Peaky Blinders (TV series)

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Peaky Blinders
Series titles over a black background
Genre Historical fiction
Created by Steven Knight
Written by Steven Knight
Directed by
  • Otto Bathurst (series 1)
  • Tom Harper (series 1)
  • Colm McCarthy (series 2)
  • Tim Mielants (series 3)
Opening theme "Red Right Hand" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Composer(s) Mearl
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 18
Executive producer(s)
  • Caryn Mandabach
  • Greg Brenman
  • Steven Knight
  • Jamie Glazebrook
  • Frith Tiplady
Producer(s) Katie Swinden
Location(s) Birmingham, England
Cinematography George Steel
Running time 55–59 minutes
Production company(s)

Endemol UK (UK)

The Weinstein Company (US)
Original network BBC Two
Picture format 16:9 1080i
Audio format Stereo
Original release 12 September 2013 (2013-09-12) – present
External links
Peaky Blinders at BBC Programmes

Peaky Blinders is a British television crime drama based upon the exploits of the Peaky Blinders gang, operating in Birmingham, England, during the aftermath of the First World War. The series was created by Steven Knight and produced by Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Productions. The series centres around and stars Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby, the gang's leader, and Sam Neill as a commissioned detective tasked with the suppression of the gang.[1]

The first series aired on BBC Two on 13 September 2013 and ran for six episodes. The second series premiered on 2 October 2014. The third series premiered on 5 May 2016.[2]

On 26 May 2016, the BBC announced that they had ordered a fourth and fifth series of the show.[3] Series 4 will probably be released late 2017.[4]


Peaky Blinders is a gangster family epic set in Birmingham, England in 1919, just after the First World War. The story centres on the Romani/Irish Peaky Blinders gang and their ambitious and highly cunning boss Tommy Shelby (played by Cillian Murphy). The gang comes to the attention of Chief Inspector Major Chester Campbell (played by Sam Neill), a detective 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 (IRA), communists, gangs and common criminals.[5][6] 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.[7][8][9]

The second series is set two years after the first and sees the Shelby family expand their criminal organization in the "South and North [of London] while maintaining a stronghold in their Birmingham heartland."[10] It begins in 1921 and ends with a climax at Epsom racecourse on Derby Day in June 1922.

Series three is set two years after Series two, in 1924. It follows Tommy and his family as they enter an even more dangerous world as they once again expand, this time, internationally. Internet-based film and TV news company Screen Rant said

The season revolves around the notion of social classes and empires, and how they rise and fall with a startling sort of predictability. As the show suggests, over time, empires become too big, too corrupt, and too complicated to sustain themselves and eventually, they collapse. …[T]he series expresses its fears of expansion by teaching Tommy a powerful lesson about the other sharks skulking around in criminal waters – especially when those criminals are the ones involved in governmental plots with massive geopolitical implications. Essentially, Peaky Blinders embarked on a fish out of water story by moving outside its own comfort zone and taking the risk of expanding too much and too quickly. There are times when that risk appears to have paid off[.][11]

Series three also added such talents as: Paddy Considine as Father John Hughes; Alexander Siddig as Ruben Oliver, a painter whom Polly enlists to paint her portrait; Gaite Jansen as Russian Grand Duchess Tatiana Petrovna; and Kate Phillips as Linda Shelby, wife of Arthur.



  • Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby (Series 1–): The overall leader of the Peaky Blinders, and brother of Arthur, John, Ada, and Finn Shelby. Tommy served in World War I with the rank of Sergeant Major and was decorated for bravery. His experiences in World War I left him disillusioned and beset with ongoing nightmares.
  • Sam Neill as C.I. (later Major) Chester Campbell (Series 1–2): An Ulster Protestant Irish Major drafted from Belfast to locate and recover a missing consignment of Lewis guns accidentally stolen by the Peaky Blinders. Campbell was illustrious for his work in ridding Belfast of its gang elements. Campbell also had developed a vendetta against the Peaky Blinders, in particular, Tommy Shelby, and vowed to destroy Tommy and the Peaky Blinders.
  • Helen McCrory as Polly (Elizabeth[12]) Gray, née Shelby (Series 1–): The aunt of Tommy and his siblings, and treasurer of the Peaky Blinders. She led the organisation when Tommy, Arthur, and John were fighting in World War I. Polly's two children, Anna and Michael, were taken away from her as infants. In series 2, Polly reunites with her son but learns her daughter had died.
  • Paul Anderson as Arthur Shelby, Jr. (Series 1–): The oldest Shelby sibling and the bulldog of the family. Arthur owns The Garrison. He also suffers from severe shell-shock or PTSD from his experiences in the war, and suffers from violent outbursts, constant mood swings, and attempts at suicide. Arthur is one of the leaders of the Peaky Blinders.
  • Annabelle Wallis as Grace Shelby née Burgess (Series 1–3): A former undercover agent and Ulster Protestant Irish woman working with Chester Campbell. She was undercover as a barmaid at The Garrison.
  • Sophie Rundle as Ada Thorne, née Shelby (Series 1–): The Shelby brothers' only sister. Ada is the only sibling not involved with the Peaky Blinders. She had a son with Freddie Thorne, whom she named Karl (named after Karl Marx).
  • Joe Cole as John Shelby (Series 1–): The third youngest Shelby. He's a World War I veteran and is one of the Peaky Blinders' leaders.
  • Tom Hardy as Alfie Solomons (Series 2–): The leader of a Jewish gang, in Camden Town. He is violent and unpredictable, but intelligent. Solomons runs a distillery disguised as a bakery.
  • Iddo Goldberg as Freddie Thorne (Series 1): A known communist. Freddie fought in the Great War as a sergeant, alongside Tommy. He saved Tommy's life. Currently a semi-rival of Tommy and the Peaky Blinders. In a romantic relationship with Ada Shelby.
  • Noah Taylor as Derby Sabini, a member of an Italian gang. (Series 2)
  • Charlotte Riley as May Carleton, a wealthy widow who owns racehorses. (Series 2)
  • Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Esme Shelby, née Lee (Series 1–): John Shelby's wife. Esme married John as part of a deal between the Peaky Blinders and the Lees (a Gypsy family) to form a partnership.
  • Finn Cole as Michael Gray (Series 2–): Polly's biological son.
  • Natasha O'Keeffe as Lizzie Starke (Series 1–): A former prostitute who works for Tommy as his secretary.
  • Ned Dennehy as Charlie Strong (Series 1–): Owner of a boatyard and an uncle figure to Tommy.
  • Tony Pitts as Sergeant/Inspector Moss (Series 1–): Policeman on Peaky Blinders pay roll.
  • Ian Peck as Curly (Series 1–): Assistant to Charlie Strong.
  • Charlie Creed-Miles as Billy Kimber (Series 1)
  • Paddy Considine as Father John Hughes (Series 3): A Father working with Section D (The Economic League) in the British government.
  • Alexander Siddig as Ruben Oliver (Series 3): A portrait artist.
  • Aidan Gillen as William Wilson (Series 4): An American agent tasked with infiltrating Alfie Solomon's gang to rescue the doctor.
  • Adrien Brody as TBA (Series 4): TBA
  • Charlie Murphy as TBA (Series 4): TBA



Candidates for roles as teenage male extras queueing in Birmingham

Peaky Blinders was created by Steven Knight, directed by Otto Bathurst, and produced by Katie Swinden. The writers are listed as Steven Knight, David Leland, Stephen Russell and Toby Finlay.[13]

The series was filmed in Birmingham, Bradford, Dudley, Leeds, Liverpool and Port Sunlight.[14] Railway sequences were filmed between Keighley and Damems, using carriages from the Ingrow Museum of Rail Travel (owned by Vintage Carriages Trust[15]) and carriages owned by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Trust.[16]. Many of the scenes for the show were shot at the Black Country Living Museum.[17]

Sam Neill enlisted the help of Northern Irish actors James Nesbitt and Liam Neeson to help him perfect a 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.[18]

Controversially the production did not hire linguists to assist in the show, leading to the gypsies frequently speaking broken Romanian (as opposed to Romani) until season three.

