|Created by||Chris Lang|
|Written by||Chris Lang|
|Directed by||Andy Wilson|
|Opening theme||"All We Do" by Oh Wonder|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||4|
|No. of episodes||24|
|Running time||45 minutes|
|Production company||Mainstreet Pictures|
|Picture format||16:9 (1080i)|
|Original release||8 October 2015 –|
Unforgotten is a British crime drama television series, which initially aired on ITV on 8 October 2015. It is written by creator Chris Lang and directed by Andy Wilson. The programme follows a team of London detectives, led by DCI Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker) and DI Sunny Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar), as they solve cold cases of disappearance and murder.
Each series consists of six episodes. Series 1 to 4 were broadcast in the UK in 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2021 respectively. On 30 March 2021, a fifth series was announced, scheduled for release in 2022, and Sanjeev Bhaskar was confirmed to be reprising his role.
Each series deals with a new case, introducing seemingly unconnected characters who are gradually revealed to have some relationship with the victim. As the murder mystery unfolds, the emotional ramifications of the crime are also explored in the lives of those affected.
Unforgotten has received critical acclaim: with Tom Courtenay winning the 2016 BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actor for the first series, and with Mark Bonnar winning the 2017 BAFTA Scotland for Best Actor in Television for the second series.
Plots of each series
Series 1 focuses on the murder of James "Jimmy" Sullivan (Harley Alexander-Sule), a seventeen-year-old who disappeared in 1976. His remains are discovered during the demolition of a house in North London.
Series 2 follows the murder of David Walker (Daniel Gosling), a Conservative Party consultant who went missing in 1990. His saponified remains are found in a suitcase thrown in the River Lea in north-east London.
Series 3 investigates the murder of schoolgirl Hayley Reid (Bronagh Waugh), who disappeared from a seaside resort town on New Year's Eve 1999. Her skeleton is discovered by workmen repairing the central reservation of the M1 motorway in London.
Series 4 follows the discovery of Matthew Walsh's headless and handless corpse in 2020, apparently frozen since his disappearance in 1990 when he encountered five police trainees celebrating their graduation from the academy.
Plots and themes spanning series
Series 1 through 4 include the story of DCI "Cassie" Stuart's personal life: of the typical but growing conflicts in her immediate family; of her spartan arms-length relationships with individuals who like her; of her drive to solve cases; and of her coping both successfully and unsuccessfully with the relentless strain of her job. During the historical cold-cases Cassie verbalizes her driving motives: find the truth of what happened, provide closure to the living, and possibly bring a criminal to justice. An inner motive surfaces when she says she hopes solving a current case will help "... [me] move on... If we can do this right, if we can ignore who they are and do it by the book, then all the questions [and faces] might all go away. And I might be able to sleep at night."
- Nicola Walker as DCI Cassandra 'Cassie' Stuart (series 1–4)
- Sanjeev Bhaskar as DI Sunil 'Sunny' Khan [Note 1]
- Jordan Long as DS Murray Boulting
- Lewis Reeves as DC Jake Collier
- Pippa Nixon as DC Karen 'Kaz' Willetts (series 1, 4)
- Peter Egan as Martin Hughes, DCI Stuart's father
- Jassa Ahluwalia as Adam Stuart, DCI Stuart's son
- Colin R. Campbell as DSI Clive Andrews, DCI Stuart's boss
- Carolina Main as DC Fran Lingley (series 2–present)[Note 2]
- Alastair MacKenzie as ex-DCI John Bentley and later Cassie's partner (series 3–present)
- Georgia Mackenzie as Dr. Leanne Balcombe, pathologist (series 3–present)
- Michelle Bonnard as Sal, Sunny's partner (series 3–present)
- Janet Dibley as Jenny, Martin's partner (series 3–present)
Series 1 (2015) cast
- Tom Courtenay as Eric Slater
