THE down-to-earth but totally brilliant Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope is back, with two new feature-length episodes exclusive to BritBox, involving more brutal murders to solve. On Thursday, 28 October, the first two episodes of the new season, starring BAFTA award-winning actress Brenda Blethyn, arrive on BritBox South Africa, fresh from the UK. In the latest season of the much-loved crime drama, DCI Vera Stanhope and her team face a fresh series of daunting challenges.
BritBox South Africa is home to all 10 previous seasons of Vera, so why not binge them all before settling down to enjoy the latest episodes, hot off their UK premiere.
11 things to know about Vera Season 11
- Covid-19 disrupted filming on season 11 in the North East of England, meaning only two episodes can be released this year, followed by the remaining four next year.
- Fans have hailed the first two episodes as “the best ever”, with a murder mystery plot that “twists in several unexpected directions”.
- The first episode sees Vera delving into the murder of a local builder whose body was found draped across the Collingwood Monument in Tynemouth.
- In episode two, Vera investigates the murder of a support worker, whose body was found in Northumberland National Park.
- Vera is based on the series of Vera Stanhope novels by English crime writer Ann Cleeves; her Jimmy Perez novels have also been dramatised as the TV series Shetland.
- Vera star Brenda Blethyn married National Theatre art director Michael Mayhew in 2010 after a 35-year engagement.
- She worked as a bookkeeper before turning to acting at the age of 30, in 1976.
- She has won a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and a Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award (for Mike Leigh’s 1996 drama Secrets and Lies) and earned two Academy Award nominations (for Secrets and Lies and Little Voice).
- Blethyn was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to drama in the Queen’s 2003 New Year Honours.
- Blethyn says she is similar in some ways to her dishevelled but single-minded character: “I’m very practical. I don’t spend ages in front of the mirror. I’m independent. I do the right thing, I think. I always try to do the right thing, anyway.”
- Blethyn, now 75, is embracing aging. She told Radio Times: “Age is beautiful. I don’t want to look like everybody else. I really don’t. Ageing is all part of life’s experience, isn’t it? It all tells a story.”
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