ITV and Silverprint Pictures have delighted fans with the release of first-look images showcasing Brenda Blethyn and David Leon on the set of the highly-anticipated thirteenth series of the hit crime drama Vera. The new season promises to captivate audiences once again as DCI Vera Stanhope, portrayed by the internationally acclaimed and award-winning actress Brenda Blethyn, returns alongside actor and director David Leon reprising his role as Joe Ashworth.

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Set against the picturesque backdrop of the North East, the upcoming series brings together a stellar ensemble cast, including Jon Morrison as DC Kenny Lockhart, Riley Jones as DC Mark Edwards, Sarah Kameela Impey as Pathologist Dr. Paula Bennett, and Rhiannon Clements as the ambitious newcomer DC Steph Duncan, who joins Vera’s esteemed team.

The opening episode, titled “Fast Love,” thrusts DCI Vera Stanhope into a perplexing case when a young man is tragically killed in a collision with a car on a quiet country lane. Unravelling the complex layers of the victim’s life, Vera soon discovers that the charismatic market trader led a multifaceted existence, characterized by both charm and arrogance. As Vera delves deeper into the investigation, she is taken aback by the unexpected return of Joe Ashworth, leaving her questioning his true intentions.

Brenda Blethyn, thrilled to be reprising her role as Vera, shared her excitement, stating, “Stepping back into Vera’s shoes for the thirteenth series feels like coming home again. The support from the locals in the North East is truly heart-warming, and reuniting with the talented David Leon and the rest of our exceptional team is an absolute delight. Together, we embark on this new chapter with a terrific script crafted by the brilliant Paul Matthew Thompson.”

David Leon echoed her sentiments, expressing his enthusiasm for returning to the series: “I’m thrilled to be returning to Vera. It’s fantastic to be back in the North East and reunited with Brenda and the crew for the new series. I’m looking forward to exploring the relationship between Joe and Vera as they make up for lost time.”

Executive Producer Will Nicholson, a native of the North East himself, expressed his gratitude for the local support and excitement surrounding the production. “Being from the North East, it is always a joy to film Vera here, and we are very grateful for the warmth and support from the fans during production,” he said. “Starting the new series is incredibly exciting, and alongside the incomparable Brenda Blethyn and the rest of our talented cast, we are delighted to welcome David Leon back to the show.”

The first episode of the thirteenth series features a stellar lineup of guest stars, including Nimmy March, Amit Shah, Stephen Lord, Patrick McNamee, Andrew Dunn, Bryan Dick, Samantha Seager, Beruce Khan, and the television newcomers Travis Ross, Evie Hargreaves, and Susan Jayne-Robinson. The episode is penned by series regular Paul Matthew Thompson and helmed by director Claire Winyard.

The new series of Vera comprises three self-contained feature-length episodes, each drawing inspiration from the best-selling novels and characters created by acclaimed crime writer Ann Cleeves. Produced by Silverprint Pictures, part of ITV Studios, the series is overseen by executive producers Will Nicholson and Kate Bartlett, with Will Nicholson also taking on the role of producer for the new season. The drama commissioner for ITV, Huw Kennair-Jones, oversees production on behalf of the network.

Fans eagerly awaiting the thirteenth series can catch up on all the previous seasons, which are currently available on ITVX.