An­other case to crack for Vera in new se­ries

Macclesfield Express - - TVWEEK -

TV is the new film. It’s been said on many oc­ca­sions, but it does seem to be true. In the past, ac­tors al­ways as­pired to get into movies, but not any more. In fact, th­ese days, they’re clam­our­ing to be seen on the small screen, where the best scripts and juici­est char­ac­ters seem to ap­pear. Brenda Blethyn has cer­tainly en­joyed cinema suc­cess, bag­ging Os­car nom­i­na­tions for her per­for­mances in Se­crets & Lies and Lit­tle Voice. But th­ese days she’s more likely to be seen solv­ing crimes in Vera (Sun­day, ITV, 8pm), which starts a new, four-part run this week. It’s the sixth se­ries based on the best-sell­ing nov­els by Ann Cleeves; the lat­est, The Moth Catcher, was re­leased ear­lier this month, and an adap­ta­tion of it forms one of the forth­com­ing episodes. “I at­tended the book launch of The Moth Catcher, which the third film is adapted from,” says Blethyn, who is now fast friends with Cleeves. “I love it when Ann vis­its the set. I went to her house to en­joy a fab­u­lous curry made by Tim, Ann’s hus­band. It was ab­so­lutely de­li­cious.” The ac­tress claims she is thrilled by the show’s suc­cess. “You al­ways hope the pro­ject you are work­ing on is go­ing to be suc­cess­ful,” she ex­plains. “I thought the char­ac­ter was very in­ter­est­ing, dif­fer­ent, and wor­thy of a se­ries but of course there is no guar­an­tee. So nat­u­rally we were all de­lighted when the first se­ries was com­mis­sioned.” So, what can we ex­pect from the lat­est run? “More high qual­ity drama. I love that ITV main­tain the pro­duc­tion val­ues of the se­ries. The art depart­ment is se­cond to none. The sto­ries in the first two episodes are par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult for Vera to come to terms with. And as view­ers have come to ex­pect there are many great Northum­ber­land lo­ca­tions.” The se­ries be­gins with an episode en­ti­tled Dark Road, in which Vera in­ves­ti­gates the mur­der of 56-year-old grand­mother Anne-Marie Richards, whose body has been dis­cov­ered on the wild and des­o­late Northum­ber­land moors. She had a dif­fi­cult re­la­tion­ship with her fam­ily and had re­cently re­turned to the area in a bid to rec­on­cile with her two daugh­ters – could one of her rel­a­tives have killed her, or will the cul­prit turn out to be some­body from her colour­ful past? A 999 call made by Anne-Marie on the night of her mur­der, as well as the dis­turbed state of her cot­tage, sug­gests that the killer is very close to home.

Mur­der mys­tery Brenda Blethyn heads the cast

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