Taboo

Series 1 - Episode 2

Watchlist
ADVERTISEMENT

Review

The Regency London we drift through in Taboo is seductively strange. At one extreme, it’s a place of grim alleys and dockside brothels, all gloom and muck; at the other, we see the gorgeous candlelit library where our protagonist James Delaney (Tom Hardy) meets his beloved – maybe a little too beloved – sister.

That’s one storyline bubbling away and others simmer nicely. As the Prince Regent, Mark Gatiss (unrecognisable under layers of padding) delivers a tart cameo, upstaging a stuffed zebra in his chambers.

He is one of several new characters, including Stephen Graham as an underworld fixer called Atticus – the first person we’ve seen hold his own against the menacing aura that Delaney wears like strong aftershave.

The latter continues his shady manoeuvres against the all-powerful East India Company but the plot doesn’t stride onwards. Rather, it thickens and coagulates and teases us via some terrific scenes – at a ship auction, a chamber concert, a gathering of creditors. Wherever all this is taking us, it’s impossible to look away.

Summary

James Delaney's shocking return to London society has set tongues wagging, but the swarthy adventurer's mission is far from complete. The city's residents view him with hostility and suspicion, but undeterred by their derision, James begins to enlist allies in his quest to reclaim his legacy and establish a new life for himself. However, an unexpected arrival at the reading of his father's will threatens to disrupt James's plans, and the true, poisonous nature of his new-found inheritance makes itself known. Historical drama, starring Tom Hardy.

Cast & Crew

James Keziah Delaney Tom Hardy
Wilton Leo Bill
Lorna Bow Jessie Buckley
Zilpha Geary Oona Chaplin
Pettifer Richard Dixon
Prince Regent Mark Gatiss
Thorne Geary Jefferson Hall
Brace David Hayman
Godfrey Edward Hogg
Dumbarton Michael Kelly
Helga Franka Potente
Sir Stuart Strange Jonathan Pryce
Solomon Coop Jason Watkins
Robert Thoyt Nicholas Woodeson
Auctioneer Philip Philmar
Palace servant Daniel Tuite
Winter Ruby-May Martinwood
Old man Dudley Rogers
Ship's captain David Houston
Nurse Sophie Ablett
Hall Alex Ferns
Gent Robert Morgan
French Bill Scroobius Pip
The Malay Donovan Louie
Strange's clerk James Greaves
The compere Gareth Snook
Concert musicians The Hanover Band
Director Kristoffer Nyholm
Executive Producer Ridley Scott
Executive Producer Tom Hardy
Executive Producer Steven Knight
Executive Producer Dean Baker
Executive Producer Kate Crowe
Producer Timothy Bricknell
Writer Steven Knight
see more
Drama