Series 3 - 4. Prodigal Son

Prodigal Son
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Radio Times
Review by:
Alison Graham

Vera makes good use of its Newcastle locations, it doesn’t simply cling to the quayside and postcard views of the bridges over the Tyne. It sneaks through the ginnels, the alleyways that are woven into the quilt of the city, the perfect shady spots for murder.

In the last story in the series a man is stabbed to death in one such dark corner after he leaves a nightclub on a promise from a young woman. When Vera (Brenda Blethyn) turns up in her Bill and Ben, the Flower Pot Men hat, she finds nothing that casts any light on the victim’s identity. No name, no personal possessions, just a car with false plates and a surprise inside a case in the boot. When she prises it open, she unearths family secrets and old enmities.

About this programme

4/4. The detective is brought in to investigate when a former Met police officer is stabbed to death outside a nightclub in Newcastle. The team initially suspects a crime of passion after it emerges the victim had recently rekindled his affair with his childhood sweetheart, whose husband has a history of violence. However, Vera uncovers evidence pointing to a more complex case involving inside information and the hostile takeover of a brewery. What did the deceased find out that cost him his life? Guest starring Jill Halfpenny, Christine Bottomley, Ralph Ineson and Liam Cunningham. Last in the series.

Cast and crew


DCI Vera Stanhope
Brenda Blethyn
DS Joe Ashworth
David Leon
Billy Cartwright
Paul Ritter
DC Kenny Lockhart
Jon Morrison
Sam Harper
Liam Cunningham
Maggie Warnock
Jill Halfpenny
Lisa Strachan
Christine Bottomley
Ross Strachan
Ralph Ineson
DC Rebecca Shepherd
Clare Calbraith
Eva Harper
Sophie Stuckey
Hotel manager
Paul Clayton
Michael Cronin
DC Mark Edwards
Riley Jones
Reece McMurray
James Anthony Pearson
Agnes Lennox
Jeany Spark
Janna Jeffries
Emily Taaffe
Denice Strachan
Poppy Tomlinson
John Warnock
Alan Westaway


Thaddeus O'Sullivan
Executive Producer
Elaine Collins
Margaret Mitchell
Marston Bloom