Return to Paradise: Sydney shoot starts for Death in Paradise spin-off

Anna Samson will star in the Australian spin-off series of Death in Paradise, the global hit mystery franchise.

The ABC has announced that filming has begun in NSW on Return to Paradise, the Australian spin-off of the British-French smash-hit murder mystery franchise, Death in Paradise.

The series, which began in 2011 and now has 13 seasons, is known for being a sun-soaked whodunnit ‘with a light touch and a warm heart’. And filming has started on the new six-part Australian series in various locations across Sydney and the Illawarra coastal region.

The ABC’s media release promises ‘a distinctively Australian flare, while playing homage to the “Paraverse”. ‘

Return to Paradise is produced by BBC Studios Productions Australia, with Red Planet Pictures for the ABC in association with the BBC.

Featuring the franchise’s first lead female detective is Anna Samson (Dead Lucky, Wake in Fright, Jack Irish) as Mackenzie Clarke, an Australian ex-pat who’s made a name for herself in London’s Metropolitan Police for cracking uncrackable murder cases.

‘When she is accused of tampering with evidence, Mackenzie returns to Australia, back to the last place she ever wanted to be – her hometown of Dolphin Cove. Having fled the town six years ago, infamously leaving her ex-fiancée Glenn (Tai Hara) at the altar, Mackenzie is not welcome here.

‘But with no other job options, and a unique talent for solving a mystery, no matter how challenging, a reluctant Mack joins the team at Dolphin Cove Police Station. Once a case lands on her desk, she can’t rest until she’s figured it out, and the killer is in handcuffs. It’s that tenacity and work ethic that might just, over time, help Mackenzie win over her new colleagues, and the people of Dolphin Cove.’

The ensemble cast of the Australian spinoff includes Lloyd Griffith (Ted Lasso, Nolly), Tai Hara (Home & Away, Colin From Accounts), Catherine McClements (Total Control, Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries), Celia Ireland (Wentworth, Total Control), Andrea Demetriades (Mother and Son, The Artful Dodger) and Aaron McGrath (Gold Diggers, Preppers).

Read: After the Party on ABC iview: streaming preview

Return to Paradise is produced by BBC Studios Productions Australia, Red Planet Pictures and created and Executive Produced by Peter Mattessi, James Hall and Robert Thorogood. Producer: Di Haddon. Executive Producers for BBC Studios Productions Australia are Kylie Washington and Warren Clarke, for Red Planet Pictures are Belinda Campbell and Tim Key, and for ABC are Rachel Okine and Brett Sleigh. 

Co-Creator and Executive Producer Peter Mattessi said: ‘We are having so much fun creating this brand-new mystery series that brings an Australian twist to one of the globe’s most successful television franchises.  We think audiences in Australia, UK and around the world are going to fall in love with our wonderful characters, our delicious whodunits, and our gorgeous coastal Australian locations.

Peter Mattessi leads the writing team that includes Elizabeth Coleman, Alexandra Collier, and Kodie Bedford. Episodes will be direcgted by Mat King and Tenika Smith.

The series will air on ABC and ABC iview later this year and will be shown on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK. It will be distributed globally by BBC Studios.

In the meantime, Death in Paradise S12 is currently showing on ABC iview, following DI Neville Parker (Ralf Little) and his team as they solve murder mysteries in the idyllic fictional island of Saint Marie – filmed in Guadeloupe (about halfway down the eastern Caribbean chain, between Dominica and Antigua).

Rochelle Siemienowicz is the ArtsHub Group's Education and Career Editor. She is a journalist for Screenhub and is a writer, film critic and cultural commentator with a PhD in Australian cinema. She was the co-host of Australia's longest-running film podcast 'Hell is for Hyphenates' and has written a memoir, Fallen, published by Affirm Press. Her second book, Double Happiness, a novel, will be published by Midnight Sun in 2024. Instagram: @Rochelle_Rochelle Twitter: @Milan2Pinsk