You might have expected the team behind Shetland to shut up shop following Douglas Henshall's exitShetland without Jimmy Perez?! You're having a laugh – but the BBC crime drama is powering on without him.

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"I'll miss him and the place," said Henshall in a statement (via the BBC). "I wish everyone involved much luck with whatever happens next."

There's little detail known about season 8, other than the fact it's happening, but we know roughly when it'll air and we've also been speculating about which faces will return.

Read on for everything we know so far about Shetland season 8.

Shetland season 8: Who will replace Douglas Henshall?

The BBC has confirmed that the show will welcome a new lead, à la The Bay, which will undoubtedly create plenty of interesting narrative fodder.

"It will be weird knowing they're shooting an eighth series and I'm not there," Henshall told Radio Times magazine. "I hope it works out and I wish them every success, but it isn't going to be the show I was in. They will have to make a whole other show."

Jimmy, Sandy and Tosh looking concerned
ITV Studios - Photographer: Mark Mainz TV Studios/Mark Mainz

But regardless of the challenge, the people behind it are very excited for what's to come.

"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," said executive producer for BBC Drama Gaynor Holmes.

Casting will be announced in the coming months, so watch this space for updates.

Shetland season 8 release date speculation: When will it air?

Filming will kick off in spring 2023, with episodes also arriving that same year.

Once we know when, we'll update this page.

Shetland season 8 cast: Who's returning?

It'll be the first season of the show without Jimmy, and Mark Bonnar's character Duncan Hunter revealed that he wouldn't be returning in the first episode of season 7.

We've also seen the last of public prosecutor Maggie Kean, played by Anneika Rose.

But we still expect the following familiar faces to feature (although the BBC hasn't revealed which characters will be back):

  • Alison O'Donnell as DS Alison 'Tosh' McIntosh
  • Steven Robertson as DC Sandy Wilson
  • Lewis Howden as Sgt Billy McCabe
  • Angus Miller as Donnie
  • Conor McCarry as PC Alex Grant
  • Anne Kidd as Cora McLean

There's also a possibility that Julie Graham could return as public prosecutor Rhona Kelly.

But it remains to be seen if we'll see Lucianne McEvoy as Meg Pattison or Erin Armstrong as Cassie Perez given their respective connections to Jimmy.

ITV Studios - Photographer: Mark Mainz

What we can say with certainty, however, is there will be plenty of guest stars alongside a brand new mystery for the police to solve, as well as the aforementioned new lead detective to keep everyone in check.

Shetland airs on BBC and iPlayer. Ann Cleeves's Shetland novels are available to buy now. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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