Netflix has gotten into the original series business in a big way the past couple of years, with game changers “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black“. Now, thanks to our friends (sorry, I feel like I have a relationship with these people) Harvey and The Weinstein Company, along with Endemol (which also brings us “Hell on Wheels” among others) the company has picked up both seasons of the BBC series “Peaky Blinders”, which some are calling the UK’s answer to “Boardwalk Empire”. As I’ve said before, I don’t often feel the need to bring television to this blog, so when I do, you know it’s something I consider special. Like Boardwalk, now airing its Swan Song season on HBO, “Peaky Blinders” is a huge hit. Both shows are about “gangsters” of a sort, but at least one other thing they have in common is that both series have managed to lure a great many actors known primarily for their film work, to series television, including series star Cillian Murphy, Sam Neill, Helen McCrory, Charlie Creed Miles, Annabelle Wallis and Paul Anderson. In season two, Tom Hardy joins the cast. (Yes, that Tom Hardy). Who might have induced an actor with a schedule as full as Hardy’s to take on a role in a television show, you ask? Why, Steven Knight, the writer/director of Locke, who happens to be the creator and writer of “Peaky Blinders”, that’s who. *demented poodle dance*
‘Peaky Blinders’ takes place in 1919 Birmingham, England, and follows the Shelby family, who lead the title group — a feared gang named for their practice of sewing razor blades into the peaks of their caps. Until now they have made money from illegal bookmaking, protection and the black market, but when a crate of guns from the local arms factory falls into his possession, Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy) recognizes an opportunity to move up in the world. As rival gangs, communist revolutionaries and IRA Fenians descend on the city in pursuit of the weapons, Winston Churchill dispatches a ruthless police chief (Sam Neill) from Belfast to impose order on an increasingly lawless city and recover the guns.
The first six episodes of the first season will be available starting after 12:01am PT on Tuesday September 30 and the second season (in which Hardy will appear along with his new wife, Charlotte Riley, and Noah Taylor) will be available sometime in November.
The BBC Two, season two promo: