EXCLUSIVE: The Shelby crime family is getting back together — amid the 1929 financial crisis and as Tommy Shelby faces his darkest force yet. Filming has begun on Season 5 of Peaky Blinders, the period saga created by Steven Knight and starring Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory and Paul Anderson — and we’ve got the first-look photo of Murphy as Tommy (below), as well as the first plot details for the new season.
Season 5 sees the world thrown into turmoil by the financial crash of 1929. Opportunity and misfortune are everywhere. When Tommy, who’s now an MP, is approached by a charismatic politician with a bold vision for Britain, he realizes that his response will affect not just his family’s future but that of the entire nation.
Also returning alongside the core trio are Sophie Rundle, Finn Cole, Kate Phillips and Natasha O’Keefe. Aidan Gillen, who joined the cast last year as Aberama Gold, is also back as is Jack Rowan as son Bonnie. Charlie Murphy, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Harry Kirton, Packy Lee, Ned Dennehy, Ian Peck and Benjamin Zephaniah will further return. More cast is expected to be announced.
The acclaimed gangster series, which started filming in Manchester in September, is written by Knight and produced by Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Drama.
Executive producer Caryn Mandabach says, “Steve’s Birmingham saga becomes more fascinating and more relevant with every chapter. This one promises to be the best yet. I’m truly grateful to the BBC for their support of such thrilling, immersive and resonant storytelling.”
Says Knight, “The story of the Peaky Blinders and of the Shelby family gets woven into the political fabric of Britain and Europe as the 1920s end and the 30s begin. Tommy Shelby faces the darkest force he has ever faced and his struggle is as relevant today as it was then.”
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, adds, “Peaky Blinders is a truly iconic BBC drama and I cannot wait for viewers to see what Steven has in store when the cast, led by the mesmerizing Cillian Murphy, return for series 5 in its new home on BBC One.”
Season 4 of Peaky was its best yet, and BBC Two’s top drama of 2017, attracting an average consolidated audience of 3.3M. The show’s popularity has grown incrementally with almost 1M more tuning into S4 than S3. It’s also one of the top BBC dramas for the 16-34 demo. Last season increased its 16-34 audience by 56%.
Knight has said that Season 5 is not the last we’ll see of the Shelbys on the small screen and I’ve heard talks are ongoing with the BBC for more seasons.
The fifth season will be directed by Anthony Byrne (In Darkness, Butterfly, Ripper Street) and will be produced by Annie Harrison-Baxter (Marcella, In the Flesh, The Secret of Crickley Hall). Peaky Blinders is produced by Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Drama for BBC One; executive produced by Mandabach, Knight, Jamie Glazebrook, David Mason, Patrick Spence, Cillian Murphy and, for the BBC, Tommy Bulfin.
The show is represented internationally by Endemol Shine International, has sold across 183 countries and airs widely on Netflix overseas including the U.S.
Here’s the first-look photo: