Flemish director Jan Matthys - known for acclaimed series such as In Flanders Fields and Quiz Me Quick - is to shoot three episodes of the third season of BBC One's crime series Shetland, with Thaddeus O'Sullivan (Call the Midwife) doing the rest. ITV Productions is producing the six-parter for BBC One.

Jan MatthysMatthys follows in the footsteps of Jakob Verbruggen and Tim Mielants, two other directors from Flanders who recently made the leap into British TV drama series. Following the successful local series Code 37, Verbruggen was asked to direct the first series of BBC's critically acclaimed hit The Fall followed by London Spy; meanwhile Mielants recently joined the directing pool for the second series of the Anglo-French co-production The Tunnel.

The third season of Shetland, originally based on Anne Cleeve's crime novels, introduces a new storyline featuring police inspector Jimmy Perez, and was written by Gaby Chiappe, Robert Murphy and David Keane (Prime Suspect). The plot revolves around the disappearance of a young man taking the ferry from Aberdeen to Lerwick. When foul play is suspected, Inspector Perez and his team are put on the case, but their investigation will turn out to have far-reaching consequences for their team as well as for the local community.

Douglas Henshall returns as Perez, joined by Ciarán Hinds (Game of Thrones, Rome, Frozen), Emmy-winning actress Archie Panjabi (The Fall, The Good Wife) and Anna Chancellor (Mapp & Lucia, Downton Abbey). The producer is Eric Coulter (Case Histories, Taggart), with Elaine Collins executive producing for BBC One. Matthys will be responsible for episodes four, five and six.

Starting out as a director of non-fiction, Matthys went on to direct several episodes of local TV series followed by a drama series, Cataract. Then came The Emperor of Taste, a series he filmed together with Frank Van Passel and which won three FIPA d’Or awards in Biarritz. Matthys’s more recent work includes Code 37, The Sons of Van As, Quiz Me Quick and local hit series In Flanders Fields. He is represented by Casarotto, Ramsay & Associates in the UK, while INNIS represent the director in the Benelux.

The filmmaker is currently also working on his feature film debut, Vele hemels, based on a novel by Flemish author Griet Op de Beeck. The feature is to be produced by Caviar (Paradise Trips, Black) with support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Sven Gatz.

Published on Monday 4 May 2015

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