Peaky Blinders Season 1: A Review and Guide
If you are looking for a gripping, stylish, and violent crime drama set in the early 20th century, look no further than Peaky Blinders. This British series, created by Steven Knight, follows the exploits of the Peaky Blinders gang, a notorious group of criminals who rule the streets of Birmingham, England, after the First World War. With razor blades hidden in their caps, they face off against rival gangs, corrupt cops, and political enemies, while expanding their empire and pursuing their ambitions.
In this article, we will review and guide you through the first season of Peaky Blinders, which consists of six episodes. We will introduce you to the main characters and cast, the main themes and plot points, and provide a summary and rating for each episode. We will also tell you where to watch Peaky Blinders Season 1 online, and answer some frequently asked questions about the show.
What is Peaky Blinders?
Peaky Blinders is a historical fiction series that is loosely based on the real-life Peaky Blinders gang, a criminal organization that operated in Birmingham and other parts of England from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. The name “Peaky Blinders” comes from the practice of sewing razor blades into the peaks of their flat caps, which they used as weapons to slash their enemies.
The series focuses on Thomas “Tommy” Shelby (Cillian Murphy), the leader of the Peaky Blinders and the most ambitious and ruthless member of his family. Tommy is a war veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and uses opium to cope with his nightmares. He is determined to make his gang the most powerful in the country, and will stop at nothing to achieve his goals.
The first season of Peaky Blinders is set in 1919, a turbulent time in British history. The aftermath of the Great War has left many people disillusioned, impoverished, and restless. The rise of communism, socialism, and Irish nationalism threatens the established order. The government is cracking down on crime and dissent. And new technologies, such as cars, radios, and guns, are changing the way people live and fight.
Who are the main characters and cast?
Peaky Blinders features an ensemble cast of talented actors who bring their characters to life with charisma and depth. Here are some of the main characters and cast members of Season 1:
- Cillian Murphy as Thomas “Tommy” Shelby: The leader of the Peaky Blinders and the protagonist of the series. He is a smart, cunning, and ruthless gangster who wants to make his mark on the world.
- Helen McCrory as Elizabeth “Polly” Gray: Tommy’s aunt and the matriarch of the Shelby family. She is a strong-willed and loyal woman who acts as Tommy’s right-hand woman and adviser.
- Paul Anderson as Arthur Shelby Jr.: Tommy’s older brother and second-in-command of the Peaky Blinders . He is a violent and impulsive man who struggles with alcoholism and PTSD.
- Joe Cole as John Shelby: Tommy’s younger brother and a member of the Peaky Blinders. He is a loyal and brave man who is married to Esme, a member of the Lee family, a rival gypsy clan.
- Annabelle Wallis as Grace Burgess: A beautiful and mysterious woman who works as a barmaid at the Garrison Pub, the Peaky Blinders’ headquarters. She is secretly an undercover agent for the police, sent to infiltrate and spy on the gang.
- Sam Neill as Chief Inspector Chester Campbell: A stern and ruthless police officer from Belfast, Northern Ireland, who is sent to Birmingham by Winston Churchill to clean up the city and recover a shipment of stolen guns. He has a personal vendetta against the Peaky Blinders and Tommy in particular.
- Tom Hardy as Alfie Solomons: The leader of a Jewish gang in London, who becomes an ally and a rival of the Peaky Blinders. He is a charismatic and unpredictable man who has a fondness for rum and violence.
What are the main themes and plot points?
Peaky Blinders explores various themes and issues that are relevant to the historical period and the contemporary world. Some of the main themes and plot points of Season 1 are:
- The impact of war: The series shows how the First World War affected the lives of the characters, both physically and psychologically. Many of them suffer from PTSD, guilt, grief, and trauma. The war also changed the balance of power and the social order in Britain, creating new opportunities and challenges for the Peaky Blinders.
- The clash of cultures: The series depicts the conflicts and tensions between different groups and factions in Birmingham and beyond. The Peaky Blinders have to deal with rival gangs, such as the Lees, the Sabini, and the Kimber, who want to take over their territory or business. They also have to face the authorities, such as the police, the government, and the crown, who want to suppress their activities or use them for their own agendas. Moreover, they encounter other cultures and ideologies, such as the Irish, the Jews, the communists, and the socialists, who have different values and goals.
- The pursuit of power: The series follows Tommy’s ambition to rise from a local gangster to a national figure. He uses his intelligence, charisma, and ruthlessness to expand his influence and wealth. He makes alliances and deals with other powerful people, such as Winston Churchill, Alfie Solomons, and Billy Kimber. He also faces challenges and threats from his enemies, such as Chester Campbell, Freddie Thorne, and Grace Burgess. He has to balance his personal and professional life, his family and his gang, his love and his duty.
