TV Review: Unforgotten Series 5

I doubt I’ll forgive them for killing off Cassie but Series 5 of Unforgotten does a decent job of carrying on her legacy

“Your privilege was built on the bones of people like me”

I wasn’t 100% sure about Chris Lang’s Unforgotten continuing after the traumatic end to Series 4 and the departure of the magisterial Nicola Walker. But I have to say, this fifth season won me over with its adherence to the show’s essential tenets (for the most part) in its focus on how the impact of crime can ripple for generations far beyond the original offence.

This time round, the discovery of a body walled up in a chimney breast unleashed a far-reaching tale of familial trauma, huge social injustice and the failure of our institutions to protect its most vulnerable. Martina Laird is exceptional as Ebele, tangled tightly in the web of the connections that are slowly unravelled and Rhys Yates’ Jay is achingly good as his involvement is revealed too.

Sinéad Keenan’s DCI Jessie James comes in strong as Cassie’s replacement at the head of the team, Sanjeev Bhaskar’s DI Sunny Khan having turned down the promotion, and as both are having a terrible time of it personally, there’s some real rough edges as they struggle to get used to the others’ way of working. There’s perhaps a bit too much of the personal life stuff for my liking but hey ho.

What is really good fun is the supreme level of theatrical bods in the supporting cast, some appearing just for a single scene. See if you can spot Laura Pitt-Pulford, Daniel Boys, Simon Lipkin, Maria Friedman, Madeleine Potter, Julie Jupp and more besides. It adds to the prestige of one of the UK’s finest crime dramas, and on ITV no less!

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