Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Shetland, series four, episode three: Reestit Norwegian pigeons, more dads, embarrassing snogging, and a suitcase full of toothbrushes. The catch-up continues

Wings Over Shetland. It's a unionist plot against The Beloved Stuart! Oh yes it is!
My thanks to the legendary Orlando Ancilotti and others for pointing out what appeared at first to be the new acting activities of Wings Over Scotland blogger and Scottish independence campaigner Stuart Campbell (see above). It's Thomas Malone, the Beardy Bard of Bath! Except it isn't, it's clearly just another BBC plot to besmirch the cause of Braveheartian Indie activism. Or a coincidence. Or Stu and Stephen Walters have the same stylist.

Also, some TV and film geeks have been pondering the show's 'framing': apparently everybody is in the 'wrong' place on screen, with too much sky, sea and too many sheep. Leaving aside excessively rude remarks by a certain Orcadian about size and trowies, I feel this is because the Zetlandic landscape is as much a star as that firm of solicitors Henshall, O'Donnell and Robertson. But I would say that.

Anyway, back to the show, and I was guessing that all the off-screen yowling and hammering at the end of last week would turn out to be Malone mincing his own head into sassermaet clatch or reestit mutton crumble in order to besmirch Benny Blue Boiler Suit's bad rep even further. 

It would seem not...

Right: Volvo, yet more drone footage, Malone on a moor with an unlicensed gun. Here we are with Wildlife Killick woman. Donna, who's Alan's real father? How is that your business? Because I am a policeman, a big friendly policeman. Some rigger from down south. He was kind. I met him in the Klaymore. More Ks. Is this a Masonic code? Kould be.

And... I was wrong! Benny Blue WAS attacked by Malone and he's in hospital. Never mind, Tosh is in Bergen with tall blond people who speak like they're in The Killing. Or maybe The Kiln. The Kilmuir. The Killick. Back in the Kilbert Kain Hospital, Drew and his koiffure are bedside with Benny. What did Malone do with that hammer? Tickle him slightly? I've seen more facial damage with a makeup allergy.

Trees! That'll be Norway. Another Volvo. I demand a Saab. We're on an island, a villa with antlers and much decking; us, Tosh and a handsome Norwegian cop called, inevitably Lars. Tosh finds herself facing some sinister reestit pigeons, or possibly infamous Norwegian grouse. Another shotgun. How did Malone get here so quickly? Aha, it's Andreas Hagan the missing human resources executive. He's grumpy. 
Reestit pigeon, or infamous Norwegian grouse?

Back in Shetland, Jimmy confronts Malone, who hides his shotgun. I knew it was unlicensed. Getting your pictures signed by a responsible person can be a real hassle when you're fresh out of nick and applying for a certificate. Whoosh, to Norway, and I see what these TV folk mean about framing. The director's been watching Wes Anderson movies. Now we're onto the dead-Danny-Harrison, Sally-the-deceased hack, drunken-oil-rig-crew story.  Andreas is hiding something. He's shocked Sally was in Bergen the previous week - who was she there to see? Let's check the CCTV in Bergen Airport, shall we?

Never mind that, Here's Allan and Cassie ('we've got four dads between us') and there's our (as in me and my wife Susan's) real house, which I'll have you know is 250 years old this year, at the end of the Hillswick beach. Huh. All we got was a visit from Davie Gardner and the road closed for days. Also, they overloaded the septic tank. Anyway, Alan now knows his dad wasn't his dad, the search is on for the real one-night-stand back at the Klaymore. Drew is drunk and missing. Call a hairdresser.

CCTV time, Bergen Airport. Sally met someone from a taxi company, apparently. You can tell by the noticeboard the driver was holding. Tosh talks to the taxi firm (off camera; I feel obscurely cheated) and is instantly at a dodgy club, or possibly concert venue/arts centre/dance therapy workshop, only with more bad beards and a billiard table. Sinister looks, earrings. I smell trouble. Bet the beer's dear. Funny, it looks just like the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow. That there should be something so similar in Norway!

