Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez is back in series five of BBC crime drama Shetland – with a brand-new “sinister” case involving a severed hand and a bag of body parts as our team’s investigation uncovers a complex and unsettling network of organised crime.
The lead role of Jimmy Perez is played by Douglas Henshall, while Alison O’Donnell portrays DS Alison “Tosh” Macintosh and Steven Robertson plays DC Sandy Wilson.
Mark Bonnar plays Duncan Hunter, Erin Armstrong returns as Jimmy’s stepdaughter Cassie Perez, and Julie Graham plays Rhona Kelly.
Series five also introduces some newcomers: Catherine Walker as love interest Alice, Rakie Ayola as Olivia Lennox, and Ryan Fletcher as Callum Dunwoody.
What is Shetland series five about?
The series starts on a “windswept hillside” as a young man waits for someone. A few days later, a jogger on her morning run discovers a severed hand on the beach – and a holdall containing further body parts are found at an inlet nearby.
According to the BBC’s official synopsis, the investigation takes a “sinister turn” when the team identifies the victim and begins to start to scrutinise his emails and social media accounts. Perez finds himself in pursuit of deadly people traffickers who will stop at nothing to get what they want.
Shetland is based on the award-winning novels by writer Ann Cleeves.
While the story is set on the Scottish archipelago of Shetland, most (but not all) of the filming actually takes place on the Scottish mainland.
The port at Lerwick on the Shetland Islands has been used as a filming location, although the cast and crew are usually based in Glasgow. From there they travel to locations including Kilbarchan in Renfrewshire, Barrhead, Ayr and Irvine, and North Ayrshire.
This year, filming also took place on location in Glasgow as Perez travelled to the Scottish city on the hunt for people traffickers.
What happened in the previous series of Shetland?
The fourth series of BBC detective drama Shetland saw the release of Tommy Malone, a local man imprisoned 23 years ago for the murder of local teenager Lizzie Kilmuir. When his conviction was overturned, a ripple effect was felt throughout the tight-knit local community as the case was re-opened – and a second murder took place.
The search for the truth took the team from Shetland Police all the way to Norway in their mission to find out who killed Lizzie, and who killed a local journalist called Sally McColl who was strangled on a kiln in a similar attack.
The personal and the professional collided for Perez as he had no choice but to bring his stepdaughter Cassie’s biological dad Duncan in for questioning. It finally emerged that Duncan had a long-ago affair with a woman called Donna Killick and had been found out by teenage Lizzie: Donna had then murdered her to keep things quiet so her own husband wouldn’t murder her (and her lovechild).
Drew, Sally’s father and a former police officer who led the investigation into Lizzie’s murder all those years ago, turned out to be a corrupt cop who sent the wrong person to jail to protect Donna. When Sally found out the truth, Drew killed his own daughter to protect the woman he loved: Donna.
Tommy Malone was cleared of both murders and died a free man.