- Trevor Eve as Sir Phillip Cross
- Bernard Hill as Father Robert Greaves
- Ruth Sheen as Lizzie Wilton
- Gemma Jones as Claire Slater
- Cherie Lunghi as Shirley Cross
- Hannah Gordon as Grace Greaves
- Brian Bovell as Ray Wilton
- Frances Tomelty as Maureen Sullivan
- Claire Goose as Ellie Greaves
- Zoe Telford as Bella Cross
- Tamzin Malleson as Caroline Greaves
- Dominic Power as Les Slater
- Tom Austen as Josh Cross
- Adam Astill as Matt Slater
- Jonathan Harden as Sean Rawlins
- Tessa Peake-Jones as Sheila
- Harley Alexander-Sule as Jimmy Sullivan
- Silas Carson as Marcus Archer
- David Troughton as Father Geoff
- Matthew Cottle as Liam Gough
- John Salthouse as ex-DCI Kendrick
- Dannie Pye as Vincent Erskine
- Ade Oyefeso as Curtis Salgado
- Yasmine Akram as Kelly
- Dominic Coleman as John Burton
- Sharon Duncan Brewster as CPS Lawyer Harding
Series 2 (2017) cast
- Lorraine Ashbourne as DI Tessa Nixon
- Mark Bonnar as Colin Osborne
- Rosie Cavaliero as Marion Kelsey
- Badria Timimi as Sara Mahmoud
- Adeel Akhtar as Hassan Mahmoud
- Charlie Condou as Simon Osborne
- Douglas Hodge as Paul Nixon
- Nigel Lindsay as Tony Kelsey
- Holly Aird as Elise Dunphy
- Wendy Craig as Joy Dunphy
- Emma Cunniffe as Janet
- Bryony Hannah as Cath
- Will Brown as Jason Walker
- Daniel Gosling as David Walker
- Katherine Jakeways as Nicola
- Josef Altin as Tyler Da Silva
- Nathalie Armin as DSI Kuldip Gill
- Maggie O'Neill as Ellen Price
- Mairead McKinley as Sinead Quinn
- Bill Paterson as Harry Osborne
- Louiza Patikas as Amy East
Series 3 (2018) cast
- James Fleet as Chris Lowe
- Alex Jennings as Tim Finch
- Kevin McNally as James Hollis
- Neil Morrissey as Pete Carr
- Sasha Behar as Jamila Faruk
- Emma Fielding as Amy Hollis
- Indra Ové as Maria Carr
- Amanda Root as Carol Finch
- Sara Stewart as Mel Hollis
- Bronagh Waugh as Jessica Reid
- Brid Brennan as Suzanne Reid
- Finlay Robertson as Mark Harper
- Tom Rhys Harries as Eliot Hollis
- Siobhan Redmond as Derran Finch
- Tori Allen-Martin as Sandra Rayworth
- Lucinda Dryzek as Claire Finch
- Jo Herbert as Emma Finch
- Gabrielle Glaister as Alison Pinion
- Sara Powell as The Arbiter
- Ash Rizi as Dr. Walsh
- Liran Nathan as Raheem
Series 4 (2021) cast
- Susan Lynch as DCC Liz Baildon
- Andy Nyman as Dean Barton
- Phaldut Sharma as DCI Ram Sidhu
- Liz White as Fiona Grayson
- Sheila Hancock as Eileen Baildon
- Lucy Speed as Marnie Barton
- Clare Calbraith as Anna Sidhu
- Daniel Flynn as Geoff Tomlinson
- Alec Newman as Mark Tomlinson
- Ronny Jhutti as Bal Sidhu
- Indira Joshi as Riya Sidhu
- James Craze as Matthew and Jerome Walsh
- Denise Black as DCI June Marshall
- Kate Williams as Mary Quinn
- Charles Dale as Chief Constable Robin
- Amanda Douge as Janet
- Mina Andala as Eugenia Castillo
- David Schofield as Clive Walsh
- Ian Burfield as Ian Henderson
- Elizabeth Counsell as Suzie Montgomery
After the unexpected success of the initial series, ITV commissioned a second series, with Lang returning as writer and Wilson as director. It was shot on location by the River Lea, in the Cotswolds, and along the promenade in Brighton.
A third series order was announced on 2 March 2017, following strong viewing figures. Scenes were set in Lymington, Hampshire (which substituted for the fictional Middenham and its estuary), Uxbridge, Middlesex, Amersham in Buckinghamshire, Clifton in Bristol, Ealing in West London, and King's Lynn and Hunstanton in Norfolk. An empty mansion at Bulstrode Park near Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire provided the setting for the police station and lab. Only seven weeks after filming wrapped, the third series began broadcasting in the UK on 15 July 2018.
A fourth series was scheduled to be made in autumn 2019; however, ITV only confirmed in January 2020 that filming had commenced, with the planned broadcasting timeframe having been delayed. In September 2020, it was announced that filming had recommenced and the series planned on being screened in 2021, with actors Walker, Bhaskar, Reeves and Egan all reprising their roles. The new series eventually began screening in February 2021.
