Will Shetland continue without Perez?

Shetland will continue without DI Jimmy Perez as an eighth season of the hit crime murder mystery has already been confirmed by BBC One.

Shetland started with the premise of DI Jimmy Perez, portrayed by Douglas Henshall, who moves from London to the small island community of Shetland, only to find that the island town is filled with murder mysteries.

For this reason, it was hard to believe that Perez would leave the island. But in the season seven finale, Perez confirmed that he was leaving the island, which put the future of the series in question.

Although, BBC One was ahead of the speculation in terms of the future of its flagship series, as it confirmed that Shetland will continue without Perez as season eight has already been greenlit.

How did DI Jimmy Perez leave Shetland?

Shetland season seven saw DI Jimmy Perez continue to question the effectiveness of the law in delivering justice for all those who need it.

This question came to a head when he believed the innocence of Lloyd, who was discovered to be Walter Edwards, who fled the US after being wrongfully accused of murder, and was wanted by the FBI.

After figuring who was responsible for the murders of Connor Cairns, and Byrd and Bill Rogers, Perez decided to give Lloyd his passport back.

This action jeopardised his career, meaning the end of the road for him on Shetland. But he got a happy ending as he found love with Meg Pattison.

Will Shetland continue without Perez?

Given that the initial plot to kick off the crime murder mystery series, inspired by the series of novels written by English author Ann Cleeves, was based on DI Jimmy Perez coming to Shetland island, the fact that Perez is gone left many to wonder what the future of the series will be, or if there is going to be a series at all.

Will Shetland continue without Perez?
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But prior to the August 2022 premiere of the emotional season, BBC One had already addressed whether the series will continue with Henshall as Perez or not. The channel confirmed that a season eight, without Perez, has already been greenlit.

Moreover, it seems that the series had already started envisioning what the first season without Perez would look like.

This is as Henshall had made his intentions to exit the show as early as in the fifth season finale of the crime murder mystery, allowing the two subsequent seasons to give his character a fitting send-off.

Therefore, it seems that the writers of the series had already started planning the first season without Perez at the helm.

As such, filming for the eighth and much-anticipated season is set to commence in the spring 2023, and the season will debut later that year. No official dates have been announced about the release date for season eight.

How will Shetland continue without Perez?

Leading actors leaving a series is always a risk as ratings could plummet due to the exit of the lead and anchor. However, it is not uncommon for a series to continue successfully without the original lead at the helm of the series.

Similarly to how one of the longest-running ITV crime murder mystery series, Midsomer Murders, was able to continue successfully after the exit of John Nettles in the role of DCI Tom Barnaby.

The trick is to replace the actor with a familiar lead as Midsomer Murders did by introducing Neil Dudgeon as Barnaby’s cousin, DCI John Barnaby. Fans believe that Alison O’Donnell as DS Alison “Tosh” McIntosh is ready for this role.

What will Shetland season eight be about without Perez?

It is safe to assume that aside from the murder mystery which the team will have to solve in the six hour-long episodes expected in the season, another plot will be the matter of who replaces Perez and how the remaining team deals with the change.

More especially if the writers decide to introduce a completely new character as the lead or a new member of the team, as fans and the cast alike need to get used to the changes of the upcoming new season.

Who else is not in Shetland without Perez there?

The departure of DI Jimmy Perez has had long-reaching implications for other beloved characters in the series.

This includes Mark Bonnar as best friend and co-parent Duncan Hunter, who returned at the beginning of season seven as a prison inmate after the events of season six to confirm that upon his release, he would not return to Shetland.

In extension, the best friends’ daughter, Cassie, would have no motivation to return to the island, as her father and stepfather have both left Shetland indefinitely.