The upcoming sixth series of Peaky Blinders is set to be the show’s last – but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the last we’ll see of the Shelby family.
The BBC previously announced that the show would be coming to an end when production began in January: a blow for those who fully expected a seventh season to close out the story.
But speaking to BirminghamLive, creator Steven Knight said that there may be future spin-offs that would work without lead character Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy).
“In the form it is in, it is absolutely impossible for this to work without Cillian,” he said, but added: “Who knows? There may be worlds that are part of the Peaky world that are about someone else.”
Regardless, Cillian Murphy will return for one last small-screen hurrah as Tommy Shelby – before moving to the big screen in a Peaky Blinders movie – and the final series will see him pitted against Sam Claflin as Oswald Mosley one last time.
The show’s final series means that we’re seeing several past characters return, including Tommy’s sister-in-law Esme Shelby (played by Aimee-Ffion Edwards), whose husband John Shelby (Joe Cole) was previously killed.
Like many TV shows and movies, Peaky Blinders’ filming schedule has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic – but an Instagram post showing Cillian Murphy in hair and makeup revealed that filming was underway at the start of 2021.
Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming season, including new character rumours and storyline teasers – and what we know about the movie!
When is Peaky Blinders season 6’s release date?
Filming for Peaky Blinders season six was underway at the start of 2021, with The Bolton News reporting in April that various lead stars had been spotted filming at the picturesque Le Mans Crescent in Bolton.
Emmett J Scanlan (Billy Grade) also shared a black-and-white preview of the Peaky Blinders set in April 2021.
This means we can expect the show to air later this year. It has been a long wait for new episodes with series five coming to a close in the latter half of 2019.
The new episodes are written and had previously gone into pre-production prior to the coronavirus pandemic taking hold, but filming had to be postponed in accordance with social distancing guidelines.
However, following the news that several UK broadcasters, including the BBC, are planning to begin filming without adhering to the two-metre separation rule by increasing symptom checks and tests on cast members, production on Peaky Blinders’ sixth series started sooner than expected.
Given the complicated nature of this developing situation, RadioTimes.com predicts season six of Peaky Blinders will arrive in late 2021 at the earliest.
Peaky Blinders cast for season 6
On 16th April 2021, the tragic news broke that Helen McCrory, who’d played Polly Gray in the first five series, had died following a cancer diagnosis.
It is currently unclear if McCrory was able to take part in filming for the final series or to what degree Polly will feature in the new episodes. RadioTimes.com has reached out to the BBC for comment.
Cillian Murphy will return in the role of Tommy Shelby, for which he has received widespread critical acclaim while Sam Claflin will definitely reappear as fascist politician Oswald Mosley, though after the chaos of the series finale, his relationship with Tommy will have changed significantly.
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).
The scripts for season six are “amazing,” according to new cast addition Conrad Khan. He told NME that appearing in the series was a “dream come true,” although his character is so far a bit of a mystery.
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.”
“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”.
she has some unfinished business… https://t.co/Jzlchhddde— Annabelle Wallis (@WallisAnnabelle) May 27, 2020
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. 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.
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?
Likewise, season six will also see the return of Tommy’s sister-in-law Esme Shelby (played by Aimee-Ffion Edwards), whose husband John Shelby (Joe Cole) was killed. Edwards was spotted filming scenes for the new season (via The Independent).
As for who will not be back, Charlie Murphy is not returning as real-life Communist Jessie Eden, with the actress having confirmed that season five was the end of the line for her character.
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.
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?
We do know 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. We do like the new look we have to say!
How many episodes of Peaky Blinders season 6 will there be?
Nothing has been officially stated about how long the season will be but seeing as every other series has had six episodes, it’s a safe enough bet that this final series will follow suit.
But there is a chance we could see a couple of those episodes run for longer than normal, with director Anthony Byrne telling Digital Spy that a longer first and last episode is being considered and we are all for it – particularly when it comes to the series finale!
As for what the episode titles will be, all we know so far is that season 6 episode one is called ‘Black Day’.
Will Peaky Blinders series 6 have any celebrity cameos?
Well, there’s no shortage of famous faces who seem keen to play a part with everyone from Snoop Dogg to Samuel L Jackson outing themselves as a Peaky Blinders fan. That said, we suspect that the pandemic may scupper any plans to have a huge international face fly over for a cameo – and with so much left to resolve in the final series, it’s unlikely there’d be time for these roles to be more substantial than a brief appearance.
Is season 6 the last series of Peaky Blinders?
Yes, season six is the final Peaky Blinders season, as confirmed by writer Steven Knight in January 2021 as filming got underway. Fans previously expected a sixth and seventh series of Peaky Blinders – as previously suggested by Knight after the programme won a BAFTA for Best Drama Series.
However, Knight previously raised the idea of a World War Two spin-off series, and the long-rumoured Peaky Blinders feature film is now confirmed to be happening and will likely serve as the conclusion to this iteration of the story – unless more movies are being considered afterwards.
Peaky Blinders season 6 trailer
With production still ongoing, there’s no sign of a trailer for the final series just yet – but the Peaky Blinders Twitter account did share a behind-the-scenes image of Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby in March 2021, which you can check out here.
Fingers crossed that, given the wait we have already had, a trailer is assembled soon and we can see even the briefest of teases as to what we should expect for the final season.
Peaky Blinders is available to stream on Netflix. Check out our guides to the best series on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix, or check out our TV guide if you’re looking for something else to watch.