Actors Brian Cox and Julie Graham are two big names starring in the new series of BBC One’s murder mystery Shetland, part of which will be filmed in the isles today.
They are appearing alongside Douglas Henshall who reprises his lead role as Detective Jimmy Perez for the six-part second series of programmes based on the Ann Cleeves novels.
Cox has previously starred in Bob Servant Independent and The Bourne Identity, while Graham lists Survivors and William and Mary among her credited roles.
The programmes will focus on the three remaining stories from Cleeves’ Shetland quartet – Raven Black, Blue Lightning and Dead Water – told as three two-part episodes.
Filming for the new series has already begun, but the cameras are due to run in the isles for the first time today. The BBC would not disclose where filming would take place but it is understood at least some will be at an undisclosed location in Northmavine.
Tom Morton last night tweeted a photograph of several vans in Hillswick. He wrote: “They’re shooting ‘Shetland’ in Shetland. Rather than in Ayrshire. Which is something.”
In March a first two-part mini-series of Shetland attracted around eleven-and-a-half-million viewers over the two nights. It did, however, receive mixed reviews.
They’re shooting ‘Shetland’ in Shetland. Rather than in Ayrshire. Which is something. pic.twitter.com/rCEdw3090B
— Tom Morton (@thebeatcroft) July 8, 2013
Starring in the first two-parter adapted from the Raven Black story, Cox plays Magnus Bain, a solitary man and social outsider who finds himself the focus of a murder investigation.
Julie Graham plays procurator fiscal Rhona Kelly – a character who will make her mark in the first and third stories of the series.
She said: “Rhona is a woman who commands attention so it’s a joy to play such a strong female character.
“I loved the first series of Shetland and I’m delighted to be joining Dougie and the rest of the cast as a new returning character. It’ll also be lovely to be back filming in Scotland and visiting Shetland.”
Elaine Collins, Executive Producer, ITV Studios, said: “I’m delighted to be working with the BBC again on this first six part series of Shetland, and thrilled that Brian Cox and Julie Graham are joining our wonderful central cast led by Douglas Henshall. We have an extremely strong line-up of writers and directors this year and are all looking forward to returning to the compelling and unique landscape of Shetland.”
Christopher Aird, Head of Drama for BBC Scotland and Executive Producer, added: “This first six part series of Shetland will build on the huge success of the pilot. Douglas Henshall’s Perez is our charismatic guide to this unique world of compelling mysteries and fascinating character stories, all told under the brooding skies of the islands. We have some wonderful writers and directors working on the show and I am thrilled the likes of Brian Cox and Julie Graham will be joining the cast this year.”