As DI Humphrey Goodman and DS Esther Williams delved into the peculiar series of burglaries in Shipton Abbott, they found themselves facing an unusual challenge. The mysterious pile of ash left at each crime scene presented more questions than answers. The lack of traditional evidence left the detectives scratching their heads, and the pressure from CS Charlie Woods and Police HQ only added to the urgency of solving the case.

With the future of their small station hanging in the balance, DI Goodman and DS Williams worked tirelessly to connect the dots. The town of Shipton Abbott buzzed with speculation, and the residents grew increasingly concerned as the holiday season approached.

Meanwhile, back at the station, Officer Support Margo Martins brought a touch of festive cheer to the office, attempting to maintain a sense of normalcy despite the challenging circumstances. PC Kelby Hartford found himself facing an unexpected challenge as he took on the task of babysitting a young shoplifter named Rishi Sunak. The cheeky nature of the young culprit added a layer of humor to the otherwise tense situation, providing a brief respite from the intense investigation.

As the detectives navigated the complexities of the case, they uncovered a web of secrets and connections that went beyond the surface of the bizarre burglaries. With time ticking away and the pressure mounting, DI Goodman and DS Williams faced a race against time to solve the mystery and save their beloved station from the looming threat of closure.

The plot weaves together elements of mystery, humour, and the spirit of Christmas as the characters work to unravel the enigma of the ash-laden burglaries and secure a happy ending for Shipton Abbott.

Interview with Kris Marshall (DI Humphrey Goodman)

What can you tell us about the first ever Beyond Paradise Christmas special?

It’s a great honour to be granted a Christmas special for what was, this year, a new show. I really feel privileged – as I think we all do, because usually it takes two or three series to bed in and to be granted a Christmas special. To get that at the end of our first series was a real boon for us.

The special is very Christmassy, unsurprisingly! It’s also very heart-warming, fun, and has a recognisable storyline but with its own unique spin on it. It has great cast, it’s funny and is one of our best shows so far. There’s a lot to be excited about!

What was it like filming a Christmas special in the middle of the year?

It was hot. I know a lot of the other cast had to wear Christmassy, wintery clothing – like mittens and Christmas jumpers – but I maintained that Humphrey, as is his character, wouldn’t wear coats or jumpers. He just wears the same thing all the time. So, I got away with it a bit! Although I had to act cold, because not wearing the warm clothing meant I had to pretend that it was chilly and I wasn’t wearing the adequate clothing for it.

It was very interesting filming in Looe, we filmed a Christmas market scene which is quite a significant part of the episode, and it must have been 28 or 29 degrees that day. We were filming with fake snow and lots of jingle bells, while literally twenty feet away there was people on the beach in their budgie smugglers filming us. It made for an interesting dichotomy. Because it stays lighter longer in the summer and gets darker earlier in the winter, a lot of our scenes were at night and we had to film very late, but you had this kind of weirdly brilliant thing where, once you’ve finished filming the Christmas episode, you could then go to the beach!

Talk us through your perfect Christmas Day…

My perfect Christmas Day is pretty low key, and it’s obviously with the family. I don’t know how people do their stocking traditions, but we do stockings as soon as you wake up. We open up the stockings with the kids, then we have some breakfast. Generally, because we have a house in France, we all go skiing on Christmas Day until about 1pm, and then come back and crack into a few beers, a bit of wine and then we get festive. We’ll have a late Christmas dinner with friends or family and then play games, do quizzes and mess around… have a few more drinks, watch a bit of telly. The perfect Christmas day.

What has been the best present you’ve ever received?

I’m really into my bracelets. When I’m working, I tend to leave them off, but when not, I have about ten on. My kids always buy me a new bracelet and they inscribe it with their names or a message, and my wife does a similar thing. They all mean something to me.

How do you think Humphrey would be spending Christmas?

I think Humphrey would be spending Christmas with his duck, Selwyn and his loving betrothed, Martha. He would probably be cooking, burning a turkey, because, as Martha runs a café, it’s not really fair to expect her to cook on Christmas, so I think it would be up to him.

What Christmas present would you buy for Humphrey?

He loves socks, but that’s such a boring gift – though it’s not a boring gift for Humphrey… He doesn’t wear coats, jumpers, watches, jewellery, aftershave… so what do you buy him? I would buy him some more hang-gliding lessons…