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"Vera" Telling Tales (2011)

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

strong story

Author: blanche-2 from United States
22 January 2014

When a young female prisoner en route to a doctor's appointment escapes, she commits suicide by backing into a bus after a row with her father.

The woman, Jennie Long, was 11 years into a life sentence for killing Abby Mantel, her lover Keith's daughter. When her death hits the news, someone contacts the police with an alibi for the night of the murder that he had originally reported to the police. However, the police never contacted him again, and he had moved to America.

Vera and her team re-open the case. But then there's another murder - was the second murdered victim the killer? Or had he been a witness to Abby's murder 11 years ago? Then Abby's father is attacked. Vera has opened a hornet's nest. The original murderer is still out there.

Excellent story with the depressing aura that seems prevalent in the Vera series. The stark locations are one reason; the weathered character of Vera, brilliantly played by Brenda Blethyn, is another. She's a multilayered character who has recently lost her father, to whom she was devoted. She has moved into his house which is in the middle of nowhere. She's gruff, hiding a vulnerability she shows no one, and a woman used to being alone.

Blethyn's portrayal dominates the series, and she makes it well worth seeing.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Another very engrossing "Vera" tale

Author: gridoon2016
2 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Having been sentenced to life for killing her boyfriend's teenage daughter 11 years ago, Jeannie escapes during being transferred to a hospital and runs to her family home. When her father rejects her, desperate Jeannie commits suicide right in front of his eyes. But when new evidence turns up suggesting that she was innocent all along, DCI Vera Stanhope and her team reopen the old case - and things get even more complicated when another man, who might have known the original victim intimately, also gets murdered.

A very engrossing mystery tale, which touches on such subjects as deep dark secrets, guilt, and the dilemmas of family loyalty. The solution is both quite tragic and fairly mind-blowing. The only problem I had with the story was accepting the shoddiness of the original investigation, which overlooked a perfectly good alibi and sent an innocent girl to prison for life. *** out of 4.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Vera's Ordeal By Innocence

Author: footy-58199
25 March 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The vote is for the performances and setting, all wonderful. However, this episode is quite similar in plot to Agatha Christie's Ordeal By Innocence, wherein a stranger appears at the door of the family home of a man whom he had picked up hitchhiking a year before. The stranger had been away and for the year prior, had not known that the very hitchhiker he'd picked up had been convicted of murder. The stranger, having now learned of the hiker's fate, returns to provide the alibi that would prove the convicted man innocent.

Blethyn is terrific in her role and her sidekick Leon plays extremely well off her character. The filming is lovely and the acting top notch.

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The probation officer, his wife, their son and Abby

Author: Parker Lewis from United States
10 December 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Telling Tales is one to watch on DVD, because as reviewer winopaul accurately stated, the episode is like a huge Russian saga with interweaving character links across the whole of Northumbria.

I had to rewind after 39 minutes, and to see how the probation officer was linked to the story, and also his son (who got off the boat after traveling the world for a decade). Then things got clearer thankfully. I was very surprised by who the murder was (actually two) at the end. I never would have spotted it. All credit to the production team for capturing the scenery around Northumbria. It's good to see a British detective drama series outside of London.

One thing that maybe didn't ring true...when Jeannie (who was convicted of murder) was taken to the hospital for an appointment. I was surprised Jeannie wasn't taken in a high security van or something like that. Instead she was seated in the back of an ordinary car, and she just got out and ran away to confront her distraught father.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Nice show, early ones hard to follow

Author: winopaul from United States
13 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Great show, great actress, but like a Russian novel with 340 characters, only stuffed into 58 minutes. Get it on DVD so you can watch it the 3 to 5 times to figure out what is going on. Note delights like the son-in-law of the bat-shiat crazy (BSC) woman looks exactly like Vera's sidekick. There are also 4 to 7 nearly-identical looking nondescript old white guys (NOWG). I am still puzzling over how the same guy can be a probation officer to the suicide girl, and related to people in the case. I recommend you buy a 4-foot by 8-foot whiteboard and roll it next to your recliner. While your little boy runs to fetch you beer, your little girl can draw out the dozens of characters, many irrelevant, and try to help you understand WTF is going on. Get her the full 8-color dry-erase marker set. You will need it. Here is a spoiler study guide.

