Series four of hit BBC drama Peaky Blinders ended with the defeat of the Italian Changretta family and the election of Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) as MP for Birmingham South. But with Tommy’s increasingly fragile mental state becoming more and more apparent, and the Wall Street Crash on the horizon – what is on the cards for the Shelby family in series five?
When is Peaky Blinders on TV?
Peaky Blinders returned for series 5 at 9pm on Sunday 25th August on BBC1.
The Peaky Blinders finale will air on Sunday 22nd September on BBC1 from 9pm to 10.05pm.
When will Peaky Blinders return for series 6?
While it was initially believed that the fifth series marked the end of Peaky Blinders, fans can actually expect a sixth and seventh series – as confirmed 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” – i.e. series five, six and seven. Series five begins in 1929, leaving a whole decade of the Shelbys’ story left to cover.
So when can we expect Peaky Blinders to be back on our screens?
Previously, there has been a wait of a year or two between series: Peaky Blinders launched in 2013 and returned in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2019. Fingers crossed we’ll see Peaky Blinders series six in 2020 or 2021!
Explaining the decision behind the switch, Director of BBC Content Charlotte Moore revealed: “Peaky Blinders is world class drama at the top of its game and the time has arrived for it to move to the UK’s biggest channel. Steven Knight’s epic storytelling is authentic and utterly compelling and I want to give it the chance to be enjoyed by an even broader audience on BBC One.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better response to series four and the impact it had with young audiences. This move will also give BBC2 more creative headroom to experiment with new drama.”
Also confirmed to return are Charlie Murphy (as trade union leader Jessie Eden), Kingsley Ben-Adir (as Colonel Ben Younger), Harry Kirton (as Finn Shelby), Packy Lee (Johnny Dogs), Ned Dennehy (as Uncle Charlie), Ian Peck (as Curly), Benjamin Zephaniah (as Jeremiah Jesus).
And while Peaky Blinders has tricked us before into thinking that important characters were dead (think: Arthur Shelby at the boxing match), we can be pretty certain that Adrien Brody won’t be back as Luca Changretta after THAT series four finale.
Which guest stars are joining the cast for series 5?
Hunger Games star Sam Claflin and former Hollyoaks actor Emmett J Scanlan are among an extensive list of new cast members to join the Shelbys in Peaky Blinders series five.
Claflin will play fascist politician Sir Oswald Mosley, while Scanlan is set to play a character called Billy Grade.
They will also be joined by The Handmaid’s Tale’s Anya Taylor-Joy as Michael’s new bride (below) Gina, in addition to: The Bisexual’s Brian Gleeson (as a senior figure in the Billy Boys gang), No Offence’s Neil Maskell, The Cry’s Kate Dickie, Lady Macbeth’s Cosmo Jarvis and Krypton’s Elliot Cowan.
Anya Taylor-Joy (Gina Gray) and Finn Cole (Michael Gray) in Peaky Blinders
Further cast includes Ripper Street’s Charlene McKenna, The Innocence’s Andrew Koji and A Very English Scandal’s Daryl McCormack.
But no news yet about whether we could see the return of Charlotte Riley as wealthy widow (and horse trainer) May Fitz Carleton…
Series creator and writer Steven Knight has also hinted that future series might include some REALLY big-name actors, who have been clamoring to join the show for years.
“We get a lot of approaches from quite astonishingly A-List actors who love the show, and would love to be in it and all that,” he revealed. “But we’ve always tried not to make it a spot-the-celebrity thing, because I think it would spoil the atmosphere.”
However, he added, “what I’m thinking is that in six and seven, I’m going to open the door a bit to some of those people, do you know what I mean? Really good actors, but they’re stars. And if I’m judicious I think we can get some of those people in.”
What will be the plot of Peaky Blinders series 5?
According to the BBC’s official synopsis, “Series five of Steven Knight’s crime family saga finds the world thrown into turmoil by the financial crash of 1929. Opportunity and misfortune are everywhere. When Tommy Shelby MP is approached by a charismatic politician with a bold vision for Britain, he realises that his response will affect not just his family’s future but that of the entire nation.”
That politician is Oswald Mosley MP, a notorious real-life figure who led the British Union of Fascists from the early 1930s – and with Tommy getting more and more involved in politics, series five will cover the growth of fascism in Birmingham, Britain and beyond.
“The story of the Peaky Blinders and of the Shelby family gets woven into the political fabric of Britain and Europe as the 1920’s end and the thirties begin. Tommy Shelby faces the darkest force he has ever faced and his struggle is as relevant today as it was then,” writer Steven Knight said
At a screening in London, he added: “The things that were happening in the time that we’re setting the series have an unbelievable resonance to what’s going on now.”
In the final minutes of series four, we also saw Tommy strike a deal with the authorities to infiltrate the communist movement as a Labour MP. It remains to be seen how this will play out, and where Tommy’s loyalties ultimately lie.
Tommy’s mental state will also be at the centre of series five as Knight and new director Anthony Byrne take a deep dive into his psyche and the enduring impact of the Great War, as well as the violence of his rise to power.
Will there be a Peaky Blinders movie?
With the success of Peaky Blinders across the pond on the US edition of Netflix, show creator Steven Knight and executive producer Caryn Mandabach have revealed the team are in discussions about a possible film spinoff.
“There are many people in America that love Peaky Blinders and plenty of movie stars that want to be in the movie,” Mandabach explained to Digital Spy. “We heard Julia Roberts wants to do it – but this is hearsay… I don’t really know for sure.”
Steven Knight has hinted at a film version of Peaky Blinders (Getty)
Musician Anna Calvi has written the musical score for series five of Peaky Blinders.
“It’s exciting. It’s been hard to not talk about it,” the singer-songwriter and guitarist told NME. “It’s incredible to be part of something like this. It’s a whole new thing for me, but it felt completely natural. Bizarrely, I feel like I can really relate to the characters. It was a really good fit.
“I’ve always loved the show – everything about the way that they dress, the music that they feature, how strong the characters are and how filmic it is. It’s just much better than most things you see on TV.”
Speaking at the launch of Peaky Blinders series five, executive producer Caryn Mandabach said: “The director, Anthony, he got her on board – and she’s perfect.” As for the score itself, she said we can expect something very cool: “it’s so chic I can barely stand it.”
Peaky Blinders has built up a reputation for its musical score and soundtrack. Even though it is set before World War Two, the period drama features modern music and well-known tunes – with each episode starting with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ 1994 classic, Red Right Hand.
“It’s a signature thing,” Mandabach explained. “Time shouldn’t be that important. But we’re going to cue you to a number that certain things are eternal. Like, if your heart’s broken, it doesn’t matter who’s singing.”
Take the final scene of series four, when Tommy Shelby is elected to Parliament: “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall at the end of last season, a guy is walking down, he’s just become an MP, he’s got this broad over there, he’s got that broad over there, he’s got the baby – she’s carrying the baby, he’s putting a gun in his pocket, he’s just joined the Labour government. You’re going to want to play A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, because it doesn’t matter that Bob Dylan did it in the 60s, a hard rain is going to fall. For sure. So we have to choose the music that fits the emotion.”