Brenda Blethyn reprises her role as D.C.I. Vera Stanhope in a new season of Vera on ITV, based on the characters created by novelist Ann Cleeves.
Blethyn is joined by Jon Morrison (Nil By Mouth) as D.C. Kenny Lockhart, Cush Jumbo (Torchwood: Children of Earth) as D.C. Bethany Whelan, Kingsley Ben-Adir (City Slacker) as pathologist, Dr. Marcus Summer and Riley Jones as D.C. Mark Edwards.
Kenny Doughty (Stella) also joins the show as DS Aiden Healy, replacing David Leon as D.S Joe Ashworth.
Episode 1: ‘Changing Tides’
Sunday 5 April 2015, 8pm
DCI Vera Stanhope (Brenda Blethyn) investigates a suspicious fire that rips through a holiday park on the Northumberland coast. Three cabins are destroyed and the body of a woman is found inside. Park owner, Jim Viner (Wayne Foskett) returns from a weekend away with his daughter Clare (Katherine Rose Morley). He quickly suspects the body is his sister, Deena, but he can’t explain why she was there and not at the family home. Long-term resident Malcolm (Dorian Lough) returns to find his cabin has also burned to the ground.
A police report reveals Clare’s boyfriend Ryan (Elliott James Langridge) and his stags had been partying near the caravan hours before the blaze started. But where are they now? And where is Deena’s best friend Sally? When Vera discovers Deena was locked in her cabin, she knows this is more than just an accident.
Supported by her trusted team, DS Aiden Healey (Kenny Doughty), DC Bethany Whelan (Cush Jumbo) and DC Kenny Lockhart (Jon Morrison) Vera must use all her tenacity and instinct to expose the deep rift at the heart of this fractured family and ultimately discover the truth behind Deena’s tragic fate.
Episode 2: ‘Old Wounds’
Sunday 12 April 2015, 8pm
When the remains of a teenage girl are found half-buried in a Northumberland wood, DCI Vera Stanhope (Brenda Blethyn) and her team find themselves investigating a thirty-year old mystery.
The remains are identified as those of miner’s daughter Carrie Telling, who vanished during the strike clashes in 1984. A politically minded, rebellious teen, her father Bill (George Costigan) insisted Carrie would never run away but his protests fell on deaf ears.
The case brings Vera back in contact with her old boss, John Warrick (Daragh O’Malley) who is shocked to learn he may have dropped the ball. Like everyone else, he had assumed that the young girl had run away to London after problems at home.
Carrie went missing at a time when tension between the police and locals was at an all time high but is that enough reason for the murder of a young woman go unnoticed?
A credit card discovered on the remains leads Vera to a clothes company run by Arjun Banerjee (Nasser Memarzia) and his daughter Aisha (Sudha Bhuchar). Arjun reveals that a company card was stolen at the time by a young worker called Michael Tennant – now the local MP. When Vera tracks Michael (Martin Marquez) down, he admits to a teenage crush on Carrie. He claims it was Carrie who stole the card and he took the blame, but denies that their relationship was anything other than platonic. Is Michael’s unrequited crush a possible motive for murder?
When news footage is retrieved from the miner’s protests, Carrie is spotted taking photographs in the background – it appears that she got caught up in the unrest the day she disappeared, contradicting her dad’s assertion that she went directly home. So why did Bill lie about Carrie’s whereabouts that day?
Local neighbour Stan Conville (Philip Martin Brown) points Vera in the direction of Carrie’s estranged mother Beryl (Angela Bruce) who reveals that she fell out with her daughter after Carrie discovered her mother was having an affair. Could this relationship be connected to Carrie’s disappearance and murder?
Photographs recovered from Carrie’s camera yield further revelations for Vera. What did Carrie discover the day she vanished that ultimately led to her death? Supported by her team, DS Aiden Healey (Kenny Doughty), DC Bethany Whelan (Cush Jumbo) and DC Kenny Lockhart (Jon Morrison), Vera finds herself searching deep into the troubled history of a mining town to expose the truth behind Carrie Telling’s disappearance and murder.
Episode 3: ‘Muddy Waters’
Sunday 19 April 2015, 8pm
DCI Vera Stanhope (Brenda Blethyn) and partner DS Aiden Healy (Kenny Doughty) investigate the death of an unidentified man dredged up from a slurry pit on a remote Northumberland farm.
Owner Danny Pryor (Mark Bonnar) and his right hand man Milosh Beqiri (Velibor Topic) are forced to admit they use a number of illegal Serbian workers. But Goran Vlasic (Greg 11 Kolpakchi) has fled to the nearest port and Zamir Ilic (George Lasha) is lying in his bedsit with a gunshot wound to the neck.
A faded tattoo identifies the slurry man as Jack Reeves, a young man from the local travelling community. But what is his connection to the Serbians and Pryor Farm?
His father Billy Reeves (Mark Womack) insists he hasn’t seen his son since he broke off his engagement to teenager Sigourney O’Brien (Aisling Franciosi). But would her father, Frank (Lee Ross) go as far as murder to avenge the honour of his daughter?
An old police report links Jack to a fight in a pub owned by Danny Pryor’s brother, Robert (Jim Sturgeon) and exposes the real reason Jack broke off his wedding to Sigourney. For months he has been hiding out in a mobile home on woodland close to Pryor farm.
Fingerprints quickly reveal someone else has been inside the caravan…Toby Pryor, the only child of Danny and his wife Karen (Alex Reid).
Aided by her trusted team, DC Bethany Whelan (Cush Jumbo) and DC Kenny Lockhart (Jon Morrison), Vera must join the dots between Jack Reeves and Zamir Ilic and expose the tragic truth at the heart of Pryor Farm.
Episode 4: ‘Shadows in the Sky’
Sunday 26 April 2015, 8pm
Dock worker Owen Thorne (Keith Newby) plunges from the roof of a multi-storey car park whilst picking up daughter Lila from her school prom. For DCI Vera Stanhope (Brenda Blethyn) everything points to foul play but his wife Ellie (Nadine Marshall) insists he was a good man and loving father to their son Cameron (Daniel Ezra) and Lila (Carla Melaco), who they are in the process of adopting.
The team quickly discover a dispute at work over the death of a young lad. At the docks, office manager Gloria (Racquel Cassidy) confirms Tom McKittrick died when a safety rig failed. Everyone believes Owen was to blame, despite an inquest failing to find fault. His father Mick (Rob Jarvis) admits he wanted revenge but his alibi holds.
Elsewhere Kenny (Jon Morrison) finds CCTV footage of John arguing with a local drug dealer Logan Tilley (Niall Greig Fulton) minutes before he died. Ellie is shocked to discover that Logan is in fact Lila’s estranged father, desperate for reconciliation.
As Logan is placed elsewhere at the time of death, John’s phone reveals photos and texts to Hannah Ferris (Levi Heaton) a young woman he met through his work with a homeless charity. Vera spots an inconsistency in Ellie’s statement, suggesting she was less sure of her husband’s fidelity than she’s admitting.
A hidden parking ticket reveals John may have been responsible for the death at the docks after all. And when Vera offers Mick McKittrick a glimmer of hope, someone steps forward with evidence of a fight between John and his son Cameron in the lead up to his death. But why did Cameron feel so betrayed by his father?
Aided by her team, DS Aiden Healy (Kenny Doughty) and DC Bethany Whelan (Cush Jumbo), Vera must use all her investigative skill and ingenuity to expose the truth behind Owen Thorne’s death and ultimately stop his killer claiming another victim.
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