Shetland (2013– )


Shetland (TV Series 2013– )

Created from the novels by award winning crime writer Ann Cleeves, Shetland follows DI Jimmy Perez and his team as they investigate crime within the close knit island community. In this isolated and sometimes inhospitable environment, the team have to rely on a uniquely resourceful style of policing. Set against a hauntingly beautiful landscape, Shetland is based on the best selling books such as Red Bones, Raven Black, Dead Water and Blue Lightning.
IMDb   8.1 /10
TheMovieDb    7.8 /10
RottenTomatoes  91 %
FilmAffinity   7.0 /10
Creator Jan Matthys
Creator Thaddeus O'Sullivan
Creator Gaby Chiappe
Release Date2013-03-10
GenreCrime, Drama, Mystery
Content RatingTV-14 (TV-14)
Awards2 wins & 10 nominations
CompanyBBC Scotland
DI Jimmy Perezas DI Jimmy Perez
DS Alison 'Tosh' McIntoshas DS Alison 'Tosh' McIntosh…
DC Sandy Wilsonas DC Sandy Wilson…
Cassie Perezas Cassie Perez
Duncan Hunteras Duncan Hunter…
Rhona Kellyas Rhona Kelly
Sgt Billy McCabeas Sgt Billy McCabe…
Cora McLeanas Cora McLean
Thomas Maloneas Thomas Malone
Sgt Billy McBrideas Sgt Billy McBride
Olivia Lennoxas Olivia Lennox
Paul Kiernanas Paul Kiernan…
Conor McCarry
Conor McCarry
PC Alex Grantas PC Alex Grant
Donna Killickas Donna Killick
Titana Muthui
Titana Muthui
Zezi Ugaraas Zezi Ugara
Jamie Hayesas Jamie Hayes
Kate Kilmuiras Kate Kilmuir
Alice Brooksas Alice Brooks

Shetland (TV series)

Shetland is a Scottish crime drama television series, made by ITV Studios for BBC Scotland and first broadcast on 10 March 2013. Initially based upon the novels of Ann Cleeves, the series was brought to the screen by David Kane, who has remained a principal writer throughout the series.

The series stars Douglas Henshall as Jimmy Pérez, a detective inspector working for the Shetland police, Alison O'Donnell as Detective Sergeant Alison "Tosh" Macintosh, and Steven Robertson as Detective Constable Sandy Wilson. Mark Bonnar, Lewis Howden, Erin Armstrong, Julie Graham, and Anne Kidd are also credited as principal members of the cast.

The story takes place largely on the eponymous Scottish archipelago, although much of the filming takes place on the Scottish mainland, with only some location filming actually taking place in Shetland. Five series have been broadcast as of April 2019. Douglas Henshall, playing Jimmy Pérez, won the 2016 BAFTA Scotland award for best actor and the series received the award for Best TV Drama.

On 2 December 2019, BBC One announced that Shetland would return for two further series airing respectively in 2020 and 2021. Henshall is confirmed to return to his role, along with O’Donnell. Production had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic COVID-19.


The first series consists of two episodes; a single two-part story based on the novel Red Bones by Ann Cleeves. This series was broadcast across two nights on 10 and 11 March 2013 and was produced by Sue de Beauvoir. Subsequently, a second series was commissioned by the BBC. Series two was extended to contain six episodes. These were filmed in 2013 and screened in 2014. This series features three two-part stories based on Cleeves' novels Raven Black, Dead Water, and Blue Lightning. This series was produced by Peter Gallagher.

Filming began in April 2015 for a third series, which began screening in January 2016. This series saw a change in format; with all six episodes covering a single story, written exclusively for television. This was the first series not to adapt any of Cleeves' novels. Ciarán Hinds and Anna Chancellor were among the new cast members for this series. A fourth series was announced by the BBC in July 2016. Again, this series is a single story played out across six episodes and written exclusively for television. Stephen Walters and Neve McIntosh were among the new cast members announced for the series. It was broadcast on BBC One beginning on 13 February 2018.

In July 2018, Henshall confirmed that filming for series 5 would be over the following four months. Series 5 was broadcast was on BBC1 from 12 February 2019.

