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115 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Aug 30, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Two-time Oscar® nominee Brenda Blethyn (Little Voice, Secrets & Lies) stars in a new British detective series based on the bestselling mysteries by Ann Cleeves. DCI Vera Stanhope is a solitary, obsessed, caustic, brilliant investigator, and a bit disheveled; think female Columbo. Filmed in the Northumberland villages of the original books, the set includes four feature-length, character-driven crime dramas. With David Leon, Wunmi Mosaku, and Paul Ritter. SDH. Mature audiences.

Disc 1
Episode 1:  Hidden Depths
A handsome young man, a coquettish student teacher, and nothing in common between them—except that both were murdered and left with their bodies meticulously posed. As the killer begins to zero in on a third victim, DCI Stanhope finds suspects and motives mounting.
Disc 2
Episode 2:  Telling Tales
Eleven years ago, Jeanie Long was found guilty of murder, despite unwaveringly maintaining her innocence. On the strength of new evidence, DCI Stanhope must put together the pieces of a decade-old murder—and stop a ruthless killer before he or she strikes again.
Disc 3
Episode 3:  The Crow Trap
As groundbreaking begins on a rock quarry in the moorlands, a local woman who had opposed the construction is found murdered. She had been pressured to sell her land to the developers but refused. When two other women with connections to the project find their own lives in danger, Vera questions what makes this quarry worth killing for.
Disc 4
Episode 4:  Little Lazarus
Generally indifferent towards children, DCI Stanhope finds herself acting as caretaker for a boy whose mother was murdered before his eyes. As she unravels the deadly secrets that led to the woman’s demise, Vera finds a kindred spirit in the boy—and the key to her case lying deep in his disturbed memory.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Brenda Blethyn, David Leon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: August 30, 2011
  • Run Time: 355 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0050N0US4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,990 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

89 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 10, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The reviews to this outstanding British mystery series on four (4) DVDs with four (4) episodes running about an hour and one-half each have stated that DCI Vera Blenching (brilliantly acted by Brenda Blethyn) the lead investigating detective is a loner, and is rather cantankerous (bordering on nasty). I, after viewing this very fine series, found Vera NOT to be so cantankerous, cruel or nasty just a very private(she, comes across, as a "loner") individual that is extremely good at solving some really horrendous and puzzling cases that kept me unsuccessfully trying to guess "who done it?" until all was revealed.

I found this series very intriguing with four (4) really good and suspenseful mysteries plus it is acted fabulously. By the way, I adore the character of Vera--she really comes across as a highly efficient detective that "ain't" too cuddly or too comfortable with young kids.

I used the subtitles because I found the North England English a little hard to understand.
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77 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on July 12, 2011
Format: DVD
DCI Vera is crude, slovenly, crabby, obsessed, uninviting, and has a caustic mouth. She's a female Columbo. She'll get the job done, her way, so stick that in your beer and drink it-her way! You may find Vera less than respectable, but she finds killers. This first series has four 89-minute episodes [WITH SUBTITLES]. Teens and older recommended due to violence and gritty scenes. The episodes are named and adapted after mystery novels by Ann Cleeves. The Northumberland filming locale (the same place as Catherine Cookson stories) is delightful and parallels the books' venue. The shows ratings have fostered a 2012 2nd season.

Brenda Blethyn (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) as Vera, leads the team. DS Joe (David Leon) is the young family man and assistant. Single DC Holly (Wunmi Mosaku) looks for acceptance of her ample crime fighting help, while forensics is covered by Cartwright (Paul Ritter). DC Kenny (Jon Morrison) first appears, gets canned, and then rehired in episode 2. This nucleus cast questions guest stars playing criminals and victims.

1 HIDDEN DEPTHS: Murdered teen Luke's widowed mother Julie (Gina McKee-"Forsyte Saga", "Atonement") tells DCI Vera about Luke's friend Tommy drowning earlier. Connection? Teacher Lily Marsh is killed. Finding her is a bird-outing group, Peter ((Murray Head-"Sunday Bloody Sunday") & Felicity Calvert (Juliet Aubrey-"MiddleMarch"); Gary (Neil Armstrong) Julie's friend; Clive (Paul Higgins-"Hope Strings" view that show) the woman's-man. A new missing teen puts the case into compelling high gear.

2 TELLING TALES: Jeannie Long (Sarah Preston) escapes from prison, fights with dad, & steps in front of a bus.
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78 of 81 people found the following review helpful By billb on August 31, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
These video adaptations of Ann Cleeves books are some of the best entertainment I have seen in a long time. Having read the books made them even better.
It seems they make better TV shows in the UK :o)
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By FYI on October 11, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The rumpled DCI Vera Stanhope is salt of the earth, what a refreshing character. The driving force and star is the fine actress Brenda Blethyn as Vera. Blethyn's face is as expressive and interesting as the blustery northern landscape, weathering storms of conflict. The Northumberland villages, soft northern light, and seascapes provide a timelessness to the human narrative strewn upon the landscape. The marvelous Brenda Blethyn and crew are authentic and entertaining. David Leon, as her sidekick, is capable, and it's a treat to catch the fine and underrated John Lynch of The Secret of Roan Inish, among others, as guest stars. Gina McKee is superb in the first mystery, as a mother coping with economic hardships; she lives in a modest row-house, on a block where the Northumberland sky seems to slam down at the end of the street, a permanent dead-end. Her pathos over her losses it utterly believable.

The Brits reward actors who are robust, plump, assertive, deeply human, and divinely wrinkled, while too often American TV is dominated by polished, dull, and immobile faces. "Vera" is a tremendous visual and imaginative treat. The dialect is easy to understand, the rich nouns as hefty and delicious as meat-pies and ale; subtitles are utterly unnecessary. In the first mystery, "Hidden Depths," we're introduced to Vera, who is coping with the recent death of her father. This loss haunts all the subsequent mysteries. As she says, a culprit is "caught in the act of being alone." Slugging down whisky under a sullen sky, she declares such loneliness is "not for the faint-hearted." Dust to water, Vera sheds her father's ashes in the sea.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By loki on October 5, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Very good addition to British Murder Mystery Genre. Especially like the realistic gritty nature of the murders and that Vera is a real person. This is no slick snappy snazzy detective show where everything is glib conversation and a flourish finish. The Northumberland setting is broad vistas, grey, wet and tricky. Each story gets better. Hope there is more to come!
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season two?
There is a Season 2, but I believe it is only out on Region 2 so far.
Jul 17, 2012 by joyandjerry |  See all 6 posts
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