Back in Shetland, Drew seems to be off for some thalassotherapy, and frankly his hair's a mess. Or maybe he's paddling, or gathering whelks. Or contemplating a very chilly suicide. Jimmy, though wishes to converse with him about Killicks, DNA and all that who's-the-daddy stuff. Both he and Jimmy are freezing, wet and in need of a good cappuccino, or something stronger. I think Jimmy's an Aberlour fan.

Norway, and suddenly Tosh is talking to the goth barmaid from the arts centre/bar/exhibition space/Barrowland tribute act. Seems Sally met a fascist Norwegian called Matti, from the Norwegian Defence Army. Dodgy Anders Breivik resonance there. Apparently Matti threatened to kill Sally. Ah. 

Cut to Shetland and Drew, dry, has hitherto unseen evidence that Malone did the original Kilmuir killing. No idea what it is though. Malone meets Kate Kilmuir and her/his daughter in Da Noost pub (actually closed these days, other Lerwick bars are available). A frisson flies.

Bergen. There's nice Lars. He has a demented grandfather so he MUST be a good guy. Tosh is being followed by a dodgy fellow in a hoody, but Lars takes her out for a VERY EXPENSIVE orange coloured fruity drink. He's on beer. Hope she's on decent expenses. Lars has footage of Sally meeting someone, we know not who. The NDA? They're organising and attacking immigrants, says Lars. Tosh says she feels like a hobbit compared to all the blond supermodels of Norway. Stop wearing those Barbour jackets then, dear.

OK, Jimmy phones Tosh. Sally WAS investigating the NDA and planning an article. Tosh is in a long creepy corridor in her hotel. "There's someone in my room" - it's hoodyperson, but he runs away, having shoved her viciously. Poor Tosh.

Jimmy's at the airport with Other Dad. Bit of manly arm slapping. Cassie will be looked after while Jimmy's away on Norway. I love you, Jimmy. I love you too, Duncan. Back with dodgy Drew (hairspray now holding) who's in the huff with Donna. Is he Alan's dad? Who knows? Who knows anything?

Right, Tosh and Jimmy in Bergen. More very expensive coffee/drinks/pickled herring/smoked puffin/whalemeat. It's all NDA now, arson attacks in Oslo, and the need to talk to Matti. "Out uv da kvestion!" says blonde female Norskicop. Wow, Jimmy gives it Fair Isle smoulder and asks to see a list of Nazis called Matti. Of course she crumbles. What would Duncan say?

Back in Hillswick, Alan is searching through a suitcase which apparently contains his real dad's toothbrushes, going back years. "My real dad's in here!" Cassie's helping. There are toothbrushes flying everywhere. Bergen: ("Fascism must be popular in Norway" says Tosh. They are accessing the list.  Hillswick, Donna arrives and discovers Alan and Cassie raking through the toothbrushes. 

"This rigger from England story's not fooling anyone." Uh huh. Why do Kate Kilmuir and Donna look so alike? Remember the Late Lizzie and Kate were IDENTICAL TWINS!

Bergen. Matti's a possible rapist as well as being a Nazi. He's hoodyman. Jings, as if poor old Tosh doesn't have enough to cope with. She and Jimmy have his  address though. Confrontation looms.

Shetland. Kate is round at Malone's and whisks him off to use her washing machine. Bergen. Jimmy and Tosh meet Matti's mum, who appears to be about seven feet tall. In her house, that framing/Wes Anderson thing again. There's a big weird picture of a dog. Everybody stands stock still and mutters. Not in Norwegian. Weird lighting too. Matti's mum appears to suspect her son could be a killer. Come in, go ahead, search away! In his room (sinister music) there's two dodgy Anglepoise lamps and a whole lot of death metal band posters. Excessive, pathological neatness. Jimmy and Tosh rummage, presumably with a special Zetlandic rummaging warrant - and guess what? They find a picture. Matti's dad is...GRUMPY ANDREAS with the shotgun and the reestit pigeons! Well, one of his dads. There are bound to be others. "Let's go!" Batman music, played on hollow reindeer horns.

