18th January 2020
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Crime drama Shetland to return for fourth series

The crime drama Shetland will return for a fourth series, the BBC has confirmed.

Douglas Henshall will be back as DI Jimmy Perez with other regular cast members also returning for the series which will again include six 60-minute episodes.

Series three attracted a consolidated audience, which includes those who watched on the BBC’s iPlayer service, of 5.8 million viewers.

The series is inspired by Ann Cleeves’ crime novels of the same name, though it will not be based directly on one of her books. ITV Studios will again produce the programme for the BBC and filming is expected to start early next year.

Executive producer for BBC Scotland will be Gaynor Holmes, who has been appointed acting drama commissioning editor, Scotland. She said: “I’m passionate about telling brilliant stories from Scotland that audiences across the UK will love and I feel very privileged to be taking up this role at such an exciting time of renewed commitment to drama from the nations.”


  1. Eric Mc Greevy

    Great news. Great series, well acted with marvellous story lines and of course Shetland scenery and culture. Can’t wait. I would love to visit the Shetlands. Can travelling costs be reduced.

  2. Tracey Scadden

    Superb news! A wonderful series – a credit to scriptwriters, production staff, actors and the locals of Shetland. You are ALL stars!

  3. Kaye Mitchell

    Great news. Discovered this show on my local PBS station (in the US) and was immediately hooked. Can hardly wait for Season 4.

    Season 3, Episode 5 will air this Friday night and I will view it on the big screen. (I cheated and watched it on my computer already–just couldn’t wait.)

  4. Howard Tweed

    Great news , Watch it over here in Canada and just think it is a great show . Has lots of following over here . I mean how great is it to have a Scottish DCI with the name Perez ?

  5. Claudia Sanders

    I absolutely love everything about this show. I see it on my PBS station in So. Calif., plus I have bought seasons 1 and 2. The storylines, acting, scenery, everything, is top-notch. I had not really thought about the northernmost parts of Scotland, even though I have visited Scotland twice. If I should return there, Shetland will be on my itinery. Please keep this show going for many seasons to come!

  6. Emmett Francoeur

    A brilliant series and my wife and I have only unfortunately been able to see the first 2 seasons. We like others have been struck by the beauty of the Shetlands, the intricacy of the plots, and the writing which always includes layers of warmth and compassion, especially from Jimmy Perez. Wonderful quality and we are looking to get our hands on the 3rd and of course this 4th season. Any suggestions for poor North Americans to get this or do we have to wait for Netflix to save the day in the future?

    • Barbara Haviland

      I bought the DVD at Target! Got it yesterday and have already watched 4 episodes. I hope this show goes on for years. It is so well done.

      • Lawrence Hedley

        If any of you have Amazon Firestick or anything like that you are able to get all the seasons of Shetland, DCI Banks, Midsommer Murders and Vera

  7. David Spence

    Hi Emmett, You could try communicating with the BBC here in the UK? You could google and email them?

    They may have the series on dvd (you would have to ask them if they have it as NTSC Format rather than PAL, and also in Region 1 (I believe the USA is region 1?))

    Alternatively, the BBC may have an USA Distributor or a BBC TV Network (cable of satellite?) within the States?

    • Kate Hargreaves

      First tree seasons now available on iTunes in North America. So good! Any suggestions for similar shows?

      • Amanda Bennett

        Hi have you seen Vera? It’s also based on Anne Cleaves work. Set in Northumbaland so great scenery again and brilliant acting.

  8. Constance Levesque

    This is an outstanding series both in character development and plot; the scenery is starkly beautiful as well as gorgeous. Saw it on Netflix where the best TV is offered by BBC.Need more !!!
    Eastern Canada awaits season 4.

    • Tony Manna

      Constance Levesque – season 4? In Toronto and Netflix has only up to season 2. Where did you access season 3?

      • Julie Michelle

        In Nova Scotia and watched season 3 on Netflix. Loved it!

