Peaky Blinders Season 5 has more action than before and will be 'more dangerous and explosive'
Peaky Blinders is back with a bang.
As the Season 4 finale of Peaky Blinders came to a close, viewers had to be curious about the fate of Tommy Shelby.
If you haven't seen up to this point, consider this to be your spoiler alert warning.
After removing the Changretta threat, exacting revenge on Alfie for his betrayal, and solidifying his business interests in the Shelby Company, things looked pretty bright for Tommy and to sweeten the deal, he surprised us all by getting elected as a Labour MP for Birmingham.
However, we wondered if the most notorious gangster in Small Heath would be hanging up his cap and embracing a more 'quiet' profession in Westminster?
Not on your life!
In fact, Aidan Gillen (Aberama Gold) told JOE that the scale, spectacle and action set pieces in Season 5 are even bigger than previous seasons.
"There’s quite a lot of quite big set pieces in this season of that scale. Probably more than last season. They’re not ridiculously so, but there’s definitely as much," said Gillen.
After making a memorable entrance at John's funeral which culminated in a bloody and violent shoot-out, Gillen knows a thing or two about what makes a great action scene. Hell, he also spent seven seasons on Game of Thrones, so he knows carnage when he sees it.
"I remember reading through the script and thinking ‘wow, this is going to be a challenge.’ But this director (Anthony Byrne), I’ve worked with him already and he did some of the great episodes of Love/Hate. He’s very detailed, specific, and sticks with his good ideas. He doesn't let people off with doing an ok job," said Gillen.
With his distinctive hairstyle and costume, Gillen's gypsy assassin was one of the most instantly-recognisable characters in Season 4 of Steven Knight's superb drama and while he didn't exactly see eye-to-eye with Tommy at the start, he came to be a close ally to the Peaky Blinders.
In terms of the new episodes, it appears that Aberama is closer to the Shelby family, but still on the periphery.
"I come across most of the main characters at some point. There are some great additions this season. I was quite excited by these scripts, even more so than last year. Just in terms of the scale and the places we go and the people we see, it’s a little more dangerous and explosive," he said.
Gillen added: "At this point, I’m pretty much a part of the family because the relationship with Polly (Helen McCrory) is quite strong. That’s why I’m there. You do get to know him (Aberama) a good bit more than last season which felt more like an introduction than anything."
Despite the fact that there's till some minor tension between Aberama and Tommy, the Irish actor believes that both characters are men of honour that have one thing in common, a loyalty to their loved ones.
"His love for Bonnie (his son) is great and for Polly. I always saw him as a violent romantic. I think that's maintained (in Season 5) because you see someone who’s capable of committing pretty brutal acts but he’s also soft, in a way. Some of the things he wants are surprising. He’s a family man and he wants the same kind of domestic bliss that a lot of characters do. I was trying to strike a balance with the character and I felt it was interesting to strike that while still maintaining some degree of mystery, likability, and believability in the role," Gillen added.
In terms of memorable set pieces, we've already seen the hitman-for-hire leave a trail of bodies in his wake. When Johnny Dogs describes someone as untrustworthy 'savages', and 'heathens' who prey on their own community, you know that trouble is brewing.
However, Gillen thinks that despite the escalating levels of violence in Season 5, there's still a moral code that defines the Peaky Blinders.
"It’s full of people without moral codes but there is some sort of code going on. I think by the time it reaches its end, we’ll see that violence has consequences. That’s usually how it goes in shows of this nature. I don’t see it as being populated by a gallery of morally upstanding people - there’s some honour, love and family ties here too. But it’s the lack of a moral code that’s more interesting to me. The violence is rooted in WW1 and what those guys have done and seen. What those guys have done and scene will change your world view and psyche immeasurably. There’s no way they can be doing the things they do with such clinical panache, unless you’ve been though the horror of WW1," added Gillen.
Thankfully, the countdown has started because Season 5 of Peaky Blinders will air on BBC1 at 9pm on 25 August.
JOE will have plenty more over the next few weeks with exclusive interviews from the likes of Sam Claflin, Aidan Gillen, and even more from Steven Knight and Cillian Murphy.