Peaky Blinders is one of the best shows that has been on TV in the last few years. This is a period drama but not how they usually are. Definitely no flouncing around in this one!
The effort put in to make this look like Post World War I Birmingham is astounding. Clothing, automobiles, sets, props, all of them are spot on. The style and swagger of this show are impressive. And as for plot, that hasn’t been found wanting either.
The actors bring their A-Game, and there are some big names here. Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Helen McCrory, Paddy Considine, Sam Neill. But for me the thing that elevates this show way above the others is the work done on the soundtrack. Every single piece of music in this show adds something. From Nick Cave’s Red Right Hand theme tune, to Bowie, PJ Harvey, Royal Blood and Tom Waits the tunes add significantly to the power of the show and the emotion therein.
With only 6 episodes per season (or series if you’re British) you would expect it to be light on plot and action but that couldn’t be further from the case. Each series (6 hours of entertainment) takes you to so many different places that it’s hard to believe that it has been done in so few episodes. It also gives you no reason whatsoever NOT to watch it. The first season is just plain amazing and gives you the taste, being so different from any other British TV show in scope and class. The second season was more of the same violence and empire-building but raises the scope and the third explodes (literally).
The story builds from a family of illegal bookmakers from Small Heath, Birmingham, who have plans on being more, on becoming more and are willing to do anything to get there. Led by Tommy Shelby, recently returned from the First World War, where he was commended for digging tunnels. And so begins the fun and games of plotting, backhanded deals, trades, bargains, backstabbing, highs, lows, ups, downs. There are a lot of clashes between rival gangs but throughout Tommy Shelby really is the man with the plan, he sees the whole picture and moves his pawns around the board better than anyone else.
This is a TV show of the highest calibre, one of a growing list that have come from the BBC in the last few years. It is refreshing to see a mainstream show not hide or imply the violence but show it in full glory, too much of entertainment these days is watered down for the sake of profits or market share. Give me a full bodied experience any day!