Interview: Brenda Blethyn, Vera

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Series seven of Vera starts tonight (Sunday 19th March) on ITV in the UK, and, as ever, it showcases the talents of one of Britain’s finest actors – Brenda Blethyn. Adapted from crime writing legend Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope novels, the series has become a bit of a Sunday-night institution. Series seven starts when Vera investigates the body of a wildlife ranger, found on a remote island off the coast of Northumberland. Her death is at first assumed to be an accident, since she was alone on the island when she died, but marks on the body seem to point to murder. A few weeks ago I went along to ITV’s HQ to chat to Brenda about Vera. But with Brenda it’s never just about one thing – she’s just a hoot and a delight, with an infectious laugh and an endless stream of stories. Have a read after the jump… Continue reading

ITV announces transmission date for series seven of Vera

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ITV’s adaptations of Ann Cleeves’s best-selling Vera Stanhope novels have attained national treasure status, largely thanks to the brilliant Brenda Blethyn in the lead role. Now the series is back for a seventh run, and Vera and her team are drawn into four new mysteries, including the death of a wildlife ranger left alone overnight on a remote and inaccessible island. ITV has announced the transmission date. Continue reading

Review: Vera (S6 E4/4), Sunday 21st February, ITV

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vera_s5_ep1[1]It’s a tough life being a fisherman, but you’d think it would be tougher being a fish; not so when you end up dead in your own nets. Trawlerman Tommy Stonnall had been missing for weeks, says harbourmaster Frank (David Calder), but death took place only 24 hours ago.  You can practically smell the fish as the body’s examined, revealing a head wound.

NB: Review = spoilers
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Review: Vera (S6 E3/4), Sunday 14th February, ITV

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vera_s5_ep1[1]After last week’s less than stellar effort, which barely came to grips with its plot, let alone the implications of the death of Bethany, this episode opens with two indignities, when a terrified woman is chased through a dark forest by unseen assailants, and is then found dead by an ancient woodsman stopping to have a wee.

NB: Spoilers ahoy! Continue reading

The 10 Best Crime Dramas This Week (Monday 15th February – Sunday 21st February)

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acs_johntravolta_gallery_c_0031_cmyk_f_hires2_-_h_2016_0It’s a big week in crime drama, not only because the likes of quality fare like Happy Valley, Vera, Shetland and Trapped continue, but also because two new intriguing series start this week. The People v O.J. Simpson: An American Crime Story is pure headline, event TV – one of those series with a top-line cast that you just know will be an addictive watch – while, on the flipside, BBC2’s One Child is lower key but equally as intriguing.  Continue reading

The 10 Best Crime Dramas This Week (Monday 8th February – Sunday 14th February)

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WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 18:00:01 on 08/11/2015 - Programme Name: Happy Valley series 2 - TX: 01/01/2016 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: **Early Release Image** Catherine (SARAH LANCASHIRE) - (C) Red Productions - Photographer: Ben Blackall

(C) Red Productions – Photographer: Ben Blackall

It’s a bit of a big week for crime drama as Sally Wainwright’s award-winning Happy Valley comes back for a much-anticipated second series, once again starring Sarah Lancashire and James Norton. The six-episode run kicks off on Tuesday night. Elsewhere, there’s new Icelandic drama, Trapped on Saturday night, and a radio adaptation of Ian Rankin’s Rebus to look forward to. It should also be noted that there is no Silent Witness this week because, of all things, Crimewatch is on. Continue reading