Hidden Depths

Series 1 - Episode 1 Hidden Depths



DCI Vera Stanhope is not your normal TV tec. Yes, she has a shambolic Columbo-like scruffiness and, like many of her ilk, is a complex loner who’s partial to a drink and obsessive about work. She even has a Morse-like relationship with her long-suffering sidekick Joe Ashworth and unresolved issues with her recently deceased father. But she feels very real and Brenda Blethyn is superb, making the dowdy Vera likeable despite her occasionally cruel tongue.

Adapted from Ann Cleeves’s novel, this first case is a pair of horribly stylised murders. Returning home from a night out in Newcastle, Julie (Gina McKee) finds her son strangled in a bath of water strewn with wild flowers. Days later an equally artfully arranged body is found in a rock pool. So far it’s all a bit Pre-Raphaelite. But the investigation is far from romantic and leads the unfit Vera to lumber across beaches and fields, becoming almost hysterical in her need to find the killer. But she’s a fine addition to the roster of TV sleuths.


The detectives investigate two murders in which the victims have been placed in water and surrounded by flowers. Vera and sidekick Joe believe the culprit may be linked to a group of bird-watching friends, but despite their increasingly tangled and dysfunctional relationships, the twitchers seem determined to protect one another. Drama adapted from Ann Cleeves' novel Hidden Depths, starring Brenda Blethyn, David Leon, Gina McKee, Wunmi Mosaku, Paul Ritter and Neil Armstrong.

Cast & Crew

DCI Vera Stanhope Brenda Blethyn
DS Joe Ashworth David Leon
DC Holly Wunmi Mosaku
Billy Cartwright Paul Ritter
Gary Wright Neil Armstrong
Felicity Calvert Juliet Aubrey
Davy Sharp Craig Conway
Ben Craven Philip Correia
Luke Armstrong Sam Fender
Peter Calvert Murray Head
Clive Stringer Paul Higgins
Charlie Jim Kitson
Julie Armstrong Gina McKee
Lily Marsh Samantha Neale
Laura Armstrong Gabrielle Ross
James Calvert Louis Shergold
Lucy Rosie Stancliffe
Samuel Parr Patrick Toomey
Solicitor Peter Michael McGowan
Officer 1 Andrew Thompson
Director Adrian Shergold
Editor Tania Reddin
Executive Producer Kate Bartlett
Executive Producer Kate Lewis
Producer Elwen Rowlands
Writer Paul Rutman
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