Peaky Blinders: The Most Intelligent, Exciting and Stylish BBC Series
Peaky Blinders is based in Birmingham in 1919 after the Great War. The ghosts still flutter in memory of former soldiers. Communists are agitating the urban population, while in Ireland, the IRA has just been restrained. A large consignment of weapons has disappeared, and those who took possession of it could make a war break out. A name is on everyone’s lips: Peaky Blinders, the strictly family-run gang that runs an underground horse betting syndicate. There are six episodes in each of the four seasons. And as the season 5’s first-look image was announced, it’s the perfect time to do a recap, and talk about the show. Plus, an exceptional cast and a captivating and atmospheric storyline. In addition to a highly selected rock soundtrack, starting with Nick Cave’s – Red Right Hand, chosen as the theme song.
The Gangs of UK’s Racecourses
Racecourses, nowadays, are a congregation of pride, joy and sophistication. BBC’s Peaky Blinders is based on real gangs that ran rampage over the UK, illegally operating at corrupted race meetings. As a result of the Gaming Act 1845, the only place people could gamble was at the race track. There were even dedicated trains that allowed for anyone to get access and attend the many racecourses that were opening around the UK. As seen in Peaky Blinders, the boom in racing and the money it generated opened a whole new world for gangs. They used bribery and criminality to form themselves illegal bookmaking and bootlegging syndicates. The Gangs followed the recommendations of bookies, and sometimes hired bookmakers directly. Thankfully nowadays we’ve got reviews on best uk online casinos to rely on. Unlike the 19th Century, when law-abiding punters were lured by corrupted criminals.
About Peaky Blinders: Inspired by True Events
The only risk for the series was predictability, but fortunately, Steven Knight’s shrewd and clever writing made Peaky Blinders, one of the most successful TV series over the past years. The screenplay creates an atmosphere of complicity that cradles the viewers into the illusion of knowing what will happen, but then they are proved wrong. But above all, thanks to its refined actors, the characters are rich in all facets. The characters are realistic in their defects and weaknesses yet infallible at the right time.
Let’s take Tommy Shelby, the absolute protagonist of the series. He has the subtly disturbing face of Cillian Murphy, a wonderful actor but not too mainstream. Already a protagonist in other splendid films, like The wind that shakes the barley and Breakfast on Pluto, a recurring presence in the films of Christopher Nolan (Batman and Inception). Cillian Murphy dominates Peaky Blinders, with careful work on his accent and voice, measuring the temperament and fragility of this otherwise very controlled character, the mastermind of Peaky Blinders.
Tommy Shelby has got two brothers:
- Arthur, the eldest, who at the beginning of the first series still holds the title of head of the family, and
- Johnny, who’s always ready to play his part. His big dream is the creation of a completely legal family operation. To achieve his goal, he does not spare any clever plans or blood sacrifices.
The Shelby family has got its own code of conduct that forces it to have a few talents and not to be subordinated to anyone, not even to the needs of organised crime. Their greatest difficulty is finding someone to confide in and confront. This delicate role is played by Aunt Polly, an amazing Helen McCrory, who is strong and wise. She often advises caution, except she can become a real lioness when needed. Sometimes she is the true head of the Peaky Blinders family, the “blinding one” who carries razor blades in her cuffs.
The Plot and Geography Both Expand in the Second Series
Tommy leads the Shelby crew into London. It is a city of great opportunities but dominated by gangs much more ruthless than those with whom they have already confronted. Unforgettable is the cameo by Tom Hardy, another actor launched by Nolan and a constantly rising talent (actor of the Mad Max remake). Hardy has the role of a bearded Jewish gang leader, he is dangerous, threatening and awesome.
In the series, we see the Peaky Blinders struggling to survive, where they continue their climb on several fronts: Birmingham and London, horse racing and bootlegging. Meanwhile, viewers also witness the personal war between Tommy and Inspector Campbell, brought to the screen by Sam Neill (the unforgettable actor of Jurassic Park and Piano Lessons). They already had a complex confrontation, before their own issues had formed. Because Tommy fought in the trenches, earned more than one military valour medal, while Campbell remained in his homeland. Campbell is a relentless moralist with a preaching attitude, Tommy is a pragmatic rebel. But Campbell cannot forgive Tommy for stealing the woman he loved. Grace (Annabelle Wallis), was sent by Campbell as an undercover agent to the Shelby-controlled pub. She inevitably ended up falling in love with Tommy, which had predictable dramatic outcomes for everyone.