At first glance, Peaky Blinders and Downton Abbey could hardly be more different. But think about it: both stories are set in exactly the same era, and both the Shelbys and the Crawleys have seen their fair share of grisly deaths and illegitimate kids and fancy outfits and family scheming.
So, what if Birmingham and Yorkshire were to collide? What about a Downton/Peaky crossover?
“That would be amazing,” Michelle Dockery told RadioTimes.com. The actress is back as Lady Mary in the upcoming Downton Abbey movie – and she already sees the parallels.
“Do you know, there is a scene in the film with Rob… and I thought, oh my God, it’s like looking at a scene from Peaky Blinders, because he has got that whole look going on,” she said.
And we won’t spoil exactly what happens in that scene, but we can tell you that it involves Robert James-Collier as Thomas Barrow – and Dockery’s observation is entirely spot-on.
The Downton Abbey movie is set in 1927, and features a royal visit to the Crawley’s ancestral home by the King and Queen themselves. The Abbey is soon thrown into turmoil as the family and their servants prepare to welcome their honoured guests.
By contrast, Peaky Blinders is a lot more gritty. A Shelby family party usually ends with far worse injuries than a burn from Downton’s Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith); and there is usually a lot more blood than Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) once projective vomited across the dinner table.
“I don’t think Downton would stand up very well against the Peaky Blinders, would they?” Tom Branson actor Allen Leech joked: “It would be a bit of a massacre.”
And Dockery is already picturing Aunt Pol taking on the Crawleys: “Mary’s tough, but I mean, put her in a fight with Helen McCrory, I’m not sure she’d win…”
Downton Abbey will be released on Friday 13th September. Peaky Blinders continues on Sundays at 9pm on BBC1