So, you’re looking for something to help take you mind away from the grim realities of lockdown. But you’re a Doctor Who fan and can’t decide between one of many sci fi series that only made one or two seasons on Netflix or something left field. Look no further, I have the perfect solution.
Based on a detailed scientific analysis of your requirements (yes, you personally – everyone else gets their own recommendation thanks to the advance quantum uncertainty engine at the heart of the DWC), I have determined this is what you like:
- A long running, popular BBC series with family audience appeal, shown weekly in hour-long episodes and is one of the most widely shown programmes in the world
- People being in two places at the same time, getting out of rooms locked on the inside and other impossibilities according to the conventional laws of physics
- A strong lead character whose insight and quirky personality lets them get to the heart of the mystery right at the end
- The lead character is not from around here
- A regular stream of guest stars, most of whom are never seen again
- The hero has a set of companions helping out
- A chance to buy some merchandise (eg T-shirts, mugs)
- Spin-off books
- There is a police connection…
Am I warm? I also deduce you don’t mind:
- Stories being mostly set in the same few square miles
- The lead character being recast every few years and companions also changing regularly.
If I combine all these facts into the DWC confabulator, there is only one possible answer:
WELCOME TO ST MARIE
DEATH IN PARADISE!
Joking aside, Death in Paradise is pure escapism and exactly what you need to take yourself away from day to day cares. Who wouldn’t rather be chilling in a bar on a Caribbean beach? Yes, the plots are mostly obvious, but they do let you switch off. It’s all classic Edwardian detective cliché and all the better for it. There are also nine series all now showing on iPlayer, so it’s free.
The lead detectives are played by Ben Miller (Robot of Sherwood), Kris Marshall (who was long rumoured to be the Thirteenth Doctor), Ardal O’Hanlon (Gridlock), and, most recently, Ralf Little (Smile).
If you want one last reason to watch, the show’s creator Robert Thorogood had his idea for a show championed by Tony Jordan (of Life on Mars and Hustle fame). He is also studied at Downing College Cambridge*, as did John Cleese and Terrance Dicks. You don’t get more Doctor Who than that!
*As did yours truly, not that you can tell!