Unforgotten Episode 1 – The DVDfever Review

unforgotten

Unforgotten was more ‘uneven’, blending a story about bones being found under a house – not an uncommon occurence these days as housing estates are redeveloped, and in this case it was thanks to some builders looking for the mains supply. But whose were they? When were they put there? And were they murdered before they had a chance to be a fan of the Bay City Rollers? No predictable question stone was left unturned in ITV’s plot-by-numbers trudge.

Was it a very shallow grave, or one built further down? They had trouble narrowing it down, given that they didn’t know how deep the floor level was originally, and this might depend on how far back they were buried. Regardless of a skull suffering blunt force trauma as a probable cause of death, it was a numbers game.

Could the bodies have been under there since 1886 when the house was built? But no, they found a car key with the body. Cars first came about in America in 1917, but then this one might’ve dated only as far back as the ’40s, then some time in the ’50s and on to the ’60s. I kept expecting Bruce Forsyth to pop up and shout “Higher! Higher!”


unforgotten


If you hadn’t fallen asleep along the way, then you’ll know that modern science was able to figure out not only how far back it dates, but also its serial number, and it was tracked down to a vehicle bought in January 1966, most likely stolen by the victim in 1975, then bought by a garage in 1977, then sold to a Steve Bennett in 1991 for a restoration that never happened.

At one point, DS Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan (played by the utterly charmless Sanjeev Bhaskar) asked, Why still look for a 50-year-old car even though it would contain no traceable link? DCI Cass Stuart (Nicola Walker from The Last Train) declared: “Because we’ve got bugger all else”, rather like the plot from this drama’s writer.

As it came to an end, a diary from 1976 found amongst the car’s items, which some boffins were magically able to scan with various machines, giving complex descriptions about how they could be viewed, and hey presto, they find names and phone numbers.

Until this point we’d been introduced to a random number of individuals with seemingly no point to their existence in this world played by Trevor Eve, Tom Courtenay, Gemma Jones, Peter Egan, Claire Goose, Hannah Gordon, Cherie Lunghi, Tessa Peake-Jones, Brian Bovell, Zoe Telford, David Troughton, plus Bernard Hill as a priest. But wouldn’tcha know it… theirs are the names in the diary! Zzzzz….

And so ended the first episode in a 6-parter for which I won’t be returning. Nicola Walker is normally good, but she was just going through the motions, here, much like everyone else in the cast.

Overall, Unforgotten proved to be entirely forgettable. Just a a stack of big names in search of a reasonable plot to hang them onto. Yes, they had a connection with the contents of the diary, but as that was the big ‘reveal’, it can stay covered up for all I care!

Unforgotten continues next Thursday on ITV at 9pm, and it is available to pre-order on DVD, ahead of its release on November 16th. If you missed it, you can watch the episode on ITV Player, up until November 7th.


Unforgotten – Trailer


Episode 1 Score: 1/10

Director: Andy Wilson
Producer: Tim Bradley
Writer/Creator: Chris Lang
Music: Michael Price

Cast:
DCI Cass Stuart: Nicola Walker
DS Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan: Sanjeev Bhaskar
Father Robert Greaves: Bernard Hill
Eric Slater: Tom Courtenay
Claire Slater: Gemma Jones
Martin: Peter Egan
Sir Phillip Cross: Trevor Eve
Ellie Greaves: Claire Goose
Grace Greaves: Hannah Gordon
Shirley Cross: Cherie Lunghi
Sheila: Tessa Peake-Jones
Bella Cross: Zoe Telford
Geoff: David Troughton
Ray Wilton: Brian Bovell
Lizzie Wilton: Ruth Sheen
John Burton: Dominic Coleman
Liam Gough: Matthew Cottle
DS Karen Willetts: Pippa Nixon
DS Jake Collier: Lewis Reeves
Kelly: Yasmine Akram
Matt Slater: Adam Astill
Josh Cross: Tom Austen
Lassiter: Clifford Barry
Meredith: Paul Cawley
Mary White: Rita Davies
Sean Rawlins: Jonathan Harden
DS Murray Boulting: Jordan Long
Builder: Matthew David McCarthy
Brandon: Valentine Olukoga
Tom: Duncan Pow
Les Slater: Dominic Power
Mark Bennett: Benedict Taylor
James: Simon Wilson
Uniformed Police Officer: Emma Jason (uncredited)

Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.
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