DIAL M4 MUR­DER

It’s back for a third se­ries – and this time the stars of crime drama Un­for­got­ten get the call to in­ves­ti­gate when the body of girl is found be­side a mo­tor­way. GEMMA DUNN finds out more

The Chronicle - - Tv Highlights -

CRIME drama fans re­joice – for grip­ping ITV drama Un­for­got­ten is back with a whole host of new sus­pects to sift through. The prime-time hit – penned by screen­writer Chris Lang and hailed as the “best de­tec­tive drama of the decade” – will see dream team DCI Cassie Stu­art and DI Sunny Khan (played by Ni­cola Walker and San­jeev Bhaskar, re­spec­tively) re­turn for a third run, as they in­ves­ti­gate an­other emo­tion­ally-charged cold case.

“We dis­cover a body that has been buried be­side a mo­tor­way,” San­jeev, 54, re­veals of the six-part run.

“The mo­tor­way con­struc­tion work­ers dis­cover it whilst do­ing some re­pair work on the road and we then find out that it was a young girl who went miss­ing at the turn of the mil­len­nium – New Year’s Eve 1999.”

It dif­fers to pre­vi­ous sea­sons, he adds: “Be­cause in this one, the in­ves­ti­ga­tion cen­tres around four friends and their fam­i­lies who rented a hol­i­day home near where a young girl went miss­ing.

“These four men have been friends for years, all of them are sup­port­ive of each other and they are all still fairly close,” says The Ku­mars At No. 42 star.

“The in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­comes cen­tred around those char­ac­ters and their fam­i­lies.”

Noted. So what else should we know ahead of the show’s re­turn?

MEET THE SUS­PECTS

MUCH like its pre­de­ces­sors, the lat­est se­ries of Un­for­got­ten plays host to a line-up of ac­claimed British ac­tors – and what a se­lec­tion it is.

Alex Jen­nings, Kevin McNally, Neil Mor­ris­sey and James Fleet join forces to star as four for­mer school friends who, hav­ing stood by one an­other through thick and thin, find their re­la­tion­ships tested to the limit.

For Ni­cola, 48, wel­com­ing new­bies into the fold is one of her favourite parts of the role.

“I ac­tu­ally did my first ever job with James Fleet in Four Wed­dings And A Funeral, which I am in for a blink!” she re­calls.

“I met James there and have done plays with him since. I think he is ab­so­lutely re­mark­able in this show. I had also worked with Alex Jen­nings on Spooks, but I hadn’t worked with Neil Mor­ris­sey or Kevin McNally be­fore, so that was ex­cit­ing,” she says.

“That is al­ways one of the best bits about this job, do­ing those first few scenes when we knock on the door with the new sus­pects be­hind it, know­ing you are go­ing to go on this in­ter­est­ing jour­ney with them.”

TIM­ING IS EVERY­THING

WHILE the who­dunit drama is obliged to check cer­tain boxes – there’s a body, tick, and sus­pects, tick – that’s where the sim­i­lar­ity ends.

First off, the case in­ves­ti­gated this se­ries is the most re­cent to date, with the vic­tim hav­ing gone miss­ing only 18 years ear­lier (pre­vi­ous se­ries harked back 30 to 40 years).

This af­fects the team’s ap­proach to the case, ex­plains Ni­cola.

“There is the com­pli­ca­tion that ev­ery­one they speak to when try­ing to iden­tify the body is hop­ing it is their child and that af­ter all of these years they will be able to bury a body,” be­gins The Split ac­tress.

“For many, many peo­ple it is in liv­ing mem­ory, and that makes the case in­cred­i­bly com­plex,” she elab­o­rates.

“In the past, that dis­tance of time has prob­a­bly al­lowed the team to step back a lit­tle. But this year, Cassie warns them that they will have to tread ex­tremely gen­tly be­cause it is all very re­cent.”

TRIAL BY ME­DIA

AN­OTHER rel­e­vant ad­di­tion to the TV favourite is the ex­plo­ration of press and so­cial me­dia in the story.

“Ev­ery­one jumps on so­cial me­dia

I think Chris is ask­ing us to have a con­ver­sa­tion about... so­cial me­dia’s im­pact on sup­po­si­tions about who may be guilty be­fore a case has been taken to court Ni­cola praises writer Chris Lang’s ap­proach to a thorny is­sue

to prof­fer an opin­ion of some sort nowa­days and this se­ries looks at the im­pact that has on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion it­self,” notes San­jeev.

“It used to be that peo­ple got their in­for­ma­tion through news­pa­pers and if you wanted to make a com­ment you ei­ther made it to your friends in a pub or you wrote to a news­pa­per,” he con­tin­ues.

“The reach of those things is quite lim­ited, whereas now you can put it on so­cial me­dia and it goes around the world.”

“Be­cause it’s so high-pro­file, this case. It’s one of those ones that would have just been mass me­dia cov­er­age.

“But 18 years ago, so­cial me­dia was non-ex­is­tent,” Ni­cola says.

“Now that’s an­other an­gle that I think Chris is re­ally ask­ing us to have a con­ver­sa­tion about: so­cial me­dia’s im­pact on sup­po­si­tions about who may be guilty be­fore a case has ac­tu­ally been fol­lowed through and taken to court.”

IT’S A GUESS­ING GAME

WITH four sus­pects to mull over – just how easy is it to join the dots, then?

“lt would be a mis­take to think of there be­ing four sus­pects,” San­jeev says, with a smile. “There are four key peo­ple of in­ter­est, but there are more peo­ple around it.

“When I got the first script, I re­ally thought, ‘Oh it was that per­son’ and then the pages turn and I think, ‘No it’s her. Or him. Or ev­ery­one’,” adds the fa­ther-of-one, ad­mit­ting even his ac­tress wife, Meera Syal, does not get a tip-off.

“I have done that on every set of scripts on every se­ries [but] the rea­son peo­ple love de­tec­tive shows is you play the part of the de­tec­tive!” “It’s re­ally clever,” Ni­cola con­curs. “I spent a lot of time feel­ing cer­tain I knew who had done it and I was com­pletely wrong.”

EMO­TIONAL TIES

FI­NALLY the third chap­ter will check in on the two de­tec­tives, who last se­ries dra­mat­i­cally de­cided to walk away from a case when they dis­cov­ered that the sus­pects were vic­tims of child sex abuse who had plot­ted to kill their abuser.

For Cassie in par­tic­u­lar, the job – and that case – has taken its toll emo­tion­ally.

“She’s not su­per­woman!” Ni­cola con­tests. “Chris never set out to make a se­ries about su­per­hero cops; they’re real peo­ple and there’s some col­lat­eral dam­age for Cassie, as it goes on.” Will we see her strug­gling to cope? “There is a voice in her head which is telling her she may have to re­think the way she is deal­ing with her pro­fes­sional and per­sonal life,” she says.

“But she ig­nores it and keeps go­ing, like we all do.”

Un­for­got­ten re­turns to ITV to­mor­row at 9pm

DCI Cassie Stu­art (Ni­cola Walker) and DI Sunny Khan (San­jeev Bhaskar) search for the killer of a girl miss­ing since the turn of the mil­le­nium L-R: Neil Mor­ris­sey and Alex Jen­nings are part of an­other im­pres­sive cast for the third sea­son of Un­for­got­ten

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.