DCI Cassie Stuart and DI Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan will soon have another cold case murder to investigate – because Unforgotten is coming back to ITV on Sunday 15th July at 9pm.
Chris Lang’s drama sees the two detectives (played by Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar) on a mission to solve decades-old crimes and find justice for the victims. In series three they’ll have another tricky case on their hands, this time involving the high-profile disappearance of a teenage girl.
Walker and Bhaskar are set to return, but we’ll also be getting a fresh cast of suspects for them to interrogate – a “close-knit group of old school friends that have stood by one another through thick and thin.”
You may recognise Alex Jennings as King Leopold from Victoria, or the Duke of Windsor from The Crown.
He’ll star as Dr Tim Finch, a successful GP in a country town. “He’s very, very comfortable,” Jennings says. “Happily married, second wife, two children, and I was very attracted to it as well because it meant not playing a member of the royal family…”
Jennings is joined by Pirates of the Caribbean’s Kevin McNally, as James Hollis, a successful media personality with his own quiz show called Sixth Form Sense.
The Vicar Of Dibley’s James Fleet will appear as the character Chris Lowe, who was initially one of the most successful of the four – running his own advertising company. But his career took a nosedive when he began to suffer from mental health issues, and he now is homeless and living in a camper van.
Neil Morrissey will play Pete Carr, who he describes as a “sad, bad businessman”. After an unsuccessful stint in Hong Kong, he’s back in the UK failing to make his fortune as an ISA salesman.
Where is Unforgotten set – and filmed?
The drama starts in London where the remains of Hayley Reid are found at a building site, buried under the central reservation of the M1 motorway.
Hayley disappeared from the fictional little seaside town of Middenham on New Year’s Eve 1999, where our suspects were staying at the time in a holiday rental called The Spinney.
In the years since the turn of the millennium, this group of childhood friends has dispersed around the country – so Cassie and Sunny find themselves visiting various towns and cities in the south of England. Filming locations include London, Bristol and Somerset.
The police station and lab scenes are actually filmed at an empty mansion in Buckinghamshire near Slough.
Do you have to see the first two series to understand series three?
Not really! The great thing about Unforgotten is that each series focuses on a different murder case, so there’s no backstory required.
What will happen after that series two ending?
Although this is a fresh case for Cassie and Sunny, we’ll be catching up with the duo for the first time since the dramatic events of the series two finale – when they chose to walk away from a case after discovering that their suspects had actually been victims of child sex abuse and worked together to murder their abusers.
Before Unforgotten had been recommissioned, he explained: “It’s a secret that they now have and they will have to carry with them through their job and if we do get a third series obviously one will attempt to explore the ramifications of what making such a profound decision will be.”
One thing that won’t be coming back is any romantic storylines between the two cops. Confirming that Sunny was hoping to kiss Cassie in series two, Lang says: “I’m afraid he was. He got that one horribly wrong. But I think luckily, they’ve recovered from that and they’ve managed to move on… I think that was pretty comprehensively nailed in series two.”
Why is Unforgotten airing in the summer?
It seems unusual for a flagship drama to go out in July and August, traditionally the quiet months for TV drama before the big hitters arrive in the autumn. But perhaps things are changing.
“It is unusual,” says Walker. “I think you go two ways with that: you can either think, oh that’s unusual, or you think, OK they’ve got so much confidence in it that they think it’s going to be able to handle the summer. I mean, if anything can handle it, I hope Chris Lang’s script can.
“And also people watch telly in a totally different way and we’ve all got to get used to it.”
Chris Lang agrees, arguing, “Summer used to – I think – have a connotation. I don’t think it does anymore, is my honest answer. The way we watch TV now is so profoundly different. Plenty of shows have launched in the summer and done very well.”
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