Peaky Blinders boss slaps down season 6 backlash

Peaky Blinders: Steven Knight teases final season

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Despite the praise received by some members of BBC’s audience, Peaky Blinders season six returned to screens promising big things for Tommy Shelby (played by Cillian Murphy) and his cutthroat Birmingham gang. Showrunner Anthony Byrne, who directed seasons five and six, has snapped back at critics who claim the show’s pace is too slow, compared to previous series’ which have featured many blood-soaked brawls involving the Shelby family.

The razor blade-stuffed flat caps have seemingly taken a back seat on their old gangster ways after the latest chapter saw a tense exchange between Arthur Shelby (Paul Anderson) and season newcomer Hayden Stagg (Stephen Graham).

Although viewers were expecting the pair to come to blows in a classic shoot, the long-awaited bloodbath never came.

Hitting back at critics, Anthony said he had “no problem” with the backlash, adding: “You can’t continue to give people what they’re expecting.”

He told Radio Times: “You’re taking a show like Peaky that is culturally relevant, it’s a TV phenomenon, and there’s an expectation of, ‘I want Arthur kicking the s**t out of people and I want Tommy being Tommy and more Peaky stuff.'”

The BBC showrunner told Radio Times: “Season 4 was that.

“Season 4 was a gangster season with the Italians and the Peakys. 

“There was a lot of gangster stuff and guns and all of that,” Anthony told fans. 

Explaining Tommy’s journey in the programme’s final instalment, he said it involved soul searching for the troubled gangster.

“Season 6 is a character piece about the darkness of Tommy Shelby’s soul and it’s how far down is he going to have to go before he can get out.”

With some new faces joining the cast, Line Of Duty star Stephen has made his mark on the season already. 

Making his presence known, Hayden barked: “I hear there’s some men here from Birmingham looking for me.”

He takes a hushed, almost tender approach to Arthur, who is known for his brutish tactics and is the eldest of the Shelby brothers.

Acknowledging Arthur’s addiction, Hayden said: “Beneath your sleeves lies the truth.”

“The marks on your arm,” he hinted at Arthur. 

Stagg doesn’t so much look at him as peel back the bravado and stare directly into his soul.

Later, viewers come to realise Arthur is clearly not the man he once was.

Although it’s not clear what the rest of the series holds for Arthur following this latest development, it begs the question of whether his position in the Shelby family is at stake?

And what could be the true extent of his potential collapse?

Peaky Blinders airs Sunday on BBC One at 9.30pm

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