If you’ve still not immersed yourself in the dark but beautiful world of the Peaky Blinders, it’s about time you did. The British show, which follows the lives of a gangster family in Birmingham, England, after WWI, is available to US fans via Netflix, and it didn’t take long for it to develop a strong following. Now that season five has officially begun filming, we’re finally getting some more details trickling in about what’s to come.
Cillian Murphy will continue to lead the cast as the charismatic Tommy Shelby, and we can expect to see the return of key characters like Aunt Pol (Helen McCrory) and Arthur Shelby (Paul Anderson), too. As for guest stars, the last four seasons of the show have welcomed big names like Tom Hardy, Adrian Brody, and Game of Thrones alum Aidan Gillen, and this new season is no different, with Sam Claflin, Anya Taylor-Joy, Brian Gleeson, and Emmett Scanlan joining the cast.
Showrunner Steven Knight tends to hand over the reins to a single director each season, and Deadline revealed that this time around Irish director Anthony Byrne will be the one in charge.
Spoiler alert: at the end of season 4, Tommy became an MP for Birmingham South, which is something of a change in career. A trailer for the box set of the series so far released in June by BBC iPlayer gave us our first (tiny) peek at Thomas Shelby, MP in the House of Commons. Blink and you’ll miss it!
However, Paul Anderson told Metro that Tommy’s new political position doesn’t mean other members of the family will get involved in politics too. Expect Arthur to use these new ties to the government for his own personal gain. “Arthur will be even more Arthur,” the actor joked.
Though Tommy’s new role means he’s likely to spend most of his time in his constituency, there was a pretty huge reveal at the end of season four when (spoilers again!) Tommy discussed a certain deal that had been made with an American called Al Capone. It sounds like that’s a no . . . for now. In a recent appearance on the podcast Obsessed With . . ., Steven Knight explained, “We’re proceeding with that, but not this series. Not Al Capone, I didn’t want to go west. Once you go into Chicago gangster. I referred to him last series, but I didn’t want to go into that.”
As soon as Al Capone’s name was mentioned, fans began rallying for him to be played by Stephen Graham (who has already taken on the challenge for Boardwalk Empire). However, Paul Anderson told Digital Spy that he doesn’t think this will work, as crossing from one show to another would be odd. However, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a character in mind for Graham. Knight told Obsessed With . . ., “I’ve already got it and I’m not going to tell you.”
Is This the End?
Nobody’s gone on record to say when the show will end, but Stephen Knight has been quite open about how he sees the show finishing, telling NME: “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.” The show is known for time-jumps between seasons, but not of over a decade, so given that season four ended in 1926, it’s unlikely that they can get to 1939 in only six episodes. Paul Anderson agrees, telling NME, “I had this conversation with Cillian 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.”
Five Seasons and a Movie?
The other option to tie up loose ends is a movie, an idea that’s been floated in the past. Could the story of the Shelbys end with a feature-length finale? Stranger things have happened!
When Does Season 5 Start?
We’re still waiting on an official air date for episode one, but the BBC launched the new season with a special event at Birmingham Town Hall on July 18, 2019. This suggests we can expect the series to hit UK TV screens in August. It usually lands on US Netflix a few months later, once the entire season has aired in the UK.
The BBC released the first trailer for season 5 on July 30, and it looks like a wild ride.
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