Back to Shetland, where we're amid the Ruth Brownlee paintings again, and Sally's former flatmate, who's deaf and whose lip reading skills will probably come in handy later, I'll be bound. Sandy's frustrated. Poor Sandy.

Malone meanwhile can't use the washing machine at Kate's, and much giggling ensues over underwear. Saucy! Molly the daughter is upset and runs away.  Sandy arrives, not in a Volvo but a Ford Mondeo diesel estate, and comforts her.

And in Norway,  Andreas says he didn't do it: "Killing journalists is not my style." Apparently Sally was going to expose Matti's nasty Nazism if Andreas didn't tell all about the drunken Norwegian oil rig offshore Tupperware party which killed Danny. Andreas warned her not to get involved with the NDA (which is different from DNA). Would Matti have killed her? Not the Matti Andreas knew. Here's his address. "If you find him, tell him his father loves him." But are you SURE you're REALLY HIS FATHER, Andreas? I frankly hae ma doots!

Kate Kilmuir and Malone are cosying up over what looks like a tin of Sapporo and a bottle of Cloudy Bay, both of which in my experience are tricky to find in Shetland. "Eh waant to look eeeveryone in the aye and lait them knoo eh em a good men."
"I think you are a good man!" Snogging ensues. Sandy and Molly are out in the car. Oh dear, I think they're going to...oh no, that's not a can of Sapporo, it's a jug. And the Cloudy Bay's actually just Blue Nun. Aaargh, squirm, Molly's going to see...thankfully just some energetic sofa snogging with Malone and her mum. Embarrassing. That beard looks scratchy.

Bergen. Tosh and Perez are wandering the cobbled streets, scenically, in the twilight. The simmer dim. Or as they say in Norway, the simmer dim. Don't look now, but "the black van behind us has been following us all day." 
"Who is it?"
"I don't know and I don't want to find out."
Whit? Call yourself a cop Perez? Suddenly there are a dozen black vans. Who ARE those guys? 

Doubtless we'll find out next week. My money's on a sub plot involving fish farming. They're lumpfish breeders. Or more dads.

This week's PQ (Pony Quotient):Nil. Very disappointing., Bring us Socks!

Volvo appearances: two, one in Norway, one in Shetland. It's the genre known as Scandic Car.

Pulley appearances: two, one at Drew's one at Donna's (thanks to Maggie McRitchie for this). Drew's empty, Donna's festooned with deeply symbolic blood red washing!

For more exclusive Shetland material, including locations from the series, check out the Promote Shetland microsite at

Very scary Shetland pony, not Socks

Shetland, Series Four, Episode Two: Whose dad is it anyway?

