Unforgotten, the cold case detective drama, returns for season four on ITV tonight. The first series started in 2015 and since then has grown in popularity, especially since it has now been added to Netflix. The new series looks to raise some difficult and personal questions for the crime-solving duo, so we can expect many more twists and turns to the storyline. Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar lead the cast, reprising their roles as the two central detectives, DCI Cassie Stuart and DI Sunny Khan. The new series sees Cassie and backpack-toting Sunny facing a historic murder case and unearth long-buried secrets in pursuit of justice, with Cassie additionally grappling with personal problems at home.
The trailer was released earlier this month and teased Cassie’s apparent unravelling and anger at multiple suspects in the case: “There is a small part of me that wants to punish them.” However, she could also be talking about wanting to punish the police force itself, which lets her down badly right at the start of episode one. We see Cassie’s petition to leave the force early and receive her full pension effectively denied. With her father’s increasingly apparent health issues at the forefront of her mind, a bitter Cassie returns to her old stomping grounds, supported by Sunny.
Series creator Chris Lang has teased how this season will also examine “society’s relationship with the police,” adding that the show’s central “investigation will show the best of the police and the worst, and at a time of unprecedented cutbacks, it will ask a number of difficult questions about the police force”.
Walker also stated that the storyline and suspects this year are incredibly “timely”.
“Coming back to the role… was so exciting because of the storyline, our writer Chris Lang seems to have a knack for that,” she said, adding: “I don’t know how he does it but it tends to be a conversation with the audience about what is going on exactly in our society at the time. There is a lot this year that chimes with big conversations we have all been having.”
Here’s everything you need to know about Unforgotten season four…
Filming for season four resumed last September, following a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. Sanjeev Bhaskar also posted on Twitter including a picture of Sunny’s much-loved backpack alongside the caption: “Transformation complete. Let’s go to work.”
Series three finished in August 2018, but ITV only confirmed series four began filming the week of 14th January 2020. However, it had to be put on pause due to the pandemic.
In a recent interview, Chris Lang lamented the gap between filming seasons three and four, and the long production delay the pandemic caused. “When Unforgotten 3 broadcast in the summer of 2018, and we were immediately asked to make series 4, Nicola, Sanjeev and I, went out for lunch and all agreed that although we were delighted to be making another series, we needed a short break to recharge our batteries. Which is why we did not end up going into pre-production on series 4 till October 2019, to start filming in January 2020.
“Oh. If only we had known,” he said, before adding: “When lockdown happened, we were eleven weeks in to shooting and just four weeks shy of completing principal photography. So near and yet so far – suddenly those four extra weeks I took off to learn macramé now seemed absurd. More absurd even than they seemed at the time.”
The fourth series kicks off with the discovery of Millwall Football Club supporter Matthew Walsh’s dismembered body in a scrap metal yard, but the team believes it had previously been stored in a domestic freezer for 30 years. Considering he had gone missing in the ’90s and the owner of the freezer is dead, the mystery behind Walsh’s death will be a hard one to unravel. Especially since Cassie has made the decision to retire from the police force for “her own sanity and wellbeing.”
However, according to ITV, “Cassie faces an impossible dilemma when she learns she isn’t entitled to her full pension payment unless she completes her thirty years of service. Disappointed and angry with her superiors and the system, Cassie has to make the gut-wrenching decision to return to work.”
Though her relationship with John is going strong, difficult times lie ahead with her son and her father, Martin, who suffers from early dementia.
Lang, who is also executive producer, said: “I am so excited to be bringing back the Unforgotten team for a fourth series, as Cassie and Sunny take on perhaps their most challenging case to date. Once again, we have assembled an astonishing cast, and I cannot wait to see how the very finest actors of their generation, start bringing my characters to life.”
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