Based on the bestselling Inspector Stanhope books by award-winning writer Ann Cleeves, crime drama Vera returns to ITV for a seventh season.
Set around Newcastle and the stunning Northumberland countryside, DCI Vera Stanhope (Brenda Blethyn) and her team are drawn into four more compelling mysteries, including the death of a wildlife ranger, left alone overnight on a remote and inaccessible island.
Blethyn is joined again by Kenny Doughty, Jon Morrison, Noof McEwan, Christopher Colquhoun, Lisa Hammond and Riley Jones.
Guest stars in the four new stand-alone films include Suzanne Packer (Casualty), Robert Pugh (Doctor Foster), Ace Bhatti (In The Club), Struan Rodger (Prey), Annie Hulley (Emmerdale), Emily Joyce (Mutual Friends) and Steve Evets (Looking for Eric).
Episode 1: ‘Natural Selection’
Sunday 19 March 2017, 9pm
DCI Vera Stanhope (Brenda Blethyn) is drawn into a suspicious death on Ternstone, a remote and inaccessible island off the coast of Northumberland, home only to numerous species of birds and the rangers who observe them. The last thing anyone expected to see was a body, cruelly washed up on the shore.
Gemma Wyatt, 28, was an experienced ranger who lived and worked on Ternstone for the Northumbria Wildlife Trust. While her devastated fiancé, Ryan (Matthew Wilson), and colleagues, led by Head Ranger Sophia (Suzanne Packer), believe Gemma’s death was an accident, marks found on her body quickly prove otherwise. But as Gemma was left alone on the island overnight, the question remains, who could have made the treacherous journey out to sea and up the island’s impenetrable coastline to kill her, and why?
As suspicions turn to Gemma’s family and workmates, Vera starts to piece together an altogether different portrait of the popular and successful ranger, aided by DS Aiden Healy (Kenny Doughty), DC Hicham Cherradi (Noof McEwan), DC Kenny Lockhart (Jon Morrison) and the latest addition to the team, pathologist Dr Anthony Carmichael (Christopher Colquhoun). In the process, Vera will unearth a web of secrets, rivalries and years of buried resentment that will lead her to the killer.
Episode 2: ‘Dark Angel’
Sunday 26 March 2017, 9pm
The body of a young man is discovered face down in a river by Thrunton Woods, bludgeoned to death. But with no ID on the body, tracing the victim’s identity proves difficult for DCI Vera Stanhope (Brenda Blethyn) and her team. Vera is forced to make headway with the only clues they have: a mourning ring worn around the young man’s neck, needle marks on the body, and a drugs wrap with a distinctive stamp – ‘Dark Angel’.
Tracing the stamp draws Vera to Gateshead and into Newcastle’s criminal underbelly, where it transpires the victim, Nathan, had several ties with people both dangerous and vulnerable; people with good reason to want Nathan out of the picture.
But the investigation takes an unexpected turn when a witness sighting leads Vera and DS Aiden Healy (Kenny Doughty) to the scene of an old crime: a remote farm in which a brutal murder took place some 13 years ago. DC Kenny Lockhart (Jon Morrison) remembers the case well – he helped put the perpetrator, Eddie Thurston (Robert Pugh), behind bars. Could there be a link between Nathan’s murder and the historic crime?
The investigation intensifies when Vera discovers anomalies, which throw new light on events both past and present. A betrayal lies at the heart of the crime, and Vera must catch the killer before they can harm again.
Episode 3: ‘Broken Promise’
Sunday 2 April 2017, 9pm
DCI Vera Stanhope (Brenda Blethyn) is called to the University of Northumberland when Jamie Marshall, a young, promising journalism student, plummets to his death from the top of a disused faculty building.
With no eyewitnesses and no immediate leads, Vera turns to friends and family to glean all she can about Jamie, and to discover who might have wanted him dead.
Vera’s investigation delves further into Jamie’s academic and personal life, as it becomes apparent that all is not as it seems. His sunny persona is betrayed by vlog posts that cast Jamie in a different light altogether, with anger and resentment bubbling to the surface.
But what was Jamie rallying against? And, in writing part-time for the local newspaper, could this bright, popular student have made enemies that would want to silence him?
Facing deception from all quarters, Vera must unravel the tangled web of relationships in Jamie’s life before an unexpected chain of events leads to disastrous consequences.
Episode 4: ‘The Blanket Mire’
Sunday 9 April 2017, 9pm
Surveyors out on the Northumberland moors make a shocking discovery: the body of a young woman buried beneath the soil.
On the scene, assumptions are that this is the body of local teenager, Mia Hinkin, who disappeared six weeks ago. DCI Vera Stanhope is forced to deliver the terrible news to a broken family, desperate for answers.
Mia left the family’s farm against their wishes to attend the Eastbury music festival, but never returned.
As the investigation progresses, tension mounts within the tight-knit community of Brindale, as its residents throw suspicion on the identity of Mia’s attacker.
With her body found so close to home, Vera must re-trace the vulnerable young woman’s footsteps from her isolated rural life and into a dark and tangled web of deceit to track down her killer.
Watch the trailer…
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