What's next for the Shelby clan?
Peaky Blinders Season 4 concluded with a typically epic finale, but what does the future hold for Thomas Shelby, his family and his empire of crime?
As they enter the realm of politics and the corridors of power as well as extending their stronghold to the US in the midst of the 1929 financial crash, the next season could be the most dramatic yet. Here’s everything we know about Season 5 of Peaky Blinders so far…
WARNING: includes Season 4 spoilers…
The latest news:
- Shooting on Season 5 has wrapped up, with the show entering post-production
- A first-look at Ada has been revealed.
- Creator Steven Knight has confirmed that he is already writing Season 6 – and has spoken of how everything will end at the end of season 7.
- Season 5 has been called “the best yet”
- The plot involves infamous Glasgow ‘razor gang’, The Billy Boys.
- The first look at Aidan Gillen as Aberama Gold in Season 5 has been revealed
- While we await news of the show receiving its premiere, two video games have also been confirmed
- Harry Kirton (who plays Finn Shelby in the show) said that Peaky Blinders would be likely to return around the time of September or October.
- Director Anthony Byrne has shared this photo from the edit suite, teasing that as they work on the final sound mix they’re getting “closer to the end” of finishing work on the next series:
Scroll down for more information, videos and photos…
Watch NME’s special ‘Speaky Blinders’ talk show with the team behind the Peaky Blinders below:
Does Peaky Blinders Season 5 have a release date?
Nothing specific yet. The BBC ordered a fifth season of the show along with the fourth back in May 2016. Shooting on season four then began in March 2017 before hitting screens in November. There were 18 months between seasons three and four. The new series has finished filming and has been confirmed to return in 2019.
On June 8, director Anthony Byrne has shared this photo from the edit suite, teasing that as they work on the final sound mix they’re getting “closer to the end” of finishing work on the next series:
In a recent Instagram Q&A, Harry Kirton (who plays Finn Shelby) said that the programme may be returning at some point this Autumn.
“Peaky is probably coming out at the other end of this year,” he said. “So, September/October time. I’m very excited and you should be too. Finn has to grow up (in the new) season.”
Is there a Peaky Blinders Season 5 trailer?
Not a full one yet, but there is a trailer for new drama coming to BBC in 2019 which shows Tommy Shelby looking on aghast after a car explosion. Was it meant for him? He appears to he holding someone in his arms after the incident, but who could it be?
See the trailer and stills below.
Are there any photos from Peaky Blinders Season 5?
Yes, loads! After creator Steven Knight told Birmingham Live that filming would begin in the autumn, production on season five officially kicked off on September 17, 2018. Shooting then came to an end back in January:
Peaky Blinders trailers were spotted rolling into The Black Country Living Museum by the Express and Star on November 8. The open-air museum in Dudley, Birmingham has 26-acres of rebuilt industrial-era historic building, streets and factories. It has been used by the series since 2013 for classic scenes of Charlie Strong’s canalside yard, illicit meetings under the canal bridge and iconic shots of Tommy Shelby walking menacingly down chalk alleys.
A representative for Peaky Blinders confirmed that filming started in September 2018, before creators shared the first official photo from the shoot – with Tommy Shelby on horseback. They revealed that the show is currently being shot “across the UK”. They then shared photos of Tommy behind his desk in the offices of power, another of him marching through a dusty field, and another of him by Troy Quarry in Lancashire…
The first image of Helen McCrory as Polly in season five was revealed on February 28, showing the actress looking effortlessly cool in character.
Aiden Gillen is back too, looking a little sharper this time as he returns as Aberama Gold:
On May 13, a first-look at Ada, played by Sophie Rundle, was shared by the show’s Instagram page.
They also shared a photo of Natasha O’Keefe returning as Lizzie, who looks set to take on a more major role in season five after fathering Tommy’s child.
Then there’s this image of Harry Kirton returning as youngest Shelby brother Finn. He appears to be sat behind the desk at the bookies, suggesting that he’ll be stepping up within the family business as Tommy looks to focus on politics.
It also looks like the family will be returning to their roots of The Garrison pub…
To kick off 2019, the creators of Peaky Blinders are back on set and have shared an image of a bloodied clapperboard for a scene or episode called ‘If You Go Down The Woods Today’ – suggesting that violence and murder are afoot.
