Tuesday, September 13, 2016


I've been watching Peaky Blinders.  It's a period crime drama produced in Britain and available on Netflix.  There have been three seasons so far, each with six episodes.  I've watched the first season and like what I've seen.

It's set in Birmingham, England in 1919, one year after WWI ended.  The memory of their service still haunts many of the characters.  The Peaky Blinders are a criminal gang that pretty much runs the city.  The gang itself is run by the Shelby clan, with Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) at the top.  He's got two adult brothers, Arthur and John, one adult sister, Ada, and one kid brother, Finn.  While the men were away at war, the criminal enterprise was run by their Aunt Polly.

As the action starts, they steal a bunch of armaments from a local factory (they thought they were taking something else).  This could mean trouble since the Crown is tremendously interested in getting it back--they fear it's fallen into the hands of communist revolutionaries, or the IRA.  So the authorities send in tough guy Chester Campbell (Sam Neill), who's previously worked in Belfast, to retrieve the material.  His methods are even harsher than the Shelby's.

Here are a few of the plot twists along the way (first season spoilers ahead):

--Freddie Thorne, a communist agitator who saved Tommy's life in France, is secretly seeing Ada.  Tommy isn't happy about this development, and want him out of town, while Campbell hopes to arrest and question him.

--Tommy plays communists, IRA members, police, gypsy gangs and bookies all against each other.  At one time or another, he seems to support or oppose each group, and it's hard to be sure where he stands.

--Grace, a beautiful young woman, comes to work as a barmaid at the Garrison, a pub and hangout of the Peaky Blinders.  But she's actually an undercover agent sent in by Campbell to get close to Tommy and gather information.

Overall, there's a lot going on for six episodes of TV--enough plot for twice as many hours.  And now that I've finished the first season, I'm not sure what new complications they'll introduce. But I do know I'll be watching.

One warning--the accents are pretty heavy.  It should probably be watched with the closed captioning on.


Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Well, boy do I have a spoiler for you.

Pretty heavy TV, wonderfully done.

3:08 AM, September 13, 2016  

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