|Series||Episodes||Originally aired||Avg UK viewership|
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||6||8 October 2015||12 November 2015||6.44|
|2||6||5 January 2017||9 February 2017||6.91|
|3||6||15 July 2018||19 August 2018||6.85|
|4||6||22 February 2021||29 March 2021||9.49|
Series 1 (2015)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||UK viewers|
|1||1||"Episode 1"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||8 October 2015||7.35|
|A skeleton found in the cellar of a building being demolished prompts an investigation from DCI Cassie Stuart and her colleague DI Sunny Khan into the murder of a young man that could potentially date back thousands of years. Discovery of what they believe to be a car key near the body not only dates it to within the last 65 years, but also leads them on a trail in the hope of identifying the victim. At the end of the trail is a diary belonging to Jimmy Sullivan, a young man missing since 1976, who appears to be the victim. The final pages of the diary contain several names and addresses: amongst them are Beth, Father Rob, Frankie C and Mr Slater, four seemingly unconnected people living separate lives. It is now down to Cassie and Sunny to find out what happened to Jimmy and to finally get him home.|
|2||2||"Episode 2"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||15 October 2015||6.41|
|Once the body in the cellar has been identified as Jimmy Sullivan, the search for his murderer begins. Cassie and Sunny investigate, starting with identifying the names featured in Jimmy's diary. Cassie travels to Liverpool to see Jimmy's mother, Maureen, to get a sense of who Jimmy was. She is met by a woman who is in fact relieved that she might finally find out what happened to her son 39 years after he went missing. 'Frankie C' is identified as Sir Phillip Cross, the government's recently appointed entrepreneurial tzar, who denies ever having met Jimmy. 'Beth' is identified as Lizzie Wilton, living in Croydon and married to Ray, a second-generation Jamaican man. Lizzie also denies knowing Jimmy but is clearly a different person from who she was in the 1970s before her marriage. 'Father Rob' is Robert Greaves, who at the time of Jimmy's death, was working in the local church close to Arlingham House. 'Mr Slater' is Eric Slater, a wheelchair user and a retired bookkeeper living with his wife Claire in Cambridgeshire.|
|3||3||"Episode 3"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||22 October 2015||6.29|
|The investigation into Jimmy's death continues. Cassie and Sunny pay a visit to Father Robert Greaves, who remembers Jimmy fondly, but is unable to help identify the mysterious 'Jo-Jo', the person who it appears gave Jimmy the diary. Cassie and Sunny also meet Eric Slater, a former bookkeeper to Arlingham House, who remembers Jimmy well.|
|4||4||"Episode 4"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||29 October 2015||6.61|
|As the investigation into the cold-case murder continues, the forensic team discovers that the marks on the victim's body are consistent with known gangland torture methods. With this in mind, Cassie and Sunny question Sir Phillip about his involvement with a prominent East End crime family 40 years ago. Did the businessman or any of the shady associates of his youth have anything to do with Jimmy's disappearance or murder? Meanwhile, Eric and Claire's anniversary gets under way. Ray returns home to find Lizzie gone, broken glass where a brick was thrown through a window, and a note with the word "Sorry" on it.|
|5||5||"Episode 5"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||5 November 2015||5.95|
|Following the revelation that a second victim may be buried at the bottom of the Slaters' garden, Cassie and Sunny gatecrash their 45th anniversary party and begin searching for a second body, and it's not long before they find one. Eric Slater is arrested, but denies all charges made against him. After some initial reluctance, Curtis agrees to help Ray go in search of Lizzie. Father Robert confesses that he was the one who stole money from the church charity fund, and that after his secret affair with JoJo, she became pregnant and he has been using the money to pay the way for his illegitimate child. Before the news breaks of Eric Slater's arrest, Sir Phillip Cross has already made a deal with his son's Turkish contacts and before he is able to change his mind, the witness who came forward with evidence against him is killed in a house fire, made to look like an accident caused when the man 'fell asleep smoking'. Evidence found in Eric Slater's home links him to the location of the last known whereabouts of the second victim, and following the revelation that Jimmy had been selling himself for sex as a way of repaying the debt he owed to the Fenwicks, Cassie and Sunny finally realise that the connection between both murders may be Eric Slater's hidden hatred for homosexuals.|
|6||6||"Episode 6"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||12 November 2015||6.01|
|Father Robert's revelations prove to have lasting repercussions, especially for Caroline when she goes into premature labour. Bella and Josh deliberate over the best way to deal with their father's criminality, the search for Lizzie continues and Maureen is finally able to lay Jimmy to rest, after the identity of his murderer is revealed.|
^ Episodes 1 – 5's ratings are based on 28-day data from BARB for ITV and ITV+1 and 7-day data for ITV HD. Episode 6's ratings are based on 28-day data from BARB for ITV, ITV+1 and ITV HD.
Series 2 (2017)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||UK viewers|
|7||1||"Episode 1"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||5 January 2017||7.29|
