Beyond Paradise's Kris Marshall inspired by late mum for foster storyline

The actor and co-star Sally Bretton shared what viewers can expect from Humphrey and Marsha

Beyond Paradise (BBC)
Beyond Paradise series 2 will see Humphrey and Marsha consider becoming foster parents after struggling to conceive naturally. (BBC)

Kris Marshall used his late mother as a source of inspiration for Beyond Paradise, which will see his character Humphrey Goodman embark on a new personal journey with Martha Lloyd (Sally Bretton).

The BBC show will soon return, and series 2 will not just be about the crimes that Humphrey and his team solve but the struggles he and Martha face in their relationship. The couple have faced some hurdles in building a family together over the years, and now they are taking things in a new direction by fostering.

Speaking to Yahoo UK and other publications, Marshall shared how he tried to use what he learned from his mother's fostering experience to inform his approach to Humphrey in the new series.

"My late mum fostered quite a lot before I was born, I mean this is very third hand but I had a little bit of experience tapping into her experiences when she was still alive," Marshall explained. "It's not a great well of information, but I recalled and recounted her stories of her time as a foster parent, so there was that.

Beyond Paradise (BBC)
Kris Marshall shared that his late mother was once a foster parent, and so he used what he knew of her experience to inform his portrayal of fostering in the series. (BBC)

"I know the producers were very much in touch with a company called the Fostering Network and they liaised with them during production to make sure that we would again dealing with another sensitive subject as truthfully and as sensitively as possible."

Marshall teased what is to come for Humphrey and Marsha in the new series, adding: "Without giving away too much of a spoiler, this is a path they might be going down during this series to all intents and purposes, so it was something that had to be got right. So I hope we've done that.

Read more: Everything you need to know about Beyond Paradise series 2

"I think we have, I think it's handled really well and I think the audience will be able to [see that]. Hopefully it will support the people who have been through this and also continue the narratives for people who don't know about it. So, yeah, hopefully we've done that, we'll see."

Bretton also spoke about what viewers can expect from the couple in series 2, sharing that because things between them were left in a difficult place at the end of the 2023 series Humphrey and Marsha have a challenging new journey ahead of them.

Beyond Paradise (BBC)
Beyond Paradise producers were in touch with a fostering charity to make sure the storyline was told 'as truthfully and as sensitively as possible', and Kris Marshall said he hopes they 'got it right'. (BBC)

"Well, we ended the the last series on 'we'd be a family but that's with just us' and then this developed which they weren't looking into, it sort of came to them and they start to explore it," Bretton explains.

"So I'm not sure that they look at it as building their family as such, more they have a lot of space, a lot of love, and they can make a difference, I think. It comes to them and they realise that, and then they start following that and seeing what that brings."

Marshall said he "seconds" what his co-star felt, adding: "They've been through the mill, or they had been through the mill with the IVF storyline. And when they come to the end of that journey and that realisation that maybe it wasn't going to happen for them in the way they'd hoped, well, rather than just pull up the drawbridge because they're quite open people and they've got a lot of love to give.

"They're like, 'well, how else can we help? I think circumstances happened to them in a way where they get their heads around the fact that 'it is something we could do that will enrich both somebody else's lives and our lives', and it just seems like really a natural progression for them."

Beyond Paradise (BBC)
Sally Bretton added that because things between them were left in a difficult place at the end of the 2023 series, Humphrey and Marsha have a challenging new journey ahead of them. (BBC)

The actor continues: "There are kids out there who maybe are in transitional periods in their lives with their families and need support, and help, and a little bit of humour, and cuddles and love. I think Humphrey and Marsha have those in abundance, so it's a quite a natural progression when they get their heads around it."

Despite their struggles in the past, Bretton insists to viewers that they don't need to fear for their favourite TV couple because the worst is behind them: "I think with them moving back to where Martha grew up there was always going to be skeletons in the closet and things like that.

Read more: Death in Paradise’s Ralf Little says Neville has ‘to repair his damaged heart’

"I think now that they're established that's all faded into the background and there haven't been any other people rearing their heads and now that they've both settled, they're good together. They're in a good place, they're not going through the mill like they were in that first series."

Marshall adds that exploring their relationship more was "part of the attraction of doing the spin-off in the first place", saying: "Obviously during that first series it was challenged quite significantly, because everything was very transitional."

Beyond Paradise (BBC)
Sally Bretton insisted to viewers that they don't need to fear for their favourite TV couple because 'they're in a good place, they're not going through the mill like they were in that first series.' (BBC)

"As a couple they were a bit at sea and then they move back to where Martha grew up and that's always gonna present some challenges, especially when they come in the shape of the dashing vineyard owners," he adds, in reference to series 1 character Archie Hughes (Jamie Bamber).

"But I think the strength of Humphrey and Martha is that they're a very good match together and they don't have expectations on each other, they just let each other exist and they're very strong because of that.

"I think that what's lovely about this series is, although their relationship is not without challenges and it's not the most orthodox relationship, from time to time they're a brilliant couple together and they have a lot of fun. I think that really comes through in this series, like Sally said they're a lot more settled and so they're turning their focus onto where they can help other people."

The actors also spoke of how the new episodes will impact their character arcs moving forward, with Marshall saying he's always enjoyed how Humphrey is "open to challenging his preconceptions" and being open to growing as a person.

He explains: "He's always trying to better himself and learn more in a way, but I think also what he learns in this series is how strong a family can be. Families don't have to come in their preconceived package, they can be anything and that's a real journey for him."

Beyond Paradise series 2 premieres on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Friday 22 March.

Watch the trailer for Beyond Paradise series 2: