July 9, 2018  (Web Review)

Unforgotten: The Complete First Season

PBS, 2 discs, 270 min., TV-MA, DVD: $34.99, Blu-ray: $39.99

Reviewer rating: 3.0/4

A cold case from 30 years ago is revived when a skeleton is excavated from the foundation of an old building and a forgotten missing persons case becomes a murder investigation headed by DCI Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker) and her partner DS Sunil “Sunny” Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar). This British crime drama begins more like an ensemble piece than a murder mystery as viewers follow the stories of elderly suspects whose past connections to the dead man are slowly revealed through the investigation. Tom Courtenay and Gemma Jones headline the excellent cast as a retired couple who doggedly refuse to leave their rural home despite serious infirmities. Ruth Sheen and Brian Bovell play a childless couple helping a talented black high school student to escape from the slums, Trevor Eve is a high-powered businessman, and Bernard Hill costars as an influential and popular priest. Each character harbors secrets from the past and the story confronts racism and homophobia from the turbulent 1980s, but what makes Unforgotten stand out is the complexity of the characters and how their earlier actions have shaped who they are today. Presenting all six episodes from the 2015 first season, this smart and compelling series is recommended. (S. Axmaker)