Nicola Walker Explains Why She Left ‘Unforgotten’

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Unforgotten Season 4 finale.] 

What an ending. Unforgotten Season 4 came to a shocking conclusion when DCI Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker) died as a result of the car crash that happened at the end of episode 5. The events of the finale left Cassie’s family and friends, as well as viewers, devastated. Fans of the drama, which airs on PBS in the U.S., may also be wondering why Walker is leaving the show, which has been renewed for season 5. 

Nicola Walker says Cassie’s death was a ‘joint decision’ 

Nicola Walker holding her trophy at the 2013 Olivier awards
Nicola Walker at the Laurence Olivier Awards in 2013 i| Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images

Walker recently spoke with Radio Times about her exit from the British mystery series. She explained that she and Unforgotten creator Chris Lang spent a lot of time thinking about her character’s arc, and that the decision to have Cassie die was a mutual one. 

“Chris Lang and I had been discussing the storyline for Cassie since the first series,” Walker said. “By the time we got to her nervous breakdown in series three, we were already talking about where that story might naturally go, so her sudden death was very much a joint decision.”

In an interview with TV Insider, the Collateral actor said that she and Lang wanted to explore how the nature of Cassie’s work affected her as a person, especially after her character’s mental breakdown in season 3. At the end of that season, she left the police force after investigating a string of crimes linked to a serial killer. She only returned to work in season 4 because of financial pressure. 

“Chris and I were always interested in looking at the cost of being involved with these sorts of cases that we all love watching on television,” Walker said. “Cassie does not have superpowers. She’s an ordinary person who’s really good at her job, and it took her to the place of having an emotional breakdown.”

The ‘Unforgotten’ actor said her character’s death almost inspired her to join Twitter 

Cassie’s death shocked Unforgotten fans. Walker isn’t on social media. But she said she almost joined after the episode aired earlier this year in the U.K. She wanted to provide some more details about her exit.  

“I’m not on social media, but when the final episode went out, I almost wanted to join Twitter to tell everyone that I didn’t walk away from the show, nor did they ask me to leave,” she told Radio Times. “It was simply that Chris and I thought it was a fantastic, impactful story.”

She added: “We hoped people wouldn’t feel we were being cruel by serving up this incredibly sad story.”

Is ‘Unforgotten’ canceled? The show is renewed for season 5 

While Walker has left Unforgotten, the show is not ending. In season 5, a new character will join the show as a partner for DI Sunny Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar). 

“I certainly have begun conceiving the character, yeah. I’m actually working at the moment … [the] script was commissioned before we even aired season four,” Lang told Radio Times.

“It’s an evolutionary process when you write both the series and the characters and they evolve over the course of the writing process, six months or so,” he went on to say. “So I have a pretty good idea who she was and who she is and what her story is. And yes, it’s a woman.”  

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