|Workers dredging the River Lea in London discover a body in a suitcase that may have been in the water for a long time. Cassie and Sunny are assigned the case and try to identify the victim through his watch and pager. Meanwhile, in Brighton, criminal barrister Colin Osborne (Mark Bonnar) and his husband, Simon (Charlie Condou), are adopting a six-year old girl. They are blackmailed by her birth mother's partner, Tyler, who witnessed Colin keying the car of a homophobe. In London, Marion Kelsey (Rosie Cavaliero) works as a nurse on a children's cancer ward and is struggling to balance supporting her patients, her marriage and dealing with her family. In Salisbury, teacher Sara Mahmoud (Badira Timini) attends an interview for a headmistress position. In the Cotswolds, Jason Walker who struggles to maintain relationships with women, is visited on his birthday by his mother Tessa Nixon (Lorraine Ashbourne), a detective inspector in Oxford. Sunny identifies the watch's owner as David Walker, who disappeared in May 1990. Cassie and Sunny notify Tessa, his widow, who has remarried.|
|8||2||"Episode 2"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||12 January 2017||7.08|
|As the investigation into David Walker's murder continues, the team try to decode a series of messages found on the victim's pager. One message appears to be an address in King's Cross, which is soon discovered to have been a brothel at the time of Walker's death. Cassie and Sunny interrogate Sara Mahmoud, who was known to have been working as a prostitute from the address at the time – but she denies even knowing Walker, and claims that she was on holiday in Italy at the time of the murder. A telephone number in the victim's diary leads Cassie and Sunny to Colin Osborne, who also denies ever having known Walker. Osborne, meanwhile, continues to feel the pressure from Tyler. Tessa Nixon's boss, Detective Superintendent Gill (Nathalie Armin), asks her to take restricted duties while the investigation takes its course, which she angrily refuses to do as she has not been named as a suspect in her husband's death. Cassie begins to suspect that her father, Martin, is hiding something from her when she discovers a train ticket in his pocket, and a series of unknown payments on his credit card.|
|9||3||"Episode 3"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||19 January 2017||7.04|
|The discovery that Walker was sexually abused during his time in primary education leads the team to suspect that the perpetrator, if still alive, would be in his early 80s. Sunny interviews Walker's best friend, James Gregory (Richard Hope), who claims that in the days leading up to his death, Walker confronted the abuser, who denied being involved in any such abuse. Cassie visits the address found on the back of Walker's business card, and interviews Marion's mother and sister, Joy and Elise, who claim at the time of Walker's death, Marion was the only one living at the house and could be the only person to have given out the address. Checks on Marion's criminal history reveal she was arrested in 1988 for assaulting a police officer during a protest march, and that she was living at an address with a known IRA conspirator. Meanwhile, Sara is forced to tell her husband, Hassan, about her past life, and Colin reveals that he had a mental breakdown and was sectioned just days before Walker disappeared.|
|10||4||"Episode 4"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||26 January 2017||6.52|
|Sara's life begins to fall apart when her son overhears details from her secret past, and inadvertently manages to tell all of his friends. Meanwhile, Cassie discovers that Colin was sacked from his City job in 1989 for reportedly sexually assaulting one of his female colleagues during an office party, a fact which leads her to believe that Colin was framed for the attack. Meanwhile, Marion is suspended from work after Zoe absconds from her parents' care. As the investigation into Walker's past continues, Sunny discovers that he was heavily into S&M, and sexually attacked at least one woman with whom he slept. Concerns that his private fantasies may have spilt over into his charity work are confirmed when Ellen Price, a resident at one of the care homes where Walker volunteered, comes forward to tell the police that Walker interfered with her and other children at the home. Tyler continues to blackmail Colin, leading Simon to make a drastic decision. Paul, Tessa's second husband, fears that Jason may have inherited his father's traits.|
|11||5||"Episode 5"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||2 February 2017||6.77|
|Sara's long lost father turns up out of the blue with some long-buried secrets about her past. Colin is shocked to discover that the rape allegation made against him was concocted by David Walker, who paid the supposed victim £5,000 to fake the story. Ellen Price revisits the location where Walker and his friends used to hold 'parties' where children were abused. Tessa's denial of David's activities is called into question when Ellen recalls David's wife having turned up at one of the parties, which forced a row in front of many of the guests. As Marion's home life continues to spiral, she tries to make things up with Zoe. Simon makes the heartbreaking decision to cease the adoption unless Colin can convince Tyler to back off. While Sara denies every possibility put to her by Cassie, the scenes are cut with Sara's father telling an opposite scenario of Sara's life at age 13 to Sara's husband. Sara's husband uncovers evidence which confirms she was in Naples at the time of the murder. With all of the possible suspects now carrying a solid alibi, Cassie and Sunny are stumped as to who the killer might be. Sunny tries to reveal his true feelings for Cassie.|
|12||6||"Episode 6"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||9 February 2017||6.77|
|With each of the suspects having a motive, opportunity or connection to David Walker, Cassie and Sunny try to join the dots to discover who actually killed him 25 years earlier. Though Sara has provided reliable evidence that she was in Italy when the murder took place, Cassie suspects that it is too good – that it is something put together by someone who knew that one day they would need an alibi. The team wonder whether the case is part of a wider revenge plan. On that new line of investigation, the team find that Sara and Colin had been in the same psychiatric hospital at the same time, and could have met then. The team's notion is that each one killed the abuser of another, not their own abuser. After talking to Marion's sister and mother about the abuse suffered by Marion at the hands of her father, Cassie follows Marion to speak with her. She is in the back room of a pub, talking with Colin and Sara. In the next scene, Cassie then speaks with Colin alone. Colin tells her the details of the abuse in his childhood, at the hands of a friend of his parents. Each of the three, Colin, Sara and Marion, are shown telling the story of their past to their present spouse. Cassie decides, and is supported by Sunny, that as all three have suffered all their lives and work in jobs of high value to society, there seems to be no value in pursuing prison for them. There is also insufficient data for a solid court case, especially as one of the bodies was never found and the other death is recorded as suicide.|
