Peaky Blinders (TV series)

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Peaky Blinders
Peaky Blinders titlecard.jpg
Created bySteven Knight
Written by
  • Steven Knight
  • Toby Finlay
  • Stephen Russell
Directed by
Opening theme"Red Right Hand" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series5
No. of episodes30 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Caryn Mandabach
  • Greg Brenman
  • Steven Knight
  • Cillian Murphy
  • Jamie Glazebrook
  • Frith Tiplady
ProducerKatie Swinden
Production locations
CinematographyGeorge Steel
Running time55–65 minutes
Production companies
Budget$1.5 million per episode
Original network
Picture format1080i HDTV
Audio format
Original release12 September 2013 (2013-09-12) –
present (present)
External links
Official website

Peaky Blinders is a British period crime drama television series created by Steven Knight. Set in Birmingham, England, the series follows the exploits of the Peaky Blinders crime gang in the direct aftermath of the First World War. The fictional gang is loosely based on a real urban youth gang of the same name, who were active in the city from the 1890s to the 1910s.

Peaky Blinders features an ensemble cast, led by Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, and Paul Anderson, starring as Tommy Shelby, Elizabeth "Polly" Gray, and Arthur Shelby, respectively, the gang's senior members. Sam Neill, Iddo Goldberg, Tom Hardy, Paddy Considine, Adrien Brody, Aidan Gillen, Annabelle Wallis, Charlotte Riley, Sam Claflin, Stephen Graham, and Anya Taylor-Joy also have recurring roles at various times of the series. The show premiered on 12 September 2013, telecast on BBC Two until the fourth series, and then shifted to BBC One for the fifth and upcoming sixth series.

The fifth series premiered on BBC One on 25 August 2019 and finished on 22 September 2019. Netflix, under the deal with Weinstein Company and Endemol, had acquired the rights to release Peaky Blinders in the United States and around the world. In January 2021, it was announced that series six would be the last.


Peaky Blinders is an epic centered on a gangster family of Irish-Romani origin set in Birmingham, England, starting in 1919, several months after the end of the First World War in November 1918. The story centres on the Peaky Blinders gang and their ambitious and highly cunning boss Tommy Shelby (Murphy). The gang comes to the attention of Major Chester Campbell (Neill), a detective chief inspector in the Royal Irish Constabulary sent over by Winston Churchill from Belfast, where he had been sent to clean up the city of the Irish Republican Army, Communists, gangs, and common criminals.[2][3] Winston Churchill (played by Andy Nyman in series 1 and Richard McCabe in series 2) charged him with suppressing disorder and uprising in Birmingham and recovering a stolen cache of arms meant to be shipped to Libya.[4][5] The first series concludes on 3 December 1919 – "Black Star Day", the event where the Peaky Blinders plan to take over Billy Kimber's betting pitches at the Worcester Races.

The second series has the Peaky Blinders expand their criminal organisation in the "South and North while maintaining a stronghold in their Birmingham heartland."[6] It begins in 1921 and ends with a climax at Epsom racecourse on 31 May 1922 – Derby Day.[7]

The third series starts and ends in 1924, as it follows Tommy and the gang entering an even more dangerous world as they once again expand, this time internationally. The third series also features Father John Hughes (Paddy Considine), who is involved in an anticommunist organisation; Ruben Oliver (Alexander Siddig), a painter whom Polly enlists to paint her portrait; Russian Duchess Tatiana Petrovna (Gaite Jansen); and Linda Shelby (Kate Phillips), new wife of Arthur.

The fourth series begins on Christmas Eve 1925, and ends following the general strike of May 1926, with Tommy using Jessie Eden for information and being elected as a Member of Parliament in 1927.

The fifth series begins two years later on 29 October 1929 (Black Tuesday) and ends on 7 December 1929, the morning after a rally led by fascist leader Oswald Mosley.

