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Dear Ann,

Well, this one had my name on it: Unforgotten.

Nicola Walker! Sanjeev Bhaskar! In all the detective duos in all of TV, has a pair ever looked as world-weary as these two?  They are not playing. Their intense, deadpan chemistry is wonderful. The stories (one story in each of two three-episode series) are convoluted, and the plot moves forward in fast, sometimes mumbled dialogue, but the characters both large and small are brilliantly, truthfully written.

I feel like I need a Bingo card with the faces of all the wonderful British actors in ancillary roles on Unforgotten. I drive myself nuts trying to remember where I’ve seen each one before (and I’ve seen nearly all of them before). (“Oh! She was the beaten-down wife of that gangster in Tennison! And was he the farmer in that Vera with the body in the tank? Or am I mixing it up with the Scott & Bailey with the body in the farm tank?”) It’s distracting, in a fun way.

Right now Seasons 1 and 2 of Unforgotten are both streaming on PBS Passport and available for purchase on YouTube.

Here’s an NPR review.




  • I had just heard about this series last week, from a friend in B.C. Can’t wait to sit down with my needles and ENJOY!

  • Haha, remembering the bodies in the tanks…and we watch those shows with the subtitles on! Makes all the mumbling much easier to understand!

  • It’s been running on our masterpiece theater. I love them all. But nothing better than yesterday’s wedding.

  • Also available on the Masterpiece add-on with Amazon, by-the-way.

  • She was also great in Last Tango in Halifax – another good binge watch.

  • If you want good bingeing for the summer, hit up “Spooks ” , or in the States it’s called “MI5” Heartwrenching.

    • One of my favorites!

  • When it comes to figuring out the age-old question of, “Where do I know this actor from,” May I recommend the IMDB app? You enter in the name of the show (or movie), and you can see the entire cast. For a guest actor on a particular episode, click on the episode guide, then click on the episode you’re watching, and then you can look at the cast for just that episode. When you find the character you’re looking for, click on that person to see everything they have ever been in!

  • Just finished watching Season 2. Can’t wait for more!

    • Yes, many viewers feel the same way. I read season 3 is in the making.

  • Omg. I do the same thing! What were they in before?? Lol. I love British TV. So well done and makes you pay attention and think, use your brain. I was upset when Cush Jumbo got shot in Vera, and then she pops up on The Good Fight. Must be getting lots more money. Good for her. Still cannot get used to the Brits using the American accents though. Seems wrong. Why don’t they just let them used their own voices?

  • Nicola Walker can do no wrong.

    That woman’s acting is a force of nature. I don’t anyone who can pull off expressing entire paragraphs of thought and emotion without saying a single word. And that includes the glorious Meryl Streep.

    Y’all got Hulu? The entire MI-5 series, with Nicola Walker being brilliant, is on Hulu and you ought to watch, if only for her (and also, it’s pretty spy-thriller awesome).

    • MI-5 was my first introduction to Nicola Walker. I loved it, and watched them all, but in addition to the accents and fast dialogue, I found the plots to be poorly (or perhaps just too quickly) explained, almost as bad as superhero films where things just happen and you are so thrilled by all the bang/pow special effects that the plot doesn’t need to make sense. It wore me out after a while but when Nicola was on the screen it was heaven. Also Rupert Penry-Jones, the man with the most English name in the world! And the guy who played her boss, which was a tour de force of a thing that I love in British TV: where they make a character who is totally NOT a dreamboat into a compelling love interest.

      • OMG! So many dittos here! Subtitles are a must for the Brit shows! MI5 was great & loved Rupert! I was heartbroken when he got blown up. And trying to remember all the other BBC & Acorn shows everyone was in. When I’m looking for something to watch (we still do DVDs from the library—can get most anything there), I search BBC or Acorn.

        • I’ll just go ahead and make you teary-eyed again: Danny, Colin, and Tariq.

          Matthew’s return later in the series was a wonderful act of vengeance.

      • That show’s an odd combo of wonky plots and reallyfasttalking, but the cast is wonderful and the Harry and Ruth’s love story is…well, you know. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.

