Vera is a British crime drama series based on novels of the same name by crime writer Ann Cleeves. It was first broadcast on ITV in May 2011. Eight series have aired to date.
The show stars Brenda Blethyn as Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope. Vera is a middle-aged employee of the fictional Northumberland & City Police, who is obsessive about her work and driven by her own demons. She plods along in a constantly disheveled state, but has a calculating mind and, despite her prickly personality, cares deeply about her work and comrades. Vera forms a close relationship with both of her sergeants, Joe Ashworth (David Leon) and Aiden Healy (Kenny Doughty).
You'll find no romance and no sex here: only beautifully-crafted mysteries and excellent acting. DCI Vera Stanhope is sometimes temperamental, frequently blunt, rude — and then kind and compassionate. As existentially alone and damaged as she is, her work is her therapy and her relationship with her Sargent is a thing of beauty. It is mother-son, sometimes best friends, and occasionally adversarial, though they remain devoted to each other. The stories are complex, character-rich and arise from the personal histories of those involved. Vera's stories are not dependent on gore and shock but are satisfyingly intelligent, thrilling puzzles that draw you in.
In August 2012, Vera was renewed for a third series of four episodes, with both Brenda Blethyn and David Leon confirmed as returning. Filming on the third series finished in February 2013.
In April 2013, ITV renewed Vera for a fourth series, before the third had been broadcast. Filming on the fourth series completed in October 2013, and included an adaptation of the then-unpublished novel On Harbour Street, which was subsequently published in January 2014. This made the opening episode the first since the second series to be a direct adaptation from the Vera novels and leaves The Glass Room and The Seagull as the only novels yet to be filmed.
In June 2014, ITV announced that a fifth series had been commissioned and that David Leon would not be returning to the series. Kenny Doughty was revealed as his successor. Cush Jumbo returned to the main cast following her two episode guest stint in series two, while Lisa Hammond joined as newcomer Helen Milton.
In March 2015, ITV announced that the show had been renewed for a sixth series, with filming commencing in June. The third episode was announced to be an adaptation of the novel The Moth Catcher, which was set to be published in September 2015. Noof McEwan joins the cast following the departure of Cush Jumbo.