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Shetland fans 'have a terrible feeling' second major character will exit

A group shot of the three lead investigators on Shetland: DI Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall), DC Sandy Wilson (Steven Robertson) and DS Alison 'Tosh' Mackintosh (Alison O'Donnell). They are standing on a grassy clifftop with the sea in the background. Perez is wearing a black peacoat over a grey sweater and blue jeans, Sandy is wearing a black leather coat over a brown jumper and blue jeans, and Tosh is wearing an long open dark jacket over a green-and-black plaid shirt paired with a green rollneck, and black trousers
Shetland fans are worried about the fate of one character in particular. (Image credit: BBC)

Shetland has returned and fans are growing concerned that another character might depart the beloved crime series.

In the first episode of Shetland season 7, we followed the disappearance of a vulnerable young man, with Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall) leading the investigation.

Fans know that this season will be the last outing for Douglas Henshall and they're now concerned that Mark Bonnar could also depart the crime series, as he did not appear for very long in the first episode of season 7.

During season 6, we saw Mark Bonnar's character Duncan being arrested for the death of baddie Donna Killick (Fiona Bell) after handing himself in to the police, despite Jimmy's pleas that he kept it under wraps.

The highly anticipated new episode saw Jimmy visiting the character in prison, but their exchange was short and right now it's unclear what Duncan's fate will be now he's behind bars.

Due to his lack of screen time, fans are worried he will spend the whole season in prison and this could mean his character will be written out going forward, meaning we could lose two beloved Shetland characters after this season.

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Duncan has been in Shetland since the very beginning so it's possible that now could be the time for his character to bow out, especially after going down for Donna's murder voluntarily.

His character is closely involved with Jimmy Perez, as Duncan is the biological father of Jimmy's stepdaughter, Cassie. Unsurprisingly the duo sometimes clash over this and there are some strained dynamics but over the years fans have mostly seen Duncan cooperating with Jimmy when he most needs it.

So if Mark Bonnar was to depart the show at the same time as Douglas Henshall, it would seem fitting given how they've been a big part of each other's lives, leaving room for something new. 

Speaking about his confirmed leave, Douglas said: "After series 5 of Shetland David Kane and I decided we wanted to do 2 more series to complete the story of Jimmy Perez. So series 6 and 7 were commissioned together to give us time to wrap up Perez's story to a satisfactory end. 

"It's been one of the privileges of my career to play Jimmy Perez for almost ten years and to work with so many wonderful people both in front of and behind the camera, and also to spend so much time in Shetland. The Isles were so much a part of our show and of Perez himself. I’ll miss him and the place. I wish everyone involved much luck with whatever happens next."

Shetland continues on BBC1 on Wednesday, August 17 at 9pm. Episodes are also available on BBC iPlayer.

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.


She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress