Shetland fans fear Duncan Hunter will be next character to exit series ‘Terrible feeling’

Shetland: Douglas Henshall on being apart from family

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Shetland made its BBC One comeback this week with an enthralling opening instalment focusing on the disappearance of a vulnerable young man. Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez (played by Douglas Henshall) was leading the investigation while Duncan Hunter (Mark Bonnar) was still in prison. With Duncan only appearing in one scene during the episode, many fans are concerned the character will be written out of the programme. 

Shetland veteran Douglas has reprised his role as Jimmy for the last time as the actor announced earlier this year he will not be returning for season eight. 

The Scottish star made the decision to quit the show because he felt his character’s story had reached a natural end.

The 56-year-old said: “I never wanted to ruin the things that were unique to him and our series, so it felt like the right time to wrap up his story in a way that would be satisfactory to everybody.”

Douglas wanted to “go out on a high” with another successful season of the BBC police drama before exploring new ventures. 

In the first instalment of series seven, the parents of the missing man found out their son once tried to take his own life which has made his disappearance an ever greater concern.

As Jimmy investigated the case, he soon discovered why the family moved to the area and the plot took an unexpected turn. 

During the episode, Jimmy paid a visit to Duncan who was in prison, but the character was only featured in the episode for a matter of minutes. 

The fact that Duncan is still behind bars, after being framed for the murder of Donna Killick (Fiona Bell), has caused many fans to believe the character will not appear in the eighth season. 

Many took to Twitter as they feared Duncan actor Mark is following in Douglas’ footsteps and calling time on his character.

Jess commented: “I’m so sad we’re losing Jimmy after this series, and I fear we’ll lose Duncan too. 

“Can’t help but wish they’d leave together and move closer to Cassie because I adore that family unit, but I suspect Jimmy may depart with his nurse lady friend. We shall see! #Shetland.” (sic) 

Joseph added: “Have a terrible feeling Duncan will only appear in this episode and maybe (hopefully) the last one. He’s going to spend the whole series in prison. #Shetland.” (sic) 

Debbie Blackman penned: “It looks like we’re losing both Jimmy and Duncan #Shetland.” 

Dorina said: “Why is Duncan’s case not being investigated? He was clearly set up by an evil witch in the last series #Shetland.” 

@Ifeelflames remarked: “I don’t want to lose them both, but I also can’t imagine one without the other. Wish they would both stay!” (sic) 

Tricia fumed: “Just switched #Shetland on. Why the hell is Duncan in jail? Better watch the end of last season.” 

Viewers will remember both Jimmy and Duncan were in the frame for Donna’s murder at the end of season six. 

Jimmy was deeply concerned about her influence over Duncan which resulted in the character assisting her in taking her own life. 

It was later brought to light that Donna was a murderer, and Duncan was later arrested after turning himself in. 

Shetland continues next Wednesday at 9pm on BBC One. 

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