Last week we left Thomas Malone in an informal grave with a mini-JCB dumping peat on top of him. This led (thank you Ali Wilson, Mr Ray Burn, Ms AGA Stove and others) to a host of Peaty Blinders jokes. But here we are at episode two and…
Quick recap: Lizzie Kilmuir was killed years ago, Thomas Malone was convicted of her murder, but has now been declared innocent and is wandering Shetland in a peculiar number one crop/beard combo.Like a member of a death metal band or a waiter at a vegan restaurant. Anyway, Tosh is not leaving (hooray!), Kilmuir case cop Drew MacColl’s daughter is also dead, murdered. Kate Kilmuir is looking haunted. She’s Lizzie’s TWIN SISTER. Forst Energy - they’re bad Norwegians who let drunken roughnecks on their rigs, then kill them. I think we’re going to Norway. More jumpers, yay!
Here we go. Mud! Mud, glorious mud (not peat). Thomas is alive, like The Bride in Kill Bill only much yuckier; his head’s sticking out of the earth. It’s like some kind of Scandinavian beauty therapy, except it hasn’t worked, clearly, in his case. He’s heading home, limping past a bus stop, wherein Twin Sister’s daughter stands. Thomas hallucinates that she’s Lizzie or her mum (TWIN SISTER) Kate back in pre-prison days. She guesses he’s her dad, right? There’s a whole lotta paternity stuff coming atcha, so get ready. Pay attention.
Here’s Jimmy. And apparently those gansies ARE Shetland-made jumpers, just not Fair isle pattern ones. And apparently not itchy next to the skin, due to secret sheep technology. They’re like the special Everest jumpers, made from ultrafine wool, as worn by Hillary and Tensing. Like..the finest cashmere, or a silk vest made from unicorn’s eyelashes. Honest. A lanolin caress.
So, quick, up to speed with the nasty Norwegians. The mysterious Forst Energy human resources baddie Andreas is in Norway, and recently-dead Sally was after him. He’s got a motive. Hasn’t he? Then there’s Alan Killick, seal succourer, Sally’s ex. And Malone. So three suspects with motives. We just don’t know what those motives are, though, do we?
Malone is in the cop shop, badly in need of a shower (NOTE: if you need a shower in Lerwick, the Clickimin Centre is good. They have saunas, steam rooms, ice cold drenches but not the fluffy dressing gowns the cop shop seems to possess for guests)
Jimmy’s “trying to keep an open mind,” while Malone grunts that he may know who tried to bury him, but he’s not saying, despite that hot shower and the towelling robe.
“I’ll not be pressing charges.” He’s no grass.
So they’re looking for “a high-roofed Transit van on the road between Malone’s farm and Laxo”. Love the way specific locations are slipped in when the whole series plays so madly fast and loose with Shetland’s geography, while making the place look gorgeous. Meanwhile, we're at Jo Halley’s house/studio - she’s the deaf artist Sally used to stay with. She’s worried about intruders. She should be. They'll be after those Ruth Brownlee paintings.
Jimmy in the Volvo, which is in A LOT of scenes. Nice alloys. Is this product placement? Swedish, not Norwegian. Or Danish. Scandic, though, and black, so, like, noir. Just make sure the central electronic control unit is under warranty, that’s all I’m saying. Jimmy is suddenly astride the ‘grave’ of Thomas Malone, and finds a toy man/soldier/Lego figure. This is A CLUE in pure Cluedo stylee. No gloves. Into the pocket in pure dead brilliant forensic mode.Bet it appears again later. You watch.
We're with Drew, retired dodgy policeman/bereaved father. He’s got a pulley. Clothes are drying on it I do like a pulley. A house is incomplete without a pulley. Or an illicit lover hiding in the corner when Jimmy arrives. Wow, that’s Alan Killick’s mum, Wildlife Woman. She’s Drew’s alibi for the grave/JCB/Malone incident, apparently, though she stays hidden before snogging Drew. His hair moves not a micron.
(What’s with the names? Killick/Kilmuir, and killings in kilns? Killiecrankie! Krumbs!)
Volvo to the Wildlife Sanctuary in (not) Hillswick and here’s Wildlife Alan - his alibi is rubbish because we know he was at the Taj Tandoori. Now he’s in a shed with a caravan in it. Where were you last night - here on my own. Wait, there’s a high-roof Transit! Open the doors! A huge deluge of mud and blood rushes forth, then out of the TV set and fills this room! Where’s the remote! Videodrome!
No, just drifted off there, sorry.
Forensic are coming. Is that the old doctor woman? All will be well.
Tosh is in a flash office to see the head of human resources at Forst Energy, which would be Andreas. But he’s in Norway, where we’re going soon. Flights available in the summer from Shetland, folks.

