Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar are set to reunite for series four of ITV’s cold crime drama Unforgotten as DCI Cassie Stuart and DI Sunny Khan unearth long-buried secrets in pursuit of justice.
Here’s everything you need to know…
When is Unforgotten back on ITV for series four?
Series three finished in August 2018.
An air date for series four has yet to be announced by ITV, but according to screenwriter Chris Lang, production was set to start in September 2019 – and things seem to be right on schedule… wonder who’s in this folder of casting ideas?
What will happen in Unforgotten series four?
Each series sees DCI Cassie Stuart and DI Sunny Khan take on a historic murder case after human remains are discovered, as they attempt to get to the bottom of a crime which has remained unsolved.
The new six-part run of episodes will be written by Unforgotten creator Chris Lang and directed by Andy Wilson, who have teamed up for every series so far.
Lang, who is also executive producer, said: “I am so delighted to have been asked to make a fourth series of Unforgotten. The reaction to series three was better than I could ever have expected (with more people watching the last episode than any other in all three series) and I cannot wait to discover what lies ahead for Cassie and Sunny, and to create a whole new cast of characters for them to grapple with.”
Lang has also made it clear that we’re not likely to see Cassie get a drug habit or Sunny swap his famous backpack for something a little more suave in series four, stating that he wants to stay away from typical detective tropes.
Speaking at the BFI and Radio Times Television Festival, he explained, “I think they’re often described as ordinary, and in a way I see it as a bit of a misnomer. They’re extraordinary in their ordinariness.
“Most TV detectives seem to often require external tropes to make them interesting. And to me they are external tropes – a fast car or a drink or drug habit or a mental health issue or some kind of quirk that seems a little bit bolted on.
“If you watch 24 Hours in Police Custody, they have none of that crap on, they’re extraordinary because of the job they do and how they inhabit the world which they live. I thought that was all you needed to show for it to be unusual.”
As to where this series is heading, it’s tightly under wraps for now, with even the producers admitting they’ve been kept in the dark.
But Lang says he always wants Unforgotten to reflect the nation’s psyche in each series.
“Unforgotten is a political piece with a small ‘p’ in the sense that it tries to talk about and address the state of the nation and where we are psychologically,” he explained. “From there, I draw up a detailed plan.”
Who will be in the cast of Unforgotten series four?
While both Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar are confirmed to return, there’s no word yet on the guest stars who will become our main suspects.
Previous actors to take part in Unforgotten include Alex Jennings, Kevin McNally, Trevor Eve, Mark Bonnar, Gemma Jones, Tom Courtenay, James Fleet and Bryony Hannah, so we’re excited to hear who will be joining the cast this time.
Unforgotten has a history of picking comic actors for some of their more serious roles – something Lang takes pride in:
“The brilliant thing on this show is that our number one choice [for a role] pretty much always says yes,” he explained. “Neil Morrisey was a surprising choice – I mean, not a surprise to me because I always thought he was a brilliant actor and he is. Maybe people knew him better as a comic actor, and I don’t always draw much of a distinction. But it’s good to surprise an audience, I think, to jog them out of what they think an actor like Neil can do.”
Bhaskar added that comedy actors are sometimes more effective when taking on more dramatic roles.
“Actors who can do comedy can apply that timing to drama,” he said. “When I’m thinking about it now, all of the main actors in all of the series can handle comedy. Not all dramatic actors can but all of these actors could. They have the sense of timing one needs for comedy, and can apply it to the drama.
“Also in terms of a more communal, on-set experience, they’re all really good fun. I’ve not laughed so much.”
What happened at the end of Unforgotten series three?
**Spoiler warning: Do NOT read this unless you have seen the Unforgotten series 3 finale**
In a dramatic series finale, it emerged that Hayley Reid was part of a much larger and even darker story – and Dr Tim Finch (Alex Jennings) was a rapist, serial killer and psychopath. His respectability was all a façade. Once he realised the game was up and he would be going to jail, he let the mask slip and the man underneath was finally visible.
The only way for him to regain control of this situation was to tease the police with something they want: information.
As Lang told RadioTimes.com: “At that point, he thinks, ‘okay, well I’ve been kind of waiting for this moment all my life.’ He thinks, ‘I’ve had a good run.’ He’d been probably killing for 25, 30 years, and at that point he thought: ‘Okay, I’ve lost control of my liberty, but I do still have control of the information that I hold.’ He’s going to start spooning it out.”
As Dr Finch’s revelations got to Cassie, she decided to take a little time away from her job to recover and to give romance a chance with DCI John Bentley (Alastair MacKenzie).
Chris Lowe (James Fleet) regained the trust of his fiancé and moved into their house together, while Pete Carr (Neil Morrissey) lost his wife and kids when his lies were exposed.
TV host James Hollis (Kevin McNally) also had to deal with a shattered marriage, although he was beginning to repair his relationship with the troubled grown-up son he had suspected of killing Hayley for all these years.