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Vera: Series One

Airs Thursdays, August 9 - 30 & Sept. 27, 2012 at 10:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Academy Award nominee and BAFTA Brenda Blethyn ("Secrets and Lies," "Atonement") stars as Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope in the new American Public Television-distributed detective series VERA.

Academy Award nominee and BAFTA Brenda Blethyn ("Secrets and Lies," "Atonement") stars as Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope in the American Public Television-distributed, four-part detective series VERA. Vera is an experienced and brilliant murder investigator in the North East England county of Northumberland. Kind-hearted but an inherent loner, Vera freely admits she can become obsessed with her job; driven by her own demons, the detective faces the world with caustic wit, guile and courage.

David Leon as Sergeant Joe Ashworth, and Academy Award nominee and BAFTA Brenda Blethyn as Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope in the new American Public Television-distributed detective series VERA.

Above: David Leon as Sergeant Joe Ashworth, and Academy Award nominee and BAFTA Brenda Blethyn as Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope in the new American Public Television-distributed detective series VERA.

"Hidden Depths" (Episode One) airs Thursday, August 9 at 10:30 p.m. - After two beautiful young people are killed in the same manner – placed in water and surrounded by flowers – DCI Vera Stanhope knows that she must find the murderer before he strikes again.

With the help of her trusted team, primarily Sergeant Joe Ashworth, she unpicks the complex and dysfunctional relationships amongst a group of bird-watching friends.

As they protect and ultimately betray each other, she gradually discovers that an innocent act of teenage blackmail, and an illicit affair involving one of the group, has driven someone to kill in order to preserve the status quo.

"Telling Tales" (Episode Two) airs Thursday, August 23 at 10:30 p.m. - It was only after Jeanie Long's suicide hit the headlines that evidence came to light exonerating her for the murder of 15-year-old Abigail Mantel 11 years before. Jeanie had always insisted she was innocent but no one, including her own family, believed her.

Vera sets out to retrospectively resolve the mystery of Abigail’s murder, delving into the secrets and lies of a small community. In her inimitable style, Vera strips back the varnish disguising the truth, but not before the case takes a violent and unexpected turn with another — potentially connected — murder.

"The Crow Trap" (Episode Three) airs Thursday, August 30 at 10:30 p.m. - Spooky and elemental, "The Crow Trap" is set in the dramatic Northumberland countryside. A murder at a remote cottage takes DI Vera Stanhope back to a place full of childhood memories and an unsolved case from her earlier career.

Delving into the local politics surrounding a controversial proposal to dig a quarry, the detective team finds motives in the unlikeliest of places, shadowy liaisons and conflicting sympathies, until they realize that the truth could be hidden within the land itself.

"Little Lazarus" (Episode Four) airs Thursday, September 27 at 10:30 p.m. - A woman is brutally murdered in a hedgerow. Her son escapes the violent attack, only to fall through the ice of a frozen pond, where Vera finds him many minutes later. She wades in and pulls him out and, against all the odds, the boy survives.

Vera and her team unravel deadly secrets and their murderous consequences — fuelled by power, money, and above all a mother's love. Usually awkward and disinterested around children, the loner detective finds a kindred spirit in the boy and begins to realize along the way that the key to the investigation lies deep in the child's memory.

VERA is on Facebook.

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Preview: Vera: Hidden Depths (Episode One)

Above: Academy Award nominee and BAFTA Brenda Blethyn (Secrets and Lies; Atonement) stars as Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope in the American Public Television-distributed detective series VERA.

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Preview: Vera: Telling Tales (Episode Two)

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Preview: Vera: The Crow Trap (Episode Three)

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Preview: Vera: Little Lazarus (Episode Four)

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Ann Cleeves On Vera Stanhope Novels

Above: Award-winning crime writer Ann Cleeves talks about the TV adaptation of her Vera Stanhope series - now the major ITV drama VERA, the inspiration behind her unlikely heroine, and her next book.

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