Unforgotten series 3: When will it air? Who is in the cast? All you need to know

The tense police thriller is making a return with a brand new cold case.

Secrets never stay hidden in drama series Unforgotten, and the cold case team are set to unearth another shocking tale.

The ITV show is returning for a third series – find out all you need to know about the forthcoming episodes here.

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First Look - Clip


When does Unforgotten return to ITV?

Unforgotten series 3 starts on Sunday, July 15th at 9pm.

If you have BT TV, series 1 and 2 are available now via the ITV Hub app.

What is the story for series 3?

Viewers gripped by the last series will know that detectives Cassie and Sunny dramatically decided to walk away from a case when they discovered that the suspects were victims of child sex abuse who had plotted to kill their abuser.

The story of Cassie and Sunny’s work picks up again in series three where we’ll see how their decision has affected them.

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But we’ll also be heading into a new case, as the duo take on the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a teenage girl at the turn of the millennium, whose body has been found at a building site just off the M1 motorway.

Their investigation leads them in the direction of a group of four old school friends who have stuck by each other through thick and thin, but who now find their loyalties tested to the limit.

Chris Lang's guide to series 3

When series 3 of Unforgotten was greenlit, I received the news with, of course, great excitement, but also, I have to say, some trepidation.

Series two had been received, if anything, better than series one, and I was a little nervous about whether I could match a standard which had so far garnered the show two Bafta wins, one Broadcasting Press Guild win, and an RTS and BPG nomination.

In my favour, I already knew the story I wanted to tell, I’d sketched out a rough idea of the characters that would populate it, and I was beginning to find the themes I wanted to explore. So all I had to do now was write six hours of riveting television, that was at once narratively surprising, thematically original, and on enough occasions, pulled the rug out from under the audience’s feet, in ways that felt both unexpected but also truthful. Why on earth was I nervous?

And so after the elation of the recommission, came six months of hard slog. Ten hour days, five sometimes six days a week, back ache, wrist ache, bum ache, head ache. I saw my physio more than my wife. Apart from when he was on holiday in the Bahamas.

And it’s not just physically demanding, it’s also mentally challenging. In a series like UnforgoIen, we are often looking at the very worst of ourselves, and spending six months with some of the characters I have created over the last three years, is emotionally draining. And even if a character is not taking you to those sorts of places, you still have to immerse yourselves enKrely in their lives in order to be able to understand how they think, what drives them, who they are. So for six months, my family get used to me staring vacantly in to space, as I mentally wrestle with some aspect of characterisation, when they simply want to know if I want four roast potatoes or five (for the record, It’s always five).

But then one day you type the words ‘end of ep’ on a script titled ‘episode six’, and a key part of the process is in the bag. It’s certainly not the end. It’s not even the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps the end of the beginning.

So now you tentatively offer the scripts up to your fellow creatives - your co-execs and broadcaster, for comment. You ask them to be
gentle with you, which happily on this occasion they were, and finally you reach the key stage, the real acid test of whether or not you have been living in some kind of insane bubble, where you have all been kidding yourselves the scripts are up to scratch, when actually, they’re gibberish. At this point you send the scripts out to your favourite actors, actors you have wanted to work with all your life, actors at the top of their game, actors who don’t do ‘gibberish’.

And I am very happy (relieved) to say, that people started to say ‘yes’. Alex Jennings, Emma Fielding, Kevin McNally, Sara Stewart, Neil Morrissey, Indra Ove, James Fleet, Sasha Beha, Alistair Mackenzie, Siobhan Redmond….. like the man from Del Monte, “they all say ‘Yes’.”

And at that point I relaxed slightly, ate my first roast potato, and thought, okay, we’re in with a shout.


Episode 1 preview

When human remains are found on the central reservation of the M1, Cassie and Sunny are called to the scene. Despite initially suspecting that the bones are archaeological, the discovery of a metal plate on one of the arms suggests otherwise.

Through the plate, which they determine was made in Cyprus, the team manage to roughly date the body which appears to be that of a teenage girl. Trawling through the files of girls who went missing during the time frame, their search leads them to Hayley Reid, a 16-year-old who went missing on the eve of the millennium. With the original case having attracted a lot of media attention and the police never finding out what happened to her, the team must uncover who murdered Hayley.

Meanwhile, we meet four men who have been friends since school: Local GP Dr Tim Finch in Hampshire, TV presenter James Hollis in London, failing salesman Pete Carr in Norfolk and artist Chris Lowe in Bristol.

Who will star in Unforgotten series 3?

Nicola Walker, who was recently seen starring in BBC family legal drama The Split and who appeared in Last Tango in Halifax and Spooks, will return as DCI Cassie Stuart.

She will be joined by co-star Sanjeev Bhaskar, the Goodness Gracious Me actor who plays DI Sunil 'Sunny' Khan.

For series three, four new actors will be joining the programme to play the group of friends who are under suspicion in the case.

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They are Alex Jennings (Victoria, The Crown), Kevin R McNally (Pirates Of The Caribbean, Designated Survivor), Neil Morrissey (Line Of Duty, The Good Karma Hospital), and James Fleet (Indian Summers, The Vicar Of Dibley).

Executive producers Sally Haynes and Laura Mackie said: “We are delighted to once again welcome such a fantastic cast of hugely talented actors to join Nicola and Sanjeev for the third series of Unforgotten. Chris Lang’s complex and intricate scripts get better and better each year, and the new story is no exception. We also delve deeper into Sunny and Cassie’s own personal lives this series, experiencing the effects that the cases have on their own relationships and wellbeing.”

Unforgotten series 3 returns on Sunday, July 15th. 

Watch series 1 and 2 now on BT TV via the ITV Hub app.

Never miss an episode with BT TV – catch up via the ITV Hub app.

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