What a time to be a Peaky Blinders fan. Season five ended with a typically epic finale, we enjoyed The Legitimate Peaky Blinders Festival, a VR game is in the works, and there’s talk of a film and various spin-offs.
Here’s everything we know about season six, which will be the show’s last, so far…
What’s the latest news?
- Stephen Graham has officially joined the cast and has been seen on set
- Australian actor James Frecheville has joined the cast for season six
- Charlie Murphy will not be returning as Jessie Eden in season six
- Season six, which is confirmed to be the show’s last, began production in January 2021.
When will season six start shooting?
It was confirmed in January 2021 that filming had finally begun, creator Steven Knight also teasing that the “story will continue in another form” following the conclusion of the show with season six.
“Peaky is back and with a bang,” he said. “After the enforced production delay due to the COVID pandemic, we find the family in extreme jeopardy and the stakes have never been higher. We believe this will be the best series of all and are sure that our amazing fans will love it. While the TV series will be coming to an end, the story will continue in another form.”
Photo taken by director Anthony Byrne during filming of series 5. pic.twitter.com/1gOToza7fM
— Peaky Blinders (@ThePeakyBlinder) January 18, 2021
Tommy Bulfin, Executive Producer for the BBC, added: “We are very excited that filming for Peaky Blinders has begun and so grateful to everyone for all their hard work to make it happen. Steve’s scripts for series six are truly remarkable and provide a fitting send-off which we are sure will delight fans.”
Does season six have a release date?
After originally hinting at a release date of “maybe early 2021” for season six, director Anthony Byrne hinted at a late 2021 or early 2022 release, telling Digital Spy: “If we did start shooting in January (2021), we wouldn’t finish until May or June and then it’s another 6 months of editing,” he added, hinting at a late 2021 or early 2022 release.
Star Finn Cole also told NME in December 2020: “I’m hoping […] that we can have things ready for you by the end of .”
Is there a trailer?
Not yet, but for now relive the drama of how it all ended – with a tortured Tommy walking out into the foggy unknown.
— Peaky Blinders (@ThePeakyBlinder) September 22, 2019
Are there any photographs?
In March 2020, amid the coronavirus shutdown, the show’s director, Anthony Byrne, shared a selection of photographs from the newly renovated Garrison pub on social media.
“Hello to all you Peaky’s out there. As all the pubs are shut and you are all hopefully staying at home and washing your hands,” a post on the official Peaky Blinders Instagram page reads. “I wanted to share something with you all. Here is a sneak peek at the new Garrison pub. I want to point out that it was almost finished and is lit in these images by work lights and not by our amazing cinematographer, Mathieu Plainfosse.”
After confirming the production date in January 2021, a picture of Cillian Murphy on set wearing a mask was released.
📷 Anthony Byrne pic.twitter.com/5Hwa9bTAvv
— Peaky Blinders (@ThePeakyBlinder) January 18, 2021
In March 2021, Byrne also shared two further pictures of Murphy behind the scenes.
Behind the scenes with Cillian Murphy on #PeakyBlinders series 6
📷 Anthony Byrne pic.twitter.com/O7pj9nfiRF
— Peaky Blinders (@ThePeakyBlinder) March 12, 2021
What will the plot be of Peaky Blinders season six?
Following the sad passing of Helen McCrory (Polly Gray) in April 2021, following a private battle with cancer, there are set to be changes to what might happen in the final season of Peaky Blinders, but nothing has been announced yet.
When we left things at the end of season five, Michael had his offer to hand the running of the opium business over to ‘the new generation’ angrily shot down by Tommy, Alfie Solomons turned out to be alive, and the Shelby’s plot to plot to assassinate Mosley was foiled – pushing Tommy over the edge.
Who was it that scuppered their plans? Was it Solomons, still bitter at Tommy trying to murder him? Maybe Michael? His wife Gina did say that they’d have to revert to “plan B”. However, Billy Grade did pick up the phone to make a mystery phone call as soon as Finn told him of their plans. Expect to see some vengeance, as well as Tommy’s mind continuing to unravel. We know from actual history that Oswald Mosley marries his second wife Diana Guinness in 1933 at the home of Joseph Goebbels and Adolf Hitler was a guest of honour. Mosley survived until 1980. However, there is still plenty of political drama afoot…
“[Season five] is about the rise of fascism, nationalism and racism in the ‘30s – and there are huge parallels with what’s happening in the world now. I wanted to make that a major theme of series five and the next series, because we go on into the ‘30s,” creator Steven Knight told NME. “I just want to explore the appeal of these simple ideas of nationalism that Mosley represented. That’s why we got Sam Claflin because we wanted someone who was really appealing and really attractive.
“The last time this happened, nine years later there was World War Two. It has consequences.”
Knight confirmed that the next season will see Tommy will remain an MP, but that the political tension will only worsen as time goes on.
“It’s fortunate for me and unfortunate for the world that Peaky, as it makes its two or three year leaps, keeps hitting stepping stones that are very resonant of what’s going on,” Knight told NME. “In series six, we’ll be looking at 1934 and things are worse. The drum beat is getting louder, tensions are worse and Tommy is right in the middle of all that. Again, it will be an exploration of what was going on in the ‘30s and how certain things transpired.”
