The crime drama first began on Channel 4 in 2011, where it ran for two seasons before it was cancelled and later rebooted by Netflix for its current three-season run.
Channel 4's two seasons were labelled Top Boy: Summerhouse, and Netflix's instalments since have reset the seasons, hence why season 5 was labelled as season 3 on the streamer.
A little confusing, we know, but definitely worth working your way through. Want to know how? Read on for everything you need to know about the difference between Top Boy and Top Boy: Summerhouse, as well how to watch previous seasons of the show in order.
How many seasons of Top Boy are there?
There are four Top Boy seasons in total currently on Netflix, with the fifth and final season set to be released on 7th September 2023.
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Top Boy season 3 was released on 13th September 2019, and was technically the third outing, but has been billed as season 1 on Netflix.
This is because the show was culled by Channel 4 back in 2013, before Netflix picked up the drama in 2017 after Drake bought the rights to Top Boy.
As a result, the third outing is being referred to as season 1 on Netflix because it’s the first run of episodes on the streamer.
This is also why the fifth outing is being termed as Top Boy season 3 on Netflix.
What is the right order to watch Top Boy?
Here's how to watch the Top Boy seasons in the correct order on Netflix:
- Top Boy: Summerhouse season 1
- Top Boy: Summerhouse season 2
- Top Boy season 1
- Top Boy season 2
- Top Boy season 3
What’s the difference between Top Boy and Top Boy: Summerhouse?
While season 3 picks up where the second left off, with Dushane returning from exile to reclaim his place in the London drug market, Netflix has rebranded the series altogether.
The old Channel 4 show has been given the name Top Boy: Summerhouse on Netflix to help fans differentiate between the two.
This makes sense: a new cast and crew were behind the third instalment of the Top Boy franchise and it is, in many ways, a different show.
But if you're wondering whether the two series are linked, they most definitely are because they continue to follow Sully and Dushane's drug dealing efforts, just with a focus on their earlier days in the Summerhouse estate.
While you could probably still watch Top Boy without watching Top Boy: Summerhouse, the latter provides crucial context for the show, despite some of the characters no longer appearing in the Netflix series.
Going into season 5 – which is branded as Top Boy season 3 on Netflix – the trailers tease more of a focus on the legacy of Sully and Dushane and showcase flashbacks to former characters like Michaela Coel's Kayla and Letitia Wright's Chantelle.
So, it's worthwhile checking out the older Channel 4 series, just as much as the exciting newer episodes.
The new title comes from the name of the fictional Summerhouse housing estate in Hackney, East London, where the action is set.
Top Boy season 5 is available on Netflix, with previous seasons available to stream now on Netflix. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.
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