Based on Vera author Ann Cleeves's novel of the same name, ITV drama The Long Call stars Our Girl's Ben Aldridge as DI Matthew Venn, a police detective who moves back to his North Devon hometown with his husband, where he's forced to confront his childhood spent in a strict religious community, the Barum Brethren.


The coastal-set drama boasts a stellar cast, including Aldridge, Doctor Who‘s Pearl Mackie, and The Village’s Juliet Stevenson as Matthew's mother, who has a difficult relationship with him.

A murder mystery on the surface, from episode one the gripping drama begins to "stray from the predictable path laid out in front of it, into rich, exciting and potential unmarked territory," according to our four-star The Long Call review.

Read on for everything you need to know about the cast and characters in The Long Call.

Ben Aldridge plays Detective Inspector Matthew Venn

The Long Call

Who is Detective Inspector Matthew Vern? A police detective who left the religious community he grew up in when he left for university and came out as gay. He's now returned to his former hometown, a small community in North Devon, with his husband, Jonathan.

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Where have I seen Ben Aldridge before? Aldridge plays the role of Thomas Wayne in Batman prequel series Pennyworth, which is still awaiting word on a season three. He previously appeared in Fleabag and had a lead role in Our Girl.

Pearl Mackie plays DS Jen Rafferty

Ben Aldridge and Pearl Mackie in ITV's The Long Call

Who is DS Jen Rafferty? A detective investigating the murder of a mysterious local with a criminal record, alongside DI Matthew Vern.

Where have I seen Pearl Mackie before? She's best known for playing Bill Potts in BBC One's Doctor Who, but she's also starred in Horizon Line and Friday Night Dinner, among other projects.

Declan Bennett plays Jonathan

The Long Call

Who is Jonathan? Matthew's supportive husband, who helps him through the death of his father.

Where have I seen Declan Bennett before? He played Charlie Cotton in EastEnders, and starred in the likes of Wiener & Wiener.

Juliet Stevenson plays Dorothy

Who is Dorothy? Matthew's mother, who has a difficult relationship with her son.

Where have I seen Juliet Stevenson before? She's starred in Bend It Like Beckham, Truly Madly Deeply, Nicholas Nickleby, One of Us, Out of Her Mind, Emma, and more recently in Riviera.

Martin Shaw plays Dennis Stephenson

Who is Dennis Stephenson? The leader of the Barum Brethren, the religious community that Matthew belonged to as a child.

Where have I seen Martin Shaw before? He's best known for his central role in the crime drama series Inspector George Gently. He's also starred in Strike, The Chief, and Judge John Deed.

Anita Dobson plays Grace Stephenson

Who is Grace Stephenson? Dennis's wife, and member of the Brethren.

Where have I seen Anita Dobson before? Dobson is known for The Worst Witch, EastEnders, The Rebel, Casualty, Doctors, and Red Dwarf, among other shows.


The Long Call airs Monday-Thursday at 9pm on ITV and is available on catch-up via ITV Hub. Visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight, or check out the rest of our Drama coverage.