The crime drama series “Top Boy” has left its mark on viewers over the years, but it’s now come to an end after its fifth season. While many fans may have hoped for more, the show’s director has recently disclosed that it could have continued further. However, key figures involved, including Ashley Walters, felt it was best to conclude the story.
The final season of “Top Boy” is now available on Netflix, featuring a captivating soundtrack and a shocking conclusion. While some fans have accepted the end of the show, it’s surprising to learn that there was potential for more seasons.
In an interview with GQ, Ashley Walters revealed, “[Netflix] wanted to go on forever! And Kane and I were like, ‘Personally, we can’t.’ We don’t think it’s the right thing to do. It may have gone on too long anyway. Not that it’s not been great and the seasons have all been great and everyone’s loved them and I’ve loved them. But it wouldn’t have been right. I like to end on a high.”
The show’s director, William Stefan Smith, emphasized that the goal for the entire production team behind “Top Boy” was to bring the story to a close with care and heart. The fifth season aimed to tie up all loose ends and provide a fitting conclusion to the series.
“Top Boy” has made a significant impact on television, especially in its portrayal of inner-city life in London. It originally aired on Channel 4 in 2011 and was notable for its realistic depiction of the Hackney drug trade, featuring a mix of established actors and newcomers, including grime artist Kano in his first acting role.
The series drew comparisons to HBO’s “The Wire” for its complex social analysis and exploration of the impact of the drug trade on the Black community. It also bridged two eras of Channel 4, harking back to the channel’s early commitment to representing minority ethnic identities while reflecting the commercialism that came to define it in the 2000s.
“Top Boy” was canceled by Channel 4 after its second series in 2013, but it found new life on Netflix in 2019, thanks in part to Canadian hip-hop artist Drake, who expressed interest in the show. The revived series featured changes in the cast, higher production values, and a cinematic style.
The show’s impact extended beyond television, with Black actors gaining more prominence in mainstream media and collaborations with figures like Drake and Nike. “Top Boy” also celebrated Black music subcultures, using drill and grime music throughout the series.
While “Top Boy” has come to an end, it leaves behind a legacy as a significant piece of Black visual culture in British film and television history. It challenged audiences to confront the realities of Black life and provided opportunities for emerging Black talent both in front of and behind the camera.
In reflecting on the show’s conclusion, it’s clear that “Top Boy” will be remembered not just as a compelling Black cinematic drama but as a landmark in British film and television, a testament to its cultural importance and relevance over its 12-year run.