Check out the below footage of the show being filmed in Liverpool, where Louise King, 34, told the Echo that she’d heard “gun shots and shouting” around the Dock Road area.
“I was walking to a meeting in the Titanic and heard gun shots and [someone] shouting in a Birmingham [accent] over the large wall that used to be the heritage market,” she said. “[I saw] most of the cast including Cillian Murphy.”
Not only that, but here’s the first photo of Anya Taylor Joy (who played Thomasin in The Witch and had the main role of Patronella in The Miniaturist) and Emmett Scanlan (Hollyoaks, The Flesh, Guardians Of The Galaxy), well as Hunger Games‘ Sam Claflin as new characters in the show. Images have been shared of a rally in which Claflin plays the historical fascist Max Oswald Mosley.
“I’m the biggest fan boy,” Claflin told the Evening Standard. “Genuinely when I got to set and heard Cillian start talking as Tommy Shelby I started fangirling a little bit. The director had to go ‘Sam, bring it down, bring it down’.”
As for the plot of season 5, Claflin said: “I don’t want to ruin it for people. I’ve told my wife but I’ve managed to keep a lot a secret.”
Check out these new photos, that show Murphy and his fellow castmembers shooting a funeral procession on the streets of Manchester (but set as London in the show). Someone is awaiting a fatal end in Season 5, but who?
Meanwhile, both the Daily Mirror and the Liverpool Echo have shared photos of Anya Taylor-Joy, Finn Cole and other cast members filming scenes in Liverpool, on a set built to look like late ’20s Detroit.
Paul Anderson, who plays Arthur Shelby in the show, has shared two photos on his Instagram Story of himself preparing to shoot Season 5 behind the scenes. He’s back in ’30s gangster attire with a short back and sides.
Who is joining the cast of Peaky Blinders Season 5?
As well as the aforementioned Anya Taylor-Joy and The Hunger Games‘ Sam Claflin, a whole selection of new faces have been announced.
He’ll be joined by Emmett Scanlan, Neil Maskell, Cosmo Jarvis, Kate Dickie, Andrew Koji and Daryl McCormack.
“I couldn’t feel more privileged to be invited to join this iconic show,” Claflin said in a statement.
Which cast members and characters will return?
From the above, it sounds like Tom Hardy won’t be back. But what of the others?
Cillian Murphy has signed up for the next season as Tommy, and Arthur is of course still alive. It wouldn’t be the same without Polly and Lizzie, and now it looks like Finn will have to step up to finally fill John’s shoes after getting his first taste of bloodshed. We also assume Jessie Eden will remain to see through the failed revolution, but then entirely depends on what year the next season is set.
Speaking to Digital Spy, Charlotte Riley (who played rich widow May Carleton in season two and four) has revealed that she won’t be returning
“I don’t think that my character will be coming back,” Riley said. “I mean, I would go back in a heartbeat [if asked], because I just love it so much.”
However, she added that she could reprise her role for the rumoured movie…
“I wonder if they’ll ever do a film of it? That would be quite good,” she continued. There were rumours, but I don’t know if any of them are true. I suppose, what would you gain from making it only 90 minutes long? That’s kind of the argument in a nutshell, isn’t it, of why people do long-form TV?”
When we asked Jack Rowan if he’d be returning as Bonnie Gold, he replied: “I don’t know how much I can say. Let’s see where Bonnie ends up.”
However, it has since been reported that Rowan and his father Aberama played by Aidan Gillen will indeed be returning.
Who will direct?
Deadline reports that Anthony Byrne will take over for season 5, following on from previous directors David Caffrey, Tim Mielants, Colm McCarthy, Otto Bathurst and Tom Harper.
Byrne, who directed ITV’s new Anna Friel-starring drama Butterfly, will direct all six episodes.
Will David Beckham be in Season 5?
No. After David Beckham was photographed on set with show creator Steven Knight following his clothing brand Kent & Curwen’s collaboration with the show on a new fashion range, it’s been reported by The Sun that BBC has denied that Beckham has a role in the new season.
How did season 4 of Peaky Blinders end?
After Tommy thwarted Luca Changretta’s vendetta and divided his empire up amongst his enemies (as well as shooting Alfie Solomons for his betrayal), Shelby Company Ltd then appeared to enjoy a period of peace. Sadly for Tommy, he suffered crippling mental anguish whilst in retirement, so quickly returned to the action – where he picked up his plot with Jessie Eden and the socialists.