“I’m writing it at the moment, and it is a tragedy.”
Another thing that we’re aware of, is that Gina Gray’s American family will be playing a very prominent role – and their teased links to Oswald Mosely are likely to come to light.
“Gina, and whoever her family are, will make themselves known, Oswald Mosley and some people around him and his world,” director Anthony Byrne told BBC Sounds’ Obsessed With Peaky Blinders podcast.
Knight has been very vocal about how he expects there to be a total of seven series – ending with the redemption of Tommy at the start of the Second World War.
“This is part of the redemption of Tommy that started when he returned from the First World War,” writer Steven Knight told NME. “He was totally switched off and was unable to connect with humanity and the world and he’s been slowly coming back to life. Now he’s confronting an evil that makes him decide if he’s good or if he’s bad.
“The destination for the whole show has always been the start of the Second World War, so the show is the story of the family between the wars. I really want to end it with Tommy being alright. I want Tommy to be good and on the side of the angels. There’s a lesson to be learned and it will have an optimistic message, but there’s a lot of darkness to go through yet.”
He also told the crowd at the Cannes TV drama festival: “I want to take him on that journey from the person we saw [in series one], to the person he will become in 1939.
“[Series seven] will tell a different story, where Tommy Shelby – who begins as this nihilistic, looking-out only for his family person – will be redeemed, and he will become good.”
Director Anthony Byrne has also teased how season six will begin, telling Digital Spy: “It picks up directly. So, the very first image you will see will be back in that field… Tommy, with a gun to his head. Then, we will move on from there, we resolve that amazing moment… it’s great.”
Sophie Rundle, who plays Ada Shelby in the show, has teased the new season as “all guns blazing” in an interview with Digital Spy.
“She’s just cooler than ever,” Rundle said of Ada. “I think that [creator] Steve [Knight] has said that this is going to be the last, so you can imagine – it’s going to be all guns blazing. It’s always, you know, really rock and roll. “But it’s the last series, [so] everyone’s going to be really going for it. It feels exciting and sad. We’re all really pleased that we’re getting to make it and tell more of the story.”
Conrad Khan, meanwhile, has also opened up about the new script in an interview with NME. The actor, who will be joining the show in the forthcoming final season, recently told NME that getting the role was “a dream come true”.
On joining such a beloved show, the actor spoke of his initial nerves. “I was really nervous sitting in my trailer before I went on set because it’s such a family and so well established,” Khan explained.
“I felt like a bit of an outsider coming in right at the end… but the director said that I held my own, so I’m thinking that’s a good sign. I mean, if I do a really bad job then all the fans will hate me!”
He added of the Peaky Blinders community: “From how they’ve responded to my announcement as one of the new characters, the fans of the show have been really welcoming.”
Who’ll be in the cast? Will there be any cameos?
Many may have been left a little worried by that final scene with Tommy holding a gun to his head, but we know at this stage is that he needs to survive for Knight’s plot through to 1939 and the start of World War Two to take place.
Beyond that, we can also expect Arthur, Michael, Finn, Gina, Oswald Mosely to return. We assume The Billy Boys will still be playing a strong role too. Sadly, Abarama Gold is more.
As for new cast members, Australian star James Frecheville is set to appear in season six although it is unclear what his role will be.
He previously starred in the 2010 film version of Animal Kingdom.
Presenting James Frecheville, who joins the cast of #PeakyBlinders series 6.
📷 Matt Squire pic.twitter.com/SY3PBNM2SW
— Peaky Blinders (@ThePeakyBlinder) March 19, 2021
Rising Bafta Rising star nominee Conrad Khan will also make an appearance although it is unclear at this stage who his character will be.
He is best known for playing Tyler in Henry Blake’s 2020 feature film, County Lines. Khan’s first role was in 2016 when he played a young Chris Hemsworth in The Huntsman: Winter’s War.
📷 Anthony Byrne pic.twitter.com/4ENrh4MQJg
— Peaky Blinders (@ThePeakyBlinder) March 3, 2021
We also know that This Is England star Stephen Graham is joining the cast – but he won’t be reprising his Boardwalk Empire role as Al Capone.
“Don’t worry… we’re proceeding with [hiring Graham], but not for this series,” said Knight. “Not Al Capone – I didn’t want to go west. Because it’s a minefield once you go into Chicago gangsters. I refer to him last series, but I didn’t want to go into that.”
Graham confirmed in April 2020 that he was due to join the cast before the coronavirus shutdown in an interview with The Sun.
Knight also said that he had his “fingers crossed” about Julia Roberts joining the cast – perhaps as part of Gina’s family?
As for other cameos, Knight told NME: “I’m opening the door a bit. We always have people who want to be in it and we’re talking really astonishingly good people. The problem is that if you start populating the thing with people like that then it’s so distracting. But, now that we’re getting into a certain territory, I am going to open the door to a couple of really good actors.
“Our actors are all fantastic, but what I mean is ‘celebrated’ actors who will be showing up in six.”