Cast and characters[edit]

Character Portrayed by Series
1 2 3 4 5 6
Thomas "Tommy" Shelby Cillian Murphy Main
Chief Inspector/Major Chester Campbell Sam Neill Main Does not appear
Elizabeth "Polly" Gray, née Shelby Helen McCrory Main Does not appear
Arthur Shelby Jr. Paul Anderson Main
Ada Thorne, née Shelby Sophie Rundle Main
John "Johnny" Shelby Joe Cole Main Does not appear
Charlie Strong Ned Dennehy Main
Jeremiah "Jimmy" Jesus Benjamin Zephaniah Main TBA
Finn Shelby Alfie Evans-Meese Recurring Does not appear
Harry Kirton Does not appear Recurring
Grace Shelby, née Burgess Annabelle Wallis Main Does not appear Recurring TBA
Winston Churchill Andy Nyman Main Does not appear
Richard McCabe Does not appear Main Does not appear
Neil Maskell Does not appear Main TBA
Billy Kimber Charlie Creed-Miles Main Does not appear
Freddie Thorne Iddo Goldberg Main Does not appear
Arthur Shelby, Sr. Tommy Flanagan Main Does not appear
Lizzie Shelby, née Stark Natasha O'Keeffe Recurring Main
Johnny Dogs Packy Lee Recurring Main
Alfred "Alfie" Solomons Tom Hardy Does not appear Main Recurring Main
Michael Gray Finn Cole Does not appear Main
May Fitz Carleton Charlotte Riley Does not appear Main Does not appear Main Does not appear
Darby Sabini Noah Taylor Does not appear Main Does not appear TBA
Esme Shelby Aimee-Ffion Edwards Recurring Main Does not appear Main
Karl Thorne George Gwyther Does not appear Main Does not appear
Callum Booth-Ford Does not appear Main TBA
Father John Hughes Paddy Considine Does not appear Main Does not appear
Ruben Oliver Alexander Siddig Does not appear Main Does not appear
Grand Duchess Tatiana Petrovna Gaite Jansen Does not appear Main Does not appear
Grand Duchess Izabella Dina Korzun Does not appear Main Does not appear
Curly Ian Peck Recurring Main
Linda Shelby Kate Phillips Does not appear Recurring Main Recurring
Aberama Gold Aidan Gillen Does not appear Main Does not appear
Jessie Eden Charlie Murphy Does not appear Main Does not appear
Bonnie Gold Jack Rowan Does not appear Main Does not appear
Luca Changretta Adrien Brody Does not appear Main Does not appear
Isiah Jesus Jordan Bolger Does not appear Recurring Does not appear
Daryl McCormack Does not appear Recurring
Colonel Ben Younger Kingsley Ben-Adir Does not appear Recurring Main Does not appear
Sir Oswald Mosley Sam Claflin Does not appear Main
Gina Gray Anya Taylor-Joy Does not appear Main
Jimmy McCavern Brian Gleeson Does not appear Main TBA
Barney Thomason Cosmo Jarvis Does not appear Main Does not appear
Brilliant Chang Andrew Koji Does not appear Main Does not appear
TBA Stephen Graham Does not appear Main
Lady Diana Mosley Amber Anderson Does not appear Main