Here’s Duncan, Cassie Perez’s Other Dad (birth father. Jimmy is her step dad. The mother’s dead. It’s not just complicated, it’s a social work nightmare). He’s also quite clearly shaping up to be Jimmy’s lover, implicitly, if not explicitly. Anyway Dunc’s at the Lodberrie to see Cassie, and suggsts she takes a job at the wildlife sanctuary. Good move. Jimmy will be pleased. But she has to get over her ex Edison (lighthouse reference?).
Danny Hamilton - died when his arm was ripped off by “a rotating driveshaft”. Love it when you talk technical, Tosh. Looks like his widow’s been paid off by nasty Norski Forst Energy even though he was teetotal and it wasn’t his fault as they were clearly all drunk on that oil rig apart from him. Never mind, Tosh is soon off to Norway to sort that out.
Nobody’s taken Malone’s shotgun off him I see. Must have applied for a licence when he was still in jail, as you do. Strangely intimate meeting with Kate Kilmuir (TWIN SISTER TO MURDERED LIZZIE) who suggests he needs to stop rocking “the Charles Manson look.” As this would involve plastic surgery it seems a bit of an ask.
“Some leds aroond heer lest neet treed tae berry me aleeve!” Come on Tommy, that’s no excuse for bad grooming. And get that generator fixed! Oho, get that wee wave at Kate’s daughter. As if….they might be related in some way
The van in question (not the one at the Wildlife Sanctuary, keep up) has been sold to Benny who was the witness crucial to convicting Thomas back in the day. Now he owns a garage and a blue boiler suit. His beard’s almost as bad as Malone’s. Sandy goes to his garage. “Is this your digger?” No, and what’s more the van’s off to the crusher. More men in blue boiler suits stand around threateningly. Sandy knows kung fu, though, and beats the living daylights out of them. Or perhaps I imagined that.
Cassie has cycled to Hillswick from Lerwick in about ten minutes to volunteer at the Wildlife Sanctuary, where she and Alan begin to establish a soulful and tender relationship. They have been kissed by a loving seal, or maybe an otter. Tosh and Jimmy pursue the missing Andreas through his rented house on Whalsay, which is surrounded by trees and is clearly in Barrhead or Mauchline in ‘real life’. Handily, he’s left his wallet which has Sally’s business card in it. Aha! The Volvo is still looking good. The cottage doesn’t meet Tosh’s conception of Scandinavian chic:
“I was hoping for something a bit more hygge - is that Norwegian or Danish? It means the complete absence of anything annoying.”
Grumpy Jimmy: “Unfortunately that’s not a concept I’m familiar with.” Read some interior design magazines, pal.
Hold on. We have a major development. From a lab. And it’s to do with Alan Killick, because his name is on a form and circled in pen. Partial secondary DNA on the scarf used to strangle Lizzie Killickmuirmarnockintilloch turn out to be related to Alan Killick “on the male side.” (And by the way 'Preserved Killick' is a major character in Patrick O'Brian's superb Aubrey/Maturin novels).
