Warning: The following story contains spoilers for Peaky Blinders season 5.
It’s been almost 9 years since we first saw Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy) trot his way through the grimy streets of early 20th century Birmingham, his suit clean, his cap peaked, and his hair cut to ridiculous shapes. Now, over two years since season five wrapped—with Tommy walking through the fog toward an apparition of Grace—season 6 is here.
The season (or “series,” as it’s called in the UK where the sixth one will premiere earlier) began filming last spring. Men’s Health sat down with star Cillian Murphy during production to ask about what we might expect from season 6. Murphy explained the word circulating on set was “gothic.”
“Very big themes and big emotions,” he explained. “It feels like a climax of something.”
Stephen Knight has been teasing big transformations for some time. In 2019, when he thought the show might go into a seventh season, he explained the end of Tommy’s arc. “[Season 7] will tell a different story, where Tommy Shelby—who begins as this nihilistic, looking-out only for his family person—will be redeemed, and he will become good,” Knight said.
The series, Knight said, would end in 1939, twenty years after the opening episode and at the dawn of the Second World War. (Much of Tommy’s turmoil originates in the trenches of WWI, making a 1939 final something of a cruel full circle.)
Here’s what we know about the real final season, season 6.
Is There a Trailer?
You bet. BBC recently released the first look at season 6. In the trailer, Tommy continues his season 5 breakdown before making what appears to one final comeback. The trailer then teases two dramatic soundbites, both spoken by Tommy: “This will be the end of it” and “one last deal to be done, then we Peaky Blinders rest.”
The tone confirms both what Knight and Murphy have been teasing: a climactic ending that will finally bookend Tommy’s story. How exactly Tommy will be “redeemed,” as Knight noted, is unclear. But if we’re putting money on it, we’d say redemption comes through sacrifice. This season may be the end for Thomas Shelby.
When Will Peaky Blinders Season 6 Premiere?
While the trailer didn’t list an exact date, BBC iPlayer recently posted a teaser to their Instagram account where they say the series is due back “early 2022.”
What is the Plot of Season 6 of Peaky Blinders?
Season five ended with Tommy's failed assassination plot against Sir Oswald Mosley. For season six, we can expect to see how Tommy continues to deal with that failure, and he'll probably try to find out who the mole in the Shelby operation is.
The season will take place in the early 1930s, when the world was still reeling from the effects of the Great Depression. Unemployment and poverty levels were on the rise, and they didn't rebound until the end of the decade.
Director Anthony Bryne revealed that the first episode of season six will pick up directly where season five left off. "The very first image you will see will be back in that field, with a gun to his [Tommy’s] head...I promise it will be worth the wait."
Who Will Be Part of the Cast for Season 6 of Peaky Blinders?
Cillian Murphy is back along with Paul Anderson as Arthur Shelby, Sophie Rundle as Ada Shelby, Finn Cole as Michael Gray, Harry Kirton as Finn Shelby, Natasha O'Keeffe as Lizzie Stark, and Anya Taylor-Joy as Gina Gray.
This will be the first season without Helen McCrory as Aunt Polly. McCrory passed away last year of breast cancer. We expect the season to be dedicated to her.
The new trailer, however, does confirm the return of Tom Hardy as Alfie Solomons.
Bryne has also said that a new female character will give Tommy a run for his money: "I haven't seen a character like her in Peaky before. I won't say who she is, but she certainly gives Tommy a run for his money. She challenges him in a different way basically. She's certainly not a protagonist and I don't know if she's an antagonist. It's similar to [Oswald] Mosley…they don't have guns or a gang, but they have an ideology that's like a virus and it's more dangerous than anything. She's a great character and we're really close to casting her, as well."
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