        Also, I always thought that Rupert Penry-Jones looked like he belonged in a boy band instead of acting as international spy, lol!

  • I’m a huge fan of British detective stories, Nicola Walker, and, most of all, closed captioning.

  • our family joke is that there are only 10 British actors, and they are in everything 😉

    • My husband calls it Six Degrees of Maggie Smith, lol.

  • The writing of Broadchurch is brilliant. As is the work of pretty much everyone on the show. It feels real.

  • This is such a good series. Season 3 is in process right now, so hope it shows in the US soon. Just love watching the British shows….

  • I had the final part of Series 1 all planned for today’s knitting entertainment when I saw your post; co-inkiedink? I agree about the wonderful cast of “can’t quite place” faces and am compelled to IMDB them after each episode. Thanks for the link to the review, it is spot on.

  • Caught this series by DVR knows me..and I’m obsessed!

  • I watched an episode of Unforgotten and must not have been paying good attention, because I found it hard to follow, and so was disappointed. But I stuck with it, watched another episode and found it compelling, so I will continue. I like Nicola Walker, and agree that she looks very world-weary in Unforgotten. Either she is completely without makeup, or they are accentuating and exaggerating her flaws and lines! I can’t remember a time when she wasn’t a staple on PBS, but looking at her filmography, I think I first became aware of her in Touching Evil, with the also-excellent Robson Green. (Robson Green—also in Granchester!) However, ever since I saw her disturbing and compelling turn in Scott and Bailey as Helen Bartlett I’ve had trouble dissociating her from that.

  • I am a Britbox Junkie, love all the shows.

  • In the first season of this show, the wealthy but shady business man is played by Trevor Eve who was the star of Waking the Dead, which I think was the original, grandfather of them all, cold case series (as far as I know). He was partnered with a middle aged woman who had the greatest clothes: all asymmetrical layers, and it changed my knitting choices forever! Now I have to go research that and see who she was!

    • Claire Goose was on Waking the Dead, too. I loved Trevor Eve as a villain.

  • Love them

  • Just watched the 4th season of Shetland on Britbox! SOOOOOO good! I did have to smile because Jimmy Perez is talking about a reference to Shetland and he said, they think all we do is sit around and knit jumpers! It is a great season right up until the literal last minutes!

  • Indeed, Unforgotten is wonderful and there is a third series to come, though here in Australia we see them as six episodes. I can highly recommend River and Collateral, though she will always be Ruth from Spooks to me. Ah, subtitles!! We have TV accents with benefits because we see UK and US TV and so we are good with all the accents!!

  • I love all the British shows! Am I the only one who has a fantasy of playing “the American person” in any of them?

  • Why can’t we make these,type of detective programs in the USA.
    My wife and I really enjoy all the different types that PBS has.
    We also donate to PBS so they can continue to show these programs.
    Some of these are also on Netflex.
    Alena & Ray

  • I’m totally addicted to British detective shows, so I am very familiar with the “where have seem them before?” syndrome. I’m currently bingeing Whitechapel, which stars Thomas from Black Sails, the creepy killer from the first episode of Sherlock, and just guest-starred Endeavour Morse. And I’m obsessed with Shetland and have been doing my level best to get everyone I know hooked on it.

  • We too get Unforgotten and other mysteries here in Texas on our PBS channel. That pairing is pure magic. I adore Murder in Paradise but they changed that main character and I don’t like that. I also do Lindley mysteries and Murdoch is now off. I like the one from Australia. I copy all these to watch. Glad to see that someone else enjoys these wonderful programs from the BBC. Linda

  • I’m convinced that there are only 10 actors in England. They just shuffled them about for each new series!

  • Loved it!!

  • I watch this every Sunday on PBS! Love

  • LOVE this show! They may still be streaming free on loval PBS channels. For my PBS station the next day they stream the epi for 2 weeks. But because I’m luckly enough to live where we have two PBS channels, it works out to mote than that.

    In undergrad I almost construced an independent major looking the issues this amazing show raises.

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