her time on Saint Marie is already very much borrowed.

Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.