Before series three of Peaky Blinders aired last week I did not have clue about it whatsoever. I did not know it’s genre, who was in it or where it was set. I just knew it was a critically acclaimed drama that I have seen a few of my friends rave about on social media. I therefore intended on missing series three of Peaky Blinders because I had not seen any of the first two series. This really frustrated me but my thinking was that, surely I had left it too late now to get into it……….hadn’t I?
I turned Twitter on last Thursday morning(the day the first episode of series three was due to air) and I read a message from a friend telling me how I should watch Peaky Blinders that following evening. Given what I have just told you about me knowing absolutely nothing about this programme, I was therefore initially rather dismissive at this suggestion. My mind was made up that I was not going to watch it, simple. Nevertheless, this friend persisted and encouraged me that I should still try and watch it. They told me to view it from now on and see if I could make sense of it. Not sure how it happened but my very stubborn nature relented for a brief moment with me finally telling them that “yes, OK then, I will try giving it a go”.
By the time my first ever experience of Peaky Blinders was over I concluded that I thought it had been an enjoyable watch, yet the same time not an exceptional one. It had taken me until about halfway through before I got really got into it and was able to work out what was going on. I watched this first episode of series three again a few days later and realised that my initial judgement of it was not how I truly felt about it after all. It all made so much more sense to me second time around. I loved it and would without a shadow of a doubt now describe it as an excellent piece of work. The action at times was pulsating, menacing and it also had this emotional haunting quality to it that gave it substance over froth. All this accompanied with marvelous background music, it gave Peaky Blinders an impressive cinematic feel.
Being a lover of history I loved the fact that the action was set in 1920s(1922 to be exact). I also had no idea that the Peaky Blinders gang was an actual real gang back in the day. Whilst viewing it for the first time I had just assumed that this gang was a complete work of fiction. It is a very British show with the significant depiction of the class war that pervaded all strands British society back then . When thinking how best to describe this show I came up with, ‘a darker Downton Abbey with violence and guns’. This might be doing Peaky Blinders a grave disservice though because I already much prefer it to Downton, even after just seeing one episode.
I had heard of the actor Cillian Murphy before but never actually seen him in anything. Casting him in the lead role of Tommy Shelby was an absolute masterstroke. His performance had a menacing edge to it coupled with a likable charm. Other performances worthy of high praise in this episode were those of actress Helen McCrory(who plays feisty Aunt Polly) and actor Paul Anderson(who plays Arthur Shelby Jnr, Tommy’s older troubled brother). I thought Paul delivered an acting masterclass as Arthur with his troubled tortured soul, as he carried out the execution of the Russian guy who they believed was a fake.
I am so pleased that I allowed myself be persuaded last week to watch this programme after all. The BBC so far this year has put out some amazing drama and already this looks like being added to that prestigious group ,e.g Happy Valley, The Night Manager, Line of Duty, Thirteen. Roll on till this coming Thursday I say then when episode two of series three of Peaky Blinders airs……..Peaky Blinders, WHAT A BRILLIANT BRUTAL WORLD! 4/5.