Peaky Blinders

Photograph: BBC
Rating 9.2
Streamers BBC iPlayer, Netflix
Seasons 5
Episodes 36 x 60 mins

Word is reaching us that our favourite family are soon to be back with a bang and we’re hoping that the (literally) explosive streets of 1920s Birmingham are ready. You are hereby instructed to don your flat cap and prepare yourself for the final season, by order of the Peaky Blinders.

+ Like the Peaky Blinders vibe? Check out our gangster list here.

Before we remind ourselves of just how good the previous seasons have been, here’s what we know about the upcoming season 6. It’s never an easy ride when a Shelby’s involved…

1. We’ve all heard the rumours, and much to our delight they are true. Filming for a feature-length Peaky Blinders movie is set to commence in 2023. We can hardly wait, but in the words of our boy Tommy, “when you plan something well there’s no need to rush”.

2. Back to the box, it has been confirmed that the final season will pick up where season 5 ended, but will Tommy pull the trigger? Well, his beef with arch enemy Oswald Mosely (Sam Claflin) is far from over, so the answer is likely a no. Besides, what would Peaky Blinders be without Thomas Shelby?!

3. There’s a new girl on the block in season 6, with director Steven Knight hinting at a new female character who is sure to give Tommy a run for his money…and we know how that ended last time.

4. We’ll see some familiar faces as well as some new, pretty high-profile ones, with the likes of Stephen Graham confirmed for the final season.

5. We may see a return of Tommy’s first wife Grace (Annabelle Wallis), who despite being dead has managed to haunt Tommy in subsequent series, and with Wallis taunting viewers on Twitter with the announcement that Grace has ‘unfinished business’, consider our interest thoroughly piqued.

6. We have our fingers and toes crossed for the return of our favourite Jewish jeweller, Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy), but looking at the actor’s busy schedule across the pond, we predict only a brief cameo.

7. After the tragic death of actress Helen McCrory, the structure of the family is bound to change, with matriarch Polly unlikely to feature much in season 6 – if at all.

8. Initially, the season’s release date was predicted for late 2021, although after corona-related complications (yawn) it’s looking like early 2022 is a better bet. At least we’ll have something to get us through Jan and Feb.

But it’s been a while since we’ve had a new Peaky Blinders season, so let’s cast our minds back to what it’s like to be in the coolest gang on telly. It all starts with that iconic gong and the words “red right hand”, and you know that you are about to sink into the smoky streets of Brum, where well-tailored thugs roam and rule. This is 1919, the country has just come out of a brutal war and is ripe for social upheaval and lawlessness. The perfect setting for the Shelby family to come into their own – they’re a close-knit gang of Romany background, and led by their fearless leader Tommy (Cillian Murphy), they’re out to get power and money, no matter the cost.

+ Love historical dramas but hate guns and violence? Try Call the Midwife.

There’s every level of criminality on display here, from murder to police corruption, family betrayal to political meddling, as the Shelby family battle the authorities and rival mobsters to retain their power and status. And it is seriously gripping. The storylines come thick and fast, and the show’s producers love leaving us on a cliff-hanger so shocking that we rush to the remote to select the next episode.

Enough from us though, what did the critics think? Reviews for the series’ five seasons have varied slightly, but not enough to prevent the mass of fans from coming back for more of what Rebecca Nicholson from The Guardian, calls a “bombastic and showy and recklessly fun” show. And it sounds like The Independent’s Ed Power would agree, calling the show “slick, a bit superficial and absolutely gripping,” whilst The Telegraph’s Michael Hogan says it “gets better with each passing series.”  

Well, Michael Hogan, we hope you’re right because if this truly is farewell, we want it to be a fond one – not like, cough cough, the Game of Thrones ending.  

+ For more shows like Peaky Blinders, check out our Crime list.

First shown in September 2013.

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