Johannesburg - Unforgotten, a brand new, six-part crime series debuts exclusively on BBC First (DStv 119) in on Wednesday, 20 July 2016.
Written and created by Chris Lang (Undeniable, A Mother’s Son, Torn), it focuses on a ‘cold’ murder case of 39 years ago when the bones of a young man are found beneath the footings of a demolished house.
An investigation begins that will unravel the lives of four people who have been waiting for this moment for nearly forty years, as they discover the past can’t, and won’t stay buried forever.
The series stars Nicola Walker (Babylon), Sanjeev Bhaskar (The Kumars), Trevor Eve (Waking the Dead), Bernard Hill (Wolf Hall), Ruth Sheen (Mr Turner) and Tom Courtenay (Quartet).
Trevor Eve who plays Sir Philip cross sat down for a quick Q&A about his character.
Who is Sir Phillip Cross?
Sir Phillip Cross is a self-made multi-millionaire. He’s about to be given a peerage by the government and become their entrepreneur Czar of industry and business. But other than that there’s no political connection. He’s a man that has lived his life with his family and his wife Shirley, played by Cherie Lunghi, who has known him since his early days. But tin those early days in London he fell in with the wrong people and developed a history in his late teens and early twenties. That past starts to unfold in the story. His wife certainly knows about it and there is an interesting twist in his story.
What was your initial reaction when you were approached about Unforgotten?
I’ve worked with the director, Andy Wilson, before on a production called Kidnap and Ransom, and I’d worked with the writer, Chris Lang, on an ITV drama called Lawless. So I knew them both, read the scripts and thought they were really good. Initially I only got the first five scripts because they didn’t want to give us the sixth. But I was tipped off as to who did it and then pretended I knew from those first five scripts. They went, ‘How did you guess?’ Then I told them I was just teasing them.
I’ve worked with Cherie Lunghi before and I think she’s wonderful. I was really thrilled that she accepted the role. My grown-up screen kids – Bella (Zoe Telford) and Josh (Tom Austen) – are fantastic too. Nicola Walker (DCI Cassie Stuart) and Sanjeev Bhaskar (DS Sunil Khan) great, Nicola is amazing. I’ve always thought that…It’s a fantastic cast.
How is your character connected to the other four characters connected in some way to a young man who vanished in 1976?
The story is a thriller. These four people obviously all have their own pasts. It’s a long life. I suppose if you look back on your life, you’re not proud about everything you’ve done. These are stories that motivate and trigger a six-hour drama. Unforgotten is very well written. I really like the director, the people doing it are fantastic and I’m glad to be part of it.
Unforgotten is linked to that story of a young man who came to London and went missing in 1976. Did it give you pause for thought to think about when you first arrived in London and also that year in particular?
Before I went to RADA I’d studied architecture, so I was in London in 1968/1969. I left RADA in 1973 and then I was at the Everyman in Liverpool. When you start out as an actor you have no idea whether you’re going to earn a living. So I remember thinking in the seventies, ‘Am I going to be able to earn a living? Am I going to be able to get any work?’ Of course there were no mobile phones then. You had to wait in for a phone call from you agent, or you had to make sure you got to a phone by close of day to phone in.
I’ve always followed music. It’s been one of my great joys, so I was well aware of punk and The Sex Pistols, who I did see.
1976 was the year I auditioned for Laurence Olivier and worked with him. He directed me in a film version of Hindle Wakes for ITV. Then I went to do a play with Franco Zeffirelli, so it is a period of time I remember very well.
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