Vera spoilers: Series One episode guide and cast list

Series 1 Episode One – Hidden Depths – 1st May 2011

Julie Armstrong arrives home from a rare night out in Newcastle with boyfriend Gary Wright to find her son murdered. Luke has been strangled, laid out in a bath of water and covered with wild flowers while his sister, Laura, is asleep. This stylised murder scene has Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope and Sergeant Joe Ashworth intrigued. A second body, that of beautiful young teacher Lily Marsh, is discovered laid out in a rock pool, the water strewn with flowers. Vera must work quickly to find a killer who is making art out of death. Clues are slow to emerge from those who had known Luke and Lily, but Vera soon finds herself drawn towards a curious group of friends who discovered Lily’s body. As local residents are forced to share their private lives and those of their loved ones, sinister secrets are slowly unearthed. And all the while the killer remains in their midst, waiting for an opportunity to prepare another beautiful, watery grave.

  • Writer – Paul Rutman
  • Director – Adrian Shergold
  • Producer – Elwen Rowlands


  • Andrew Thompson as Officer 1
  • Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope
  • Craig Conway as Davy Sharp
  • David Leon as DS Joe Ashworth
  • Gabrielle Ross as Laura Armstrong
  • Gina McKee as Julie Armstrong
  • Jim Kitson as Charlie
  • Juliet Aubrey as Felicity Calvert
  • Louis Shergold as James Calvert
  • Michael Wilson-Dukes as Lawyer
  • Murray Head as Peter Calvert
  • Neil Armstrong as Gary Wright
  • Patrick Toomey as Samuel Parr
  • Paul Higgins as Clive Stringer
  • Paul Ritter as Billy Cartwright
  • Peter Michael McGowan as Solicitor
  • Philip Correia as Ben Craven
  • Rosie Stancliffe as Lucy
  • Sam Fender as Luke Armstrong
  • Samantha Neale as Lily Marsh
  • Wunmi Mosaku as DC Holly Lawson

Series 1 Episode Two – Telling Tales – 8th May 2011

Vera Stanhope sets out to retrospectively resolve the mystery of Abigail Mantel’s murder. It’s only after Jeanie Long’s suicide hits the headlines that new evidence comes to light exonerating her for the murder of fifteen-year-old Abigail. Throughout her 11 year sentence, Jeanie pleaded her innocence with Probation Officer, Robert Winter, but no one, including her own father Michael, believed her. Abigail was found strangled in the countryside near her home and was the teenage daughter of Jeanie”s boyfriend, Keith Mantel. Vera, accompanied by her loyal team of Sergeant Joe Ashworth, DC Holly Lawson and Forensic Pathologist Billy Cartwright, delve into the secrets and lies of a small community that continues to be rocked by Abigail’s murder. For some, the wounds remain close to the surface, while others seek to put the past behind them. It’s not long before the case takes a violent and unexpected turn with another potentially connected murder. With a murderer on the loose, tension and suspicion run high between Vera and Caroline Fletcher, a former DI who convicted Jeanie of Abigail’s murder now linked to Keith. Vera uses her instinct to expose the lies and half-truths at the heart of a small community, while setting the ghosts of Abigail and Jeanie to rest.

  • Writer – Paul Rutman
  • Director – Peter Hoar
  • Producer – Elaine Collins


  • Alan Williams as Michael Long
  • Amber Britton-Dyer as Abby Mantel
  • Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope
  • Daniel Rose as Chris Winter
  • David Leon as DS Joe Ashworth
  • Elizabeth Edmonds as Mary Winter
  • Emun Elliott as James Bennett
  • Gary Lewis as Robert Winter
  • Georg Nikoloff as Skipper
  • Helen Coverdale as Party Planner
  • Hugo Speer as Keith Mantel
  • Jackson Maule as Detective
  • Jon Morrison as DC Kenny Lockhart
  • Katie Foster-Barnes as Emma Bennett
  • Lolita Chakrabarti as Caroline Fletcher
  • Paul Ritter as Billy Cartwright
  • Sarah Preston as Jeannie Long
  • Tiger Roberts as Lad Playing Football
  • Wunmi Mosaku as DC Holly Lawson

