‘Downton Abbey’ star joins cast of ‘Peaky Blinders’ creator’s new music drama

The BBC has announced the cast for This Town.

It’s described as “a high octane thriller and a family saga,” and comes from the creator of Peaky Blinders.

Set in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, This Town will tell the story of 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.

Leading the cast are Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey), Nicholas Pinnock (Marcella), and David Dawson (My Policeman).

The official synopsis reads: “This Town opens in 1981 at a moment of huge social tensions and unrest. Against this backdrop, it tells 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.”

Writer and creator Steven Knight told the BBC: “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.”

He added: “It’s a love letter to Birmingham and Coventry but I hope people from all over the world will relate to it.”

Filming has already begun on the six-part series on location in Birmingham, England – the home of Peaky Blinders.

The four main young characters in This Town will be played by rising stars Levi Brown (Loss and Return), Jordan Bolger (The Woman King), Ben Rose (Line of Duty), and Eve Austin (You).

They’ll be joined by Geraldine James (Anne with an E), Peter McDonald (Dublin Murders), Freya Parks (The School of Good and Evil), Shyvonne Ahmmad (Annika), John Heffernan (Dracula), Stefan Asante-Boateng (Coronation Street), Séainín Brennan (The Fall), George Somner (This Is Going To Hurt), and Brendan Gibson (Mr Selfridge).

Executive producer Karen Wilson said: “We cannot wait for this incredible cast to help bring the world that Steven has created in This Town to life.”

She teased: “The combination of powerful storytelling, gripping drama and brilliant music will make it a must-watch – audiences are in for a real treat!”

This Town – which was previously titled Two Tone – will premiere in the UK on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in 2023.

Following the final season of Peaky Blinders earlier this year, writer Steven Knight has certainly been hard at work!

He returned to BBC One this autumn with World War II drama SAS Rogue Heroes.

The action-packed series tells how the world’s most renowned and ruthless Special Forces unit, the SAS, came to exist.

Watch the trailer for SAS Rogue Heroes here:

Knight has also found time to adapt a new version of Great Expectations for the BBC.

Set to air this Christmas, the six-part mini-series stars Olivia Colman (The Crown) as Miss Havisham, alongside Fionn Whitehead (Emily) as Pip.

Then there’s the much-anticipated Peaky Blinders movie, which begins filming next spring.

Oh, and his adaptation of Anthony Doerr’s World War II novel All the Light We Cannot See for Netflix!

Peaky Blinders is available on DVD on Amazon.