During filming, the cast and crew are usually based in Glasgow and other areas of mainland Scotland. Filming often takes place in areas with landscape or buildings reminiscent of those in the Shetland Islands, such as Kilbarchan in Renfrewshire, Barrhead, where Henshall was born and grew up, Ayr and Irvine, North Ayrshire. "My character’s house is actually in Kilbarchan, the interior of a couple of crofts are here (in Irvine, Ayrshire) and the police station is in Barrhead", Henshall said in a 2019 interview.

Filming locations on or near Shetland have included Lerwick, the main port of the Shetland Islands and on the NorthLink ferry approaching Lerwick as well as the village of Wester Quarff south of Lerwick. Some filming was done on Fair Isle for series 2 while the Hillswick wildlife sanctuary was featured in series 4.


Main cast

  • Douglas Henshall as Jimmy Perez, detective inspector (series 1–)
  • Alison O'Donnell as Alison "Tosh" MacIntosh, detective sergeant (series 1–)
  • Steven Robertson as Sandy Wilson, detective constable (series 1–)
  • Mark Bonnar as Duncan Hunter, Cassie's biological father (series 1–)
  • Julie Graham as Rhona Kelly, procurator fiscal (series 2–)
  • Lewis Howden as Billy McCabe, police sergeant (series 4–, recurring series 1, 3)
  • Erin Armstrong as Cassie Perez, Jimmy's stepdaughter (series 4–, recurring series 1–3)
  • Anne Kidd as Cora McLean, forensic pathologist (series 5–, recurring series 2–4)
  • Stewart Porter as Billy McBride, police sergeant (recurring series 2; temporarily replacing Lewis Howden)

Series 1

Red Bones

  • Sandra Voe as Mima Wilson
  • Claire Rafferty as Anna Haldane
  • Jim Sturgeon as Ronald Haldane
  • Gemma Chan as Hattie James
  • Geraldine Alexander as Gwen James
  • Lindy Whiteford as Jackie Haldane
  • James Greene as Andrew Haldane
  • Martin Wenner as Professor Paul Berglund
  • Alexander Morton as Joseph Wilson
  • Sophie Rundle as Sophie
  • Sooz Aitken as Young Mima Wilson

Series 2

Raven Black

  • Rebecca Benson as Sally Henry
  • Brian Cox as Magnus Bain
  • Sophia Carr-Gomm as Catherine Ross
  • Chris Reilly as Alan Isbister
  • Cara Kelly as Margaret Henry
  • Frances Grey as Jess Collins
  • Freya Monk as Kitty Collins
  • Matthew Zajac as Alex Henry
  • Anthony Flanagan as Euan Ross
  • Tunji Kasim as Hugo Scott
  • Jana Reinermann as Gret Bruce
  • Jordan Young as Brian Bruce

Dead Water

  • Nina Sosanya as Willow Reeves
  • Alex Norton as Cameron Watt
  • David Hayman as Joe Dalhousie
  • Kari Corbett as Evie Watt
  • Marnie Baxter as Jenny Belshaw
  • Iain Robertson as Jerry Markham
  • Clive Russell as Adam Markham
  • Gerda Stevenson as Maria Markham
  • Neil McKinven as Andy Belshaw
  • Forbes Masson as Reg Gilbert
  • Henry Pettigrew as Iain Redford
  • Steven Cree as John Henderson
  • Leanne Best as Annabel

Blue Lightning

  • John Lynch as Frank Blake
  • Bill Paterson as James Perez
  • Leigh Biagi as Anna Blake
  • Anthony Howell as Peter Latimer
  • David Ireland as Finlay Caulfield
  • Julie Hale as Tessa Warren
  • Keith Ramsey as Joe Blake
  • Annie Louise Ross as Mary Perez
  • Susan Vidler as Isobel Tulloch
  • Lorne MacFadyen as Angus Tulloch
  • Michael Nardone as Donnie Tulloch
  • David Annen as Bill Warren
  • Paksie Vernon as Gina Bradley

Series 3

  • Ciarán Hinds as Michael Maguire
  • Saskia Reeves as Freya Galdie
  • Sara Vickers as Leanne Randall
  • Andrew Rothney as Robbie Morton
  • Archie Panjabi as DS Asha Israni
  • Anna Chancellor as Phyllis Brenan
  • James Cosmo as Arthur MacCall
  • Jamie Michie as Lowrie
  • Jack Greenlees as Craig Cooper
  • Kate Donnelly as Grace
  • Mark Cox as Tommy Monro
  • Struan Rodger as Alec
  • Ace Bhatti as Calvin Sarwar
  • Jack Greenlees as Craig Cooper
  • Benjamin Cawley as Edison

