The cast of Peaky Blinders have just finished filming series six – but when will it air on BBC?
It has been almost two years since the season five finale aired in September 2019, making for the biggest gap between seasons since the show first began way back in 2013.
After a slew of Covid-related delays, the early 2021 release date for Peaky Blinders season 6 was pushed back, and it’s unlikely we’ll see the Birmingham-based Shelby gang back on our screens any time soon.
Below, we round up everything we know so far about Peaky Blinders season 6 – from its expected release date to new cast members.
When will the season be aired?
The global pandemic hindered filming of Peaky Blinders season 6, with director Anthony Byrne telling Digital Spy that the original plan was to have filming begin in March 2020 and end in July after a 78-day shoot.
Naturally, that didn’t happen, but relaxed restrictions on television and film production at the beginning of 2021 meant filming did eventually begin in January.
“Peaky is back and with a bang,” Byrne said earlier in the year.
“After the enforced production delay due to the COVID pandemic, we find the family in extreme jeopardy and the stakes have never been higher.
“We believe this will be the best series of all and are sure that our amazing fans will love it.”
Cillian Murphy, who plays main character Tommy Shelby, said the show finished filming last week, which means we can’t expect its imminent arrival.
That’s because new seasons of the show require “another six months of editing,” according to its director.
So it looks like the series will land on BBC One in early 2022.
An announcement on Peaky Blinders Season 6. pic.twitter.com/g1vEnpi8bU
— Peaky Blinders (@ThePeakyBlinder) March 16, 2020
Peaky Blinders season 6 cast
Many may have been left a little worried by that final scene with Tommy holding a gun to his head, but we know at this stage is that he needs to survive for creator Steven Knight’s plot through to 1939 and the start of World War Two to take place.
Beyond that, we can also expect Arthur, Michael, Finn, Gina, Oswald Mosely to return.
As for new cast members, Australian star James Frecheville is set to appear in season six although it is unclear what his role will be.
He previously starred in the 2010 film version of Animal Kingdom.
Rising Bafta Rising star nominee Conrad Khan will also make an appearance although it is unclear at this stage who his character will be.
He is best known for playing Tyler in Henry Blake’s 2020 feature film, County Lines.
Khan’s first role was in 2016 when he played a young Chris Hemsworth in The Huntsman: Winter’s War.
We also know that This Is England star Stephen Graham is joining the cast – but he won’t be reprising his Boardwalk Empire role as Al Capone.
As for other cameos, Knight told NME: “I’m opening the door a bit. We always have people who want to be in it and we’re talking really astonishingly good people.
“The problem is that if you start populating the thing with people like that then it’s so distracting. But, now that we’re getting into a certain territory, I am going to open the door to a couple of really good actors.
“Our actors are all fantastic, but what I mean is ‘celebrated’ actors who will be showing up in six.”
Less clear is whether Tom Hardy will reappear as Alfie Solomons, following his miraculous season 5 return after being shot in the head the season before that.
We do know Charlie Murphy, who played unionist leader Jessie Eden, won’t be returning in season 6.
“Yeah. I’m done now,” she told Digital Spy in March.
“But it was a lot of fun.”
After the sad passing of actress Helen McCrory, we also don’t expect Aunt Polly to re-appear in season 6.
Addressing filming the sixth season of the show, Cillian, said that out of the whole cast and crew, he was closest with Helen.
He said: “She was like the matriarch of Peaky Blinders, and I think my closest colleague on the show.”
During a BFI Q&A prior to her death, showrunner Steven Knight was asked if Aunt Polly would survive until the very end of the show, to which he simply replied: “Yes.”
McCrory had also previously expressed her desire to return for the final series, eager to “see it through to the end”. It’s unclear how the show will address this loss.
As for its setting, we know World War II will start to loom over the story in Peaky Blinders season 6.
“Because of the nature of the decade, the 1930s, we know what happened at the end – that war began,” Knight told the Press Association in 2020.
“There are rumblings and rumors of war and that is overshadowing the whole thing.
“It makes the stakes higher.”
That timeframe would fit with the show’s signature time jumps from season to season, with its debut outing set back in 1919 amid the lawless neighborhoods of post-war Birmingham.
What comes after Peaky Blinders season 6?
We know this upcoming season will be the finale for the show in its original form, but Knight has confirmed that “while the TV series will be coming to an end, the story will continue in another form.”