Gangs of London (TV series)

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Gangs of London
Genre
Created by
Directed by
Starring
Composers
  • Aria Prayogi
  • Fajar Yuskemal
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes9[1] (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
ProducerHugh Warren[1]
Cinematography
  • Matt Flannery
  • Martijn van Broekhuizen
  • Laurent Barès
Running time53–93 minutes
Production companies
Distributor
  • NBCUniversal Global Distribution
  • Pulse Films
Release
Original networkSky Atlantic
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Original release23 April 2020 –
present
External links
Website
Production website

Gangs of London is a British actioncrime drama television series produced by Pulse Films & Sister, following struggles between rival gangs and other criminal organisations in present-day London. The first series aired in the UK on 23 April 2020 on Sky Atlantic. The series was created by Gareth Evans, best known for The Raid action crime films, along with Matt Flannery. AMC subsequently announced a deal to take over US broadcast rights and became co-producer for a newly-commissioned second season.[2][3]

Premise[edit]

Set in the heart of London, one of the world's most dynamic and multicultural cities, Gangs of London tells the story of the city being torn apart by the turbulent power struggles of the international gangs that control it and the sudden power vacuum that's created when the head of London's most powerful crime family is assassinated.

For 20 years, Finn Wallace (Colm Meaney) was the most powerful criminal in London. Billions of pounds flowed through his organization each year. But now he's dead, and nobody knows who ordered him killed. With rivals everywhere, it's up to the impulsive Sean Wallace (Joe Cole), with the help of the Dumani family headed by Ed Dumani (Lucian Msamati), to take his father's place. If the situation wasn't already dangerous enough, Sean's assumption of power causes ripples in the world of international crime within the streets of London, which consists of the Albanian Mafia headed by Luan Dushaj, as well as the Kurdish freedom fighters, Pakistani Drug Cartel, Welsh travellers and various other criminal elements.

In the middle of this is newcomer Elliot Finch (Sope Dirisu), who appears to be a low-level employ of the Wallace family and opportunist, secretly is an undercover policeman building a case against the Wallace family organisation.

Cast and characters[edit]

Wallace Family
  • Joe Cole as Sean Wallace, younger son of Finn Wallace who fights for leadership of his family's criminal empire after his father's death.
  • Michelle Fairley as Marian Wallace, widow of Finn Wallace and mother to Sean, Billy and Jacqueline.
  • Valene Kane as Jacqueline Robinson, daughter of Finn Wallace and an emergency doctor who is estranged from her criminal family for the safety of her unborn child.
  • Brian Vernel as Billy Wallace, older son of Finn Wallace and a heroin addict.
  • Colm Meaney as Finn Wallace, the head of an organized crime empire whose murder throws the London underworld into chaos.
Dumani Family
  • Lucian Msamati as Ed Dumani, long-time partner of Finn Wallace and father to Alex and Shannon.
  • Paapa Essiedu as Alex Dumani, son of Ed Dumani and associate of Sean Wallace who many believe should inherit Finn Wallace's empire.
  • Pippa Bennett-Warner as Shannon Dumani, daughter of Ed Dumani and single mother to Danny who begins a relationship with Elliot Finch.
  • Taye Matthew as Danny Dumani, young son of Shannon Dumani.
London Police
  • Sope Dirisu as Elliot Finch, an undercover cop who infiltrates the ranks of the Wallace crime syndicate and begins a relationship with Shannon Dumani.
  • Jing Lusi as Vicky Chung, DI with the London Police and handler of Elliot Finch.
  • Garry Cooper as John Harks, DCI with the London Police who works with Vicky.
  • David Avery as Anthony, another undercover cop who infiltrates the ranks of the Wallace crime syndicate after Elliot's relationship with Shannon Dumani is revealed.
Wallace Crime Syndicate
  • Adrian Bower as Mark, an enforcer for the Wallace crime syndicate who takes a disliking to Elliot Finch.
  • Emmett J. Scanlan as Jack O'Doherty, personal driver of Finn Wallace.
Albanian Mafia
  • Orli Shuka as Luan Dushaj, leader of the Albanian mafia in London who is brought into the Wallace family's disputes when Finn Wallace is murdered on Albanian territory.
  • Eri Shuka as Mirlinda Dushaj, wife of Luan Dushaj.
  • Nebli Basani as Tariq Gjelaj, right-hand man of Luan.
Kurdish Militants
  • Narges Rashidi as Lale, a Kurdish militant who oversees a heroin distribution ring in London in order to fund Kurdish PKK terrorists and seeks revenge against Asif Afridi.
  • Aksel Ustun as Hekar, right-hand man of Lale.
Pakistani Heroin Ring
  • Asif Raza Mir as Asif Afridi, kingpin of a Pakistani heroin ring in London and father of Nasir Afridi.
  • Parth Thakerar as Nasir Afridi, son of Asif Afridi and candidate for Mayor of London.
Welsh Travellers
  • Mark Lewis Jones as Kinney Edwards, leader of a group of Welsh travellers and father of Darren Edwards.
  • Aled ap Steffan as Darren Edwards, son of Kinney Edwards who is unknowingly hired to murder Finn Wallace.
  • Richard Harrington as Mal, lieutenant of Kinney Edwards.
  • Darren Evans as Ioan, friend of Darren Edwards and accomplice to Finn Wallace's murder.
Danish Assassins
  • Mads Koudal as Leif Hansen, a Danish assassin hired by Jevan Kapadia to kill various organized crime targets.
  • Laura Bach as Tove Fransen, a Danish assassin and Leif's partner.
Nigerian Mafia
  • Richard Pepple as Mosi, leader of the Nigerian mafia who strikes a deal with Luan Dushaj to launder their dirty money through the Wallace organization.
Investors
  • Ray Panthaki as Jevan Kapadia, point of contact for a group of mysterious investors who wish to tip the scales of the future of the Wallace organization.
  • Amanda Drew as Kane, a mysterious investor who has an interest in the Wallace organization.
  • Tim McInnerny as Jacob, a mysterious investor who has an interest in the Wallace organization.
Other Characters
  • Jude Akuwudike as Charlie Carter, father of Elliot Finch and a former boxer.
  • Arta Dobroshi as Floriana, mistress of Finn Wallace who is carrying his unborn child.
  • Sharon Morgan as Ingrid Hansen, mother of Leif Hansen who is holding Floriana captive in her basement.

