Crime drama series Unforgettable focuses on Carrie Wells, an enigmatic former police detective with a rare condition, hyperthymesia, that makes her memory so flawless that every place, every conversation, every moment of joy and every heartbreak is forever embedded in her mind. It’s not just that she doesn’t forget anything – she can’t; except for one thing: the day her sister was murdered years ago.
Since then, Carrie has tried to put her past behind her, but she’s unexpectedly reunited with her ex-boyfriend and partner, NYPD Detective Al Burns, when she consults on a homicide case. His squad includes Det. Mike Costello, Al’s right-hand man; Detective Roe Saunders, the junior member of the team; and Detective Nina Inara, a sassy, street-smart cop. Surprisingly for Carrie, being back on the job after a break feels right. Despite her conflicted feelings for Al, she decides to permanently join his unit as a detective solving homicides – most notably, the unsolved murder of her sister. All she needs to do is remember.
Season two saw Carrie and Al being transferred to the NYPD’s Major Crimes Section which effectively meant a whole new cast, with the exception of medical examiner Joann Webster, came on board too. Season four also underwent major cast changes.
The show, despite managing to last for 61 episodes, had something of a troubled run, cancelled twice by CBS only to be picked by A&E who gave it a fourth season and then cancelled it. This left a major storyline, Al being shot, unresolved.
Interestingly actress Marilu Henner, who also suffers from hyperthymesia acted as a consultant on the series and made a guest appearance in the episode Golden Bird.
Opening narration for season one
“I’m Carrie Wells. Only a few people in the world have the ability to remember everything. I’m one of them. Pick any day of my life, and I can tell you what I saw or heard: faces, conversations, clues (which comes in handy when you’re a cop). If I miss something the first time, it’s okay. I can go back and look again. My life is…unforgettable.”
USA / CBS – A&E / 61×45 minute episodes / Broadcast 20 September 2011 – 22 January 2016
Developed by: Ed Redlich, John Bellucci / Based on the short story The Rememberer by J. Robert Lennon / Executive Producers: Ed Redlich, John Bellucci, Carl Beverly, Sarah Timberman
Poppy Montgomery as Detective Carrie Wells
Dylan Walsh as Lieutenant Al Burns
Kevin Rankin as Detective Roe Sanders (season 1)
Daya Vaidya as Detective Nina Inara (season 1)
Michael Gaston as Detective Mike Costello (season 1)
Jane Curtin as Dr. Joanne Webster (Season 1-3)
Dallas Roberts as Eliot Delson (seasons 2-4)
Tawny Cypress as Cherie Rollins-Murray (seasons 2–3)
James Hiroyuki Liao as Jay Lee (seasons 2–4)
Alani Anthony as Dr. Delina Michaels (season 4)
E.J. Bonilla as Detective “Denny” Padilla (season 4)
Kathy Najimy as Captain Sandra Russo (season 4)