Unforgotten delivered an enormous shock to fans during its season 4 finale earlier this year when it killed off DCI Cassie Stuart in a car crash, leaving DI Sunny Khan without a partner after four seasons of the pair cracking cold cases of disappearance and murder together.
Actor Sanjeev Bhaskar has now opened up about filming a new season of the ITV crime drama without long-standing co-star Nicola Walker, admitting that he will find it "very strange" to return to set without her.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com, Bhaskar shared the shock that he felt when he found out about Cassie's tragic fate, revealing that the plot made him feel "sick".
"When I first heard, I had a very similar reaction to when I then read it in the script, and then a similar reaction again when we filmed it, which is I felt slightly sick. It was a shock," he said.
"I think Nicola and Chris [Lang, the show's creator] had been talking about where Cassie Stuart's storyline would go, so I wasn't party to that. I mean, it's a huge thing to do and so it made sense dramatically, but yeah, it's very upsetting actually.
"But also, Nicola became, and is, a really good friend... so it will be very strange not to have Nicola there. But it is a continuation of the story, so in a sense, I'm sure that Cassie Stuart's character will cast a shadow."
As for who Sunny might be partnered up with in the show's fifth season, Bhaskar currently hasn't heard anything about who might be arriving, but he is confident that Sunny will have a "slightly different dynamic" with his new partner because "Nicola is irreplaceable".
Creator Lang revealed in July that he had begun work on season 5, dropping teasing hints about what might be in store for Sunny in the new episodes.
He also joked with The Walking Dead actor David Morrissey about writing him a part, claiming that he can play "a thrusting young tec who drives a mini clubman and plays real tennis".
Unforgotten airs on ITV.
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