Jamaican actor Shantol Jackson is set to appear in the role of Sgt. Naomi Thomas in Season 11 of the popular comedy-thriller television program “Death in Paradise.” The character is described as coming from a much smaller police force on a neighboring Caribbean island and experiencing “growing pains” as she adjusts to her new job working with “DS Florence Cassell,” played by Joséphine Jobert, and “Df. Neville Parker,” played by Ralf Little.
Although she has had just five years of experience in the acting business, Shantol is considered one of Jamaica’s rising stars and has performed in many stage plays in Jamaica and overseas. In 2016, she starred in “Sprinter,” which was written and directed by Storm Saulter. This was her first role in a feature film in 2016. Also in 2016, she featured in “Sugar,” a short film written by Sharon Leach and directed by Michelle Serieux. The actress starred in the Idris Elba-directed “Yardie” in 2017, which was chosen for screening at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018. Shantol Jackson received Jamaica’s Prime Minister Youth Award for Excellence in Arts & Culture in 2017.
Shantol said she was excited and grateful for the opportunity to join the cast of the series, which she described as “fun-filled” and “entertaining.” She said she used to watch the series with her father in Jamaica when it was first broadcast. Now, knowing that he will be watching her as she features on the show “it’s truly a surreal moment.”
Jackson did not always want to be an actor, telling her father when she was younger that she wanted to be a veterinarian. However, she knew that wasn’t for her when he asked her to dissect a frog. It never happened. Then she “fell in love” with poetry and various folk forms in primary school. Her teachers in grades five and six at Southborough Primary School, Mr. and Mrs. Haughton, emphasized the teaching of folk songs and learning to play musical instruments. She received her first JCDC medal in the fifth grade for an ensemble music piece, and when she started at Ardenne High School, she joined the Drama Club. “That’s where it all began,” she said, “in the Ardenne Drama Room with Miss Beadle.”
Returning cast members include actors Ralf Little, Joséphine Jobert, Don Warrington, Tahj Miles, and Elizabeth Bourgine.
The new season will have “some huge surprises,” according to its executive producer Tim Key. The new episodes will pick up from the cliffhanger finale of the 10th season, which saw “Officer J.P. Hooper,” played by Tobi Bakare, considering a new job as the head of the police training program. The new season is scheduled to air on BBC 1 in 2022.
Photo Death in Paradise