Vera (TV series)

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Vera
Series title and an image of the lead character
Genre Crime drama
Created by Ann Cleeves
Starring
Composer(s) Ben Bartlett
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 6
No. of episodes 24 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Elaine Collins
    • Kate Bartlett
    • Kate Lewis
    • Myar Craig
    • Michael Dawson
Producer(s) Elaine Collins
Running time 89-90 minutes
Production company(s) ITV Studios
Release
Original network ITV, STV, UTV
Picture format 16:9 1080i
Audio format Stereo
Original release 1 May 2011 (2011-05-01) – Present

Vera is a British crime drama series based on novels of the same name, written by acclaimed crime writer Ann Cleeves. It was first broadcast on ITV on 1 May 2011, and to date, six series have been broadcast. The series stars Brenda Blethyn as the principal character, DCI Vera Stanhope, alongside her main sidekicks DS Joe Ashworth (David Leon) and DS Aiden Healy (Kenny Doughty). A seventh series is set to air in 2017.

Plot[edit]

Vera follows the work of Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope (Brenda Blethyn), an employee of the fictional Northumberland & City Police, who is obsessive about her work and driven by her own demons. She plods along in a constantly dishevelled state, but has a calculating mind, and despite her irascible personality, she cares deeply about her work and comrades. Vera forms a close relationship with both of her sergeants, Joe Ashworth (David Leon) and later, Aiden Healy (Kenny Doughty), who replaced Ashworth following his decision to move away.[1] Hidden Depths, Telling Tales and The Crow Trap from the first series, and Silent Voices from the second series, are based on the novels of the same names by Ann Cleeves. The episode Sandancers from the second series was due to be broadcast on Sunday, 13 May. However, the episode was pulled from the schedule, with ITV citing: "We regret the late change to the schedule, and the non-appearance of Sunday’s episode of Vera. The storyline of this episode concerns the death of a soldier in Afghanistan. Following the news of the deaths of two servicemen in Helmand province, it was considered appropriate to delay the broadcast of this particular episode."[2] In August 2012, Vera was renewed for a third series of four episodes, with both Brenda Blethyn and David Leon confirmed as returning for the new series.[3] Filming on the third series finished in February 2013. The last three episodes of the series were broadcast in a later timeslot, from 9:00pm–11:00pm.

On 22 April 2013, ITV renewed Vera for a fourth series, before the third series had even been broadcast. Filming on the fourth series completed in October 2013, and included an adaptation of the then-unpublished novel On Harbour Street, which was subsequently published in January 2014, ahead of the TV broadcast. This made the opening episode the first since the second series to be a direct adaptation from the Vera novels and leaves The Glass Room as the only novel yet to be filmed. On 5 June 2014, ITV announced that a fifth series had been commissioned and that David Leon would not be returning to the series. Kenny Doughty was unveiled as his successor. Latisha Knight was announced as executive producer for this season.[4] Cush Jumbo returned to the main cast following her two episode guest stint in series two, while Lisa Hammond joined the cast as newcomer Helen Milton.[5] In March 2015, ITV announced that the show had been renewed for a sixth series, with filming commencing in June. The third episode was announced to be an adaptation of the novel The Moth Catcher, which was set to be published in September 2015.[6] Noof McEwan joins the cast following the departure of Cush Jumbo.[7]

Cast[edit]

Actor Character Years Series
Brenda Blethyn DCI Vera Stanhope 2011– 1.1–
Jon Morrison DC Kenny Lockhart 2011– 1.2–
Riley Jones DC Mark Edwards 2011– 1.4, 2.3, 3.1–
Kingsley Ben-Adir Dr Marcus Sumner 2014– 4.1–
Kenny Doughty DS Aiden Healy 2015– 5.1–
Lisa Hammond IO Helen Milton 2015– 5.2–
Noof McEwan DC Hicham Cherradi 2016– 6.3–
Wunmi Mosaku DC Holly Lawson 2011–12 1.1–2.1
Paul Ritter Dr Billy Cartwright 2011–13 1.1–3.4
David Leon DS Joe Ashworth 2011–14 1.1–4.4
Clare Calbraith DC Rebecca Shepherd 2012–14 2.4, 3.3–4.4
Cush Jumbo DC Bethany Whelan 2012, 2015–16 2.2, 2.3, 5.1–6.1

      Character currently has a major role in the series.

      Character is no longer featured in the series.

