A 39 year-old cold case suddenly becomes red hot when ITV’s Unforgotten hits our TV screens this Thursday night.
When the bones of a young man are found beneath the footings of a demolished house, an investigation begins that will unravel the lives of four people who have been waiting for this moment for nearly forty years.
It doesn’t take them long to discover that the past can’t, and won’t, stay buried for ever – but who are they? And who plays them?
Let’s meet the cast…
DCI Cassie Stuart – Nicola Walker
Last Tango in Halifax favourite Nicola Walker plays Cassie Stuart, a divorced DCI who lives with her father Martin and has two sons, both studying at University.
She’s charged with investigating the death of a young man, whose body is discovered in the foundations of a Victorian property, but is in no way prepared for how much the case touches her, particularly when she breaks the news of his death to the boy’s mother.
Walker’s no stranger to police drama, having popped up in Scott and Bailey, Prisoner’s Wives and 1997’s Touching Evil opposite Robson Green. And you might just recognise her from spy drama Spooks too.
DS Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan – Sanjeev Bhaskar
Cassie’s work colleague DS Sunny Khan takes Sanjeev Bhaskar far from the Kumars at Number 42. A single father of two teenage girls, Sunny is overworked but always does his best to deliver. Sunny and Cassie have a tight working relationship and know how to have a good laugh.
As does Bhaskar, who is probably best known for his role in comedy classic Goodness Gracious Me. He’s done drama before though, popping up in the likes of Jonathan Creek, Doctor Who, Dalziel and Pascoe and The Indian Doctor.
On the big screen you may have spotted him in Notting Hill, The Guru and Anita and Me, to name but a few. And he also took viewers to his family’s homeland in BBC documentary India with Sanjeev Bhaskar.
Eric Slater – Tom Courtenay
Is that the bloke from Doctor Zhivago? You bet it is. Sir Tom Courtenay is wheelchair bound Eric, a former book keeper who worked at Arlingham House in the late 70s, and remembers the victim of the crime well. He is the carer of his much loved wife Claire (played by Gemma Jones), who has advanced dementia. Now long in retirement, Eric is in the process of organising a 40th wedding anniversary party, and trying to resist his son Les’ proposal that he and Claire move to sheltered housing when the series begins.
As for Courtenay, well, what can we say? The man is a legend of stage and screen, having first come to the world’s attention in the 1960s in films like The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Billy Liar and Doctor Zhivago.
Most recently he popped up in The Golden Compass, 45 Years, and will soon be on the big screen again playing Corporal Jones in the Dad’s Army movie.
Sir Philip Cross – Trevor Eve
He may be best known for playing men of the law like Shoestring and Detective Superintendent Peter Boyd in BBC television drama Waking the Dead, but it seems as though Trevor Eve finds him on the other side of the law in Unforgotten.
Sir Philip Cross is in very good health for a man in his 60’s. He has recently been appointed as the government’s entrepreneur Czar and has been happily married to his childhood sweetheart Shirley (played by Cherie Lunghi) for over 40 years. As the CEO of a successful retail company, he has always traded on his status as a self made man who started out selling from the back of a van down East Lane market. But the truth turns out to be more complicated and Sir Phillip has gone to great lengths over the years to cover up a past that he is deeply ashamed of.
The Olivier Award winner most recently appeared on screen in Death Comes to Pemberley as Judge Sir Selwyn Hardcastle in 2013, and as Roach in The Interceptor in 2014.
Lizzie Wilton – Ruth Sheen
Mike Leigh movie veteran – she’s been in six including Mr Turner, Secrets & Lies, High Hopes and Vera Drake – Ruth Sheen is Lizzie Wilton, who lives in Croydon with her second generation Jamaican husband Ray.
Lizzie and Ray tragically lost their only son Michael at a young age. They are now both heavily involved in community projects helping local disadvantaged young people. Lizzie has a particularly close friendship with one of their most troubled kids, Curtis, who she is trying to help find his way in life. He’s attempting to resist peer pressure to join a gang.Cassie and Sunny will discover that Lizzie is a very different person to Beth Laws as she was known in 1976, when she was a troubled runaway living on the streets.
You might know Sheen best as Misfits’ Maggie, Bramwell’s Nurse Car, ,Maureen Tracy from Doc Martin or that lady from The Bill: She played four different characters in six different episodes between 1989 and 2004. Oh and she popped up in an episode of Inside No. 9 too.
Father Robert Greaves – Bernard Hill
You’ll know him best as Yosser Hughes from Boys from the Blackstuff, Captain Edward Smith from Titanic, King Théoden in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and the Warden of San Quentin Prison in the Clint Eastwood film True Crime, but Bernard Hill takes on a rather different role in Unforgotten.
Father Robert Greaves is a priest in a parish of Leigh on Sea on the South East coast. He has been married
to Grace for 39 years and they have two grown up daughters Ellie and Caroline. Robert acted as chaplain
to Arlingham House from 1972-1983, which is the reason he is interviewed as part of the investigation.
Most recently you may have spotted him in period drama garb, playing the Duke of Norfolk in BBC drama Wolf Hall.