Unforgotten season 5 has reached a dramatic conclusion on ITV1.


The new instalment introduces fans to Nicola Walker’s replacement Sinéad Keenan, who plays DI Sunny Khan’s (Sanjeev Bhaskar) new partner, DCI Jessica ‘Jessie’ James.

However, it’s been far from plain sailing for the new duo, as they’ve had to navigate initial awkwardness and very different approaches to the death of Walker's DCI Cassie Stuart.

The new pair eventually come together in season 5 to solve a decades-old murder case, with twists and turns abounding throughout the instalment until all is resolved in the final episode.

Bhaskar previously teased a "unique" mystery for season 5, telling RadioTimes.com and other press: "The thing that's unique about this series, apart from Sinéad coming in and being brilliant in it, and a set of actors that come in who aren't perhaps as well known to the public as in previous years, but are equally as good, is that the age range of the suspects is wider than we've had on any previous series.

More like this

"And that's kind of interesting."

Read on for everything you need to know about Unforgotten's fifth season, including who's in the cast and what the new instalment is about.

Unforgotten season 5 release date

Unforgotten ITV season 5
Sinead Keenan as DCI Jessica James. ITV

Unforgotten's fifth season premiered on ITV1 and ITVX on Monday 27th February 2023.

It marked the first instalment without Walker's character Cassie, who met her end in a shock twist in season 4.

In a previous tweet, ITV 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 5, 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."

Unforgotten season 5 cast

Sinead Keenan as DCI Jessica James and Sanjeev Bhaskar as DI Sunny Khan in Unforgotten.
Sinead Keenan as DCI Jessica James and Sanjeev Bhaskar as DI Sunny Khan in Unforgotten. Mainstreet for ITV

The Kumars at No. 42's Sanjeev Bhaskar will return as much-loved DI Sunil 'Sunny' Khan in season 4.

Sadly, Walker won’t be back after her character DCI Cassie Stuart met a tragic end at the close of season 4.

Walker will be replaced by Sinéad Keenan, who will star in Unforgotten as new character DCI Jessica James.

In an interview with TV Insider, Walker recently revealed that killing off her character had been the plan since season 3.

"We talked a lot after season 3 about where it was going to go, and it was a joint decision. I think the clues were there in season 3," she said.

"The title of the show is Unforgotten and I think there's a great deal of narrative beauty to this woman. She's not going to be forgotten. I felt like she was quietly very unusual on television because she was a real person."

Other returning cast members include 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), who will reprise their roles as Sunny's police colleagues in the upcoming episodes, while Sunny's now-fiancé Sal (Michelle Bonnard) will also 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?

Unforgotten season 5 plot

Unforgotten season 4
Unforgotten. ITV

Unforgotten season 5 will kick off with the clock ticking down to DCI Jess's (Keenan) first day in her new job.

An ITV preview revealed: "Determined to make a good first impression with her new colleagues, will Jess be in the right frame of mind to deliver and inspire the team?

"And inevitably how will the ghost of much-loved former colleague Cassie Stuart haunt her? After all, Cassie will be big shoes for her to fill. Does she have the resolve, professionalism and spirit to live up to her much-admired and respected predecessor?

"Jess’s first case is the discovery of human remains in a newly renovated period property in Hammersmith, London. But how long have they been there and is this a murder dating back to the 1930s or has the body been disposed of in more recent times?"

What happened at the end of Unforgotten season 4?

Unforgotten season 4
Unforgotten season 4 ITV

Warning: This section contains spoilers for Unforgotten's season 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.

All 5 seasons of Unforgotten are currently available to stream on ITVX.

For more news, interviews and features, visit our Drama hub or find something to watch now with our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 12 issues for only £1 with delivery to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.