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Arts & Culture

Vera: Series Two

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.
Courtesy of American Public Television
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.

Airs Thursdays, Nov. 1-15, 2012 at 10 p.m. & Thursday, Dec. 20 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

VERA, ITV1's critically acclaimed crime drama returns, starring multi-award winning actress Brenda Blethyn ("Secrets & Lies"; "Little Voice") as Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope. Based on the best-selling Inspector Stanhope books by renowned writer Ann Cleeves, the new season finds DCI Stanhope and her team facing a series of daunting challenges.

Ann Cleeves Update

On October 18, 2012 at the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards, in the glittering surroundings of Grosvenor House, London, Ann Cleeves was admitted to the Crime Thriller Hall of Fame - alongside such all-time greats as Colin Dexter, Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle!

From delving into the unsettling private life of an old colleague, attempting to break through the code of secrecy in the army, to coping with the emotional impact on a family torn apart by addiction, each enthralling story is enhanced by captivating performances of this troubled yet brilliant detective in action.


Combined with beautifully shot landscapes and atmospheric production, each episode creates a haunting backdrop for Vera's inner turmoil as she discovers hidden truths about her own past, which threaten to change her life forever.

"Ghost Position" airs Thursday, Nov. 1 at 10 p.m. - Vera is reunited — under tragic circumstances — with her first ever sergeant, Stuart Macken. When his house is fire bombed, Stuart is left badly burned while his 18-year-old daughter, Stella, fights for her life in intensive care.

Vera is shocked to see that Stuart is a shadow of the man she knew 20 years before and, when her investigation leads her into unpleasant revelations about his personal life, she is faced with long buried memories of her own.

Vera, battling through grief for her former colleague and friend, is determined to track down the assailant and discover why someone would attempt to kill Stuart and Stella. Does the answer lie in the steep downturn Stuart's personal and professional life has taken?

With Stella in a coma, Vera and Joe pick their way through her former sergeant's recent history and uncover his broken family and the destruction caused by his inability to let them go. Soon they are hot on the trail of a suspect, but a dramatic discovery turns the case on its head, revealing the heart of these catastrophic and heartbreaking events.


"Sandancer" airs Thursday, Nov. 8 at 10 p.m. - DCI Vera Stanhope and DS Joe Ashworth investigate a suspicious death in an army barracks. Although designed to look like he committed suicide, Vera quickly establishes that Staff Sgt. Dev Deverson has been murdered.

Sensing a connection to a soldier named Ollie who was killed in Afghanistan, Vera interviews Dev's loyal comrades Vin and Budgie, and Ollie's grieving family. She establishes that there is a deeply concealed trauma at the heart of the crime, and exposes the complicated turn of events that led to an act of revenge and the death of more than one soldier.

"Silent Voices" airs Thursday, Nov. 15 at 10 p.m. - DCI Vera Stanhope investigates the case of murdered social worker, Jenny Lister. Jenny is considered to have been principled and popular but, in an overworked and understaffed social work system, a notorious case involving the death of a child appears to hold the key to solving the investigation. Through her innate empathy and intuition, Vera pursues the truth until she discovers the real secret at the heart of Jenny's death, and the killer who will stop at nothing to keep a secret.

"A Certain Samaritan" airs Thursday, Dec. 20 at 10 p.m. (Originally scheduled for Nov. 22nd) - DCI Vera Stanhope investigates the murder of 29-year-old Niall Coulter. With those closest to Niall intent upon obscuring the truth, it is not until the body of a drug dealer is found washed up on a Northumberland beach that the dreadful truth begins to emerge about Niall's past.

While coping with revelations from her own past, Vera sifts through evidence of the grief, love, and addiction that characterized Niall's life and deduces that his murderer acted through a selfless and unrequited love of their own.

VERA is on Facebook. Ann Cleeves is on Facebook.

VERA Series Two Trailer
David Leon Interview: Playing Joe Ashworth in ITV drama VERA
Ann Cleeves On Vera Stanhope Novels