What to expect from tonight's Vera as ITV detective series returns with 'missing episodes'

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Brenda Blethyn’s detective is well known for solving mysteries.

However, there was one puzzle that loyal fans of the fisherman’s cap-wearing sleuth wanted answering more than any other in 2022 – just where did the missing episodes go?

Early in 2022, with the popular crime drama two thirds of the way through its latest season, it was strangely pulled by ITV to make way for the return of The Good Karma Hospital and the launch of Trigger Point.

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It’s safe to say that viewers weren’t happy and they scrambled around for answers, wanting to know if and when the final two episodes of the series would be aired.

Brenda Blethyn (left) during filming for a previous series of Vera.Brenda Blethyn (left) during filming for a previous series of Vera.
Brenda Blethyn (left) during filming for a previous series of Vera.

Then, they became even more annoyed when they heard Americans had the chance to watch the rest of the series, via the Britbox streaming service, before them.

Nevertheless, good things come to those who wait, and UK viewers are now finally getting to see the conclusion of series 11, with part five airing tonight at 8pm.

The final episode of series 11 goes out at 8pm on Sunday, January 22, and the twelfth season then starts the following week.

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The opening episode of Vera’s return is titled Vital Signs and guest stars Hugh Quarshie.

Vera and her sidekick DS Aiden Healy (Kenny Doughty) are called in after the charred remains of local GP Dr Lucy Yo are discovered in a burned-out car after supposedly being called out by a patient.

However there’s no record of such a call – but there is evidence of intrigue, betrayal and secrets.

The exploits of Vera, taken from the pages of author Ann Cleeves’ popular books, have been on screens on ITV for nearly 13 years, and the iconic character’s popularity shows no sign of waning.

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The fourth of the upcoming 12th season’s episodes, The Darkest Evening, will be the show’s 50th, and according to Blethyn it will see viewers “learn more about Vera and her family” as she visits Brockburn House, where she has memories of visiting with her father as a child.

“I feel rather proud of having reached the landmark of 50 episode – a great achievement for everyone involved,” Blethyn adds.

It’s going to be a packed year for Vera fans, as there’ll also be another new episode – an adaptation of Cleeves’ latest novel The Rising Tide – premiering later in 2023.

“Who would have thought when we made that Vera pilot 13 years ago that we would be talking about having made 51 films?” Blethyn adds.

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“I know the character better than anyone so when we have new writers coming in, I just look at the scripts for tiny anomalies.”

As long as the scriptwriters and ITV bosses keep any surprises in the show itself, rather than in the scheduling, everyone will be happy.