Peaky-Blinders

Peaky Blinders episode one review | Tommy gun

Published by jamdog on 12th September, 2013.

 Peaky Blinders episode one review

BBC2

I see Birmingham hasn’t changed much. Peaky Blinders takes us to 1919, a distant yet eerily familiar second city where filthy Noses lurk in dark hovels, wastrels rut in the streets and you can’t get a bet on without breaking the law. The Peaky Blinders gang run bookies, protection rackets and general petty scrotery in the city and pretty bunch nobody effs with them. By the rozzers Arthur Shelby (Paul Anderson) is thought to be the leader of the crew but it’s younger brother Tommy (Cillian Murphy) who has the vision thing and the real power. When the crew accidentally steal a shipment of arms the smart thing to do is to anonymously dump it for the police to find. Bookies and protection are one level but felons arming themselves with stolen artillery gets filed under hell naw. But the audacious thing to do is to hold onto them and charge the police to get them back. Tommy opts for the latter course. He’s a renegade future Hall of Famer this one.

Peaky Blinders takes us to 1919, a distant yet eerily familiar second city where filthy Noses lurk in dark hovels, wastrels rut in the streets and you can’t get a bet on without breaking the law.

Much like his old Army pal Freddie Thorn (Iddo Goldberg).  Freddie may drink mild but his political views are anything but. The union firebrand is a foul pinko who is looking to fuck the power structure like he’s fucking Tommy’s sister Ada (Sophie Rundle) – secretly, comprehensively and as often as possible.

The union firebrand is a foul pinko who is looking to fuck the power structure like he’s fucking Tommy’s sister Ada – secretly, comprehensively and as often as possible.

But wait, a new broom sweeps its way towards Birmingham. Chief Inspector Campbell (Sam Neill) is a proud Protestant Ulsterman sent to the city by Minister for War and Air Winston Churchill (Andy Nyman) to solve the arms robbery. Campbell however sees it also as a holy mission to clean the city up and save it from its  “three-headed beast” (no need to talk about Fuzzbox like that). Oh wait, he’s talking about the Fenians, the Communists and the gangs. Fair enough. He brings with him some Shankill Road thugs to whip the hopelessly corrupt Birmingham police into shape. “You are worse than them!” he barks pointing at imaginary villains, Marxists and Taigs. It‘s clear from his Paisleyite rhetoric that he’s not fucking about.

Campbell however sees it also as a holy mission to clean the city up and save it from its  “three-headed beast” (no need to talk about Fuzzbox like that).

Something Arthur finds out on a visit to the cinema. He is apprehended by Campbell’s goons just as two whores are about to administer a mouth organ duet blowjob (could you have picked a worse time Constable Cuntbubble?) He gets dragged out beaten to fuck by them and after a bit of light torture Campbell proposes they can help each other. He has Arthur’s full attention.

Campbell wants the Peaky Blinders to be his eyes and ears, to inform him of them movements and actions of the Fenians and Communists. It’s merely two years since the Russian Revolution and any monarchy that doesn’t feel threatened by the masses has sorely misunderstood the situation. Campbell will not abide each-way spivs, Bolshevism or Roman Popery in the city of Birmingham.

To aid his quest he has his agent Grace Burgess (Annabelle Wallis) working undercover as a barmaid in The Shitbox Tavern, Small Heath. Grace will sing Carrickfergus while emptying out slop buckets, punching West Brom fans in the tits and gathering information on the Peakoi Bloinders. She’s going to be a busy girl.

Grace will sing Carrickfergus while emptying out slop buckets, punching West Brom fans in the tits and gathering information on the Peakoi Bloinders. She’s going to be a busy girl.

It’s a solid and promising opener and Cillian Murphy is an impressive British answer to James Darmody – a handsome, clever gangster, PTSDed to shit, all fucked up by the war.  The accents are dicey and there’s the odd cornball line but it looks terrific, comes with a banging soundtrack and has got a swagger about it not usually associated with the city of Birmingham. Aerial Telly‘s hometown is a dark and unforgiving place but it KO1 whatever shitbox you’re currently embarrassing yourself in.

The verdict: Orroight.

Marks out of 10: 7.5

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Peaky Blinders episode one review
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