Of course, Tommy was once again playing both sides. After Lizzie gave birth to his new child, Tommy then called in his various favours from the government to give up leading communists in order to prevent revolution while enhancing his own business prospects – and even becoming the Labour MP for Birmingham.
The big questions that remain for Peaky Blinders season 5…
What will the plot be?
The first official synopsis from the new season reads: “Series five of Steven Knight’s crime family saga finds the world thrown into turmoil by the financial crash of 1929. Opportunity and misfortune are everywhere. When Tommy Shelby MP (Cillian Murphy) is approached by a charismatic politician with a bold vision for Britain, he realises that his response will affect not just his family’s future but that of the entire nation.”
Knight added: “The story of the Peaky Blinders and of the Shelby family gets woven into the political fabric of Britain and Europe as the 1920s end and the ’30s begin.”
The one thing we do know, is that with Tommy elected as an MP, the Shelby clan are more powerful than ever – and even Arthur will have political connections.
“Arthur’s not gonna be a politician,” actor Paul Anderson told Metro. “He’s got political ties now, let’s put it that way. But you won’t see him at no rallies or in Parliament. What it gives Arthur and his family is more power. Tommy is in a position of power, and he can only get stronger in that position. So we’ll all have more cover, we’ll have more opportunity, and more protection. And by protection I mean by society and the police and so on.
He added: “We’ll be able to get away with things under the guise of, ‘we’re politicians, we’re respectable’. But we’ll be able to manipulate things more. Arthur will be even more Arthur. So it will be a lot of fun.”
Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, Knight added: “We are going into the 30s now. There is so much stuff happening, so why not finish the job? The depression and the rise of fascism form part of the storyline. It is setting those things up. In the 30s across Europe and Britain there was the rise of fascism,”
But where else could the show be heading?
“I don’t want to give away how series four ends because it’s going to go in a particular direction,” writer Steven Knight told The Express. “Hopefully it will end in a way that is expected and of course set up season five but not in a way that anyone will be looking for.”
Knight has also revealed that the plot involves infamous Glasgow ‘razor gang’ The Billy Boys. Led by Billy Fullerton (who would later form the Glaswegian branch of the British Union of Fascists), the loyalist gang would clash with Roman Catholic gangs during the 1920s and 30s.
“We just finished shooting a week and a half ago,” Knight told Talksport. “Series five is done. I can honestly say that it’s the best yet. It’s really good. It’s fantastic and it all fell together beautifully. Great performances and I think audiences are going to be on the edge of their seats.”
As for the ‘direction’ it could head, all we know if that they’re hoping that the show will eventually end with the advent of World War Two. Rumours are that the next season will involve Shelby Company Ltd tending to their new business ventures in America.
“It would be pretty epic to see them going to America,” Harry Kirton, who plays Finn Shelby, told NME. “I want to see all of the brothers, including Bonnie, come in. kick down the doors of America and are just like ‘come on’.
“They’d be all like ‘don’t fuck with us’, but at the same time that could be a bit too Hollywood-y.”
Jack Rowan, who plays Bonnie Gold, continued: “Specifically for my character, the story will hopefully continue down the boxing route. I just remember reading about me winning in episode six. I was buzzing and hope I’d get a belt.”
Some of the cast however, have more innocent ideas about the future…
Harry Kirton continued: “Honestly, I kind of feel like like I want to see the brothers have a moment that’s not gang-related. I know this is their life, but I want to see a scene where the brothers are just doing a hobby. You know – tennis, eating or just sat down being like ‘how was your day?’ I know that’s not what Peaky Blinders is, but if Steven Knight could make that Peaky Blinders-ish.
Knight has also detailed how Season 5 will survive without Alfie Solomons (played by Tom Hardy) – and how Tommy will ‘tackle the rise of fascism’.
Speaking to Radio Times about the show moving on without Tom Hardy’s character, Knight said: “There’s a lot going on, there’s a lot of bells ringing, there’s a lot of conflict happening. It’s like when [season one and two star] Sam Neill was no longer in it. That felt like a loss, but you move on. You have to.”
Knight continued: “Tommy Shelby is always on the way up – and sort of on the way down as well. Obviously he has political power now, and in series five he confronts fascism. Well, not ‘confront’ exactly, but that is what is happening at the time. The 1930s were all about the rise of fascism; how does Tommy Shelby respond?”
