Shetland (TV Series 2013– ) Poster

(2013– )

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40 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
Bonny Bergstrom5 February 2014
I discovered 'Shetland' while clicking around on the media streamer XBMC late tonight. I became an instant fan. It delivers: plot, intrigue and suspense. There is lots of room for arm chair detective work. So many possibilities to look at. Is it power? Is it money? Is it about an old love or a new love? Is it an old feud that's gone on for generations and finally came to it's breaking point? Or is it simply an accident? One thing is for sure, there is a dead body and a detective who is on the case. He is skilled and insightful.

The Shetland landscape is beautiful, peaceful, isolated and full of history. It is as important to the story as any of the people. I look forward to the 2014 season.

I appreciate this type of crime story so much. For me the British deliver the best treatment of a murder mystery. This is the way to tell this type of story. The touch of Sherlock Holmes' creative mind and a land where intrigue and power struggles have been the way things were done since Merlin was learning magic. It grips my imagination, allows the me to be right there with the detective, looking right over his shoulder. Hurrah for the advent of media streaming. Now I really can always find something good to watch.
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Ten out of ten for Shetland
georgybowen15 July 2016
One of thee best detective series ever. Reflects true life as it really is. Some people obviously prefer the flippant unrealistic mystery shows shown on cable TV. Shetland is wonderful, stories, scenery and acting all superb. More please. It is so sad when viewers look at a series like this and criticize it as being dismal and depressing, it's about murder and I'm thinking that is pretty depressing at the best of times. The scenery and lifestyle of the Shetlands is totally unique and while it isn't for everyone learning about this amazing culture is well worth the effort. I can't say enough bout the acting it is superb and the accents are definitely toned down so we can understand them. All in all a job well done by all concerned which definitely does credit to Ann Cleve's amazing writing. Thank you and please keep them coming.
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Very enjoyable mystery series.
Paul Evans26 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
After a good pilot and a fairly good first full series I feel that Shetland is starting to come into its own, this second full series has started in fine form, it's somehow more slick, more meaty, the stories seem a bit bigger.

I have forever been a big fan of Douglas Henshall, he's a truly talented actor, I've always found him to be an excellent villain, a great bad guy, but finally a show for him to have the lead role and show a different side.

The Pilot was really enjoyable, I thought Blue Lightning was a really good story, and the recent opener to the second full series was great too, loved the performance from Ciaran Hinds.

The mixed up story between Jimmy Perez, his daughter Cassie and her biological father Duncan is great.

An enjoyable series that hopefully will continue to run. 8/10
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Norse meets Morse
paul2001sw-126 April 2014
The recipe for comfort-detective-television is well established, starting with a community that is close-knit, picturesque and cursed with an improbably high murder rate, and adding a brooding, lonely, middle-aged male detective. And to an extent, 'Shetland' is pure formula milk. But there's something in the spectacular landscape that makes the stories affecting; and even if the role is thin, Douglas Henshall manages to invest it with a convincing, emotional gravitas that goes beyond what's written in the script. The plots aren't too bad either, although the low-key style (reiminiscent of the BBC version of 'Wallander') tends to defuse their dramatic effect. If allowed to run too long, this series will doubtless stale; but for the moment, it's still feels fresh, and as raw as the harsh Shetland climate.
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Good mystery in stunning location
craig-hopton16 March 2013
OK, so this wasn't a groundbreaking detective drama. The mystery plot was good (it kept me interested and I wasn't able to work out "whodunit") but it was nothing special.

But I thoroughly enjoyed this two-parter. Why? Well, first of all, the location. The Shetland Islands have an atmosphere and landscape all of their own and provided a wonderful setting. In fact I think they could have made even more of the landscape than they did - they stayed within quite a small area of the islands.

Douglas Henshall as DI Jimmy Perez was an excellent lead. He didn't have a particularly strong supporting cast but I found him very engaging and believable.

Finally, I thought they made very good use of the Shetlands' unique history. The Shetland Bus, Up Helly Aa, and an archaeological dig were all weaved into the story, making sure that this drama stayed firmly rooted in its setting. A very diverting and enjoyable two hours.
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Decent new crime drama
Tweekums12 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This crime drama opens on the island of Bressay, part of Shetland, where an elderly woman is shot and killed. DI Jimmy Perez is soon on the case. Being a small community there aren't a huge number of suspects but it turns out there are a surprising number of motives. The victim had been allowing an archaeological team to dig on her land and they had recently discovered a skull that they believed was five hundred years old; she thought it may be much younger though. As DI Perez investigates he learns of connections to the 'Shetland Bus'; the wartime transport to occupied Norway and of a visiting professor who made a habit of getting close to his female students amongst other things. Before long there is a second death and he will have to work quickly to solve the case before a team from the mainland arrive to take over.

