Death in Paradise viewers left with burning question after agonising cliffhanger

Death in Paradise viewers have been left with one burning question after an agonising cliffhanger ending saw a man character seemingly leave the show.

The BBC series returned for its 13th run in February with a 100th-episode special that featured the surprise return of an original character, more than 10 years after they made their debut, but also had one key absence that disappointed long-time fans.

In the latest episode, main character DI Neville Parker, played by Ralf Little, revealed he was leaving the island of Saint Marie, where the series is set, prompting concern Little’s time on the series was coming to an end.

The penultimate episode of the 14th series did not do anything to assuage those concerns, with the episode nostalgically re-teaming Neville with returning fan favourite DS Florence Cassell (Joséphine Jobert) and also showing Neville confirm his plans to leave.

At one stage in the episode, when Naomi pays Neville a visit, she asks him about when he plans to pack. Neville, hinting at his future replacement, replies: “I’ve still got loads to do, stuff to buy for my trip, accommodation to book. Plus I need to make a list of Harry’s dietary requirements for whoever moves in next. I was going to make a start on it last night but I got distracted by the case.”

The final scene saw him have one final video call with Florence before boarding a plane after having farewell drinks with his colleagues.

He told Florence: “I am at the airport – I just had my leaving drinks; the Commissioner made a little speech, broadly complimentary. It’s the nicest he’s ever been to me. The only thing missing was you.”

After she apologised for not being there, Neville added: “Well that is me, I better go catch my flight. I guess this is goodbye – again.”

Has Ralf Little left ‘Death in Paradise’? (BBC)
Has Ralf Little left ‘Death in Paradise’? (BBC)

Viewers then saw Neville take what appeared tp be one last look at the island before the episode cut to the plane taking off. Crucially, though, we never see him walk onto the plane, and the ending of the episode has agonised fans, who now have a week to wait to see whether Neville really has left.

“So, was he on the plane when he took off? That is the question,” one fan asked on X/Twitter, with another adding: “You can’t leave it like that!’

A similar message read: ““What???? Nooooo you can’t leave it there,” with another viewer asking the big question: “Wait, is Ralf Little really leaving?!”

The finale of Death in Paradise airs on BBC One at 9[m on Sunday 24 March.