Warning: contains spoilers for Peaky Blinders season 5
Peaky Blinders started life as a niche period drama with a name that made people screw up their eyes in confusion and ask Peaky-what?
Now more phenomenon than TV show, the BBC series has a festival, a clothing line, merchandise in your local Boots (honestly. ‘Mrs Tommy Shelby’-emblazoned water bottles and travel mugs are a thing), as well as celebrity fans up the wazoo. Thanks to Netflix, Steven Knight’s story of a working class Birmingham crime family between the wars has gone global.
In January 2021, the show’s creators announced that the sixth season would be the last (previously, there’d been talk of a seventh) but that the world of Peaky Blinders will continue in another form. Feature film? Spin-off series? Theme park? We’ll keep you posted. Filming is now back up and running on the new episodes after a 10-month filming hiatus due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Here’s all the info we have about what to expect.
Peaky Blinders season 6 – The Geek Lowdown
How many seasons are there? Five (and one more on the way to end the story)
Renewed or cancelled? Season six is currently filming
Next season air date confirmed? Not yet, but late 2021 at the earliest
Where to watch? BBC One and Netflix
Created by: Steven Knight. Read our season 5 interview with the creator here.
Peaky Blinders Season 6: a Black Day on the horizon
Back in January 2020, season six director Anthony Byrne posted on his Instagram account a snap of the cover page for the season six opener (see below), revealing the episode title ‘Black Day’. That title continues a theme from season five, the first two episodes of which were called ‘Black Tuesday’ in reference to the 1929 Wall Street Crash, and ‘Black Cats’ in reference to Tommy’s superstitious (and spot-on, as it turned out) belief that he was about to be betrayed.
Peaky Blinders season 6 story: war between Tommy and Michael
At the end of the last run, the BBC released several deleted scenes that cast a little more light on some of the season five goings-on. In this six-minute scene cut from the finale, Polly carries out a gypsy ritual to see the future, which tells her that Michael’s hostile takeover of the Shelby Co. will end in his death, not that his wife Gina’s having any of it.
“There will be a war in the family, and Michael will die” predicted Polly in the deleted scene above. Are those the words of a bonafide gypsy psychic, or a mother terrified of losing her only son? Season six will tell.
Michael and Gina’s plan to usurp Tommy’s role in The Shelby Company and the ensuing war will bring Gina’s character to the fore, suggests season five and six director Anthony Byrne. Speaking on the BBC Sounds Obsessed With… Peaky Blinders podcast in September, Byrne promised “there’s a lot to be revealed about [Gina] next season. She’s a player, she’s a manipulator. She’s part of a wider plan.”
There’s also Tommy’s unfinished business with fascist Oswald Mosley to take care of, along with his local constituents, the Billy Boys, the Chinese opium deal, the threat from the UVF, potential traitor Billy Grade and Tommy’s own tortured psyche. It won’t be a quiet season, we know that much.
Peaky Blinders season 6 cast: Stephen Graham, Gina’s family and the Mitford sisters rumoured
In conversation with BBC Sounds’ Obsessed With Peaky Blinders podcast, director Anthony Byrne promised that “Gina, and whoever her family are, will make themselves known” in series six. Gina’s uncles, based in Chicago, Boston and Long Island, run whisky and gin from Canada. Which real-life US gangster family might she belong to, and who might play them in the new series?
Before the lockdown, Stephen Graham (This is England, The Virtues) was set to join the cast for season six in an as-yet-undisclosed role. Graham won’t be playing Al Capone, it’s been confirmed, despite fans making a connection between the actor’s Boardwalk Empire role and mention of the notorious US gangster at the end of season four.
Gina’s family aren’t the only new characters on the way. On the podcast, Byrne also teased the arrival of “some people around [Oswald Mosley] and his world”. Might that mean society’s Mitford sisters, one of which – Diana – was Mosley’s second wife? Speaking to Den Of Geek in July 2019 about season five, creator Steven Knight said the Mitfords wouldn’t appear in the show “yet”, but indicated that he may introduce them further down the line.
Returning regulars include Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Finn Cole, Sophie Rundle and Natasha O’Keeffe, though whether Kate Phillips will return as Arthur’s wife Linda is as-yet unknown. And with their characters’ stories far from finished, season five guest stars Sam Claflin and Anya Taylor-Joy will also be back.
As for new guest stars, Knight has long teased some “quite astonishingly A-list actors who love the show and would love to be in it”. Thus far, the producers have preferred “not to make it a ‘spot the celebrity’ sort of thing,” but with the final season looming, that rule might be relaxed, Knight suggests.
Peaky Blinders season 6 episodes: director Anthony Byrne is back
In an unprecedented move (they usually get a new director for each season), season five’s Anthony Byrne is returning to continue the story with season six. In September 2019, Byrne described season five as feeling “like part one of two,” in the BBC Sounds video below.
As usual, Steven Knight has written all six episodes of the season, that glorious madman.
Peaky Blinders season 6 release date: late 2021 at the earliest
Now that filming is up and running again, we’ll hopefully see the new season later this year. The production delay due to the global spread of COVID-19 cast the schedule of series six into uncertainty, but things are back in action now.
There’s no set seasonal slot for Peaky Blinders, which has aired in summer, autumn and winter before, so all bets are off when it comes to the specific month. After that cliff-hanger ending though, it can’t come soon enough.