Peaky Blinders: cast, story and merits of an excellent series

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Netflix changed completely our way to enjoy tv entertainment. We know it, mainly because it’s its “fault” if we suffer the bingewatching disease, that forces us glued in front of the screen for an endless number of episodes in a row, independently from what it’s recommendable by doctors.

There are many TV series visible on Netflix that have become very popular, from Stranger Things to Black Mirror and the others. Peaky Blinders is one of them: for many one of the best things that ever came out on Netflix, with excellent actors, a story that involves you instantly and a unique atmosphere.

Peaky Blinders counts 5 seasons (so far) conceived by Steven Knight and set in England in the 20s, just after the World War. The story (taken from real events) is about the Shelby family, nicknamed Peaky Blinders because of the razor blades hidden in their flat cap, managing the Birmingham’s streets among gambling, Illegal fights, horse races and murders.

Arthur Shelby (Paul Anderson), Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy), Polly Gray (Elen McCrory), John Shelby (Joe Cole), Ada Shelby (Sophie Rundle), Alfie Solomon (Tom Hardy) and Michael Gray (Finn Cole) are the protagonists of this a perfect shot of those years, full of exhausted and unhappy workers, cities destroyed (also morally) by the war and a disconnected society. All governed by Churchill who, especially in the third and fourth series, will become vitally important to Tommy.

The particularity of Peaky Blinders is that it doesn’t have a single weak episode. Thanks to a story that’s always evolving and never trivial, to the characters built in a fantastic way and to the actors who interpret them.


Tommy, the head of the family, seems to perfectly fit with Cillian Murphy (Dunkirk, 28 days later, Inception, Batman Begins). He has a cold and proud look as he walks safely through the streets, always with a cigarette in one hand and a whisky in the other. Intelligence and cunning are his strengths, he’s able to solve every problem and he aims to conquer the world.

Arthur Shelby is a controversial character, excellently brought to the screen by Paul Anderson (Revenant, Sherlock Holmes, Legend). You love him and hate him at the same time, he’s Tommy’s right arm, his hand, his gun, but there is a problem: he is an alcoholic, aggresive, in other words a troubler.

Polly is the soul of the family, the matriarch, the woman who tries to keep everything together by making sure that the affairs and affections don’t implode. She is cleve, the subterfuges are his specialty but only for the common good. The snobby arrogance played by Elen McCrory (Harry Potter, Hugo, Skyfall) makes her quite obnoxious, but in that context she’s perfect.

Alfie Solomon, well… when Alfie enters the scene there is nobody else, and we wouldn’t expect anything lesst from Tom Hardy (Dunkirk, Mad Max, The Dark Knight, Revenant, Warrior). He steal the attentionfrom anyone else with his presence and his deep voice. Alfie is a betrayer with a bronze face, always ready to play double game, but every time the situations get complicated, he heads back to Tommy.

Peaky Blinders has both an excellent cast and a perfect story that keeps you constantly in the suspense, the characters exceed any expectation, in a way that you wouldn’t remember in any other similar TV show. The quality is very high and you can get it already in the very first scene: Tommy on a horse, looking for a witch who can “bless” him for the races. And if that’s not enough, it has a spectacular opening theme (above), with the background of Nick Cave’s Red Right Hand.

What Peaky Blinders provides is addictive, in a mood of constant satisfaction and expectation. The sixt season is in the works and will probably land after 2020. We have time to get prepared.

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