Vera (ITV 2011, Brenda Blethyn, David Leon)

With Vera ITV gave us what turned out to be a major new crime drama series and for a change it is a woman in charge, the wonderful Brenda Blethyn who headlines as Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope who along with Sergeant Joe Ashworth tackles murder cases in the heart of a close-knit Northumberland community.

Vera is obsessive about her work and driven by her own demons. If she’s lonely she doesn’t show it and faces the world with caustic wit, guile and courage. Ashworth is her trusted right hand man and surrogate son. Together they approach every new case with unparalleled gusto and professionalism.

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The series is based on the books by Ann Cleeves who despite having won the inaugural CWA Duncan Lawrie Dagger, which is now the biggest crime fiction prize in the world, is probably not as well known as she should be.

Sergeant Joe Ashworth left after the fourth season sith Vera getting a new Detective Sergeant in the shape of Aiden Healy.

Brenda Blethyn and new boy for season five Kenny Doughty as D.S. Aiden Healy
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production details
RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes | NUMBER OF EPISODES: 24 | BROADCAST: Sunday 1 May 2011 – 18 May 2014

NOVELS: Ann Cleeves | PRODUCERS: Elwen Rowlands, Elaine Collins | EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Kate Bartlett, Kate Lewis

cast
BRENDA BLETHYN as Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope
DAVID LEON as Sergeant Joe Ashworth (seasons 1-4)
WUNMI MOSAKU as DC Holly Lawson (seasons 1-2)
JON MORRISON as DC Kenny
PAUL RITTER as Pathologist (seasons 1-3)
KENNY DOUGHTY as Aiden Healy (from season 5)
KINGSLEY BEN-ADIR as Dr Marcus Summer (from season 4)

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.