I watch a lot of TV, I love a lot of TV, but Cold Feet is a show I hold dear to my heart. I have watched the whole series numerous times since it came to close in 2003 and still get a knot in my stomach when Helen Baxandale fumbles for a cassette and ends up being involved in a brutal and fatal car accident. It's a scene I remember so clearly, it's a scene that still stuns and shocks even though I know it beat by beat now. It's fifth series was comprised of 4 final extra-long episodes. It's the third episode which sees Rachel's life cut tragically short and at the time it seemed unthinkable that a show could kill off a lead character like that so close to the end. Of course now we live in an era of drama where virtually know one is safe. In a way I think modern TV drama has devalued the shock of loosing a much loved character.
Adam (James Nesbitt) and Rachel (Helen Baxandale) were at the heart of the show when it began back in 1998. Technically it began in 1997 with a pilot for ITV. James Nesbitt was a relative unknown with Helen Baxandale having previous success with An Unsuitable Job for a Woman on BBC1 and of course her short stint in Friends in 1998 and John Thomson being known from The Fast Show and Men Behaving Badly. It soon became clear that this was an ensemble show. It made stars of Fay Ripley, Hermione Norris and Robert Bathurst. It wasn't a comedy, it wasn't a full on doom gloom drama it was real life onscreen. These actors weren't playing characters these were real people. Genuine, well rounded, funny real people. Mike Bullen's scripts were unlike anything I'd seen before.
As heartbreaking as those final episodes were I'd made my peace with Cold Feet coming to an end. I watched as the cast went their separate ways never thinking for one moment they'd ever reunite for more. In my opinion it didn't need to come back it had ended so perfectly. Surely anything they did could only sully the memory of what had gone before.
Today (Friday, 5th August 2016) ITV excitedly gathered press and websites like ours in a Hotel screening room in London to watch the first of the eight episode sixth series. Keen to stress this wasn't a reboot or a reunion but more the long awaited sixth series. We can't tell you anything other than it starts in September and it's brilliant!! Fans who like us have been a bit worried that a reunion would perhaps ruin their memory of the original can sleep soundly in their beds between now and its official transmission and those who have never seen it can come to it and enjoy with as much excitement as we did. Sharp, funny, and emotional it's everything we'd hoped for!
At the post screening Q&A actor John Thomson said,“The world isn’t in a great place at the moment, we know that,” said Thomson, “and I think there’s a great need for nostalgia, to look back to when things were OK. I think the timing couldn’t be better.” With Fay Ripley adding, 'it was like putting on an old jumper, it was wonderful!"
“They are still ambitious, but for different things,” said Bathurst. “There’s a lot more yearning, and I think that’s reflected in the show. But it’s still funny.”
The brilliant thing about the opening episode of this sixth series is that even as a viewer it's like meeting up with old friends again. John Thomson commented that, 'the beauty of the show is the ordinary-ness of the day to day problems that these couples experience but with writer Mike Bullen's slant on it. That's what makes the show so special."
Also at the Q&A it tuned out we weren't the only one with nerves about revisiting the show as Hermione Norris admitted, "I was nervous about coming back as I didn't want to undo any of the good we'd done. It was so loved and so of its time that I wasn't sure. It was Mike Bullen (writer and creator) who said to me that it wasn't a reboot it was just an opportunity to check in with what these characters were doing now. They're all at a very different point in their lives."
One of the key new cast members is Cel Spellman who joins the cast and Adam and Rachel's son Matthew who admitted to nerves to joining such an established show. "I started to realise why the show was so successful," he said, adding that his mother was a huge fan who "pecked his head" for details of the new storylines.
The series returns in September and if you want to catch up with what all the fuzz is about you can catch up on all five series on Cold Feet are available on the ITV HUB.