Unforgotten, ITV, Nicola Walker, Sanjeev Bhaskar

MAINSTREET PICTURES FOR ITV UNFORGOTTEN EPISODE 1 Pictured : NICOLA WALKER as DCI Cassie Stuart and SANJEEV BHASKAR as DS Sunil Khan. Photographer: JOHN ROGERS This image is the copyright of ITV and must be credited. The images are for one use only and to be used in relation to UNFORGOTTEN, any further usage could incur a fee.

Nicola Walker as DCI Cassie Stuart and Sanjeev Bhaskar as DS Sunil Khan

A terrific cast comes together for this intriguing cold-case drama

★★★½ ITV, starts Thursday, 8 October, 9pm

UNFORGOTTEN brings together an odd-couple lead pairing of Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar as coppers probing a 39-year-old cold case.

 UNFORGOTTEN EPISODE 1 Pictured : NICOLA WALKER as DCI Cassie Stuart and SANJEEV BHASKAR as DS Sunil Khan. Photographer: JOHN ROGERS This image is the copyright of ITV and must be credited. The images are for one use only and to be used in relation to UNFORGOTTEN, any further usage could incur a fee.

Digging for clues: DCI Cassie Stuart and DS Sunil Khan

Walker is currently on the crest of a career wave following a versatile run of successes in Last Tango in Halifax, Babylon and a menacing turn in Scott & Bailey. She is also excellent as a shadowy presence in the BBC’s forthcoming River, another crime series.

Meanwhile, Bhaskar has a track record as a terrific comedy presence in the likes of The Kumars and Goodness Gracious Me, and has been flexing his dramatic muscles in series such as The Indian Doctor.

With Bernard Hill, Tom Courtenay, Trevor Eve

Do they work as a dramatic pairing here? Walker is a dramatic actress who can pull off the light-hearted moments, whereas Bhaskar seems a light actor who remains light. So,on the basis on having seen only the opening episode, I would say the jury’s still out.

What is not in doubt is that in addition to these two performers, Unforgotten has a seriously fab cast of actors and a juicy story to keep us returning for the full six episodes.

 UNFORGOTTEN EPISODE 1 Pictured : NICOLA WALKER as DCI Cassie Stuart and SANJEEV BHASKAR as DS Sunil Khan. Photographer: JOHN ROGERS This image is the copyright of ITV and must be credited. The images are for one use only and to be used in relation to UNFORGOTTEN, any further usage could incur a fee.


Time trial: Stuart and Khan find the victim’s car

It has Bernard Hill as a troubled priest, Hannah Gordon as his angry wife, Trevor Eve as a slick politician and Tom Courtenay as a dangerously stubborn pensioner. Peter Egan, Cherie Lunghi, Claire Goose and Gemma Jones also feature.

Mystery from 1976

The discovery of a body gets the story rolling, as you’d expect in a murder mystery. DI Cassie Stuart (Walker) and DS Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan (Bhaskar) turn up at Arlingham House, where builders have found a skeleton under the basement’s concrete floor. Is this the remains of a Victorian, or someone from an earlier time, or more recent?

MAINSTREET PICTURES FOR ITV UNFORGOTTEN EPISODE 1 Pictured : TOM COURTENAY as Eric Slater. Photographer: JOHN ROGERS This image is the copyright of ITV and must be credited. The images are for one use only and to be used in relation to UNFORGOTTEN, any further usage could incur a fee.

Implicated? Tom Courtenay as Eric Slater

A car key eventually provides the lead the detectives need, and the body is that of a young man from 1976. It’s clear this is to be a story of hidden lives and unfolding secrets. Arlingham House is a Victorian building that has done service as a home, a British Rail records office, flats, a homeless hostel and a DHSS office. A lot’s happened there and someone’s been living a life for nearly 40 years pretending to be something that they’re not.

While the story, written by Chris Lang, who also wrote Undeniable and A Mother’s Son, has potential to be a fine mystery, the opening episode is bitty and confusing. It’s lumbered with a lot of storylines to activate, flitting from London to Cambridgeshire to Southend, and introducing us to the politician, a couple helping a teenage student, a struggling retired couple, and the priest, to say nothing of the murder investigation.

All the strands do dramatically come together as the episode finishes, however. With this many distinguished actors and the prospect of the old secrets and twists to be revealed, it promises to get better as it unfolds.

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