Episode 1: The Guns
The first episode introduces us to the Peaky Blinders gang and their leader Tommy Shelby. We learn that they have accidentally acquired a shipment of guns that belong to the British army. Tommy decides to keep the guns for himself, without telling his family or his gang. Meanwhile, Chief Inspector Chester Campbell arrives in Birmingham with orders from Winston Churchill to recover the guns and stop the Peaky Blinders. He recruits Grace Burgess as an undercover agent to spy on Tommy. He also arrests Freddie Thorne (Iddo Goldberg), a communist leader and former friend of Tommy, who is in love with Tommy’s sister Ada (Sophie Rundle).
- The opening scene where we see Tommy riding his horse through the streets of Birmingham while Nick Cave’s “Red Right Hand” plays in the background.
- The scene where Tommy meets Grace for the first time at the Garrison Pub and hires her as a barmaid.
- The scene where Tommy confronts Billy Kimber (Charlie Creed-Miles), a powerful racecourse boss who wants to hire the Peaky Blinders as protection.
- The scene where Tommy visits Danny Whizz-Bang (Samuel Edward-Cook), a fellow war veteran who suffers from PTSD and hallucinations.
- The scene where Tommy shoots an informant in front of Campbell to prove his loyalty to Kimber.
We give this episode 4 out of 5 stars. It is a strong start for the series that sets up the main characters, conflicts, and themes. It also establishes the tone and style of the show, with its gritty realism, dark humor, and stunning cinematography.
Episode 2: The Lees
The second episode shows us the conflict between the Peaky Blinders and the Lees, a gypsy family who are rivals of the Shelbys. Tommy agrees to marry John to Esme Lee (Aimee-Ffion Edwards), the daughter of the Lee patriarch, in order to make peace and secure a business deal. However, the wedding is interrupted by Campbell, who raids the Peaky Blinders’ headquarters and arrests several members of the gang. He also tortures and interrogates one of them, Charlie Strong (Ned Dennehy), to find out the location of the guns. Meanwhile, Grace continues to spy on Tommy and learns that he has hidden the guns in a car. She also develops feelings for him and sleeps with him.
- The scene where Tommy and Grace dance to “Do I Wanna Know?” by Arctic Monkeys at the Garrison Pub.
- The scene where Tommy and Arthur beat up two men who insulted their mother at a boxing match.
- The scene where Tommy negotiates with Mr. Lee (Kenneth Colley) and agrees to marry John to Esme.
- The scene where Tommy and Grace have sex in his car while the guns are hidden underneath.
- The scene where Campbell raids the Peaky Blinders’ headquarters and arrests Charlie Strong.
We give this episode 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is a thrilling and emotional episode that deepens the characters and their relationships. It also raises the stakes and the tension between the Peaky Blinders and Campbell. It also features some great music and cinematography.
Episode 3: The IRA
The third episode introduces us to the Irish Republican Army (IRA), a militant group that fights for Irish independence from Britain. Tommy meets with an IRA leader, Hughie Byrne (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor), who offers to buy the guns from him. Tommy agrees, but only if Byrne helps him assassinate Billy Kimber, who has betrayed him and attacked his men. However, Tommy’s plan is complicated by the arrival of Grace’s father, Major Campbell (Ian Peck), who is also an IRA member and wants to kill Tommy. Meanwhile, Ada gives birth to Freddie’s son and names him Karl. Polly helps her escape from Campbell’s custody and reunites her with Freddie, who is hiding in a safe house.
- The scene where Tommy and Byrne have a tense meeting at a pub and agree to trade the guns for Kimber’s death.
- The scene where Grace sings “Black Velvet Band” at the Garrison Pub and attracts the attention of her father and Byrne.
- The scene where Tommy and Grace go to the races and pretend to be a couple.
- The scene where Tommy and Arthur ambush Kimber’s men and kill them with the help of Byrne.
- The scene where Grace shoots Byrne in the head and saves Tommy from being killed by her father.
We give this episode 5 out of 5 stars. It is a brilliant and suspenseful episode that showcases the skills and courage of Tommy and Grace. It also reveals the secrets and lies that surround them and their relationship. It also features some amazing action scenes and music.
Episode 4: The Sabini
The fourth episode shows us the conflict between the Peaky Blinders and the Sabini, an Italian gang that controls the London underworld. Tommy travels to London to meet with Alfie Solomons, a Jewish gang leader who offers to help him with his business. However, Tommy soon realizes that Solomons is not trustworthy and has betrayed him to the Sabini. Tommy is attacked and beaten by the Sabini, who also burn down his pub and threaten his family. Meanwhile, Grace confesses to Tommy that she is a spy and that she loves him. Tommy decides to forgive her and asks her to run away with him. However, Grace is shot by Campbell, who has found out about her betrayal.
- The scene where Tommy and Solomons have a witty and sarcastic conversation at Solomons’ bakery.
- The scene where Tommy is ambushed and beaten by the Sabini at a pub.
- The scene where Tommy and Grace declare their love for each other at a train station.
