DI Jimmy Perez returns for series five of Shetland with his team of dedicated detectives and police officers, ready to take on a brand-new murder case.
A severed hand has washed up on the beach, while a young man’s head has been discovered badly mutilated inside a holdall. Who killed him, and why?
- When is Shetland series five on TV?
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Here are the cast and characters you need to meet – both old and new…
Douglas Henshall plays DI Jimmy Perez
Who is DI Jimmy Perez? Jimmy moved back to Shetland following the death of his wife Fran, and has raised his stepdaughter Cassie. Ten years later, he is still single and Cassie has grown up and moved away. A kind and empathetic man, he is always looking for the best in people – despite Shetland’s surprisingly high murder rate, which has made him increasingly disillusioned.
“He’s a kind man who is also a widower struggling to bring up his daughter,” says actor Douglas Henshall. “He’s lonely. There’s a lot that people empathise with”.
What else has Douglas Henshall been in? As well as the lead role in Shetland – which he’s played since the show began in 2013 – Douglas Henshall is also known as Professor Nick Cutter in Primeval, Sergeant William Muncie in true crime drama In Plain Sight, DCS Hepburn in Black Work, and Taran MacQuarrie in Outlander.
Alison O’Donnell plays DS Alison ‘Tosh’ McIntosh
Who is DS Alison ‘Tosh’ McIntosh? Young, smart and ambitious, Tosh is utterly dedicated to her job and has a close relationship with boss Jimmy. The character was the victim of a rape attack a few years ago and the series has charted her recovery from the trauma of her ordeal.
What else has Alison O’Donnell been in? Shetland is Alison O’Donnell’s first major television role, after she joined the show for its debut series. Before playing Tosh, she was better known for her work on stage, treading the boards in Boys, The Hard Man, and Lorca’s Yerma.
Steven Robertson plays DC Sandy Wilson
Who is DC Sandy Wilson? Sandy is a dedicated detective with a strong sense of right and wrong. His knowledge of the local area and community makes him a key member of the team.
What else has Steven Robertson been in? The Scottish actor, who was actually born in Lerwick on the Shetland Islands, has played Robert Oswald in the TV series Harlots, Pritchard in Doctor Who, Dominic Rook in Being Human, Michael Connelly in Inside I’m Dancing, and Cuthbert in Tess of the D’Urbervilles. He also starred in a radio adaptation of Shetland, playing DI Jimmy Perez himself.
Mark Bonnar plays Duncan Hunter
Who is Duncan Hunter? The birth father of Jimmy’s step-daughter Cassie. There was tension between him and Jimmy in the past as the two co-parented Cassie following the death of her mother Fran, but they have developed a complex friendship.
What else has Mark Bonnar been in? Mark Bonnar has been everywhere recently, with memorable roles in Line of Duty, Porridge, Unforgotten, New Blood, Catastrophe and Humans. He has also played Detective Finney in Psychoville and Bruno Jenkins in Casualty.
Catherine Walker plays Alice
Who is Alice? A newcomer to Shetland, although she seems to know Jimmy pretty well already. She is opening a refuge, and her husband is in the process of gutting and renovating a property. Catherine Walker told The Sunday Post: “I’m going to play a really strong character, someone whose type of relationship with Inspector Perez he hasn’t experienced before. I’m really excited.”
What else has Catherine Walker been in? You may remember her as Madame de Maintenon from the TV series Versailles, but she has also appeared in Finding Joy (as Audrey), Resistance (as Constance Butler), Rig 45 (as Andrea), and Strike Back (as Mairead McKenna).
Julie Graham plays Rhona Kelly
Who is Rhona Kelly? Prosecutor Rhona generally enjoys a good relationship with Jimmy. She has been part of Shetland since 2014, and in previous series she was romantically involved with her boss Phyllis (Ordeal by Innocence star Anna Chancellor).
What else has Julie Graham been in? The Scottish actress recently returned to her role as Jean McBrian in The Bletchley Circle, but is also known for playing Sheron Dawson in Benidorm, Moira Douglas in One of Us, and Mandy Lewis in Being Eileen.
Rakie Ayola plays Olivia Lennox
Who is Olivia Lennox? The mother of the victim, Daniel. Jimmy and his team investigate the death of this young Nigerian man after one of his arms (cleanly severed and partially dissolved in Lye) washes up on the beach.
What else has Rakie Ayola been in? The Welsh actress is best known for her role as Kyla Tyson in Holby City, and recently played one of the most prestigious parts in the West End – taking over the role of Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in 2017. Her TV credits include Brexit: The Uncivil War, No Offence, Doctor Who (in the episode Midnight), and My Almost Famous Family.
Ryan Fletcher plays Calum Dunwoody
Who is Calum Dunwoody? A local fisherman who went out to sea just after the murder victim disappeared, on his boat the Silver Darling. He has previously hit the headlines for his opposition to fishing quotas.
What else has Ryan Fletcher been in? TV credits include Outlander (as Corporal MacGregor), River City, Limmy’s Show, and Gary Tank Commander, while theatre credits include Blackwatch and Fatherland.
Kirsty Stuart plays Morag Dunwoody
Who is Morag Dunwoody? Calum’s wife. She has a young daughter and a new baby.
What else has Kirsty Stuart been in? Aside from her theatre work, Kirsty Stuart has appeared in Outlander (as Ceilidh Caller), Lip Service (as Skye) and Doctors (as Kaitlin Patterson).
Robert Cavanah plays Graeme Benson
Who is Graeme Benson? A wealthy businessman in Glasgow. He is a respected pillar of the local community but Perez thinks there’s something sinister about him.
