Why did Nicola Walker leave Unforgotten after 'brutal' finale?

Now that Unforgotten Season 4 has wrapped many fans are questioning why Nicola Walker has left the show?

(Image credit: ITV)

Following the fourth season of Unforgotten, DCI Cassie Stewart was written out of the show. Many fans are questioning, why did Nicola Walker leave Unforgotten? Warning, there are spoilers ahead!

Season four of Unforgotten began with Nicola Walker's character Cassie Stewart begrudgingly going back into the force so that she could receive her pension. Fans watched the season unfold and simultaneously willed Cassie to get her happy ending with boyfriend DCI John Bentley, while also hoping that she would stay on the force forever and we could continue to watch her in the show forever.

In the fifth episode of season four of Unforgotten, fans watched in horror as DCI Cassie Stewart was involved in a car accident. With her life hanging in the balance many fans were unsure whether she would survive to resolve the events of season 4 and get her happy ending. 

Why did they kill off Cassie in Unforgotten?

It was revealed that devastatingly Cassie would not be getting her happy ending. Cassie died from the injuries that she sustained in the accident and the series ended with her funeral. At the end of the episode, we watched through tears as Sunny went to lay flowers at Cassie’s grave that read, “ Mother, daughter, Copper."

Fans were devastated by this ending and many took to Twitter to mourn the loss of their favorite character. “Series endings like this should be banned during a pandemic. F*cking brutal. #Unforgotten,” said one devastated fan.

Another said, “Nooooooooooo I don't like this ending. Cassie can't die. No more Sunny and Cassie anymore. This is tragic #unforgotten.”

Many fans are also wondering why Nicola Walker has decided to leave the show after four successful seasons. 

Speaking to TV Insider, Nicola Walker revealed that her departure from the show had been planned since Season Three. "We were talking from the beginning, really, about what he was doing with this character and this story he wanted to tell," revealed Nicola.

"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. 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.

"We talked a lot after Season 3 about where it was going to go, and it was a joint decision. I think the clues were there in Season 3. The title of the show is Unforgotten and I think there's a great deal of narrative beauty to this woman. She's not going to be forgotten. I felt like she was quietly very unusual on television because she was a real person."


(Image credit: ITV)

ITV also released a statement in March after the show originally aired in the UK. The statement read, "We would like to thank Nicola Walker for playing the brilliant role of Cassie Stuart in four series of Unforgotten which has become one of the best-loved and most critically acclaimed police dramas on TV.

"Nicola and writer Chris Lang decided that Cassie's story would come to an end last night, but that Unforgotten would continue, in series 5, with a new case, and a new 'Partner in Crime' for DI Sunny Khan."

Sanjeev Bhaskar, the actor who played DI Sunny Khan recently took to Twitter to share his anticipation for Season Five of the beloved show. The actor joked that he would try to pack Nicola Walker in his backpack and bring her back to the set.

But don't worry if you are a fan of Nicola's work, the actress is going to star in The Split season three, which is thought to be coming to screens in 2022. 

The actress is also going to be starring in a new detective show for Alibi. The new series, titled after Nicola’s main character Annika, a Marine Homicide Unit detective. 

Nicola previously voiced the same character for the BBC radio adaption of the series so she was the obvious choice. Annika looks into a series of unexplained murders off the coast of Scotland, so we will still get a healthy dose of Nicola's detective work even if it's not through Unforgotten!

Unforgotten Season five is well underway and writer Chris Lang has posted images on social media revealing that he has already started writing the scripts for the next season. Fans are desperate for a new season and we are all hoping we don't have to wait too long for the next installment of the incredible show!

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.