Shetland’s Douglas Henshall shares new series is ‘very different’

Shetland’s Douglas Henshall shares new series is ‘very different’

February 3, 2023

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Ahead of Shetland’s return for series seven last year, DI Jimmy Perez star Douglas Henshall revealed it would be his final season as he wanted to explore other opportunities. So viewers were prepared for the detective to make his exit in the finale which aired in August 2022. Nevertheless, this won’t mean the end of the BBC One drama as it has already been renewed for an eighth outing.

Shetland is expected to return for season eight either later this year or in early 2024 on BBC One.

Standing in DI Jimmy Perez’s (played by Douglas Henshall) shoes though will be new character DI Ruth Calder (Ashley Jensen).

She is going to be brought in as his replacement after Jimmy is unexpectedly forced to leave the job he loves.

With a new face leading the cast after him starring in Shetland for almost a decade, Henshall has commented it won’t be the same as previous series.

Talking to RadioTimes.com, Henshall said: “She’s a great actor and she’s obviously very different from me.

“So, I mean, I think it will be interesting to have two women leading up this detective show on the isles and see what that brings.

“I think it’s going to be very different, but I think that’s what’s most exciting about it – so yeah, I’m looking forward to seeing it.”

One star who will be reprising her role for the upcoming season is Alison O’Donnell as DS Alison “Tosh” McIntosh.

Having already read the first few scripts, O’Donnell says Shetland feels “fresh” thanks to DI Calder’s arrival.

She said: “Obviously, it does feel very different because it’s not Perez, and Perez was the absolute centre and heart of the show.

“So what they’ve done, which I think is the only thing they could have done, is taken off in another direction, but it feels different and fresh.

“And hopefully people will stay connected with it.”

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Perez announced his departure from the drama ahead of its seven season release date last year.

He said on This Morning his character’s “storylines had reached a natural conclusion and it felt time to tie it up.”

Henshall commented how he wanted to explore other opportunities as well but so far, there has been no word on what he is working on next.

While Jimmy has been involved in a plethora of dramatic storylines during his time in Shetland, his exit saw him save an innocent man’s life.

Alison Woods (Laurie Brett) admitted in the finale she killed John Rodgers (Bill Arnold) after he recognised her partner

Lloyd Anderson (Patrick Robinson) and threatened to expose his identity, revealing he knew about his crimes.

She was arrested and Jimmy went to see Lloyd who was facing extradition to America.

He felt guilty as he knew if he went back to the USA, he wouldn’t stand a chance against the authorities and face the death penalty.

So Jimmy instead decided to let him go, handing over his passport, despite Tosh telling him he would lose his job.

In response, he said: “I’m done. If the last thing I do is help an innocent man, I’m good with that.”

Shetland is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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