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Unforgotten season 5 — cast, plot, and all we know about the latest series

Sinéad Keenan and Sanjeev Bhaskar before filming Unforgotten season 5 on ITV.
Sinéad Keenan and Sanjeev Bhaskar before filming Unforgotten season 5 on ITV. (Image credit: ITV)

Popular cold case crime thriller Unforgotten is back for season 5 on ITV, and the new investigation happens after the shock ending of the fourth series of Unforgotten when DCI Cassie Stuart played by Nicola Walker was killed in a horrific road accident. Not only did Cassie's sudden death leave her family emotionally shattered, her police colleagues are hurting too, not least her detective partner DI Sunny Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar) with whom she'd worked with on a number of baffling cold cases. 

Now Sunny has a new sleuthing partner for the new six-part season 5, as Cassie has now been replaced by DCI Jessica James played by Sinéad Keenan, well known for her previous roles in Little Boy Blue and Being Human.

Unforgotten's creator and writer Chris Lang says:  “And so it begins, a new Unforgotten journey — and it’s scary, for Sunny and the Bishop Street team, for the audience, for all of us. But it’s also very, very, exciting, and I cannot wait for you to meet DCI Jessica ‘Jessie’ James, played by the always brilliant, Sinéad Keenan.”

Here's everything we know so far about Unforgotten season 5 on ITV...

TV tonight Unforgotten is nominated for Best Drama.

Di Sunny Khan will now be working without his late colleague Cassie Stuart played by Nicola Walker. (Image credit: ITV)

Unforgotten series 5 release date

Unforgotten season 5 is a six-part series. No announcement on a release date has been made by ITV but we're expecting the crime drama to start at the end of 2022 or early 2023. We will update with US and international air dates once we hear. Unforgotten season 5 is co-produced with MASTERPIECE in association with BBC Studios, who will distribute series five and the previous four series internationally. So in the US we're expecting Unforgotten series 5 to arrive on PBS Masterpiece.

Is there an Unforgotten series 5 trailer?

There isn't yet a trailer for Unforgotten season 5 available, but we're expecting one soon so will post here as soon as it arrives.

Unforgotten series 5 plot

Unforgotten series 5 begins just before DCI Jessica James’ first day in her new job when there's an unforeseen and devastating event involving her family life. Despite this, Jessica is determined to make a good first impression with her new colleagues, but will Jess be in the right frame of mind to fit in with and inspire the team? 

The ghost of much-loved former colleague Cassie Stuart looms large over the team and Jess knows there will be big shoes for her to fill. This will need resolve, professionalism and a great spirit if she's to live up to her much-admired and respected predecessor.  

The first case for Jess and her team is the discovery of human remains in a newly renovated period property in Hammersmith, West London. But hit seems the body has been there a very long time — this looks like a murder dating back to the 1930s, but could the body been disposed of in more recent times? There are baffling questions that need answering and Jess will need to be at the top of her game. Can she work with DS Sunny Khan to work out what has happened?

Unforgotten series 5 new cast — Sinéad Keenan as DCI Jessica James

Unforgotten series 5, Sinéad plays DCI Jessica James who has to play a major part of an investigation team who are still reeling from the death of their previous well-respected colleague Cassie Stuart.

Sinéad Keenan says: “I have long been an admirer of Chris Lang’s work so I am absolutely delighted to be joining the Unforgotten team. I’m very much looking forward to working with the extraordinary cast led by the brilliant and incredibly lovely, Sanjeev Bhaskar. And I’m hoping that if I play my cards right I might even get to take a peek in Sunny’s backpack!”

Sinéad has starred in a number of top dramas such as ITV's Little Boy Blue, BBC's Being Human, Three Families and Showtrial on BBC1, and period drama The Tudors as well as Derry Girls

Sinéad Keenan and Sanjeev Bhaskar in Unforgotten.

Sinéad Keenan and Sanjeev Bhaskar bonding at the Unforgotten series 5 read-through. (Image credit: ITV)

Returning cast — Sanjeev Bhaskar as DI Sunny Khan plus his team

Sanjeev Bhaskar is back in Unforgotten as DI Sunny Khan who must get used to working life without Cassie in series 5.

DI Khan’s loyal and hard-working cold case investigations team are also back together for the series with Jordan Long as DS Murray Boulting and Carolina Main as DC Fran Lingley reprising their roles.  Returning to the series are Georgia Mackenzie as pathologist Dr Leanne Balcombe, Michelle Bonnard as Sunny’s partner, Sal and Pippa Nixon as DC Kaz Willets.

Who else is starring in Unforgotten series 5?

As the latest murder mystery unfolds in Unforggotten series 5, the investigating team meet many characters played by some well known faces. These include Rhys Yates (The Outlaws, Silent Witness) as Jay, Martina Laird (Summerland, The Bay) as Bele. Tony is played by Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones, Derry Girls), Hayley Mills will also play Tony’s wife, Emma and Max Rinehart (Jekyll and Hyde, Miss You Already) is Karol. All on the face of it appear unconnected to the victim but digging deeper into their lives could well throw up more. 

Unforgotten season 5 — filming news, locations and more

Unforgotten season 5 is filmed in London, Tilbury, Bath and Paris. As per the previous 24 episodes of Unforgotten, which began in 2015, this fifth series is once again being directed by Andy Wilson.

Unforgotten is produced by Guy de Glanville (Unforgotten, Gold Digger, Age Before Beauty) and executive produced by Sally Haynes, Chris Lang and Laura Mackie for Mainstreet Pictures. Andy Wilson and Guy de Glanville also executive produce the series. 

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Nicholas Cannon
Nicholas Cannon

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.