On Sunday (4 February), the mystery series returned for its 13th series, with Ralf Little back as DI Neville Parker alongside an array of faces old and new.
While Little admitted to being “slightly annoyed” by the centennial outing’s inclusion of one such familiar face, many viewers were disappointed by the absence of another.
The character in question is recurring favourite Harry, the lizard who lives in Neville’s bungalow. To date, the CGI-generated creature fas featured in almost every episode, acting as something of a sounding board for Neville when he’s talking through the status of a case.
However, Harry was nowhere to be seen, and viewers stepped in to question why this was.
“A brilliant opening episode, but naturally disappointed not to see my favourite justice for @DIPHarryLizard ,” one fan wrote, with another adding: “Oh, Poor Harry, I did miss him, hope he is not sulking and you give him extra insects!”
A fan account dedicated to Harry the Lizard wrote on social media after the episode aired: “Dear @deathinparadise How could you leave me out of the 100th episode??? I’ve been part of the show from the beginning and the fans love me!!! From a very sad little lizard.”
The episode’s director Steve Hughes eventually addressed what has been branded a “snub” by viewers.
“Lots of people missed seeing Harry in tonight’s episode,” Hughes wrote on X/Twitter, adding: “We actually shot a scene with him but there was so much going on, we didn’t have time to keep it in!”
Little has played Neville since 2020, with the show’s former lead stars including Krys Marshall and Ardal O’Hanlon.
The new series will feature several guest stars, including Hayley Mills, Richard Fleeshman and Pearce Quigley.
Speaking ahead of the new series, Little admitted Mills was the only guest star he has ever “got starstruck by”, stating: “With somebody who has that reputation and experience, it wouldn’t be outside the realms of possibility for her to be diva-ish, difficult, demanding, but she was the most gentle, professional, sweet, fun, funny, gregarious person… just the dream! A living legend of the industry.”
Death in Paradise airs on BBC One at 9pm on Sundays.