Second series[edit]

A second series was commissioned shortly after the broadcast of the first and aired in the autumn of 2014.[19] 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.[20][21]

Third series[edit]

Shortly after the final episode of the second series, the show announced via its official Twitter account that it had been renewed for a third series.[22] On 5 October 2015, the official Peaky Blinders Twitter account announced that filming had begun for Series 3.[23] Filming wrapped on 22 January 2016, after 78 days of shooting.[24][25]

Future of Peaky Blinders[edit]

During the initial broadcast of series three, BBC Two renewed the Peaky Blinders for Series 4 and 5. Both 4 and 5 will follow suit for 6 episodes each.[26] Creator and writer Steven Knight will return to write every episode of Series 4 and 5. Cillian Murphy has also confirmed his return for both series. The rest of the main cast are expected to return. Filming for series 4 started in March 2017, and is rumoured for a possible late-2017 release. It was announced that Charlotte Riley is returning as May Carleton, and Adrien Brody and Aiden Gillen have been cast as new characters.

US distribution[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 season 1 became available for streaming on 30 September 2014; season 2 launched in November 2014.[27] Season 3 was made available 31 May 2016.[28] Due to licensing restrictions, however, most of the show's original soundtrack is not available on the Netflix-distributed version of the series.[29]


Series overview[edit]

Series Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 6 September 12, 2013 (2013-09-12) October 17, 2013 (2013-10-17)
2 6 October 2, 2014 (2014-10-02) November 6, 2014 (2014-11-06)
3 6 May 5, 2016 (2016-05-05) June 9, 2016 (2016-06-09)

Series 1[edit]

# Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
1 "Episode 1" Otto Bathurst Steven Knight 12 September 2013 (2013-09-12) 3.05
Following the Great War in 1919, the Peaky Blinders, led by Thomas Shelby, appropriates a consignment of guns which have been stolen from the local arms factory. Inspector Campbell has been brought from Belfast to Birmingham by Winston Churchill to find and retrieve the guns. Aunt Polly urges Thomas to return the guns to avoid trouble, but Thomas feels that he can use the guns to his advantage. In addition, Thomas is having trouble getting his brother Arthur to agree with him about fixing horse races. Arthur believes that it will cause trouble with kingpin Billy Kimber, who runs the races. Arthur and Thomas's sister Ada is involved with Freddy Thorne, a communist and Thomas' former best friend. Barmaid Grace starts working at the bar. Unbeknownst to the Peaky Blinders, she has been placed in Birmingham by Inspector Campbell to help find the guns.
2 "Episode 2" Otto Bathurst Steven Knight 19 September 2013 (2013-09-19) 2.45
Thomas, Arthur and John meet up with the Lees, a family of travelers to look at a horse. The Lees insult the Peaky Blinders and a fight breaks out. Afterwards, the Lees send Thomas a bullet with his name on it. Thomas tries to make an alliance with Billy Kimber so he can legalise the Shelby gambling ring. Thomas meets with Inspector Campbell, and tells him, if the Peaky Blinders are left alone, then Thomas will return the guns and Campbell will be a hero, but if the Inspector interferes with his plans, Thomas will send the guns to the IRA. Freddy has left town, but Aunt Polly and Ada realise Ada is pregnant with Freddy Thorne's baby.
3 "Episode 3" Otto Bathurst Steven Knight 26 September 2013 (2013-09-26) 2.20
Ada and Freddy marry, and Aunt Polly gives them money to leave the country. Despite Thomas' best efforts to keep the guns a secret, it seems that people keep finding out about them, including two IRA members. Grace overhears them trying to blackmail Thomas and follows one of them, but he attacks her. Grace manages to fight her attacker off by shooting him in self defense. Thomas warns Kimber that Lee's people will once again rob Kimber's bookies at the races. Thomas brings Grace as his date to Cheltenham races in an attempt to distract Kimber as well as convince him that he should hire the Blinders as his security. Kimber agrees if he can have some time alone with Grace, Thomas agrees. At the last minute, Thomas has a change of heart and claims that Grace is actually a prostitute with 'the clap' (syphilis). Freddy decides Thomas is not going to scare him off and returns.
4 "Episode 4" Tom Harper Steven Knight, Stephen Russell 3 October 2013 (2013-10-03) 2.31
Thomas has made the business legitimate by obtaining a betting licence. Although he doesn't quite trust her, and is suspicious of her, Thomas hires Grace as his secretary. John calls the family together to tell them he has decided his four children need a mother, and he has decided he wants to marry Lizzie, a local prostitute. Thomas disapproves because he doesn't think Lizzie has given up her former profession. The Lees rob the Shelbys' house while the family is out. Thomas decides to call a truce with the Lee family so that he can have an ally against Billy Kimber and marries John to Lees' daughter Esme to consummate the agreement. Ada comes to the wedding, but goes into labour soon after. Freddy tries to come to see the new baby, but gets arrested when he shows up.
5 "Episode 5" Tom Harper Steven Knight, Toby Finlay 10 October 2013 (2013-10-10) 2.03
Believing Thomas betrayed Freddy, Ada does not want to see or speak to her family. Although Arthur Sr. (Tommy Flanagan) deserted the family a decade ago, he comes back into town. Thomas wants nothing to do with him, but Arthur Jr. believes he has changed and wants to do anything to help him, including opening up hotels in America. However, Arthur Sr. takes off with the money Arthur Jr. gave him. When Arthur Jr. finally tracks his father down, Arthur Sr. admits he never had any plans and felt that the Shelby family owed him. An IRA member starts inquiring about the man Grace killed. Grace and Thomas kill the other IRA members. Now in love with Thomas, Grace tells Inspector Campbell, if she gives him the location of the guns, he has to leave Thomas and his family alone. She suspects the guns are buried in a false grave after discovering that Danny Whizz-Bang is not really dead, but in London on business for the Shelby family. Grace gives up the location to Inspector Campbell, and resigns service to the crown. As she has resigned, and the guns found, with the exception of one, Inspector Campbell proposes marriage, which Grace rejects.
6 "Episode 6" Tom Harper Steven Knight 17 October 2013 (2013-10-17) 2.24
The Peaky Blinders, led by Danny Whizz-Bang spring Freddy from gaol/jail, Winston Churchill believes Grace should receive some commendation for her part in finding the missing guns. Inspector Campbell finds out Grace has been with Thomas. Polly meets with Grace, and tells her she knows her secret. Polly says that while Thomas may forgive Grace, Polly never will. Thomas has gathered the Peaky Blinders and the Lees to take on Kimber's men at the tracks, but Kimber has caught wind of it, and while the Peaky Blinders and the Lees are on their way to the races, catches the Shelbys off guard and outnumbered by confronting them at home. Freddy brings out the missing gun, but Ada jumps in the middle of the shoot out trying to bring peace. Kimber fires off at the Peaky Blinders, injuring Tommy and killing Danny Whizz-Bang. Tommy in turn shoots Kimber dead. Tommy meets Grace and she tells him she loves him and will go to London for a few days; she has an idea how they can be together. In the last sequence, Tommy flips a coin to decide if he will go with Grace to New York or stay in England. As this happens, Campbell confronts Grace at the train station and points his pistol at her. As the scene fades, there is a gunshot.

Series 2[edit]

