Shetland fans threaten to boycott series over Douglas replacement

Shetland: Douglas Henshall on show's future after his exit

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At the end of season seven, Shetland fans were left feeling emotional after Jimmy Perez (played by Douglas Henshall) solved his last-ever case. Since announcing his departure, fans have been guessing who would replace the actor in season eight of the BBC series. Bosses have since confirmed Ugly Betty star Ashley Jenson would be stepping in as lead detective and would take on the role of DI Ruth Calder.

The casting has certainly left fans divided, and while many have praised BBC bosses for Jimmy’s replacement, others weren’t so impressed.

Some have even claimed they will boycott the show by refusing to watch the upcoming series because it “wouldn’t be the same”.

Taking to Shetland’s fan Facebook page, Helen penned: “Definitely won’t be watching it no Perez no Shetland no one can fill such a strong lead characters boots.” (sic)

Eliza wrote: “No one can replace this man. This is a sad day for shetland fans as far as I’m concerned. This isn’t close to an ok stand in.”

“Will not watch the show anymore,” Mary said before Christine added: “I will never watch again. I’m out.”

“Bit disappointed! Don’t like her role in Agatha Raison so not sure about this,” Anne-Marie wrote.

Cathryn went on to post: “Really? After all the speculating that’s really disappointing. Don’t think I’ll be watching.”

Defending the new casting, Dorothy said: “I’m in agreement that no one could replace Perez and that’s why I’m happy it’s a woman. Give her a chance!”

Jackie said: “I am looking forward to seeing Ashley Jensen take on this role. She is an accomplished and versatile actress.”

While Beverley added: “I love Ashley Jensen, even so, I’m having trouble wrapping my head around seeing her as Perez’s replacement but I’m going to hope for the best.

“At least it sounds like the rest of the cast will remain in place. BTW I miss Duncan.”

Ashley, who will be a familiar face to viewers, has starred in the likes of American comedy Ugly Betty and After Life with Ricky Gervais.

Ruth will join DS Alison ‘Tosh’ McIntosh (played by Alison O’Donnell) for its next series, which is expected to air in 2023.

The newcomer will arrive as a native Shetlander who returns to the isles after 20 years working for the Met in London.

Speaking about her new role, Ashley began: “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Shetland as DI Ruth Calder.

“It’s such a hugely successful show and I am aware I have very big boots to fill since the departure of DI Perez, who was very much loved by fans of the show.

“There will be a different dynamic with Ruth amongst the regular characters and a few more new interesting characters to enjoy.

“However the integrity of the show and the world that has been created will remain very much in the same tone as the last seven seasons.

“It’s a real privilege to be asked to lead this show into a new chapter. I can’t wait to be working in Scotland again. I have missed it!”

Shetland is expected to air on BBC One in 2023.

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