Series 4

  • Stephen Walters as Thomas Malone
  • Neve McIntosh as Kate Kilmuir
  • Sean McGinley as Drew McColl
  • Amy Lennox as Sally McColl
  • Fiona Bell as Donna Killick
  • Sophie Stone as Jo Halley
  • Gerard Miller as Alan Killick
  • Allison McKenzie as Gail Callahan
  • Julia Brown as Molly Kilmuir
  • Arnmundur Ernst Björnsson as DS Lars Bleymann
  • Carolin Stoltz as DI Anke Strom
  • Eleanor Matsuura as DI Jessie Cole
  • Joi Johannsson as Andreas Hagan
  • Hannah Donaldson as Meg Hamilton
  • Michael Moreland as Benny Ray
  • Eldar Skar as NDA leader

Series 5

  • Rakie Ayola as Olivia Lennox
  • Derek Riddell as Chris Brooks
  • Catherine Walker as Alice Brooks
  • Tracy Wiles as Carla Hayes
  • Owen Whitelaw as Prentice Hayes
  • Lorn Macdonald as Jamie Hayes
  • Ryan Fletcher as Calum Dunwoody
  • John Kazek as Paul Kiernan
  • Meghan Tyler as Mags
  • Ayanda Bhebe as Daniel Ugara
  • Conor McCarry as PC Alex Grant
  • Robin Laing as Gavin Laird
  • Gail Watson as Mary Hunter
  • Frances Mayil McCann as Niki
  • Angus Miller as Donnie
  • Emma Mullen as Rosie
  • Titana Muthui as Zezi Ugara
  • Kirsty Stuart as Morag Dunwoody
  • Kate Dickie as Sam Boyd
  • Jenni Keenan-Green as Claire McGuire
  • Therese Bradley as Andrea Doyle
  • Robert Cavanah as Graeme Benson



SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1210 March 201311 March 2013
2611 March 201415 April 2014
3615 January 20164 March 2016
4613 February 201820 March 2018
5612 February 201919 March 2019

Series 1 (2013)

TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
11"Red Bones – Part 1"Peter HoarDavid Kane10 March 20137.97
Elderly Shetlander Mima Wilson is found murdered on the archaeological site on the grounds of her croft. Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez and his team investigate, and find that somehow the murder is linked to the Shetland bus.
22"Red Bones – Part 2"Peter HoarDavid Kane11 March 20135.68
With two murders and no strong leads, Detective Inspector Perez and his team must apprehend the suspect before crowds descend on the Shetland Islands for Up Helly Aa, the biggest fire festival in Europe.

Series 2 (2014)

TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
31"Raven Black – Part 1"John McKayGaby Chiappe11 March 20146.37
DI Jimmy Perez and his team investigate the murder of a teenage girl whose body was found on a secluded beach, and time and again the same name crops up – that of local recluse Magnus Bain, whose home overlooks the crime scene and who had forged an unlikely friendship with the victim. But then the procurator fiscal draws attention to the unsolved disappearance of a girl named Catriona 19 years previously – a case that shares several similarities with this one.
42"Raven Black – Part 2"John McKayGaby Chiappe18 March 20146.16
The discovery of seven-year-old Catriona's body after almost two decades prompts Jimmy Perez to take Magnus in for further questioning. But at the station, the recluse's distress leads to his attacking the inspector, and Magnus is sent for a psychological evaluation. Ploughing on, Perez re-examines the evidence, but it is only when Catriona's brother reveals she had a secret hiding place at their old home – the same house where Catherine also lived – that he finally sees a glimmer of hope.
53"Dead Water – Part 1"David MooreDavid Kane25 March 20145.56
A journalist dies in a suspicious car accident, and when it turns out he was an old friend of Perez's, a forensic scientist is called in to ensure an objective view of the case. As the team awaits her results, they look into the reasons for the victim's return to the island and find he was chasing a lead about plans for a controversial new gas pipeline.
64"Dead Water – Part 2"David MooreDavid Kane1 April 20145.53
The discovery of John Henderson's body leads DI Perez to wonder if this second killing is linked to the death of his journalist friend Jerry, a theory given greater weight by forensic investigator Willow Reeves' finds. But then the case takes another surprising turn with the arrival of Jerry's fiancee, carrying a memory stick he gave to her for safekeeping several weeks earlier.
75"Blue Lightning – Part 1"Stewart SvaasandRichard Davidson8 April 20145.29
A scientist is found dead in the bird observatory on Fair Isle, Perez's childhood home, so Perez and Tosh make their way across to the island, where they are greeted by Perez's father – just before flights are grounded by incoming storms. Working alone and without a forensic team, the detectives talk to the victim's friends, family, and colleagues – and as tensions run high, the storm forces Perez and the suspects to remain together under a single roof.
86"Blue Lightning – Part 2"Stewart SvaasandRichard Davidson15 April 20145.33
Time is running out for Perez and Tosh as their prime suspect lies critically ill in hospital, but it's unclear whether the fire that put him there was a drunken accident or if he was the second victim of Anna's real killer. The DI turns his attention to Finlay Caulfield regarding the photos of Anna on his camera, and while it becomes clear he was obsessed with her, it may not be enough to charge the stalker with her murder. There are still so many unanswered questions – until Sandy spots something on the CCTV footage that takes the investigation in a new direction.

Series 3 (2016)

The broadcast of Episode 6 was delayed due to coverage of an FA Cup replay being broadcast. In contrast to Season 2 (3, 2-part episodes), Season 3 is one 6-part story.

TitleDirected byWritten byUK air dateUK viewers
91"Episode 1"Thaddeus O'SullivanGaby Chiappe15 January 20166.82
When a young man disappears on a ferry crossing and a small boy ends up in intensive care after overdosing on Ecstasy, Perez and the team become convinced the two events are connected.
102"Episode 2"Thaddeus O'SullivanRobert Murphy22 January 20166.02
Perez grows convinced that Michael Maguire is implicated in the grisly death of a young man, discovered in a shipping container.
113"Episode 3"Thaddeus O'SullivanRobert Murphy5 February 20166.21
Perez and Tosh's investigation leads them to Glasgow, where they hope to uncover the truth behind Maguire's brutal death and his connection to Robbie Morton. Old ghosts return to haunt Perez, with his enemies trying to prevent him from getting to the truth.
124"Episode 4"Jan MatthysGaby Chiappe & Alexander Perrin12 February 20166.26
Perez and the team are determined to track down the person who aided Michael Thompson's killer, but as the case gathers pace, the officers involved find they are all under threat. Sandy comes across the killer by chance in a ruined building, and is knocked out. Tosh, returning from Glasgow, is abducted at the airport.
135"Episode 5"Jan MatthysGaby Chiappe19 February 20166.55
Tosh returns apparently unharmed, but the truth later comes out. Perez continues to investigate the double murder case, but finds bureaucracy getting in the way, until he tracks down a rape victim and discovers that her attacker was the son of Phyllis Brennan.
146"Episode 6"Jan MatthysDavid Kane4 March 20166.14
Perez and the team discover that the person responsible for the deaths of Robbie Morton and Michael Thompson is closer to home than they had thought.

Series 4 (2018)

The broadcast of Episode 3 was delayed by 24 hours due to the broadcast of an FA Cup replay.