  9. Denise Wesker

    Have just watched series 1 and 2 on Netflix and loved every thing about shetland. The scenery and drama. Wonderful.living in Australia we take for granted our sun and beaches but Shetland looks wonderful. I have been to Scotland, Edinburgh and Glasgow so loved that I have been to the area. But if ever I go again I will go to the Shetland if possible. Netflix please load series 3……

  10. Bonnie Warren

    Bonnie Warren

    Absolutely agree with all comments above! Shetland is the greatest. Even noses out Vera for now. PBS in Minneapolis Mn has only shown 2 seasons, but I watch them over and over. Can’t wait to discover season 3 and 4. Thank you to the BBC for producing such fine work.

  11. Kitty Campbell

    one of the best crafted dramas I have ever watched.Both dialogue and characters realistic and basic.The stillness of the conversation between Tosh and the artist at his cottage was utterly magnificent.The downside is that it leaps about its showing slot . there should bea commitment from the B .B.C. To develop a couple of series at the same time and a sense of realism about not letting that artist chap go there is a different and thoroughly interesting angle around the relationship between Tosh and him

  12. Julie O. L. Watts

    Shetland may be surrounded by the North Sea, but the landscape remains me of the islands in Lake Superior, part of the Canadian Shield. I love the show and am happy to read there will be a series 4.

  13. Susan Honor

    Yayyyyyy !!!!!!!! ????????

  14. Peter ohlsson

    Fantastic series

  15. Sharon Cox

    Really looking forward to season 4. I’ve got the first 3 seasons on disk as I am in Australia and I don’t think that the show has been shown on free to air to out here.
    Love it and the Shetland Islands on my bucket list although I know that a lot of the show was filmed on the mainland.
    Now to find out when the show will be shown.

  16. Tim Berrigan

    We are like kids waiting for Christmas! Really looking forward to Season 4. The show is so well written and acted, but the beauty of the Islands is a canvas like no other! Thanks to everybody over there from your fans in Atlanta GA, USA.

  17. Laurie Bender

    We’ve watched the series here on the east coast of the US (outside of Boston MA).
    Love it and look forward to season 4!

  18. Kathy Dickinson

    Shetland is the program I most look forward to watching each Sunday night here in Los Angeles. It’s wonderfully done, & the acting by all cast members is first rate. And the northern islands are spectacular and mysterious in a manner befitting beautiful Scotland. I’m really looking forward to Series 4. Thanks to all involved with this fine production.

  19. Mark Stillman

    Shetland is a unique and interesting program, and I hope there are going to be additional series. I heard that Series 4 will be filmed, yet I hope for more after that. I have been to the Shetland Islands and they are fabulous, and the acting is superb and top shelf. I live in Los Angeles, but did a marathon at my parents home watching all 3 seasons in 1 week. I can’t wait for Series 4. Please keep up the great work.

  20. Kate Noakes

    Am watching Series Three (Season 2 on DVD here in Australia) as I am writing this, as I wanted to see if Season 4 was going to be made. Thrilled that it is!
    My husband is keen to do a Sabbatical for 6 months in Glasgow, and I am very keen to go as I planned to visit all the places where TV series such as Hamish Macbeth, Doctor Finlay, and Outlander have been filmed. I have told him that we now also have to go to the Shetland Isles – and spend some significant time there – it’s so beautiful.

  21. Michael A. Brown

    My wife and I live in the United States and became aware of Shetland through our PBS. We continually look forward to each new series of Shetland and consider lt superior to the crime dramas here in the U.S. This series holds special meaning for my wife because her ancestors are from Fair Isle. We have one request: please do not remove (Tosh) Alison O’Donnell from the series.
    Shetland is truly a well written series with actors/characters who we have become
    part of our household.

  22. Rosemary Folco

    This is an awesome series, well done to BBC once again for producing such brilliant writing and actors.
    The scenery is beautiful, the sensitivities all the actors bring to the plot are outstanding, and one never knows who the villain is until the end. It keeps you on your toes all through.

    Please produce more (right now please) series. We need these kinds of programs, I am sick of American programming.

    Bring back all the actors they are superb, bring back Tosh, can’t do without her, she is brilliant and of course Jimmy, he is gorgeous and sensative and all the cast they are all brilliant. Love the way they stop for a “Cup of Tea” instead of drinks like American shows. Love Jimmy’s house, heck everything is perfect.

