We’re two thirds of the way through the latest series of ‘Unforgotten’ one of the best television series ever – the writing, the acting, the plotting, the direction, the setting, the everything, just excellent. It’s always a bit of a worry to me when I enjoy a series and it ends on a high, and then series two, much anticipated arrives – and will it be as good? The first series of Unforgotten left me open-mouthed at how damned good it was, so good that I bought the DVD to watch it again. Series two was announced and I was thrilled, and as I sat down to watch the first episode, a little quiver of nerves in case it didn’t quite match up to my memory of the first series. It di, and so did series three… but series four?
Unforgotten is a police drama, where there is an investigation of an old crime, usually as some new evidence and usually a body, and there are complex narrative strands of the story with strong characters and subplots. Series four started a month ago; the same team of writer and actors in the main roles, I’m not sure about director/producer etc, but I understand it is the same team. Gosh, I am blown away… I watched the latest episode last night – it’s on ITV so there are commercial breaks,but each part only seemed five minutes long – I was so engrossed and lost to the outside world that time passed in a flash and suddenly it was the end of that episode and I have to wait a whole week until part five!
The writer is Chris Lang, who Wikipedia tells us “is a British television writer, actor, producer and musician. Lang has written for many British television series but is best known as the writer, creator and executive producer of the critically acclaimed and award winning Unforgotten.” The plots are complex but there are no loose ends, and there is a realistic consistence in the supporting characters, particularity the team of police officers. Although there are two main characters, DCI Cassie Stewart (the compelling Nicola Walker) and DI Sunny Khan (the equally compelling Sanjeev Bhaskar), they have a team of officers, brilliantly played by Lewis Reeves, Carolina Mann, Jordan Long and Karen Willets. There’s a quiet seriousness, nothing showy or flashy, and although it’s fiction, although it’s TV drama I’m sure there are aspects of the way the officers are portrayed as dedicated, serious and hard working which must be realistic.
There are twists and turns in the plot, there are subplots and small dramas between the minor characters, but all written, acted, directed so brilliantly, that as I mentioned above, watching it there are no longueurs, no irritations, no trivialisations or distractions. It is shown on ITV where there are commercial breaks, but it is written to accommodate them, so in effect it’s divided into acts, like a play you might see in a theatre.
Six days until the next episode – I might have to watch the first four episodes again, or re-watch the previous series!