TitleDirected byWritten byUK air dateUK viewers
151"Episode 1"Lee Haven JonesDavid Kane13 February 20186.72
Perez and the team are forced to re-open a 23-year-old cold case when convicted murderer, Thomas Malone, is released from prison. The case concerns teenager Lizzie Kilmuir, who was found strangled to death on a kiln. Upon returning to Shetland, Thomas tries to make amends with Lizzie's twin sister, Kate. Meanwhile, local journalist Sally McColl attends the Shetland Folk Festival with a group of her friends, but doesn't return home later that evening. The next day, she is found strangled to death on a kiln, in what looks like a copycat of Lizzie's murder. Perez is forced to break the news to Drew, Sally's father and a former police officer who led the investigation into Lizzie's murder.
162"Episode 2"Lee Haven JonesLouise Ironside20 February 20186.28
Perez sets out to find out who attacked Thomas, and circumstances point to Benny Ray. Sandy interviews Jo Halley, who claims she saw Sally arguing with someone in Norwegian at the folk festival. Allan Killick reveals that he had realized that Sally had been lying to him when she was alive. A DNA test on a hair found on Lizzie Kilmuir's scarf reveals it is a relative of Alan. However, when Alan's deceased father is tested, it turns out they are not related. Tosh interviews employees at Forst energy, a Norwegian company that Sally had been investigating, and finds a lead from Robbie's wife, but it runs cold when she is paid off. Perez learns that Thomas's trial was unethical, partly because Benny Ray, who testified against Thomas, was a paid informant.
173"Episode 3"Lee Haven JonesPaul Logue28 February 20186.08
Tosh heads to Norway to track down the mysterious Andreas Hagan, where she meets detective Lars Bleymann, who takes an instant shine to her. Finding herself drawn into a murky world of far right campaigners, Tosh is alarmed when she returns to her hotel room later that night and finds someone going through her belongings. Perez interviews Donna after receiving the results of the DNA test.
184"Episode 4"Rebecca GatwardDavid Kane6 March 20185.31
Perez and Tosh find themselves being pursued by the secret service as their investigation in Norway continues, but when their prime suspect, Mathias Soderland, is found shot in the head whilst bearing a sign reading "traitor", they are forced to return to Shetland. Perez questions Duncan about a videotape of a birthday party which Lizzie attended in the days before her death, in which he was present. Sandy receives a distress call from Jo Halley and arrives at her croft to find it has been ransacked.
195"Episode 5"Rebecca GatwardDavid Kane13 March 20186.21
Tosh begins to question if Lars could somehow be involved in Sally's murder after picking up that he knew about roadworks that took place on the island a week before he arrived. A review of the CCTV footage of Sally arriving in Norway reveals that her keychain holds a memory stick which contains video footage of Lars attending an NDA meeting. Under scrutiny, Lars admits having assaulted Jo Halley but denies being involved in the murders, claiming that he was witness to the argument between Sally and another man on the night of her death, but Perez is shocked when Lars identifies Duncan.
206"Episode 6"Rebecca GatwardDavid Kane20 March 20186.10
Jimmy realises that he has no choice but to bring Duncan in for questioning. Duncan denies murdering Lizzie and Sally, but does admit to having an affair with Donna Killick. During a review of images found on Sally's memory stick, Sandy finds a picture taken on the Unst Ferry in June 1993, shortly after Lizzie was murdered, that seemingly identifies the killer. When Duncan's DNA matches the sample found on Lizzie's scarf, Jimmy is forced to break the news to Cassie that Alan is her half-brother. After Donna confesses to the murder, Drew McColl tells Perez that he was trying to protect Donna, and that in doing so he killed his daughter, Sally. Finally cleared of both murders, Thomas suffers a fatal heart attack and dies as a free man.

Series 5 (2019)

TitleDirected byWritten byUK air dateUK viewers
211"Episode 1"Gordon AndersonDavid Kane12 February 20197.29
A Shetland beach is transformed once a severed hand washes up. When a bag containing further body parts are discovered the beach becomes a murder scene. Perez quickly determines this murder has connections to a modern slave trafficking ring. The beach victim is discovered to be Daniel Ugara who was in Shetland to find his sister Zezi, both originally from Nigeria.
222"Episode 2"Gordon AndersonPaul Logue19 February 20196.86
After the Hayes family are questioned, suspicions are raised beyond the police and the family are brutally attacked. Perez relates Daniel's murder and his sister Zezi's disappearance to the trafficking ring. Their estranged mother Olivia Lennox becomes increasingly distraught at both her perception of pace of the investigation and her sense of guilt regarding her absence from her children's lives. She is conflicted as she left them mainly in order to protect them from dangers in Nigeria.
233"Episode 3"Gordon AndersonDavid Kane26 February 20197.01
A Glasgow man, Aaron McGuire, is connected to the case; Perez, believing McGuire is a crucial figure in the gang, travels to Glasgow. Another suspect, Callum, commits suicide and, as custody officer, DC Sandy Wilson is under investigation.
244"Episode 4"Isabelle SiebPaul Logue5 March 20196.65
Believing Zezi is still on the island, Perez and the team continue the search for her. Lennox confronts Perez, accusing him of failing her children.
255"Episode 5"Isabelle SiebDavid Kane12 March 20196.66
Another trafficked victim only known as Niki turns up dead. The pressure for Perez to find Zezi becomes intense, as he believes she is at almost immediate risk. Lennox confronts the only surviving Hayes family member, Jamie, and offers McGuire the ransom for Zezi. Duncan Hunter, having discovered more bodies floating in the surf, is traumatised.
266"Episode 6"Isabelle SiebPaul Logue19 March 20196.80
Perez focuses on who tipped off McGuire. The net starts to close in around the expected location of Zezi; despite this, Lennox is suicidal. Tosh gets a tip that leads to a break, but Perez's involvement with Alice Brooks may compromise the case. The PIRC's recommendation about Sandy is passed down.

