Series 4 - Episode 2 Protected



A man is loitering on the sea front at Whitley Bay. Later that night he’s found on the beach, having been thumped on the back of the head and left to die. “It could have been a hockey stick, a rifle butt… maybe a giant stick of rock,” jokes the police coroner, but Vera’s not laughing.

The dead man is David Kenworthy, whose family has made a fair bit of money out of local property. “It doesn’t make any sense,” mutters his dad (John Woodvine) and his stepmother (Christine Kavanagh) at every opportunity. Actually not much of this makes sense to DCI Vera Stanhope either, so she drags poor old Joe from slot-machine arcade to bookshops to dilapidated flats and back again in her attempts to find out what happened.

What she does know is that there are some dark secrets in the Kenworthy family’s past but, despite her gentle coaxing (for which read calling everyone “pet”), she’s struggling to find out what they are.


The detective is called in when David Kenworthy, the son of a prominent local family, is found murdered on the beach at Whitley Bay. A witness spotted arcade owner Larry Crowe arguing with David on the night of the killing, and a search of the suspect's property uncovers a bloodied baseball bat. However, Larry has a cast-iron alibi and it's clear he wasn't the only person the victim met that night. A second death then leaves Vera facing mounting pressure to crack the case, and struggling to answer the question of why David was drawn to the seafront on the evening of his father's retirement. Brenda Blethyn stars in the murder mystery, with David Leon as her trusty sidekick Joe.

Cast & Crew

DCI Vera Stanhope Brenda Blethyn
DS Joe Ashworth David Leon
DC Kenny Lockhart Jon Morrison
DC Rebecca Shepherd Clare Calbraith
Celine Ashworth Sonya Cassidy
Lorna Underwood Teresa Banham
Alan Kenworthy John Woodvine
Thomas Kenworthy Michael Hodgson
Noel Underwood Christopher Villiers
Marcus Summer Kingsley Ben-Adir
Larry Crowe Dave Hill
Karen Kenworthy Christine Kavanagh
Amy Victoria Inez Hardy
David Kenworthy Rob Jarman
Nicky Phoebe Thomas
Paul Niek Versteeg
Valerie Wendy Patterson
Landlord Gordon Kane
Taxi driver Phil Corbitt
Doctor Maxine Finch
Receptionist Annmarie Hosell
Chip shop owner Gary Kitching
Security officer Maxie Peters
Director Daikin Marsh
Executive Producer Elaine Collins
Producer Margaret Mitchell
Writer Martha Hillier
see more