Series 3 (2018)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||UK viewers|
|13||1||"Episode 1"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||15 July 2018||6.80|
|When workmen carrying out carriageway repairs on M1 uncover human remains in the central reservation, Cassie and the team investigate. Despite suspicions the remains could be archaeological, forensic analysis reveals the victim was a young female who could not have been buried before 1991. The only clue is a titanium surgical plate that appears foreign and has no serial number. Sunny identifies the plate as having been manufactured by a Greek Cypriot company in the mid-1990s, and working on the assumption that the victim may have broken her wrist on holiday, the team begin to trawl through hundreds of missing persons files in the hope of finding an identity. They discover Hayley Reid, a 16-year-old who disappeared on New Year's Day in 2000, and her twin sister, Jessica, confirms she broke her wrist while on holiday in Cyprus in 1995 and had a plate inserted.|
|14||2||"Episode 2"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||22 July 2018||6.64|
|Cassie and Sunny visit Hayley's family in Middenham, Hampshire, and break the news that it appears Hayley was strangled. Jessica warns Cassie that reopening the investigation could potentially bring a swarm of negative press back to the town, which wiped out the town's remaining tourism trade for years after Hayley's disappearance. Cassie and Sunny meet with former DCI John Bentley, second in command for the original investigation into Hayley's disappearance, who describes his guilt for the police initially dismissing Hayley as a runaway. The police had investigated Hayley's boyfriend, Adrian Mullery, but he was never charged. After DNA confirms the remains were Hayley, one of her friends informs Cassie and Sunny that two days before her disappearance, Hayley subbed for her cleaning a holiday rental. News of the discovery reaches the four key potential suspects in the investigation. Jamie Hollis, who hosts a television quiz show, declines to speak to the police without his lawyer and panics after the police leave.|
|15||3||"Episode 3"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||29 July 2018||6.74|
|Cassie and Sunny learn from Jamie that he and three friends shared the holiday rental with their families before the New Year, and that they spent New Year's Eve at the house before returning to London on 2 January. The detectives note the friends attended school close to where Hayley was buried, and three who were married divorced shortly afterward. All four are troubled: Jamie is struggling to deal with his ex-wife and drug addict son, Eliot, who suffers from gender dysphoria; bipolar artist Chris Lowe lives in a van off-the-grid; Pete Carr is a failed salesman; and GP Dr. Tim Finch was investigated for verbally abusing an elderly patient. Pete sees the circumstances as a solution to his financial problems, and surprisingly tells the police he saw Hayley cleaning the rental house; he claims he knew nothing of her disappearance as he returned to Hong Kong, where he was living at the time, shortly after. The rest of the team look at the timelines and leads from the original investigation, including a burglary at a church and a black sedan seen driving erratically. Jamie's ex-wife, Melissa, reveals the men were drinking and some using cocaine, and that after Chris had a mental breakdown, the four left before midnight.|
|16||4||"Episode 4"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||5 August 2018||6.84|
|Detectives investigate why the four men not only lied about staying in on New Year's Eve 2000, but colluded in that lie. Jamie is besieged by journalists after a blogger, Sandra Rayworth, exposes his connection to Hayley. Pete, who served time in a Hong Kong prison for defrauding a disability charity, admits to the church robbery after DNA ties him to the scene. Tim's ex-wife, Derran, says he is a controlling and abusive man. Chris's daughter says her parents' marriage and his business were destroyed because he was arrested for child porn, but police cannot find any record of this. Melissa, an author, gives an interview discussing her experience as a wife of a perpetually unfaithful man, resulting in multiple emails from women who had sexual liaisons with Jamie, who liked rape fantasies. Pete tries to blackmail Jamie, saying he "knows things" about Jamie's son the night of Hayley's murder. Police investigate Eliot after discovering he had already been arrested several times, including for stealing his father's car. After Cassie leaves his file in a café and his past is exposed, Pete is stabbed by an unknown assailant.|
|17||5||"Episode 5"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||12 August 2018||6.81|
|After barely surviving the attack, Pete dies, putting Cassie's career in jeopardy. Tim tells the police that prior to the attack, Pete told him that on New Year's Eve 2000, he saw Eliot sneaking into the house after 2 am. Fran believes that Hayley's diary uses codewords to describe drug use and sex, and that she was looking to buy drugs for a New Year's Eve party. Chris states that despite his arrest, he was not the one who visited child porn websites, and investigators were able to prove his credit card info was stolen, leading to all charges being dropped, but his life destroyed. Jamie's former car matches the one seen driving erratically, and Melissa claims that her husband had told her he hit a deer that weekend. Jamie tells police he believed his son accidentally killed Hayley while driving drunk, her body fallen into the river and washed out to sea. After Pete's death, Sandra is arrested for inciting the vigilantism that ultimately killed him. Police arrest Tim after discovering he was pulled over for speeding outside Middenham on 3 January 2000 – the day after he'd returned to London|
