The BBC has produced a number of award-winning period dramas over the years, but Peaky Blinders stands out on its own.
Whilst most period dramas tend to be long broody romantic tales based on famous novels, Peaky Blinders follows a darker path of a gangster family in Birmingham between the two World Wars.
Created and written by Steven Knight, he loosely bases the story on a real gang in Birmingham and cleverly weaves into the story real historical figures making the whole story thoroughly believable.
It is one of the most critically acclaimed shows of all time but what is Peaky Blinders about and is it worth watching?
What Is Peaky Blinders About?
The first season begins with the Shelby family running a successful and feared criminal gang called the Peaky Blinders, known for their distinctive flat caps with razor blades sewn into the brims.
The Shelbys operate in the Small Heath area of Birmingham, engaging in various illegal activities such as gambling, protection rackets, and black market dealings.
Thomas Shelby sets his sights on expanding the family's criminal empire. He plans to take control of the racetracks in Birmingham by fixing horse races with the help of his brothers Arthur (Paul Anderson) and John (Joe Cole) and their Aunt Polly (Helen McCrory).
However, their plans are complicated by the arrival of Chief Inspector Chester Campbell (Sam Neill), a relentless detective sent from Belfast to clean up the city.
Thomas also becomes entangled with Grace Burgess (Annabelle Wallis), an undercover agent working for Campbell. Despite their initial clash, Thomas and Grace develop a complicated relationship, further blurring the lines between loyalty and betrayal.
As the tensions rise between the Peaky Blinders and various rival gangs, the Shelbys navigate dangerous alliances, internal power struggles, and personal vendettas.
With numerous obstacles that threaten their criminal enterprise and their lives, can they survive the streets of Birmingham?
Peaky Blinders Official Trailer
Is Peaky Blinders Worth Watching?
Peaky Blinders is a drama with real grit. Yes, the Shelby family is extremely violent but somehow you still connect with their struggles and find yourself siding with their cause repeatedly.
One of the standout aspects of Peaky Blinders is its exceptional cast. Cillian Murphy delivers a mesmerising performance as Thomas Shelby, the enigmatic leader of the Shelby family.
The ensemble cast, including Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, and Joe Cole as John Shelby, bring depth and complexity to their respective characters, making them incredibly compelling to watch.
Its stylish and atmospheric cinematography captures the gritty and dark atmosphere of post-war Birmingham. The production design and costumes also deserve special mention, as they effectively transport viewers to the 1920s with meticulous attention to detail.
Lastly, Peaky Blinders has a gripping, intricate narrative filled with suspense, twists, and turns. It delves into themes of family loyalty, ambition, power dynamics, and the consequences of a life immersed in crime.
So whether you're a fan of historical dramas, crime stories, or character-driven narratives, Peaky Blinders offers a unique and captivating viewing experience.
It has garnered a dedicated fanbase over the years and has become one of the most acclaimed British TV series. So, if you enjoy compelling storytelling, strong performances, and an immersive setting, Peaky Blinders is definitely worth checking out.
Cast of Peaky Blinders
Peaky Blinders has an incredible main cast and a huge supporting cast. For this review, we'll look at the main characters.
Cillian Murphy as Thomas “Tommy” Shelby, the leader of the Peaky Blinders.
Sam Neill (Invasion) as Chief Inspector Campbell, an Ulster Protestant policeman drafted from Belfast.
Helen McCrory as Polly Gray, née Shelby, the aunt of the Shelby siblings, and treasurer of the Peaky Blinders.
Paul Anderson as Arthur Shelby Jr., Tommy's best friend and eldest of the Shelby siblings.
Annabelle Wallis as Grace Shelby, a former undercover agent, and Tommy's first wife.
Iddo Goldberg as Freddie Thorne, a known communist who fought in the First World War and was Ada's husband.
Sophie Rundle as Ada Thorne, the only sister of the Shelby brothers.
Joe Cole as Johnny Shelby, the third-youngest Shelby brother and a member of the Peaky Blinders.
Andy Nyman (series 1), Richard McCabe (recurring series 2), and Neil Maskell (series 5–6) as Winston Churchill.
Tom Hardy as Alfie Solomons, the leader of a Jewish gang in Camden Town.
Finn Cole as Michael Gray, Polly's biological son
Alfie Evans-Meese (series 1) and Harry Kirton (2–6) as Finn Shelby, the youngest Shelby brother.
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