NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Ann Cleeves novel Red Bones filmed on Shetland

Forget Scandinavian crime programmes like The Killing and The Bridge, Shetland is getting in on the act.

The islands are the setting for their own Nordic crime thriller, which is to be aired on BBC One Scotland later this year.

Shrouded in mist and shrouded in mystery, filming is under way for the two-part murder drama at South Whiteness on the west side of the islands.

The story is based on one of Ann Cleeves' Shetland crime novels, Red Bones.

Titled simply - Shetland - it stars acclaimed Scots actor Douglas Henshall, as well as Shetland actor Steven Robertson.

The drama unfolds in an unexpected way when young archaeologist Hattie James, played by Gemma Chan, discovers a skeleton.

The island community is intrigued to know if it is an ancient find or a contemporary mystery.

When an elderly woman is shot on her land in a tragic incident, detective Jimmy Perez, played by Douglas Henshall, is brought in to solve the mystery.

As he digs deep into the crime he find himself at the centre of two feuding families.

Logistical challenge

Robertson plays a young police officer, Sandy Wilson.

Working back in the islands is a first in his 10-year professional acting career, something he described as "a dream come true".

Image caption Producers faced a logistical challenge in bringing the cast and crew to the islands

He said: "I always hoped one day that I would be working back here.

"Everybody has worked really hard to get this to happen - Anne's books are great and lots of people love them."

Producer Sue de Beauvoir said it had been a huge logistical challenge bringing the cast and crew to the islands.

However, she said that if the crime drama is a hit with viewers when screened on prime time TV in November, other books in Anne Cleeves' series could be filmed too.

It's the biggest-ever drama to be shot in the islands.

Andy Steven, from Promote Shetland, hopes the exposure will reap dividends for tourism.

He said: "Many, many people want to go and see the place and scenes where the crimes took place.

"They'll come from all over the world to see it and I think we'll definitely have that when the series airs."

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