Will there be another season of Vera and is Brenda Blethyn leaving as DCI Vera Stanhope as the ITV drama draws to an emotional close?

You might be wondering if another season of Vera is on the cards after the heartfelt scenes in the Vera season 13 finale

 DAVID LEON as DI Joe Ashworth, RHIANNON CLEMENTS as Steph, BRENDA BLETHYN as DCI Vera Stanhope, RILEY JONES as DC Mark Edwards and JON MORRISON as DS Kenny Lockhart in Vera season 13, episode 3
(Image credit: ITV STUDIOS FOR ITV1)

Another season of Vera is something that long-time fans will be eager for - especially after the emotional scenes that brought Vera season 13 to a close.

In the blink of an eye (or so it seems) Vera season 13 has come to an end this January and the ITV drama rounded off the latest series in style. Entitled Salt & Vinegar, DCI Vera Stanhope stepped up both investigatively and as a friend to DI Joe Ashworth in this episode which included plenty of personal development for both of them. Now Sunday nights are a Vera-free zone with the timeslot partially set to be taken over when Trigger Point season 2 starts. Understandably, many fans will no doubt be wondering about the future of the ITV show and if lead star Brenda Blethyn is leaving as Vera after season 13 after intriguing comments she’s made.

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

BRENDA BLETHYN as DCI Vera Stanhope and DAVID LEON as DI Joe Ashworth

(Image credit: ITV STUDIOS FOR ITV1)

Will there be another season of Vera? 

Before the Vera season 13 finale fans would be forgiven for being a little anxious about the future of the show and it’s now been confirmed that there’ll be two more episodes that will start filming this spring. Whether this will count as another season of Vera isn’t clear, although Vera season 13 only had three episodes so it’s possible that the upcoming instalments could make up Vera season 14. If not, then at least fans know that the season 13 finale isn’t the last we’ll see of DCI Stanhope and her loyal crime-solving team even if there isn’t another full season of Vera. 

Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope

(Image credit: ITV STUDIOS FOR ITV1)

This will be a relief to many as Brenda Blethyn had previously indicated that there was “nothing planned” for Vera's future ahead of season 13 starting. However, she did suggest that it wasn’t off the table and the recent announcement of two new feature-length episodes certainly seems to suggest that plans are now in motion. 

"At the moment there is nothing planned. But that’s not to say they’re not talking about it,” she declared, as per Express.co.uk in December. "There might be a winding up. I don’t know. Ann Cleeves is also writing her 11th Vera book, so, there’s also that to consider. But a whole series? I think not. We’ll see.”

Brenda’s comments could explain why so far two episodes and not another season of Vera specifically have been announced. Perhaps the two episodes could be a “winding up” but even if they are, it'll still be lovely to see Brenda back as Vera as new episodes could give fans the chance to say a proper goodbye if they do decide to end the ITV drama there. 

Brenda’s decision over whether or not she wants to return, though, is ultimately key to whether the show will continue, either with just a few more episodes or with another season of Vera at some point.

Is Brenda Blethyn leaving as Vera? 

The announcement of two more Vera episodes, if not another season of Vera, means Brenda Blethyn isn’t leaving the show - at least not before they’re filmed. Vera just wouldn’t be Vera without DCI Vera Stanhope as she is the main focus of the ITV drama, as well as of the Ann Cleeves books that inspired the series. So fans might be astonished - and more than a little sad - to learn that it’s perfectly possible Brenda could leave Vera at some point as she’s revealed that she almost did before agreeing to film Vera season 13.


(Image credit: ITV STUDIOS FOR ITV1)

According to Express.co.uk, Brenda explained that she came back to film Vera season 13 thanks to the return of former regular cast member David Leon. He played Vera Stanhope’s first sergeant, DS Joe Ashworth, who is still a primary character in Ann Cleeves’s book series.

David departed Vera after season 4 and he was replaced by Kenny Doughty who played Joe's successor, DS Aiden Healy. We saw Kenny Doughty leave Vera in the 2023 Christmas special, The Rising Tide, whilst David returned from season 13 episode 1 as now-DI Ashworth.

"After we filmed The Rising Tide at the end of 2022 I didn’t want to do anymore without Kenny Doughty, who had decided to leave. But I said, ‘I’ll think about it if you can see if David Leon is available to return as Joe Ashworth.’ And so they did and here I am,” Brenda said.

DAVID LEON as DI Joe Ashworth

(Image credit: ITV STUDIOS FOR ITV1)
The Rising Tide by Ann Cleeves |Was £9.99, Now £7.99 at Amazon

The Rising Tide by Ann Cleeves |Was £9.99, Now £7.99 at Amazon

The Rising Tide is the most recent novel in Ann Cleeves's Vera Stanhope series. The intense storyline was adapted in Vera's 2023 Christmas special and involves a DCI Stanhope and her team investigating after the reunion of a group of friends on Holy Island leads to one of them being found dead.

She also stated categorically, “I wouldn’t have continued if David had not agreed to come back. I just didn’t want to start another board game with somebody else when I know I’m not going to do many more. And who would want to do it anyway?”

Thankfully for fans, David’s return meant that we’ve got to enjoy Vera season 13 which has provided not only some brilliantly crafted storylines, but a chance to revisit the dynamic between Vera and Joe. But Brenda’s remarks and her suggestion that she already knows she’s “not going to do many more” indicate that she will perhaps leave at some point.

BRENDA BLETHYN as DCI Vera Stanhope, DAVID LEON as DI Joe Ashworth

(Image credit: ITV STUDIOS FOR ITV1)

Will Joe Ashworth be in the new Vera episodes? 

It’s not clear from the recent announcement about the new episodes whether Joe Ashworth will be in them. However, in light of Brenda’s comments about not wanting to do more episodes with “somebody else” it seems likely that David Leon could be back in the two new episodes. He’s also previously explained to RadioTimes.com that he’s up for returning as Joe again. 

"I'd certainly be very open to [returning],” he said. "We haven't had any conversations about that as things stand, but it's something I'm very proud of and I'd certainly be open-minded to that."

David Leon as DI Joe Ashworth

(Image credit: ITV Studios for ITV1)

The Vera season 13 finale left things very much open for Joe to remain with Vera’s team. Although he’d relocated to the North East because his father had fallen ill, all indications were that Joe had other reasons to stay, including his bond with his colleagues. Joe’s father passed away in the finale and all episode long Vera had been urging him to go to his father’s side at the hospice and to abandon the case, but he’d thought he’d be of more “use” helping her.

The DCI had even had a very candid heart-to-heart with Joe about how much she was grateful that she got to say goodbye to her own father, Hector, before he passed away. These scenes were very emotional between the two characters and showed the depth of Vera and Joe’s history. 

BRENDA BLETHYN as DCI Vera Stanhope, DAVID LEON as DI Joe Ashworth

(Image credit: ITV STUDIOS FOR ITV1)

In the final moments of the episode Joe visited Vera at home and they once again talked about life, with Vera declaring, “You’re ambitious, Joe. And you take your work seriously and you’ll go far. I’ve always known it. But career, money, and all the other things people chase after, they’re not what people remember in the end.”

It seemed as though Vera was reminding Joe how much being surrounded by great people - like Vera and the rest of the team - means. She also said that she has her “people” too and that hers are her “colleagues”. This cemented how important her team is to her and Joe certainly seemed moved by her words, giving hope that he might be back in the new episodes.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!