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Fans of the Brenda Blethyn-led British mystery Vera will be pleased to know that not only is Series 11 happening, but episodes have already been filmed. The pandemic did slow things down since filming was impossible for much of 2020, but the long wait is coming to an end.
What's Vera About?
While there aren't too many British TV fans who are still unfamiliar with Vera, we try not to assume things around here. If you've never watched it, the series follows DCI Vera Stanhope, a disheveled but talented detective who works for the fictional Northumberland & City Police. Though you might not know it to look at the state of her wardrobe, she's a uniquely talented detective, and obsessive about her work.
Over time, Vera forms close friendships with her younger sergeants – in spite of her prickliness. The talented Brenda Blethyn (Kate & Koji, Chance in a Million) stars as DCI Vera Stanhope, while sergeant Joe Asthworth is played by David Leon and Aiden Healy is played by Kenny Doughty.
The series is based on the books of Ann Cleeves, though most episodes are not based on a specific book (there simply aren't enough of them).
When Does Series 11 of Vera Air?
In our British TV Year in Review print magazine, we shared images of the late 2020 filming for Series 11 of Vera. Though it's strange to see the cast and crew in masks, it's great to know they were able to safely return to production last autumn.
Still, the pandemic has added complications to filming, and safe, socially-distanced productions take longer to make and cost more to produce – so it should come as no surprise that Series 11's episodes will be a bit broken up (Season 22 of Midsomer Murders did the same). Executive producer Phil Hunter was quoted saying:
In the wake of the pandemic I'm especially thrilled to announce the return of Vera. Like many productions we had to postpone filming back in March and simultaneously begin working on a plan as to how we could bring the series back. The brilliant thing about drama production is the creativity, innovation and drive that is present in all who work in it, both in front of and behind the camera. Vera is coming back stronger than ever with six new episodes, and whilst we will be following COVID protocols that will keep everyone safe.
Though no official date has been set for the premiere of Season 11, ITV has stated the first two episodes will air in Spring 2021. That means an exact air date should be coming any day now.
There's also no date for the US premiere, but given that all new episodes have been going to BritBox for some time now, we expect that's where it will be when it does premiere. There's no official confirmation of that just yet, but we'd be very surprised if it was anywhere else.
What's Happening in Season 11 of Vera?
Along with Blethyn, we'll see the return of 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.
Guest stars include Mark Benton (Waterloo Road, Strictly), Caroline Lee Johnson (Roadkill) and Amber James (Doc Martin).
ITV has released some details about the two upcoming episodes for 2021:
Season 11, Episode 1: When a local builder is found dead on the steps of the Collingwood Monument, DCI Vera Stanhope questions why a respected local would have been attacked so savagely. As she continues the investigation, she learns he was due to testify in court as a key witness for a violent assault trial – leading her to wonder if the two crimes are connected.
Vera soon finds all manner of conflict and bitterness in the builder's family life. There are tensions between his estranged wife and doting son, and also with old family friends. Everyone seems to have complaints and issues, so she'll need to be on top of her game to sort through it all and find the culprit.
Season 11, Episode 2: The second episode sees DCI Vera Stanhope investigating the murder of a support worker named Angela Konan in Northumberland National Park. In such a remote location, she wonders whether it was a crime of opportunity or a carefully planned attack – and two park rangers seem oddly evasive when she questions them about the victim.
As she investigates, Vera learns that Angela put in a lot of time working for a women's addiction recovery centre, but her colleagues and manager had no relationships with her outside the refuge. While many victims have extensive relationships with people who can be questioned, this secretive and introverted victim poses a unique challenge.
Enjoy the Vera Books While You Wait
If you haven't already, you can pass the time waiting for Series 11 by reading Ann Cleeves's Vera Stanhope series of novels.
- The Crow Trap (1999)
- Telling Tales (2005)
- Hidden Depths (2007)
- Silent Voices (2011)
- The Glass Room (2012)
- Harbour Street (2014)
- The Moth Catcher (2015)
- The Seagull (2017)
- The Darkest Evening (2020)
Are You Looking Forward to Vera, Season 11?
Though Vera is loved by many, we know it's not everyone's cup of tea. Will you be tuning in for the premiere of Season 11? We'll certainly be counting down the days!
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