Peaky Blinders is a television crime drama based upon the exploits of the Romani Peaky Blinders gang, operating in Birmingham, England during the aftermath of World War I. Let’s see some interesting facts and trivia about it!
1.Peaky Blinders was created by Steven Knight, directed by Otto Bathurst, and produced by Katie Swinden.
2. The writers are listed as Steven Knight, David Leland, Stephen Russell and Toby Finlay.
3. The series was filmed in Birmingham, Bradford, Dudley, Leeds, Liverpool and Port Sunlight.
4. Railway sequences were filmed between Keighley and Damems, using carriages from the Ingrow Museum of Rail Travel (owned by Vintage Carriages Trust and carriages owned by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Trust).
5. Sam Neill enlisted the help of Northern Irish actors James Nesbitt and Liam Neeson to help him perfect a Northern Irish accent for the role of C.I. Campbell.
6. In the end, he had to tone down the accent since the series is being marketed in the United States.
7. Peaky Blinders is a gangster family epic set in Birmingham, England in 1919, just after the First World War.
8. The story centres on the Romani Peaky Blinders gang and their ambitious and highly dangerous boss Tommy Shelby (played by Cillian Murphy).
9. The gang comes to the attention of Chief Inspector Chester Campbell (played by Sam Neill), a detective in the Royal Irish Constabulary sent over from Belfast, where he had been sent to clean up the city of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), gangs, and common criminals.
10. Winston Churchill (played by Andy Nyman in series 1 and Richard McCabe in series 2) charged him with suppressing disorder and uprising in Birmingham and recovering a stolen cache of arms meant to be shipped to Libya.
11. The second series is set two years after the first and sees the Shelby family expand their criminal organization in the “South and North [of London] while maintaining a stronghold in their Birmingham heartland.”
12. It begins in 1921 and ends with a climax at Epsom racecourse on Derby Day in June 1922.
13. The reception for Peaky Blinders was largely positive, with notable praise for its writing, acting, visual style, and stylish cinematography.
14. David Renshaw of The Guardian summarised the series to be a “riveting, fast-paced tale of post-first world war Birmingham gangsters”, praising Murphy as the “ever-so-cool Tommy Shelby” and the rest of the cast for their “powerful performances.”
15. Sarah Compton of The Telegraph gave the series a 4/5 rating, praising the show for its originality and “taking all of our expectations and confounding them.”
16. Alex Fletcher from Digital Spy believes that “Peaky Blinders has started as sharp as a dart,” while Den of Geek called the series “the most intelligent, stylish and engrossing BBC drama in ages.”
17. Cult TV Times critic Hugh David said that the show “warrants the billing” by “managing to tick several ratings boxes – period drama, gangster epic, film star leads – yet go against the grain of those in the most interesting of ways.”
18. The show has been celebrated for its stylish cinematography and charismatic performances, as well as for casting an eye over a part of Britain and British history rarely explored on television.
19. Historians have been divided over whether bringing characters and events from other decades into a 1920s story undermines claims to historical accuracy, or whether working-class life in the period is nevertheless depicted in a truthful and resonant way.
20. Reviews for the second series have remained positive, with Ellen E. Jones of The Independent commenting that “Peaky Blinders can now boast several more big-name actors to supplement the sterling work of Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory and Sam Neill”, referring to second series additions Tom Hardy and Noah Taylor.
21. On 2 March 2016, Steven Knight told the Crime Scene Quarterly, “I’ve had unsolicited communication from Michael Mann, the film director, from Dennis Lehane, Snoop Dogg – he’s such a fan. And the late David Bowie was a huge fan – more of that to come” (strongly hinting Bowie’s involvement on Series 3).
22. It was later confirmed that David Bowie’s music will be featured, and Leonard Cohen has also written a new song for series 3.
23. There are more canals in Birmingham than in Venice.
24. The theme song for Peaky Blinders, Red Right Hand was written by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. This song also appears in The X-Files, Dumb and Dumber, Hellboy and the Scream trilogy.
25. Tom Hardy joins the show during season 2. This marks the third time that Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy have been in the same production. They appeared in Inception and The Dark Knight Rises together. In fact, in the latter, Cillian Murphy reprises his role from Batman Begins as villain Dr. Jonathan Crane aka the Scarecrow while Hardy plays the titular antagonist Bane.
26. Birmingham is known as the city of a thousand and one trades. The pen was invented here. Bandages also. It is also home to the factory which made the whistles used on the battlefields of the First World War which the character Thomas Shelby returned from in the first episode of series one. Also the factory Thomas Hudson, which is still going strong today made the whistles used on the titanic.
27. The real Peaky Blinders were unlikely to carry razor blades in their hats since in the 1890s, when the gang was really present, they were considered a luxury item and too expensive for the gang to own. The idea of the razor blades hidden in caps has its roots in John Douglas’ novel ‘A Walk Down Summer Lane’.
28. Despite the shows claims, the Peaky Blinders were strongest in the 1890s. By the 1920s the predominant gang in Birmingham was ‘The Birmingham Gang’ which had its routes from the pre-war ‘Brummagem Boys’ gang.