Series 1 Episode Three – The Crow Trap – 15th May 2011

When the murder of Bella Furness is discovered by environmentalist Anne Preece at the isolated Baikie’s Cottage, DCI Vera Stanhope is brought back to a place full of bittersweet childhood memories and is reminded of an unsolved case from her career which still haunts her. Delving into the local politics surrounding Godfrey Waugh’s controversial proposal to dig a quarry, Vera soon discovers that the home of Bella and her housebound husband, Dougie, holds the right of way to the site, a key motive for the killer. Bella also had an ally in her strong opposition to the quarry in the shape of Edmund Fulwell, an ex landowner now reduced to living an isolated existence in a shack in the woods. Anne recalls seeing a woman moments before Bella’s death, who matches the description of Bev MacDonald. Vera is forced to face the past and the unexplained mystery that surrounds the disappearance of Bev’s son years before. Hard at work, Vera and her team – Sergeant Joe Ashworth, DC Holly Lawson, DC Kenny and pathologist Billy Cartwright find motives and evidence in the unlikeliest of places. After many shadowy liaisons and conflicting sympathies, they realise that the truth could be hidden within the land itself.

  • Writer – Stephen Brady
  • Director – Farren Blackburn
  • Producer – Elaine Collins


  • Amy Cudden as Grace Bishop
  • Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope
  • Daniel Flynn as Godfrey Waugh
  • Daniela Nardini as Anne Preece
  • David Leon as DS Joe Ashworth
  • Elizabeth Carling as Bev MacDonald
  • Jack McBride as Dougie Furness
  • Jackson Maule as Detective
  • Jane Holman as Bella Furness
  • John Lynch as Edmund Fulwell
  • Jon Morrison as DC Kenny Lockhart
  • Mia Wyles as Jessie Ashworth
  • Paul Ritter as Billy Cartwright
  • Richard Short as Neville Furness
  • Skyla Pearce as May Waugh
  • Susie Trayling as Barbara Waugh
  • Wunmi Mosaku as DC Holly Lawson

Series 1 Episode Four – The Crow Trap – 22nd May 2011

Vera Stanhope and her team uncover the murder of Margaret Wilde, whose body has been discovered in a hedgerow, moments after her death. Margaret’s eleven year old son, Adam, escaped the violent attack, only to fall into a freezing cold pond, where Vera finds him twenty minutes later. She wastes no time in taking matters into her own hands and wades into the water to pull him out. Against all the odds, Adam survives and becomes a vital witness to his mother’s murder. Sergeant Joe Ashworth is at first held up in court as a witness to a previous investigation, leaving way for DC Holly Lawson to step up to the plate and prove herself to Vera. However, a connection between the two cases results in Joe returning to the investigation when Adam recognises Judge Patricia Carmichael. Vera is convinced that Bobby Slater’s brief affair with Margaret is not all that it seems, especially when Joe discovers a petrol receipt putting him five minutes from where she was murdered. As the team delve deeper into Margaret’s past they unearth deadly secrets and murderous consequences, fuelled by power and money and, above all, a mother’s love. Vera, usually awkward and disinterested around children, finds a kindred spirit in Adam and begins to realise along the way that the key to the investigation lies deep within his memory, and someone he calls ‘shiny man’.

  • Writer – Paul Rutman
  • Director – Paul Whittington
  • Producer – Elaine Collins


  • Alice Sykes as Sorcha Carmichael
  • Andrew Tennant as Dr. Tim Lawson
  • Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope
  • David Leon as DS Joe Ashworth
  • Emma Lowndes as Renagh Salter
  • Joe Renton as Danny Hale
  • Jon Morrison as DC Kenny Lockhart
  • Judi Earl as Theresa
  • Kerry Fox as Patricia Carmichael
  • Kieran O’Brien as Bobby Salter
  • Laura Norton as Margaret Wilde
  • Paul Ritter as Billy Cartwright
  • Philip Harrison as Photographer
  • Renu Setna as Amnit Singh
  • Riley Jones as PC Edwards
  • Sam Jarvis as Adam Wilde
  • Tim Dutton as Aidan Carmichael
  • Wunmi Mosaku as DC Holly Lawson

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