Shetland season eight was confirmed by BBC One prior to the seventh season, in which Douglas Henshall and possibly Mark Bonnar leave the show.
Shetland has just concluded one of the most emotional seasons of the hit BBC One crime drama series.
However, with the season ending with the departure of its lead actor, Douglas Henshall in the role of DI Jimmy Perez, it created room for speculation about whether there will be more seasons and episodes of the show.
But BBC One was ahead of the implications of Henshall’s departure from the series as it released a formal statement before the season seven premiere to confirm that there would be an eighth season.
In this season, a new lead will take front and centre, along with the non-return of fellow cast member, Mark Bonnar.
Shetland season 7: How many episodes are there?
Shetland has released each season to comprise the same number of episodes since it premiered in 2013, and season seven was no different.
Airing between August 2022 and September 2022, season seven of the crime drama series consisted of six hour-long episodes that were released weekly on television. The premise of the six episodes was the missing case of vulnerable Connor Cairn.
This missing case quickly turned into a murder investigation and then a race against time as the entire Isles was threatened as more details were revealed about the circumstances of Connor’s murder.
Will there be more episodes of Shetland?
Shetland’s seventh season was an emotional season, and this was due to the fact that it marked the exit of Douglas Henshall as the lead of the series in the role of DI Jimmy Perez. Henshall had played the character for over nine years of the series.
Thus, it seemed that the series and channel wanted to give him a fitting send-off since he was willing to wait two seasons to exit the series, as it is reported that he made the decision to leave after the fifth season.
These two seasons endeavoured to give him a fitting send-off in the world of the story.
As such, before the 2022 premiere season seven episode, BBC One had already released an official statement in July 2022 confirming that Shetland season eight had been greenlit.
It seems that the channel wanted the season to give Henshall and his contribution to the success of the series the full red carpet treatment that it deserved.
Hence confirming that there would be a new season of the show after the exit of the beloved but troubled detective inspector.
Moreover, based on previous seasons, it is safe to assume that season eight will not steer away from the already set plot of a singular murder mystery case playing out through the six hour-long episodes of the upcoming season.
Shetland: Who is set to return for more episodes?
While it has been confirmed that Douglas Henshall has left the show, it seems that most of the original cast will return for season eight, which will be the first season to be released without Henshall.
It has been confirmed that Alison O’Donnell will return as the main female lead in the role of DS or soon to be DI Alison “Tosh” McIntosh. Other speculated returnees include:
- Steven Robertson as DC Sandy Wilson
- Lewis Howden as Sgt Billy McCabe
- Angus Miller as Donnie
- Conor McCarry as PC Alex Grant
- Anne Kidd as Cora McLean
Shetland: Will Mark Bonnar return for more episodes?
One of the problems of having a monumental character leave a show whilst it continues afterward, is that other actors who may be marking their last season on the series or show are overshadowed.
This was the case with DI Jimmy Perez’ best friend and co-parent, Mark Bonnar, who played the role of Duncan Hunter.
Appearing during the season seven premiere episode, Duncan said he would not return to Shetland after he was released from prison, and this marked the last time we saw him in the season.
However, whether or not this actually means the end of the road for the actor has been left to speculation, as neither Bonnar nor BBC One have shared his fate on Shetland.
Shetland: When can more episodes be expected?
When BBC One released its statement in July 2022, it confirmed that production of the new season will not start in 2022.
They have also provisionally shared a summer 2023 date for when the new season of Shetland will be shot. As such, fans of the crime murder mystery series can expect a release date between fall and winter of 2023.
However, no formal date has been announced for its release, which is not surprising considering that they have not started shooting for the next season.