ITV’s critically acclaimed crime drama, ‘Unforgotten’, starring talented British Indian actor Sanjeev Bhaskar OBE in the lead, has announced its return with Series 6.
Bhaskar will reprise his role as Detective Inspector Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan in this cold case drama, created and written by award-winning screenwriter Chris Lang and produced by Mainstreet Pictures, following overwhelming audience appreciation.
Bhaskar gained prominence as the creator and performer of the BBC hit series ‘Goodness Gracious Me’. His film roles have included ‘It’s A Wonderful Afterlife’ (Gurinder Chadha), ‘London Boulevard’ (William Monahan) and ‘The Zero Theorum’ (Terry Gilliam). He led the cast in the BAFTA award-winning television series ‘Indian Doctor’, which garnered record ratings and critical acclaim.
The first episode of the just concluded Series 5 of ‘Unforgotten’ is reportedly the most-watched programme on ITV this year. At the end of Series 4, viewers were shocked at the death of DI Sunny Khan’s colleague and friend, lead detective Cassey Stuart (Nicola Walker), in a car crash. RTS award-winning actor Sinéad Keenan joined Bhaskar in Season 5 as the mystery of discovering human remains in a newly renovated period property in Hammersmith, London, unfolded. Series 5 also saw a shift in Bhaskar’s emotional traits as per the narrative requirement.
He reflects: “It’s certainly a challenge. Because ultimately, you want to do it truthfully, you want to do it so it’s consistent with their character. And I was very happy in all of those emotional scenes, whether he was angry or upset, to be guided really, because it can very easily become indulgent as an actor. You can certainly go, ‘Right this is my chance to be Robert De Niro!’
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“Which may not be the most appropriate approach. Again, the challenges are always the fun bit for me. If it’s not challenging, then there is a danger that you can coast a little bit. And, again, Chris Lang’s scripts, and certainly director Andy Wilson, do not let you do that. And particularly, with Andy, over every series (and he has directed every single one), he’s very clear to the actors, and certainly to me, when he doesn’t believe it.”
Series 6 will follow DI Khan and DCI James as they investigate cold cases and unsolved crimes from the past, unravelling secrets and unearthing buried truths.
Alongside the BAFTA-nominated actor, the famous backpack of DI Sunny Khan has also developed its own fan base since its debut in ‘Unforgotten’ in 2015.
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On a lighter note, Bhaskar reminisces: “It’s reached that weird status as Colombo’s raincoat. And once again, the costume department fill it with all manner of bric-a-brac and ridiculous items, which I duly photographed, and will absolutely put out there after the episodes.
“It’s a really strange thing, because the backpack, got so much attention after the first series, I just didn’t expect them. It’s a minor prop, really. It wasn’t focused on or featured particularly, but people noticed it for some reason. And I wondered whether it would be distracting on a serious programme to be sticking photos on social media of the contents, but I think it was a visual representation of how much fun there is a set, and also how comfortable the relationships are between cast and crew. Because they really did fill it with stuff that would make me look stupid. And that’s fun,” Bhaskar said on a lighter note while reminiscing his time on the set.”
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