Beyond Paradise’s Jamie Bamber breaks that almost kiss

Spoilers for Beyond Paradise Episode 4 below.

Archie (Jamie Bamber) threw all his cards on the table in this week’s episode of beyond paradise when he tried to kiss Martha (Sally Bretton).

For his effort he received a very firm slap in the face. However, despite Martha’s eventual clear message, which says “back off, I’m taken,” fans have every reason to be concerned about her and Humphrey’s relationship.

At least according to Bamber.

The actor behind the advancing lips revealed that Humphrey (Kris Marshall) should watch his back.

When asked, during an exclusive interview with digital spyJust how worried the eccentric detective must be about his fiancée’s ex-fiancée, Bamber said:

“Very very very.” They are three “very” friends, which means that the problems are tripled.

beyond paradise It may have been billed as Humphrey and Martha’s happily ever after, but they may need to revise their definition of paradise because it’s not.

Shocked by her miscarriage and increasingly distant by their differing visions of their future together, things aren’t looking so rosy for the couple, and Archie evidently wants to capitalize on that.


“[Archie] genuinely thinks that the only mistake he’s made in his life was letting that relationship [with Martha] end,’ explains Bamber.

“She finished, but he allowed that to happen in his mind. Archie is not someone who considers himself reactive in life, he is someone who creates his life every day.

“The fact that that relationship was allowed to end, even though that was his decision, he regrets and regrets as soon as he sees it.”

While the chasm between Martha and Humphrey has been growing episode after episode, she and Archie have been enjoying an innocent bond.

At least he has been innocent on his side (on the surface).

Whether on impulse due to a surge of affection for Martha, or calculated, one thing is for sure, Archie was intent on testing the waters of their rekindled relationship. Opening up about what that kiss meant, Bamber cheekily says:

“[Humphrey and Martha] they are not married. They have no family. They don’t go very well.

“He can see that this relationship is going through difficult times. I don’t think he’s doing anything wrong. That’s certainly the way I played it.”

Pah, we beg to differ.

beyond paradise

Craig Hardie / Red Planet PhotosBBC

Bamber added: “He’s not getting any younger. She’s not getting any younger. She is now or never. This is his moment.

He misinterprets tea leaves, but he can’t be blamed for that, I hope. That was the key to that scene, when she tries to kiss her, she really should have pointed out that she misread. And that’s not a crime.”

The signs Bamber is referring to have been building up throughout the episode, at least in his mind. Most notably when Martha has a crisis of confidence over the impending arrival of a food critic to her sorry hers hers new coffee hers.

We dug deeper trying to figure out what the subtext was behind that moment where Archie comforts her, to which Bamber jokingly responded:

“What do you think?”

Our consensus was that Archie is just trying to communicate his feelings for Martha and her care. Whether or not he thought she felt the same way at that moment. He was testing the grounds.

Essentially, you’re dead,” confirms Bamber.

“What he says is: ‘Be yourself. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Cook what comes naturally. He’s basically asking her, ‘Is this menu fancy enough? Am I attractive enough? And he says: ‘Yes’. So that’s the subtext, and there’s a deeper subtext, which is, ‘Who are you really, Martha? I’ve known you since we were kids. I know you better than anyone. Making.

jamie bamber, beyond paradise


This human-sized wedge between Martha and Humphrey may be grating on the nerves of those who have been shipping the pair since their death in paradise days. However, if you’ve secretly found him charming, don’t feel too guilty. Turns out, we’re actually not supposed to hate him.

In creating the character, Bamber participated in a series of conversations with the creators that he recounted to Bretton.

“I shared with her that I was having a chat with the writers and producers:

“Should we like Archie? Or is he a bad guy? Is it a smarmy cheese ball? Is he Hugh Grant in Bridget Jones? Or is it a viable alternative?

Do we really want to think that there really is anything she can benefit from in a relationship with Archie?

Could there be a love interest outside of the idiosyncratic Humphrey? A road not traveled? Brace yourself, the answer may be hard to swallow.

barbara flynn, jamie bamber, kris marshall, sally bretton, beyond paradise, season 1


“The producers were quite specific with me. They said, ‘No, we don’t want to hate him. We want to like you.

“So I shared my conversation with the producers, with Sally, just so she would know the different options I had as an actor, and the one we were looking for and I thought that was pretty important.”

He continued: “I just wanted her to know that this guy is not a bad guy. He is someone who really cares about her and has cared about her in the past.”

“The show is about those two [Humphrey and Martha]. Everyone is going to love those two.”

Here here!

“My challenge was to come up with a viable alternative, a threat to those two, while also being someone the audience would understand and enjoy watching trying to navigate their way.”

sally bretton, beyond paradise


So if he’s a viable option, that implies that all the major non-kissing may soon materialize into an actual full-on kiss.

As Martha perhaps begins to struggle with resurfacing feelings for her ex and at the same time questions her and Humphrey’s relationship, a connection between her and Archie could become palpable.

Not too wild a thought. Even her own mother has begun to suspect that her daughter is falling for Archie again and it’s no secret that she’s not totally in love with Martha’s current boyfriend.

Archie has been a bit of a pain so far, but some genuine competition may be heating up.

“[Archie is] different from Humphrey. He is confident. He has means. He has options. The world is at his feet and Humphrey is more eccentric.

“He’s adorable in the sense that he shows his vulnerabilities on his sleeve, and Archie doesn’t.

“Archie’s vulnerability is his invulnerability, weirdly. His overconfidence is kind of an Achilles heel, whereas Humphrey is much more open about things that challenge him.”

The complete opposite of Humphrey, Archie could provide Martha some relief from the stress and pain that has been weighing on their current relationship. The same lightness and emotion that she undoubtedly needs.

There’s a real love triangle starting to take shape here and if Bamber is right about Archie’s intentions and the strength of his feelings for Martha, Humphrey had better be on his guard.

beyond paradise continues Fridays at 8pm on BBC One and is available on BBC iPlayer.

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