  23. ruth southall

    I love Shetland. The actors, especially Douglas Henshall are brilliant. Watching it inspired me to visit the islands in 2014 and it was one of the best places I have ever visited. I hope the BBC keep making this series and that as many of the original cast as possible stay in it including Mr Henshall. In series 3 the attack on Tosh was handled really well and we saw how Jimmy Perez struggled to deal with it . Hopefully Tosh will back in series 4.

  24. Cathrine Evans

    This is such good news, but (spoiler alert) will miss characters who appear to be leaving based on how season three ended. Scotland is for sure on our bucket list of travels, now these islands must be added. The scenery is breathtaking and lends much to the moods of the characters and twists of the plots. What’s not to love – shows like Shetland are what keep me a public television supporter – network television does not even come close. Kudos to actors, directors and the author of the books that lent their storylines

  25. Nigel Hall

    wonderful…. Fantastic acting, especially the aftermath of the rape on all the characters…. but it’s now February 2017 and no update…. when when when ????

  26. Mark Wicksted

    My wife and I visited the Isle of Skye when we were in Scotland in the 80’s. This show brings back many fond memories of the island and Scotland itself. Just finished watching Season 3 tonight, having purchased all three seasons. Can hardly wait for Season 4, but very grateful they have continued the series for at least one more season 🙂

  27. Dixie Griffin

    Great to hear it . I have watched the last series 4 times

  28. David Spence

    I am intrigued if the 4th Series of Shetland goes back to the books or produces its own storyline? Whatever it may be, it is a great drama, and certainly worth another series………in fact, as many series as can be done, but still sticking to its core principle of why it was done in the first place.

    I wonder if the producer has ever thought of making Shetland into a movie? lol

  29. Roopa Viswanathan

    I watched all 3 series back to back on netflix in 1 week. Shetland is so beautiful and the characters so sensitively played. I like how Perez’s character balances being a single parent, an open minded one at that and a being a cop. Its so hard and he still seems to have a sense of humor. Eagerly looking forward to the 4th series.

  30. Robert Torstrom

    I am so glad to there will be more twists and turns in Shetland. The performances demand intense attention and the story lines are most ingaging. Certainly a worthy follow on to Inspector Morse and Foyle’s War.

  31. Ali Newman

    When will Shetland series 4 be available for viewing in the U.S.? I’m a huge fan, read all the books and watched all 3 series so far. I can’t wait!

    • Richard Boston

      I dont think they have started filming Series 4 yet.

  32. Brian Kent

    I loved watching Series 1 and 2 of ‘Shetland’ and thoroughly enjoyed the characters portrayed. It certainly builds tension as the episodes go on and I can’t wait to buy Series three on DVD here in Australia. It has not been shown on free to air local TV as far as I know so it was by chance that I had the ‘Vera’ series and loved that. When I saw a DVD in my local retailer with scripts based on the Ann Cleeves novels I bought my first ‘Shetland’ DVD and eventually the 2nd series and now about to order Series three. I hope that I can get a DVD copy of Series four when it is available. Well done BBC Scotland. Anything showing Scotland is always a plus and I have enjoyed trips to Scotland in the recent past so recognise the scenery etc.
    Shetland reminded me of parts of Tasmania that I visited when I lived and worked in Hobart for six very happy years.

  33. Paula Duarte

    Just binge-ing on the entire series to date. Alternating with Blethyn’s Vera. Did not realize they were based on books by the same author. Thank heaven for Acorn TV and Netflix, but I may not see the light of day for some time. I want to make a trip to the home of some of my ancestors now more than ever, the landscape steal the show at times!

  34. Phyllis Petras

    I feel I am on vacation to your lovely land!!! Am watching what is available of SHETLAND on Netflix and enjoying it very much! I profess to having to put the subtitles on, but if you heard my Tennessee accent, you would have to do the same!!! Sending a BIG HELLO to you all!! Am currently watching the wedding party walking down the hill behind the sweet children with the brooms, and it is very sweet.

    Love from Phyllis in Sacramento California.

