Filming has started on the fourth series of hugely solid, reliable and enjoyable BBC1 drama Shetland, which sees the return of Douglas Henshall, Alison O’Donnell, Steven Robertson, Mark Bonnar and Julie Graham alongside new faces for a six-part series filming on location in Shetland, Glasgow and Norway. Yes, you read that correctly: Norway.
With Peter Manuel the prime suspect in the disappearance of Isabelle Cooke, Superintendent Muncie is astonished to see the psycho striding into his station. Manuel’s confident he can still talk his way out of anything; and without a body, Muncie has nothing to go on. Or does he? Muncie’s hoping that an associate, Joe Brannan, will inform on Manuel; but with Lanarkshire never looking bleaker, and the search turning up only the girl’s clothes, Hogmanay has already been comprehensively spoiled for the dour detective.
With the revengeful Peter Manuel having evaded justice once, he now embarks on a murder spree, his first victim a young army girl. Inspector Muncie certainly suspects Manuel, and thinks his parents are protecting him, but he can’t prove anything. Worse, Manuel is out on bail for a burglary, and seems likely to offend again, planning a raid on a rich family and tooling up for the occasion.
Scotland in 1955 can’t have been the most exciting place to live, so the career of serial killer Peter Manuel (Martin Compston) must have at least broken the monotony in the curtain-twitching community of Uddingston, Lanarkshire. About the only other action would have been at the local Tunnock’s biscuit factory, clearly advertised on the double-decker buses. But the monotony is about to be broken.
Hold on to your hats, there’s another crime drama to get stuck into before the festive period. And just as we were winding down and starting to think about our end-of-year lists. Anyway, we’ve known for a while that Douglas ‘Shetland’ Henshall and Martin ‘ Line Of Duty’ Compston were due to star in a three-part ITV series called In Plain Sight, which was to tell the story of serial killer Peter Manuel and the copper who made it his life to catch him. Now we know when it’s going to be on our screens…
The next stop for me at yesterday’s excellent Killer Women Crime Writing Festival was the panel session comprising some big names from the world of crime fiction and crime drama, which was obviously a good fit for this site. Entitled ‘Serial Thrillers’ it was hosted by Colette McBeth and asked questions about what it takes to adapt something for TV.
We love a bit of Shetland here at The Killing Times, that extremely watchable adaptation of Ann Cleeves’s bestselling novels starring Douglas Henshall. And, judging by the way our readers voted for it in the Euro 2016 Of Crime Drama, so do many of you out there, too. We weren’t quite sure whether the series would be commissioned for a third series, only because series two didn’t do as well as its first and we all know how impatient TV people are. But Ann herself tweeted something out this afternoon that gladdened our heart.