Vera (2011– )
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Prodigal Son 

Vera's investigation into the murder of an ex-Met officer turns out to be far more complicated than initially imagined.


Marston Bloom (screenplay), Ann Cleeves (characters)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Brenda Blethyn ... DCI Vera Stanhope
David Leon ... DS Joe Ashworth
Paul Ritter ... Billy Cartwright
Jon Morrison Jon Morrison ... DC Kenny Lockhart
Christine Bottomley ... Lisa Strachan
Clare Calbraith ... Shep
Paul Clayton Paul Clayton ... Hotel Manager
Michael Cronin Michael Cronin ... Grandad
Liam Cunningham ... Sam Harper
Jill Halfpenny ... Maggie Warnock
Ralph Ineson ... Ross Strachan
Riley Jones Riley Jones ... DC Mark Edwards
James Anthony Pearson ... Reece McMurray
Billy Kirkwood Billy Kirkwood ... Comedian
Jeany Spark ... Agnes Lennox


A man is stabbed to death outside a pub, his identity initially unknown though his unregistered car contains six thousand pounds in the boot. He was John Warnock, a former policeman recently returned home from London and working at Finches, a local brewery owned by Sam Harper, boyfriend of John's sister Maggie, on whose farm John was staying. John was something of a ladies' man and married old flame Lisa Strachan was planning to elope with him. Her husband Ross, a violent man who had previously been arrested by John, is charged with assaulting him but was stealing lead from a church roof at the time of the murder and has an alibi. Vera learns that John had been hired to spy on Finches on behalf of a national firm anxious for a take-over but had been fired when no adverse evidence could be found and this was not the source of the six grand. It becomes apparent that John was blackmailing somebody, who eventually killed him but Vera finds that she has more than one suspect to choose from. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

15 September 2013 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

ITV Studios See more »
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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Christine Bottomley (Lisa Strachan) & Jill Halfpenny (Maggie Warnock) also worked together on In the Club (2014) as Vicky & Diane respectively. See more »


(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher
Written by Gary Jackson, Carl Smith and Raynard Miner
Performed by Jackie Wilson
See more »

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User Reviews

Best episode so far
15 September 2014 | by thomas-bahnsenSee all my reviews

I have seen all episodes up to this point, and with mixed impressions. However, they have all been a 6 or above on a 10-scale. And this last episode transcends all others. Who is John, and why was he killed? Not an unusual starting point for a crime-episode on television. The reason this Vera episode is apart from most others, is the emotional dept. Vera's somewhat slow and basic albeit intuitive technique, eventually backed by physical evidence by the laconic pathologist or sheer admittance by killer, is for once well paralleled by the depth of the tragedy of the family concerned. Cunningham is alway good, and here better than ever as the man with multiple-layered secrets, and Stuckey as his daughter emits emotional depth well aligned with the tragedy unfolded.

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