  • Cillian Murphy as Thomas "Tommy" Shelby, the leader of the Peaky Blinders.
  • Sam Neill as Chief Inspector/Major Chester Campbell (series 1–2), an Ulster Protestant policeman drafted from Belfast.
  • Helen McCrory as Elizabeth "Polly" Gray (series 1–5), née Shelby, the aunt of Tommy and his siblings, and treasurer of the Peaky Blinders.
  • Paul Anderson as Arthur Shelby Jr., Tommy's best friend and brother.
  • Annabelle Wallis as Grace Shelby (main series 1–3, recurring series 5), née Burgess, a former undercover agent, and Irish Protestant. The first wife of Tommy Shelby and the mother of his son Charles.
  • Iddo Goldberg as Freddie Thorne (series 1), a known communist who fought in the Great War; Ada's husband.
  • Sophie Rundle as Ada Thorne, née Shelby, the Shelby brothers' only sister.
  • Joe Cole as John "Johnny" Shelby (series 1–4), the third-youngest Shelby brother and a member of the Peaky Blinders.
  • Ned Dennehy as Charlie Strong, owner of a boatyard and an uncle figure to Tommy.
  • Charlie Creed-Miles as Billy Kimber (series 1), a local kingpin who runs the local races.
  • Benjamin Zephaniah as Jeremiah 'Jimmy' Jesus, a preacher, and friend of the gang.
  • Andy Nyman (series 1), Richard McCabe (series 2), and Neil Maskell (series 5) as Winston Churchill
  • Tommy Flanagan as Arthur Shelby, Sr. (series 1), the father of Tommy and his siblings; Polly's brother.
  • Tom Hardy as Alfred "Alfie" Solomons (series 2–present), the leader of a Jewish gang in Camden Town.
  • Finn Cole as Michael Gray (series 2–present), Polly's biological son.
  • Charlotte Riley as May Fitz Carleton (series 2, 4), a wealthy widow who owns racehorses.
  • Natasha O'Keeffe as Elizabeth “Lizzie” Shelby, née Stark (main series 2–present, recurring series 1); An ex-prostitute who worked for Tommy as his secretary. She is his second wife and the mother of his daughter Ruby.
  • Packy Lee as Johnny Dogs (main series 2–present, recurring series 1), a Gypsy friend of Tommy Shelby's.
  • Noah Taylor as Darby Sabini (series 2), the leader of an Italian gang in Camden Town.
  • Paddy Considine as Father John Hughes (series 3), a priest working with the anti-communist Section D (The Economic League) in the British government.
  • Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Esme Shelby, née Lee (main series 3–4, recurring series 1–2), John Shelby's wife.
  • Alexander Siddig as Ruben Oliver (series 3), a portrait artist in a romantic relationship with Polly Gray.
  • Gaite Jansen as Grand Duchess Tatiana Petrovna (series 3), a Russian princess who has an affair with Tommy.
  • Dina Korzun as Princess Isabella (series 3), Tatiana Petrovna's aunt.
  • Aidan Gillen as Aberama Gold (series 4–5), an ally of the Peaky Blinders and lover of Polly Gray.
  • Adrien Brody as Luca Changretta (series 4), a New York mafioso with a vendetta against the Peaky Blinders.
  • Kate Phillips as Linda Shelby (main series 4–5, recurring series 3), Arthur Shelby's wife. She is a devout Christian.
  • Charlie Murphy as Jessie Eden (series 4–5), a union convenor and lover of Tommy Shelby's.
  • Jack Rowan as Bonnie Gold (series 4–5), Aberama Gold's boxing champion son.
  • Ian Peck as Curly (main series 4–present, recurring series 1–3), a horse expert and assistant to Charlie Strong.
  • Alfie Evans-Meese (series 1) and Harry Kirton (series 2–5) as Finn Shelby, Tommy's youngest brother and a member of the gang.
  • George Gwyther (series 3) and Callum Booth-Ford (series 5) as Karl Thorne, the only child of Ada and Freddie Thorne.
  • Jordan Bolger (series 2–4) and Daryl McCormack (series 5) as Isiah Jesus, the son of Jeremiah Jesus and a member of the gang.
  • Sam Claflin as Sir Oswald Mosley (series 5), a fascist politician.
  • Anya Taylor-Joy as Gina Gray (series 5), Michael Gray's American wife.
  • Kingsley Ben-Adir as Colonel Ben Younger (main series 5, recurring series 4), a young colonel who begins a relationship with Ada Thorne. He is also investigating socialist and fascist political activities.
  • Brian Gleeson as Jimmy McCavern (series 5), leader of the Billy Boys, a Scottish Protestant gang.
  • Cosmo Jarvis as Barney Thomason (series 5), a WWI comrade and old friend of Tommy's who is locked in an insane asylum. He is a sniper.
  • Andrew Koji as Brilliant Chang (series 5), a Chinese criminal leader involved in opium smuggling.
  • Stephen Graham (series 6)
  • Amber Anderson as Lady Diana Mosley (series 6), Second wife of Oswald Mosley, one of the aristocratic Mitford sisters and Fascist socialite.