Episodes[edit]

Series overview[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired Average UK viewers
(millions)
First aired Last aired
1 4 1 May 2011 (2011-05-01) 22 May 2011 (2011-05-22) 6.60
2 4 22 April 2012 (2012-04-22) 3 June 2012 (2012-06-03) 6.37
3 4 25 August 2013 (2013-08-25) 15 September 2013 (2013-09-15) 6.53
4 4 27 April 2014 (2014-04-27) 18 May 2014 (2014-05-18) 6.42
5 4 5 April 2015 (2015-04-05) 26 April 2015 (2015-04-26) 6.15
6 4 31 January 2016 (2016-01-31) 21 February 2016 (2016-02-21) 7.56

Series 1 (2011)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions)
1 1 "Hidden Depths" Adrian Shergold Paul Rutman 1 May 2011 (2011-05-01) 6.75 [nb 1]
2 2 "Telling Tales" Peter Hoar Paul Rutman 8 May 2011 (2011-05-08) 6.57 [nb 2]
3 3 "The Crow Trap" Farren Blackburn Stephen Brady 15 May 2011 (2011-05-15) 6.58 [nb 3]
4 4 "Little Lazarus" Paul Whittington Paul Rutman 22 May 2011 (2011-05-22) 6.51 [nb 4]

Series 2 (2012)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions)
5 1 "The Ghost Position" Peter Hoar Paul Rutman 22 April 2012 (2012-04-22) 6.12 [19]
When an old colleague of DCI Vera Stanhope, Sergeant Stuart Macken, commits suicide at the hospital where his daughter lies critically injured after his home had been firebombed, the investigation leads to a number of suspects: the daughter's stepfather, a missing protester Sergeant Macken had under surveillance, the protester's pregnant girlfriend and an art teacher. Furthermore, a senior officer's affair with Macken comes to light and a second attempt on the daughter in hospital breaks the case wide open to explain the sergeant's suicide.
6 2 "Silent Voices" Paul Whittington Gaby Chiappe 29 April 2012 (2012-04-29) 6.53 [nb 5]
7 3 "A Certain Samaritan" Ed Bazalgette Paul Rutman 20 May 2012 (2012-05-20) 6.98 [nb 6]
A shoe found in Newcastle matches another found on a dead body found in a skip in Portsmouth. The victim had traces of heroin in his bloodstream, a wallet containing £300 and another man's credit card which seem at odds with his character. The investigation includes a possessive mother, a girlfriend, a homosexual beekeeper dying of leukemia, and a local drug dealer later found dead on a beach. Vera's private memories about her dead father are also stirred when Joe gives her an address for her father's mistress.
8 4 "Sandancers" Julian Holmes Colin Teevan 3 June 2012 (2012-06-03) 5.83 [nb 7]
Revenge is behind the clinical murder of Staff Sgt Deverson, a soldier in charge of a bomb disposal unit, The Sandancers. Deverson's second in command, Ollie, who was killed in Afghanistan by an improvised explosive device, was having an affair with his wife. The wife, Ollie's family, and other members of the unit all come under suspicion and the death of another unit member confuses the investigation which is not helped by the army closing ranks.

Series 3 (2013)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions)
9 1 "Castles in the Air" Will Sinclair Paul Rutman & Gaby Chiappe 25 August 2013 (2013-08-25) 6.29
10 2 "Poster Child" Paul Cotter Paul Rutman 1 September 2013 (2013-09-01) 6.74
11 3 "Young Gods" Dušan Lazarević Gaby Chiappe 8 September 2013 (2013-09-08) 6.54
12 4 "Prodigal Son" Marston Bloom Thaddeus O'Sullivan 15 September 2013 (2013-09-15) 6.54