“That narrows things down quite a bit.” Uh huh.
Volvo! Mine has been in the garage for six months. This is upsetting.
We’re back at Hillswick with Killicks, who don’t have a kiln and are not the Kilmuirs, but whose dad Kevin may have killed a Kilmuir, but not a Killick. Or maybe a Kirkintilloch or a Kilmarnock. Cassie’s still hanging about. Jimmy’s not happy. Mrs Wildlife used to get beaten up by Kevin. Maybe Too simple.
They decide to dig up the body of Kevin who’s been dead for eight years because his wife, Mrs Wildlife, hasn’t kept his toothbrush. “My dad didn’t do it!” says Alan. The grave is opened. Alan’s in Jo Halley’s house raking through Sally’s belongings, claiming he “just wants to spend the night in her room.” Normal. At least Jo seems to think so. “Fancy a coffee?” Maybe a seal has escaped.
Benny Ray, garagiste, boiler suit wearer, was known as Benny Blue (boiler suit or pills?) and was “Shetland’s answer to Liam Gallagher” back in the day, apparently, though it should be said right now that Liam WAS NOT, IS NOT and NEVER WAS a drug dealer or a police informant. Or, for that matter, a guitarist, though he was and is a fine singer in my opinion.
Here’s the gruesomely puntastic forensic elderly doctor woman as they exhume Kevin Killick’s Korpse. Some people don’t like this kind of thing, she says, but “it’s no skin off my nose, though there are some who find the whole process hard to stomach.” She’s a one with that medical black humour, isn’t she?
OK, loads of stuff comin’ now. CCTV from Norway shows Sally with Andreas (WE’RE GOING TO BERGEN!) Malone drops a mobile phone. Drew MacColl had Benny Blue as an informer which means he should NOT have been a witness at the trial. Jimmy chins Benny outside Benny’s grandson’s school, where the peerie lad asks about a model figure, and I’m not talking Kate Moss. Told you. Telt ye! Jimmy produces He Man/Lego Larry, the one he found at the grave. Gotcha! Except he hasn’t. Back to the Volvo. Tosh is off to Norway, flight’s at seven. Jimmy can’t go because of Cassie and the Other Dad. He and Duncan stare soulfully into each other’s eyes. Will they? Won’t they?
Thomas is moaning in his house with all these dodgy drawings of Lizzie OR HER TWIN SISTER Kate, who’s outside trying to get in. She loves you, Thomas! How can you be so blind! Or maybe you’re not.
Procurator Fiscal Rhona arrives at the Lodberrie to announce that Kevin Killick’s is NOT the DNA from Lizzie’s strangle-scarf. What’s more Kevin WAS NOT ALAN’s DAD. Obviously it couldn’t have been Alan, who was just a boy or not born, so WHO IS ALAN’s REAL DAD? Not Drew, because that would mean….Chinatown!
Malone passes that bus stop. He hallucinates, sees the young Lizzie again. Or maybe her TWIN SISTER. Then he goes off, gets a hammer, and beats Benny Blue to a pulp. Really.
Next, Norway. Tosh is tough but can she cope with trolls? And Norwegian drink prices?
Is Benny black and blue or bludgeoned to bloody obliteration?
Will Jimmy and Duncan finally admit their feelings for each other?
Volvos or Saabs in Bergen?
More next week!