  • Samuel Edward-Cook (series 1) as Danny "Whizz-Bang" Owen, a former comrade of Tommy Shelby and a loyal member of the gang.
  • Tony Pitts (series 1−4) as Sergeant/Inspector Moss, a police officer from Birmingham.
  • Kevin Metcalfe as Scudboat (series 1−2), a henchman of the gang
  • Neil Bell (series 1) as Harry Fenton, a former landlord and owner of the Garrison pub.
  • Lobo Chan (series 1) as Mr Zhang
  • Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (series 1) as Malacki Byrne, a member of the IRA and the cousin of one of the IRA members
  • Isabelle Estelle Corbusier (series 1) as Yasmin Lipscomb
  • Jeffrey Postlethwaite (series 1−2) as Henry, a Peaky Blinders henchman.
  • Matthew Postlethwaite (series 1−2) as Nipper, a Peaky Blinders henchman.
  • Adam El Hagar (series 2) as Ollie, the assistant to Alfie Solomons
  • Henry Garrett (series 2) as Clive Macmillan, first husband of Grace Burgess. He was a rich banker who lived in Poughkeepsie, New York.
  • Sam Hazeldine (series 2) as Georgie Sewell, the right-hand man and consiglieri to Darby Sabini
  • Paul Bullion (series 2) as Billy Kitchen, a Black Country man, who briefly worked as a Head Baker for Tommy Shelby and Alfie Solomons
  • Rory Keenan (series 2) as Donal Henry, a spy who worked for the Irregulars against the Pro-Treaty IRA
  • Simone Kirby (series 2) as Irene O'Donnell, a Pro-Treaty IRA member, who works with Donal Henry and Inspector Campbell to blackmail Tommy Shelby into carrying out an assassination.
  • Wanda Opalinska (series 2, 4) as Rosemary Johnson, the foster mother of Michael Gray, whom she named Henry
  • Daniel Fearn (series 2, 4) as King Maine, a boxing trainer in Birmingham who trains Arthur Shelby and Bonnie Gold
  • Josh O'Connor (series 2) as James, a friend and housemate of Ada Thorne
  • Dorian Lough (series 2) as Mario, the owner of The Eden Club, ran by Darby Sabini
  • Allan Hopwood (series 2) as Abbey Heath
  • James Eeles (series 2) as "The Digbeth Kid" Harold Hancox, An aspiring actor hired by the Peaky Blinders to get stood up and spend a week inside jail, only to be killed by Sabini's henchmen
  • Erin Shanagher (series 2, 4) as Mrs. Ross, A vengeful mother who dislikes Arthur for the death of her son
  • Stephanie Hyam (series 3) as Charlotte Murray, a wealthy girl, with whom Michael Gray has a short affair
  • Kenneth Colley (series 3) as Vicente Changretta, the father to Luca and Angelo Changretta
  • Bríd Brennan (series 3–4) as Audrey Changretta, the mother of Luca Changretta, wife of Vicente Changretta and head of the Italian gang in Birmingham, as part of being the enemy of the Peaky Blinders
  • Frances Tomelty (series 3) as Bethany Boswell, a wise old woman living in Wales, whom Tommy Shelby seeks out
  • Richard Brake (series 3) as Anton Kaledin, a Russian refugee, who attempted to discuss business with Darby Sabini and Tommy Shelby on Tommy and Grace Burgess' wedding day
  • Alex Macqueen (series 3) as Patrick Jarvis MP, a Member of Parliament and also a member and representative of The Economic League, working with Father Hughes
  • Ralph Ineson (series 3) as Connor Nutley, a Lancaster factory foreman.
  • Peter Bankole (series 3) as William Letso, a former diamond miner, a tunneler from the South African Labor Corps and a friend of Tommy Shelby
  • Richard Dillane (series 3) as General Curran, an uncle of Grace Burgess
  • Dominic Coleman (series 3) as Priest
  • Wendy Nottingham (series 3) as Mary, the housekeeper of Tommy Shelby
  • Billy Marwood (series 3) and Jenson Clarke (series 4–5) as Charles Shelby, son of Tommy and Grace Shelby.
  • Luca Matteo Zizzari (series 4) as Matteo, one of Luca Changretta's henchmen.
  • Jake J. Meniani (series 4) as Frederico, one of Luca Changretta's henchmen
  • Graeme Hawley (series 4) as Niall Devlin, a working man in the Peaky Blinders Limited, working for Tommy Shelby
  • Pauline Turner (series 4–5) as Frances, the housekeeper of Tommy Shelby
  • Donald Sumpter (series 4) as Arthur Bigge, the King's Private Secretary, who deals with the case of the execution of Polly Gray, Arthur Shelby, John Shelby and Michael Gray
  • Jamie Kenna (series 4) as Billy Mills, a former heavyweight boxing champion and a worker for the Shelby Company Limited, who fights against Bonnie Gold at the company
  • Joseph Long (series 4) as Chef
  • Andreas Muñoz (series 4) as Antonio, the Italian assassin who came into Tommy Shelby's house as a sous-chef and planned to kill Tommy
  • Ethan Picard-Edwards (series 4) as Billy Shelby, the first child of Arthur and Linda Shelby
  • Dave Simon (series 4−5) as Mulchay
  • Emmett J. Scanlan (series 5) as Billy Grade, an ex-footballer turned singer and an ally to the Peaky Blinders.
  • Heaven-Leigh Clee (series 5) as Ruby Shelby, the daughter of Tommy Shelby and Lizzie Stark
  • Elliot Cowan (series 5) as Michael Levitt, a Birmingham journalist
  • Peter Campion (series 5) as Micky Gibbs, barman of The Garrison pub
  • Charlene McKenna (series 5) as Captain Swing, an IRA leader in Belfast
  • Tim Woodward (series 5) as Lord Suckerby, a High Court Judge
  • Kate Dickie (series 5) as Mother Superior


