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I preach this to all who will listen: Vera is an excellent knitting companion. This long-running British crime series began in 2011, and it is my number one of all time. The character of Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope, as written by her creator Ann Cleeves and interpreted by the magnificent Brenda Blethyn, soars beyond the detective genre.  I’ve watched and re-watched seasons 1 through 12, to the point that I count Vera as a life mentor. I learn from her example, at times as a warning of the loneliness of too much self-sufficiency. Vera is a feminist icon, although she’s likely given very little thought to feminism; she has the strength to be herself, to take up space, to assert her point of view.

Season 13 aired recently in the UK and is coming soon—any day now, please— to the BritBox streaming platform. An unimpeachable source (Wikipedia) says there will be a Season 14 in 2025. That’s incredible, as DCI Stanhope is well past government retirement eligibility. I hope she carries on forever. The moors and shores of Northumberland are safer with her around.

To watch Vera, check your local PBS station—that’s where I streamed the first 8 or 9 seasons, although my station doesn’t have it right now. To watch Seasons 10-12, I finally cracked and signed up for a trial subscription to BritBox; the television equivalent of a foster fail. There’s too much good stuff on there for me to quit just yet: Shetland! Cracker! Gardener’s World! Have mercy!

Recently I’ve been watching Vera with a 20-something who thinks the series has the makings of a good drinking game. Take a sip every time Vera: calls a suspect “pet,” takes a colleague’s cup of tea (that’s a brew in Northumberland-ese) as if it’s meant for her, asks whether there’s CCTV, or hisses “DID YOU CHECK?” at an underling. On second thought, maybe a bingo card is the way to go.

P.S. Up top, instead of the usual season trailer (you can find 12 of those easily), is a short interview with Brenda Blethyn about the series, the setting, the character, and why the series is so beloved. Vera is so much more than “the hat, the mac, the wheels” —but the hat, mac, and wheels are brilliant.



  • Brit Box: the place to be! mos’ def’!

  • I am glad you like our Shetland and Gardeners world 2 of my favourites and Brenda too.

    • I live in NE England, where this is set. We love it (now wor Brenda’s accent has matured) and are always really pleased to see them filming. Next weekend is the Whitley Bay crime fiction festival – I think Ann (as we all know her as ) is a patron.

      We laugh at the geography in the series. My mum and I regularly text each other to identify locations or to ask why they’re driving the wrong way over the Tyne Bridge! A friend who lives in Shetland says the same thing about that series.

      We love it too and it’s always amazing to hear that Vera is loved elsewhere.

      • Sorry, her accent still grates on me and, yes, I come from Newcastle upon Tyne. I can’t bear to watch it. The books are best.

      • Ah, yes, the geography of TV. My husband and I are constantly rolling our eyes at NCIS. DC to Norfolk is at best 2.5 to 3 hours distance, so you’d need all day to get back and forth.

  • I too love Vera and hope that she never retires.

  • So excited for another season of Vera. Can’t wait!

  • OMG. Best news ever. My feelings for Vera go almost beyond what is normal, and I hadn’t seen her in so long, I assumed she’d been retired. Like you, I guess I’ll have to spring for BritBox, which is annoying since cable bills are now so high that I feel I have to have the TV going all day to get my money’s worth. (Remember when movie marquees had signs saying “Fight Pay TV”—a million years ago—and we had no idea what they were talking about?)

    • I finally gave up cable a while back and don’t miss it one bit.

      • Okay, okay – I’m sold on Vera. Should I go back to Season 1 and start there? I’ve been afraid to buy a Brit Box subscription; my entire life will become watching and knitting, watching and knitting, watching and knitting. Sounds great!!

    • I subscribe to Britbox one month at a time on Amazon Prime so that I can binge watch a new season of Vera and Shetland.

  • Don’t forget her scarves! I’ve always thought she should upgrade her scarf to a classic knit one, something any one of us could contribute!

    • Oh I’ve missed her so. Can’t wait for the new season.

  • Oh how the theme song at the end of the interview made my nervous system calm! I wasn’t even anxious. Vera is such a balm.

  • She is the best.