- The scene where Grace is shot by Campbell and falls into Tommy’s arms.
- The scene where Tommy vows revenge on Campbell and the Sabini.
We give this episode 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is a dramatic and heartbreaking episode that tests the loyalty and love of Tommy and Grace. It also introduces a new enemy for the Peaky Blinders, the Sabini, who pose a serious threat to their survival. It also features some great performances and dialogue.
Episode 5: The IRA Strikes Back
The fifth episode shows us the aftermath of Grace’s shooting and the retaliation of the IRA. Tommy learns that Grace is alive and in hospital, but he is unable to see her or contact her. He also learns that Campbell has framed him for the murder of an Irish policeman and that the IRA is hunting him down. Tommy decides to go into hiding and asks his family to protect him. He also makes a deal with Solomons to get rid of the Sabini. Meanwhile, Polly visits a medium (Alison Lintott) who claims to communicate with her dead children. She also has a romantic encounter with Campbell, who tries to use her to get to Tommy.
- The scene where Tommy receives a phone call from Grace and hears her voice for the last time.
- The scene where Tommy is chased by IRA gunmen and escapes with the help of his horse.
- The scene where Polly visits the medium and hears messages from her children.
- The scene where Polly seduces Campbell and stabs him in the shoulder.
- The scene where Tommy and Solomons set a trap for the Sabini and kill them with grenades.
We give this episode 5 out of 5 stars. It is a tense and emotional episode that shows the resilience and courage of Tommy and his family. It also shows the depth and complexity of Polly and Campbell’s characters. It also features some thrilling action scenes and music.
Episode 6: The Kimber
The sixth and final episode of Season 1 shows us the climax of the conflict between the Peaky Blinders and Billy Kimber. Tommy plans to assassinate Kimber at the Epsom Derby, a prestigious horse race, with the help of Solomons and his men. However, his plan is jeopardized by Campbell, who has survived Polly’s attack and has learned about Tommy’s scheme. Campbell tries to stop Tommy and arrest him, but he is shot and killed by Grace, who has returned to help Tommy. Meanwhile, Tommy’s family faces danger from the IRA, who have kidnapped Ada and her baby. Tommy manages to rescue them and kill the IRA leader, Major Campbell. He also proposes to Grace and asks her to leave with him to America.
- The scene where Tommy and Kimber have a final confrontation at the racecourse.
- The scene where Grace shoots Campbell and saves Tommy from being arrested.
- The scene where Tommy rescues Ada and her baby from the IRA.
- The scene where Tommy proposes to Grace and gives her a ticket to New York.
- The scene where Tommy receives a phone call from Churchill, who offers him a new deal.
We give this episode 5 out of 5 stars. It is a satisfying and thrilling finale that wraps up the main storylines and leaves some room for future developments. It also shows the growth and transformation of Tommy and his family. It also features some spectacular action scenes and music.
Why you should watch Peaky Blinders Season 1
Peaky Blinders Season 1 is a masterpiece of television that deserves your attention and admiration. It is a captivating and compelling story that immerses you in the world of the Peaky Blinders and their struggles and triumphs. It is a stunning and stylish show that showcases the talent and vision of its creators and actors. It is a rich and complex show that explores various themes and issues that are relevant to the historical period and the contemporary world. It is a show that will make you feel, think, and enjoy every minute of it.
Where to watch Peaky Blinders Season 1 online
If you are interested in watching Peaky Blinders Season 1 online, you have several options to choose from. You can stream it on Netflix, which has all six seasons available for subscribers. You can also buy or rent it on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play, or YouTube. You can also watch it on BBC iPlayer, which has all six seasons available for UK viewers.
- Q: Is Peaky Blinders based on a true story?
- A: Peaky Blinders is loosely based on the real-life Peaky Blinders gang, a criminal organization that operated in Birmingham and other parts of England from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. However, most of the characters and events in the show are fictional or dramatized for entertainment purposes.
- Q: What does Peaky Blinders mean?
- A: Peaky Blinders is the name of the gang and the show. The name comes from the practice of sewing razor blades into the peaks of their flat caps, which they used as weapons to slash their enemies.
- Q: Who sings the theme song of Peaky Blinders?
- A: The theme song of Peaky Blinders is “Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, an Australian rock band. The song was released in 1994 as part of their album Let Love In. The song has become synonymous with the show and its atmosphere.
- Q: How many seasons of Peaky Blinders are there?
- A: There are currently six seasons of Peaky Blinders, with each season consisting of six episodes. The first five seasons are available on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, and BBC iPlayer. The sixth season is expected to be released in late 2021 or early 2022.
- Q: Will there be a Peaky Blinders movie?
- A: According to Steven Knight, the creator of Peaky Blinders, there are plans to make a Peaky Blinders movie after the sixth season ends. He has said that he wants to end the show with a bang and that he has an idea for a story that would work well on the big screen.