So the sixth season of Cold Feet is underway after a gap of 13 years, and pleasingly we find that the friends have moved on… hardly a jot. Here's what happened in episode one.

What's going on with Adam?

Adam (James Nesbitt) flies back into Manchester from a long stay in Singapore, where he wound up pursuing an IT career away from heartbreaking memories of late true love Rachel. His big news is that he’s finally settling down again, with lovely, smart 30-year-old biotechnologist Angela Zubayr (Karen David).

His primary task on landing is to persuade his reluctant son Matt (Cel Spellman) to come out to Singapore for the wedding. But in other complications, Pete and Jenn (John Thomson and Fay Ripley) have hit hard times and won’t be able to scrape together the airfare. 

David (Robert Bathurst) stirs up a hornet’s nest with his offer to cover the cost of economy flights for all the friends, including ex-wife Karen (Hermione Norris). “Go ahead, squander your air miles,” snorts his present wife—and ex-divorce lawyer—Robyn (Lucy Robinson). “I shall be at the pointy end of the plane.”

 

“It was love at first sight.
 Well it was quicker than that,
 ’cause I hadn’t clapped eyes
 on her yet.”

 

In flashbacks of Adam’s latest whirlwind romance, we see that he’s acted as impetuously as ever: “It was love at first sight. Well it was quicker than that, ’cause I hadn’t clapped eyes on her yet.” Nevertheless, six months in, their love seems firmly rooted until, on the airport travelator on the way to his return flight, Adam hears someone call the name Rachel and, momentarily disoriented, he stumbles and cracks his head.

Read more: James Nesbitt: I remember

Awaking in hospital having missed his plane, he learns that Angela is flying in—having picked up from Pete’s muddled communications that Adam may have suffered a heart attack.

As arrangements are made to reschedule the wedding in Manchester, we learn that Angela’s father Eddie (Art Malik) is one of Asia’s leading multimillionaire businessmen and more than equal to picking up the tab. He’s also single, which may or may not remain the case by the series’ close…

 

“I’m not happy. I have moments,
 but that’s all they are,
 little fleeting glimpses.
 Maybe in middle 
age 
 that’s the best we can hope for.”

 

After an awkward first encounter Adam discovers an easy discourse with his charming Airbnb landlady Tina (Leanne Best), who lives handily across the hall. He confides in her his last-minute qualms about the wedding.

Adam and Matt in Cold Feet
Matt poses with his dad

As incipient bad-boy Matt, who has just been expelled from boarding school for dealing laughing gas and smoking pot, turns up at the church, he catches the eye of Karen and David’s twin daughters Olivia and Ellie (Daisy Edgar-Jones and Ella Hunt). “Oh my God, when did Matt get so hot?... I’ve got dibs.” declares Ellie—or is it Olivia? Either way, they’ll surely soon end up as love rivals with all those confusing teenage hormones spilling over.

 

How're the others getting on?

Meanwhile, David would clearly love to ditch the dreary Robyn and get back into Karen’s good books, but Karen seems determined to resist his fumbling charms second time around. Only Pete and Jenn look solid—as long as he doesn’t get consumed by self-pity as he plies the irregular twin trades of taxi driver and old people’s home carer.

Rachel, played by Helen Baxendale in the four earlier series, is a constant presence, with all the characters whose lives she touched still carrying her memory. There’s also a cheeky nod to James Nesbitt’s real-life tonsorial transformation: “Have you got more hair?” asks Pete as he picks Adam up at the airport. “No!… Maybe,” he replies with a smirk.

Read more: 10 Cold Feet moments that had us gripped

David (for whom Bathurst injects a John Le Mesurier-like tone of exasperated melancholy) delivers many of the most poignant lines. As the ‘three amigos’ Adam, Pete and David try to make the best of a low-key stag night, he reflects: “I’m not happy. I have moments, but that’s all they are, little fleeting glimpses. Maybe in middle age that’s the best we can hope for.”

This is a welcome return for an instantly recognisable bunch of iconic characters from TV’s recent past as they stumble into middle age with all their quirks, affections, regrets and incriminations intact—and attempt to assuage the hopes and fears of the next generation.

The big questions remain: Will Adam go through with the marriage? Who will win Matt's affections—Olivia or Ellie? And which couples will still be in tact after next week's episode?

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