Don’t Mess with the Peaky Blinders

The Netflix and BBC Two original series bloodies television charts

Maria Hudson

Adrien Brody as the malicious mafia leader Luca Changretta

Very few shows blow the minds of fans quite like Peaky Blinders, the hit British television drama set in Birmingham, England post World War One. The first three seasons follow Thomas Shelby and his family as they face obstacles such as neighboring gangs and the Russians.

In the fourth and latest season, the Shelby family is divided, with every member of the family living their own life away from the usual drugs and violence the Shelby company is involved with. When slips of paper start showing up in the mail sporting black hand prints, Thomas realizes the gang has officially fallen into the deep end.

They had angered the New York mafia.

From start to finish, this six episode season keeps your heart racing. The quality of the cast’s acting was at its peak, the stunt choreography was raw and brutally realistic and the plot had an underlying tone that kept hearts pounding until the end.

This season also explores religious faith and spirituality. Thomas’s brother Arthur is married to a traditional Christian woman with whom he has one daughter. She is constantly challenging Arthur to wrestle with his loyalty to the gang and to her and their religious beliefs. It is intriguing to watch their marriage dynamic as both are so different from each other.

Furthermore, Thomas and Arthur’s aunt,  Polly, discovers her “third eye” which allows her to see spirits and also future events. She can make predictions, but for the time period her psychedelic abilities convey her as deranged to the rest of the family. They still rely on her to gather information and work for the Shelby company, but even she struggles with her loyalty to the group as a whole and to her son, who finds himself in deep water with Luca Changretta, the mafia’s ring leader.

Cillian Murphy describes returning to his character Thomas Shelby for this recent season as no small endeavor.  

“I’ve got to get in shape and condition a little bit, so there’s that,” he admitted to Independent UK, “plus getting the accent going and the physicality going. I do spend a long time limbering up. You can’t just step into it because it’s neither me nor a character; that’s a slight adjustment on me, it’s a long journey to get there.”

Apart from Murphy, the rest of the cast and crew prepare tirelessly for weeks in advance leading up to shooting. The result is a cinematic masterpiece.

On the whole, this season was  the most emotionally jarring, brutal, humanly relateable yet in the Peaky Blinders saga. It’s no wonder the show holds an 8.8/10 rating on IMDb and a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. The Shelbys are a family of fighters and a family of chart toppers.