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Shetland

It is really a bit late to recommend the BBC’s crime drama Shetland, based on one of the books in Ann Cleeves’ Shetland Quartet, as it will disappear off the iPlayer this evening. I only recently became aware of it myself and managed to squeeze it in this weekend but I am a great fan of the books. This programme was interesting as it diverged in many ways from the book but still worked as an engrossing, well-told story.

The TV version of Jimmy Perez is taller and blonder than his literary counterpart, although he has the same dedication and empathy as his namesake. Some elements of the story have been significantly changed, in particular his relationship with his step daughter (whose mother is already dead; this will make it very difficult for them to attempt the final book of the quartet in televised form) and the introduction of an entirely new supporting detective, Alison ‘Tosh’ Macintosh (who looks incredibly young for the role, although maybe that is a sign that I’m getting old!).

Apparently all these revisions were done with the blessings of the author; these are different people in a parallel universe. It works well for the medium of television though; worth watching if it comes on again.

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