Series 4 (2014)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions)
13 1 "On Harbour Street" Paul Rutman Thaddeus O'Sullivan 27 April 2014 (2014-04-27) 7.00
Joe's daughter is a witness to the death of a pensioner, seemingly stabbed, on a rush hour train she and her father were travelling on. Her seemingly quiet life turns out to be anything but as Vera's investigation begins to unravel a tangled web of lies and deceit. An old friend of Vera's father appears to hold the key to the entire mystery, which involves unraveling a murder committed thirty years previously, a rape which resulted in a child whose identity has been shrouded in mystery, and an affair which nobody suspected would ever be likely to have taken place. Vera realises that the answer may lie in events which have started to repeat themselvs.
14 2 "Protected" Daikin Marsh Martha Hillier 4 May 2014 (2014-05-04) 6.44
When a young property developer dies on a beach in Whitley Bay, Vera's investigation begins to tread on many toes. It appears that the victim was not only having a secret relationship with his estranged sister, but that he had confronted a local arcade owner, whose son had died at his house many years before, having slipped from a flat roof in a supposed 'burglary'. When the victim's father dies of cardiac arrest, Vera suspects foul play, but it turns out not to be the case. However, a scam involving the family's rental business may hold the key to the motive behind the victim's death. But in order to place all of the pieces of the puzzle together, Vera has to reveal some long buried - and heartbreaking - secrets, leading to a shock revelation which points the team firmly in the direction of the real killer.
15 3 "The Deer Hunters" Will Sinclair Steve Coombes 11 May 2014 (2014-05-11) 6.01
A man killed by a single gunshot wound is found by his car in a quarry. The victim was in Northumberland to sell his recently deceased grandfather's property but at the last minute pulled out of the sale to a wealthy couple who own a nearby deer shoot. A second vehicle is found burnt out with the remains of a dead stag in the back and poaching is suspected.
16 4 "Death of a Family Man" David Richards Martha Hillier 18 May 2014 (2014-05-18) 6.22
A man, outwardly happily married, is discovered in the river with his shoe laces tied together suggesting suicide until the post mortem confirms murder. The victim was an informant for Revenue and Customs, on a case regarding the smuggling of alcohol which widens the suspects from family to include his business associates.

Series 5 (2015)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions)
17 1 "Changing Tides" Marek Losey Martha Hillier 5 April 2015 (2015-04-05) 6.52[nb 8]
18 2 "Old Wounds" Daikin Marsh Martha Hillier 12 April 2015 (2015-04-12) 5.91
19 3 "Muddy Waters" Stewart Svaasand Glen Laker 19 April 2015 (2015-04-19) 6.20
20 4 "Shadows in the Sky" Will Sinclair Martha Hillier 26 April 2015 (2015-04-26) 6.13

Series 6 (2016)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions)
21 1 "Dark Road" Marek Losey Martha Hillier 31 January 2016 (2016-01-31) 7.93
22 2 "Tuesday's Child" Jill Robertson Glen Laker 7 February 2016 (2016-02-07) 7.91
23 3 "The Moth Catcher" Jamie Childs Paul Thompson 14 February 2016 (2016-02-14) 8.14
24 4 "The Sea Glass" Paul Gay Paul Thompson 21 February 2016 (2016-02-21) 7.55

Ratings[edit]

The first series attracted an average consolidated audience of 6.60 million (25% share) over four episodes. The show was subsequently recommissioned by ITV for four more episodes. The second series attracted an average consolidated audience of 6.36 million over four episodes. Vera was later recommissioned for two more series. The third series attracted an average consolidated audience of 6.52 million over four episodes, whilst the fourth series attracted a slightly smaller audience of 6.42 million over four episodes.

International broadcast[edit]

  • In Australia, the first series is broadcast on the Seven Network. Series 2 shown on 7Two from Wednesday 18 July 2012 at 8:30 p.m. Series 3 commenced on ABC1 on Sunday 23 August 2015 at 8:30pm and was immediately followed by series 4. ABC1 reverted to series 1 episode 1 on Sunday 27 December 2015 at 8.30pm. On Subscription TV provider Foxtel, Series 1-5 is aired every weekend at 8:30pm and Series 6 began airing on Monday 7 March 2016 and aired every Monday at 8:30pm on 13th Street Channel 118 with Episode 4 airing on 28 March 2016.
  • In Belgium, Dutch-speaking channel Canvas started airing series one and two.
  • In Canada, Knowledge Network (British Columbia) aired Series 1 beginning in December, 2014.
  • In Denmark, the national public service broadcaster DR aired the four first episodes on their popular channel DR1 late Sunday evenings. In 2013, Season 2 was broadcast on DR1 on Saturday evenings rather than Sunday evenings. Likewise, seasons 3 and 4 were broadcast on Saturday evenings in autumn 2014 on DR1.
  • In the United States, the series is broadcast on public television stations. Series One was also available in the US for online streaming via the Netflix service. Series One, Two, and Three are available for online streaming via Amazon Video, Acorn TV (series 1-5) and Hulu.
  • In Finland the national broadcasting company, Yle, started airing all eight episodes starting on 21 December 2012 on Friday nights at 7 p.m.
  • In New Zealand the series is shown on TV One
  • In Croatia the series is shown on HRT2
  • In Germany the series is shown on ZDFneo
  • In Poland the series is shown on Ale Kino+
  • In Portugal the first series was shown on public broadcaster RTP2. It was repeated and subsequent series shown on Fox Crime from 2013.
  • In Norway the series is shown on public service broadcaster NRK.
  • In France the series is shown on France 3 from Sunday 11 January 2015
  • In Slovenia the series is shown on RTVSLO
  • In Sweden the first series starts on 3 July 2015 on SVT
  • In Africa the series is shown on DSTV ITV Choice, series 6 will be broadcast 24 hours after first showing in the UK

