ITV Vera's Brenda Blethyn spills details on DCI Stanhope health woe in series first storyline

ITV Vera's Brenda Blethyn spills details on DCI Stanhope health woe in series first storyline

WATCH NOW: Vera's future hangs in the balance as fans divided over Joe Ashworth return

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 14/01/2024

- 05:30

Updated: 16/01/2024

- 15:55

The second feature-length instalment of series 13 will be far from easy for Vera

Brenda Blethyn has given fans an insight into what to expect from Sunday's second episode of the 13th series, titled Tender.

In it, Blethyn's DCI Stanhope will face a new case following the triumph of solving the mystery behind last week's deadly incident but this time around, it's Vera who'll be in need.

ITV's official synopsis for the second film reads: "DCI Vera Stanhope is on track to uncover an intriguing yet puzzling case when the body of a sickly young girl is discovered in a railway siding.

"Found in the middle of nowhere she could be anyone but the investigation soon turns up twists and turns that makes Vera question who this girl actually was.

"A vulnerable young person with a serious health condition, has her weakened state allowed someone to take advantage of her? And how does the family dynamic work when she’s not truly part of the family?

"A tale of intrigue, betrayal and blurred lines, Vera’s investigation questions the meaning of family, care and accountability. And with eroding trust, does care come at a cost?"

Vera and Joe Ashworth

Vera and Joe Ashworth have reunited in Vera series 13


But it's not just the new victim whose health woes take centre stage as Blethyn revealed a painful dental emergency will plague Vera's crime-solving abilities for the first time.

Blethyn said ahead of the latest series: "Vera is always in a rush. That is her life. Work is her life. It’s always an emergency when she is called out to work.

"But Vera is silenced for once in this story. Having suffered with toothache throughout. She’s the type of person who avoids going to the dentist at all costs.

"But while Vera is not one for going to the dentist, I have no fear. What’s the point of being frightened?"

Blethyn then opened up to ITV about a key moment in her life which she still carries with her to this day in order to avoid the fear her alter-ego possesses.

"A charity asked me if I would visit somebody in Northern Ireland who was dying of cancer," Blethyn said. "I went to visit him and asked how he planned anything. He said, ‘I just live for today. I don’t think ahead. Don’t worry. Just plan for today and take things as they come. Don’t worry ahead about things. What is the point in doing that?’

"I told him I was about to clean out the shed at my house. It was cram-packed with stuff, together with spiders and cobwebs. And I was frightened to do it because I’m not a fan of spiders.

"So I told him, ‘Do you know what, I’m going to apply that when I get home and clean that shed out. I’m frightened I’m going to see a spider. But now I’m not going to be frightened until I see a spider.’

Brenda Blethyn as Vera

Brenda Blethyn has returned as Vera


"And I cleaned the whole shed out. There were spiders but I carried on. They scuttled away being more frightened of me.

"So I did it all on my own. And it’s the same about going to the dentist. I’m not frightened - until there is a reason to be."

Fans needn't fear for Vera's well-being, however, as she'll be back for another feature-length episode next week as series 13 draws to a close.

The future of Vera looks uncertain beyond episode three with Blethyn admitting she only stayed on-board this time around for one reason after planning to quit while the returning David Leon has also had his say on the show's uncertain future.

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