Peaky Blinders character Alfie Solomons, played by Tom Hardy, might not be dead after all if the show’s latest episode is anything to go by.
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The last time viewers saw Alfie was on a beach in season four, where he revealed to Tommy that he had skin cancer in the hope that his long-time frenemy would put him out of his misery. Tommy was reluctant, so the Jewish gang leader shot him in the side, forcing Tommy to fight back and shoot him in the face.
Hardy’s character was dealt a glancing blow by the bullet, however fans were never given a close-up of the corpse, leading to speculation that he might have made it off the beach alive.
Last year, quotes from Arthur Shelby actor Paul Anderson were widely reported as “official” confirmation that the character of Alfie had indeed died, but Anderson’s words were far from unequivocal.
He told Digital Spy of Hardy’s ‘exit’: “I didn’t know that was coming. 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. So there was this whole thing.”
The door for Alfie’s return was thrown wide open tonight (September 15) in the fifth episode of Peaky Blinders’ fifth season. Discussing with the leader of the Billy Boys gang who should watch over London turf going forward, Tommy said: “I would suggest the most competent organiser of men in the South is Alfie Solomons.”
Unless Tommy is playing a game or trying to distance himself from Alfie’s death, it would suggest that his bullet might not have been fatal to Alfie after all.
“That was the thing with the script – that wasn’t in the script. I think we started shooting,” said David Caffrey. “We had a tiny little window with Tom about. We did the stuff at the beer barrels in Liverpool and then we were about to go to the beach.
“But that [shooting between Alfie and Tommy] hadn’t been written. Steve had just come up with that two days beforehand. We hadn’t recced it, hadn’t looked at it and so I literally went through a 24 – 36 hour period of we need to organise the tides correct.”
Caffrey went on: “So yeah, that particular scene – I think it was Tom and Cillian [Murphy] that sort of worked out the scene, that they fire their guns together and both fall over.”
He added: “So pretty much the bones of the scene that Steve had written was there, but you know just through production reasons, you kind of have to approach things in a different way.”
Announced last month, the festival for the BBC’s Peaky Blinders took place in Digbeth in Central Birmingham this weekend (September 14 and 15).