FILMING of the new series of the TV crime drama Shetland kicks off on Tuesday morning in Hillswick.
Two top Scottish actors have now joined the cast of the murder mysteries, which will see six episodes filmed during July, September and October.
Brian Cox, a seasoned Shakespearean actor who gained his reputation on stage but has been in Hollywood films like The Bourne Identity, plays murder suspect Magnus Bain in the first two episodes based on Ann Cleeves’ thriller Raven Black.
Julie Graham, who is well known as Abby Grant in TV drama Survivors, takes on a newly created role of procurator fiscal Rhona Kelly in four episodes.
They will join Douglas Henshall who reprises his role as Detective Jimmy Perez, the central character in the series.
The series is being produced by ITV Studios for the BBC following the success of the pilot adaptation of Cleeves’ Red Bones, which was watched by more than 12 million people over two nights in March.
The first two episodes will be based on Raven Black, followed by four more based on Cleeves’ Shetland novels, Blue Lightning and Dead Water.
Graham said she was looking forward to her new role in the drama.
“Rhona is a woman who commands attention so it’s a joy to play such a strong female character,” she said.
“I loved the first series of Shetland and I’m delighted to be joining Dougie and the rest of the cast as a new returning character.
“It’ll also be lovely to be back filming in Scotland and visiting Shetland.”
ITV Studios executive producer Elaine Collins said: “I’m delighted to be working with the BBC again on this first six part series of Shetland, and thrilled that Brian Cox and Julie Graham are joining our wonderful central cast led by Douglas Henshall.
“We have an extremely strong line-up of writers and directors this year and are all looking forward to returning to the compelling and unique landscape of Shetland.”
BBC Scotland head of drama and executive producer Christopher Aird added: “This first six part series of Shetland will build on the huge success of the pilot.
“Douglas Henshall’s Perez is our charismatic guide to this unique world of compelling mysteries and fascinating character stories, all told under the brooding skies of the islands.
“We have some wonderful writers and directors working on the show and I am thrilled the likes of Brian Cox and Julie Graham will be joining the cast this year.”
The Shetland cast also includes local actor Steven Robertson, Alison O’Donnell, Mark Bonnar and Frances Gray.
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