The Unforgotten

By John Thomas

During the demolition of a row house in North London, a skeleton is discovered under the floor of the basement. Detective Chief Investigator Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker) and her partner, Detective Sargent Sunny Kahn (Sanjeer Bhaskar), are called to the site. They notice damage to the side of the skull indicating a killing blow, making this now a murder case. Turning all the bones over, an odd key-like object is revealed.

The forensic team at police headquarters identifies the object as a car key, which finally gives Cassie and Sunny something with which to work. They eventually trace the car to a wrecking yard where the car sits partially dismantled. Discovering nothing in the car, and preparing to leave, Cassie glances to a pile of debris to the side. Rummaging in the pile, she uncovers a 70s travel bag taken from the car’s boot. Besides moldy clothing and rumpled tickets inside, she finds a small notebook.

Again, the team at headquarters works their magic on the book, with one page revealing  names and numbers on it. On another page is a note from JoJo (male or female?) to a Jimmy. The book and car belonged to a resident of the demolished hostel/house, a Jimmy Sullivan, who went missing in the 70s. Cassie locates Jimmy’s mother who is much relieved, yet saddened, at the news of her long, lost son. She had always hoped to find closure after all these years. She doesn’t recognize any names from the notebook.

More delving into the notebook reveals the identities of the “free spirits” living in the hostel. One became a priest, another a wealthy, knighted business man. Another, now wheelchair-bound, lives with his wife (also a former hostel resident) in an affluent suburb of London. A female resident and her husband coach a soccer team for teenagers. The name of a crime-family, still in operation, is also connected to the then youthful residents. Now the real work begins – to contact the suspects and then connect the dots.

The interviewees all claim forgetfulness due to old age when the name Jimmy Sullivan is posed. Even seeing his photo doesn’t help their memories. They all vaguely remember the person but they had either been drinking or drugging too much at the time to remember anything. After several more interviews they finally begin to recall a bit more about him. Most of the six suspects begin to have guilty looks when Jimmy’s name is mentioned. The crime syndicate family name also surfaces periodically.

JoJo is found and turns out to be a woman, one who bore an illegitimate child at the time. She refuses to reveal the name of the father. Her daughter, now in her 30s, is also questioned. The daughter is willing to share – someone finally has information and answers.

“Should see” series as developments in the case occur at a pace that compels the audience to become involved. Viewers begin posing questions and seeking answers along with the characters on the screen. They continue to speculate with the characters until they know “who done it.”


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