In essence, the BBC hit TV series Peaky Blinders is a historical call back to the early days of organised crime in the United Kingdom.
We’ve had gangs from all different cultures introduce themselves to the sordid underworld of the Shelby crime family, from Italian and Jewish mobsters to Gypsy gangs, show creator Steven Knight leaves no stone of Britain’s criminal history unturned.
While the next series won’t be out until 2019 it has now been confirmed the infamous razor gangs from Glasgow will make their presence felt.
Glasgow’s Evening Times reports the Glaswegian razor gangs will play a key role in the fifth series. Knight describes the gangs from the 1920s and 1930s as the ‘hardest’ in the country.
The award-winning BBC show will pick up from Tommy Shelby’s ultimate rise to power, after becoming elected as an MP.
The truth is that in the late twenties and thirties really the hardest gangs were in Glasgow. There was a very definite structure to the gangs so I have been delving into the history of that.
They become involved through a bit of invention, some creativity. We are going to start the series in 1929 which was a time of big economic upheaval and the gateway to the Thirties where we all know what happened.
It’s a rich vein to be mining.
Historical records show the razor gangs stretch back all the way to the 19th century. By 1920, Glasgow had become known as a city notorious for its gang violence.
The gangs mainly operated in the Gorbals area, in the South Side of Glasgow. Throughout the 20s and 30s, most of Glasgow’s street gangs were situated in the working-class district. Their clashes would usually revolve around territorial rights and sectarian violence between Catholics and Protestants.
Earlier in May Stephen Knight confirmed there would at least be two more seasons of the popular gangster drama, with actor Cillian Murphy (who plays Tommy) confirmed to be returning.
In a report from The Independent, he told the Birmingham Press Club:
We are definitely doing [series] six and we will probably do seven. We’ve talked to [lead actor] Cillian Murphy and he’s all for it, and the rest of the principal cast are in for it.
Before the announcement of two additional series, Knight had previously hinted the series four could be the show’s swansong.
Talking to Digital Spy, he stated:
Each time, we do six episodes [per series]… and can you sum up the story in six episodes? Or do you need another six? That’s the question.
If it doesn’t need a season six, I don’t think there’ll be one. But it may need one, because [six episodes is] such a short period of time.
As mentioned previously the series ended with Tommy Shelby more powerful than ever as he became the Labour MP for Birmingham, while permanently getting rid of his rivals Alfie Solomons (played by Tom Hardy) and Luca Changretta (Adrien Brody).
Deadline reports Anthony Byrne, who directed ITV’s Butterfly starring Anna Friel, as well as co-writing In Darkness with Game Of Thrones’ actor, Natalie Dormer, will direct all six episodes.
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