SeriesEpisodesOriginally airedAverage UK viewers
First airedLast airedNetwork
1612 September 2013 (2013-09-12)17 October 2013 (2013-10-17)BBC Two2.38
262 October 2014 (2014-10-02)6 November 2014 (2014-11-06)2.18
365 May 2016 (2016-05-05)9 June 2016 (2016-06-09)2.85
4615 November 2017 (2017-11-15)20 December 2017 (2017-12-20)4.05
5625 August 2019 (2019-08-25)22 September 2019 (2019-09-22)BBC One7.20
  1. ^ The average rating for the first two series have been calculated using 7-day viewing figures, while the ratings for the latter three series use 28-day viewing figures.


Candidates for roles as teenage male extras queuing in Birmingham

Series 1[edit]

Peaky Blinders was created by Steven Knight, directed by Otto Bathurst, and produced by Katie Swinden. The writers are listed as Steven Knight, Stephen Russell and Toby Finlay.[8]

Screen Yorkshire provided funding for the production through the Yorkshire Content Fund, ensuring that the majority of the show was filmed in Yorkshire as part of the deal.[9] The series was filmed in Birmingham, Bradford, Dudley, Leeds, Liverpool, and Port Sunlight.[10] Railway sequences were filmed between Keighley and Damems, using carriages from the Ingrow Museum of Rail Travel (owned by Vintage Carriages Trust),[11] and carriages owned by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Trust.[12] Many of the scenes for the show were shot at the Black Country Living Museum.[13]