Shetland, Season Four, Episode One Recap: "I'm going to take a stab at strangulation"

So, at the end of series three we left Tosh on the point of departing Shetland, and now…we know she's back, but how will it be handled? What’s the explanation? Anyway, first we have an extremely bearded man behind bars - looking very Shetlandic in the mode of a young Lord Norman Lamont or possibly a hipster barista. He’s in a jail with very high ceilings, and evidently he’s about to be released.
Cut to Jimmy back at the Lodberrie in Lerwick. He’s still wearing that pea jacket - I can vouch for the fact that such garments are neither waterproof nor warm enough for Shetland. Get some Gore-tex, pal. But hey, it’s summer. Though we do have that four-seasons-in-one-day thing going on.
Beardie man gets out of prison and is embraced by blonde woman: “It’s over Thomas. Fancy a pint?" But no. He wants to go home. And that’s not Kirkintilloch or Barrhead.
They’re agitated in Lerwick. Seems Thomas (Beardie) Malone was convicted of murdering one Lizzie Kilmuir in 1994, her body having been found inside an old lime kiln on the island of Unst. He confessed. Apparently.
But (technical detail alert!) It has now emerged that “secondary DNA pointed to a second suspect” and it wasn’t tested at the time. It’s being alleged that police withheld the evidence deliberately. Embarrassing. Malone has landed at Sumburgh, and Jimmy demands that all efforts are now put into finding “closure for the family”. Complicated law enforcement chat ensues: something fiduciary...neds down the nick...something...ticking timebomb... “evidential and non-evidential statements.” Bottom line: “There’s a second suspect out there, somewhere.”
Now, Sandy, slightly glaikit detective (always odd for me because Steven Robertson is very good at playing threatening psychopaths, as in He Kills Coppers, but hey, that’s acting) is pals with Lizzie Kilmuir’s twin sister who is very much still here and played by Neve McIntosh from Dr Who, with a Hebridean accent. It’s got to be time for an open air folk festival, shot at Gardie House on the island of Bressay, but we’re meant to think it’s on the (Shetland) Mainland. Which is what we call the biggest Shetland island. I know, I know.
“It’s not exactly Glastonbury, is it?” says someone. That’s Fullsceilidh Spellemenslag on stage, and everyone looks somewhat chilly. Certainly compared to Shetland’s last open air festival - Glusstonberry - which was boiling hot and had real toilets that flushed, not the chemical ones Tosh is averse to. We do festivals properly in the non-fictional Shetland.
Quick bit of back story - Sandy’s single, having split from his previous paramour, who had loads of kids and, I recall, a dodgy brother. “It’s for the best.” Indeed. We meet Lizzie’s sister and Sally MacColl, who argues with her clearly horrible boyfriend Alan, gets drunk, and then seems to wander off with a mysterious hooded figure. That doesn’t bode well.
So, Drew MacColl (Sally’s dad) makes his appearance, the cop who put Malone away in the first place. He’s old, bitter, carefully coiffed and completely certain of Malone’s guilt. He explains that Malone was fixated with Lizzie, that a witness came forward who saw him on the ferry and - clincher - Edmonston’s Chickweed was found on his shoes, and it only grows in Unst! Only in one quite inaccessible part of Unst, actually, and you wouldn’t necessarily tread on it accidentally, AND it’s a protected species, difficult to see. I used to look out on the Keen of Hamar and see tourists crawling along with magnifying glasses. But let that pass for the moment. Drew swears on his wife’s grave that Malone’s guilty. So he probably isn’t.
Malone bleakly wanders around what looks like most of Shetland's bleak bits before stumbling on the folk festival and then making himself scarce, even though he has a beard. Meanwhile, Jimmy is listening to the original police interview tapes and there is a Mysterious Gap before Malone’s admission of guilt. Hmm...
The next morning: Sally MacColl has gone missing. Thomas Malone is drinking beer for breakfast and smoking suspiciously. There's swearing, which is new for Shetland, I think. Nobody ever swears here. Gail Callaghan, a sort of social worker, gives Jimmy and Tosh a tongue lashing in fluent Glaswegian and also provides Thomas with an alibi - she was on the phone to him all night when Sally disappeared. Later it transpires that she was actually speaking to him for only three minutes. Might have appeared longer, though, as Thomas’s variable accent is difficult to understand, except when he too lurches into Glaswegian. Probably picked that up in prison.
Oh no! Sally’s body is discovered at Fladdabister inside an old lime kiln, like Lizzie’s was back in 1994. Killings in kilns! Nobody makes this joke, understandably. Another pun then pops up from the doctor-cum-pathologist (in real life, all post-mortems are carried out in Aberdeen). “My first stab at cause of death is strangulation,” she says. “I remember giving that girl her measles jab.” Stab, jab...I’m suspicious.
Malone goes for a local radio interview and it appears that BBC Radio Shetland has been spectacularly upgraded. I recognise those studios! Pacific Quay in Glasgow, BBC Scotland HQ. There's posh.
“I didnae do it,” says Thomas. Wow, contravening every broadcasting guideline ever known, there’s suddenly a phone-in and on the line is Kate Kilmuir, twin sister of alleged victim
What would you like to say, Kate? Here’s a turn up for the radio regulator, who breathes a sigh of relief: “I’m sorry. Thomas Malone is as much a victim of this crime as my sister was.” Jings. That’s not very Jerry Springer.

