Peaky Blinders writer Steven Knight wants the series to run until the start of the Second World War

Star Cillian Murphy says he's in it for the long too - and his Brummie mobster could have several more series and a bright future ahead of him

Spoiler alert: At Radio Times Festival, writer Steven Knight and star Cillian Murphy discussed how he’d like to see Peaky Blinders conclude. Read no further if you’d rather not know!

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Series three of Peaky Blinders starts filming next week, but leading man Cillian Murphy and creator Steven Knight already have their sights set on the denouement of the BBC2 gangster drama – they’d like to see Murphy’s character Thomas Shelby knighted.

“What I wanted to do was take this family, particularly Tommy Shelby and put them into respectable society,” Knight explained to an audience at Radio Times Festival on Saturday. “If you’re born into that environment, can you escape? Can you become respectable? Can you become accepted within society?

“It’s a journey that lots of people have made in America. It’s not a journey that many people have made in the UK. I want to keep this going until he is Sir Thomas Shelby. Can that happen? Can he do it? Can he pull it off? That’s what the whole thing is, it’s a question.”

Knight said he had only mapped out Thomas Shelby’s future “very roughly” but he has envisaged the finale. “In my mind, the last scene of the last episode of the last series is when the first air raid siren sounds at the start of the Second World War.”

Cillian Murphy added that he’s “absolutely” in it for the long haul, too. “With television, it’s a sign of a good show when by the second or third or fourth series it’s still improving and still getting better. And the writing on season three is the strongest it’s ever been. It’s off the charts. So as long as it’s that brilliant, of course.”

Knight was coy about what’s in store in series three, but promised “more of the same but different”. 

“We all think it’s going to be the best yet by a long way. We’ve got some great people. We’ve got a lot of love out there, from the US and here. Great people who want to be part of it. In every way we’re stepping up to a new level. More of the same but different.”

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However, he did say that whereas series two involved lots of cocaine, this time round the gangsters’ drug of choice will be power: “It’s about what it can do to you and what you can do to it.”