Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight pens new 80s drama inspired by ska and two tone music

In November 2022, BBC said filming was underway on location in the Birmingham area

Peaky Blinders and SAS Rogue Heroes creator Steven Knight has written another Birmingham-based drama called This Town.

Knight, 63, who was the co-director of the Opening Ceremony for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, grew up in Birmingham and used his family’s experiences in local bookies as an inspiration for his world famous Peaky Blinders drama.

And his new drama called This Town also draws on the rich heritage of the West Midlands - this time looking at the ska and two-tone music scene which began in Coventry and Birmingham.

This Town is described as a family drama and is based on “an extended family and four young people who are drawn into the world of ska and two-tone music which exploded from the grass roots of Coventry and Birmingham in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, uniting black, white and Asian youths,” according to BBC.

In November 2022, the BBC said filming was underway on location in the Birmingham area, and at Steven Knight’s new Digbeth Loc. Film and TV Studios.

Acclaimed producer Dan Carey, and Brit and Mercury nominated musician, novelist and poet Kae Tempest, have written the songs performed by the band in the series.

What’s the plot?

This Town opens in 1981 at a moment of huge social tensions and unrest. It’s a thriller and family saga against this backdrop.

It will tell the story of a “group of young people fighting to choose their own paths in life, and each in need of the second chance that music offers.”

Steven Knight, creator of Peaky Blinders. Photo: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images

The cast of This Town

  1. Levi Brown (Loss and Return), 
  2. Jordan Bolger (The Woman King, The Book of Boba Fett), 
  3. Ben Rose (Line of Duty, The Innocents)  
  4. Eve Austin (You, Our Ladies) 
  5. Geraldine James (Back To Life, Anne with an E), 
  6. Peter McDonald (The Batman, Dublin Murders), 
  7. Freya Parks (The School of Good and Evil, Here We Go), 
  8. Shyvonne Ahmmad (Annika, Karen Pirie), 
  9. John Heffernan (Dracula, The Pursuit of Love), 
  10. Stefan Asante-Boateng (Coronation Street, Suffering), 
  11. Séainín Brennan (The Fall, Hidden), 
  12. George Somner (This Is Going To Hurt, Sex Education) 
  13. Brendan Gibson (Peaky Blinders, Mr Selfridge) 
  14. Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey, Anatomy of a Scandal)
  15. Nicholas Pinnock (Life, Marcella)
  16. David Dawson (My Policeman, The Last Kingdom)
Top left to right: Michelle Dockery (Image: Phil Sharp), Nicholas Pinnock, David Dawson and Geraldine James (Image: Zoe Buckman). Bottom left to right: Levi Brown, Jordan Bolger, Ben Rose and Eve Austin

What Steven Knight said

Steven Knight, writer, creator and executive producer, says: “This is a project very close to my heart. It’s about an era I lived through and know well and it involves characters who I feel I grew up with. It’s a love letter to Birmingham and Coventry but I hope people from all over the world will relate to it.”