Shetland series set to return
The BBC One murder-mystery Shetland returns for a new series shortly.
Based on the work of Ann Cleeves, it focuses on three novels – Raven Black, Blue Lightning and Dead Water – told as three two-part episodes.
Local actor Steven Robertson returns as Sandy Wilson, the policeman working alongside Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez, played again by Douglas Henshall.
Joining the core cast as a new character is Julie Graham who plays straight-talking procurator fiscal Rhona Kelly. This second series also features guest appearances from Brian Cox, Alex Norton, Nina Sosanya, David Hayman, John Lynch and Bill Paterson.
In the first tale old wounds are painfully reopened as Perez and his team look into a past crime to
solve the present-day murder of a young teenage girl.
The second two-parter sees Perez return to his childhood home, Fair Isle, after the murder of a scientist there. Tensions run high as a storm compels all the suspects to remain under one roof.
In the concluding story a journalist is killed in an apparent road accident. Suspicions arise and it looks as though opposition to a gas pipeline might be connected. And when another brutal murder shocks the island, secrets and lies unravel.
Robertson said it was good to return home to film. He said: “Aside from the work it was great to catch up with some friends and I even got to shear some of my uncle’s sheep, which he was delighted about!”
There have been some memorable experiences: “We needed somewhere out of the way with a pier, and my aunt and uncle had the perfect location in Muckle Roe.
“Years ago, long before I was in acting, my aunt and uncle along with my cousins made a horror film with me shot in cinefilm on their beach. It’s very odd to be back there again all these years down the line.”
His fictional character Sandy has developed since the first series.
Robertson said: “He’s out of the uniform and now he’s a detective constable trainee which would see him become a sergeant long term. There are certain things he’s not allowed to do because of his rank. But he’s still the guy in the office with the local knowledge.
“He has a very strong sense of what’s right and wrong. He’ll always put his work first, he’s good at his job and more than happy to go the extra mile to help the case – I like him, he’s a nice guy.”
As for Perez: “Douglas is excellent, he’s a joy to work with and I think he really got the whole Shetland thing.”
ITV Studios executive producer Elaine Collins said: “Doing a second series has given us the opportunity to build on the pilot episodes and to explore the characters and islands in more depth.
“The sense of place is important to us in the show and we’ve focused more on the isolation of Shetland, including travelling to Fair Isle to film.
“This series, we are joined by very well-known and highly regarded British actors, but I think the calibre of the acting across the whole six hours is outstanding.
“It’s been great to attract key Scottish talent but the show is also an opportunity to find new talent, and to employ actors who aren’t famous but just happen to be brilliant.”
Shetland executive producer and BBC Scotland head of drama Christopher Aird said: “It has been terrifically exciting to develop the second series of Shetland.
“I think people will find the show darker and more atmospheric. The stories are very involving with the depth of characterisation expected from top-notch crime drama.
“Shetland is a beautiful place but it can also feel isolated and lonely. We were keen to use some of the more intense aspects of life to create suspense, tragedy and intrigue.
Shetland is made by ITV Studios production for BBC One through BBC Scotland.