Sally’s abandoned car is found - a Kia Picanto in a horrid shade of lilac - and a clue is discovered - “a used boarding pass for a flight to Bergen” (in Norway, which you most definitely can’t see from Lerwick) "dated last week".
There’s a whole lot of emotional angsty stuff with Jimmy and his daughter and her Other Dad. She’s back from Glasgow or somewhere, a loser in love, and she doesn’t fancy a pizza. Could she be pregnant? Call the midwife! Only not yet, obviously. Jimmy quotes WB Yeats to her. The Circus Animals’ Desertion. The foul rag and bone shop of the heart. He’s got hidden depths, that copper.
To the local newspaper, where Sally worked as a journalist. It’s called The Shetland Chronicle (the real one is The Shetland Times), and now the plot is inexorably moving along and heading towards Norway. Turns out Sally wrote the Norway News column and is investigating a Norwegian company called Forst Energy, over the death of a local man on an offshore oil rig.
Aha, Hillswick! Turns out Alan, Sally’s boyfriend, lives at the (Hillswick) Wildlife Centre, which I suspect we’ll be seeing more of in the next five episodes. He’s got an alibi from (I presume) his mum but we’ll later find out that Lerwick CCTV shows this to be, well, rubbish, as he was in town for a takeaway. Suspicious? Oh yeah. He was suspicious, too - that Sally was having an affair with a mysterious Norwegian. Sally’s ex-cop dad meanwhile bursts into the police station and demands that Malone is arrested, as it’s obvious (two kilns, two killings) he is a double murderer.
We’re back chez Malone, where he unearths some dodgy nude paintings of (presumably Lizzie, but remember she has an IDENTICAL TWIN SISTER STILL ALIVE) and a shotgun which, mysteriously, the police have failed to either find or confiscate.
A wee aside from the hefty comedy uniformed polisman: Tosh withdrew her transfer request weeks ago! Hooray!
And boo! Bereaved dad MacColl is in the pub with bereaved dodgy takeaway-munching no-alibi boyfriend Alan, when they spy Malone. A chase and fight ensues. Well, Malone gets a kicking, mostly from Alan, but is rescued by Kate Kilmuir (TWIN SISTER ALERT!)
Tosh confirms that she “isn’t ready” to leave Shetland and stares solemnly and agonisingly into a toilet mirror for some time. The dreadful events of series three loom large. I must admit I preferred her when she was a noisy, perpetually hungover wee drunk and far and away the best thing in series one. Anyway.
Back at Malone’s, there are suddenly LOADS of dodgy nude drawings of Lizzie (OR KATE) Kilmuir adorning the walls. Sinister or what? And Kate seems oddly sympathetic to him, despite her daughter’s misgivings.
Headlights. Shouts. Black-clad balaclava-masked figures burst into the isolated house, looking for all the world like SAS operatives or a whole heap of Milk Tray Men. Malone gets his gun but too late, he’s knocked on the head and kidnapped. They are local vigilantes (is that Alan’s voice?) and they demand Malone admits his guilt (for Sally? Lizzie? Both?). Or else. I rack my brains, but I'm pretty sure this isn't based on Real Shetlandic Events. Kale casting (throwing of root vegetables in a noisy manner) is as far as anyone takes vengeance in our neck of the bog.
“It wisnae me!” he proclaims, several times. But they’ve dug him a grave and with a mini-excavator too. In he goes, and buckets of black peat come showering down. That’s all for this week, folks.
So here’s what we have:
Malone has been released from prison and denies killing Lizzie Kilmuir. Now that the daughter of the cop who put him away has been found dead, he denies killing her too. But he was obviously obsessed with her (OR HER TWIN SISTER) and he’s got a nasty beard. Is he dead and buried? Surely not.
Sally, the cop’s deceased daughter,was investigating a Norwegian company about dodgy offshore goings on. Who is Andreas? Who is Jan? When are we off to Bergen? Can you see Lerwick from there?
And is Cassie pregnant? Is Tosh really all right? Why does Jimmy never wear proper diamonds-and-snowflakes Fair Isle jumpers? Are they too cheerful? What’s Drew MacColl hiding? I think we should be told. And we almost certainly will be.
Best of all, Tosh is staying! No more nasty threats to her welfare, please.
Shetland is broadcast on BBC 1 on Tuesday nights at 9.00pm, and is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer
Follow Jimmy Perez’s footsteps:

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Take Fresh Heart: First Beatcroft Social of 2018. And Hot Potatoes; a poem

Here's the first Beatcroft Social of 2018, 'Take Fresh Heart'. Almost an hour and a half of quite good music, desultory ramblings and the occasional nostalgic rant. The Spotify playlist. And a poem.


I lack
Shetland Black
But Edzell Blues
Or Maris Pipers
Will do

The skin
Still flecked with soil
Lie tuberous joys
To boil

Or roast
But most
in Scotland fry
So hearts fail
Millions die

The earth
Gives birth
To maize and wheat
To fowl and fish
All kinds of meat

Is nice
Jasmine, Basmati
But my spirit yearns
For tatties