Review by C.J. Bunce
It aired in the UK in February and March, and it had been reported for several weeks that its fifth season was going to arrive on BritBox in April in the U.S. The BBC′s unique crime series Shetland made it in the nick of time, with BritBox releasing the first episode yesterday. Unfortunately BritBox didn’t drop all six Season 5 episodes, opting to air the series the old-fashioned way, with new episodes arriving every Tuesday. It’s the kind of series to savor, so why not?
As advertised since last year, the multiple BAFTA-winning series’ key cast returns, with Shetland supercop/investigator DI Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall) partnering again with DS Alison “Tosh” McIntosh (Alison O’Donnell) and DC Sandy Wilson (Steven Robertson), this time to investigate the murder of a young man whose body parts have been found washed ashore around the island. Welsh actress Rakie Ayola (Dredd, Doctor Who, Sea of Souls, Black Mirror) steps into the series as the season’s guest star, playing the boy’s estranged mother. The first episode of the season does not disappoint, laying out the first of the clues that will lead DI Perez–and the audience–to find the killer before the series wraps with its sixth episode June 4.
Anglophiles wanting another reason to catch up with Shetland will find former and current cast on the series from both Doctor Who (Peter Capaldi, Steven Robertson, Mark Bonnar, Gemma Chan, Brian Cox, James Greene, Anthony Flanagan, Benjamin Cawley, and Susan Vidler) and Game of Thrones (Clive Russell, Ciarán Hinds, Jamie Michie, John Stahl, James Cosmo, and Chris Reilly). Struan Rodger can boast roles on all three series. The fourth season knocked out several great shows to be borg′s Best British/UK series of 2018.
For anyone who has watched the first four seasons, one of the first questions will be, “are they back at it again?” That would be the best roommates on film since The Odd Couple, DI Perez and his step-daughter’s father Duncan, played by Mark Bonnar. Worry not, Duncan’s back with his usual problems, and Perez is there again as the angsty, put-upon friend.
Although it’s not confirmed yet, BBC is expected to announce a sixth season of the series soon, which would likely air in the first half of 2020.
Catch up on the first four seasons and watch the fifth season this month and next of Shetland, exclusively airing on BritBox via AmazonPrime here. Note–Shetland is only available to BritBox customers in the U.S.