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Series 1 - Episode 1
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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.
New series. 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
DS Joe Ashworth
Peter Michael McGowan
Full Episode Guide
How TV detective Vera Stanhope came to life on the page
Author Ann Cleeves talks Brenda Blethyn, the origins of the "bag lady" and future story lines she's plotting...
Meet the cast of Vera
Broadchurch star Carolyn Pickles lands a role in ITV drama Vera
When is Vera on TV?
Discover the setting of ITV's detective drama Vera
Brenda Blethyn on nodding off in Harrods, her love for dogs – and acing crosswords
Vera: Brenda Blethyn takes a trip to the Farne Islands in series seven
Ann Cleeves on falling for the North East: "I knew immediately it would be a brilliant place to set crime novels"
Ann Cleeves on Shetland: "From the moment I stepped ashore I was enchanted"
Top TV settings of 2014 – as voted by Radio Times readers
Are TV detectives seriously misleading the public?
10 great dramas to look out for