South Devon Railway played a starring role in the opening episode of the hit BBC One crime drama Beyond Paradise which returned for a much-awaited second season last week.

Series one of The Death in Paradise spin-off, which is set in the fictional Devon seaside town of Shipton Abbott, was the UK’s most-watched new drama of last year across all channels and streamers.

The heritage railway takes centre stage in the first episode when a murder mystery play rehearsal on a steam train turns deadly after the actor playing the victim is found with a real knife in his back.

SDR is planning its own ‘murder mystery’ train rides, and wants to create an exhibition featuring props from the show – including the Shipton Abbott Station sign.

General Manager Ernest Elsworth-Wilson said: “It all looked amazing and we’re delighted the railway had such a starring role in episode one.”

Actors Kris Marshall and Zahra Ahmadi at SDR (South Devon Railway)

The cast on board a South Devon Railway train (BBC / South Devon Railway)

South Devon Railway
All aboard the South Devon Railway (Jack Boskett Media Limited)

Actor Paul Bradley (SDR/BBC)