Production[edit]

During filming production visited St Clere Estate in Kent to stage a Traveller site and Dartford to film a speed boat scene near Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. A driving scene was also featured on Pilgrim's Way. [4] The show was confirmed for a second season premiering in 2022.[5]

Release[edit]

The first series was co-produced with American pay network Cinemax which was expected to air the series alongside Sky. However, following an announcement in January 2020 by executives with parent company WarnerMedia that they would be winding down Cinemax's original programming, its producers began negotiating to move the series to another U.S. outlet, with Cinemax's blessing.[6] AMC took over distribution.

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date [7]
1"Episode 1"Gareth EvansGareth Evans and Matt Flannery23 April 2020 (2020-04-23)
Finn Wallace, patriarch of the powerful Wallace crime syndicate, is murdered by a young Welsh Traveller named Darren, who was oblivious to his target's identity. With support from Finn's widow Marian, his son Sean takes over the syndicate, immediately shutting down all business to other criminal enterprises in the city until his father's killer is identified. Finn's advisor Ed Dumani, whose son Alex is lifelong friends with Sean, advises against this extreme measure, but Sean proceeds regardless. Suspicion immediately falls on Albanian gang boss Luan, who was absent from Finn's wake. Elliot, a low-ranking member of the Wallace organization, takes initiative when he learns that Luan has Finn's missing driver Jack captive. Revealing himself a highly skilled combatant, Elliot recovers Jack from Luan's hideout, earning favour with Sean. Meanwhile Darren's estranged father Kinney, a leader among the local Travellers, learns what his son has done, and tracks Darren down to his hideout, recovering him while having Darren's friend and getaway driver tortured to death. Kinney sends Darren away with his Traveller connections. Elliot, revealed to be an undercover policeman, receives intel on Darren's hideout from his handler Vicky Chung. Elliot kills Kinney's men after a brutal fight, but Darren is already gone, and the remaining captive kills himself before Elliot can question him. Meanwhile Ed Dumani murders Jack in order to keep the late Finn's secrets.
2"Episode 2"Corin HardyClaire Wilson23 April 2020 (2020-04-23)
A series of flashbacks reveal that Finn took a young Sean out to the woods to commit his first murder. When Sean was unable to follow through with it, his older brother Billy killed the man instead. In the present day, Billy is the black sheep of the family as a gay recovering heroin addict who is kept out of the business. While at an orgy in a hotel room, Billy sees an acquaintance shooting heroin, and demands to know where he got it. Lale, the leader of the Kurdish gang, finds a new international source for heroin, stealing it from her Pakistani rival Asif's overseas business then having it shipped to London. Asif, whose son Nasir is running for mayor, requests that Sean reopen trade with him exclusively during his shutdown, but Sean refuses to budge. Elliot is assigned to drive Ed Dumani's daughter Shannon, and the two share an immediate spark. Luan meets with Ed and provides him with photos of a secret Finn had kept even from Ed and his family. Kinney approaches Sean, requesting mercy for his son, but Sean refuses. Billy goes missing and Sean tracks him down with help from Elliot, revealing that rather than scoring heroin, Billy was able to identify the dealer as the Kurds, revealing Lale's continued business despite the shutdown. Sean, however, still chastises Billy for doing something so dangerous. Later, Sean leads an attack on Kinney's Traveller encampment, killing dozens, but Kinney escapes.
3"Episode 3"Corin HardyPeter Berry23 April 2020 (2020-04-23)
A flashback reveals that Lale's husband was burned alive by Asif's men in Kurdistan, with Lale swearing revenge. In the present, Lale arranges to send a shipment of supplies back to her allies there. Marian learns through her investigator that Finn was having an affair with a woman named Floriana, and spent millions on a yacht in her name. Vicky speaks to the neighbour of the apartment where Finn was killed, learning Floriana lived there. Luan agrees to launder money through the Wallace business for a dangerous Nigerian crime lord named Mosi. Elliot grows closer to Shannon and her son Danny, kissing Shannon but hesitating to sleep with her. Alex holds a conference as the new face of Finn's legitimate business, impressing investor Jevan Kapadia. Sean and Ed plan separately to deal with Lale's breach of the shutdown. Sean hires a sadistic mercenary named Cole to abduct Lale's sister and her family, blackmailing her into halting her shipment to Kurdistan. Oblivious to this, Ed takes Elliot to Lale's business front, finding the aftermath of Cole's massacre and kidnapping. Elliot, who was hired to drive Cole, identifies where to locate him and Lale's sister. Elliot attempts to rescue the family, only to be nearly killed in a protracted fight with Cole, who is shot dead at the last minute by Ed. Meanwhile Sean ambushes Lale's shipment and destroys it, revealing that she is now the only London gang leader he knows not to be his father's killer.