|18||6||"Episode 6"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||19 August 2018||7.31|
|Tim claims that the scrunchie, woman's knickers and a cross necklace found in a lockbox in his cellar were purchased at a fete for his daughters, but DNA results prove they belonged to Alison Baldwin, a 14-year-old from Earlridge, Cambridgeshire, found raped and strangled in 1997. Tim denies involvement, but after it's revealed he was staying in Earlridge for a medical conference when Alison was abducted, he confesses to being a serial rapist and murderer of young girls. Without any remorse, Tim nonchalantly explains how he abducted, raped and strangled Hayley while coming across her by chance on New Year's Eve, and later takes them to the remains of another one of his victims. He confesses to there being many more victims but does not give their details. Chris reconciles with his fiancée, Jamila, and Cassie visits her father, who encourages her to take time off from work. Several months later, Cassie and Sunny bring flowers to a memorial garden for Hayley.|
Series 4 (2021)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||UK viewers|
|19||1||"Episode 1"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||22 February 2021||9.49|
|In 2020 DI Sunny Khan and DC Fran Lingley are called in to identify a headless and handless body found in a freezer on a scrap heap. The victim’s name (Matthew Walsh) and probable time of death (March 1990) are quickly learned from a candy wrapper, a tattoo, and a missing person report. The first suspect (Rob Fogerty) is identified by the freezer, is now deceased, and had a drink driving (DUI) arrest in March 1990. Ram Sidhu (wearing topcoat and scarf; and is DCI of a vice unit) improperly parks and soon (unrelated to parking) stuffs something (worth a returned smile) into a man's shirt pocket. Fiona Grayson (a professionally dressed therapist) enters a Family Counseling Center after she, her partner, and two young children tranquilly departed their old stone country home this morning. Liz Baildon (first properly dressed for city cycling, and later in her DCC dress-blue) visits her home-bound angry mother and then her same-sex fiancé. Dean Barton (in casual business attire) signs papers & contracts in his elegant home office and then at his business. Dean returns a call to someone asking for a favor in Calais; Dean says “I don't do that anymore”; but then “How much are we talking.” DCI Cassie Stuart's request to retire early on medical grounds is denied, so she returns to work for just three more months in order to qualify for a full pension. Cassie and Sunny review: The last sighting of Matthew was 10:55 pm on March 30, 1990; the drink driving report on Rob Fogerty was 40 minutes later less than a mile from Matthew's address; and the body was in Rob's freezer. A tidy case. Surprising them is a line in the report stating there were four other people in the car. They speak with the arresting officer who remembers the drink driving well because “It was so odd. All five were newly qualified coppers celebrating their passing out [graduation from academy].”|
|20||2||"Episode 2"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||1 March 2021||9.40|
|Fiona, who has said her parents died before her memory of them, drives to a cemetery and lays flowers at the grave of her parents who died in 1980 and 1991. The gravestone says “[he] was a copper's copper.” Ram is (again) accused of misconduct (this time sexual harassment) and (again) claims it is racially motivated. He then uses another officer’s computer to search for information about his accuser. A dignified official panel interviews DCC Liz concerning her candidacy for CC. Sunny guesses Matthew's disappearance was not thoroughly pursued because the original investigators thought Matthew was laying low due to a warrant. DS Murray summarizes the next-of-kin at the time of disappearance: Matthew's parents are now dead; brother Clive should be alive somewhere; his girlfriend was pregnant, birthed, went missing, died from overdose; and the girlfriend bore Jerome Walsh. DC Jake looks through all remaining belongings from Rob’s home; a key-ring appears with faded writing on the labels for the lab to enhance. Dean obtains a mobile phone and SIM card, walks onto a ferry, taxi to a parking lot, drives a van onto a ferry, anď nods to a customs officer and exhales relief. He calls someone saying the van is parked and crushes the phone. Cassie contacts Jerome. Liz’s mother sows a seed: “I could tell you a thing or two about our Elizabeth that would make your hair turn gray.” At a solicitor’s office Fiona and her partner sign a contract for a commercial loan for a new counseling office. Sunny is looking through box after box in the police archives and finds the hand-written notebook of the arresting officer who stopped Rob. There are four first names: Ram, Fiona, Dean, and Liz. Cassie and Sunny speak with the personnel department, which searches for those names in various classes. There was indeed a class of 20 which began September 4, 1989, and had their ceremony on March 30, 1990. Those four names are in that class and no other overlapping classes; two are still-serving police officers. With no further leads they decide to release information about the case to the media to see what happens. All four suspects see the request for help during the late news on TV.|
|21||3||"Episode 3"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||9 March 2021||9.26|
