'Shetland' Earns Double Renewal, Will Run Through Season 10

Alison O'Donnell as DS Alison ‘Tosh’ McIntosh and Ashley Jensen as DCI Ruth Calder in 'Shetland'

Alison O'Donnell as DS Alison ‘Tosh’ McIntosh and Ashley Jensen as DCI Ruth Calder in 'Shetland'


Changing lead actors several years into a long-running series is never easy. Even though shows like Call The Midwife and Doctor Who make it look easy, it's always risky when Grantchester changes vicars or Unforgotten brings in a new Detective Chief Inspector. The longer the series goes with the original lead, the harder it is to start swapping out leads, a factor that Shetland had to deal with when Douglas Henshall decided he was finished playing DCI Jimmy Pérez seven seasons into the series. However, Shetland Season 8's casting Agatha Raisin's Ashley Jensen as the new DCI in charge of solving crimes on the titular archipelago wound up working as a soft reboot of the series, and the BBC is so pleased with the results that the show has been commissioned for not one, but two more seasons. 

Originally based on the Anne Cleeves novels, the same author that invented Vera Stanhope of Vera, the series has gone off in its own direction since Season 3, when it moved from two-episode adaptations of her novels to season-long cases invented by the series' lead writer Dave Kane. Though DCI Jimmy Pérez was Cleeves' character, the series was named for the area, not the detective, making it much easier for it to transition to a more ensemble-style show with a new detective heading up the cases (with Cleeves' blessing, natch). 

While some were concerned that Jensen's Ruth Calder would not be able to match Henshall's popularity or, worse, come off as some sort of pale imitation of Stanhope, instead, her detective is very much her own character, a new take on the "detective who returns home after decades away in London." This has also given the show a fresh injection of energy and the promise of being able to run for at least another seven seasons, if not more.

Alison O'Donnell as DS Alison "Tosh" McIntosh and Ashley Jensen as DCI Ruth Calder in the Shetland Season 8 Key Art

Alison O'Donnell as DS Alison "Tosh" McIntosh and Ashley Jensen as DCI Ruth Calder in the Shetland Season 8 Key Art


There is no synopsis for the show's new seasons as yet. However, Jensen said in a statement that she was thrilled that the series was being commissioned for two more seasons

“I’m thrilled I’ll be returning to the Shetland Isles again to play the wonderfully complex DI Ruth Calder. The reaction to the last series was incredible and I’m excited at the prospect of unravelling more intrigue. The Shetland Isles are breathtaking – without a doubt, one of the most memorable and unique filming locations I’ve been to. I’m looking forward to jumping on that wee plane again and returning soon.”

Jensen will co-star alongside Alison O'Donnell (Pet Semetary), who returns as her partner-in-crime-solving, DS Alison "Tosh" McIntosh. Seasons 9 and 10 will also see the return of series regulars Steven Robertson (The Bay) as DC Sandy Wilson, Lewis Howden (Annika) as PC Billy McCabe, and Anne Kidd (Outlander) as Dr. Cora McLean. Further casting will be announced in due course.

Season 9 will be written by lead writers Paul Logue and Denise Paul, who took over from Kane in Season 8, and directed by Andrew Cumming (Out of Darkness) and Ruth Paxton (A Banquet), with Louise V Say producing. Paul, Logue, and Kate Bartlett are executive producers for Silverprint Pictures, along with Gaynor Holmes for the BBC. More details on Season 10 will be announced when it films in 2025.

Shetland Season 9 will begin filming in locations on the Shetland Isles and across Scotland in the spring of 2024. It is expected to debut on the BBC and follow on BritBox before the end of the year. Season 10 is scheduled to film and be released in 2025.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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