Unforgotten season 5 release date: Cast, plot and latest news about ITV drama’s return

Will Unforgotten be back for a fifth series? Here's everything we know so far. **WARNING: This article contains Unforgotten season four spoilers.**

Unforgotten

The Unforgotten season four finale was a shocker to say the least.

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We’re still reeling after the latest series ended (and this is your final spoiler warning) on a tragic note, following the death of DCI Cassie Stewart (played by Nicola Walker in the Unforgotten cast).

While it’s difficult to imagine the detective drama without Cassie, her beloved sidekick Sunny (Sanjeev Bhaskar) will be back to helm the next series, teaming up with a new partner, while digging into another unsolved cold case.

Here’s everything we know so far about Unforgotten’s fifth series, who’ll be returning to the cast and what will happen in the new season.

Unforgotten season 5 release date

ITV has not yet announced when Unforgotten’s fifth series will arrive on our screens – but hopefully we won’t have to wait as long as we did for season four.

While we sadly said goodbye to Nicola Walker’s DCI Cassie Stewart at the end of the last series, that doesn’t mean the end of Unforgotten – the detective drama is returning for a fifth series, ITV has confirmed.

In a tweet, the broadcaster thanked Nicola Walker for her work on the show, before adding: “Nicola and writer Chris Lang decided that Cassie’s story would come to an end last night, but that Unforgotten would continue, in series five, with a new case, and a new ‘Partner in Crime’ for DI Sunny Khan.”

Sanjeev Bhaskar, who stars as DI Sunny Khan in the series, said he was “delighted” to hear of Unforgotten’s recommission, writing on Twitter: “I’ll continue to watch and learn from #NicolaWalker as I’ve done these past five years, glowing with pride as my friend excels in everything she does. She’s a personal and national treasure.”

Before series four, each series took roughly a year and a half to land on ITV, with series one, two and three airing in 2015, 2017 and 2018 respectively. However, there was a huge gap of two and half years between series three and four, which was partly down to filming delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Taking previous series into account, we predict that Unforgotten could be back on our screens by September/October 2022 – as long as COVID-19 doesn’t wreak havoc with production plans.

Unforgotten season 5 cast

Sanjeev Bhaskar plays DI Sunny Khan in Unforgotten

The Kumars at No. 42’s Sanjeev Bhaskar will return as much-loved DI Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan in series four. However Nicola Walker sadly won’t be back after her character DCI Cassie Stuart was killed off in a car accident at the end of series three.

We expect Jordan Long (DS Murray Boulting), Lewis Reeves (DC Jake Collier), Carolina Main (DS Fran Lingley), Georgia Mackenzie (Dr. Leanne Balcombe) and Pippa Nixon (DC Karen Willetts) to reprise their roles as Sunny’s police colleagues in the upcoming series, while Sunny’s now-fiancé Sal (Michelle Bonnard) will likely make an appearance.

It’s unclear whether we’re likely to see Cassie’s dad Martin (Peter Egan), her son Adam (Jassa Ahluwalia), her partner John (Alastair Mackenzie) or Martin’s partner Jenny (Janet Dibley) after Cassie’s death – but perhaps they’ll pop by the station to pay Sunny a visit?

There’s also no news yet regarding new cast members playing the suspects, the victims and the relatives involved in Sunny’s latest case. However judging by the stellar line-ups we’ve seen in the seasons before, and the huge success of series four, we’re expecting high-profile actors to be clambering for these roles.

Unforgotten season 5 plot

With series four only just finished, ITV is yet to give us any clues about season five. As soon as plot details are announced we’ll be updating this page with the latest news.

What happened at the end of Unforgotten season 4?

Unforgotten
ITV

**Spoiler warning: Do NOT read this unless you have seen the Unforgotten series 4 finale**

In a dramatic series finale, we finally learned that Dean Barton (real name Dean Quinn) had murdered Matthew Walsh in the 1990s. While Ram Sidhu (Phaldut Sharma) had recognised Matthew as the person who’d beaten him up and sexually assaulted Fiona (Liz White) a few weeks prior and began chasing him, it was Dean who was the first to find Matthew, who’d tripped in an allotment and hit his head on a short brick wall, knocking himself out.

Dean – who had tried to escape his family connections to crime by changing his last name and training as a police officer – recognised Walsh as the rival gang member who’d killed his supportive older brother Stephen and decided to avenge his death, stabbing Walsh through his wound with an engraved fountain pen he’d been given by his brother.

While Dean was arrested over Walsh’s death, expectant father Ram was likely to face prison time after being charged with preventing the lawful burial of a body (alongside Liz and Fiona), as well as his involvement in Dean’s cocaine smuggling operation. Fiona was facing an additional charge over her fake therapy license, while Liz had to resign from the police force due to her charges.

Despite the team’s success in finding Walsh’s murderer, the finale ended on a tragic note, with DCI Cassie Stewart’s surgery revealing that she’d sustained serious brain damage following her car crash and was unlikely to make a full recovery. We later learn of her death, with Sunny delivering a eulogy at her funeral and visiting her grave with flowers.

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All four series of Unforgotten are available to stream on ITV Player. Visit our TV Guide to discover what else you can watch tonight, or find all the latest news on our Drama hub.