After season five’s cliffhanger scene, a new cast photo spotted Kate Phillips on set (January 26) dressed as Linda Shelby. At the end of season 5, she was shot by Polly in retaliation for attempting to kill Arthur. Some new pictures have also been shared of Paul Anderson as Arthur on set too – you can see both via The Sun below.
Peaky Blinders stars seen filming for final series as Arthur Shelby actor takes a cigarette break from busy schedule https://t.co/gAOgVnxg4o
— The Sun (@TheSun) January 27, 2021
Charlie Murphy, who played unionist leader Jessie Eden, has confirmed she won’t be returning in season six.
“Yeah. I’m done now,” Murphy told Digital Spy. “But it was a lot of fun when we shot it. And that feels like an age ago as well. Which it was. It was about three years ago.”
But Aimee-Ffion Edwards who plays Tommy Shelby’s no-nonsense sister-in-law Esme will be returning.
In new photos from the set via The Metro, Esme was seen chasing her brother out of a graveyard as the pair had a showdown as they filmed near Bacup in Lancashire.
Another shot showed Tommy battling the elements as he stood in his trademark formal three-piece suit near a grave. She last appeared on the show in season four.
In a new interview with Radio Times, Sophie Rundle has opened up about her character now the show is coming to an end. “It has been a constant for me, which is quite unusual. It feels like it’s been forever that I’ve been part of it,” Rundle said. “I feel incredibly loyal to the show and I feel it has definitely occupied this special place for me.”
“I feel like I’ve changed, and it’s been one of the characters I’ve enjoyed most, because Ada has changed so much from the first series to who she is now, and I love that. I love that I’ve been able to keep going back to it, each series adding another layer, these characters becoming fully realised, because they’ve got history, and the audience knows your history.”
She also teased that it might not be the last we see her character when the show ends. She added: “You’ve got to let a story come to its natural conclusion and who knows if there’s life after it, but I feel very proud to have been a part of it from the beginning and see it through.”
Meanwhile, a new picture from the set of season six has confirmed that Stephen Graham has finally joined the show and started filming, per Digital Spy.
Who’ll be on the soundtrack?
“You just know when a song is ‘Peaky’,” Cillian Murphy told NME. “The artists are outsiders. They have resisted the tyranny of the mainstream, shall we say?”
Expect all of the ‘outsiders’ on the Peaky six score to only be one degree of separation away from Sir Nick Cave.
“Nick Cave’s music has been there since the beginning and has defined the show sonically and atmospherically,” Murphy continued. “Once Otto Bathurst, the director of the first three episodes, put Nick Cave’s music against a period drama it fucking unlocked everything. It just works so amazingly well. Don’t ask me what it is about Nick Cave because I don’t know, but he’s one of the greatest living artists that we have. Now everything has to fit within the palette of that Nick Cave has created.”
Aside from the original tracks likely to be featured, expect an original score too. Season five’s was been written by Anna Calvi. Director Anthony Byrne spoke highly of the music she created, so perhaps she’ll return with him?
“The way she plays the guitar is very unique, and her voice and the way she uses her breath has allowed us to access the interior world of Tommy’s headspace,” Byrne told NME. “She has an innate instinct for those images, and has come up with something that I think is quite extraordinary.
“As always there’s a definite feminine voice there, but there are a lot of women in his life that are behind that – whether it’s his relationship with Lizzie or the spectre of Grace that’s hanging over him. We also touch upon the death of his mother, which we touch upon much more in this season. Anna is acting out whatever Tommy is projecting and brings this whole language to it.”
What about a Peaky Blinders movie or spin-off series?
Rumours of a Peaky Blinders movie have been circulating for years, with headlines last year reporting that Knight was progressing well with a script. However, show writer Steven Knight told NME that it would most likely be set after the final season in two series time, when they plan to end everything at the start of World War Two.
“When we get to the end of the seven series, we’ll think about [the movie],” Knight told NME. “There’s still a lot of energy in it and places it can go. We’ve been thinking about spin-offs, and I’m also interested in doing something with the Second World War.
“The film is of interest, the ballet is of interest, the musical is of interest. I just like doing different things. I don’t want to hit the buffers and stop. I just know that there could be stuff that happens subsequently. It’s got such a following and loyalty now that it would just be great to keep it going.”
Cillian Murphy, who plays the lead role Tommy Shelby, told NME: “You’ll have to speak to Steven. That’s his baby. It would have to be a six hour movie. It would have to be a standalone thing.”
When production was confirmed in January 2021, Knight teased that Peaky Blinders “will most definitely live on”, hinting heavily at his plans for after the show.
Will The Legitimate Peaky Blinders festival return?
The inaugural event in Digbeth in 2019 with the likes of Primal Scream, Liam Gallagher, Anna Calvi, Nadine Shah and many more was a success, and despite plans for a follow up in 2020, due the coronavirus pandemic plans for live events across the board were put on hold that year. However, show creator Steven Knight previously told NME that they “want this to be a regular thing”.
Peaky Blinders series five is now available to watch in full on BBC iPlayer. It became available to watch on Netflix on October 4, 2019. Check out everything else you need to know about season five here.