The wait for Peaky Blinders season 6 – the last season – is almost over, as the first episode finally graces our screens tonight on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, offering us a long overdue catch-up with Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) and his crew in Birmingham.
Picking up immediately after the dramatic events of season five’s finale and Tommy’s foiled plans to assassinate Oswald Mosley (Sam Claflin), the final season promises the return of almost all the major Peaky Blinders stars, with one notable exception.
Following the tragic death of actress Helen McCrory in April 2021, after a secret battle with cancer, Aunt Polly will not be back for more episodes of the show, but both creator Steven Knight and star Murphy have assured fans that the season will be a worthy tribute to the character and actress, with her ‘presence still very much felt’.
Other famous faces from past seasons will be re-appearing, alongside a host of newcomers including Stephen Graham and Conrad Khan.
By order of the Peaky Blinders, let’s catch up on who we can expect to see ahead of Sunday night’s first episode at 9pm.
Peaky Blinders patriarch and leader Tommy Shelby will of course be the central focus of this season
The Irish star has dazzled from the outset as the cut-throat gangster, impressing with his accurate Brummie accent and steely determination, although his character has faced mounting pressure as he ramps up his political career.
He was last seen pointing a gun at his head, having been plagued by visions of his late first wife Grace (Annabelle Wallis).
Murphy has enjoyed a stellar career in Hollywood, starring as villain Scarecrow in The Dark Knight trilogy, as well as Inception, 28 Days Later and A Quiet Place Part II.
He is reuniting with Christopher Nolan once more for Oppenheimer, in which he will portray the scientist who helped develop the atomic bomb.
Tommy’s sister Ada Thorne, as played by Sophie Rundle, is back for the final season of Peaky Blinders too.
With the action set to jump forward four years to 1933, promising increased tension in the clan, it seems the widow is poised to become even more involved with the gang following her aunt’s absence.
As the fourth Shelby sibling and only girl, she had initially not been involved with the family business.
Rundle is well known for her part as Ann Walker in Gentleman Jack opposite Suranne Jones, which will return for a second season, as well as shows including Jamestown, The Nest and Bodyguard.
Michael Gray will be back to cause more drama thanks to actor Finn Cole.
His grand plans to turn the gang into a drug smuggling business in America, with him in charge, turned to nothing in season five – but that’s unlikely to be the end of his ambitions.
Cole has also appeared in Animal Kingdom and F9: The Fast Saga as a young Jakob (John Cena’s character).
Wife to Michael, Anya Taylor-Joy’s Gina Gray will be back and meaning business again.
Her rivalry with Tommy is set to heat up further too, with her scheming ways set to provide the biggest potential upset this season.
Taylor-Joy’s career has seen her star in lockdown Netflix hit The Queen’s Gambit, a new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma and Last Night in Soho.
The actress will be reunited with director Robert Eggers for The Northman opposite Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke and Alexander Skarsgård, and has plenty of other projects lined up on her slate.
Paul Anderson is also back as the troubled, volatile Arthur Shelby, still struggling with his drinking among other things.
He may be his younger brother Tommy’s right-hand man, but their close and complex relationship is often tested.
Arthur’s personal life looks set to continue being rocky following the departure of his ex-wife Linda (Kate Phillips) in season five, with the actress spotted on set for the new season too.
Anderson appeared in The Revenant alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy and was also the voice of Prince Louis in controversial HBO series The Prince.
After the shock reveal in the season five finale that Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy) was in fact still alive following his shooting, the London gangster is set to appear again in Peaky Blinders’ sixth season.
His involvement was confirmed in a brief teaser clip showing Tommy walking through a shadowy corridor, donning his signature cap.
‘Alfie, I think I may have written your final act,’ he cryptically told his foe.
Hardy is, of course, a busy man in Hollywood, having appeared with co-star Murphy in Inception and Dunkirk as well as in The Revenant, The Dark Knight Rises and the Venom movies.
The Oscar nominee will also be revisiting the Mad Max universe in an as-yet-untitled prequel.
Details have been kept firmly under wraps for Graham’s new character, but a teaser clip released late last year shows his character meeting Cillian Murphy’s Tommy Shelby and saying ominously: ‘I hear there are some men here from Birmingham looking for me.’
The Scouse star has been in some of the most high-profile film and TV projects of recent years, including Line of Duty, This Is England, prison drama Time opposite Sean Bean and The Irishman for Martin Scorsese.
There are three more new actors set to join the Peaky crew too, all in as-yet undisclosed roles.
Conrad Khan, a former EE Bafta Rising Star award nominee, has previously starred in Black Mirror, while Australian actor James Frecheville – known for the BBC’s adaptation of Pursuit of Love alongside Lily James – has been pictured looking suave in a suit.
From the rest of the cast, returners include Natasha O’Keefe as Tommy’s second wife Lizzie Shelby, Harry Kirton as Finn Shelby, Packy Lee as Johnny Dogs, Daryl McCormack as Isaiah, Emmett J Scanlan as Billy Grade and Aimee Ffion-Edwards as Esme Shelby.
Peaky Blinders starts tonight at 9pm on BBC One, and will be available to stream on iPlayer.