Shetland team reveal plot twists of ‘fragile new partnership’ between lead detectives

Cast and crew of acclaimed TV series Shetland say they are “thrilled” to be back filming in the isles – and have revealed intriguing insights into the plot twists ahead.

The team began filming series eight of the murder mystery this week – the first with Ashley Jensen in the lead role as DI Ruth Calder.

Jensen, who has starred in shows including Mayflies, After Life and Agatha Raisin, plays a Met detective returning to her native Shetland.

While Jensen has previously hinted at the “new dynamic” posed by a female lead – senior crew members have now disclosed even more details about what lies in store for viewers when the new season airs later this year.

We can now reveal that DI Calder’s return is related to a gangland murder which forces Tosh, played by Alison O’Donnell, to pause her investigation into a string of mysterious animal deaths to help find a vulnerable witness before it’s too late.

However, viewers also learn that Calder has a hostility to Shetland that will challenge Tosh’s view of her adopted home as they journey into the darker recesses of Shetland’s past and present, testing their fragile, new partnership.

With filming now under way, new guest stars have also been announced.

These include Phyliss Logan, from Guilt and Downton Abbey, Jamie Sives from Game of Thrones and Annika and Dawn Steele from Holby City and Granite Harbour.

Other new arrivals are Don Gilet from EastEnders and Sherwood, Ann Louise Ross from River City and Katie Morag and Lorraine McIntosh of Outlander and My Name is Joe.

The guest cast will star alongside series regulars, including Steven Robertson, playing DC Sandy Wilson, Lewis Howden as Sgt Billy McCabe and Anne Kidd as Cora McLean.

BBC commissioning editor Gaynor Holmes said: “We couldn’t be more delighted to see Shetland return with such a stellar cast and a brand new, taut and thrilling murder mystery to keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

“We’re very excited to see the show embark on this fantastic new chapter, with its unique blend of haunting atmosphere, rich character and emotional storytelling.”

Originally based on the award-winning novels by crime writer Ann Cleeves, the latest Shetland series averaged 7.2 million viewers and has become a global hit for the BBC and Silverprint Pictures.

Executive producer Kate Bartlett said: “We’re so excited about this new series of Shetland with Ashley and Alison and all our wonderful returning and guest cast.

“Paul Logue has created a distinctive and emotionally complex story, set against the stunning and evocative landscape of the Shetland Isles.

“We’re thrilled to be making this new series with such incredible Scottish talent.”

Filming has so far taken place in Tingwall and Scalloway and will move to Sandsound beach, near Tresta today (Friday).


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