It has been two years since the last season of Peaky Blinders was released, and the wait has been long anticipated. Since the shows inception in 2013 there has been an increased following and fandom of the Peaky Blinders story. COVID threw a wrench into the final season’s release, and the release date is still just rumored. A new member of the cast, Conrad Khan, said in an interview, “From what I last heard– I mean, these things change so quickly– I think that will come out next February, the beginning of next year.” Normally these types of details don’t come out prior to the productions company setting a premier date and doing a press release, but it could have been a slip up by the actor. Khan, 21, is the newest cast member to be added to the cast who’s thrilled to be a part of the magic and fandom. “When I had my first audition, I was like ‘This is so cool that I get to read this’, I couldn’t believe it and then when I got the part, it really was a dream come true.”
The End of Season Five
With fascism heating up in Europe in the 1930’s, season 5 of Peaky ended with the attempted assassination of Oswald Mosley (Sam Claflin), an anti-Semitic fascist climbing his way up the political ladder in parliament. After Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) realizes that his plot to kill Mosley has been disrupted he indicates he’s on the brink of a mental collapse. This is where Tommy leaves us at the end of the season. Tommy’s mental health is a large concern that will be queued in on in the coming season. Throughout the series, he’s dealt with aggressive bouts of paranoia and schizophrenic-type behavior. However, as the leader of an enterprise and a minister in the parliament, Tommy doe what he usually does by keeping the entirety of his emotions and stresses internally, with the help of copious amounts of Irish whisky. There is something to be said about the obscene amounts of alcohol that the characters consume and the mental health ramifications that alcohol is known to cause on those with a dependency.
As there is not a single episode, sometimes scene, that goes by without a drink involved, what Tommy very well may be experiencing is the DT’s (delirium tremens). The jumpy paranoia, night sweats, and hallucinations of Grace (Sophie Rundle), is a clear indicator that Tommy is losing his mind, but these ailments are also some of the severe symptoms involved in alcohol withdrawal. Though the show plays on the tight-lipped Irish tropes of not expressing feelings and not confronting addiction in a realistic or serious way, this is done by simply calling alcoholism “the Flanders blues”, I see it more likely that the gangster turned shipping mogul is finally seeing the effects of decades of substance abuse. Whether or not Steven Knight, the shows creator, thinks that including addiction is something that will keep the fanbase’s attention and move the plot forward is something we will have to wait to see.
As discussed in an article from April about the tragic loss of actor Helen McCrory, Peaky Blinders will be at a loss without McCrory, as “she served as the backbone and sometimes as the heart of the show.” McCrory, who played Aunt Pol, served as the steady hand in the operation at times, but always the adult in the room while the gang of drunk angry men to which she calls family, had let their emotions drive their decision making. We are not sure if the production had filmed any of the fifth series before McCrory’s death, but it has happened many times before in Hollywood. Both Heath Ledger and Chadwick Boseman had unfinished and finished works in the making at the times of their deaths, and those who worked with them saw to it that their work did not go unseen and appreciated. If that is the case, we can expect Steven Knight and the productions team to give special attention to the late actor’s brilliant work in the final season. Since there is no real way of continuing the storyline without the blessing of Aunt Pol, the screenwriters likely have the difficult task of finding a way to delicately write her out of the story, within a season that was already scripted.
After the surprising resurrection of Tom Hardy’s character Alfi Solomons in season 5, the gruff opportunist will again be a part of season 6. Thanks to a teaser posted on the Peaky Blinders twitter account, we know of Hardy’s return to the show, but in what capacity. Throughout the past two series’, we saw Solomons confess to Tommy that he has cancer, right before he shoots Tommy and then gets shot in the face in return. This scene seemed to be the end of Alfi, but he was still kicking towards the end of season 5 when he agreed to help Tommy try to topple the fascist Mosley.
The Eventual Premiere
Though Peaky Blinders is rumored to premier in February, that does not mean that the show will become available on Netflix at the time. The BBC gets first dibs on the show, meaning that it is released in the UK first before the series is turned over to commence on Netflix. We have waited two years, a few more months should be worth the wait. Though it was thought that season six will be the final season, there appears to be plans in the works. Once the series comes to a close, according to Knight, it is just another new beginning. A feature length film is in the works to star shooting in 2023 with the possibility of several films. Knight said, speaking to the BBC, “We felt what would be a great idea is to, almost in place of that seventh series, is to go onto the big screen.” I will keep my ear on the track for the premier date, and we can all look forward to seeing what a Peaky Blinders film will look like.