Douglas Henshall Shetland

Shetland viewers’ fears for beloved actor as he is replaced this series

Jimmy's dad got a different face

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Shetland viewers tucked into the first episode of series six last week on BBC One (Wednesday, October 20) but were disappointed there was no sign of Bill Paterson.

While fans rejoiced at the show’s return and another juicy case for Jimmy Perez and the team to investigate, some were asking about what had happened to the legendary Scottish actor, who played Jimmy’s dad.

Viewers wondered what happened to Jimmy's dad in Shetland on BBC One
Jimmy’s dad – previously Bill Paterson – was played by someone else (Credit: BBC)

What happened in the opening episode of Shetland on BBC One?

The episode started off in sad and sombre fashion as Jimmy attended his mother’s funeral on Fair Isle.

As he and Cassie said their goodbyes, attention turned to Jimmy’s dad.

Read more: Shetland series six on BBC One: How many episodes is it, where is it filmed and will there be a series seven?

Not only was he bereft, but he also displayed the classic symptoms of potential Alzheimer’s as he struggled to get to grips with his wife’s death.

Jimmy decided that he was to accompany him back to Lerwick so he could take care of him for a little while.

But viewers noticed a different actor playing Jimmy’s dad.

Bill Paterson used to play Jimmy's dad in Shetland on BBC One
Bill Paterson played Jimmy’s dad in series two (Credit:

Who used to play Jimmy’s dad in Shetland?

Renowned actor Bill Paterson played Jimmy’s dad, James, in the story Blue Lightning from series two.

In that two-parter, Jimmy and Tosh travelled to Jimmy’s home of Fair Isle to investigate the murder of a scientist who was found dead in his laboratory.

We haven’t seen James since then, but now he’s back and a new actor is playing him – 72-year-old Benny Young.

Corrie fans might recognise Benny, because in 1996 he appeared in the soap as Brian Dunkley.

How did fans react to the recasting?

During the episode, fans wondered were not prepared for James’s recasting.

One said: “Have they changed Jimmy’s dad? I thought Bill Patterson [sic] played him? #shetland.”

Another lamented: “Great to see @djhenshall back in Jimmy Perez action last night.

Read more: Shetland on BBC One: What happened to Jimmy Perez’s wife in Shetland?

“Sad to see his dad was no longer Bill Paterson but you can’t have it all I suppose #Shetland.”

Finally, a third wrote: “Bill Paterson’s roles have been recast in #Guilt and now #Shetland (he played Jimmy’s Dad) – I hope he’s ok.

Where is Bill Paterson?

Fans of Bill Paterson, fear not, you will have the opportunity to see him on screen soon as he’s one of the latest names to be announced for House of the Dragon, the Game Of Thrones prequel.

Were you disappointed to see Bill Paterson has been replaced? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know.