  35. Renee Maxey

    Began the series this past Sunday. Went to Scotland in September and fell in love with the mountains, streams, rivers, surf and believe it or not, fog! Saw Douglas Henshall on Outlander and was immediately drawn to his ability to bring his character to life. On the last episode of S3 and look forward to S4.

    Renee Maxey
    Houston, TX USA

    • Bee Hoi

      Just discovered this series and love it and all its characters!
      Would love to see Tosh continue with series. Henshall is great and the interaction between the two dads hilarious. Have enjoyed ALL the supporting cast. Love Sandy’s accent and have told my mom she needs to watch as it brings out her Wallacestone brogue. Yes, we’ve even found this series in Lincoln, Nebraska (USA)!

      Looking forward to Season 4!

  36. Mel Gilbert

    I love this show, characters and the theme music. I watch this on my local PBS channel. Have they started filming Season 4 yet?

    The show has inspired me to visit Scotland.

  37. Towanda Murphy

    WooHoo!! British television has spoiled me for American television. I don’t even watch tv in the States anymore – except PBS. I scraped cable and invested in Netflix & Amazon where I pick up Acorn TV. Thank you for this news, 3 seasons wasn’t enough to quench my thirst for brilliantly written, acted and produced television.

  38. Abbie McMillen

    I can only echo the well-deserved praise that others are heaping on this series. Watched the entire 3 seasons while recovering from influenza, and forgot all about my sickness. One thing that made it especially wonderful for me is that I live in rural, coastal, “downeast” Maine, where our social arrangements, personalities, and even our scenery, while gentler and not as spectacular, are familiar enough to feel like the series could have been made about my home. I will be buying the entire DVD set, and hope some day to be fortunate enough to visit.

  39. Lori wacker

    We’ve been enjoying this series while watching in the states. I wish more of the Shetland countryside including the famous Shetland ponies, were used in scenes. Looking forward to seeing season 4
    I normally don’t like using my name on foreign sites, but felt it necessary just to put in my 2 cents about the ponies. Can you tell I’m a horse lover?

  40. Craig Chiu

    Just finished season 3 on Netflix. It is a great series. Besides the story, I got fascinated with the island.
    I did not know Shetland before that show, and then I realized that it is north of Oakney Islands where a friend of mine moved after his retirement. Hope I can visit Shetland someday and stay at Sumburgh Lighthouse.

  41. Rebecca Chapman

    I found this series on Netflix here in US (Pittsburgh, PA) and could not stopping watching these superb shows! Thankfully, I had three days off … the series is just fabulous. Absolutely delighted that there will be more to come.

  42. Robin Sines

    Echoing above praise for this show and the actors and their superb portrayals of very real characters. Watching this show is just shy of actually being in these characters’ lives. Have watched season 3, episode 3, the scene at minute 45 about 20 times since seeing it a couple days ago; to me, it is perhaps the most sexy interaction/dialogue between man and woman ever seen on TV. Something about it.

    • Juanita Tod

      What does Jimmy say to Eshèr in the hotel? Cannot understand words. Thanks. Juanita Tod.

  43. Jasmine Kalina

    I live in Hawaii and I’m hooked on this series. Although I was a big fan of “Law and Order” and “CSI”, I now find myself drawn to murder mysteries set in remote/quiet towns and not sure why. Perhaps it’s because they move slower and more deliberately and there are less distractions from the beautiful surroundings? I also love “MIdsomer Murders,” “Top of the Lake,” “Gracepoint” (will have to watch “Broadchurch” also).

    So very relieved to hear there will be a fourth season of “Shetland”. Will Tosh return?? I hope Archie P.’s character also returns, although I must admit I was wishing she’d be a badass like Kalinda “The Good Wife” was. Can’t have everything I guess. I really miss Kalinda!

  44. Lilspeth Palmer

    Greetings everyone from New York City, USA. I have been to Scotland and the Islands …crazy in love with its natural beauty and very cool people! I discovered Shetland series on Netflix and not since Prime Suspect have I been so totally engaged. What joy to learn another season is promised.

  45. Anita Ralph

    Love, love Shetland! Bring on more soon. I have learned so much and love the characters and photography. Also found a new author to find at the library! Love from Idaho USA!

