I have voraciously consumed the BBC drama, Peaky Blinders. How do I describe my sentiments about this show? Charlotte Riley, a cast member, described the feeling best when she said, “It was like chocolate for my brain, I didn’t want it to end”. I applaud creator and writer, Steven Knight for such a thrilling show. Peaky Blinders won the 2013 Royal Television Society Award for Best Drama Series and was nominated for six BAFTAs. In this golden age of television, this show merits a spot among the top contendors.
The show is set in 1920s Birmingham, England. The Shelby family runs a gang called the Peaky Blinders; so named because they sew razor blades into the brim of their caps. Their leader Thomas Shelby finds himself in a position to forward his family in the world and devises a plan to accomplish this by whatever means necessary.
Cillian Murphy plays Thomas Shelby; you may have seen him in the Batman films as Dr. Crane/Scarecrow and Inception as Robert Fischer. Helen McCrory plays the Peaky Blinders matriarch, Polly Shelby. She is well loved in England for her many accomplishments in the National Theatre, and you may have seen her in Harry Potter series Narsissa Malfoy and Skyfall as Clair Dowar. Sam Neill plays Inspector Campbell, he has been in films such as the Jurassic Park series as Dr. Alan Grant and The Hunt for Red October as Captain Vasili Borodin. Annabelle Wallis plays Grace Burgess; you may have seen her in X-Men: First Class and Annabelle as Mia.
In true BBC fashion, the costumes are period accurate and absolutely stunning. The muted color palate of the show conveys the grime of the industrial revolution and the sets are rich in texture and detail. Each actor embodies the characters with nuance and subtly that is the mark of a truly honed craft; watching these artists perform is enriching and a delight. Not only the acting, but the exceptionally written storyline had me shouting at the screen, covering my mouth in horror and staring in disbelief as I processed the intricacies of the crime drama. Steven Knight, and his fellow writers, have created a story that is a visual chess match with every player five steps ahead of the other navigating their pieces with careful calculation and deadly risk. It is intoxicating and has me eager for more more more. Season three has been approved and will come to Netflix after airing in the UK.
Well, get on with it. Press play, then.
It’s on Netflix. You’re welcome.