The indelible print of the Red Right Hand will leave its final mark on the TV landscape as the award winning series, Peaky Blinders, is finally set to return. After 3 years left wondering, the long dry spell is almost over, and fans are eager to know what comes next for Tommy Shelby and his Birmingham street gang fighting to become a global criminal enterprise.
Created and written entirely by Steven Knight, the singular voice and vision for the series has been the main reason for its creative consistency. The natural evolution of the characters and their depth makes Peaky Blinders the gritty street version of its dramatic contemporary and kindred spirit, Julian Fellows’ Downton Abbey. That ensemble show is set in the same period in British history, yet covers the more joyous life of the blue-blooded upper crust – the cultural antithesis of the Shelby Irish-Romany family. With Season 6 of Peaky Blinders set to return to Netflix sometime in early 2022, there is a lot to look forward to.
The Story So Far
Peaky Blinders first introduced the Shelby boys as they were returning home from the horrors of the First World War. As seasons progressed the gang (whose name was borrowed from a real English street gang called the Peaky Blinders) is now on the cusp of real power and influence beyond the streets and alleys of Birmingham. Its leader Tommy Shelby now sits in Parliament in London, while his criminal enterprise continues to grow, yet teeters on the edge of collapse.
In Season 5, his cousin, Michael Gray (Aunt Polly’s son), lost most of the families fortune in the Wall Street stock market collapse of 1929. Upon his return, he failed to convince Tommy to step down and let him lead the family business back to success by shipping large amounts of opium from Asia – because his American backers don’t want to deal with a street gang leader. This brazen and shameless attempt to take power, backed by his new America wife (played by Anya Taylor-Joy), leads to his expulsion from the Shelby family’s business and the makings a fierce power struggle.
The Story In Season 6
Very little is known about the carefully guarded plot details of Season 6, but its creator has offered many hints and insights into his plans. Peaky Blinders Season 5 ends with Tommy Shelby trying to fight the rise of fascism at home, while the family looks to export its unique brand of criminal-commerce to the streets of America. Knight has seemingly had America in his plans for the show all along, but always with an eye on ending the series right before the start of World War 2, in 1939. What year (or years) will be covered by this upcoming season hasn’t been revealed.
Knight did say that whatever happens this season, it likely won’t be the end of the line for Peaky Blinders. The show’s visionary revealed the plan is to shoot a film in 2023 to mark the conclusion of this main Peaky Blinders story arc. He also has ideas for spin-offs and expansions of characters within the Peaky Blinders world, beyond just its main protagonist.
The latest trailer showcases just how violent and disruptive this sixth and final season will be. It starts similarly to how the 5th season ended, with Tommy Shelby in a field, only now he’s firing a gun into the air and not holding one to his head. Shelby’s spiraling, drug-addled big brother Arthur, is seen mutilated with words carved into his chest, lying unresponsive. Meanwhile, their cousin, Michael, who has been plotting to create his own multi million dollar drug empire in America, looks to resume his role as a major antagonist to the Peaky Blinders crew and challenger of Tommy’s leadership.
Season 5 was fraught with political intrigue as Tommy Shelby, now close friends with Prime Minister Winston Churchill, battled against real-life fascist leader, Osward Mosley. As Peaky Blinders marches towards the start of the Second World War, Nazi swastika’s and shadows of fascism looms large over the trailer — including some exciting new faces, wrought with mystery.
One new character generating a lot of excitement after joining the show for its final season is someone who knows a lot about gangsters on screen, Boardwalk Empire star, Stephen Graham, who played notorious crime lord, Al Capone. He’ll be joining most of the returning series regulars and popular supporting characters like Tom Hardy, Ana Taylor-Joy and Sophie Rundle. However, while there are so many celebrated actors returning to the series, there is one whose absence will loom large over not just the series, but the hearts of those who made it with her; the late Helen McCrory.
Series star, Cillian Murphy penned an eloquent and deeply heartfelt obituary for his close friend and co-worker, McCrory, who passed away last spring. He revealed they were 5 days away from the start of filming for Season 6 in March 2020, when they were shut down by the pandemic. Had it not happened, Murphy says McCrory had planned to be a part of it, despite the illness she had been battling through previous productions of the show. How Knight will handle the tremendous loss to the series is something yet to be revealed.
Season 6 of Peaky Blinders is slated to return with a new season on Netflix in early 2022. Check back for updates as new details are revealed about when the series final chapters will finally be released.