Three men wearing ska clothes walk down a street in 'This Town.'

‘This Town’ Release Window, Cast, Plot and More

Breakout your suspenders and porkpie hats!

Steven Knight, the creator of the hit Peaky Blinders, is back with a new period drama. Instead of the early 1900s of Knight’s previous series, This Town will be set in the late 70s and early 80s. The core of This Town is the grassroots of the ska and 2 tone music scene in England. The musical element of this series is what has me so excited. Most people associate ska with bands like The Mighty Mighty Bostones or Sublime, but that was the 3rd wave of ska in the 1990s. Ska originated in Jamaica during the 1950s and became popular with teens in the United Kingdom during the 1960s.

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During the 1970s and 1980s, ska was the soundtrack for teens watching racial tension rise in England. When ska mixed with punk, we got the iconic 2 tone sounds of bands like The Specials. Comprising of five white men and two Black men, The Specials coined the term “2 tone” to reflect how their band mixed both races. Most music of the time had bands with members that were either Black or white, not many mixed together. So much of the imagery was, like the name suggests, two-toned, most often represented with black and white checker patterns.

The title of the new series honors this by taking “this town” from the lyrics of “Ghost Town” by The Specials. I’m a firm believer that popular music is a reflection of societal changes. You can track the shifts by listening to the music of certain eras. (My senior thesis was about how the Vietnam War changed rock and roll music). This Town will, hopefully, show us how the culture of England changed while making some pretty sweet ska music. Here’s what we know about the show so far.

What is the release window of This Town?

This week the BBC released some general information about the series along with some production photos. They have not given an official release date as of yet. Looking at how complete the project seems, we will probably see the series sometime in early 2024.

Who is in the cast of This Town?

The cast of This Town will be a mix of familiar and fresh faces. The official cast includes Levi Brown (Payback), Jordan Bolger (The Woman King), Ben Rose (Line of Duty), Eve Austin (You), Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey), Nicholas Pinnock (For Life), David Dawson (My Policeman), and Geraldine James (Back to Life).

What is the plot of This Town?

The official synopsis of This Town is “An extended family and four young people are drawn into the world of ska and two-tone music, which exploded from the grassroots of Coventry and Birmingham in the late ’70s and early ’80s which united black, white and Asian youths.” From some of the released images, it also looks like members of this family form a band.

How many episodes will This Town have?

Right now there is only one season of This Town ordered. The first season will have six episodes.

(featured image: BBC)


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D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.