Season three of Top Boy premiered on Netflix to almost overwhelming praise. The former Channel 4 show, which was discontinued in 2013, had a spectacular comeback in 2019, becoming Netflix's most-watched show in the UK after its debut.
The series, which is set on the fictional Summerhouse estate in Hackney, focuses on the lives of characters such as drug dealers Dushane (Ashley Walters) and Sully (Kane ‘Kano' Robinson) and has featured an impressive supporting cast over the first three seasons, including Nicholas Pinnock from For Life, Michaela Coel from Michaela Coel, Letitia Wright from Letitia Wright, David Hayman from David Hayman, and Benedict Wong from Doctor Strange
The show's ability to reflect reality and shine a light on bigotry has been lauded, with the show's Irish screenwriter Ronan Bennett speaking on it at the Evening Standard's Stories Festival in September.
“As someone who comes from a marginalized community, I understand the necessity of demonstrating that people are complex — they do horrible things, good things, and have dreams.”
At the occasion, actor Ashley Walters discussed his experiences filming Top Boy.
“You can't always show up on stage and be a superman — people pick up on my fears and anxiety about my performance,” he explained. “And it's not only about gruesome drama; there's a lot of hope in there; these people are joyful because they don't know any better.” To me, Top Boy denotes progress.”
The first three seasons have been compared to the critically acclaimed drama The Wire, with TV critics noting that, while the first two seasons (each four episodes long) produced for Channel 4 were excellent, the third season in 2019 improved both the story and characters, possibly because the show's new home, Netflix, provided the showrunners with an impressive ten episodes to work with.
We'll clear things up right away: for long-time Top Boy fans, the upcoming season will be the show's fourth installment. However, because it is the second season since its move to Netflix, it may be referred to as season two' in some places.
Ashley Walters, the actress, is overjoyed to be with the streamer. He told Vice, “Top Boy is a raw, authentic picture of street culture.” “It delves into how these characters came to make the decisions they do, and it gives the audience a behind-the-scenes look at what's going on in our cities today.” It needs to be discussed, and the show doesn't hesitate to provide us the opportunity to do so.
“We can't change things unless we acknowledge and comprehend them first.” There aren't many networks that would be gutsy enough to keep it this authentic.” Netflix is the ideal medium for this show.
But what does the future hold for Dushane, played by Walters, and Sully, played by Kane ‘Kano' Robinson, as they try to survive the rough streets of London in Top Boy season four?
When Will the Fourth Season of Top Boy Be Released on Netflix?
Between the third and fourth seasons, there was a significant gap. Many fans may complain that it has been too long, but there isn't much time left. On Friday, March 18, Season 4 will be available on Netflix.
When we last saw Jamie, he'd been framed for gun ownership by Dushane and betrayed by a close family friend, Ats, who planted the gun. On the streets, actions have consequences, so many people will be interested to see what happens next for Ats and if it means the end of his friendship with best pal Stef (who also happens to be Jamie's brother).
When Top Boy's third season was first revealed, news sites claimed that the show will return for two further seasons, which means we've known about season four for quite some time.
We had to wait two years between the announcement in 2017 and the premiere of season three, but we expected season four to arrive sooner – that is, until the TV industry's 2020 delays occurred.
Drake announced at the start of the year that fresh episodes would be released later in 2020, and Netflix agreed a month or so later. Production was set to begin in the spring of that year, but because of the pandemic, it was halted.
In December 2020, it was revealed that filming has resumed in London. Ashley Walters and Kano broke the announcement in a video clip released on Netflix's official Twitter account: “Obviously, we're filming Top Boy.” We provided it to you because you begged for it. Season two is now complete. Netflix. Let's get started.”
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Walters told NME's Friends Like These, “It's going nicely.” “The scripts are excellent and well-written. We're approaching it from a different angle this time since I'm executive producing it, so I'm a lot more involved creatively and script-wise.”
He also discussed how the pandemic has impacted the production: “We've lost so many sites because of COVID, so we're simply moving with what we can.” We're working on [episode] six one day, then one, then three the next.
“It's been difficult, but everyone listening or watching can rest confident that we've produced another banger for you.” “It's going to be fantastic.”
What Is the Plot of Top Boy Season 4?
You're not alone if you appreciated Season 3; Top Boy's showrunner Ronan Bennett did as well. “Sometimes you write something for film and it simply doesn't turn out as well as you'd hoped, even though all of the individual bits are fantastic, but when they're all put together, they just don't work.” “This is unique,” he said to Metro. “I truly believe the new season is fantastic. We're not content to rest on our laurels.”
So, for season four, we can expect more of the same, with enough new twists and shocks to keep things intriguing.
