How do you know that somebody’s a serious Peaky Blinders fan? They own a signed DVD box-set? Wear a flat cap and sport razor-short sides? They insist on riding a horse into the Monday morning meeting and never enter a room without kicking over the bin and shouting “BY ORDER OF THE PEAKY BLINDERS”?
All that, clearly. But according to producer Caryn Mandabach speaking to Den Of Geek at the series five launch, “If you’re a serious Peaky Blinders fan you would know that every season has a slightly different genre.”
“The first one was definitely a Western,” Mandabach explains. “Two men meet at a bar, one guy rides in on a black horse, there’s a woman between them – you don’t have to be a cinematic scholar to know that you’re doing Western.”
“The third season was European psychological, almost tragedy, because he lost his wife and then he took up with a crazy Russian girl.
“Then season four was a siege [mimes machine gun fire] ‘you take the high ground …’ and you’ve got a guy with a toothpick so you’re in the gangster genre, straight up.”
The different directors for each series (since Otto Bathurst and Tom Harper shared directing duties on series one, each series has had a sole director – Colm McCarthy, Tim Mielants, David Caffrey and for series five, Anthony Byrne), Mandabach explains, “are chosen for their ability to approach genre given those characters”
And series five? Producer Jamie Glazebrook tells Den Of Geek, “We’re in conspiracy thriller territory now. We’ve been in a Western, we’ve been in a gangster, we’ve been in a Hitchcockian thriller with the dead wife picture above the staircase … and now we’re in conspiracy thriller.”
The conspiracy in question, teases Glazebrook, is rooted in new political character Oswald Mosley (played by Sam Claflin), but also extends beyond that into the psychological realm. “The conspiracy is out there – Mr Mosley – but it’s also inside your head. It’s very intense.”
Peaky Blinders series 5 starts on Sunday the 25th of August at 9pm on BBC One, with episode two airing at the same time the following day.