Ulster-born, New Zealand-raised Sam Neill enlisted the help of Northern Irish actors James Nesbitt and Liam Neeson to help him recover his lost Northern Irish accent for the role of C.I. Campbell. In the end, he had to tone down the accent since the series is being marketed in the United States.[14]

The production did not hire linguists to assist in the show, leading to the Gypsies' frequently speaking broken Romanian (as opposed to Romani).[15]

Series 2[edit]

A second series was commissioned shortly after the broadcast of the first and aired in October and November 2014.[6] On 11 January 2014, auditions were held in Digbeth area of Birmingham (near where parts of the series are set) for white and mixed race teenage male extras, resulting in lengthy queues.[16][17]

Series 3[edit]

Shortly after the final episode of the second series, the show announced via its Twitter account that it had been renewed for a third series.[18] On 5 October 2015, the official Peaky Blinders Twitter account announced that filming had begun for series 3.[19] Filming wrapped on 22 January 2016, after 78 days of shooting.[20][21]

Series 4[edit]

During the initial broadcast of series 3, the BBC renewed Peaky Blinders for series 4 and 5, each of which comprises six episodes.[22] Filming for series 4 started in March 2017 and premiered on 15 November 2017 on BBC Two.[23] The fourth series did not include The Weinstein Company or its logo in its credits, even though the company was formerly involved in the US distribution of the series.[24]

Series 5[edit]

The BBC commissioned a fifth series in mid-2016. On 22 August 2018, it was confirmed that series 5 would be broadcast on BBC One.[25][26] Having already premiered to a select audience at Birmingham Town Hall on 18 July 2019, the series began airing on BBC One on 25 August 2019.[27]

Series 6[edit]

On 5 May 2018, Steven Knight told Birmingham Press Club that "we are definitely doing [series] six and we will probably do seven".[28] Knight has indicated that once the series is complete, a film or spin-off could follow.[29] Production on series 6 was due to begin in March 2020, but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[30] During 2020, rumours emerged linking comedian Rowan Atkinson to the show for the role of Adolf Hitler in series 6, but the producers denied the involvement saying that the news is "completely false".[31]

On 18 January 2021, it was announced that series six, which had just begun filming, would be the final television series of Peaky Blinders; though Knight revealed "the story will continue in another form".[32] Knight later clarified that, following the year-long production hiatus, it had been decided to produce a movie in place of a seventh television series, with other connected television series potentially following.[33] On 16 April 2021, it was announced that Helen McCrory, who played the character of Polly, had died after a battle with cancer. As of April 2021, it was reportedly unknown whether McCrory had filmed any scenes for the final series before her death.[30]


Peaky Blinders has received critical acclaim, particularly for its writing, acting, visuals, and stylish cinematography. David Renshaw of The Guardian summarised the series as a "riveting, fast-paced tale of post-first world war Birmingham gangsters", praising Murphy as the "ever-so-cool Tommy Shelby" and the rest of the cast for their "powerful performances."[34] Sarah Compton of The Telegraph gave the series a 4/5 rating, praising the show for its originality and "taking all of our expectations and confounding them."[35] Alex Fletcher from Digital Spy believes that "Peaky Blinders has started as sharp as a dart,"[36] while Den of Geek called the series "the most intelligent, stylish and engrossing BBC drama in ages."[37] Cult TV Times critic Hugh David said the show "warrants the billing" by "managing to tick several ratings boxes – period drama, gangster epic, film star leads – yet go against the grain of those in the most interesting of ways."[38]

The show has been particularly celebrated for its stylish cinematography and charismatic performances, as well as for casting an eye over a part of England and English history rarely explored on television.[39] Historians have been divided over whether bringing characters and events from other decades into a 1920s story undermines claims to historical accuracy, or whether working-class life in the period is nevertheless depicted in a truthful and resonant way.[40] Reviews for the second series have remained positive, with Ellen E. Jones of The Independent commenting that "Peaky Blinders can now boast several more big-name actors to supplement the sterling work of Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory and Sam Neill", referring to second series additions Tom Hardy and Noah Taylor.[41]