# Title Directed by Screenplay and Story Written by Original air date UK viewers
1 (7) "Episode 1" Colm McCarthy Steven Knight 2 October 2014 (2014-10-02) 2.31
Peaky Blinders picks up two years later, in 1921. A brief recap of the end of the 1st Series shows us that Grace is actually the one who shoots Campbell. She then leaves as Campbell lies in his own blood. The Garrison has been blown up while the family is attending Freddy Thorne's funeral. Tommy tries to get Ada to come back home as he is planning an expansion to London. Tommy goes to the Black Lion to confront those who he thinks blew up the Garrison. Instead he's taken to meet with some rivals and given a proposition requiring him to murder someone. Tommy is informed that Campbell, now a major, is returning to Birmingham. The Shelby family has a meeting regarding the expansion of the bookies business but John's wife Esme has reservations regarding the dangerous turf wars in London. Tommy, Arthur and John decide to get familiar with the London scene, but are not welcome at Darby Sabini's club. Polly visits a medium for information on her children that were taken from her. Esme finds out, but Polly swears her to secrecy. Tommy hires Lizzie as his secretary. In retaliation for what happened at Mr. Sabini's club, he has his thugs kidnap and attempt to rape Ada, as well as beat Tommy. Major Campbell steps in before Darby Sabini's men can finish off Tommy.
2 (8) "Episode 2" Colm McCarthy Steven Knight 9 October 2014 (2014-10-09) 2.18
Major Campbell visits Tommy in the hospital and discloses to him that he knows about the murder Tommy committed on behalf of the Irish. Tommy leaves the hospital against orders, and asks his Uncle Charlie take him via boat down to London. Tommy meets with Alfie Solomons, a difficult man who runs a Jewish gang in Camden Town. Tommy has a hard time convincing Alfie that he should go into business with the Peaky Blinders. Tommy tracks down Ada, and buys her a house as a means of laundering money. He also buys Polly a house. Esme has told Tommy about Polly trying to track down her children. Tommy tells Polly her daughter is dead, but he has managed to track down her son. Unfortunately, due to the law, Polly is unable to track down her son until he is 18 years of age. Arthur's flashbacks from the war are getting worse, and during one, he kills a boy during a boxing match. After the reopening of the Garrison, Polly's son, Michael shows up on her doorstep.
3 (9) "Episode 3" Colm McCarthy Steven Knight 16 October 2014 (2014-10-16) 2.20
The Shelby brothers hire the Digbeth Kid, a neighborhood boy who loves cowboy movies, to get stood up for gambling to help the local cops meet their arrest quota. While in gaol/jail, Sabini's thugs murder the Digbeth Kid to get back at the Peaky Blinders for their intrusion on his turf. Polly and Michael try to get to know each other. Tommy and John meet with Billy, of the Black Country Boys, who fought with them in the war. Tommy tells Billy to round up his men for them to go to work in Camden Town for Alfie Solomons. Michael requests that Tommy gives him a job. Arthur is threatened by the mother of the boy he killed. Tommy tells Major Campbell that the officers played a joke on him and have boarded him in a house that is owned by a not-so-former Madam. The Shelby boys and Michael go to the auction to purchase a horse, and meet horse trainer May Carleton.
4 (10) "Episode 4" Colm McCarthy Steven Knight 23 October 2014 (2014-10-23) 2.06
Tommy meets with his Irish handlers, only to find out they are backed by Major Campbell and the Crown. They order another hit, but Tommy turns them down. Arthur and boys attack one of Sabini's clubs. Tommy hires May Carleton to train his horse. Tommy wants to export the whisky to America and Canada who are currently under prohibition. Arthur's cocaine habit is starting to get out of control. Tommy tells him to straighten up or he's going to replace him with John. Tommy goes to visit Ada and finds out she has a lodger named James. James is an artist, but Ada explains to Tommy, James is not interested in women. Tommy tells Ada he has set up a trust fund for John's children and her son, Karl. Alfie Solomons and Darby Sabini meet and patch up their differences. Michael and his new friend Isaiah, Jeremiah Jesus' son, try to drink in a bar, but get into a fight because they don't want a black man drinking at the bar. Michael and Isaiah return to the Garrison, but when John and Arthur find out that the Shelby name was disrespected, they round up Jeremiah and burn the bar.
5 (11) "Episode 5" Colm McCarthy Steven Knight 30 October 2014 (2014-10-30) 2.10
A bloody sacrificial goat of an episode, as Jewish gangster Alfie Solomons hosts a Passover seder and invites jovially unaware Arthur and some of his men; who are soon equally slaughtered and has Arthur sent to prison. Major Campbell further unfurls his vast tentacles of power, and has Michael arrested too for good measure. Meanwhile Sabini and the now gruesomely scarred Mario take back control of the Eden Club. Tommy finds his fledgling empire crumbling before him, as his power-base in London is obliterated. Tommy struggles to save his family and regain the upper hand, as the tentative Black Country/Brum alliance is in tatters after the untimely death of Billy Kitchen. Tommy further complicates his love life, by escorting the returning Grace to a passionate date, though still stringing May along, who had earlier expressed her feelings for him. Having slept with Tommy, Grace admits being in London with her husband procuring fertility specialists. The villainous Campbell extracts a devastating sacrifice from Polly in exchange for her son's freedom. One which Michael is unlikely to understand or appreciate once discovered. Tommy attempts to end his romantic relationship with May, though still wants her to continue training his horse.
6 (12) "Episode 6" Colm McCarthy Steven Knight 6 November 2014 (2014-11-06) 2.24
Tommy decides to settle all his affairs in case he meets an untimely death. He also meets with Alfie Solomons regarding business contracts. Alfie gets Arthur out of prison. Derby Day has arrived. Polly tries to pay off Michael to get him to leave. Tommy collects the Peaky Blinders and gives them their mission at the races. Without firing a shot, they are to collect and burn the licences of Derby Sabini's bookies and steal the bets. Tommy runs into Grace who informs him she's pregnant. Tommy tells her after the race, they will talk. Tommy completes his mission for Major Campbell, but at Lizzie's expense. Major Campbell's men from Northern Ireland, members of the Ulster Volunteer Force, kidnap Tommy and take him to an empty field while Aunt Polly meets with Major Campbell and shoots him. Michael decides he wants in on the family business.

