What's next for the Shelby clan?
We’ve had the grand finale of Peaky Blinders season four. But what does the future hold for Thomas Shelby, his family and his empire of crime? Here’s everything we know about series five so far…
Watch our ‘Speaky Blinders’ talk show with the team behind the show above…
- Filming date for season five revealed
- Creator Stephen Knight shares more plot details – tackling ‘the rise of fascism’
- Doubt cast over whether or not Alfie Solomons is really dead
When is the Peaky Blinders season five release date and when will filming start?
The next series will are in 2019, with director Stephen Knight telling Birmingham Live that filming will begin in Autumn.
The BBC ordered a fifth series 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 series three and four – so we could be waiting until as late as Spring 2019.
“It’s in my head, it’s not the best place for it to be,” creator Steven Knight told The Express. “So I’m going to start writing that very soon and we will start shooting it next year. We will start shooting in the autumn.”
The show has also confirmed that it will be back in 2019:
How did season 4 of Peaky Blinders end?
**WARNING: THE BELOW FEATURES SPOILERS**
After Tommy thwarted Luca Changretta’s vendetta and divided his empire up amongst his enemies (as well as killing 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 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.”
As for that ‘direction’, 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 series 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 Stephen Knight could make that Peaky Blinders-ish.
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 series 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 series 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.”
What other cast 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 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 series is set.
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.”
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, is likely to direct all six episodes.
When will it be set? And will there be a season 6?
It’s not been confirmed yet, but it looks pretty likely – especially if they want to make it to the Second World War.
“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.”
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.”
Who will be on the 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), series four has also seen 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 series – 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 movie 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 series.
“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.”
Check back at NME for the latest updates on Peaky Blinders season five.