4"Episode 4"Corin HardyPeter Berry and Joe Murtagh23 April 2020 (2020-04-23)
Fearing the Wallaces and Dumanis are growing distant, Sean plans a dinner for the two families, even convincing his half-sister Jacqueline, a doctor with no criminal affiliations, to join. Sean also goes into business with Lale, but Asif learns about this arrangement. Ed shows Luan's photos to Sean and Alex, revealing them to be an entire Albanian family that was slaughtered with Finn's involvement. Vicky receives a text telling her to stop investigating Floriana, along with footage of someone entering Vicky's apartment at night and touching her sleeping face with a box cutter. A pregnant Floriana is shown captive in the basement of a Danish man named Leif and his mother. In an intimate moment, Elliot reveals to Shannon that his wife and son were killed in a car accident. Ed shows up at Elliot's home later, suspicious of his loyalties, and assigns him to help Wallace lieutenant Mark track down some petty thieves who robbed a jewelry store under their protection. When Elliot refuses to torture the thieves, Mark identifies him as an undercover cop, witnessed by Anthony, one of the robbers. Ed and Alex attend a party with Wallace Corp's investors, where Jevan insinuates that they now see Alex as the proper heir to the business, not Sean. Sean meets with Luan about the photographs, and Luan begins to explain that Finn hired him to kill the Albanian family. The meeting is interrupted when Leif attempts to assassinate Sean with a sniper rifle from a nearby rooftop. Leif picks off many of Sean's men, including Mark, keeping Elliot's identity safe. Elliot takes a bullet saving Sean's life, and Sean takes a critically wounded Elliot back to his house, interrupting the dinner so Jacqueline can treat his wounds. A house waitress suddenly pulls a gun on Sean, but is shot by Alex, leaving both families in disarray.
5"Episode 5"Gareth EvansGareth Evans and Matt Flannery23 April 2020 (2020-04-23)
This episode's timeline takes place between Episodes 2 and 4. Darren is taken by Kinney's contact Mal to a farmhouse far out in the country owned by their acquaintance Evie, a weapons manufacturer who adopts orphaned teenagers. Arrangements are made for Darren to leave the country by boat with Evie's husband Albert. Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the massacre at the Traveller encampment, a wounded Kinney hides out in the surrounding woods. Leif arrives at the campsite to collect intel, accompanied by Tova, the "waitress" who shot at Sean, revealed to be a Danish mercenary as well. Leif discovers Kinney's phone under a trailer, and is able to ascertain Darren's location based on a text exchange. Kinney evades the mercenaries and begins the arduous journey to reach Darren on foot, eventually stealing a man's truck and shotgun along the way. Kinney and the Danes converge on Evie's compound, where a prolonged siege takes place. Mal, Evie and all of her adopted teenagers are killed. Kinney and a resentful Darren retreat through an underground tunnel, but Leif catches up to them, shooting them along with Albert just as they are about to reach his boat. Kinney clings to his son, delivering a final, delirious monologue about perseverance, before Leif executes them both. As Leif calls his contact to confirm Darren's death, it is revealed that the Danes are working for Jevan Kapadia.
6"Episode 6"Xavier GensLauren Sequeira23 April 2020 (2020-04-23)
In the aftermath of the dinner shooting, Ed immediately identifies Jevan as the culprit, storming his office. However, Jevan leverages Alex's life and convinces Ed to spare him and keep the information secret. Ed continues managing the family business, fulfilling Finn's deal with Luan to help launder his and Mosi's money. Eventually, Ed reveals to Alex that Finn was killed by his own investors, who now want to eliminate Sean and install Alex as the new head of the organization. Meanwhile Sean, Marian and Billy hide out at a safe house, where Tova is revealed to have survived her gunshot wound, with Marian holding her captive and brutally torturing her for information. Sean attempts to dissuade Marian and reason with Tova, who still refuses to talk. Billy struggles with his addictive urges under stress. Sean invites Elliot to the safe house, whom he trusts for saving his life. The two locate Tova's house using a tracking chip on her dog, identifying her as former Danish Special Forces and briefly encountering her young son. Billy invites Alex to the safe house in exchange for heroin, and Alex is shocked to discover Tova still alive, as he had been led to believe he killed her. Now disillusioned with Sean, Alex joins Ed at a meeting with Jevan. At the safehouse, a relapsed Billy wanders into the torture room, where Tova escapes her binds and takes him hostage, not before revealing the crucial detail that her team was meant to attack only when the Dumanis were absent. Marian shoots Tova dead, risking Billy's life. Sean confronts Alex about the information Tova provided, but their confrontation is interrupted when Alex realizes 500 million pounds - including Luan's and Mosi's money - has disappeared from their company bank account.
7"Episode 7"Xavier GensPeter Berry23 April 2020 (2020-04-23)
