Shetland's seventh season will be dropping on our screens next week, marking Douglas Henshall's last outing as DI Jimmy Perez.
Earlier this year, the actor announced he was leaving the show, based on Ann Cleeves's book series, after almost a decade in the lead role. Shetland has already been picked up for season 8 at the BBC, but a replacement has yet to be confirmed.
It is possible that another member of the Shetland cast could take on the job of filling Jimmy's boots. Alison O'Donnell, who plays DS Alison 'Tosh' McIntosh, and Steven Robertson, who plays DC Sandy Wilson, are top candidates, but we'll have to wait for the season to air to find out whether they get the job.
In the meantime, the actors revealed the impact of Henshall's exit. "I am honestly bereft," O'Donnell said. "Having the privilege of working so closely with Dougie for all these years was an insane luxury. I'm trying to be grateful for everything we experienced together rather than focussing on the obvious sadness. I'm also incredibly proud of what we achieved together, and I know he is too."
Robertson added: "I think you always have to respect any actor’s decision when they’re ready to move on. As actors, we do what we do, you hope it’s well received by the audience and if you’ve done enough, you move on. The show is something we’ve all worked very hard on and Dougie must be proud of his characterisation of Perez.
"Over the years, Perez has changed. The dynamic between him and Duncan has changed – they’re more like brothers now rather than two very different fathers bringing up Cassie together. It’s like that story has come to a natural conclusion. So I can see why Douglas has decided the time has come to move on. I think when an actor is aware of that moment and they can say 'well I’ve done enough with that', then it’s time to leave."
Shetland season 7 begins on Wednesday 10th August 2022 at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Ann Cleeves's Shetland novels are available to buy now.
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