In approximate order of appearance: Bus suicide girl= Jeannie, wrongly convicted of killing Abby, aka Abigail who is daughter to Keith, who Jeannie was banging. Nondescript old white guy #1, Jeannie's dad, she fights with him before the bus suicide Title roll Vera, pointless character development; Vera CSI guy pointless character development (PCD); NOWG#1 and Vera sidekick PCD. Introduction of Vera's jalopy, best part of the episode. Emma, daughter in bat-shiat crazy family, with yet to be introduced BSC mom, and NOWG#2, white buzz cut. Sister to Chris, boat boy at dock, coming home from his wanders. Emma and Abby easy to confuse. Keith, NOWG#3, preppy dude who was banging Jeannie, and father of Abby, who Jeanne was falsely convicted of killing. More Vera and sidekick (I think he is her brother, not sure). NOWG#4 is Kenny, cop who worked original murder case 11 years ago. Note there is a Keith and a Kenny and both are NOWGs. General "That's some mighty fine police work, Lou" stuff. James, husband to Emma in BSC family pointless scene as he drives boat around. He is look-alike to Vera sidekick. Cool pitch-black police gal, who reads obvious information from unseen mystery witness that completely exonerates and clears Jeanie of Abby's murder. This old scrap is treated as gospel and goes unquestioned. Vera and CP-BPG do more mighty fine police work. Chris, the get-off-the-boat-boy, son in BSC family digs up what must be incriminating evidence. Not to be confused with James, his brother-in-law in BSC family who was driving a boat around. Flashback smash cut moment to 11 years back to insure confusion. Then Keith, NOWG#3, father of murdered girl, and banger of suicide-wrongly-convicted-prison-girl and he is having a party. Emma and James, daughter and son-in-law in BSC family. Emma was teen friend to Abby the murdered girl. Chris, the boat boy brother is upstairs, he leaves in a tiff. Skint is a person having little or no money. Chis is growing a beard so we can confuse him with his bother-in-law and Vera's sidekick. Robert Winter, and after three views I am still confused. He is NOWG#2, and he is father in BSC family. But apparently he was also Jeannie the suicide girl's probation officer. Hang on, I will let you know. (Yeah, its true.) At Keith's party, Keith being the banger of Jeanie the suicide girl and the father of Abby the murdered girl. Scene with BSC family mother, father, daughter Emma, son-in-law James. Lots of pointless character development, but no mighty fine police work yet. NOWG#1 makes token pointless appearance. Also token appearance of moderately brown ex-police chief, Caroline Fletcher, delightfully recognizable, who adds nothing. She appears later in the party looking lily white, to add to our general confusion. Chris the boat boy shows up, does sit-com-worthy missed message to Vera. Vera was too busy doing mighty fine police work to hear her phone. Then Chris, son of BSC family makes appearance as dead body outside, mother establishes her BSC credentials. Vera and her CSI do some mighty fine police work. At this point, the show is barely 1/3 over. I hope this helps.

Total spoiler: As John Waters proved, its all about Woman Trouble. Teen Abby hated Jennie her step-bimbo mom, Abby banged random old man to tell Jeannie's dad, why this would bother him I don't know, so random old man felt used and killed Abby and framed Jeanne. Got that? Oh wait! We've been Shamaliened, its a twist! It was the bat-shiat crazy wife the whole time. She killed Abby 11 years ago. Her husband now killed his own son to keep bat-shiat crazy wife in comfortable bat-shiat crazy land. And her BSC son-in-law just got arrested for kidnapping his own wife and kid. Lets hope some brown and black and Asian people move into this part of England to maybe breed out the Crazy King Ludwig inbreeding that is so evident with this family, Its mother England's only hope. And then maybe all the actors will not be nondescript old white guys.

Please casting agents, send a folder full of gingers and white beards and Jamaicans to the show's producers so maybe we can tell the characters apart. And a quick review of Hitchcock and Milos Forman will teach them a mystery does not have to be a mind-bending puzzle that makes no sense and you have to watch three times. Not all of us read the book or studied the shooting script for a month.

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