Since gracing our screens back in 2013 Peaky Blinders has been one of the many shining lights of British TV.
It’s been often said that we are currently living in the golden age of TV, starting of with modern classics like Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, The Wire and 30 Rock to current shows like Game Of Thrones, Luther and Stranger Things.
The amount of quality TV shows at our disposal, through various media, is endless (at times overwhelmingly so), and Steven Knight’s period-gangster drama set in post World War I Birmingham on the top of that endless pile of quality is a good old fashioned BBC telly show.
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As we enter final stretch of Peaky Blinders latest series it’s hard not to see why it’s held in high reverence, like all critically acclaimed TV shows it has a number of things working in its favour; i.e. a stellar cast, excellent story, brilliant aesthetic. But the one thing all great TV shows have in common is authenticity – Peaky Blinders is no different.
The same way you could sense the desolation and desperation in The Wire or the smell of ragu and and cigars in The Sopranos, Birmingham’s thick smoggy air in Peaky Blinders, produced by its steel factories, is so believable it’s enough to make you cough and cover your mouth from the comfort of your screen.
Peaky Blinders came at the right time, ITV’s period drama Downtown Abbey had finally concluded and viewers were looking to fill a void. Little did they expect to find a show about the cutthroat world of organised crime would fill it.
If Downtown was the dream of an idyllic life in post WWI Britain Peaky was the rude awakening us Brits, and everyone watching overseas, needed. It was antithesis of everything Downtown stood for, a much needed dose of reality.
That’s why after its series debut four years ago it picked up its first prestigious award from the Royal Television Society for Best Drama Series in 2014. It was unlike anything we had ever seen on TV before.
Knight’s creation has garnered praise over in the United States, the success has been so unparalleled many of Hollywood’s well known faces are keen to join lead star Cillian Murphy in one of the most compelling period dramas ever.
Along with Murphy, Tom Hardy, Sam Neil and the rest of the cast were joined this series by acclaimed actor Adrien Brody, giving the show a sense of ‘big time’ legitimisation overseas. Even Samuel L. Jackson, the coolest actor ever, has expressed interest in joining the critically acclaimed show.
Award-winning shows tend not to wear out their welcome. It’s difficult to say but if the end is soon in sight for Tony Shelby and his family at least we can say we’ve enjoyed the ride, for now let’s just enjoy what we have.
After all, all good things must come to an end.