This Town — cast, plot and all we know about the 1980s music drama by the Peaky Blinders' writer

This Town will star Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery.
This Town will star Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery. (Image credit: Getty)

'This Town is coming like a ghost town' is the epic line from the 1981 pop song Ghost Town by British band The Specials, and it's now the title of a new BBC drama about the style of music of behind that hit record — namely ska and two tone! 

Peaky Blinders’ creator Steven Knight is once again drawing from his past as he offers up his latest drama This Town, set in the Birmingham and Coventry areas of the UK, and focusing on the world of ska and two-tone music which he grew up with. 

Starring Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery, Nicholas Pinnock (Marcella) and David Dawson, who recently starred alongside Harry Styles in My Policeman, the series opens in 1981 and focuses on four young people and their families who seek a second chance through music. And it’s against the backdrop of the ska scene, which united black, white and Asian youths, that we see the youngsters trying to forge their own paths in life. 

Here’s everything we know about BBC drama This Town so far…

Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is lead writer on A Thousand Blows.

Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight. (Image credit: Getty)

This Town release date 

There’s no word yet on when This Town will arrive on the BBC — we think given the great cast it's likely to arrive on BBC One. Keep an eye on this page and we’ll update with the channel and date, plus any international or US air dates. As well as its likely BBC1 release it should be available on BBCiPlayer too.

This Town plot

This Town promises to be both a thriller and a family saga and while the plot details are still very much under wraps, we do know it follows four young people, and their extended families, as they turn to the burgeoning ska and two-tone scene for redemption. 

It’s a scene that helps fight the racism that was so prevalent in the late 1970s and early 1980s and we see the youngsters rail against the social tension and unrest of the time to carve out their own futures. 

This Town cast

At present the This Town roles and character haven’t been announced but we do know which actors will be starring in the series. 

Michelle Dockery 
Michelle is best known for her turn as Lady Mary Crawley in the hit series Downton Abbey plus the movie spin-offs. She’s also had roles in Defending Jacob, Anatomy of a Scandal, The Gentlemen, The Hollow Crown, Waking the Dead and Good Behavior

Downton Abbey: A New Era

Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary in the movie Downton Abbey: A New Era. (Image credit: Ben Blackall / © 2022 Focus Features LLC)

David Dawson 
Last year David starred in Prime Video's My Policeman playing Patrick, the gay lover of Harry Styles’ character Tom. He also played King Alfred in the Netflix series The Last Kingdom and has had roles in Peaky Blinders, Ripper Street, Year of the Rabbit, All the Old Knives, Banished, Luther and The Hollow Crown

Harry Styles, Emma Corrin and David Dawson in My Policeman.

David Dawson (on left), Harry Styles, Emma Corrin in My Policeman. (Image credit: Prime Video)

Nicholas Pinnock
Nicholas played Jason Backland in the series Marcella and has also starred in EastEnders, Grange Hill, The Bill, Footballer’s Wives and Dalziel and Pascoe. More recently he’s been in Top Boy, Fortitude and Criminal: UK and he’ll be appearing in the upcoming projects Django, Drones and Black Dog

Django arrives on Sky Atlantic in 2023.

Nicholas Pinnock in Django. (Image credit: Sky Atlantic)

Who else is starring in This Town? 

This Town also stars Jordan Bolger (The Book of Boba Fett), Ben Rose (Line of Duty), Eve Austin (YOU) and Levi Brown (the upcoming Loss and Return) who play the four young leads while Geraldine James (Anne with an E), Peter McDonald (Dublin Murders), Freya Parks (Here We Go), 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 (Peaky Blinders) round out the cast for the series.

Is there a trailer for This Town? 

There's no trailer for This Town yet as filming hasn't begun but we can’t wait to see the 1980s ska scene come to life. In the meantime here's a clip below for The Specials famous 1981 song Ghost Town...

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.