  46. Linda Spruell

    I have been watching the series on Netflix and I love it! The characters are wonderful and have a believable depth to them, I hope Tosh can find a reason to stay! And as i see from previous posts, I am not alone in hoping to visit Scotland and Shetland one day!
    I am also very happy to hear that another series is in the works!
    Lots of love from Humble, Texas, USA!

  47. William Pendleton

    There is nothing we like better than to find a new series and binge watch it. A large percentage of these are BBC productions. We found Shetland recently and it is outstanding. The acting is authentic and the tone and setting takes you an island we’ll never come within a thousand miles of. It’s great news that is being continued.

  48. Julie A Foxhoven

    Love this series! So happy to see Season 4 is a go!

  49. Mary Courtney

    Just finished the Series…& we felt like we’d lost a friend!
    One of the finest programs we’ve seen on Netflix…Beautiful natural scenes in Shetland, great writing and such fine acting all around. It’s a joy to watch such excellent acting. Perez’s character is wonderful and done with great depth and finesse. The emotional connections are palpable and so engaging. Hopes we see Season 4 soon!

  50. Patricia Rio Branco

    Just binged watched the first 3 series in about 4 days and absolutely loved it. I love British series in general but having one set in Scotland is a real treat!
    I had the privilege to visit Scotland last year and am definitely planning to go back (and would love to include the Shetlands in the itinerary).
    I quite liked the fact that Perez’s daughter fell in love with a Brazilian man (I’m Brazilian myself). Very courageous of her to move to Brazil (I live in Austria, no current plans to move back).
    Any idea when the fourth series will be broadcast? I hope we don’t have to wait until 2018 for it!

  51. Anne Murray

    I have just discovered Shetland and it is by far the best series ever. The acting, characters, mystery as well as the beauty of the island is not only intriguing but enchanting. Please make more of these heartwarming series! We need high quality productions like these on American television.

  52. Claire Todd

    So happy to read this news. This series just gets better each season. I just found it and have watched all three seasons twice already. Haven’t had a chance to read the books yet, but I am going to check the local library. I must admit, I’ve fallen in love with the Shetland Islands from watching these programs.

  53. Wendy Becker

    I’m from the US and my husband and I just watched the first 3 series on Netflix and loved it! What a beautiful country and great crime drama! Guess we’ll have a while to wait for series 4!

  54. David Walker

    A brilliant series. So well acted and carried by all the cast. It is a good mix of established stars with younger members of the cast gaining more experience with every episode that is shown. Really looking forward to it returning. Also great scenery with the rugged wildness of Shetland and the little trips to the city to keep the feel of modern police work.

  55. Laura Fisher

    From North Carolina: what a beautiful area Shetland is, and what a superb series. The actors and the plots are excellent, which tells us that the director and producers are also. I hope the series continues to gain traction so that it goes on for a very long time!!
    This drama actually surpasses the books.

  56. Paul Boone

    My wife and I have come to love British TV shows, and we believe that Shetland tops them all. Love the scenery of Shetland, and loooovvve the accents.

  57. Bill Pippin

    Absolutely riveting show. This is the reason I love British TV over American. So much more is put into these shows than in America. Most of ours is just trash and my wife and I feel revived when we watch these series. Please keep them coming.

    • Eleanor Kelly

      I so agree with you, Bill! I mainly watch British productions on PBS and EX. I am hoping Shetland Season 4 will be coming to PBS soon.

  58. Allison Helm

    Hello from Michigan. Can’t say enough about how well done this show is. Fine, fine acting. I can’t wait for season 4. Season 3 was most memorable for how they presented the aftermath of violent crime (rape and childhood trauma by Lowrie (sp)) without having to show the actual rape. Great characters, great actors. I love the phrasing and often find myself pausing and looking up some local Shetland/Scottish slang word. Learning about Scotland geography via the show because every time they mention a town I’m looking it up. Would like to see more of Lowrie. Very good acting and likable character that keeps you guessing,.

  59. Larry Harris

    Fantastic show. Drama , mystery and scenery as beautifully raw as the realistic acting by the players. Great Job! My wife and I just finished watching all three seasons on Netflix last eve and are excited to see Season 4. Thanks to all who made it possible.

