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Shetland Series 8 Cast – Meet Ashley Jensen and the New Characters


Ashley Jensen as DI Ruth Calder

Ashley Jensen in Shetland series 8

Ruth Calder left Shetland and a somewhat chequered reputation behind her aged 18, and never looked back. 30 years on, she’s a DI for London’s Metropolitan police whose latest case sends her back home to find a key witness and confront some old ghosts.

She’s played by Ashley Jensen, who’s from Annan in Dumfries and Galloway, south-west Scotland, and has been on screen since 1990 and first came to fame in the role of actor Maggie in Extras, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s follow-up to The Office. That led to a long-standing role in popular ABC series Ugly Betty opposite America Ferreira, a film lead in 2009’s Nativity!, several voice roles in kids’ films and TV shows from Disney’s Lady and the Tramp, How to Train Your Dragon, Arthur Christmas and many more. Jensen played stage mum Fran in Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney’s Catastrophe, Emma in Netflix’s After Life, and recently starred in BBC One’s adaptation of Andrew O’Hagan’s heartbreaking novel Mayflies.

Phyllis Logan as Grace Bain

Phyllis Logan in Shetland S8

The matriarch of Shetland’s powerful Bain family, Grace is the grandmother of missing victim Ellen Quinn, and a force to be reckoned with. She’s played by Paisley-born actor Phyllis Logan, who’s been on screen and stage since the 1970s in countless film and television roles including that of glamorous aristo Lady Jane Felsham in long-running antiques-based drama Lovejoy. Logan really made her name for TV audiences though in the below-stairs role of Downton Abbey’s housekeeper Mrs Hughes, and was excellent recently in Neil Forsyth’s Scottish crime thriller Guilt.

Dawn Steele as Stella Quinn

Dawn Steele as Stella in Shetland S8

Daughter of Grace Bain and mother of the missing Ellen and little Rory, Stella is a Shetlander torn between worlds. She’s played by Holby City regular Dawn Steele, who plays Ange on the BBC medical series. Steele also played Annie in Scottish soap River City, Alice in ITV’s South Africa-set game reserve drama Wild at Heart and Lexie in Scottish favourite Monarch of the Glen.

Jamie Sives as Cal Innes

Jamie Sives as Cal Innes in Shetland S8

Cal Innes is an islander who knew DI “Ruthie” Calder back when she was a teenage tearaway and who reconnects with her on her return to Shetland. He’s played by Jamie Sives, recently seen starring alongside Nicola Walker in detective series Annika, and opposite Mark Bonnar in BBC Scotland’s excellent crime drama Guilt. He’s also been in the ITVX Irvine Welsh series Crime, HBO’s Chernobyl and played trusted House Stark captain Jory Cassel in five episodes of Game of Thrones.

Maisie Norma Seaton as Ellen Quinn

Maisie Norma Seaton as Ellen Quinn Shetland S8

Ellen Quinn is a Shetland girl whose life in London takes a dramatic turn when she gets involved in a plan to rob a police informant and is forced to flee back home and hide from a criminal gang. She’s played by Maisie Norma Seaton, who graduated this year from the Guildhall School of drama and whose first TV role this is.



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