Vera, Sunday, ITV, 9pm
Following the huge success of series eight, award-winning actress, Brenda Blethyn, dons her famous mac and hat to play the unorthodox but brilliantly perceptive Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope, in four chilling feature-length episodes set against the backdrop of the North East.
In Episode one DCI Vera (Stanhope) is called to the tragic scene of the murder of Joanne Caswell. Joanne’s body is found dumped on a landfill site. Dr. Pathologist Malcolm Donahue (Paul Kaye) concludes that this has compromised any clear forensic links to the circumstances of her death. Joanne was a trainee forensic psychologist with the promise of a bright future and a sterling reputation. Despite rifts between her parents (Adrian Lukis and Amira Ghazalla), Joanne’s life seems to be perfect and doesn’t indicate any reason why someone might have a motive to kill her.
Eventually, Vera alights on the fact that Joanne had been investigating the original crime of a former prisoner. Vera must continue to follow the trail that Joanne had left behind to uncover who might have had a motive to kill her.
Brenda Blethyn told us about the upcoming episodes: “We have four really compelling and emotional stories in series nine.
“In Cuckoo, episode two, a teenage boy is found dead in a coastal town far from his home. Vera and the team are faced with the body of a partygoer who is found drowned in episode three, Cold River, and the final story, adapted from Ann Cleeves’ latest novel of the same title, The Seagull, a skeleton is discovered during some building excavations of a notorious nightclub and the team discover a link to a recent murder.
“I had already read Ann’s book, The Seagull, a fabulous read. When I heard it was being adapted for an episode, I didn’t read it again because inevitably the story would change somewhat in the script. Reading the book leisurely would take a good few hours, but an episode is over in 90 minutes so we were filming the script not the novel.”