[F]ollowing the huge success of series eight, award winning actress, Brenda Blethyn dons her infamous 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.
With filming underway for the first episode, entitled Blind Spot written by Paul Logue, Brenda is joined by a strong ensemble cast which includes Peter Davison (Toast of London, Doctor Who), James Atherton (Coronation Street, Porters), Jodie McNee (Britannia, Little Boy Blue), Adrian Lukis (Collateral, The Crown) and Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones, Three Girls),
Bright and ambitious, Joanne Caswell is a newly qualified HMP forensic psychologist working in Newcastle. When her body is found dumped on a landfill site far from home, Vera alights on the fact that Joanne had been looking into the crime of a former patient who had recently committed suicide. Vera must follow the trail that Joanne has left behind to uncover who might have had a motive to kill her.
Kenny Doughty returns as Detective Sergeant Aiden Healy, who over the years has proved himself to be a strong and reliable partner to DCI Stanhope. Completing Vera’s team is Jon Morrison who plays DC Kenny Lockhart, Riley Jones who plays DC Mark Edwards and television newcomer Ibinabo Jack who plays Vera’s newest recruit, DC Jacqueline Williams, who transferred from the Fraud Squad in series eight.
The four self-contained crime stories have once again been inspired by the best-selling novels and characters created by acclaimed crime writer Ann Cleeves, who received the Diamond Dagger Award at the Crime Writer’s Association in 2017 for a lifetime achievement for sustained excellence.
The fourth episode, entitled The Seagull, has been adapted from Ann’s latest book of the same title. Vera has to open up a cold case when she discovers not one but two skeletons hidden in a culvert near Whitley Bay. One of the skeletons is suspected to be a missing person, Robbie Marshall. And when an old acquaintance of Robbie’s is murdered in the present, Vera suspects that the two deaths must be connected.
Made by Silverprint Pictures for ITV, series nine will be produced by Will Nicholson and directed by Paul Gay, Lawrence Gough, Carolina Giammetta and Declan O’Dwyer. Regular series writers Paul Matthew Thompson and Martha Hillier also return to the production.
Silverprint Pictures Executive Producer, Phil Hunter, returns for his third consecutive series.
“It’s always a thrill to be back in production on VERA after months of developing the stories and scripts. It’s fantastic seeing ‘the VERA family’ re-united on Tyneside, led by the amazing Brenda Blethyn. The love there is for VERA, continues to inspire and fuel the enthusiasm of everyone involved in the making of the show. Filming in the region is a joy and the wonderful thing is that there is still so much more to explore!”
In the UK VERA performs consistently for ITV. Series eight averaged 8.4 million viewers and had a 30% share. It was the highest rating drama on ITV for the first quarter of 2018.