Unforgotten: Fans thrilled as Sunny's backpack makes welcome return
Sanjeev Bhaskar said "I'm deeply grateful for all the kind comments on tonight's Unforgotten, it's a cracking show to be a part of."
Unforgotten fans were delighted to welcome back Sunny's backpack as the the ITV drama returned with a fifth series.
The opening episode of the ITV crime drama — introducing Sinead Keenan alongside Sanjeev Bhaskar after Nicola Walker's character was killed off — proved a hit with viewers and critics, but as usual it was the backpack that stole the show.
Bhaskar plays DI Sunny Khan in the show which follows a team who investigate cold cases of disappearance and murder, and after fans became so interested in his backpack, the actor has taken to tweeting the weekly contents of the bag chosen by the wardrobe department.
Read more: Sinead Keenan almost turned down Unforgotten over replacing Nicola Walker
As Sunny grieved the death of his colleague DCI Cassie, played by Walker, and adjusted to the arrival of new boss DCI Jessie James (Keenan) — fans hoped his backpack would get him through it.
One tweeted: "Looking forward to the backpack coming back tonight when Unforgotten is back on TV. We don't have Nicola Walker anymore, but at least we still have Sunny's backpack."
One viewer shared: "Did I just binge watch all 6 episodes of Unforgotten ? Yes I did. And it was ace Glad I don't need to get up early tomorrow Oh - and Sunny needs a break. Maybe a new flashy backpack ?"
And another said: "Oh sunny hope you have something in your backpack to mend a broken heart #cassiegonebutnotforgotten."
Bhaskar thanked viewers for praising his performance as they shared Sunny's mourning for lost character Cassie.
I'm deeply grateful for all the kind comments on tonight's Unforgotten, it's a cracking show to be a part of. Apologies if I don't acknowledge or respond directly, I'll do my best. But it's bin night, so.... ❤️🙏🏾
— Sanjeev Bhaskar💙 (@TVSanjeev) February 27, 2023
He tweeted: "I'm deeply grateful for all the kind comments on tonight's Unforgotten, it's a cracking show to be a part of. Apologies if I don't acknowledge or respond directly, I'll do my best. But it's bin night, so...."
Bhaskar's acting was described as "sublime", "superb" and "stunning" as he helped viewers to cope with the loss of Cassie through Sunny's own grief.
One said: "#Unforgotten brilliantly written by @ChrisLangWriter as usual...and poor Sunny - i just wanted to give him a big hug, you can really feel his pain over the loss of Cassie. He is sublimely played by @TVSanjeev. Looking forward to seeing how everyone is involved in the murder."
Another agreed: "Woooh Sanjeev Baskar's showing the RANGE TONIGHT! Stunning performance."
And one tweeted: "Omg as soon as I heard #Unforgotten theme song I got goosebumps, aww poor Sunny,my heart actually broke for him especially when he went to see Cassie."
Keenan's debut as tough new head of team Jessie James was also a hit with viewers.
One tweeted: "Knowing that we were all still grieving for Cassie they could have gone the simple route of bringing someone similar and compassionate in to replace her. I think it was bold of them to bring someone so prickly and unlikeable instead."
The episode was also a hit with critics, achieving four star reviews and a rating of 76/100 on metacritic.
Read more: What to watch on TV this week: From Unforgotten to The Six
Rebecca Nicholson of The Guardian said: "Anyone worried that it wouldn’t survive the loss of Walker can breathe a sigh of relief. That’s not to say she isn’t missed, but Unforgotten has been around for long enough to know exactly what it is doing."
Watch: Nicola Walker reveals the most uncomfortable scenes she's ever done