Home media

Released on DVD in Australia, Shetland, Series 1 contains the Pilot "Red Bones" and the Series 2 episodes "Raven Black", "Dead Water" and "Blue Lightning". Series 2 contains the Series 3 episodes, Series 3 contains the Series 4 episodes, and Series 4 contains the Season 5 episodes.

DVD NameRelease Date
Shetland17 September 2014
Shetland: Series 211 May 2016
Shetland: Series 39 May 2018
Shetland: Series 47 August 2019

International broadcasts

  • Australia: The programme airs on BBC First and ABC in Australia. Series 1-4 is also available on Netflix (Series 1 and 2 are combined and listed as Series 1, then Series 3 and 4 are listed as Series 2 and 3 respectively).
  • Belgium: The programme began airing on Flemish public broadcaster VRT's main channel, één, in October 2015.
  • Canada: The series is broadcast on British Columbia's Knowledge Network and streamed on Netflix.
  • Denmark: Danish network DR 1 began showing Shetland in October 2015.
  • Germany: The series began airing on Das Erste at the end of March 2016.
  • Ireland: The series began airing on Virgin Media in February 2019
  • Italy: The series began airing on Giallo in March 2018.
  • Estonia: The series began airing on ETV in September 2020.
  • Finland: Viewers in Finland were able to start watching the show from August 2015 on public broadcaster YLE's main TV1 channel, where the show was titled "Shetlandsaarten murhat."
  • Netherlands: Shetland is aired as part of the "Detectives" series from KRO-NCRV on NPO 1.
  • New Zealand: The programme began airing in New Zealand on Vibe in January 2016.
  • Norway: Shetland is aired on public broadcaster NRK.
  • Spain: The programme began airing in Galicia on Televisión de Galicia in October 2015.
  • Portugal: The programme began airing in Portugal on Fox Crime in August 2016.
  • Slovenia: The programme began airing in Slovenia on public broadcaster RTVSLO in July 2015.
  • Sweden: Swedish public broadcaster SVT started airing the 3rd series in January 2016 on their primary network SVT1.
  • United States: The series is broadcast on many stations of the Public Broadcasting System.
  • The series became available on Netflix in 2016. In 2018, the Britbox streaming service acquired the exclusive rights to Shetland’s Series 4, releasing new episodes weekly. Similarly, Series 5 has been released one episode per week beginning 30 April 2019. In April 2019, Netflix dropped the series from its streaming service in the US. Amazon has Series 1-3 available for fee purchase by episode or by season but is not included in its Prime streaming subscription. (Note that Series 1 and Series 2 are bundled into one season for purchase.)


YearAwardCategoryRecipient(s) and nominee(s)ResultRef.
2013RTS Craft & Design AwardsBest Music - Original TitleJohn LunnNominated
2014BAFTA ScotlandBest Actor - TelevisionDouglas HenshallNominated
2015BAFTA ScotlandBest Television DramaShetlandNominated
2016British Society of CinematographersGBTC Operators Award - Television DramaRodrigo GutierrezNominated
2016BAFTA ScotlandBest Television DramaShetlandWon
2016BAFTA ScotlandBest Actor - TelevisionDouglas HenshallWon
2016BAFTA ScotlandBest Directing - Film/TelevisionJan MatthysNominated
2016BAFTA ScotlandBest Writer - Film/TelevisionGaby ChiappeNominated