Shetland Renewed for Series 9 & 10 with Ashley Jensen Back as DCI Calder

DI Ruth Calder is staying on Shetland for two more series.

Shetland's Ashley Jensen on the beach in the series 8 finale
Photo: ITV Studios, Jamie Simpson

Warning: contains spoilers for the Shetland series eight finale.

When DI Ruth Calder (Ashley Jensen) was asked at the end of Shetland series eight when she’d be leaving the isles, she answered: “Actually, not for a while.” Having repaired her relationship with her estranged brother and dealt with some old demons, Ruth planned to stick around. Long enough it seems, to lead the cast of Shetland series nine and ten.

The BBC has commissioned two further series of the picturesque crime drama starring Jensen in the lead role of DI Calder. Filming on series nine begins in March 2024, with filming on series 10 to follow in 2025. Fans can expect the show to return to BBC One either in late 2024 or early 2025. We’ll keep you posted as more news arrives.

Overall viewing figures for series eight were in line with those of previous series according to the BBC, meaning there wasn’t a significant drop-off even after a major cast change following the departure of Douglas Henshall as DI Jimmy Perez, the lead character in series one to seven. Good news for Ashley Jensen’s Ruthie Calder – the fans have accepted the new lead investigator.

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Why Isn’t Tosh the New DI?

In the new series written by Paul Logue and Denise Paul, Jensen will be joined by cast regulars Alison O’Donnell as Tosh, Steven Robertson as Sandy, Lewis Howden as Billy, Anne Kidd as Cora and more. Presumably Steven Miller and Nina Toussaint-White will also return in the roles of Ruth’s minister brother Alan and his wife Amma. The new guest cast is yet to be announced.

The departure of Douglas Henshall as DI Jimmy Perez at the end of series seven left a vacancy at Lerwick Police Station. Some assumed it would be filled by Jimmy’s right-hand-woman DS Alison “Tosh” McIntosh (Alison O’Donnell), but her character’s decision to remain at DS level to avoid having to uproot her family for the necessary training relocation was written in to series eight.

As much as it irked Tosh’s new colleague DI Calder that she insisted on referring to herself as “Temporary DI McIntosh” while Jimmy’s replacement was sought, Tosh had her reasons. Married to a fellow officer with whom she has a young daughter, she didn’t want to move her family off the Isles while she completed her DI training because to her, Shetland is home.

Ruthie Calder’s Homecoming

That was also the conclusion reached by Shetland-born Ruth Calder, the new lead character introduced by Shetland writer Paul Logue after the TV series diverged from the Ann Cleeves books on which the original two series and the DI Jimmy Perez character were based. Ruth’s mother died in 1991 and the teenage Ruth had a fractious relationship with her father partly to do with her rebellious spirit and his role as a church minister, and partly to do with her having walked in on him in bed with another woman while her mother was dying in hospital.

That’s why Ruth left Shetland the day after her 18th birthday to start a new life in London, and didn’t even return for her brother’s wedding or their father’s funeral. She left behind Cal Innes (Jamie Sives), her teenage sweetheart who’d always kept a flame burning for her, and who sadly died in a road accident during series eight.

The series eight ending left the possibility open for Calder staying for longer than one case. She told Tosh that she was due “a shitload of leave from work” and told her ex-boyfriend Cal’s brother that she planned to stick around for a month or two. The final moments of the series saw Ruthie listen to the cassette mix-tape she’d made for Cal as a teenager, visit the beach where he’d taken an impromptu birthday swim decades earlier, and take a dip of her own.

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During her first series, Ruth had reunited with her estranged brother Alan – who’d followed in his father’s footsteps and is now a Church of Scotland reverend – and buried the hatchet with her father to the extent that she left a kiss on his gravestone in series eight’s closing moments.

Shetland series eight is available to stream now on BBC iPlayer in the UK.