What a time to be a Peaky Blinders fan. Season five just ended with a typically epic finale, we just enjoyed The Legitimate Peaky Blinders Festival, a VR game is in the works, and there’s talk of a film and various spin-offs. And that’s not all. It looks like season six could be hitting our screens much sooner than you’d expect.
Here’s everything we know about season six so far…
What’s the latest news?
- Paul Anderson, who plays Arthur Shelby, confirms season six is coming soon
- Anthony Byrne teases how season six will begin
- Anthony Byrne has teased a new female character who “certainly gives Tommy a run for his money”
- Byrne also hints at a rescheduled release date for the new season
- Star Stephen Graham confirms show has been put “on hold indefinitely” after production was shut down due to coronavirus.
- Director Anthony Byrne has shared several photos of the newly renovated Garrison pub.
- Director Anthony Byrne has confirmed that season 6 of the show is in “pre-production.”
- Director Anthony Byrne has been confirmed to return and helm season 6 again, having started work in November 2019 – with the show likely to return to our screens in early 2021.
- Show creator Steven Knight described season 6 as “a tragedy” and opened up about the political plot that the series shall explore.
- Show writer Steven Knight also told us what else to expect from the next series. Watch our exclusive interview below…
When will season six start shooting?
Season five director Anthony Byrne confirmed that he’ll be the first to return for a second series, and that work would begin very shortly. According to Production Week, shooting was due begin in Scotland and Liverpool on February 11, 2020.
“Steve [Knight, writer] sent me a really great email saying this was the best it’s ever been, and he couldn’t believe the rushes he was seeing,” Byrne told GQ. “Cillian Murphy started talking to me about it. We had a great relationship and he clearly liked what I was doing. Then Steve was on set and asked me officially… I really had to think about it because it’s a massive commitment to make, but it felt like this series is part one of two. I think previous series had very definite endings, whereas I think this series doesn’t end that way. So I felt more and more that I wanted to come back and finish this.”
He added: “I’m reading the scripts at the moment, which Steven is writing. I start properly on series six in early November. Then we start shooting early next year, is the plan.”
He also confirmed on January 26 that the show is in “pre-production” and shared a picture of the script for episode 1, ‘Black Day.’ You can see the post below.
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We are in pre-production on Season 6. More to come. By Order of… . . . . @peakyblindersofficial #peakyblinders #peaky #peakyblindersedit #peakyblinder #peakyblindersseason5 #peakyblindersseason6 #peakyblindersseason6waiting #peaky_blinders @ofycm @finn_cole @anyataylorjoy @boyceyboycey #arthurshelby #paulanderson @kate_phillipsss @charlenemckenna @scandalous_13 @annacalvi #helenmccrory @_porvata_ #pollygray #tomhardy #alfiesolomons #cillianmurphy #tommyshelby #byorderofthepeakyblinders #peakyblindersseason6
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On November 12, 2019, photos circulated online of Cillian Murphy preparing to start shooting on set in Manchester and Liverpool, but these images turned out to be from February and November. A Peaky Blinders spokesman told Metro: “They’ve not started filming yet. Sorry. It won’t be until some point in the new year.”
Director Anthony Byrne has seen a script – and is very excited by the first few episodes. “I have read three of the scripts and they’re great, I did say it feels like part one of two and that was purely based on the fact that you have this cliffhanger,” he told BBC Sounds’ Obsessed With Peaky Blinders podcast.
“I want to know what happens in the field, I had no idea, I mean I do now. At the time when we were shooting it. Nobody knew, so I wanted to commit to playing it. Cillian didn’t know either.
He continued: “I checked my email and episode one of season 6 had just arrived and I went ‘Oh fuck, do you want to know what happens after what we’ve just watched?’
“Then I sat on the couch and started reading it and my editor was sitting beside me just going ‘Woah’ and ‘fuck’ – and I was like ‘Do you know what page I’m on?’ and I was like ’46’. So I actually read the whole thing out loud. It was so compelling.”
However, production was suspended on March 16 due to coronavirus, a spokesperson saying (via The Guardian): “In light of the spread of COVID-19, after much consideration, the producers – Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Productions – of Peaky Blinders S6 have postponed filming.
“We will continue to review all productions on a case-by-case basis and will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the Foreign Office, World Health Organization and Public Health England.”
Star Stephen Graham has since confirmed that things had been put “on hold indefinitely”, telling The Sun: “I was supposed to be starting Peaky Blinders but that has been put on hold indefinitely. My agent spent a lot of time putting that together.”
But on November 8, Paul Anderson, who plays Arthur Shelby, took to Instagram to confirm that season six is coming soon. He wrote: “thanking you all for the wait, it will will be worth it.”
Does season six have a release date?
After originally hinting at a release date of “maybe early 2021” for season six, director Anthony Byrne has now updated fans as to how much the season might be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a new interview with Digital Spy, Byrne admits that the coronavirus pandemic has significantly shifted the plan for the release of season six, saying: “In an ideal world it would be great to be prepping again towards the end of  with a view to start shooting early next year. That feels achievable, whether that’s true or not, I have no idea.
“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.
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, 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.”
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A note from our director @antobyrne75: 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. 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. This is the back bar of the Garrison Pub. I didn’t want to change the front bar too much for story reasons that I can’t go in to, but I wanted to change the back bar and in discussions with Nicole Northridge, our amazing Production Designer who I worked with on S5, we wanted to make it very dark and use black and gold in the colour scheme. Black and Gold are two colours that run thematically through S6 and I wanted to layer them anywhere I could that made sense to the locations or the characters who would be in those locations. As to the significance and themes that black and gold represent, well… you’ll just have to wait and see. But I was really happy with the way the set looked at this point and we spent a lot of time on the wallpaper, the embossed filigree and getting the right tone of the gold and the black. Tell us all what you think. Stay safe and healthy. By order of…
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What will the plot be of Peaky Blinders season six?
Who’s to say? When we left things, 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.”
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, Polly, 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, we 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.”
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 has 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.”
Helen McRory, who plays Polly Gray, admitted that she was open to all ideas as long as Knight kept producing some great writing.
“I don’t think that Steve intends to stop writing so I don’t think I need to brace myself [for the end],” McRory told NME. “He always goes, ‘So when we finish that we’re going to do the film, and the ballet’. I don’t think anyone has informed him that it’s stopping. I’ll carry on as long as the scripts are there.”
Will The Legitimate Peaky Blinders festival return?
It certainly looks like it. After the successful inaugural event in Digbeth in 2019 with the likes of Primal Scream, Liam Gallagher, Anna Calvi, Nadine Shah and many more, show creator Steven Knight told NME: “Next year we want to do Birmingham, Boston, and possibly London as well. We want this to be a regular thing.”
Peaky Blinders series five is now available to watch in full on BBC iPlayer. It will be available to watch on Netflix from October 4, 2019. Check out everything else you need to know about season five here.