The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown has had a huge impact on filming schedules across the entertainment industry, stalling multiple projects in their tracks, and Peaky Blinders season six is no exception.
However, by order of the Peaky Blinders, season six is definitely getting the go ahead – but when we’ll see the gangsters return to the streets of Birmingham remains uncertain.
In the meantime we’ve been obsessing over the scraps of information that have been revealed about season five, including an “amazing” introduction to the series and a brand new “dark” female character.
Season five ended on a huge cliffhanger that saw Tommy Shelby holding a gun to his head and his fate hanging in the balance, and, while fans of the Brummie gangsters have been twiddling their thumbs ever since, it looks like there’s even longer to wait.
Hopefully with new social distancing measures for filming in place, the series will be able to resume production soon, but until then, here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming series, including new character rumours and storyline teasers…
When is Peaky Blinders back on the TV for season 6?
It had been hoped that season six of Peaky Blinders would be returning by the end of the year, with most of its previous series airing around that time, but a September air date is now looking highly unlikely.
The new episodes are written and had gone into pre-production prior to the pandemic taking hold, but the decision was made to postpone filming in accordance with social distancing guidelines.
Still, fans can rest assured that new episodes are on the way and will go back into production as soon as it is safe for them to do so.
Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight began writing series six in July 2019 and by the end of the year he revealed that the new scripts were complete.
He told the BBC in December: “I’ve just finished writing series six and it’s the best yet, but we always say that.”
The following month, series director Anthony Byrne confirmed on Instagram that the series had gone into pre-production.
In March 2020, the BBC confirmed that filming on Peaky Blinders had been postponed to an unspecified date, due to the escalating coronavirus crisis.
Writing on Instagram, director Byrne said that the cast were “so close” to beginning production on the upcoming series.
“Sets were built, costumes were made. camera and lenses tested. Locations were book. All the prep was done,” he said. “It’s real shame not to be able to make it for you at this time.”
In April, Byrne said during a live-streamed Q+A that a new Garrison Lane was being constructed for the series and that although it was too early to tell when production would resume, “rest assured as soon as we can get back out filming, we certainly will”.
The show’s star Cillian Murphy added: “We will be back as soon as we can, I promise, causing chaos and knocking heads as usual.”
The series is now more likely to return in 2021 at the earliest, as there is uncertainty over how long the virus will be causing disruption.
However, with new social distancing regulations allowing for TV and film production in place, hopefully the cast and crew will be able to get back to The Garrison as soon as possible.
What will happen in Peaky Blinders series 6?
A few details have been released, including the promise of picking up exactly where season five left off – with Tommy Shelby pointing a gun at his own head.
“It picks up directly,” director Anthony Byrne told Digital Spy. “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.”
The series five finale certainly left us with many questions.
Chief among them is what will Tommy Shelby do next? Is this the end of his campaign to bring Oswald Mosley down from the inside? What will be the fallout? Will Tommy stand openly against the fascist leader?
Will Finn take responsibility for leaking details of the plan to assassinate Oswald Mosley? What will happen to Billy Grade (Emmett J Scanlan)? What will Arthur do now he’s lost Linda? Is Polly really finished with Shelby Company Ltd, and how will she react to the death of her fiancé Aberama Gold?
Right now, we can only speculate on the answers to these questions, as the plot to series six will be kept tightly under wraps until closer to its premiere.
Director Anthony Byrne has also shut down ongoing fan theories that Mosley is having an affair with Gina, wife to Michael, following a scene showing Mosley having aggressive sex with an unseen woman with tight blonde curls.
Speaking to Digital Spy, Anthony said in no uncertain terms: “No, no, it’s not. I would’ve shown Anya Taylor-Joy, there would have been a reason, it would have been more shocking to see her and know once and for all. But no, I don’t remember her name, she was a really lovely woman who came in and did that scene.”
Further denying the twist, he said: “It definitely wasn’t Anya Taylor Joy and it certainly wasn’t a stand-in for her character. So yeah, no is the answer.”
What we do know is that the Peaky Blinders set has had a revamp, after Byrne revealed the Garrison pub has been redesigned with a new black and gold colour scheme – the significance of which will apparently become clear…
“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,” he teased in a post on the show’s official Instagram feed. “As to the significance and themes that black and gold represent, well… you’ll just have to wait and see.”
Who is in the cast for season 6?
Casting has yet to be confirmed for the next season, but you can be sure that Cillian Murphy will return in the role of Tommy Shelby, for which he has received widespread critical acclaim.
The show’s other main cast members are also likely to return, including Paul Anderson (Arthur Shelby), Harry Kirton (Finn Shelby) and Sophie Rundle (Ada Thorne).
There’s also the promise of a brand new female character, according to director Anthony Byrne: “There’s a great female character who is new, who is pretty dark. I haven’t seen a character like her in Peaky before.”
“I won’t say who she is,” he told Digital Spy, “but she certainly gives Tommy a run for his money. She challenges him in a different way basically. She’s certainly not a protagonist and I don’t know if she’s an antagonist.”
The character is yet to be cast, but he described the mysterious woman as possessing a “dangerous” ideology.
“It’s similar to [Oswald] Mosley… she has a similar ideology, and that’s challenging for any character, like I’ve said before… he or she, they don’t have guns or a gang, but they have an ideology that’s like a virus and it’s more dangerous than anything.”
Although Tommy’s first wife Grace was murdered during series three, we saw her return in season five to haunt her former husband and she even appeared in the season finale, with Tommy talking to her as he held a gun to his head. Annabelle Wallis, who plays Grace, hinted on Twitter that she may return for season six, writing that Grace “has some unfinished business”.
Despite Aunt Polly’s resignation from the company, we’d be surprised if Helen McCrory didn’t also reprise her role. In addition, we might expect to see Tommy’s second wife Lizzie Shelby (Natasha O’Keeffe), even though she wasn’t his biggest fan at the end of series five
But has Arthur’s wife Linda Shelby (Kate Phillips) gone for good? And has Gina Gray (Anya Taylor-Joy) persuaded Michael Gray (Finn Cole) to strike out on his own?
Charlie Murphy (trade union leader Jessie Eden), Ned Dennehy (Uncle Charlie), Ian Peck (Curly), Packy Lee (Johnny Dogs) and Benjamin Zephaniah (street preacher Jeremiah Jesus) also seem likely to return in series six.
Sam Claflin may reappear as fascist politician Oswald Mosley, though after the chaos of the series finale, his relationship with Tommy will have changed significantly. And will Brian Gleeson return as Billy Boys leader Jimmy McCavern?
The reappearance of Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy) also raises the possibility of a comeback for his character in series six, possibly depending on Hardy’s availability as one of Hollywood’s most in-demand talents.
In terms of guest stars for the upcoming series, Stephen Graham was due to appear on season six, however, due to the coronavirus-caused production delay, it’s uncertain whether he will be able to commit to future filming dates.
Is season 6 the last series of Peaky Blinders?
If all goes to plan, fans can expect a sixth and seventh series of Peaky Blinders – as suggested by writer Steven Knight after the programme won a BAFTA for Best Drama Series.
“My ambition is to make it a story of a family between two wars,” he explained. “So I’ve wanted to end it with the first air raid siren in Birmingham in 1939. It’ll take three more series to reach that point.”
That means series six and seven will need to cover the 1930s all the way up to 1939.
But even after series seven, that may not be the last we see of Peaky Blinders.
Knight previously raised the idea of a World War Two spin-off series, and there have long been rumours of a Peaky Blinders feature film.
If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.