|The morning after the TV announcement, Ram sneaks out of the house. Dean carries on. Liz calls in sick and receives a call telling her, unofficially, that she has been promoted to CC. Fiona calls in sick, then calls the solicitor, asking if there is any way to stop the contract signed yesterday, or if she change her last name to her partner's name. She says there is something in her past that could now be discovered. Eventually, she says, reluctantly, that she had a criminal conviction in 1993. A witness comes forward to say he saw the victim being chased on that night by two men, one Asian and one unusually tall, near where the car was stopped. Ram waits for his accuser at her home, stops her door from closing with his foot, and says, “I have a financial proposition.” Later he walks into his supervisor's office, provides a plausible explanation about the accuser's motive, plays a recording, and says, “It's over.” Cassie interviews Liz at home. As an experienced investigator herself, Liz gives qualified answers with no more information than what Cassie asks or reveals, and ends with: "No recollection of anyone getting out to load a dead body in to the boot if that’s what you mean." Sunny interviews Fiona at home. She does not remember Liz. Fiona says becoming a cop was entirely for her dad, as she hated it. On the night of graduation she poured anything down her throat and does not remember that night, nor much of the next three years. Cassie briefly interviews Dean because he does not remember much; his memory is jogged by Cassie's questions, and he concludes, “We'd all had a few, so I can't swear.” Sunny interviews Ram in Ram's office. After one question and no answer, Ram throws him out. Fiona walks up to Liz outside a police station. Liz says, “Are you insane?” She tells Fiona where to meet tomorrow, what to wear, not to drive, and pay for train ticket in cash. With the key-ring DC Jake finds a storage unit with a small freezer containing the head and hands of Matthew inside.|
|22||4||"Episode 4"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||15 March 2021||9.68|
|Fiona and Liz meet in a park where Liz frisks Fiona for a wire. Satisfied, they talk as former mates. Liz says, “You remember the truth like we agreed?” and then she has to remind Fiona. Liz says they won’t find out about the pub. DS Murray reports that Matthew, three weeks before disappearing, was cautioned for an ABH (actual bodily harm) in a pub frequented by probationers. The officer who handled the pub tells Murray her sergeant wrote the report and deliberately minimized the events to keep a serious brawl out of court and to omit the probationers names. Matthew sexually assaulted Fiona; Ram intervened and got the worst end of it; Liz was there. Dean and Ram meet in a woods. Ram, as an insider, will keep an eye on the historical case. Dean thanks Ram for the short-notice help with Calais, and both agree “one off” and “no more.” Clive Walsh says he was with his brother that night. He was relieving himself in the bushes when he heard 'Oi Walshy boy!' He saw a car and an Asian boy run toward Matthew who then ran. Then the tall driver got out and ran. Then a third who walked. Two women from the back seat eventually got out and went off. Clive walked around looking for Matthew, then he saw the car drive by with one person: the tall driver. The Walsh family thought Matthew was laying low for awhile; Clive laid low because of warrant on himself. The team now knows all five are suspects because they all got out of the car. Oddly, a birth certificate for Dean is not in the records. Dean says to his wife and probable partner in crime, “They can't connect us to that now.” Ram is formally interviewed at the station and volunteers some facts but denies other questions. He is then confronted with photographs, the witness accounts, and the bar report. Ram points out they have an old guy saying he saw an Asian guy get out of a car thirty years ago; “you've got nothing”; he leaves. The team learns Fiona was convicted for dangerous driving in 1993 when a child died in the other car. A blood sample was taken due to the smell of alcohol, but the sample went missing from the police station. DC Kaz reports that Liz worked at that station from 1991 to 1994; furthermore, Fiona and Liz listed the same address in the 1991 census. Brick dust is found on the victim. An x-ray reveals a long slender object inside the skull. Possibly the victim hit a brick wall and fell onto something that broke off after entering the skull; or the object is the murder weapon.|
|23||5||"Episode 5"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||22 March 2021||9.61|
|The team learns that Dean Barton changed his last name from Quinn three months before the academy and that the Quinns were a gang-like family. The elderly pub matron/owner tells DS Murray about the pub incident. She remembers the probies. The no-name girl drank too much. She and Busy Lizzy were an item. No, it was not a flirting pass; Matthew grabbed no-name in the alley; Ram interrupted it; and Matthew made a mess of Ram's face. Fiona tells her partner that her therapeutic training is real, and so is her Ph.D., but she bought the counseling license for a hundred quid in 2004 because she had a criminal conviction. The team connects Dean and Ram by their phone records; they recently met in a woody area; so the team will also pursue financial records. Cassie and Sunny summarize their status (paraphrasing): “We don't have anything on anyone that will stick in court.” “And who will the four suspects pin it on?” “The dead fifth guy who had the body in his freezer.” Cassie decides to scare them with what they do know. Posters asking for help are hung on the fence near the incident. An elderly man formally testifies he saw everything that night on his 40th birthday: two were carrying something in a tarp, one opened the boot, and a woman and man argued. Liz asks her mother, “How long have you known?” Liz threatens her mother with suffocation. DC Jake reports Liz was on duty that night when the blood sample went missing, plus, Liz had volunteered for overtime. Liz is sitting in her superior's glass office when she sees DC Jake & Murray coming for her and says to him, “Sir, one thing, I'm afraid I need to withdraw my candidacy.” Fiona is emotionally unraveling while explaining her past to her family. She says “I killed a child!” (to her family), which is overheard by DC Fran (who has come for her) immediately followed by “You've come about that body!” Liz is interviewed. She is confronted with a mountain of evidence and testimony. Liz says, “Didn't happen.” Cassie tells her, yes, we don't know the specifics about how he died, but we do know his death had something to do with the five of you that night. Liz coldly says, “No comment.” Between interviews, the pathologist reports that the object in Matthew’s skull is a gold fountain pen. It was likely not inserted post mortem and could have a serial number. Fiona is interviewed and confronted with the mountain; plus, Matthew was likely stabbed. “No.” To the head. “No. He was never stabbed, I promise you, it was an accident.” She talks non-stop for a long time, telling all that she knows in the sequence it happened. Her story indicates that all five eventually gathered over the unconscious lad who they came to realize was dead. Cassie and all four suspects are individually driving at night; Cassie waits at a stop; she starts moving forward; her car is violently T-boned.|
