Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight hopes the new series is a fitting tribute to late actress Helen McCrory and her character Polly.
The Harry Potter actress was due to reprise her role of Aunt Polly alongside Cillian Murphy's Tommy Shelby in the crime series before production was halted for almost a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During the hiatus, Knight made McCrory's role "incrementally less" as she became increasingly unwell in her cancer battle and he ultimately had to write the character out.
In an interview with Metro.co.uk, Knight admitted McCrory, who died last April, was originally due to have a "prominent" role in the final season and he hopes his tribute to Polly does justice to the late star.
"I mean, the loss of the human being the loss of Helen is such a tragedy and the loss of the actor and the loss of the character is nothing in comparison," he shared. "We have to deal with the loss of the character, and dealing with something that is not comparable to the loss of the person, but we knew that she would want the thing to continue.
"As it became apparent that she wouldn't be able to play the role, it incrementally got less and less, until, in the end, we knew that there could be no Polly... All I can do is pay tribute to the character. I can't go beyond that. Hopefully, I've paid tribute to the character in a way that also does justice to the person."
Murphy recently told Esquire U.K. magazine that if production hadn't been delayed, McCrory would have been in every season of the show. However, he noted that she is still "very present" in the final series.
Peaky Blinders returns on Sunday.