Henshall says ‘I loved the drama of the Shetland Isles’ as he bows out from hit TV show

Shetland star Douglas Henshall may be leaving DI Jimmy Perez behind – but it will not be the last he sees of the isles.

The actor stunned fans of the show last month with the revelation that series seven – which kicks off on Wednesday – would be his last in the role.

Despite filming for series eight scheduled to begin next spring, neither Henshall, nor Perez will be a part of it.

But in an interview this week Henshall confirmed he would “absolutely” be returning to Shetland as a tourist.

“What I’m looking forward to doing is going back and hopefully staying in the lighthouse at Sumburgh because it’s fantastic,” he said.

“It looks right into the ocean and if the wind picks up and a storm comes in, it’s the best place in the world to be.

“I want to take my daughter, show her the beaches and get her into the sea. Just to go and hang out and get to be a tourist would be nice.”

After visiting Shetland to film the crime drama for nearly a decade, Henshall said he was still discovering places to see.

“There are so many nooks and crannies that are absolutely beautiful and the wildflowers in the summer are truly stunning,” he said

“I loved the pace of the place.

“I really loved the sea, I loved how stark it could be, I loved the weather in all its glory.

“I loved the drama of the Shetland Isles.

“I also met some really nice people there who were fabulous, kind, generous and funny.

“There aren’t many places like Shetland – it’s very much of itself.

“It’s unique and I’ll miss that.”

At first, the actor said he felt the Shetland people were “slightly suspicious” of the cast and crew – but said they now had seen “we’re a force for good”.

“They’ve really taken to us,” he added

“They have been incredibly helpful and we couldn’t make the show without their help.”

While Henshall admitted he would be sad to say goodbye to Perez, he said he wanted to “go out on a high”.

“I’ll miss him as a person I crawl into every now and again because I liked him, he’s a nice man,” he said.

“I enjoyed playing Perez and exploring the complications of his life.

“Flawed humans are always the most interesting to play because I feel they are the most truthful.”

Although he will never again don the iconic jacket, Henshall said his departure would not feel real until the series finale had aired.

“Shetland has meant a lot to me and it’s going to take some time to sink in that I’ve left the show,” he said

With the new series picking up from the cliff-hanger ending of series six, when Perez was being read his rights on a murder charge, there is sure to be plenty of drama to see him out.

Henshall said it felt like Perez had been “stitched up”.

“It’s sullied his view of what he does,” he said.

“I think he’s getting to that point of his career where he’s beginning to doubt whether he has a future doing what he does.

“Perez is becoming a bit disenchanted with his life the way it is.

“Those little doubts have started to creep in and he’s questioning whether he’s doing the right thing or not.

“There’s lots of things niggling him.”

Perez also faces more complications with his “will they, won’t they” relationship with nurse Meg.

Could happiness be on the horizon?

“You never know,” said Henshall.

“But as with anything to do with Perez and the opposite sex, it’s never straightforward.”

Personal problems aside, the case itself looks set to offer plenty of twists and turns.

What starts out as a missing person investigation soon becomes “murkier and murkier,” and Henshall puts it.

“My final series has a really great story at its heart and it’s very much the Shetland the audience know and love.

“I hope people have enjoyed watching Perez over the years as much as I’ve enjoyed playing him.

“I’m going to miss Jimmy Perez.”


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.