  • Love Vera a woman who is herself
    PS wish I was closer to your shop

  • In addition to Vera, Shetland will give you many hours of joy. And hours of knitting.

  • Can’t wait!

  • I have lost count of how many times we have rewatched all the Vera episodes! We regularly check to see if an any new episodes have magically appeared. Brenda Blethyn is a joy and the scenery another character. Well pet I am off to search for season 13.

  • I , also, just love Vera, pet! I’ve watched all 12 seasons and look forward to the next. I love her interactions with Kenny.

  • Hearing that there is a Season 13 gives me such joy! I haven’t watched the last episode of season 12 yet as I was saving it for a rainy day. The hint of a Season 14 makes me giddy.

    • I’m with you Becky, I’m so happy to know there’s more of this series. My dad’s family (Stanhope, of course) are from Northumberland. I will resubscribe to BRITBOX ! I only stream now and $7.99/month seems little enough for such enjoyment!

  • aww Brit Box no better way to get your British fix when you live across the pond. I’ve just recently started watching Vera even though a friend had been pushing the show for years. One slight problem with Brit Box its like Netflix easy to binge watch your favorite shows. and then poof your done.Thank you for your knit to this series as I’ve been able to find some wonderful pics over the years.

  • The hat, the Mac, the wheels. Plus that theme music and seeing the Angel of the North in the intro. Haunting in the best way ever!

  • We love Vera too! Thanks for the tip to this show years ago, we so have enjoyed it and will continue to watch it for as long as it lasts. Britbox has brought us lots of joy, very worth the subscription IMHO, most recently with the series Blue Lights.

  • On myBritBox list!

    Some of the comedies – Vicar of Dibley, As Time Goes By, Upstart Crow, got me thru Covid lockdown.

  • I just finally tried her out and streamed the whole 12 seasons. No breaks for reading time, laundry or like activities. Eat, knit, sleep, and Vera.

  • Kay, britbox is a worthy splurge in my opinion. So many hours of knitting content.

    • Another BritBox gem – Lesley Manville with a trying but hysterical family ensemble, in Mum! Also every Marple ever produced.

    • My local PBS has been slacking on the Brit content recently so now I have the need and the time for Britbox, loving it so much.

  • Love Vera! She is iconic for the mix of tart and kind! Watch her on Britbox but also listen to audiobooks through Libby(provided through our library system ).

    • Oooh. audiobooks! Thanks for that rabbit hole!

  • Who could not love Vera’s voice and brusque manner. Brenda Blethyn’s voice is gift I keep giving to my ears. So happy to hear about a new season. Knitting to Vera is the best combination I can think of to relax and be productive at the same time.

  • Another spot on the bingo game would be every time Vera holds her feet up for Aiden to put on her disposable booties before entering a crime scene. Another great show on Britbox is A Touch of Frost with loads of seasons.

    • I love that SO MUCH. Her matter of fact acceptance of the fact that she needs a little help from her junior really resonates, it’s a beautiful wordless insight into character—for both of them.

  • I’m on Season 11. So excited for season 13. Top 5 knit to this. Along with Shetland and Annika.

  • It’s NEVER good when she calls someone “sunshine!” Delighted to learn what we call the Tourism Bureau shots have been successful in bringing people there. It’s so so beautiful!

    • Sunshine is the worst! It’s also bad if she closes the folder and says we’ll be talking to you again. They are about to go all in on your sorry ass.

  • We’ve had BritBox for a few years now. We love Vera and Shetland and a host of series watched. So excited for a new season – yes!

  • I signed up for BritBox and keep it just to keep watching my favourite detective

  • I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of this series. More seasons??? What could be better??? Pet, love, and did you check, are my favorites. I think you are right, a drinking games might be over the top for me! Tee hee!

  • P.S. Anyone been tempted to create a Vera scarf? Red, green or yellow?? Ha!

  • Vera is fabulous watching. The show hits the sweet spot between light and fluffy detective shows and gritty, edgy (not today, I had a bad day at work) shows. Britbox, Acorn, and PBS are most of my TV watching these days.

