By Order of the Peaky Blinders

“Peaky Blinders” is a masterful blend of grit, style, and intrigue, captivating audiences with its narrative from the very beginning. Taking viewers back to post-World War I Birmingham, the series unveils the clandestine world of the Shelby crime family, where every move carries the weight of survival amidst a lifestyle fraught with perilous alliances and power plays. Despite their own criminal activities, the Shelby family are fiercely loyal to one another. Family bonds are tested as they navigate their dangerous alliances and subsequent betrayals on paths to redemption.

Against the backdrop of a war-torn Birmingham, “Peaky Blinders” delves into the intricacies of early 20th-century Britain, weaving a story that encompasses the turbulent rise of socialism and communism alongside the enduring scars of conflict.

We see the action and story unfold through the eyes of the Shelby family and by extension their adversaries. A stark divide is shown, now that demonstrates a chasm of different classes and circumstance. The Shelby family are in a world of ambition and adversity but it is also one in which they fight for stature in an elite dominated world. 

With attention to detail and its nuanced portrayal of characters, “Peaky Blinders” gives a clear picture of the societal issues of the era. Viewers are able to see the resilience and ruthlessness required to thrive in a world defined by its shadows and secrets.

The dimly lit streets of Birmingham and opulent mansions seen in the series are just a small part of the impeccable production design and cinematography. Each scene is crafted to immerse those watching in the atmosphere and environment of early 20th century England. The use of shadows and smoke against the boldness of the opulence we see, adds depth and intensity. Locations for the show have been carefully and methodically picked in order to maintain authenticity. 

“Peaky Blinders” has some rich characters who are portrayed by talented actors. Tommy Shelby is the heart of the Shelby family, driving them forward by whichever means possible to make their lives better. He is ably played by Cillian Murphy, an Irish actor who has a screen presence. He is one of those actors able to say a lot with few words. 

Arthur Shelby is Tommy’s older brother and a high-ranking member of the Peaky Blinders. He often acts impulsively, at detriment to his family. The psychological scars of World War 1 feature heavily with both Tommy and Arthur Shelby. Demonstrated through Tommy’s flashbacks and Arthur’s sporadic violence, we see the PTSD manifesting, while their survival guilt influences their actions.

Polly Gray is Tommy and Arthur’s aunt. She is the matriarchal figurehead of the family. She manages the business affairs and serves as a maternal figure to the Shelby brothers and their sister. Ada Shelby is the younger sister of Arthur and Tommy, who becomes involved in the Communist movement. A strong minded individual, she often clashes with her brothers over their criminal activities. 

Alfie Solomons is one of the many people that Tommy Shelby has dealings with in the series. He is a Jewish gangster and occasional ally of the Shelby family. Alfie is shrewd and unpredictable, often complicating Tommy’s plans.

Grace Shelby starts life in the show as a love interest for Tommy. An undercover agent, she is assigned to ‘get close’ to him. Ultimately ‘getting close’ leads to Tommy and Grace falling for each other.  They have a tumultuous relationship but one that has respect.  

Sam Neill steps ably into the role of Inspector Chester Campbell. He is an ambitious police officer tasked with bringing down the Peaky Blinders and is determined to do this whichever way he can. He develops a complex relationship with Tommy, admiring his intelligence while despising his criminal activities.

The writing in “Peaky Blinders” is sharp and intelligent, blending historical events with fictional storytelling to create a narrative that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. Themes of loyalty, betrayal, ambition, and redemption are explored with nuance, providing both entertainment and food for thought.

‘Peaky Blinders” deals with the brutal reality of gang warfare and the consequences of violence, while the Shelby family must reckon with the fallout of their actions, both morally, ethically and  legally. The show also explores how individuals pursue and wield power, often at great personal cost.

“Peaky Blinders” may not be suitable for all audiences due to its graphic violence and mature themes,  but it remains a must-watch for fans of crime dramas and period pieces alike. With its compelling storylines, stellar performances, and stylish presentation, “Peaky Blinders” stands as a shining example of quality television.