For one thing, we need to know what happened to Dris when we heard a gunshot at the end of season three. Many fans believe the character, who has been on the show since 2011, is still alive, with some even speculating that he wasn't shot at all.
Then there's Tilly, whose fate on the program has yet to be determined. We do know she's alive, which means there's a chance she'll come back. We'd expect Jamie to seek redemption now that he's been advised not to return (and if he accepts Dushane's offer and gets out of prison).
Another, more subtle, the twist came in the appearance of presumed junkies Lee and Sarah in the season three finale. They spent a lot of time bumbling around the estate, but it's clear that they're police officers.
We expect this to play a huge role in season four, especially since Top Boy's official social media accounts teased the announcement (just in case you missed it on-screen).
“I remember being at the keyboard, working through after the fire in which Sully barely escapes with his life and his friend gets killed, and I was kind of typing away and I put my hand to my face in the way that we're told not to in these COVID times and I remember smelling charcoal on my fingers and thinking about that and just going with that idea,” Bennett said (via Radio Times).
“‘If you can smell it when you sleep, it's not real,' Dushane explains. It may not be true to Dushane, but it is very real to Sully, and I believe it helped us move over the concept of someone who was quick-tempered and eager to use his fists in seasons one and two.”
“Certainly, we'll take that a step further in the next season,” he added.
Given that this is the second season on Netflix, it's possible Bennett drew inspiration from the original second season and went darker. That is, assuming he recalls it!
“Season 1 aired four nights in a row, and the reviews were phenomenal,” the showrunner told Dazed. “Channel 4 had a really good audience, and the demographic was young and diverse.” Broadcasters are on the hunt for that audience. Nobody under the age of 30 watches lives television anymore, but they used to. There was a lot of enthusiasm and chatter surrounding it.”
“It was a question of how to develop the world and bring the characters along in season two.” I have to admit that, given all that was going on in my life at the time, I don't recall much about that season. To be honest, it's all a fog to me right now.
“One thing I'm very aware of is that the second season's conclusion is quite brutal. Seasons one and three have a greater sense of hope. It worked dramatically for storytelling because of where I was at the time for season two, but it was a difficult thing to ask the audience to do. I suppose you write whatever comes to mind and heart at the time.”
Whatever happens, anticipate the first three seasons' high standards to be maintained. This is a show that the cast is quite proud of.
“This tale could be told in so many different ways,” Ward told Wonderland, “but the ability to truly share our story and the stories of those around us is what's important.”
“True stories are frequently the most strange thoughts and ideas that you see on TV or in movies,” Walters added. “[The] most thrilling, glamorized [tales] are frequently the nonsense… Transferring actual stories to the screen is one of the most difficult tasks, and I believe Top Boy excels at it more than most other series or films in its category.”
Ward interjected, “Well, not most of them, but all of them.”
“I didn't want to be so cruel” You knocked it down, baby!” I set it up, and you knocked it down! Walters burst up laughing.
Who Will Appear in Top Boy Season 4?
As season three's huge cliffhanger centers around them, Ashley Walters (Dushane), Kane ‘Kano' Robinson (Sully), and Micheal Ward (Jamie) will all be back. Simbi ‘Little Simz' Ajikawo (Shelley) will also be back since she was sighted filming on the East London site earlier this year.
Jasmine Jobson (Jaq), Ashley Thomas (Jermaine), David ‘Dave' Omoregie (Modie), Kadeem Ramsay (Kit), Lisa Dwan (Lizzie), and Saffron Hocking (Lauryn) are all expected to return as well.
In July of last year, several members of the cast, including Micheal Ward and Jasmine Jobson, as well as Araloyin Oshunremi, Hope Ikpoku Jnr, Kadeem Ramsay, and Alexander Blake, shared an Instagram reunion (aka Blakie). It wasn't apparent whether this get-together had anything to do with the forthcoming season or was simply a “family” get-together.
Fans have also been speculating if Drake will make an appearance at any time. After essentially saving the series, the rapper-turned-executive producer deserves a cameo.
Walters previously stated, “It was posted on Netflix after it was canceled, a couple of years later, and we started to get a lot of interest Stateside.”
“And then Drake watched it, which was strange, and we awoke one day to all this press around it [as] he'd posted,” says the story.
“He had a photo of me and asked, ‘When is the program going to come back?' When I told him it had been canceled, he remarked, “Well, we'll see about that.” After approximately a year and a half, he returned to the table with a deal, and that was the end of it; we continued from there.”
“He came back for the read-through and was in and out of London while we were shooting,” says the director. But his entire point was that he was a show fan first and foremost, and he simply wanted us to do what we did before. He didn't want to be in charge of too much creativity.”