Death in Paradise's Don Warrington never feared Selwyn would be killed off

The actor joked that he was treated like 'something from the crown jewels' while filming his stunt scenes in the episode

Don Warrington as Commissioner Selwyn Patterson in Death in Paradise. (BBC)
Don Warrington as Commissioner Selwyn Patterson, who is shot in the opening episode of Death in Paradise series 13. (BBC)

Death in Paradise celebrated its 100th episode in a big way, by putting viewers through the ringer over Commissioner Selwyn Patterson (Don Warrington) fate after he is shot by a mystery assailant.

Warning: This article contains some spoilers for Death in Paradise series 13 episode one

Series 13 of the BBC show opens with the fan favourite, who has been a staple part of the Saint Marie police since season one, being attacked outside a party celebrating his five decades on the force. Viewers were forced to wait with baited breath to see if the character pulled through or not, but Warrington tells Yahoo and other publications that he never believed Selwyn would be killed off.

Read more: Death in Paradise cast tease Naomi and Marlon's potential romance

Answering with a simple "no" when asked if he was worried about the possibility, Warrington says: "I thought it was a very smart thing to do on [the writer's] part, really, because it kind of encompasses the whole series. I mean since the beginning it had elements of everything, that was the celebration really. I read very quickly, I got to the end."

The actor admits he "absolutely" flipped to the end of the script to check his character's fate, but that didn't mean he was concerned. The scene of the attack itself was a rather dramatic one, with the actor having to perform a stunt which saw him fall into the ocean after being shot.

Death in Paradise season 13 sees Commissioner Selwyn Patterson (Don Warrington, centre) fighting for his life after being shot by a mystery assailant. (BBC)
Don Warrington said he felt 'it was a very smart thing to do' to put Selwyn's life at risk as a surprise for viewers, even if he didn't think his character would be killed off. (BBC)

Warrington proudly admits that he did his own stunt work in the episode, adding: "I loved it, actually. You get to a certain age and people think you're fragile, you'll break. [The stunt team] were wonderful, they really were wonderful.

"They protected me like I was something from the crown jewels, I was surrounded by people in the water and they were waiting for me, it was wonderful. But I insisted, 'I can do it and I'm gonna swim out.' So I love doing that, actually, I really did. And it was very nice to see the amount of affection people had, they were very concerned."

The episode is not only a rollercoaster of emotions for Selwyn, it's also difficult for other members of the team too like Neville Parker (Ralf Little) and Naomi Thomas (Shantol Jackson). The actors reflect on how the incident impacts their characters, adding that they were keen to "make it as believable as possible."

Death in Paradise (BBC)
The episode is not only a rollercoaster of emotions for Selwyn, it's also difficult for other members of the team too like Neville Parker and Naomi Thomas (pictured). (BBC)

Jackson says: "I know for Neville they've had this relationship that they have, which is 'does he like me? Does he not like me? and is he really irritated by me or not?' But for Naomi, and I mean for all of us in general, the Commissioner is beloved, he's beloved within the police force on the island.

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

"The thought of someone coming for the department is one thing, but coming for the Commissioner and then not knowing the outcome 'is he OK? Is it what exactly happened? Who would do such a thing?' there are so many questions. And there was this haste and importance to find this person and to get some answers. At some point we felt like, 'are we doing enough? Are we getting him justice? Does he feel like we're doing enough?'"

She goes on: "Filming it and being in the moment, from just reading the script, there was so much anxiety and 'oh my God, how are we going to do this to make it as believable as possible?' Because it was a beautiful script, a beautiful story.

Death in Paradise season 13 kicks off with the show's 100th episode. (BBC)
Death in Paradise season 13 kicks off with the show's 100th episode, which Shantol Jackson said was a 'beautiful script, a beautiful story'. (BBC)

"Of course we want to deliver to the audience, but also to see how we consider ourselves family within that department, and seeing how we get affected, I'm sure it will be a treat for the audience."

Parker agreed with his co-star, sharing: "There was a real urgency to this one that went beyond professionalism because this is personal. It's really personal and for Neville in particular, [there's] this idea that 'does he even really like me?'

"It was really lovely to read the [script]. It was so well written, you know when the chips are down this is the Commissioner and suddenly there's no doubt that actually whatever their relationship looks like there's real deep care there. And that was lovely for me to play as well, so I just think it's a great episode. I hope people enjoy it as much as we enjoyed filming it."

Death in Paradise series 13 continues on BBC One and BBC iPlayer Sundays at 9pm.

Watch the trailer for Death in Paradise season 13: