TV: Skulduggery amid the beauty of the North East coastline

BRENDA BLETHYN as Vera. Pic copyright of ITV.
BRENDA BLETHYN as Vera. Pic copyright of ITV.
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International award winning actress Brenda Blethyn, OBE, makes a welcome return as Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope in the sixth series of the popular crime drama Vera.

Set in contemporary Northumberland and Newcastle, Brenda is reunited with co- stars in four new stand-alone films; Dark Road, Tuesday’s Child, The Moth Catcher and The Sea Glass.

Inspired by the best selling novels and characters created by acclaimed crime writer Ann Cleeves, writer Paul Matthew Thompson has adapted ‘The Moth Catcher’ from the recently published novel of the same title. Martha Hillier and Glen Laker join Paul as part of the writing team. In the opening film, Dark Road, Vera inves.gates the mysterious death of Ann-Marie Richards whose body is discovered by a young girl on the wild and desolate Northumberland moors.

Unbeknown to Vera and her team, this case will have devastating and long lasting effects for all involved. We caught up with star Brenda Blethyn for a quick word.

Q: Vera is now twenty four cases in. Can you work out whodunit?

“No I’m not able to tell. The scripts are extremely well written. And like most thrillers I’m kept guessing until the very end. Actually, neither does Vera “guess” who the culprit is. I’m not an actor who goes to the last page first.”

BRENDA BLETHYN as Vera. Pic copyright of ITV.

BRENDA BLETHYN as Vera. Pic copyright of ITV.

Q: You’re very supportive of author Ann Cleeves. How has your friendship grown over the years?

“I attended the book launch of The Moth Catcher, which the third film is adapted from. But we are both extremely busy and don’t see each other much. I love it when Ann visits the set. I went to her house to enjoy a fabulous curry made by Tim, Ann’s husband. It was absolutely delicious.”

Q: When you first started to film Vera back in 2010 did you ever imagine how successful the series would become?

“You always hope the project you are working on is going to be successful. I thought the character was very interesting, different, and worthy of a series but of course there is no guarantee. So naturally we were all delighted when the first series was commissioned. And thrilled each time it has been re-commissioned.” Q: What can viewers expect from this series?

“More high quality drama. I love that ITV maintain the production values of the series. The art department is second to none.

The stories in the first two episodes are particularly difficult for Vera to come to terms with. And as viewers have come to expect there are many great Northumberland locations.”

Date and time:Vera, ITV, Sunday, 8pm.