BBC drops first look at Shetland series 8 with new detective in lead role after Douglas Henshall's exit | The Sun

THE BBC has dropped the trailer for Shetland’s new season, which gives viewers a first look at the show’s new detective, Ruth Calder, played by Ashley Jenson. 

Her arrival comes after Jimmy Perez actor Douglas Henshall stepped away from the drama last year. 

The BBC has just released the first trailer for the upcoming eighth season of the popular series and it confirms there’s plenty more drama in store for fans.

Formerly starring Douglas Henshall as DI Jimmy Perez and Alison O’Donnell as DS Alison ‘Tosh’ McIntosh, Shetland will now see Emmy-nominated star Ashley take the lead alongside Alison’s Tosh with the trailer teasing their new dynamic.

Ashley, 54, will play DI Ruth Calder. According to the show’s official synopsis, she must “return to her native Shetland to retrieve the vulnerable witness to a gangland murder.”

Meanwhile, “Tosh must pause her investigation into a string of mysterious animal deaths to help Calder find the witness before it’s too late.


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“However, Calder’s hostility to Shetland will challenge Tosh’s view of her adopted home, and their journey into the darker recesses of Shetland’s past and present will test this fragile new partnership.”

The new season returns to screens on Wednesday 1 November with six episodes airing weekly. 

The show, which is originally based on the award-winning novels by crime writer Ann Cleeves, will have new episodes written by Paul Logue, alongside Denise Paul and Vivienne Harvey. 

Joining the cast of Shetland for the eighth series are Downton Abbey favourite Phyllis Logan, Guilt’s Jamie Sives, Holby City actors Dawn Steele and Don Gilet, River City’s Louise Ross and Lorraine McIntosh of Outlander fame. 

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Additionally, Steven Robertson is back as DC Sandy Wilson, while Lewis Howden, Anne Kidd and Connor McCarry and Eubha Akilade round out the central cast. 

After Ashley’s casting was announced late last year, the Ugly Betty star said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Shetland as DI Ruth Calder. It’s such a hugely successful show and I am aware I have very big boots to fill since the departure of DI Perez, who was very much loved by fans of the show.”

She continued: “There will be a different dynamic with Ruth amongst the regular characters and a few more new interesting characters to enjoy.

“However, the integrity of the show and the world that has been created will remain very much in the same tone as the last seven seasons.

“It’s a real privilege to be asked to lead this show into a new chapter. I can’t wait to be working in Scotland again. I have missed it!”

This casting change comes after Douglas Henshall, 57, stepped down from the series last year in a divisive exit. 

The BBC star moved on to pursue other opportunities, which includes scoring a part in the Netflix thriller, Who is Erin Carter?

Series 8 of Shetland premieres on Wednesday November 1 on BBC One. 

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