Several critics have favourably compared the show to the American series Boardwalk Empire,[42][43] which shares the same themes and historical context. Show writer Steven Knight stated in an early interview: "Do you know – and I'm not just saying this – but I've never watched them. I've never seen The Wire, I've never seen Boardwalk Empire, I've never seen any of them." When asked if he deliberately avoided watching these dramas, he responded: "It's sort of deliberate in that I don't really want to be looking at other people's work because it does affect what you do inevitably."[44] On 2 March 2016, Knight told the Crime Scene Quarterly "I've had unsolicited communication from Michael Mann, the film director, from Dennis Lehane, Snoop Dogg – he's such a fan. And the late David Bowie was a huge fan – more of that to come" (strongly hinting Bowie's involvement on series 3). It was later confirmed that David Bowie's music would be featured, and Leonard Cohen had also written a new song for series 3.[45][46][47]

Depiction of Jessie Eden[edit]

Series four and five introduced the character Jessie Eden, based on the real-life British communist and trade union leader.[48] Although the reception was mixed,[49] some people who had known Jessie Eden personally took offence to the way she was depicted.[50] Graham Stevenson, a historian of British communism, a personal friend of Jessie Eden and the writer of her biography, was a harsh critic of the show, stating:

I knew Eden, and as a callow 22-year-old, I didn't ask the 70-year-old Jessie about her relationships, let alone sex life. But I doubt her private life was as complicated or dramatic as her eponymous character's. Nor can I see any young woman during the 1920s gratuitously going into a gents' toilets, as Eden is shown doing, for any reason at all other than life or death. The social values of the programme are ahistorical. It is surely the conceit that Tommy Shelby, the gangster villain-hero of the series, could ever convince a woman like Eden to be wined and dined, let alone be seduced, that finally reveals the true motives of the creators of the programme.[51]

Stevenson also criticised the show for its clothing choices, incorrectly showing Churchill as Home Secretary in 1919, incorrectly depicting Eden as a mass leader during the 1926 General Strike; eventually these inaccuracies led Stevenson to stop watching the show.[52] He went on to elaborate: "Although the TV series' cinematography, music and fast-paced action is obviously attractive, especially matched to outstanding charismatic performances, it's disappointing that an expert in Tudor history was the historical adviser to the series, rather than someone with a background in trade unionism or communism."[51]

