‘Vera’ Season 13 Begins Filming As David Leon Returns

Blethyn and Leon stand casually together in front of a house, smiling at something off camera

David Leon is back in Vera alongside Brenda Blethyn.


For fans of shows like Sanditon and Grantchester that have seen their leading men depart too soon, Vera is here to prove that dreams can come true and beloved characters can return. If you need to see it to believe it, feast your eyes on the first look at Vera stars Brenda Blethyn and David Leon filming Season 13 of the long-running detective show. Joe Ashworth (Leon) is returning after almost a decade away from the show. He departed at the end of Season 4, and though Vera (Blethyn) was clearly missing Sergeant Ashworth at the start of Season 5, the show never fully explained why he left. The upcoming Season 13 may hold the answers.

Season 13 will consist of three self-contained episodes, all starring Blethyn and Leon. Leon’s return was announced in March, to the delight of fans and cast alike. Leon told ITV, "I’m thrilled to be returning to Vera. It's fantastic to be back in the northeast and reunited with Brenda and the crew for the new series. I’m looking forward to exploring the relationship between Joe and Vera as they make up for lost time." They have plenty of lost time to cover, eight seasons worth, to be precise.

Before Season 13, fans will get one last look at Vera sans Joe in The Rising Tide, the fifth and final episode of Season 12. This episode, based on the Ann Cleeves novel of the same title, is set to air later in 2023, but a date has not yet been announced.

Vera and Joe stand together in front of a car with green hills behind them

David Leon returns to his rightful place beside Brenda Blethyn in Vera.


Filming for Season 13 is currently taking place in the Northumberland region of northeast England. Blethyn, as always, is brimming with enthusiasm for the upcoming season. She commented, "Stepping back into Vera's shoes for the 13th series feels like coming home again. The support from the locals in the northeast is truly heart-warming, and reuniting with the talented David Leon and the rest of our exceptional team is an absolute delight. Together, we embark on this new chapter with a terrific script crafted by the brilliant Paul Matthew Thompson." Thompson has written episodes of Vera in every season since 2016, bringing some extra familiarity for fans on top of Leon’s return.

The first episode of Season 13 will be titled “Fast Love,” and unlike The Rising Tide, it is not based on a Cleeves novel. This is standard for the show, which quickly surpassed Cleeves’s ten novels. The official synopsis of the episode is as follows:

In the opening episode, titled Fast Love, DCI Vera Stanhope is called to a quiet country lane where a young man has been found dead following a collision with a car. Vera discovers that the victim is a popular market trader so heads down to his pitch to start to put together an idea of who the man is.

As the investigation gathers pace, Vera learns that this cheeky chappy was a complex character. Antagonistic, arrogant and able to get what he wanted but did all of this come at a price? Adding to the complexity of the case, Vera is taken aback by Joe Ashworth's return and is unsure of his motives.

Vera stands in her classic hat and jacket in front of a car with green hills in the background.

Vera dons her trademark raincoat and fishing hat for a thirteenth season.


The returning cast for Season 13 includes Jon Morrison as DC Kenny Lockhart, Riley Jones as DC Mark Edwards, and Sarah Kameela Impey as Dr Paula Bennett. Rhiannon Clements (Ridley) will join the cast as new recruit DC Steph Duncan.

The guest cast of “Fast Love” includes Nimmy March (Midsomer Murders), Amit Shah (Happy Valley), Stephen Lord (Coronation Street), Patrick McNamee (Inspector George Gently), Andrew Dunn (The Syndicate), Bryan Dick (Ridley), Samantha Seager (Coronation Street), and Bruce Khan (War of the Worlds).

There is no word yet on when Season 13 of Vera will air. Seasons 1-12 of Vera are available to stream on BritBox.

Author Emma O’Neill-Dietel

Emma O’Neill-Dietel is a writer, educator, and history nerd from Philadelphia, PA. She eats, sleeps, and breathes Doctor Who but has been known to enjoy other British TV and movies too. She may love British media but don’t get it twisted; she’s Irish through and through. Follow her on Threads: @emmaod22.

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