DVD releases[edit]

Series Release dates (Region 2)
1 23 May 2011
2 28 May 2012
3 16 September 2013
4 19 May 2014
5 11 May 2015
6 7 March 2016[32]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 6.465 million on ITV and ITV HD[8] and 285,000 on ITV+1.[9]
  2. ^ 5.71 million on ITV,[10] 480,000 on the ITV HD simulcast,[11] and 374,000 on ITV+1.[12]
  3. ^ 5.90 million on ITV,[13] 463,000 on the ITV HD simulcast,[14] and 212,000 on ITV+1.[15]
  4. ^ 5.87 million on ITV,[16] 484,000 on the ITV HD simulcast,[17] and 154,000 on ITV+1.[18]
  5. ^ 5.75 million on ITV,[20] 461,000 on the ITV HD simulcast,[21] and 318,000 on ITV+1.[22]
  6. ^ 6.08 million on ITV,[23] 461,000 on the ITV HD simulcast,[24] and 436,000 on ITV+1.[25]
  7. ^ 5.14 million on ITV,[26] 445,000 on the ITV HD simulcast,[27] and 240,000 on ITV+1.[28]
  8. ^ 5.31 million on ITV,[29] 644,000 on the ITV HD simulcast,[30] and 563,000 on ITV+1.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.tv.com/shows/vera/
  2. ^ http://www.tvhelp.org.uk/audes/schedulebytime.php?date=120513
  3. ^ "All Things Law And Order: ITV Renews Law & Order UK; Agyeman & Walter Not Returning". 
  4. ^ http://www.itv.com/presscentre/press-releases/filming-commences-brenda-blethyn-returns-fifth-series-itv’s-popular-crime-drama-vera#
  5. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R305JQbT4TA%7CTitle=ITV Where Drama Lives Promo Winter 2015
  6. ^ "Vera: Series 5 Debuting, Series 6 Commissioned". 
  7. ^ "TV's Vera Stanhope - from the books by Ann Cleeves". 
  8. ^ "Weekly Top 30 Programmes: ITV w/e 1 May 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  9. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV+1 w/e 1 May 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  10. ^ "Weekly Top 30 Programmes: ITV w/e 8 May 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  11. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV HD w/e 8 May 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  12. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV+1 w/e 8 May 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  13. ^ "Weekly Top 30 Programmes: ITV w/e 15 May 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  14. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV HD w/e 15 May 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  15. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV+1 w/e 15 May 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  16. ^ "Weekly Top 30 Programmes: ITV w/e 22 May 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  17. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV HD w/e 22 May 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  18. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV+1 w/e 22 May 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  19. ^ "Consolidated figures: 16–22 April 2012" (PDF). Broadcast. 2012-05-03. Retrieved 2012-05-05. 
  20. ^ "Weekly Top 30 Programmes: ITV w/e 29 April 2012". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  21. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV HD w/e 29 April 2012". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  22. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV+1 w/e 29 April 2012". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  23. ^ "Weekly Top 30 Programmes: ITV w/e 20 May 2012". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  24. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV HD w/e 20 May 2012". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  25. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV+1 w/e 20 May 2012". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  26. ^ "Weekly Top 30 Programmes: ITV w/e 3 June 2012". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  27. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV HD w/e 3 June 2012". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  28. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV+1 w/e 3 June 2012". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  29. ^ "Weekly Top 30 Programmes: ITV w/e 5 April 2015". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  30. ^ "Broadcast - Digital Edition - 17 April 2015". Broadcastnow.co.uk. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  31. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV+1 w/e 5 April 2015". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  32. ^ "Vera: Series 6 [DVD]". Amazon. Retrieved 5 July 2016. 

External links[edit]