At a round table event featuring Graham Stevenson, the poet Dave Puller, and cultural historian Professor Paul Long, the three discussed the series and its depictions of the British working class. Professor Paul Long rated the series positively and praised the series as a great representation of interesting working-class protagonists. Dave Puller had mixed feelings and was disappointed that the show chose to focus on Jessie Eden's fictional romance with Tommy, rather than her real achievements as a communist and a trade union leader.[49]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Series Award Category Nominee(s) Result
1 BAFTA Television Craft Awards Best Director: Fiction Otto Bathurst Won
Best Original Television Music Martin Phipps Nominated
Best Photography and Lighting: Fiction George Steel Won
Best Production Design Grant Montgomery Nominated
Best Sound: Fiction Stuart Hilliker, Brian Milliken, Matthew Skelding, Lee Walpole Nominated
Best Special Visual Effects Bluebolt (VFX), Rushes (Colourist) Nominated
Biarritz International Festival of Audovisual Programming Best Actor in a TV Series or Serial Cillian Murphy Won
Best Actress in a TV Series or Serial Helen McCrory Won
Best Music in a TV Series or Serial Martin Phipps Won
Crime Thriller Awards UK Best Supporting Actress Helen McCrory Nominated
RTS Programme Awards Best Drama Series "production team" Won
RTS Craft & Design Awards Best Costume Design: Drama Stephanie Collie Won
Best Make-Up Design: Drama Loz Schiavo Nominated
Best Production Design: Drama Grant Montgomery Nominated
Judges' Award "production team" Won
Televisual Bulldog Awards Best Drama One-Off or Serial "production team" 2nd Place
2 BAFTA Television Awards Best Drama Series "production team" Nominated
BAFTA Television Craft Awards Best Make-Up and Hair Loz Schiavo Nominated
Best Photography and Lighting: Fiction Simon Dennis Nominated
Best Production Design Grant Montgomery Nominated
IFTA Film and Television Awards Best Leading Actor in a Drama Series Cillian Murphy Nominated
Best Costume Design Lorna Marie Mugan Won
Best Director: Drama Series Colm McCarthy Nominated
RTS Programme Awards Best Drama Series "production team" Nominated
RTS Craft & Design Awards Best Photography: Drama Simon Dennis Nominated
Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards Best TV Drama – Long Form Steven Knight Nominated
3 National Television Awards Best Period Drama Series "Production team" Nominated
Best Drama Performance Cillian Murphy Nominated
Irish Film and Television Awards Best Leading Actor in a Drama Series Cillian Murphy Won
4 BAFTA Television Awards Best Drama Series "production team" Won
BAFTA Television Craft Awards Best Costume Design Alison McCosh Nominated
Best Editing: Fiction Dan Roberts (Episode 5) Nominated
Best Make Up & Hair Design Loz Schiavo Nominated
Best Sound: Fiction Forbes Noonan, Ben Norrington, Jim Goddard, Grant Bridgeman Nominated
Best Writer: Drama Steven Knight Nominated
TV Choice Awards Best Drama Series "production team" Won
Best Actor Cillian Murphy Won
Best Actress Helen McCrory Nominated
5 Cinema Audio Society Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Series – One Hour Stu Wright, Nigel Heath, Brad Rees, Jimmy Robertson, Oliver Brierley, Ciaran Smith (for "Mr. Jones") Nominated

Broadcast and release[edit]

On 24 September 2014, it was announced that Netflix had acquired exclusive US distribution rights from the Weinstein Company and Endemol. The entirety of series 1 became available for streaming on 30 September 2014; series 2 launched in November 2014.[53] Series 3 was made available 31 May 2016.[54] Due to licensing restrictions, however, most of the show's original soundtrack is not available on the Netflix-distributed version of the series.[55] In 2018, it was announced Peaky Blinders would be moved from its original broadcast channel, BBC Two, to BBC One for its fifth and upcoming sixth series.[56]

Cultural impact[edit]

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), Peaky Blinders has had a detectable cultural impact in the UK. In 2018, the name Arthur surged into the top 10 boys names for the first time since the 1920s, and Ada jumped into the girls' top 100 for the first time in a century too. The assumption reached by the ONS is that the popularity of these names was inspired by the characters Arthur Shelby Jr. and Ada Thorne.[57]

Video game[edit]

In August 2020, a video game based on the television series was developed by Curve Digital and released for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and for PC via Steam.[58]


  1. ^ "Peaky Blinders to move to BBC One". 22 August 2018.
  2. ^ Stubbs, David (6 September 2013). "Peaky Blinders, Britain's answer to Boardwalk Empire". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 26 April 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  3. ^ Whooley, Declan. "Is Nidge really joining the IRA?". Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  4. ^ Sweeney, Ken (4 January 2013). "Nidge jumps the fence and joins IRA – but don't worry 'Love/Hate' fans, it's for the BBC". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  5. ^ Melrose, Kevin (17 February 2014). "Tom Hardy Joining Second Season BBC's Gangster Epic 'Peaky Blinders'". HitFix. Archived from the original on 12 October 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  6. ^ a b "BBC Two announces second season of critically acclaimed drama Peaky Blinders". BBC Media Centre. 25 October 2013. Archived from the original on 10 December 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Epsom Derby 1922". Greyhound 13 March 2018. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  8. ^ "BBC Two announces brand new six-part drama series 'Peaky Blinders'". BBC Media Centre. 27 July 2012. Archived from the original on 22 September 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  9. ^ "Peaky Blinders". Screen Yorkshire. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
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