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Peaky Blinders (BBC-2 2013, Cillian Murphy, Sam Neill)

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Peaky Blinders (BBC-2 2013, Cillian Murphy, Sam Neill)

Period crime drama series Peaky Blinders was initially set at the end of World War One where Thomas Shelby and his gang rule the crime scene in Birmingham however Chief Inspector Chester Campbell, fresh from major success dealing with the troubles in Ireland, is determined to bring them to book.

Wonderfully stylised complete with modern music on the soundtrack but it’s pretty violent. Series two, which greatly benefitted from the addition of Tom Hardy to the cast, saw the gang heading into the 1920’s.

Series three moves the action forward two years from the end of season two taking us to 1924 and plot wise ups the ante somewhat when “Approached by a secret organization on his own wedding day, Tommy finds himself at the centre of an international arms deal that could change the course of history.

In a sphere where no one reveals their true intentions until the game is up, Tommy has to contend with a White Russian exile whose brutality knows no bounds, a priest with a killer dog, a beautiful Duchess even more manipulative than him, and a powerful entity at the heart of the British establishment that will stop at nothing to accomplish its reactionary aims. The pressures they inflict upon Tommy are carefully chosen and exquisitely unpleasant.

Meanwhile Tommy’s legal and illegal businesses have made him rich beyond his dreams. He now inhabits a Roaring Twenties world of beautiful people and sumptuous mansions, and he has found love at last. But Tommy’s relatives have become increasingly difficult to handle, and threaten to blow the Shelby family apart. As Tommy is coerced into the most audacious criminal act of his career, he realizes that his response to overwhelming external and internal forces will define the kind of man he is.”

The series gets its name from the fact that the gang all wore flat caps, the peaks of which had razor blades in them. Peaky Blinders is filmed not only in Birmingham but also Dudley, Bradford, Leeds and Liverpool. The railway sequences were filmed between Keighley and Damems.

Peaky Blinders

production details
UK / BBC Two – Caryn Mandabach Productions – Tiger Aspect / 18×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 12 September 2013 – 9 June 2016

Writer: Steven Knight / Theme Music: Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds / Directors: Otto Bathurst (series 1), Tom Harper (series 1), Colm McCarthy (series 2), Tim Mielants (series 3) / Executive Producers: Caryn Mandabach, Greg Brenman, Steven Knight, Jamie Glazebrook, Frith Tiplady / Producer: Kate Swinden

cast
Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby
Sam Neill as C.I. Chester Campbell (series 1–2)
Helen McCrory as Polly Gray, née Shelby
Paul Anderson as Arthur Shelby, Jr.
Annabelle Wallis as Grace Burgess
Sophie Rundle as Ada Thorne, née Shelby
Joe Cole as John Shelby
Tom Hardy as Alfie Solomons (series 2–3)
Iddo Goldberg as Freddie Thorne (series 1)
Noah Taylor as Derby Sabini (series 2)
Charlotte Riley as May Carleton (series 2)
Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Esme Shelby, née Lee
Finn Cole as Michael Gray (from series 2)
Natasha O’Keeffe as Lizzie Starke
Ned Dennehy as Charlie Strong
Tony Pitts as Sergeant/Inspector Moss
Ian Peck as Curly
Charlie Creed-Miles as Billy Kimber (series 1)
Paddy Considine as Father John Hughes (series 3)
Alexander Siddig as Ruben Oliver (series 3)
Benjamin Zephaniah as Jeremiah Jesus

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