Brenda Blethyn is back as Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope in a sixth season of Vera.
Set in contemporary Northumberland and Newcastle, ITV’s crime drama reunites Blethyn with co‐ stars Kenny Doughty, Cush Jumbo, Jon Morrison, Kingsley Ben‐Adir, Lisa Hammond and Riley Jones in four new stand‐alone films.
Guest stars in Season 6 include Sharon Duce, Kelly Gough, Faye Marsay, Sean Gilder, Tanya Franks, Melanie Kilburn, Jack Ellis, Chanel Cresswell, Alex Ferns and David Calder.
Vera is inspired by the best selling novels and characters created by acclaimed crime writer Ann Cleeves.
Episode 1: ‘Dark Road’
Sunday 31 January 2016, 8pm
DCI Vera Stanhope (Brenda Blethyn) investigates the mysterious murder of a fifty six year old grandmother, discovered by a young girl on the wild and desolate Northumberland moors.
The body is swiftly identified as Anne-Marie Richards, recently returned from Scotland to reconcile with her two daughters, Nicole McKendrick (Kelly Gough) and Christine Withers (Faye Marsay). A 999 call placed by Anne-Marie on the night of the murder coupled with the disturbed state of her cottage, suggests a possible abduction by someone she knew.
The fractious relationship between Anne-Marie and her family rouses Vera’s suspicion; could an old feud be motive for murder? But who is posting abusive comments about her online? What is her connection to a Newcastle businessman and why has she been paying regular visits to a run down town on the coast? As Vera questions the local community, she discovers that Anne-Marie was a divisive figure, no stranger to controversy or conflict in her colourful past.
Aided by DS Aiden Healy (Kenny Doughty), DC Bethany Whelan (Cush Jumbo) and DC Kenny Lockhart (Jon Morrison), Vera must use all her tenacity and instinct to uncover the dark truth at the heart of the matter, with devastating and far reaching consequences for her team.
Episode 2: ‘Tuesday’s Child‘
Sunday 7 February 2016, 8pm
DCI VERA STANHOPE (Brenda Blethyn) investigates the death of Jamie Thorne, a local lad whose body is found wrapped in plastic sheets at a rural teenage hang out.
Pathologist MARCUS SUMMER (Kingsley Ben-Adir) quickly identifies the cause of death as trauma to the cranium. But with no sign of a weapon, the only clues Vera has to work with are a crucifix found on the body, and ticket stubs for Pevensey’s funfair in Jamie’s pocket.
Owner BOBBY PEVENSEY (Sean Gilder) and wife MORVEN (Julia Ford) reveal that Jamie worked for them and lived with fellow employee HARRIS KIRKE (Ben Ryan-Davies) in a caravan onsite. A bible found in Jamie’s lodgings leads Vera and DC AIDEN HEALY (Kenny Doughty) to Jamie’s local church, where Vicar GEORGE HALEFORD (Joe Dixon) and his wife confirm that Jamie stayed with them a year ago after they found him sleeping rough.
Vera is left wondering why Jamie was on the streets when his mother GRACE (Jo Hartley) and husband PHILLIP MARSH (Jason Done) a seemingly happy family unit, live only a few miles away.
The investigation takes a surprising turn when new forensic evidence implicates BRENDAN HALESFORD, the vicar’s estranged son with a criminal past.
As suspects mount and conflicting alibis muddy the waters, Vera and her trusted team including DS KENNY LOCKHART (Jon Morrison) must pull together to find the hidden story behind the murder of this kindly young man.
Episode 3: ‘The Moth Catcher’
Sunday 14 February 2016, 8pm
DCI VERA STANHOPE (Brenda Blethyn) investigates the murder of twenty two year old ALEX GARTSIDE, victim of a hit and run in a remote Northumberland Valley. Inside the manor house Alex had been minding, Vera and DC AIDEN HEALY (Kenny Doughty) make a grim discovery: the body of moth enthusiast MARTIN NIELSON stabbed to death on the dining room floor.
Captivated by the strange circumstances surrounding these two murders, Vera and her team, now joined by new DC HICHAM CHERRADI (Noof McEwan), begin to build a clearer picture of what happened the night before.
Grounds keeper HARRY BENTON (Aden Gillett) and new neighbours BRIAN HALLUM (Jack Ellis) claim not to have seen or heard anything unusual that evening. But local barmaid, LIZZIE HALLUM (Harriet Cains) soon confirms that Martin and Alex were at the same pub the night they were murdered. Vera suspects that they had arranged to meet the night before, but why?
Eager to find a concrete connection between Alex and Martin, Vera and her trusted team turn their attention back to the victim’s lives. Delving into Martin’s past, they learn that he was a solitary figure who lived with his mother and volunteered at a charity for ex-offenders. Having served a twelve-month sentence as a young offender, could Martin have fallen back in with a bad crowd?
The spotlight soon turns to Alex however, when forensic evidence places her at the scene of Martin’s murder. But with no sign of a murder weapon at either crime scene, and no reasonable motive, Vera is convinced a third person is involved.
As Vera reasons other possible scenarios, a van identified speeding away from the crime scene diverts suspicion to JASON McNEIVE (James Nelson-Joyce), boyfriend of barmaid Lizzie who is honest about having resented his girlfriend’s friendship with Alex Gartside. But is this motive for murder?
Armed with this information, the investigation heads towards its startling conclusion as Vera expertly pieces together the tragic events spanning 20 years, finally outwitting the killer into confessing his crimes.
Episode 4: ‘The Sea Glass’
Sunday 21 February 2016, 8pm
DCI VERA STANHOPE (Brenda Blethyn) investigates the mysterious death of fisherman Tommy Stonnall, found tangled in the nets of a North Sea trawler.
Tommy’s sons LEE (Philip Hill Pearson) and STEVE (Ciaran Griffiths) believe the answer lies in a long running feud with JAY CONNOCK (Mark Stobbart), the owner of the local fish market. But since he’s been missing for six weeks, and only dead for twenty-four hours, it’s unclear where Tommy Stonnall has been all this time.
With the help of Harbour Master, FRANK MCAFFEE (David Calder) Vera identifies where the body went into the water. Retracing Tommy’s last steps to a run down service station café, Vera and DS AIDEN HEALY (Kenny Doughty) approach waitress ZAHRA SULEIMAN (Yusra Warsama), who escapes before they can question her further. Meanwhile, new recruit DC HICHAM CHERRADI (Noof McEwan) makes a connection to local trawler man MICHAEL QUINN (Alex Ferns) and Tommy’s son LEE. Is this a business deal gone wrong?
When the boat of Tommy’s sister in law ANNA MARSHBROOK (Caroline Loncq) goes up in flames, the team believe there may be more than meets the eye to this close-knit family. Using all her trademark tenacity and investigative skill, Vera digs deep into this proud fishing community and discovers things are never quite as straightforward as they seem.
Watch the trailer…
Are you looking forward to Season 6? Let us know below…