    Britbox is particularly rich in good detective shows at the moment. In the lighter category – Death in Paradise, Father Brown. Traditional – Poirot, Marple, Morse. Newer series – Lewis, Luther, Shetland. Something there for just about everyone. Difficult project – Poirot, as I’ve seen them all before, easy project – bring on Vera or Shetland…..

  • I love watching the show. I look at the landscape…everything. I look to see if she wearing some knit wear.

  • LOVE Vera!!!!

  • WOOHOO! She’s back!

  • If you like britbox, try Father Brown and Sister Boniface. We love their series and have watched them twice!

  • Vera is but one of my favorites on Brit Box! Love this show!

    • We are on season 11. A great show that my spouse and I both enjoy! I knit, he tries to solve the murder. You go, Vera, love!

  • I love Vera , Brenda Blethyn, and the books are a great read. I’ll be tuning in on Britbox!

  • I love Vera! I just signed up for the BritBox trial special too so I could continue watching later series. She is so smart and quirky, with a subtle sense of humor! There’s beautiful scenery as well. But because I have to watch my knitting, I can’t watch Vera at the same time.

    • Love Vera. She is like family.

  • Just checked and Brenda 13 is still en route. I watch the re runs a lot and always look forward to more.

    Another good show is the movie, Mr. Homes, with Ian Mckellan. My God, he is a great actor. We just watched it and it should get so many awards. I can’t even. On Prime.

  • One of the best shows on TV!

  • Telling everyone what to do and having them nod and respond “Ma’am” is my dream job.

  • I love that Knit to This is another tie that binds us together. Never, ever steer us wrong! I am a Vera devotee – both TV and book series – and strongly identify with her ‘woman of a certain age,’ spinster, cranky with the younger folks at work persona. I like to think that when she finally retires she’ll become a voracious knitter (ha ha!).

    • Editing my comment “YOU never, ever steer us wrong!”

  • I love this Vera I watched all of the episodes

  • I’ve never been so influenced by a television character. I actually looked into buying a Defender as my next vehicle (unfortunately, I really need a pickup truck).

  • Couldn’t agree more. It’s great to know there is more coming. We are on season 10.

  • I didn’t know season 13 was coming so quickly! Very, very, very excited! I too had a Foster fail with BritBox

  • Ok. I re-subscribed to Britbox to watch this and just finished episode 1 of the first season. Generally I’m not a fan of mystery stuff, but the woman who plays Vera is great! I really like how she emotes through it all, in a real human way, instead of being the cool cucumber that most Mystery protagonists seem to have to do. So…lots of knitting-watching coming up!

  • I just finished reading the book series and it has given me a whole new appreciation of the show and Brenda Blethyn’s interpretation of Vera. She really is an amazing character. I hope the series continues for at least a few more seasons!

  • I highly recommend “The Night Manager” on Britbox. It has Hugh Laurie in it and it’s quite good!

  • It seems to me that Vera has gotten better and better every season…and Brenda Blethyn is simply superb. I dread the day when she and Vera decide to retire.

  • Season 13 (and 14 ) of Vera!! My world is complete!! Many times I could imagine myself living the life of Vera, the only things missing are a dog and knitting, of course!

  • I too love Vera and am glad she is continuing to solve crimes (while I knit away).

  • I am too am a very long time fan and have knit to all the episodes on full repeat! Brit Box is my only place to be!! Their programming beats out all others IMO

  • We love Vera and Shetland. There are so many remarkable shows on Britbox, you won’t be disappointed. And I knit along with all of them.

  • Oh my yes!! The show, the books, Brenda. They’re all wonderful. I’m so glad another season is coming up. And my husband will be so happy. One of our favorite shows. I’m ready to put the kettle on and enjoy a new season. Aaaahhh…

  • Brit box has been my “only” way to go – for years. Quality still means something.

  • And the knitted scarves!

  • Love Vera. I also have watched all seasons via Britbox – several times. Never get tired of her exchanges with Aiden, Joe and the rest of her staff. Ms. Blethyn is superb! Thanks for the recommendations

  • I also enjoy Shetland. I love to seek good Fair Isle sweaters on British TV.

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