|24||6||"Episode 6"||Andy Wilson||Chris Lang||29 March 2021||9.50|
Sunny runs into the hospital. Cassie's family gathers there, and over time each person talks privately to an unconscious Cassie. Sunny takes over the team. DS Murray reports large sums of money transferred between an account controlled by Dean and another by Ram. The latter is arrested and interviewed and confronted with the growing evidence that he murdered Matthew. He admits that he and Rob chased Matthew because of the tussle in the pub. His final rendition is, “I didn't kill him. I found him on the ground, bleeding from the head, next to a wall. I tried to save him. Ask the others, they were there, I gave him CPR." Dean is arrested and interviewed. He initiates revising his story now that he has had a few days to think about that night, but he is still inconsistent. Then he is told a customs officer is being cooperative. What leverage did you/Dean have on Ram to corrupt him into smuggling drugs? Dean repeatedly says, “No comment.” Taking a break, Sunny and the team review. No one is blaming Rob. Why is Dean not throwing Ram under the bus? It is DI Sunny Kahn who deduces the missing connection between the victim and one suspect. An engraving on the pen strengthens the connection. Dean Barton (formerly Quinn) confesses to impulsively murdering, in March 1990, Matthew Walsh, who had killed his beloved older brother (Stephen Quinn) in late August 1989. Dean says he found the fallen and unconscious Matthew before the others and shoved the pen into the existing wound; he left, circled back, and saw Ram giving him CPR. Dean emotionally expresses remorse over the murder and about his personal failure to truly sever himself from his roots in the violent Quinn family. Dean is charged with murder, and the other three with preventing a lawful burial. Dean and Ram are charged for their cocaine smuggling operation. Liz is suspended and charged over the blood samples which she has admitted to losing. Fiona is charged with practicing psychology without a license. Cassie is operated on, but her head injury is severe, and she dies without regaining consciousness. Sunny delivers a moving eulogy at her funeral.Last appearance of Nicola Walker as DCI Cassie Stuart.
Prior to the UK broadcast of the third series, the first series premiered on 8 April 2018 in the United States, as part of PBS Masterpiece Mystery. After two back-to-back episodes were aired each week, the second series was similarly broadcast as three weekly parts from 29 April 2018 to 13 May 2018. Series 3 premiered on 7 April 2019. Series 4 premiered on 11 July 2021.
The first three series have been released on Region 2 DVD individually. A box-set release of the first two series was made available shortly after the broadcast of the second series. A further box-set release of the first three series came out shortly after the broadcast of the third series. The fourth series has also been released on Region 2 DVD on its own. The first four series have been made available on Amazon Prime in some countries.
Awards and nominations
|2016||British Academy Television Awards (BAFTA TV)||Best Supporting Actor||Tom Courtenay||Won|||
|Royal Television Society (RTS) Programme Awards||Best Actor – Male||Tom Courtenay||Nominated|||
|Broadcasting Press Guild (BPG) Awards||Best Actress||Nicola Walker||Nominated|||
|C21 International Drama Awards||Best English-Language Drama Series||Unforgotten||Nominated|||
|Best Casting of a Drama Series||Unforgotten||Nominated|||
|2017||London Screenwriters' Festival – British Screenwriters’ Awards||Best Crime Writing on Television (Series/Single Drama)||Chris Lang||Nominated|||
|British Academy Scotland Awards (BAFTA Scotland)||Best Actor in Television||Mark Bonnar||Won|||
|2018||Broadcasting Press Guild (BPG) Awards||Best Actor||Mark Bonnar||Won|||
|2019||British Academy Television Awards (BAFTA TV)||Best Supporting Actor||Alex Jennings||Nominated|||
A remake is in development for ABC in the United States, with Josh Berman, Sony Pictures Television and BBC Worldwide Productions producing. Retitled Suspects, it will feature a new cast and crew. Chris Lang will not be involved in the United States version, and Nicola Walker will not make an appearance.
- Listed in the credits in the first three series as DS and sometimes also referred to as such in dialogue; more commonly referred to in dialogue as DI and, in series 3, this rank is shown on his warrant card.
- Credited as DS in series 4, but still referred to as DC in dialogue.
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- @UnforgottenTV (30 March 2021). "Thanks for all the love during and after last night's series 4 finale. #Unforgotten will return, with @TVSanjeev and a new partner in crime next year. @ChrisLangWriter" (Tweet). Retrieved 6 April 2021 – via Twitter.
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- Holmes, Leilani (17 September 2017). "The British Screenwriters' Awards 2017". London Screenwriters' Festival.
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- Andreeva, Nellie (5 October 2017). "ABC Developing 'Suspects' Crime Drama Based On British Format With Josh Berman". Deadline Hollywood.
- White, Peter (31 July 2018). "British Writer Chris Lang On Crime Dramas 'Unforgotten' & 'Innocent' & Why He's Moving into Romantic Comedy". Deadline Hollywood.
- Jeffery, Morgan (12 February 2018). "Nicola Walker reveals when Unforgotten series 3 starts filming – and whether she'll appear in the US remake". Digital Spy.