Preview – Unforgotten

Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar

Chris Lang’s critically acclaimed crime drama Unforgotten returns for a second series on ITV at 9.00pm. DCI Cassie Stuart and DS Sunny Khan (Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar) are called in when the body of a man is found in a sealed suitcase in the silt of the River Lea. The case has clearly been in the river for years – but its human contents are well preserved.

As the detectives try to piece together the identity of the deceased they also begin to scrutinise why someone would want him dead.

Cassie Stuart is no stranger to straight drama having had a good run in BBC’s Last Tango in Halifax and Spooks. Bhaskar, however, is a revelation here. Having made his name in comedy writing and starring in The Kumars at No 42 and Goodness Gracious Me, he shows great depth in his role as DS Khan He’s done drama before with roles in Jonathan Creek and Doctor Who but he finds a new level alongside Walker.

If you missed season one but you’re familiar with Cold Case, the US drama, you’ll quickly grasp how Unforgotten is framed. Basically, old cases (literally an old suitcase, tonight) are brought back into the investigative spotlight and picked at until they spill their secrets.

It’s considered, unspectacular but gripping and it manages it without resorting to the hackneyed cliches that plagued its US counterpart.

Unforgotten Thursdays 9.00pm on ITV