DI Jimmy Perez stars in his last Shetland case
and live on Freeview channel 276
Sometimes, fate works in mysterious ways.
Take the case of Ann Cleeves. Not so very long ago, she was a mid-list crime writer, quietly churning out well-received books known to only a handful of dedicated fans.
She then had a moment of good luck when producer Elaine Collins picked up a secondhand copy of one of her books in a charity shop.
She merely wanted a page-turner to help pass the time, but she was so impressed that she snapped up the TV rights and the first series of Vera was born.
Cleeves’ work then became hugely popular, and so more of her back catalogue was plundered for the small screen.
Shetland, focusing on cases led by DI Jimmy Perez, made its debut in 2013 and was an instant hit. Now we’re about to see the seventh run, which will be the last to feature Douglas Henshall as Perez following a recent announcement that he was retiring from the role.
“After series five of Shetland, scriptwriter David Kane and I decided we wanted to do two more series to complete the story of Jimmy Perez,” explains the actor.
“So series six and seven were commissioned together to give us time to wrap up Perez’s story to a satisfactory end.
“It’s been one of the privileges of my career to play him for almost 10 years and to work with so many wonderful people both in front of and behind the camera, and also to spend so much time in Shetland.
“The Isles were so much a part of our show and of Perez himself. I’ll miss him and the place. I wish everyone involved much luck with whatever happens next.”
“It has been an absolute privilege to work on Shetland over the past few years and watch the show go from strength to strength – in no small part thanks to Douglas’s sensitive, intelligent and memorable portrayal of DI Jimmy Perez,” comments BBC Drama’s Gaynor Holmes.
“We will miss him enormously but he leaves the show in rude health and we’re extremely excited about the plans we have for bringing more of this much loved drama to audiences far and wide.”
What the future holds for Tosh, Sandy and the rest of the team is anybody’s guess, but fans will no doubt be enthralled by their final case, which involves new residents Rachel and Danny Cairns, who moved to Shetland for a fresh start following their son Connor’s breakdown.
But Connor has now disappeared, and the family are worried that history may be repeating itself – although Perez thinks they’ve got something to hide.
As for Cleeves, her work continues to be hugely popular with both readers and viewers.
Next year we can expect another run of Vera, which is currently being filmed in Northumberland, and if we’re really lucky, Ben Aldridge will return as her latest creation, DI Matthew Venn; he made his debut in the 2021 adaptation of The Long Call.
Perhaps we won’t miss Perez that much after all…