Anna Samson to lead ABC’s ‘Return to Paradise’ as production commences on NSW South Coast

Anna Samson in 'Return to Paradise'

The ABC has announced Anna Samson is leading its spin-off of the popular British–French crime comedy-drama Death in Paradise, Return to Paradise, with filming underway on the Illawarra Coast in NSW.

Unveiled at the broadcaster’s upfronts last year, the series follows Mackenzie Clarke (Samson), an Australian ex-pat who’s made a name for herself in London’s Metropolitan Police for cracking uncrackable murder cases. When accused of tampering with evidence, she returns to her hometown of Dolphin Cove in Australia, a place she fled six years ago when she left her ex-fiancée Glenn (Tai Hara) at the altar.

After reluctantly joining the team at Dolphin Cove Police Station, a case lands on her desk that brings out the tenacity and work ethic that might, over time, help her win over her new colleagues and the people of Dolphin Cove.

The ensemble cast includes Lloyd Griffith, Catherine McClements, Celia Ireland, Andrea Demetriades, and Aaron McGrath.

The BBC Studios Productions Australia and Red Planet Pictures series is created by Peter Mattessi, James Hall, and Robert Thorogood, with the trio executive producing alongside Kylie Washington, Warren Clarke, Belinda Campbell, Tim Key, and the ABC’s Rachel Okine and Brett Sleigh.

Di Haddon serves as series producer while Mattessi leads a writing team that features Elizabeth Coleman, Alexandra Collier, and Kodie Bedford. Mat King and Tenika Smith are directing the episodes.

Mattessi said the cast and crew were “having so much fun” creating the mystery series.

“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.”

Return to Paradise 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.