“Tommy’s main enemy is himself in series five. As ever, he is in control of the exterior – but not in control of the interior.”
What will happen with Tommy’s mystery illness?
Is it madness? It is post-traumatic stress? Is it the result of too much booze and too many beatings? Is it under control as long as he keeps himself in trouble, or will it rear its ugly head again?
What will happen with Jessie Eden and the revolution?
The last season ended with Tommy giving up the socialists to advance his own business interests and to become Labour MP of Birmingham. Thwarted after they became romantically involved while he had a child with Lizzy, will Jessie see the revolution through Tommy’s treachery towards inevitable failure, or will the new season pick up after she’s already been hung up to dry? It sounds as if he’s planning to lead the revolution, while secretly undermining it for his own gains.
Is Alfie Solomons really dead?
Season four ended with Tommy taking his revenge for Alfie’s double-crossing, and shooting him on the beach at Margate. His facial wound knocked him to the ground, but did it really kill him? Maybe Tommy left him to live, knowing that he was now powerless and without an empire – and that cancer would kill him eventually.
Responding to the question of if Alfie Solomons is really dead, Knight replied: “Pass”.
However, Paul Anderson recently revealed that Tom Hardy ‘didn’t want’ to depart from the show.
“I didn’t know that was coming,” Anderson recently told Digital Spy. “We were unsure… there was a whole thing about whether or not Alfie would live or die, or get shot or not. It was up for debate and discussion.”
“I know that Tom didn’t want to go,” Anderson added. “So there was this whole thing.”
Who will be on the Season 5 soundtrack?
Loads of awesome bands, you know it. Along with the usual guest covers of Nick Cave’s ‘Red Right Hand’ (including one by Iggy Pop and Jarvis Cocker), Season 4 included tracks by the likes of Foals, The Kills and Savages.
When asked by BBC 6 Music about what a band needs to appear in the show, soundtrack co-creator Antony Genn said they need to feel like “an outlaw”. Make of that what you will.
While Genn said that he wasn’t sure if he’d be helming the soundtrack to season five, he revealed that they tried to get Savages’ Jehnny Beth for the fourth season – with the hope of her being involved next time.
“Have you seen Savages play live?” Genn told NME as part of Speaky Blinders. “You aren’t walking out of that gig going ‘ah, they’re a bit pussy aren’t they?’ It’s like ‘BOOM – that’s some slamming outlaw shit’. I’d have loved to do have done something with Jenny for the show actually. We were talking to her about doing something, but it just didn’t quite happen for a few reasons and she was off doing a film.
“We just couldn’t quite make it work, but maybe with season five, we could get something doing with Jehnny Beth. She’s pretty amazing.”
You could also hopefully expect to hear some more Radiohead. Perhaps even, a new Thom Yorke solo track.
Asked about which band or artist best encapsulates the main role played by Cillian Murphy, Genn told NME: “I don’t think you can, and that’s the thing about Tommy Shelby. You’ve got to understand, he’s a gypsy that’s come from the streets, whose now in fucking politics, dude.
“I guess you could say with that, maybe someone like Radiohead. They’ve evolved, and you think they’re this – and then they’re this.”
He continued: “That’s the thing about all great bands, and all great artists of any kind; they can’t be pinned down. You can’t quite get an angle on what they are – because they’re always evolving and always moving. That’s Tommy Shelby, he’s always moving forward. Who knows what he’s going to do next?”
Genn added: “The geezer has gone from being an absolute shitter from Nowheresville, slashing people’s eyes open, to now rocking it with the politicians in Parliament. He’s got an OBE and he’s hanging around with the hoi polloi.”
Genn then continued: “If we were going to do another season, I’d like to do original tracks with people – not just covers. As much as it’s great to get tracks that work and are fantastic, wouldn’t it be great to have an original track written for Peaky with Thom Yorke, rather than a Radiohead track?
“I’m not saying that Thom Yorke would be knocking on my door going ‘can I do a track with you mate?’ That’s very unlikely, but you’ve got to dream, man.”
Will there be a Season 6 and 7? How will it all end?
Creator Steven Knight has confirmed that he is already writing season 6, as well as telling TalkSport that they “will almost certainly do seven seasons.”
