International award winning actress Brenda Blethyn reprises her leading role as the brilliantly perceptive D.C.I. Vera Stanhope for a fourth series of the popular crime drama produced by itv Studios, staring on Sunday, 27 April, 2014.
Actor, director and writer David Leon also returns to his role as Vera’s trusted sidekick, Detective Sergeant Joe Ashworth, and relished the opportunity to return to his native home in the North East to film four new stand-alone films.
Inspired by the best selling novels and characters created by acclaimed crime writer Ann Cleeves, writer Paul Rutman has adapted the first of the four new films entitled ‘On Harbour Street’ from the recently published novel ‘Harbour Street’.
In the opening film Vera investigates the mysterious death of pensioner Margaret Kraszewski (Annabel Leventon) on a busy Newcastle Metro train at the height of rush hour. As the evidence comes to light the case has a vast impact on Joe’s personal life with wife Celine (Sonya Cassidy) as he struggles to maintain a professional distance when his daughter, Jessie
(Olivia Armstrong), is named a key witness to the investigation.
As the team are led to a quiet street in a run down seaside town, Vera discovers a tight knit community living in the shadow of a long-held, explosive secret.
Completing Vera’s team are Jon Morrison as D.C. Kenny Lockhart, Clare Calbraith as D.C. Rebecca Shepherd and television newcomer Kingsley Ben-Adir who plays Pathologist Marcus Summer.
Other actors appearing across the four films include: Paul Copley (Last Tango in Halifax, Downton Abbey), Tilly Vosburgh (Holby City, Holding On), Kellie Bright (EastEnders, Rock & Chips), Clive Russell (Ripper Street, Game of Thrones), William Ash (Great Night Out, Waterloo Road) and Robert Glenister.
Filmed on location in Northumberland and the North East during 2013, the 4 x 120’ films have been produced by Margaret Mitchell with executive producer Elaine Collins.
Thaddeus O’Sullivan, Daikin Marsh, Will Sinclair and David Richards have directed the new series. Martha Hillier and Steve Coombes have joined the writing team alongside Paul Rutman.
itv Studios Creative Director, Drama, Kate Bartlett continues to oversee the production which has also become popular in Belgium, Denmark, Finland and America.
In the UK Vera performs consistently for itv. The third series, broadcast between August and September 2013, had an average consolidated audience of 6.5million (27% share).