Shetland season 7 full season guide: plot, cast, more

Shetland season 7 — Douglas Henshall as DI Jimmy Perez
Shetland season 7 star Douglass Henshall as DI Jimmy Perez. (Image credit: BBC)

Shetland season 7 starred Douglas Henshall as DI Jimmy Perez for the final time and the series, which attracted over seven million viewers, has now enjoyed a dramatic conclusion, where Jimmy faced a life-changing decision.

Sadly the hugely popular actor has confirmed that this was the last time he will play the cop. However, the good news for fans is that the series will continue with a different actor in the leading role. It was eventually revealed that Ashley Jensen was becoming the new leading cop. She plays DI Ruth Calder in Shetland season 8.

Douglas Henshall said about leaving: "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 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.”

We'd highly recommend watching the previous series before starting this one as the story will continue on from it. 

So, in short, there are spoilers ahead if you’ve not seen season 6!! OK, you’ve been warned…

Season 6 finished with Duncan (Mark Bonnar), the father of Jimmy’s step-daughter Cassie, being arrested for the death of baddie Donna Killick (Fiona Bell).

And Jimmy was arrested too for allegedly covering up his friend’s crime. This series picks up the story a year later.

The big question before the finale was: Will Jimmy get a happy ending? Or will he meet a tragic fate? 

Ever since Meg Pattison (Lucianne McEvoy) first showed up in Shetland's sixth season as the nurse providing palliative care to terminally ill Donna Killick, there's been a spark between her and Jimmy. Might they head into the Shetland sunset together...

Teasing the end, Lucianne tells us she believes they're well matched. "I do! I think neither of them will make it too easy on the other. I was very grateful to the writers and the directors and how they handled the scenes, that they allowed Meg to have an agency of her own, to be someone who would sit and say 'actually, I think you're wrong, I don’t agree' — not many people say that to Perez, because often he's right!"  

Shetland season 7 release date

Shetland season 7 concluded on Wednesday 14 September at 9 pm, 2022 on BBC1. But the good news is you can still catch the whole series on BBC iPlayer.

Meanwhile, in the US the series is on BritBox.

Shetland season 7 plot

Connor Cairns (Nicholas Nunn) sits in a field of tall grass looking pensive, with his hands clasped in his lap. He is dressed all in black and grey.

Connor goes missing. (Image credit: BBC)

At the end of the last series, Duncan handed himself into the police. Jimmy tried to stop him, saying “You don’t need to do this”, but Duncan replied, “Yes I do.” 

But this plot doesn't dominate this series, with Douglas telling us the timeline has moved a year ahead and Jimmy is back working at the start of the series. 

"The year's suspension that he's had, and all of that stuff, is coming to an end, and then it's back to work — it all wraps up fairly quickly. The advantage that we had with having [seasons] six and seven to wrap up the show was that we could use a proper arc, and I think he's just getting to the stage where he's not sure whether he thinks it's worth it any more. I think he's beginning to discover that there are other things in life except being a policeman."

The team in this series is on the search for Connor, a "vulnerable young man" who's vanished on Shetland.

Douglas adds: "The family have their own history, and we begin to unpick that a little bit. It turns out that Danny Cairns [Connor's father, played by Andrew Whipp] isn't really who he says he is, and it starts to get a little bit more political as the story goes on. It's very well put-together — I think it's going to keep people guessing all the way to the end."

Is Julie Graham back in Shetland season 7?

Yes, Julie Graham made a welcome return as procurator fiscal Rhona Kelly, the public prosecutor responsible for overseeing the police's investigations. 

Talking about how Rhona returns at a crucial moment in the investigation, Julie said: "She comes back right into the middle of it, that's right! She comes back at a very opportune moment to sort everything out — or to try to sort everything out. It's a highly unusual crime for anywhere in the world, particularly for Shetland, but it's a very believable storyline — eco-warriors, or eco-terrorists, depending on what side you're sitting on. 

"So yeah, it's a pretty big mess up there, and I think for that reason it's a very interesting season. It's a very strong storyline because it's very prescient and relevant at the moment."

Shetland cast

Douglas Henshall (Perez), Alison O'Donnell (DS Alison "Tosh" McIntosh) and Steven Roberston (DC Sandy Wilson) are all back. Along with Mark Bonnar as Duncan.

Here's a full cast list: 

Douglas Henshall - DI Jimmy Perez

Alison O’Donnell - DS Alison ‘Tosh’ McIntosh

Steven Robertson - DC Sandy Wilson

Mark Bonnar - Duncan Hunter

Julie Graham - Rhona Kelly

Erin Armstrong - Cassie Perez

Lewis Howden - Sgt Billy McCabe

Anne Kidd - Cora McLean

Angus Miller - Donnie

Lucianne McEvoy - Meg Pattison

Conor McCarry - PC Alex Grant

Anneika Rose - Maggie Kean

Shauna Macdonald - Rachel Cairns

Laurie Brett - Alison Woods

Patrick Robinson - Lloyd Anderson

Andrew Whipp - Danny Cairns

Nicholas Nunn - Connor Cairns

Lauren Conroy - Abbie Cairns

Sorcha Groundsell - Bryd Fleming

Stuart McQuarrie - Murry Rankin

Antony Strachan - Ally Flett

Grant O’Rourke - Jamie Narey

Pauline Turner - Sheena Davidson

Shetland season 8 team of Tosh and Detective Inspector Ruth Calder (Ashley Jensen).

The new team. Shetland season 8 sees Ruth Calder team up with Tosh (Image credit: BBC)

Is there a trailer?

Yes, you can see it below. The police get a call from a worried mother, whose son has disappeared. "This is a vulnerable young man for the family’s sake let’s find him," declares Jimmy to his team. "Just find my son," pleads the mother.

Will there be another series of Shetland?

Yes! Shetland season 8 sees Ashley Jensen playing DI Ruth Calder. The plot sees Calder and Tosh trying to protect a witness.

How can I catch up on old series of Shetland?

Shetland season 6 is available on iPlayer in the UK and BritBox in the US.

BritBox on Amazon ...

BritBox is the No. 1 way to watch all your favorite British shows from the BBC and ITV. And you can watch it easily via Amazon Prime Video Channels. Your subscription, including billing, is handled through your Amazon account, allowing you to watch as much as you want for a single price.

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!