What else has Robert Cavanah been in? Recent credits have included Outlander, Casualty and Doctors. The actor also starred as Heathcliff in 1998’s Wuthering Heights.
Derek Riddell plays Chris Brooks
Who is Chris Brooks? Alice’s husband.
What else has Derek Riddell been in? The actor is perhaps best known for playing Adam Gettrick in The Missing and Dr Jamie Patterson in No Angels. He has also starred in Hard Sun, Gunpowder (as King James I), Action Team, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (as Torquil Travers), Undercover, Happy Valley, Ugly Betty… and the list goes on.
Erin Armstrong plays Cassie Perez
Who is Cassie Perez? Jimmy’s step-daughter, who has now left Shetland to study at university in Glasgow. Her mother died some years ago, but she still has a relationship with her biological father Duncan (see below).
What else has Erin Armstrong been in? Aside from Shetland, Erin Armstrong has appeared in World’s End, Rillington Place, and Glasgow Girls.
Kate Dickie plays DI Sam Boyd
Who is DI Sam Boyd? Head of the police trafficking unit in Glasgow. Given the scale of the challenge she is facing, DI Boyd is a little sceptical about Perez’s intense pursuit of Zezi and the girl with the butterfly tattoo, but she is willing to help with his enquiries.
What else has Kate Dickie been in? She made a recent appearance in Jenna Coleman TV drama The Cry, playing Morven Davis, and has also appeared in Game of Thrones as Lysa Arryn.
John Kazek plays Paul Kiernan
Who is Paul Kiernan? Landlord of the MacBay hotel and pub, a down-at-heel property with a beautiful view of the sea.
What else has John Kazek been in? Back when he was beardless, John Kazek played Steward Turnbull in the TV series Titanic. He has also made appearances in Waterloo Road, T2 Trainspotting, and Spooks, and is a prolific stage actor.
Jenni Keenan Green plays Claire McGuire
Who is Claire McGuire? The ex-wife of “Paul Kiernan”. She runs a staffing company in Glasgow.
What else has Jenni Keenan Green been in? The actress played Moira Campbell in the TV series World’s End. She played Heather Bellshaw in River City and Michelle in Single Father.
Angus Miller plays Donnie
Who is Donnie? A young man with a major crush on Tosh.
What else has Angus Miller been in? A relative newcomer to our screens, Angus Miller appeared in the TV series Teacup Travels. He is more often seen on stage in Scotland, in shows including Let The Right One In, Trainspotting and The Belle’s Stratagem.
Titana Muthui plays Zezi Ugara
Who is Zezi? Daniel’s sister, and Olivia’s daughter.
What else has Titana Muthui been in? The young actress is a recent drama school graduate.
Robin Laing plays Gavin Laird
Who is Gavin Laird? The boss of local fishery Shetland Sea Processing, which doesn’t strictly adhere to the laws and regulations.
What else has Robin Laing been in? Previous roles have included DI Donald in River City, Ronnie Fairchild in Waterloo Road, and Edward J “Babe” Heffron in Band of Brothers.
Therese Bradley plays Andrea Doyle
Who is Andrea Doyle? A tattooist with a double-headed snake on her hand.
What else has Therese Bradley been in? Recent roles include DCI Rachel Grant in River City and Julie in Anna and the Apocalypse.
Conor McCarry plays PC Alex Grant
Who is PC Alex Grant? A member of the team at Shetland police, making his first appearance in series five.
What else has Conor McCarry been in? He starred as Dessie Toner in ITV drama The Loch, and has also made appearances in Outland (as Young Jamie), The Night Manager (as Jacob Dodridge) and Rillington Place (as PC Ledger).
Tracy Wiles plays Carla Hayes
Who is Carla Hayes? Owner of CH Scrap Metal. She’s on Jimmy’s radar because she recently purchased a quantity of Lye, used as a heavy-duty cleaner but also for dissolving carcasses.
What else has Tracy Wiles been in? You may recently have spotted her in Manhunt, where she played Monica. Other screen credits include EastEnders, Ashes to Ashes, and Outnumbered.
Owen Whitelaw plays Prentice Hayes
Who is Prentice Hayes? Carla’s son, who helps run the Hayes family business. Thuggish and self-satisfied, he quickly comes under suspicion.
What else has Owen Whitelaw been in? The actor played Lee Walsh in the TV series One of Us, and has starred in more than 25 stage productions.
Lorn MacDonald plays Jamie Hayes
Who is Jamie Hayes? Carla Hayes’ son and Prentice’s brother.
What else has Lorn MacDonald been in? The young actor has played Gregor in World’s End, and Geordie in Outlander.
Anne Kidd plays Cora McLean
Who is Cora McLean? A one-woman forensics team.
What else has Anne Kidd been in? Like Julie Graham and Owen Whitelaw, Anne Kidd appeared in One of Us, playing Meredith. She has also popped up in Trust Me, Victoria (as the crofter’s wife in the Scotland episode), and Millie Inbetween.
Meghan Tyler plays Mags
Who is Mags? Tosh’s friend. She works at the local fishery.
What else has Meghan Tyler been in? A relative newcomer to our screens, Meghan Tyler played Kate in the TV series Persona and Rachel McGuigan in Scot Squad.
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Lewis Howden plays Sergeant Billy McCabe
Who is Sergeant Billy McCabe? A reliable and experienced member of Perez’s team.
What else has Lewis Howden been in? Although he is better known for his stage work, Lewis Howden has a collection of TV credits including Hope Springs, Taggart and Monarch of the Glen.
The fifth series of Shetland began on Tuesday 12th February at 9pm on BBC1 (10:40pm in Wales) and will continue on Tuesdays at 9pm