Shetland (TV series)

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Alt=Series title over a view of the sea and cliff
Genre Mystery
Starring Douglas Henshall
Alison O'Donnell
Steven Robertson
Mark Bonnar
Julie Graham
Country of origin Scotland
Original language(s) English (local/regional Scottish)
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 8
Running time 60 min
Production company(s) ITV Studios for BBC Scotland
Original channel BBC One
Picture format HDTV (1080i)
Original release 10 March 2013 (2013-03-10) – present
External links

Shetland is a BBC Scotland crime drama television series starring Douglas Henshall as Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez. The story takes place on the Scottish archipelago of Shetland, though much of the filming was done on the Scottish mainland,[1] with some on location in Shetland.[2]

Production History[edit]

The first, pilot, series consists of two episodes; a single two-part story based on the novel Red Bones by Ann Cleeves.[3][4] It broadcast in 2013. Following the broadcast, a full second series was commissioned by the BBC. Series two contains six episodes, filmed in 2013 and screened in 2014. It comprised three two-part stories based on Ann Cleeves' novels Raven Black, Dead Water and Blue Lightning.[5] Filming began in April 2015 for a third series.[6]

Cast and characters[edit]


Series 1 (2013)[edit]

The first series was produced by Sue de Beauvoir.

Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
1 1 "Red Bones - Part 1" Peter Hoar David Kane 10 March 2013 (2013-03-10) 7.97
Elderly Shetlander Mima Wilson is found murdered on the archaeological site in the grounds of her croft. Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez and his team investigate and find that somehow the murder is linked to the Shetland bus.
2 2 "Red Bones - Part 2" Peter Hoar David Kane 11 March 2013 (2013-03-11) 5.68
With two murders and no strong leads, Detective Inspector Perez and his team must apprehend the suspect before crowds descend on the Shetland Islands for Up Helly Aa, the biggest fire festival in Europe.

Series 2 (2014)[edit]

The second series was produced by Peter Gallagher.

Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
3 1 "Raven Black - Part One" John McKay Gaby Chiappe 11 March 2014 (2014-03-11) 6.37
DI Jimmy Perez and his team investigate the murder of a teenage girl whose body was found on a secluded beach, and time and again the same name crops up - that of local recluse Magnus Bain, whose home overlooks the crime scene and who had forged an unlikely friendship with the victim. But then the procurator fiscal draws attention to the unsolved disappearance of a girl named Catriona 19 years previously - a case that shares several similarities with this one.
4 2 "Raven Black - Part Two" John McKay Gaby Chiappe 18 March 2014 (2014-03-18) 6.16
The discovery of seven-year-old Catriona's body after almost two decades prompts Jimmy Perez to take Magnus in for further questioning. But at the station, the recluse's distress ends in him in attacking the inspector, and he is sent for a psychological evaluation. Ploughing on, Perez re-examines the evidence, but it is only when Catriona's brother reveals she had a secret hiding place at their old home - the same house where Catherine also lived - that he finally sees a glimmer of hope.
5 3 "Dead Water - Part One" David Moore David Kane 25 March 2014 (2014-03-25) 5.56
A journalist dies in a suspicious car accident, and when it turns out he was an old friend of Perez, a forensic scientist is called in to ensure an objective view of the case. As the team awaits her results, they look into the reasons for the victim's return to the island, and find he was chasing a lead about plans for a controversial new gas pipeline.
6 4 "Dead Water - Part Two" David Moore David Kane 1 April 2014 (2014-04-01) 5.53
The discovery of John Henderson's body leads DI Perez to wonder if this second killing is linked to the death of his journalist friend Jerry, a theory given greater weight by forensic investigator Willow Reeves' finds. But then the case takes another surprising turn with the arrival of Jerry's fiancee, carrying a memory stick he gave to her for safekeeping several weeks earlier.
7 5 "Blue Lightning - Part One" Stewart Svaasand Richard Davidson 8 April 2014 (2014-04-08) 5.29
A scientist is found dead in the bird observatory on Fair Isle, Perez's childhood home, so he takes Tosh and makes his way across to the island, where he is greeted by his father - just before flights are grounded by incoming storms. Working alone and without a forensic team, the detectives talk to the victim's friends, family and colleagues - and as tensions run high, the storm forces Perez and the suspects to remain together under a single roof.
8 6 "Blue Lightning - Part Two" Stewart Svaasand Richard Davidson 15 April 2014 (2014-04-15) 5.33
Time is running out for Perez and Tosh as their prime suspect lies critically ill in hospital, but it's unclear whether the fire that put him there was a drunken accident or if he was the second victim of Anna's real killer. The DI turns his attention to Finlay Caulfield regarding the photos of Anna on his camera, and while it becomes clear he was obsessed with her, it may not be enough to charge the stalker with her murder. There are still so many unanswered questions - until Sandy spots something on the CCTV footage that takes the investigation in a new direction.

Series 3[edit]

A third series began filming in 2015,[6] with Douglas Henshall returning as Jimmy Perez, joined by Game Of Thrones star Ciaran Hinds, Anna Chancellor and Julie Graham.[8] The series will consist of six episodes, telling a single story.[9]


  1. ^ English, Paul (2 March 2013). "Scottish actor Douglas Henshall on the perks of filming new BBC crime drama Shetland.. in & around Glasgow". Daily Record. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "There's been a murrrder: Shetland returns to BBC One", Sarah Clark, Visit Scotland, 6 March 2014.
  3. ^ Griffiths, Rosalind (22 November 2012). "Cleeves’ new BBC drama gets premiere screening at Mareel". The Shetland Times. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Midgley, Neil (11 March 2013). "Shetland, BBC One, review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (3 April 2013). "'Shetland' gets full six-part series on BBC One". Digital Spy. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Street closed for television crime series filming". The Shetland Times. 9 April 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Weekly Viewing Summary (see relevant week)". BARB. 
  8. ^ "Game Of Thrones star to join new series of Shetland". The Scotsman. 9 April 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  9. ^ "Shetland Stories". Ann Cleeves ( Retrieved 1 July 2014. 

External links[edit]