  60. Frank Pival

    What an awesome series. I live in the Pacific NW of the USA…this is such a great example of story telling..I look forward to watching this on NETFLIX when it comes on. I have had a chance to interact with a person in the Shetlands who have given me some insight in the whole region. Thanks

  61. Ron Young

    I keep trying to persuade Lorrain, a very good friend of mine, who’s a big “Shetland” fan to accompany me for a couple of weeks in your lovely islands – but she hasn’t taken me up on my suggestion yet 🙁

  62. Julia Bronder

    Shetland is one of the very best series I have ever watched, first via PBS TV
    then on my iPad via Netflix. Marvelous opening theme, superb acting, character depth, great plots and the starkly beautiful scenery make this a not-to-miss experience. So happy to hear Series 4 is in production!

  63. Felicia Mullins

    I LOVE UK DRAMAS and Shetland is one of the best I have seen! I watch it on Netflix and am very, extremely, totally, utterly excited it will come back for a fourth season! I live in Ocean Shores, Washington State on the Pacific Coast of the USA and have many friendz who love this show too! I am so glad it has a global audience! I hope to visit Shetland and the Isles one day! I want to go to the Up Hellya Festival and check out some cliffs! Anyhow, much applause to the people who put this t.v. series on the map! THANK YOUUUUUUUU!

  64. Deborah Wyckoff

    Just got done binging Shetland for the third time in four days, all 3 seasons. I love British detective shows. They are superior to anything we have in the USA. Can’t wait to see more. Would also like to visit all the places I have seen in these shows. Thank you for great, quality TV and great, quality acting.

  65. Brian Smith

    I like the Archers and Eastenders.

  66. Audrey Gregg

    I recently joined Netflix and found this great show, which I have binge-watched to its present completion. I am thrilled there will be a fourth season. The characters are very real, brilliant, respectful. I think Jimmy Perez is a great detective and a role-modeling man. Tosh’s handling of her assault was poignant. Acting by each of the characters is wonderful. Please send more of this remarkable series!

  67. Barbara Watkins

    This series is wonderful! Just started season two and I’m hooked! I love U.K. series! They are so intricately woven with real live situations and for the most part are perfectly done. Having been privileged enough to visit Ireland and the U.K., I get nostalgic every episode I watch from here in Georgia, US. Scotland and the isles are now on my list!
    Thanks BBC for sharing this wonderful series with us and I’m ecstatic to know I have two full seasons ahead of me!!

  68. Michael Bement

    This is wonderful news. I caught the series in the States on Netflix, and hadn’t heard of it before. I just found it one evening while looking for something interesting.

    After watching all the episodes from 3 seasons, I was disappointed because there just isn’t much of quality viewing here anymore. Cheers to the folks who made the decision.

    As a photographer, I’d like to visit the Shetlands. Lovely land.

  69. Linda Jackson

    After having watched and enjoyed all the episodes our local PBS Oregon channel ran, my husband and I were fortunate enough to visit Shetland this past June on a cruise.
    There was an immediate familiarity to the surroundings! We visited Lerwick and the ruins at Jarlshof and were entranced by the beautiful views of sea and sky! Being a retired forester, my husband was dismayed at the lack of trees on the island. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to live there full time. I, however, thoroughly enjoyed everything, especially the people! Being of Scottish- Norwegian heritage, I felt right at home! It would be a dream if I could return to Shetland soon, but for now I’ll have to settle for Series 4.

  70. Cris Cruz

    Its December 2018! I saw it first in the internet and latter in portuguese cable.
    Everyone knows when will be 4.1. Shetland is amazing! Love everything about it! Douglas Henshall is doing such a great work!

  71. Jude Cancelliere

    We began watching this in Feb. 2018 and have watched every episode of all 3 seasons. So delighted to hear there will be a season 4!

  72. Vivienne Lagraulet

    Have just finished watching all 3 seasons of this wonderful series here in France (but in English!) and can’t wait to see season 4. Wonderful scenery, great acting especially Douglas Henshaw who does a marvelous job, giving great depth to Perez’s character. The whole programme makes me homesick for Scotland, my mother’s home country. I’ve never been further than Inverness but would love to visit Shetland.


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