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4.8 out of 5 stars 109 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

BRENDA BLETHYN is Vera Stanhope, a sharp detective with a messy life

"Blethyn is wonderful." —The Times (U.K.) "A first-rate mystery series" —Library Journal

"Captivating" —Library Bookwatch "Classy crime drama" —The Daily Telegraph (U.K.)

Two-time Oscar nominee Brenda Blethyn (Pride & Prejudice, Secrets & Lies) returns as Vera Stanhope—a police detective with a disheveled exterior, a sharp tongue, and an uncanny ability to solve crimes. Tough, dedicated, and more than a little irreverent, DCI Stanhope is assisted by her long-suffering sergeant, Joe Ashworth (David Leon, RocknRolla); DC Kenny Lockhart (Jon Morrison, High Times); and forensic pathologist Billy Cartwright (Paul Ritter, The Eagle).

Inspired by Ann Cleeves’s bestselling mysteries, Vera is set in the Northumberland of the original books. In four new feature-length dramas, Stanhope delves into a world of shadows and suppressed passions where everyone has something to hide. Guest stars include Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones), Julie Graham (Bonekickers), Phyllis Logan (Downton Abbey), and Judy Parfitt (Girl with a Pearl Earring).

Special Features

SDH subtitles

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: November 6, 2012
  • Run Time: 370 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008OTTTP6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,620 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Filmed as if Vermeer's paintings darkly came to life, in clouded northern light with nuanced shades of human emotion, "Vera: Set 2" is a tremendous visual and imaginative treat. Always superb, Brenda Blethyn is the driving, elemental force that is Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope: salt of the earth. Blethyn's face is as expressive and interesting as the blustery northern English landscape, weathering storms of conflict within and without. DCI Vera Stanhope's unresolved pathos over her lonely life, the loss of her father, and a mother she barely knew, underline the narrative. Slugging down whisky under sullen clouds, Vera once declared that solitude is not for the faint-hearted. In the U.K., theater, movie, and television productions value actors who are robustly, deeply human, and provide venues like this series that share this wealth of talent. Northumberland is another character, its rolling hills and rough coastline, the heavy line of the sea, castle ruins, and towns hit hard by decades of economic hardship, providing a unique canvas for these fine stories. Northumberland's rich nouns and dialect is as hefty and delicious as meat-pies and ale. Blocks of row-houses huddle under a leaden sky that slams down at the end of the street, a permanent dead-end. Northumberland's soft northern light and wave-tossed seascapes provide a timelessness to the human narrative strewn upon the landscape.

With incredible acting talent, the marvelous Brenda Blethyn is amazing as Vera, she and the rest of the talented crew authentically bring alive the mystery novels of Ann Cleves. David Leon is excellent as Detective Sergeant Joe Ashworth, his character suffers Vera's dark moods with relatively calm equanimity. The series is further enlivened by a great cast.
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Format: DVD
Detective Vera Stanhope has...issues. You pick up on them quietly, because Vera is as likely to use them to her advantage as not. She's a cuddly-looking motherly type who calls you "Dearie" and "love". Don't you be taken in. If you're a crook, she'll obsess over your infractions so intensely that you haven't got a prayer. If you're her colleague, well....you're in for a rough ride.

You'll recognize plump middle-aged Brenda Blethyn from films such as the Knightly Pride and Prejudice, where her scatterbrained, pale, fluffy boule de suif of a Mrs. Bennett almost redirected the entire picture. Here, she's like your concerned landlady, pouring you tea before she gets the razor out and redoes your face. She's magic. It's absolutely unexpected.

But all is not well in either her heart or a shivery Northumberland. Daddy did some of the damage. So did the force. Her dishy sidekick colleague, who wants to avoid the almost clichéd failed cop marriage, isn't likely to succeed. His boss insists on total committment, both in time and focus, at all hours of the day. If you slack the least bit, she's likely to sack you.

You know, just to make sure you're paying attention. Just to remind you that she comes first.

I don't remember much about the actual mystieries because I was so taken in by the dysfuncional yet neccessary characterization. Northumberland comes off as a handsome hero--saturnine, chilly, perpetually autumnal. This is so worth it for those who wish to be kidnapped by character and personality. I can't wait for #2!

Eratum: Whoops! I meant to put this review under Vera #1! But I've seen #2, and it still applies. Recently, British imports have been depressing, amoral and filmed as if through a blue gel, like "The Ring", only without the thrills (actually, the British have been worried about this, too). This series is different, and well worth tracking down.
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Format: DVD
DCI Vera is rough, untidy, obsessed, but softens a bit in Set 2. She's a female Columbo. Her health is showing her age. But she's a determined sleuth. This new series has four episodes [WITH SUBTITLES] each a bit longer than the previous season. Teens and older recommended due to violent disturbing scenes. The characterss are adapted after mystery novels by Ann Cleeves. The Northumberland filming locale, also the story settings, (the same place as Catherine Cookson stories) is delightful. Cases are as violent as the country is beautiful. Vera's tough enough for the job, most days.

Brenda Blethyn (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) as Vera, convincingly leads the team. DS Joe (David Leon) is the young family man and Vera's assistant. His wife joins this series in 3 episodes and is played by Sonya Cassidy. Forensics and some very funny dialogue is covered by Cartwright (Paul Ritter). DC Kenny (Jon Morrison) also returns as an older team member. DC Holly returns but lasts only through the first episode. This nucleus cop cast questions guest stars playing criminals and victims. Really strong acting casts in every episode, too many to mention.

SUBTITLES available/optional for all episodes.
~~~1___The Ghost Position Vera's 1st Sgt's daughter Stella (Jessica Barden) is in a coma after an arson attack. Vera looks into the next tragedy after learning her mentor never quite accepted divorce from Marianne (Julie Graham- Bonekickers) who married Gower (Ron Cook- Little Dorrit). Another guest star, rose Leslie (Dowton Abbey) plays Lena. It's a sad case. DC Holly also gets Vera-punched.
~~~2___Silent Voices Is a murdered social worker Jenny & a mother-drowned child suspiciously linked? A dead author's manuscript might offers clues, once found. The soc.
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