The BBC has dipped its toe into the unsolved murder genre
Now, BBC Three has jumped on the bandwagon with Unsolved: The Boy Who Disappeared, an eight episode investigation into the final days of Isle of Wight teenager, Damien Nettles.
Damien vanished on the night of 2 November 1996, leaving behind baffled friends and family along with some murky CCTV footage in a local chip shop.
In late 2015, journalists Alys Harte and Bronagh Munro travelled to the scene of Damien’s final hours, determined to discover the truth behind the mystery that the police had failed to solve.
Just as in Serial, where host Sarah Koenig explained her methods and emotions at each turn of the investigation, Harte and Munro are on-screen for almost the entire duration. Unsolved is almost as much about their personal journeys as it is about Damien.
Damien Nettles before his disappearance
Along the way the pair meet a colourful cast of characters, including Damien’s family and best friend, and are lured into meetings with a police informant, who refuses to be shown on screen.
The result is a compelling investigation split across eight 15-minute episodes, bite-sized chunks that feel like a mashup between a podcast and a longer YouTube video (indeed, each episode is available in full on the latter).
Just like Making a Murderer, Unsolved is perfect for binge-watching, with fellow fans easy to find on Twitter.
#Unsolved on BBC3 is just amazing. Absolutely hooked, like a real-life TV version of Serial. Hooked'
— Olivia Cook (@oliviaaimee) July 27, 2016
It also makes for perfect on-the-go viewing – just download the BBC iPlayer app or make your way to YouTube and watch an episode or two on the bus or during your lunchbreak.
However you decide to consume the series, it’s worth checking out episode one to see if it’s for you – chances are it won’t be the last Unsolved case to make its way to BBC Three.
Unsolved: The Boy Who Disappeared is available now on the BBC website.
Watch Unsolved episode one:
Main photo: BBC/Adam Patterson