Following last week’s news that Season 5 of epic BAFTA-winning crime saga Peaky Blinders will debut August 25 in the UK, Netflix has set its premiere date for the U.S. and beyond. All six episodes of the Cillian Murphy-led series will launch on the streaming service at 12:01AM PT on Friday October 4 in the States and all markets where Netflix has the show’s rights.
Anticipation for S5 has been ramping up as the global fanbase eagerly awaits Peaky’s return, nearly two years after Season 4 which was its highest-rated yet — the trailer for the upcoming run has garnered more than 3.5M views since its unveiling at the end of July. The Steven Knight-created series is also coming back after it scored its first Best TV Drama BAFTA, for Season 4, in 2018 — a rarity for a show that many years along.
Season 5 begins with the Wall Street crash of 1929 and the Shelby family “seriously affected because they’ve invested their legitimate money and are going to have to fall back on the illegitimate money,” Knight recently told Deadline. He also promised “shocks and surprises to come.”
The stakes this time are even higher for Murphy’s Tommy Shelby who is now an MP facing a new foil in Sam Claflin’s Oswald Mosley, a firebrand real-life politician who became leader of the British Union of Fascists. When Mosley approaches Tommy with his bold vision for Britain, the Birmingham gangster realizes that his response will impact not only the future of his family, but that of the entire nation. And yet, Tommy’s greatest enemy in Season 5 will be Tommy as the show delves into the psyche of this conflicted antihero.
Said Knight recently, “Tommy blurs the line between the respect a godfather would have on his home turf with that of an MP, so he’s sort of doubly enfranchised and doubly powerful. In other seasons, he’s always faced a nemesis, and in this one he has some powerful enemies, but the biggest one is himself.”
Murphy told me of the character he’s revisited over the past eight years, “There’s this line that divides the time in his life” before and after his experiences in World War I, “and I think we’re beginning to see a lot of the values and traits that formed him when he was a younger man. I think they’re being revealed a lot more emotionally and politically. And that’s quite exciting because you wouldn’t necessarily have attached those values or emotions to the political values or emotions of the leader of a kind of violent street gang.”
While Knight is currently writing Season 6, it has not been officially ordered by the BBC. We understand there have been discussions, and it is expected to happen, but is not yet confirmed. What Knight says he intends to set up with S5, is “We’ve had the 20s, the hedonism, the cocaine and the booze. The Wall Street crash happened, and it was the beginning of the hangover through the 30s. What I’m planting in this to pick up in Seasons 6 and 7, amongst many other things, is that fascism is afoot.” The climate of the show has always tended to resonate to today’s world and Knight says that’s “never more so than in Season 5.”
Elsewhere in the family, Finn Cole’s Michael Gray returns from the States after the market crash, and with American wife Gina (new cast member Anya Taylor-Joy) in tow. Helen McCrory’s Aunt Polly has found romance with Aidan Gillen’s now spiffed-up Aberama Gold, but it is her relationship with Tommy “that will be most tested in Season 5,” she told me recently.
Other returning cast includes Paul Anderson as Arthur Shelby, Sophie Rundle as Ada Thorne, Kate Phillips as Linda Shelby, Natasha O’Keeffe as Lizzie Stark, Jack Rowan as Bonnie Gold, Charlie Murphy as Jessie Eden, Kingsley Ben-Adir as Col Ben Younger, Harry Kirton as Finn Shelby, Packy Lee as Johnny Dogs, Ned Dennehy as Charlie Strong, Ian Peck as Curly and Benjamin Zephaniah as Jeremiah Jesus.
Alongside Claflin and Taylor-Joy, new cast includes Brian Gleeson as Jimmy McCavern, Neil Maskell as Winston Churchill, Kate Dickie as Mother Superior, Cosmo Jarvis as Barney and Emmett J Scanlan as Billy Grade.
Season 5 is directed by In Darkness’ Anthony Byrne and produced by Annie Harrison-Baxter. The score is composed by Anna Calvi. Peaky Blinders is produced by Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect for BBC One. Executive producers are Caryn Mandabach, Steven Knight, Jamie Glazebrook, David Mason, Cillian Murphy, Patrick Spence and Tommy Bulfin.
The show is repped internationally by Endemol Shine International and airs widely on Netflix.