ITV is producing a new crime drama called Vera and filming is taking place in Dunstan Steads, Holy Island, Ewesley and Seaton Sluice in Northumberland.
International award-winning actress Brenda Blethyn OBE plays Inspector Vera Stanhope. Blethyn is the star of prestigious productions such as Secrets and Lies, Pride and Prejudice and Atonement. The television adaptation is based on the book by North-East crime writer Ann Cleeves.
The central character is Inspector Vera Stanhope who is obsessive about her work and driven by her own demons. If she’s lonely she doesn’t show it and faces the world with caustic wit, guile and courage. Her trusted and long-suffering colleague is Joe Ashworth; he is her right-hand man and surrogate son. Together, they approach every new case with unparalleled gusto and professionalism.
Set in a contemporary Northumberland close-knit community this engrossing murder mystery centres around the discovery of two beautiful young corpses found floating in water, garlanded with wild flowers.
Vera and Joe are called to the stylised murder scene and as they start to interview the friends and relatives of the victims, sinister secrets are slowly unearthed.
Adrian Shergold whose credits include Persuasion and other ITV dramas including He Kills Coppers, Dirty Filthy Love and Pierrepoint is directing the two-hour drama which is now in production. The executive producer is Kate Bartlett, Controller of Drama at ITVS, and Elwen Rowlands (Wild Sargasso Sea) will produce. The script, which is based on the book Hidden Depths, has been adapted by Paul Rutman who has written on Marple and Lewis.
Laura Mackie says: “Ann Cleeves’ skilfully crafted mystery is a real page turner, full of intrigue and emotion and I’m thrilled we’re bringing it to ITV, especially with Brenda Blethyn taking on the central role. It is a great addition to our strong slate of crime drama”
Kate Bartlett says: “We’re delighted to be in production on a new character driven crime drama, set in the North East. It is also wonderful to be working with the exciting new writer Paul Rutman on his first original commission.”
International bestseller Cleeves was the first author to win the inaugural CWA Duncan Lawrie Dagger, now the biggest crime fiction prize in the world, for her novel Raven Black, part of the Shetland Island quartet. Apart from the Vera Stanhope series, published in the UK by Macmillan, she has also written a series featuring Inspector Ramsay and husband and wife sleuths George and Molly Palmer-Jones.
Vera is expected to be shown soon on ITV.