Asif moves against Lale, sending men to massacre her entire organization while Lale herself narrowly escapes. She later makes contact with Sean, and the two form a secret allegiance. Elliot tips off Vicky about Tova and Leif, but Leif and his mother remove Floriana from their property before the raid, which uncovers nothing. Vicky's superior DCI Hawks indicates that Elliot is untrustworthy and initiates the process of pulling him from his undercover position, focusing instead on Anthony the jewelry robber, another undercover cop now rising in the ranks. With his money still missing, Mosi arrives in London looking for answers. He and his men slaughter the employees at the investment bank where it was being laundered, then visit Luan's home during his daughter's birthday and threaten him. Luan in turn threatens Ed, believing he stole the money from the account. Alex identifies the withdrawals as an automated transfer set in motion by Finn himself. He and Ed piece together that Finn was planning to abandon his family and business to start a new life with Floriana. The massacre at the investment house raises red flags for the investors, and Jevan demands that Ed and Alex take initiative in usurping the business from Sean. Marian visits her sister in Ireland, trading the "Floriana" yacht for a small army of men to boost the family's dwindling muscle. Her private investigator spots Ed and Alex meeting with Jevan, and Sean calls a meeting with them. Ed lays out the situation - that Sean is being pushed out of the family business by investors, with Alex set to take over, and Finn himself never intended to make Sean his heir. Furious, Sean shoots Ed in the leg and cuts ties with the Dumanis, ordering them all out of his house.
8"Episode 8"Xavier GensCarl Joos and Peter Berry23 April 2020 (2020-04-23)
Sean and Marian go into hiding in an old tenement building belonging to their company. Leif and his mercenary squad pursue the Wallaces, looking to take Jackie hostage, but Billy warns her and the two leave together, setting up passports for fake identities out of the country. Elliot attempts to make contact with Shannon, but Ed turns him away. Anthony's cover is blown, and Marian's men torture him for information. Elliot is assigned to locate Anthony and call it in. Elliot fails to save Anthony, who is killed, and he in turn kills Marian's men, staging a shootout between them and Anthony to hide his involvement. Luan attempts to ambush Mosi but is double-crossed, and his accomplices are killed. When his family is threatened, Luan flies into a rage and kills Mosi and all three of his men single-handed. Floriana gives birth to Finn's daughter, then escapes Leif's house, kicking his mother down the stairs in the process. Alex and his employees track down part of the money Finn had withdrawn, providing results for the investors. Sean, completely disillusioned with his father's legacy, makes a last-ditch retaliation against his enemies, arranging with Lale to plant explosives underneath a Wallace skyscraper. The building collapses and explodes, resulting in an enormous smoke cloud and blackout across downtown London.
9"Episode 9"Corin HardyClaire Wilson23 April 2020 (2020-04-23)
Elliot is shown captive and under interrogation by government agents. Flashbacks reveal the events of the previous day. In the aftermath of the bombing, Sean is wanted as a terrorist and hiding out on his own. He cracks Anthony's phone and discovers that Elliot is an undercover cop. Jevan is visited by two higher-ranking investors, Kane and Jacob, who have him thrown from his apartment window and killed. Asif's son Nasir wins the election and becomes mayor of London. Lale, disguised as a journalist, assassinates Nasir at his own victory party, leaving his mutilated corpse for Asif to find. Their arrangement complete, Lale sleeps with Sean before returning to Kurdistan. Ed meets with Marian in a graveyard, imploring her to give up Sean. The two pull guns on each other, and Ed shoots Marian, seemingly killing her. Hawks informs Vicky that Elliot has been retired from duty as a police officer. Vicky visits Shannon at home, attempting to turn her as an informant. Shannon discerns that Elliot was undercover, and shoots Vicky dead. Searching for Sean, Elliot gets his location from Billy. Before visiting Sean's hideout, Elliot is picked up by Kane and Jacob, who order him to keep Alex Dumani in play and prevent Sean from standing trial, leveraging Shannon and Danny's lives to compel him. Elliot visits Sean, who at first considers killing the undercover cop. Instead he provides Elliot with a sim card containing evidence against the investors, hoping he can bring them down legally. Alex arrives at Sean's hideout, bribing Sean's doormen to let him bring a gun into the room. He plans to kill Sean, but cannot follow through with it as Sean talks him down. Elliot disarms Alex, only to kill Sean with the gun. Police raid the hideout, and Elliot successfully smuggles Alex to safety, though Hawks is killed in the process. Elliot is arrested afterward, leading to his interrogation. An agent of the investors, disguised as a nurse, secretly instructs him to claim diplomatic immunity under Panama, and his captors are forced to release him. Though seemingly working for the investors now, Elliot extracts Sean's sim card from a hiding place in his mouth. A flashback to the previous day reveals Marian survived her shooting, and she is approached by Floriana, who offers to help her.