Setting a crime drama on Shetland one could be excused for thinking this was just the BBC's attempt to make some 'Nordic Noir' in the UK; as it turned out this feels very much like a British murder mystery; the case only lasts two episodes, we get to see some nice scenery and the protagonist's home life has some complications. The case itself has plenty of suspects the keep the viewer guessing and the location is a great setting for a murder mystery… an island where murder is virtually unknown and people don't ordinarily live in fear of crime. Douglas Henshall does a decent job in the lead role and the rest of the cast a pretty good too. I have no idea whether or not the BBC plan to make further instalments but I rather hope they do.
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Excellent series!
Warning: Spoilers
We discovered the series this Spring 2016 – the third series. Hooked quickly on the well-played drama. Having lived in Glasgow some years as a student enjoy a good Scottish accent and love the nature they present on the series.

It is filled with unexpected twists, good mixture of real life drama and feelings. The pace is good and the actors make the characters believable. Could not wait for the follow ups.

In the meantime, we are buying the DVD's of the 3 series. That is how much we liked it!

I am really hoping that BBC makes a 4th series. Highly recommend a well-played series.

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Second Season - 5-7/8 Great episodes out of 6
cmoon-4229119 September 2016
The 6 episode second season is a gripping, complex tale with not just the one murder that starts it, but eventually a handful. Characters and plot are introduced and revealed bit by bit, in a way that keeps you wanting more.

It is like three or four different onions that are peeled back one at a time, you just are never sure which one is being peeled, and whether it is a good one or a bad one. Eventually they start to come together, but never in quite the way you might have guessed. The ultimate denouement is action packed - right up to the last 10 minutes of the series.

Then the whole plot is revealed in a highly improbable manner in a monologue by a single character, with even a key fact being announced when the character could have had no knowledge of it. So disappointing after such a riveting series. I was ready to rate the series a 10 until the last 10 minutes. But don't let this deter you from watching it - other than that the show is really good.
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Really good!
CrisGraham17 September 2016
I really liked to watch the 3 seasons and I cant wait for the 4! There will be a season 4 right?

Great crime argument and amazing natural Shetland Isles as a prime character!! I often review some parts just to see all that beauty landscape.

To some it may be a little depressing, but I just find it real. Crime and investigation world is just like that. No time for a lot of joy and BBC Wallander, Shetland and so on show us that.

Douglas Henshall delivered an awesome performance as Jimmy Perez! It took me to find his previous work and he is now one of my top actors! Well done!
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Slow but enjoyable
jk-692-23639416 April 2014
It is a bit slow but it is a more moody, setting driven show to me. I love where they are filming it. I tried to find the beautiful island they just had episode 5 and 6 on, but I did not see it listed anywhere. Can someone post the name of that island. Just stunning. The first few shows the filmed had a gray tone in the filming, (not the stories). I read they actually used filters to dull down the vivid colors to create more of a "mood". Now they seemed to have accepted the fact that they are filming in a beautiful location and letting it shine. I could watch this show just for the scenery really. The mysteries are good, they are not usually the person you think who did it. There is usually an old story revealed to tell us who did it. People's histories and back stories. Which I like. I like the Jimmy Perez character. He seems like such a loving and solid man. I wish I could meet a guy like him! I hope they do a 2nd series. I enjoyed my time with Shetland.
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terrific show
ecanarensis26 August 2017
This is a wonderful series ...I'm watching S1 & S2 again for the 2nd time in less than a month. The writing is great, so is the acting, the characters are3-D & interesting, not from stock. The stories do share some sameness...there's a murder (maybe 2) in a small, place that's fairly isolated, in one part or other of the Shetland Isles. There's several potential suspects. The stories & mysteries are the kind that seem like what could happen in any small town, village, or big city, for that matter; the types of things that happen to real people, as opposed to dramatic, wild, over-the-top happenin's. Not as cozy as a drawing room mystery, but easy to relate to.

Which is not to say they're boring. I really grew to care about the characters, & when bad thing(s) happened to one (or more)* of the regulars, it really moved me.

The islands play a big part in the series; as at least one other reviewer observed, the land & sea are pretty much main characters as well as the people. Beautifully filmed in a gorgeous (if minimalist) land, the scenery makes me want to go there to get in touch with my own Scottish roots.

Lovely series; I hope the Beeb has more sense than most of US TV decision-makers & keeps it up (this show wouldn't have lasted a full season on a US channel...too intelligent & classy).

It occurred to me mid-way thru the second run thru that part of what I like about the characters is that the actors look like real people, rather than the plastic Barbie/Ken people that we get on US TV shows; older characters may have belly bulges or wrinkles. Most look as if they've never been near a Botox needle. There's very attractive people, and some very unattractive people. Realistic people. What a concept!

Though, one silly nit-pick: why does the GP who does the forensic work for the Shetland police always shake down her electronic thermometer?

