Danny John-Jules

(On tv shows and actors on them — British, for a change.)

On KQED-TV today, an episode of the tv show Death in Paradise, which I’m fond of. One of the staples of the show is the enjoyable actor Danny John-Jules, appearing here in his second tv success, now about twice the age he was when he started in his first, the long-running Red Dwarf.

Some of the first cast of DiP:

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(left to right: the actors John-Jules, Ben Miller, Sara Martins, Gary Carr)

Death in Paradise. On the show, from Wikipedia, with more detaii than I’d usually give, because of the interesting social and cultural background of the show:

Death in Paradise is a British-French lighthearted crime drama television series created by Robert Thorogood, initially starring Ben Miller and Sara Martins and later starring Kris Marshall and Joséphine Jobert. Danny John-Jules also stars and has been present throughout the series. The programme is a joint UK and French production filmed on the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom and France 2 in France.

Synopsis: A British detective, Richard Poole (Ben Miller) is assigned to investigate a murder on the fictional paradise island of Saint Marie in the Caribbean. After he successfully finds the murderer, he is reluctantly required by his supervisors to stay on as the detective inspector (DI) of the island, solving new cases as they appear. At the start of Series 3, Poole is killed, and maladroit London detective Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) arrives to investigate the death of his strait-laced predecessor. He then stays in the job as chief investigator on the island. The British detectives work alongside the local Saint Marie police team to track down murderers.

Death in Paradise is set on the fictional Caribbean island of Saint Marie, described in Episode 3.3 as a “pretty island” that is “situated in the Eastern Caribbean Sea” and “one-tenth the size of its north-west neighbour Guadeloupe”. This would make Saint Marie about 160 square kilometres (62 sq mi) in size… The location and name of the island suggests it is based on the real-world island of Marie-Galante, which has a matching size and location, although the real-life Marie-Galante is part of Guadeloupe and not independent of it.

In the TV show, the fictional Saint Marie island has a volcano, rainforest, sugar plantations, a fishing harbour, an airport, a university, approximately 100 public beaches and a Crown Court. It also has its own newspaper, The Saint Marie Times. Honoré, the main town, has a leisure/commercial marina, market, bars, and restaurants as well as the police station. The island is a British Overseas Territory, but about 30% of its people are of French culture, with the language still widely spoken. Its main economic ties are to Guadeloupe, the UK, and France. The island’s main religions are Catholicism and Vodou, with several Vodou religious festivals.

Danny John-Jules. From Wikipedia:

Daniel “Danny” John-Jules (born 16 September 1960) is a British actor, singer and dancer. He is best known for portraying Cat in the television programme Red Dwarf. He appears in the BBC One series Death in Paradise as policeman Dwayne Myers.

John-Jules was born in Paddington, London. He attended Rutherford Comprehensive School from 1972 to 1977. His parents are ethnically Ghanaian.

(John-Jules’s career includes quite a lot of singing and dancing.)

John-Jules in uniform on the show, in two different photos:

(#2)

(#3)

[Digression: Law & Order: UK. Gary Carr has appeared in this show, which I hadn’t known even existed. From Wikipedia:

Law & Order: UK is a British police procedural and legal television programme [first aired in 2009], adapted from the American series Law & Order… Head writer Chris Chibnall based the first series of episodes on scripts and episodes of the parent series. Based in London, and following the formula of the original, Law & Order: UK stars Bradley Walsh, Ben Bailey Smith, Sharon Small, Dominic Rowan, Georgia Taylor and Peter Davison. Law & Order: UK became the first American drama television series to be adapted for British television.]

Back to Red Dwarf. From Wikipedia:

Red Dwarf is a British comedy franchise which primarily comprises ten series (the ninth being a mini-series) of a television science fiction sitcom that aired on BBC Two between 1988 and 1993 and from 1997 to 1999, and on Dave in 2009 and 2012, gaining a cult following.

… Despite the pastiche of science fiction used as a backdrop, Red Dwarf is primarily a character-driven comedy, with off-the-wall, often scatological science fiction elements used as complementary plot devices. In the early episodes, a recurring source of comedy was the “Odd Couple”-style relationship between the two central characters of the show, who have an intense dislike for each other and are trapped together deep in space. The main characters are Dave Lister [Craig Charles], the last known human alive, and Arnold Rimmer [Chris Barrie], a hologram of Lister’s dead bunkmate. The other regular characters are Cat [Danny John-Jules], a lifeform which evolved from the descendants of Lister’s pregnant pet cat Frankenstein; Holly, Red Dwarf’s computer [Norman Lovett, Hattie Hayridge on different occasions]; Kryten [Robert Llewellyn], a service mechanoid; and, as of Series VII to Back to Earth, Kristine Kochanski [Clare Grogan, then Chloë Annett], an alternative-reality version of Lister’s long-lost love.

… The Cat, played by Danny John-Jules, is a humanoid creature who evolved from the offspring of Lister’s smuggled pet cat Frankenstein. Cat is concerned with little other than sleeping, eating and fawning over his appearance, and tends not to socialise with other members of the crew. He becomes more influenced by his human companions over time, and begins to resemble a stylish, self-centred human. It is later revealed that, unlike his human companions, he has a “cool” sounding pulse, six nipples and colour-coordinated internal organs.

All the characters are enjoyably eccentric, but Cat is definitely my favorite.

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The central characters in the show, left to right: Cat, Lister, Rimmer, Kryten

And an Ascent of Cat graphic:

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