With #sunnysbackpack in tow, ‘Unforgotten’ S4 resumes filming…

Sanjeev Bhaskar, Nicola Walker and rucksack in Unforgotten 4. Photo: ITV

Unforgotten, starring the brilliant Nicola Walker (MI5, Last Tango in Halifax, Scott & Bailey) and the equally as brilliant Sanjeev Bhaskar (Goodness Gracious Me, Kumars at No. 42, Yesterday) in the lead roles as DCI Cassie Stuart and DS Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan, has become one of the mainstays of the PBS Masterpiece series line-up since its premiere in 2015. Thankfully, word out of the UK is that the modern day police team has resumed filming once again and will return for a fourth series to solve another cold case in 2021.

Looking back at series 3, which was both critically acclaimed and very well received from an audience standpoint when transmitted in both the UK and in America on PBS in 2019, you might remember Neil Morrissey (Line of Duty), Alex Jennings (Victoria, The Crown), James Fleet (Vicar of Dibley) and Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean) joined the cast as a group of close-knit friends who came under suspicion from DCI Cassie Stuart and DS Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan when a body is found at a building site off the M1 motorway, a body that has been missing since the turn of the millennium.

This time around, with filming having resumed on the 4th series (filming was shut down in March 2020 due to UK production lockdown), Walker and Bhaskar will be joined by Sheila Hancock (New Tricks, Delicious), Susan Lynch (Killing Eve, Apple Tree Yard), Phaldut Sharma (Hanna, EastEnders), Liz White (Life On Mars, Ackley Bridge), Andy Nyman (Wanderlust, Peaky Blinders), Clare Calbraith (Baptiste, Little Boy Blue) and Lucy Speed (Marcella, National Treasure), along with returning actors Peter Egan (Downton Abbey, Hold The Sunset), Alastair Mackenzie (Deep Water, Cold Feet), Carolina Main (Blood, Grantchester), Lewis Reeves (Uncle, Inspector George Gently) and Jordan Long (Prime Suspect 1973, SS-GB). For those wondering…the DS Sunny Khan’s rucksack is said to be returning also!

The backpack stays with him,” declares Sanjeev Bhaskar. “You never saw Columbo without his raincoat. You never saw McCloud without his horse. You never saw Kojak with hair. These things are sort of keyed in to the DNA.” While the viral phenomenon doesn’t have it’s own Twitter account just yet (such as @L_MarysEyebrows and @AidansHair), it has become something of a star around the set of Unforgotten. At least it does have its own hashtag — #sunnysbackpack. 

As with most things, Bhaskar seems to be having fun with it by indulging viewers’ curiosity about the bag’s contents during the last couple of series. “I said to costume and props, “Why don’t you just fill it with stuff which is a surprise to me? Don’t tell me what it is. Just fill it because it’s got to look like it’s got stuff in it’,” he says.

Without giving away the farm, series 4 of the 2-time BAFTA award-winning series opens with the discovery of a dismembered body in a scrap metal yard, which the team believe has been stored in a domestic freezer for thirty years. A unique Millwall Football Club tattoo leads to the victim being identified as Matthew Walsh, a young man in his mid-twenties who went missing in March 1990.

While Sunny and his rucksack seem ready to begin solving the 30-year old case, Cassie will find herself making the “gut-wrenching decision to return to work”, despite her decision to retire from the police force for “her own sanity and wellbeing.”

Unforgotten writer Chris Lang 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.

Unforgotten S4 returns to ITV and PBS in 2021…with #sunnysbackpack!

In: Mystery