Everything We Know About 'Peaky Blinders' Season 6
The latest season of the Netflix-by-way-of-the-BBC drama Peaky Blinders wrapped up its fifth season with a cliffhanger finale that left more questions unanswered than resolved. Between failed schemes, surprising survivals, and shocking returns, the last episode of Season 5 threw things into chaos for Tommy Shelby and the rest of his old-fashioned razor gang. With production set to begin on Season 6 sometime in early 2020, it'll be a while before we get to see more of Peaky Blinders, but for now, here's everything we know about the upcoming season.
When will Peaky Blinders Season 6 premiere?
Director Anthony Byrne told GQ last year that production was set to truly begin in November, with shooting kicking of in early 2020, but obviously because of the global quarantine, production had to be put on hold like pretty much every other thing that was supposed to start shooting in March and April. Director Anthony Byrne posted a moody photo on Instagram in March, with the caption, "We were so close to the start of filming Season 6. Months of hard work by our very talented, dedicated and hardworking crew. Sets were built, costumes were made. Cameras and lenses tested. Locations were booked. All the prep was done. It’s a real shame not to be able to make it for you at this time." He also thanked his cast and crew members and assured us they would start again as soon as they were able.
Per Digital Spy, in the meantime Byrne has gone live to answer fan questions on Instagram and share updates on the status of the show, explaining that, by now, they would be near the end of shooting everything, with each episode normally taking about 13 days to film. He also shared a letter to the fans from star Cillian Murphy, in which he sent us his love, and said that his character Tommy Shelby would probably be "busy writing Volume 1 of his memoirs, 'Tommy Shelby the Pre-War Years'" in quarantine. "That's something I would definitely like to read. And I think by now he's definitely cutting his own hair with his hat while smoking a cigarette."
Given all this, it's likely that we won't be seeing a hint of Season 6 until 2021, at least.
Is Season 6 the last season?
Most likely not! Deadline reported in 2018 that there were talks with the BBC about a potential Season 7, and series creator Steven Knight has previously stated that he was aiming for seven seasons. "My ambition is to make it a story of a family between two wars, so always I've wanted to end it with the first air raid siren in Birmingham in 1939," Knight said at the 2018 BAFTA TV Awards, per Digital Spy. "It'll take three more series [to reach that point]." Given Knight's intentions and the series' success, a final Season 7 is likely.
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How many episodes will be in Season 6?
Barring any major changes, we can expect Season 6 to have six episodes like other seasons of the show.
One of the things we do know for sure is that the premiere episode of the season will be titled "Black Day," thanks to a preproduction Instagram post from director Byrne. Sounds ominous.
Who's directing this season?
While Peaky Blinders has traditionally switched directors from season to season, this time Season 5 director Anthony Byrne is sticking around to direct Season 6 as well. "I really had to think about it because it's a massive commitment to make, but it felt like this series is part one of two," Byrne told GQ. "I think previous series had very definite endings, whereas I think this series doesn't end that way. So I felt more and more that I wanted to come back and finish this."
Who's returning for Season 6?
Despite that Season 5 ending, Cillian Murphy is -- shocker -- confirmed to return as Tommy Shelby. Barring some dramatic twist, the rest of the Shelby family should return as well. That includes Paul Anderson as Arthur Shelby, Helen McCrory as Polly Gray, Sophie Rundle as Ada Thorne, Finn Cole as Michael Gray, Harry Kirton as Finn Shelby, and Natasha O'Keeffe as Lizzie Stark. We can also reasonably expect Packy Lee to return as Johnny Doggs, Jordan Bolger as Isaiah Jesus, and Charlie Murphy as Jessie Eden.
We'll also likely be seeing more of Sam Claflin's Oswald Mosley. Per Digital Spy and speaking to BBC Sounds' Obsessed with Peaky Blinders podcast, director Anthony Byrne said that Mosley and certain "people in his world" will be a part of Season 6 in addition to Anya Taylor-Joy's Gina Gray and her family. In that vein, we'll probably see Brian Gleeson reprise his role as Jimmy McCavern. And after his surprise return in Season 5, it's also possible that we'll see more of Tom Hardy as Alfie in Season 6 as well.
Kate Phillips' return as Linda Shelby is a bit of a toss-up. Linda threatened to kill Arthur and ended up getting shot as a result, and while she survived, her reappearance is uncertain. Speaking to Digital Spy, Phillips said, "I'd like to think [Linda's] going to be around and maybe there might be some reconciliation, but also you know her fury is pretty palpable by the end of episode five... It does beg the question — how do you come back from trying to kill your husband?"
As far as new cast members go, Knight has confirmed that Stephen Graham will be appearing in either this season or Season 7 -- he won't say who Graham is playing, but has said it's definitely not Al Capone. A number of bona fide celebs have also expressed interest in guesting on the show, from Brad Pitt to Snoop Dogg, A$AP Rocky, and Samuel L. Jackson, all of which Knight has said he'd be delighted to have on. Will Sam Jackson show up in 1930s Birmingham to call Tommy Shelby a motherfucker? We can only hope.
What's the plot of Peaky Blinders Season 6?
The Season 5 finale was a bit of a doozy. Tommy had an entire scheme to take out his political rival, Oswald Mosley, a British facist who did, in fact, exist in real life. Tommy broke out Barney, an expert sniper and old war buddy, in order to kill Mosley during a political rally. Of course, it backfired, ending with Shelby ally Aberama Gold dead and Tommy putting a gun to his head at the end of the episode. Mosley, however, is still very much alive, leaving further unresolved threads that will surely carry over into next season.
The biggest question at hand, however, is who betrayed Tommy and caused his plan to fail (we have some thoughts). Of course, Season 6 must also further grapple with Tommy's suicidal ideation -- we're assuming that he doesn't die after Season 5, given that actor Cillian Murphy is confirmed to return.
Past that, we also know that Season 6 will delve more into Gina's influential, American family as well as people from Oswald Mosley's social circle. That being said, we won't be seeing much of the American mob. "I think it's a bit of a minefield, because it's been done a lot," series creator Steven Knight told Digital Spy. Knight has no intentions to touch the likes of Al Capone at any point in Peaky Blinders' future.
The new season will take us up to 1934, where "things are worse," Knight told NME. "The drum beat is getting louder, tensions are worse and Tommy is right in the middle of all that. Again, it will be an exploration of what was going on in the '30s and how certain things transpired." We can expect Season 6 to be just as firmly mired in the politics of the time as Season 5, and according to Knight, "it is a tragedy."