Another case to crack for Vera in new series
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