DCI Cassie Stewart and DI Sunny Khan (Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar) are back, doing what they do best: investigating unresolved murder cases from the past. Last time, it was the discovery of the remains of a teenage girl on a building site just off the M1 which brought a group of middle-aged onetime Millennium partygoers under suspicion. This time, it’s the discovery of the headless corpse of a Millwall fan in a freezer which threatens to provide an unwelcome trip down memory lane for a new bunch of suspects. But who are they? All have secrets in their past and now appear to have moved on. An old ‘Marathon’ chocolate bar wrapper (from just before the unpopular decision was made to rename the brand ‘Snickers’) is just one of a number of clues suggesting the crime was committed back in 1990. But who is ultimately responsible for the death?
Could it be the slightly chippy Ram Sidhu (Phaldut Sharma) currently preoccupied with his wife’s pregnancy? Or Liz Baildon (Susan Lynch) who seems to have the elderly mother from hell (Sheila Hancock?) Or doting dad and family man, Dean Barton (Andy Nyman), committed to charity work but involved in some dodgy business dealings on the side? Or seemingly perfectly settled Peak District dwelling family therapist, Fiona Grayson (Liz White, somehow perfect in the role despite technically being about ten years’ too young for it?)
As usual, the joy of Unforgotten stems from seeing these often seemingly perfect modern lives slowly unravel as more and more mysteries about past events and the characters involved are slowly revealed. There is also, as before, the wonderful central relationship between Walker and Bhaskar’s characters. With Sunny now relatively settled as he moves in with his girlfriend, it is Cassie, who this time, finds herself under strain on all sides with both a dad with dementia (Peter Egan) and a boyfriend (Alastair Mackenzie) potentially on the move. Keen to retire after the traumatic climax to the previous case, Cassie is forced to work on this one final stressful case in order to qualify for her full police pension.
As perfectly realised and beautifully acted as before, Chris Lang’s Unforgotten remains the finest British crime drama on TV today.