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'Death in Paradise' Season 1 refresher — everything you need to know

Death in Paradise season 1
Death in Paradise season 1 starred Ben Miller as DI Richard Poole and Sara Martins as DS Camille Bordey. (Image credit: BBC)

Death in Paradise first aired on BBC in 2011, and followed the Metropolitan Police Service's Detective Inspector DI Richard Poole (Ben Miller). But instead of working in London like he's used to, he's begrudgingly shipped off to the island paradise of Saint-Marie in the Caribbean to solve a case. It's DI Poole's worst nightmare, as sun, sea and sand are not his idea of a good time.

But with 10 seasons and four different detectives, you might need reminding of what happened right at the beginning when DI Poole first arrived on the island. Here's everything you need to know about Death in Paradise Season 1 including where you can watch it right now (please note in the UK all seasons are currently on BBCiPlayer)...

Who was Detective Inspector Richard Poole? Spoilers ahead!

Death in Paradise's first detective was DI Poole, played by Ben Miller. He was sent to Saint Marie to investigate the murder of DI Charlie Hulme, the head of the Honoré Police Station. He was quite the eccentric character, who disliked the island and carried on wearing suits despite the tropical climate. But despite all this, he managed to prove himself as a worthy detective in season one.

DI Poole was also known for his disgruntled personality, but soon managed to form an unlikely bond with his new colleagues, which was a welcome change from his previous job in London where his former colleagues even threw a party after he left for Saint Marie!

He is unable to return to London and secure his old job after missing the deadline, and instead remains on the island as the new police chief.

What was the first case in Death in Paradise Season 1?

Death in Paradise's first ever case was the death of Detective Inspector Charlie Hulme (Hugo Speer) , who was found shot dead in a sealed panic room during a house party held by James and Sarah Lavender. DI Hulme had been investigating James Lavender for people smuggling while simultaneously having an affair with James' wife, Sarah.

When James Lavender is also found dead, it is soon revealed that the culprit is much closer to home than DI Poole first thought. It is revealed that DI Hulme stumbled across a book which incriminated both James and Sergeant Lily Thomson (Lenora Crichlow) who worked alongside him at Honoré Police, and Sergeant Thomson tried to cover this up by murdering him with a silenced gun, swapping the evidence.

DI Poole later discovers the book and the truth, arresting Lily Thomson for the murder of Charlie Hulme, DI Poole's predecessor. It is revealed that Poole is taking over from Hulme, after being instructed to remain on the island as its police chief.

What else happened in Death in Paradise Season 1?

Each episode follows a new case, so Death in Paradise treated viewers to several when it first aired. These included the strange murder of a bride who was killed with a spear-gun, a voodoo priestess who predicts her own murder as well as the man responsible and a young woman who was found murdered in her home with coins stuffed in her mouth. Each of these cases are solved by the end of each episode.

Throughout all this, DI Poole works closely with DS Camille Bordey (Sara Martins) and their relationship is explored as a subplot alongside the many cases they have to investigate. At first it was quite a frosty one, but develops overtime with hints of a romantic interest.

Also, on DI Poole's team were Officer Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules) and Officer Fidel Best (Gary Carr). Plus, the first series also introduced us to Commissioner Selwyn Patterson (Don Warrington), who's the only character from the first ever episode to still be in the series.

Who were the guest stars in season 1?

Death in Paradise is no stranger to guest stars, and welcomed several in its first season alone. Line of Duty's Adrian Dunbar showed up in the final episode as Aidan Miles, and other stars have included Sophie Winkleman, Jeany Spark, Nicholas Farrell and Paterson Joseph.

Lucy Buglass

Lucy is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2016 with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.


She is also a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema, setting up her own website Lucy Goes to Hollywood in 2017 to review films in her spare time. Her favourite genres are horror, thriller and anything crime related. When she's not writing about film and TV, you'll likely find her playing video games, reading, and trying her hand at podcasting.