Reception[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 88% based on 24 reviews.[8] GQ said it is "a strong early contender to be the best show of the summer."[9]

The series became Sky Atlantic's second-biggest original drama launch of all time, with a 7-day cumulative audience of 2.23 million viewers for the opening episode.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Ritman, Alex (19 March 2019). "Cinemax/Sky Series 'Gangs of London' Rounds Out Cast". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  2. ^ White, Peter (June 24, 2020). "AMC Boards Sky Drama 'Gangs of London' After HBO's Cinemax Pulls Out; Thriller Renewed for Season 2". Deadline. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  3. ^ "Sky Original Gangs of London returns for a second series". www.skygroup.sky. Retrieved 2021-03-15.
  4. ^ "Kent Film Office- Gangs of London (2020) article". Kent Film Office.
  5. ^ https://deadline.com/2020/06/gangs-of-london-amc-cinemax-drops-out-sky-season-2-1202968180/
  6. ^ Jurgensen, John (June 22, 2020). "How the Launch of HBO Max Sidelined Cinemax". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 22, 2020. A high-profile crime series promised for later this year, “Gangs of London,” is departing the network for another buyer, according to people familiar with the negotiations. [...] In January at a press event introducing HBO Max, WarnerMedia executives said there would be no new original programming on Cinemax. [...] Within weeks, “Gangs of London” producers went looking (with Cinemax’s blessing) for a new U.S. home for the thriller.
  7. ^ "Gangs of London – Listings". Sky Atlantic. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  8. ^ "Gangs of London: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  9. ^ "Gangs of London Review". GQ.
  10. ^ "Gangs of London is Sky's most-binged box set of 2020 already". Metro. 2020-05-14. Retrieved 2020-05-25.

External links[edit]