Just about every new drama that we’ve seen on television in the last few months has had one thing in common: they were all filmed under coronavirus restrictions.
That was no different for Vera – which returns for its 11th series later this month – and star Brenda Blethyn has revealed how the show adapted in light of the new regulations.
“In the first episode we employed different techniques when filming the police interview room scenes,” she explained.
“Because the space is limited, and especially because of COVID, only a limited number of people were allowed in the room, usually five.
“We needed to be two metres apart. So a green screen would be put to use. Which means that when Vera is interrogating a suspect, the suspect isn’t actually there! I just had to make you believe that they were. The other actor is behind the green screen and all Kenny and I could see were their feet. It was hysterically funny.”
She added: “And when the suspect is explaining themselves, Vera and Aiden weren’t there. We were tucked behind the green screen delivering our lines. I defy anyone to notice in the final edit. Director Paul Gay is a wizard.”
Blethyn might think fans won’t spot that change, but there is one alteration that she reckons will be rather more noticeable – the number of officers in the incident room.
“There are normally more officers in there,” she explained. “But we were only allowed a limited number of people in any given space because of the COVID protocol.
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“If an extra person wanted to enter the room, someone had to leave meanwhile.”
But she said there is one thing baked into Vera’s personality that made it much easier to adhere to the restrictions.
“It’s also a good thing that Vera has never been one for handshakes,” she said. “She’s got a natural two-metre antenna when it comes to other people!”