*trying not to intro any spoilers
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Great stories, great acting
Gilliganm18 July 2017
I have watched many police stories over the years and this is at the top of my list as one of the best of all time. It compares quite favorably with Midsomer Murders, another of my favorite shows. I actually put off watching the 2017 premiere of Game of Thrones so that I could finish watching season three of the show. Especially living in Southern California, and specifically in the inland Valley, it is comforting to know that some places on this planet are not hotter than Hades.
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Wow great series
jdonalds-510 June 2017
I watched seasons 1-3 by myself, then again with my wife. For several years we-ve watch almost 100% police procedurals; 8 to 16 hours per week. This is one of the very best series in any market in our opinion.

Casting is superb. I can't think of a single role that was miscast.

The cinematography is, well Scotland. The Scottish architecture and construction is interesting, but the islands are bare and wild. The sun rarely shines. I've been to Scotland several times on business. It is a beautiful place and Glasgow is a very nice city. The grey skies add to the ambiance of the settings.

The story lines are very good. We will have to pick up books authored by Ann Cleeves.

We really like the lead character, DI Jimmy Perez, and how he's played by Douglas Henshall. He is calm, methodical, asks very simple straight-forward questions, and is persistent. Alison O'Donnell is great as DS Alison McIntosh. I won't list them all but the entire cast is great.

Our only negative, just a subjective thing, is we like shows that begin and end in the same episode. All of the Shetland series are two or more episodes, season three being a single story (multiple facets) spread over six episodes. At least episode five could have been cut and the few important bits filtered into episodes 4 and 6.

We can't wait for season 4.
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Do not watch if you have a drinking problem!
emuir-122 June 2017
A truly excellent detective series with a different feel thanks to the little known location. The wind and rain swept treeless Shetland location gives a wonderfully authentic atmosphere to the tried and true detective series. I became hooked on Scandinavian detective series through watching Mhz Worldview, particularly as I liked the alternative to London and New York settings which highlight the fact that there is a whole other world out there - a world of small communities where everyone is related to everyone else and the few small towns are like villages where everyone is a family.

Like many people, all I knew about the Shetland Isles is that they were as far north as you can go in the British Isles, almost in the Arctic, had once belonged to Norway, had bad cold weather and were not very high on the list of places I would like to visit.

The ensemble acting is superb, with cameos by famous actors such as Brian Cox, as is the occasional dialect speech 'simmer dim' for the long white summer nights which never get totally dark and people can still be sitting out in the twilight way after midnight. I particularly liked the episodes paying homage to the Shetland Bus operation of WW2 where the Shetland seamen helped ferry agents, money and supplies to Norway, and bring back refugees to help the war effort.

One caution is that they do a lot of drinking - straight from the bottle. A visitor is likely to be handed a glass of whisky along with the bottle! They must never have got through the cases of whisky washed ashore in the film 'Whisky Galore'.
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One of our favorites!
lkhull-687099 June 2017
I loved this series! The characters are multi-dimensional, the plots are always very suspenseful without being gruesome. I saw someone else say the show sometimes moved slow (although enjoyable) and I would say the pace is perfect because the viewer is allowed to think alongside DI Perez. The acting is superb. So is the cinematography. I am so looking forward to the next season as it's become a favorite in my household!
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Beautiful scenery, dark show
dmlmdm25 May 2017
I just found this show on Netflix,love it. Binged it until series 3.Can't wait till 4. I like the way it builds the layers of each charter. And wow Scotland is beautiful. Always wanted to go, but now....Guess I'll have to win the lottery. I truly love watching Perez puzzle out each mystery. You can read it on his face with him even having to use words.
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Great television viewing
George Wright28 April 2017
Douglas Henshall as Det. Insp. Jimmy Perez and the remote location of Shetland are the main attractions of this superb British drama. Perez is a man with a good heart who takes on each murder case as if the family survivors depend entirely on him. He's the sort of guy you want to have on your side. The setting is spectacular but the climate is harsh; cold, grey, damp. You feel like you're right there with them. The murders do not have simple explanations and often involve a web of intrigue. Perez will hunt them down, whether its clan warfare in Shetland or a crime syndicate in Glasgow. Perez (his family name comes from his Portuguese father) has a close friend and rival in Duncan Hunter, a local councillor. Played by Mark Bonnar, Duncan is in a relationship with Perez's ex-wife and is a surrogate father to his teenage daughter. This is an area of contention because Jimmy cares deeply for his daughter and faces the challenge of not being in control. Used to dealing with criminals, he fears the worst for the one he loves most. The stories are from British author Ann Cleeves. The series is a fine piece of work in the tradition of British mystery writing and film-making. It is also one of many great television shows that have come out of Britain and Scandinavia in recent years along with Borgen, The Bridge, Broadchurch, Wallander. Shetland and the others are what great television is about.
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Another pleasant locality-based crime drama
Bene Cumb2 May 2016
Being an extensive country with numerous distinct folks and regions, the UK has an endless potential to "fit in" crimes not into bigger cities only. Motives for crimes are all-round and vicious minds can produce different forms and methods to shake the pillars of small/distant communities as well - although apparently not so often as depicted in series with multiple seasons...

