Vera, Series 3 (ITV, 2013) The Northumberland setting continues to charm, and Brenda Blethyn to shine as Vera Stanhope. While engaging the viewer, several of the four feature-length investigations yield to theatrical, intuitive deductions where bog-standard police work would have done the job (more quickly and effectively).
Vera, Series 2 (ITV, 2012) Vera is much more assured in its second season. The four feature-length mysteries are more coherent and the recurring characters benefit from being written to match the actors’ early portrayals. Brenda Blethyn goes from strength to strength as the socially maladroit lead.
Vera, Series 1 (ITV, 2011) Brenda Blethyn is superb in the lead role, lending truth and energy to DCI Stanhope’s mercurial, faux-rustic mien. The scripts, however, are shoddy, the mysteries overtly manipulative in throwing out subplots and false lines of investigation that prove inconsistent with the solutions.