“Peaky is a very personal thing for me because it’s based on stories that I was told as a kid by my parents,” he told recently told Slate. “At the very beginning, I tried to have other writers involved but it just didn’t work. There’s no writers room, or any other writer involved. I write everything from beginning to end. Maybe it’s just me not being able to let go of something, especially with Peaky. I can’t let it go.”
He continued: “I’m about to start writing season 6 now and if all the wheels fall off, or it goes horribly wrong, there’s probably people that will say something (about his writing process). But at this moment, it has its own logic and momentum. Right now, it feels as if the characters are just writing themselves.”
The timeline for what’s to come has also been clearly mapped out.
“I’ve always had a pretty clear road map of how this works between World War One and World War Two, and it’s flexible in that you can get to the destination quicker or slower,” said Knight. “So in may mind it’s probable that we’ll get there at the end of series five, it may be series six.”
He continued: “None of us want to shortchange it, so if we feel that after five there’s another one – there’s talk of a film and all sorts of things – so we just want to do justice to the people who love it.”
“I want it to end with the first air raid siren in Birmingham in the Second World War, so that will be the start of the next chapter in British history. It’s that period.”
Knight has also spoken of how the whole arc will end with Tommy being “redeemed” as a good man after all.
“I want to take him on that journey from the person we saw [in series one], to the person he will become in 1939,” said Knight at the Canneseries TV drama festival, reports Variety.
“[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.”
Knight also said that he wanted the show to challenge misconceptions about the working class in the UK.
“The tradition in Britain is if you do anything about working class people either they are scary or funny or it is a shame, it’s a pity … we must feel sorry for them,” Knight added.
“The experiences I had of working-class life was of people enjoying themselves, having a laugh, having fun, having self-respect; they were in control of their own destinies to an extent, and so I wanted to reflect that. So you had a working-class environment where these people are sort of aristocracy in a way within their own community.”
Paul Anderson, who plays Arthur Shelby, also thinks the show needs a little more time.
“I don’t know if we can wrap it up in one more season,” he told Digital Spy. “I think we’re in ’26, ’28? And so the Second World War is not for a little while yet. I don’t think six episodes is enough to get us there.
“I had this conversation with Cillian [Murphy] about one more season, and we both agreed: listen, if that’s it, then yeah, for sure. But it might take two more. I’ve got a feeling it might take two more.”
Will there be a movie, a musical and a musical?
A Blinders movie has been rumoured for a while now, especially given its unexpected success in the US on Netflix.
“I think Steve [Knight] has some ideas. You’d have to be careful, but I’d be curious to do it”, Cillian Murphy told Esquire.
Knight has previously opened up on the prospect of a film, and said that it could run concurrently alongside the season.
“I think it’d be great to have a series, then a film, a series, a film… why not?”, he told Digital Spy in 2016.
Producer Caryn Mandabach then confirmed to Deadline that not only was a movie in the works, but also a musical.
“It’s going great, bumping along,” she said the musical. “It’s not going to happen tomorrow, but we’re actively meeting about it and having a blast. You can only imagine those meetings are real fun. Steve said he’d turn in the treatment of what would happen in February, so we have that to look forward to. I have no info further about the movie, I can only say we have continued support from extraordinary artistic forces.”
Meanwhile, two video games have been also been confirmed. First, it was announced last month that Endemol had partnered with Curve Digital and FuturLab to create another game – “narrative action game inspired by the critically acclaimed, epic gangster drama” for console and PC.
Developers said that it would be led by “a highly innovative, story-driven design” enabling players to control “all of their favourite characters” as well as locations from the series.
Elsewhere, a Virtual Reality Peaky Blinders game has also been green-lit – and is due for release in 2020. Maze Theory have today (April 26) been awarded government funding as part of the ‘Audience of the Future’ programme – meaning that they will now be able to develop a Peaky Blinders VR game and utilise “new, cutting-edge AI performance technology”.
A press release has revealed more about the premise of the game. “Peaky Blinders’ fans and VR gaming enthusiasts can, for the first time, infiltrate the underground criminal world of the urban street gang,” the release promises. “They will undertake a covert and unorthodox mission and defeat a rival gang.
“If successful with the mission, they will earn their cap and be a fully-fledged member of the Peaky Blinders, every fan’s dream!”
Check back at NME for the latest updates on Peaky Blinders Season 5.