Shetland season 8 marks a departure for the crime drama, with Douglas Henshall's Jimmy Perez replaced by Ashley Jensen's Ruth Calder following his decision to leave after nine years on the show.


The exit announcement came as a big surprise to fans, as did the news that the BBC series would continue without him.

What would Shetland look like in his absence? And would it lose some of its magic?

Speaking exclusively to, Alison O'Donnell (Tosh) said that while she always feels nervous about how people will respond to each new season, she's "particularly" anxious about this one.

"We had a screening on Saturday, the cast and the crew all got together to watch the first episode, and I was just vibrating at such a high frequency," she said. "I'd seen it myself already, thank goodness. I wasn't watching my own performance for the first time in front of all of those people, but I was so, so desperate for them all to like it."

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She continued: "Afterwards, I was going round to everybody going, 'What did you think? Do you like it? Please tell me you like.' Because especially with this one, it's a risk, it's a gamble.

"And I just really hope that people will come on that journey with us."

Alison O'Donnell and Ashley Jensen on the set of Shetland season 8
Alison O'Donnell and Ashley Jensen on the set of Shetland season 8. BBC

O'Donnell went on to say that there was "such a buzz and so much positivity" at the screening, with those involved "really proud of what they've made".

She added: "And that's all you can really hope for. But it's hard to know from the inside. The real test is when we put it out there."

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Newcomer Ruth Calder is a Met Police Detective Inspector, who also happens to be a native Shetlander. She returns to the isles more than 30 years after she left as part of an investigation into a gangland murder, with Tosh pausing her own investigation to work alongside her.

"Calder's hostility to Shetland will challenge Tosh's view of her adopted home," reads the official synopsis. "And their journey into the darker recesses of Shetland's past and present will test this fragile, new partnership."

Shetland season 8 airs on Wednesday 1st November at 9pm on BBC One and iPlayer. Ann Cleeves's Shetland novels are available to buy now.

Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guideto find out what's on.


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