ITV announces new crime drama from the creator of Shetland and Vera

Award-winning novelist Ann Cleeves’ new creation – Detective Matthew Venn – is coming to television.

The creator of Shetland and Vera released the first novel in her new series – The Long Call – in 2019, and now it has been picked up by ITV for adaptation.

The story centres around Detective Inspector Matthew Venn, who has returned to live in a small community in North Devon with his husband, Jonathan. It’s a place Matthew walked away from 20 years ago, after being rejected by his family. 

We first meet the reserved, but intense Matthew Venn outside the local church as his father’s funeral takes place. Sadly, the day Matthew turned his back on the strict evangelical community in which he grew up, he lost his family too.  

Now he’s back, not just to mourn his father at a distance, but to take charge of his first major murder.  A body has been found on the beach near to Matthew’s new home: a man with the tattoo of an albatross on his neck, has been stabbed to death.

Through Venn and his team’s investigation, we are introduced to a wonderfully rich ensemble of characters, in a compelling crime story which captures the stark beauty of the North Devon coastline, and a community where murder and intrigue bubble beneath the surface. 

There’s no word on casting yet, so watch this space.



8 Comments Add yours

  1. Steve PICK says:

    I won’t be watching. Why now adays do we need to include same sex every thing? Why can’t we get back to straight crime busting with a strong lead copper? No, the left agenda has to be fed. It all becomes political, not entertainment.


    1. Paul Hirons says:

      Well Steve, you’re entitled not to watch but I must take you up on something – why can’t you be gay and a strong lead copper at the same time? The ‘left’ agenda you contend is, frankly, ridiculously conspiratorial and hugely offensive. Since when has being gay been ‘political’? Crime drama – and drama as a whole – should tell stories from a wide range of society, and reflect what’s going on.


  2. Steve PICK says:

    Good day, Paul. I can’t see how it’s offensive. As you say I am entitled. What is offensive is it goes against what I, as a person believes in. Conspiratorial, no. The fact is that any thing that goes on TV now adays has to tick certain boxes, or have you not noticed how it’s all stuffed in our faces. No more can it be a strong lead, a good plot, great entertainment, without all the other leanings. Does the public really want to know his or her leanings, no, as the viewer, like me might find it offensive. Just get on and make a good story and leave the viewing public feeling good, not politiclly told what is normal. Have a good day, Paul.


    1. John Macleod says:

      Steve, I’d suggest you stop posting comments on forums such as this because people are going to think you’re even more of a bigot than they already do. Just read your last comment again. The fact you don’t see why your first post is offensive is deeply troubling. Incidentally, Paul said you were entitled not to watch, rather than entitled to post your rhetoric. You say that you as a person don’t believe in showing characters being gay. You say that drama showing gay characters is you being politically told what is normal, therefore suggesting you believe homosexuality is abnormal. You also state that you’re not happy watching a drama that has a strong lead, good plot and great entertainment if the lead character is gay. And I say all this as someone who is straight. Incidentally, if you have any issue with the content of the story may I suggest you direct them to the author, the wonderful and hugely successful creator of Shetland and Vera, Ann Cleeves. I’m sure she’d be really grateful for your considered and well balanced feedback.


      1. Steve PICK says:

        Good day,John. It’s funny how when a person has a differant opinion than someone else they get called names. The point I’m trying to make is what happened to good old wholesome detective stories without all the add on’s that one does’nt see in everyday life, only on TV. Sherlock Holmes for one. Yes, later book’s and film’s showed him with a drug habit, and you know I see more drug addict’s in every day life than same sex married couple’s.Not that they need to tell me, and that is exactly that. We don’t need to know. ITV and other TV companies will pick up on this type of drama because they think it’s progressive. “Let’s do that, as it’s very much on trend” thinking. They will lose viewer’s.
        By the way, Vera was very good and look forward to more. A good strong lead, need much more of it.


    2. John Macleod says:

      Another ridiculous comment Steve. To someone who is gay, homosexuality IS everyday life. Have you ever considered that, maybe, same sex couples would like to see their lives and relationships displayed on T.V. along with heterosexual ones. Or are we saying that same sex couples don’t have the same rights as heterosexual couples? It seems like your opinion is, if it doesn’t happen in my social circle I don’t want to know about it. Also, check your Sherlock Holmes facts. It was hinted that Holmes was a drug addict in the first story A Study In Scarlet then blatantly exposed in the second story The Sign Of Four. It was displayed on screen as far as The Hound Of The Baskervilles starring Basil Rathbone back in 1939 which ended with the at-the-time highly controversial line “Watson, the needle”.


  3. Andy D says:

    Interesting angle. A lot of this will come down to the right casting, but if it’s of the calibre of the team behind Vera, I’ll be watching.


  4. Jan says:

    Very great actors , love watching Vera and Shetland both. Hope I can get this new one.
    We watch a lot of British series. Keep up the great work.


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