Series 3[edit]

# Title Directed by Screenplay and Story Written by Original air date UK viewers
1 (13) "Episode 1" Tim Mielants Steven Knight 5 May 2016 (2016-05-05) 2.95
The series picks up two years later, in 1924, with Thomas Shelby’s wedding to Grace Burgess. The Shelby family and their kin have been invited, as well as Grace’s family. Composed of cavalrymen, Irish members of the British Army, Grace's family dismays the Shelby family, due to the cavalry's late arrival on the battlefield during the war. The Peaky Blinders have a meeting in the kitchen, where Thomas, in a state of stress, orders the men to be on their best behaviour. Meanwhile, a refugee from Russia, named Anton Kaledin, makes contact with the Peaky Blinders, offering the code "Constantine" as confirmation for the money-exchange meeting with the young Duchess Tatiana Petrovna (Gaite Jansen). Thomas informs her that Kaledin provided the wrong code name, meaning the man must be killed. Arthur confides in Thomas, not wanting to do the job they must carry out, but Thomas tells him they have no choice, or else Tommy will hang. In the end, Arthur kills the impostor.
2 (14) "Episode 2" Tim Mielants Steven Knight 12 May 2016 (2016-05-12) 2.43
Thomas goes to the Lanchester Factory to inspect armoured vehicles, which are part of a business deal between him and Father John Hughes. After their meeting, Thomas visits the Ritz Hotel to meet with Mr. Romanov, who pays him, with a sapphire, for murdering Kaledin. Arthur and John Shelby meet with Vicente Changretta, who demands an explanation for the burning down of his son’s restaurant. John ignores his questions, threatens him, and after Vincent publicly vows to murder him, John beats and cuts Angel Changretta. During a family meeting with the Shelbys, Thomas sides with John, to the surprise of Arthur and Polly. At the Shelby Parlour, Thomas is taken into a prison cell by London coppers and is greeted by Father Hughes. Hughes tells Thomas he will kill Charlie if Tommy visits his sister Ada again, due to her communist connections and that he has easy access to his family. Thomas heads home and finds a card under his son's pillow, which reads: "Charles Shelby - R.I.P.". During a conversation with Grace about the Shelby Charity Foundation dinner, Thomas gives her the sapphire, which she wears at the event. Father Hughes and Patrick Jarvis meet with Thomas, informing him that the Russians want to inspect the vehicles. Later, Tatiana tells Thomas the sapphire Grace is wearing was cursed by a gypsy. Thomas attempts to get Grace to take off the necklace, telling her he cannot have anything bad happen to her. A man enters and shouts "For Angel!", shooting Grace in the upper chest. The Peaky Blinders brutally beat the man and the event turns to chaos as Thomas shouts for an ambulance.
3 (15) "Episode 3" Tim Mielants Steven Knight 19 May 2016 (2016-05-19) 2.20
Following Grace's funeral, Thomas calls a meeting with Aunt Polly and Michael, and gives them a list of things to do for their "legitimate" business. Afterwards, Arthur and John are ushered in. Thomas tells them to retrieve Vicente Changretta alive and shoot Changretta's wife, but the two are reluctant to murder her. During a family meeting, the Shelbys realise that Thomas has gone, having left a note behind that he’ll be back in a few days. Elsewhere, Thomas is heading to Wales with the sapphire necklace. There, he confers with a gypsy, whom he asks whether the sapphire is cursed. Leaving the necklace with the woman, he’s able to return home with some sense of normalcy. In the meantime, Arthur and John have procured Changretta, who Thomas threatens to torture, but Arthur shoots in the head as an act of mercy. Back at the mansion, following her help in finding the Soviet informant in the Economic League, Thomas invites Ada to head the family's future office in America. Armed with the name of the informant, Thomas interrupts a meal hosted by the Grand Duchess Izabella Petrovna and secretly alerts her of the information he has acquired. Princess Tatiana sees Thomas to his car, and he tells her that Hughes is the one betraying them to the Soviets and offers to kill him, free of charge.
