It’s been something of an open secret that ITV had renewed their Brenda Blethyn fronted crime drama Vera for a ninth season (the broadcaster had not formally announced that past few recommissioning cycles). They made that official today, with the announcement that filming is underway on the new season.
Four episodes have been ordered for season nine, matching the size of the order for all eight prior seasons. Based on the series of novels written by Ann Cleeves, Vera follows experienced Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope (Blethyn) as she tries to crack some of the toughest cases in Northumberland.
In addition to Blethyn, returning cast members include: Kenny Doughty as Detective Sergeant Aiden Healy, Jon Morrison as DC Kenny Lockhart, Riley Jones as DC Mark Edwards and Ibinabo Jack as DC Jacqueline Williams. The series is produced for ITV by Silverprint Pictures, with Will Nicholson serving as the series producer. Paul Gay, Lawrence Gough, Carolina Giammetta and Declan O’Dwyer are attached to direct. Phil Hunter is the executive producer.
The opening episode of the show’s ninth season, titled Blind Spot, explores the case of Joanne Caswell, a newly qualified HMP forensic psychologist working in Newcastle. When her body is found dumped on a landfill site far from home, Vera alights on the fact that Joanne had been looking into the crime of a former patient who had recently committed suicide. Vera must follow the trail that Joanne has left behind to uncover who might have had a motive to kill her.
Guest cast lined up to star in the episode includes Peter Davison (Toast of London, Doctor Who), James Atherton (Coronation Street, Porters), Jodie McNee (Britannia, Little Boy Blue), Adrian Lukis (Collateral, The Crown) and Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones, Three Girls). Blind Spot was penned by Paul Logue.
Additionally, the final episode of the season, titled The Seagull, has been adapted from Ann Cleeve’s newest novel. Vera has to open up a cold case when she discovers not one but two skeletons hidden in a culvert near Whitley Bay. One of the skeletons is suspected to be a missing person, Robbie Marshall. And when an old acquaintance of Robbie’s is murdered in the present, Vera suspects that the two deaths must be connected.
“It’s always a thrill to be back in production on Vera after months of developing the stories and scripts”, said executive producer Phil Hunter. “It’s fantastic seeing ‘the Vera family’ re-united on Tyneside, led by the amazing Brenda Blethyn. The love there is for Vera, continues to inspire and fuel the enthusiasm of everyone involved in the making of the show. Filming in the region is a joy and the wonderful thing is that there is still so much more to explore!”