Shetland confirmed season 8 before its season 7 premiere which was the swan song for lead, Douglas Henshall before his exit from the series.
BBC One’s Shetland has been a flagship series for the channel since it premiered in 2013. The crime murder mystery series is premised on DI Jimmy Perez and his team investigating the complex murders that take place on the small island town of Shetland.
However, season seven marked the official exit of lead actor Douglas Henshall, who played the role of DI Jimmy Perez, which put the future of the series in question.
But BBC One was ahead of any speculation as the channel had already confirmed that season eight was greenlit prior to Henshall’s exit.
Douglas Henshall on leaving ahead of season 8
Douglas Henshall has been at the helm of Shetland since its debut in 2013. His character was the catalyst for the series inspired by the crime murder mystery series of novels by English author, Ann Cleeves.
Therefore, when BBC confirmed his exit, Henshall was quoted as stating, “After series 5 of Shetland, David Kane and I decided we wanted to do two more series to complete the story of Jimmy Perez.”
Moreover, he added that as his exit story arc is now complete, he enjoyed spending a decade playing the character and spending “so much time in Shetland.”
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Will Shetland have a season 8?
Shetland season seven premiered on BBC One in August 2022 with its six hour-long episode season. But even before the premiere, it was already confirmed that there would be a season eight.
BBC One released its official statement about the matter back in July 2022. It seems that the channel wanted to give Douglas Henshall the flowers that he deserves for playing lead, DI Jimmy Perez, during the natural run of the series.
Hence the channel was ahead of any speculation when it confirmed that season eight had already been confirmed. But this left fans to wonder what a season eight of the series will look like.
BBC One confirmed that the upcoming season will have a new lead, which has resulted in speculation.
Some fans are hoping that the new lead will be “insourced” as viewers are vying for Alison O’Donnell as DS Alison “Tosh” McIntosh to be promoted to DI Tosh and to take over as the lead detective inspector of the series.
However, with no formal word announced about the matter, the series may just choose to bring on a completely new lead, despite the tease in season seven when Perez passed the baton to Tosh.
As such, we may not know for sure what the premise of the upcoming season is, but the succession will make for interesting episodes of the new season, especially against the backdrop of yet another murder mystery that the newly formed team will need to resolve.
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Will Shetland season 8 have Mark Bonnar?
Due to the fact that season seven marked DI Jimmy Perez’s exit, there are other characters that also seemed to exit the show during the season which went under the radar for most.
One in particular is Perez’ best friend and co-parent, Mark Bonnar in the tole of Duncan Hunter.
Bonnar, who has been a main supporting actor since the debut season of Shetland, seemed to have made his exit in episode one of season seven when Perez visited his best friend who made it clear that he had no intention of returning to Shetland after they finished serving their time for their involvement in the assisted suicide of Donna Killick.
Will Shetland season 8 have Erin Armstrong?
DI Jimmy Perez left the force and Shetland, and with Duncan Hunter stated that he was not returning to the island after completing his prison sentence.
This is as actors Douglas Henshall and Mark Bonnar seemed to have indefinitely exited from the series.
Another big question is whether Erin Armstrong, who portrays Cassie, will return to the series in season eight, which seems unlikely given that the character already mostly made cameo guest appearances.
Moreover, with no central character to anchor her appearance, it is safe to assume that Cassie will not return in season eight of the series.
Will Shetland season 8 have Alison O’Donnell?
One of the biggest cliffhangers in season seven of Shetland was when fans feared for DS Alison “Tosh” McIntosh after her near-death experience when she got trapped in Connor Cairn’s booby-trapped caravan.
But Tosh survived the ordeal, and she only needed to deal with the post-traumatic stress from the experience afterwards.