4 (16) "Episode 4" Tim Mielants Steven Knight 26 May 2016 (2016-05-26) 2.19
Easter 1924. Tommy is seriously injured in a failed attempt to murder the priest, Father John Hughes. He discovers the actual intent of the robbery and realizes his family will lose.
5 (17) "Episode 5" Tim Mielants Steven Knight 2 June 2016 (2016-06-02) 2.24
Three months later, Tommy has recovered and the planned massive heist involving the Russians is drawing near. Michael reveals that he too, wishes to kill the priest, Father Hughes. Tommy enlists the Peaky Blinders' old antagonist Alfie Solomons in a plot to rob the Russians.
6 (18) "Episode 6" Tim Mielants Steven Knight 9 June 2016 (2016-06-09) 2.27
Thomas's son, Charlie, is kidnapped. Father Hughes reveals to Thomas that he knows about his subterfuge, including the tunnel into the Russian vault and sabotaging the train bombing plot. He demands the jewels as payment and for Thomas himself blow up the train - which must kill six people, in exchange for the safe return of his son. Thomas agrees unconditionally. After some investigation he discovers that Alfie Solomons divulged the plans to Father Hughes. During a confrontation Michael kills Alfie's associate, but Thomas cannot bring himself to kill Alfie. Thomas figures out where Charlie is being held and sends Michael to retrieve him and kill Father Hughes. At the same time Arthur and John set off to carry out the train bombing in case Michael can't rescue Charlie in time. Even though Michael is successful, word doesn't reach the Shelbys in time, and the train is blown up. Meanwhile, Thomas frantically completes the tunnel and blasts into the Russian's vault, stealing several jewels and a valuable Fabergé egg. With his son safe, he meets with Grand Duchess Tatiana, who has been in on the jewel heist the whole time, and plans on taking her share to Vienna. Thomas returns home to distribute the remaining loot to his accomplices, but at the end of the meeting announces the police are at the residence to arrest everyone. The Peaky Blinders and Shelby family are taken away in handcuffs.


The reception for Peaky Blinders was largely positive, with notable praise for its writing, acting, visual style, and stylish cinematography. David Renshaw of The Guardian summarised the series to be 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."[31] 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."[32] Alex Fletcher from Digital Spy believes that "Peaky Blinders has started as sharp as a dart,"[33] while Den of Geek called the series "the most intelligent, stylish and engrossing BBC drama in ages."[34] Cult TV Times critic Hugh David said that 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."[35]

The show has been particularly celebrated for its stylish cinematography and charismatic performances, as well as for casting an eye over a part of Britain and British history rarely explored on television.[36] 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.[37] 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.[38]

Several critics have also favourably compared the show to US drama Boardwalk Empire,[39][40] 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."[41] On 2 March 2016, Steven 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 will be featured, and Leonard Cohen has also written a new song for series 3.[42][43][44]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Series 1[edit]

Award Category Nominee(s) Result
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

Series 2[edit]

Award Category Nominee(s) Result
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

Series 3[edit]

Award Category Nominee(s) Result
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


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External links[edit]