Is there a new series of Vera, how many seasons are there and how to watch the atmospheric drama as a heart-wrenching episode airs

You might be wondering if there's a new series of Vera after seeing As The Crow Flies air again and there's plenty to come from the ITV drama

Is there a new series of Vera? Seen here is DCI Vera Stanhope played by Brenda Blethyn
(Image credit: BritBox/ITV)

Hoping for a new series of Vera? Then you might well have been wondering if it’s already started if you caught a brief glimpse of a recently-aired episode.

If you tuned into ITV1 on 6th August you will have seen the brilliant Brenda Blethyn giving a memorable performance as DCI Vera Stanhope in the hit ITV drama Vera. Inspired by the original characters and storylines of Ann Cleeves’ Vera book series, the show is set in the North East of England and sees everyone’s favourite macintosh-wearing no-nonsense detective solving some of the most devastating crimes. Vera season 12 aired earlier this year and the recent episode might well have got some eager fans wondering if this was part of a new series of Vera and when we might tentatively expect the next instalment of the show.

Here we reveal if there is a new series of Vera, how many seasons of the hit Ann Cleeves adaptation there are and how to watch them all…

BRENDA BLETHYN as Vera Stanhope and KENNY DOUGHTY as DS Aiden Healy.

(Image credit: ITV STUDIOS FOR ITV)

Is there a new series of Vera and is it currently airing? 

Anyone who’s been eagerly anticipating the Brenda Blethyn drama’s return since Vera The Darkest Evening aired in February 2023 might well have been excited to see Vera taking a key scheduling slot of 7-9pm once again on Sunday, 6th August. However, whilst there is a new series of Vera that has been commissioned, this isn’t the one that was airing. On that particular day ITV were re-showing the brilliant As the Crow Flies episode from season 11 which featured Line of Duty’s Craig Parkinson as well as EastEnders star Ann Mitchell.  

This was a particularly heart-wrenching episode which saw Craig's on-screen wife, teacher Lizzy Swann, found dead at the bottom of a coastal path after having to confront some horrifying truths within her family. Given that this was the fourth episode of season 11, it’s possible that over the coming weeks and months the rest of season 11 and possibly also season 12 could be given another outing on ITV1 too.

Though the next episode isn’t currently set to air in the same slot next Sunday, though they are re-showing older series on ITV3, including episodes Vera The Sea Glass and Vera Natural Selection. The new series of Vera will be season 13, though there’s also another very special episode coming up later this year that fans of Ann Cleeves’ book series will no doubt be excited about.

How many seasons of Vera are there? 

There are currently 12 seasons of Vera that have aired so far, with a special seventh episode of season 12 set to be broadcast in 2023 that directly adapts the most recent Ann Cleeves Vera novel - The Rising Tide. We know that this will be coming out at some point (probably before season 13) because it’s already filmed and none other than DCI Vera Stanhope’s acclaimed actor Brenda Blethyn herself has confirmed this. 

Opening up to ahead of the release of Vera season 12, Brenda teased that The Darkest Evening isn’t the only storyline adapted from a specific Ann Cleeves book in that series. And according to her, the episode inspired by The Rising Tide wrapped filming last December. 

BRENDA BLETHYN as DCI Vera Stanhope and PAUL KAYE as Malcolm Donahue

(Image credit: ITV STUDIOS FOR ITV1)

“Vera fans can look forward to six new feature length episodes, instead of the usual four. To be followed by a seventh film – The Rising Tide – later in the year, which we only finished filming just before Christmas. That’s based on the latest Ann Cleeves’ Vera novel of the same name which was published in September. We began making that in November and wrapped in December,” Brenda declared at the time. 

Out of the 51 episodes that have been made so far, the Vera star shared that ten of them have been adapted from Ann Cleeves’ books. She praised the “well-defined characters” that the bestselling author has created, adding that it was this which has allowed “other story writers to bring them to life on screen as well.”

It’s not known exactly when The Rising Tide special will air, but in light of Brenda’s remark about it coming “later in the year”, it seems as though Vera fans can expect it some time before the end of 2023. The autumn is also a great time for gripping crime dramas to land as the nights get darker and make cosy nights a more regular occurrence. It would also be fabulous for the special Vera episode to come reasonably close to Vera season 13 to spark excitement amongst fans for what else is to come.

When will Vera season 13 air? 

If anything, we currently know less about when the new series of Vera will air than about the potential air date for The Rising Tide special, with no release date confirmed. However, reports claimed that Vera season 13 began filming in May 2023 and there will apparently be three self-contained episodes within it. 

This won’t come as a surprise to long-time Vera fans and people who love fellow crime dramas like Annika and Endeavour season 9 which also have new plotlines for each episode. Some have predicted that Vera season 13 could air in 2024 and although in the past Vera release dates have varied, several seasons have premiered in January or February.

Brenda Blethyn and David Leon as Vera and Joe

(Image credit: Collection Christophel © ITV Studios via Alamy)

If the new series of Vera follows this pattern then it’s possible that January or February 2024 could see the release of the first episode. Though it’s equally likely that fans could have a bit of a longer wait.

One thing we can be sure of, though, is that the new series of Vera will see the return of DS Joe Ashworth. Right up to the most recent Vera book, The Rising Tide, Joe has remained DCI Stanhope’s loyal detective sidekick but his show actor David Leon left Vera as Joe in season 4, meaning his role has been filled by the show-only character DS Aiden Healy since then. Joe’s return will be met with joy from many Vera fans, though sadly it also comes as Kenny Doughty leaves as Aiden. 

How to watch Vera from the beginning  

Whether you caught As the Crow Flies on ITV1 and have been inspired to dive into all Vera has to offer or simply want to re-watch everything from the beginning before the new series of Vera airs, then ITV is the place to head. UK-based fans can watch Vera seasons 1-12 (excluding the as-yet-to-be-released The Rising Tide special) for free via ITVX. Episodes from various seasons also often air on ITV1 and ITV3 over weekends and in the evenings, like Vera The Sea Glass on 10th August.

BRENDA BLETHYN as Vera Stanhope and KENNY DOUGHTY as DS Aiden Healy.

(Image credit: ITV STUDIOS FOR ITV)

For US fans Vera seasons 1-12 can be watched via Amazon Prime Video with a BritBox subscription added to your package or via a standalone BritBox subscription. BritBox offers a 7-day free trial and after that it costs $7.99 per month or $79.99 a year. 

Sadly, if you’re going to be on holiday abroad when you want to watch Vera from the beginning you won’t be able to see it like you normally would at home thanks to regional restrictions. Luckily there’s an easy solution and you can use a VPN to continue watching. This is a handy bit of software that changes your IP address so that you can access on-demand content or live TV just as if you were at home.

BRENDA BLETHYN as DCI Vera Stanhope and KENNY DOUGHTY as DS Aiden Healy

(Image credit: ITV STUDIOS FOR ITV1)

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Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with seven years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.