Nevertheless, Shetland gives us a nice overview of people living in an harsh environment - the Scottish archipelago of Shetland, and where landscape and local lifestyle become important supporting characters, as unpleasant incidents are emphasized by past and gloomy neighbourhood. The performances are also realistic - the cast not based on "cute" appearance - and several famous actors (e.g. Brian Cox, Ciarán Hinds) produce memorable supporting roles, sometimes exceeding those in the main cast.

Thus, Shetland is a nice series of complex approach, where every element has its significance, and most of activities take place outside sterile offices. Camera-work and background set-up are excellent, one can really feel how cold the outside is, even when you watch the episodes in heated premises...
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A movie, that i would be proud of!
shaun-scott971 July 2013
Why i rated this 10/10? Well for starters, i was an extra in this film!!! I had to work so hard in this film, every scene was so detailed, i had to walk back and forth and back and forth. When i finished acting in the film, we had to wait for it to be published. I enjoyed the idea of the wait. When i watched this film, i really recalled how amazing Shetland really is, as i to live here in Shetland. The landscape used was good, i recognized the places easily. The acting in the movie is of a good standard. I saw myself a lot!!!! Yeah! I would definitely watch this crime drama, as its beautifully acted out and the plot is attractive!
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Very well done, BEAUTIFUL landscapes.
de320620 October 2016
If you like Hinterland, or really any British copper show, you'll like this.

The UK shows leave you to the story, to think it through, without constant gun play, which to me seems like adds little to the actual plot, but takes up a minute or two every time so you don't have to focus on the plot, or the characters. And (so far) you don't have to deal with this cop is having an affair with another ones wife who is sleeping with another cops uncle whose sister was kidnapped.......all just cr*p to distract you from the fact that the whodunnit you hoped to watch isn't really very well done.

I like this one because, like Hinterland, it explores a different series of insular communities, with personalities of their own, and uses a small, close team in a very small, resource thin police department.

No high speed chases with lines of cars, sirens screaming, lights flashing, helicopters distractions. It's just good old fashioned story telling with a lead copper well played by Douglas Henshaw.

And like Hinterland, and Vera, some beautiful scenery and plenty of odd characters, who appear as suspects, but are just odd.

As I said, I'm a huge fan of British Crime drama (Scandinavian too). This is up there in my ratings, not as good as Lewis, or Foyle, but miles above most US shows these days.

We've only got the first season in the US so far......looking forward to the rest.
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Authentic, moody, brilliant
sonbyrd12 May 2017
Absolutely love this contemporary Scottish series. Wonderful acting, authentic dialects, superb plots that keep you guessing. I haven't guessed one right yet! The scenery is sparse but beautiful, offsetting the overall gray skies in this part of the world. I can see how this series has received so many nominations (and a win). My family is addicted to this one.
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Great viewing
Rhon Young4 May 2017
I loved the first two seasons of Shetland and I'm looking forward to seeing more. Douglas Hensall is gorgeous as DI Perez, he has a strong beautiful nature that is always thinking of others. Steven Robertson and Alison O'Donnell are so great as his DC's. I love the feeling of "family" in this series. I really hope this become a long running series that will keep us intrigued for years to come. Well done guys!!
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Hooked on Shetland
popnruss19 April 2017
A thoroughly enjoyable detective series that captured the unique and exquisitely beautiful Shetland Islands. The story lines and characters were well done. Doug Henshall was excellent as Perez as well as a supporting cast equally as talented. I especially enjoyed season 3 that spent the entire time on one case. I am hoping that Netflix will offer season 4 in the near future.
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Stunning, gripping, dynamic noir series
agadhvi-7858419 April 2017
Beautiful scenery, laid back pace but still a gripping series with great characters. Shetlands the location itself is a fantastic character.

Douglas Henshall is marvelous as Jimmy Perez, so is Steven Robertson (born in Shetland) and Alison O'Donnell in their roles.

Season three takes the characters but the story is not based on books. However it is really intense and we see Jimmy Perez suddenly wearing pretty trendy clothes - Diesel jeans and Barbour jackets. Ace Bhatti as Calvin Sarwar was terrific.
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Good watch
Rakesh M19 April 2017
The locations and music are haunting. Its an authentic, old school crime drama with more direct human and personal approach. Don't expect car chases, computers or cops using high technical skills. You will surely fall in love with the islands of Shetland. My only comment are they are bit lengthy.
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