Peaky Blinders

Series 1 - Episode 2

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Review

Peaky Blinders is weaving a spell. Last week’s opener set the scene well enough: the oppressive backstreets of 1919 Birmingham with their crouching terraces, grim pubs and occasional eruptions of flame over the pavement from some furnace or other.

In this episode, the drama gets a flame under it, too. The Shelby clan’s criminal operations are under threat. We get a run of those scenes where dangerous men (and occasionally women) confront each other and jostle for power – the kind of thing we’re used to from American gangster sagas. The dialogue feels weightier. The characters come more into focus, particularly cool, unsmiling Tommy, who is now a man with a plan – though it’s one nobody else in his family has much faith in.

He strikes a blow at Inspector Campbell (the superb Sam Neill) that leaves the latter with a face like he’s chewing on gravel. But Tommy is making other enemies, from Winston Churchill to criminal kingpin Billy Kimber. It’s a lot of knives to juggle.

Summary

Chief Inspector Campbell carries out a violent raid on the gang's territory and demands a meeting with Thomas, who is later sent a bullet with his name on it after picking a fight with a gypsy family at a country fair. Meanwhile, Aunt Polly is shocked to discover Ada is pregnant, and when Thomas discovers his former war comrade Freddie Thorne is the father, he devises a plan to get his old friend out of town. Drama, starring Cillian Murphy.

Cast & Crew

Thomas Shelby Cillian Murphy
Insp Chester Campbell Sam Neill
Aunt Polly Helen McCrory
Arthur Shelby Paul Anderson
Freddie Thorne Iddo Goldberg
Grace Burgess Annabelle Wallis
Ada Shelby Sophie Rundle
John Shelby Joe Cole
Charlie Strong Ned Dennehy
Roberts David Dawson
Winston Churchill Andy Nyman
Billy Kimber Charlie Creed-Miles
Johnny Dogs Packy Lee
Finn Shelby Alfie Evans-Meese
Mrs Donovan Lorraine Horgan
Harry Fenton Neil Bell
Sgt Moss Tony Pitts
Curly Ian Peck
Reporter Jonty Stephens
Director Otto Bathurst
Producer Katie Swinden
Writer Steven Knight
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Drama