Peaky Blinders (2013– )
1 user 18 critic

Episode #1.6 

Tommy and the Peaky Blinders prepare for a big operation, that quickly becomes way trickier than they thought.


Tom Harper


Steven Knight (creator), Steven Knight




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lobo Chan ... Mr. Zhang
Sam Neill ... Inspector Chester Campbell
Cillian Murphy ... Thomas Shelby
Paul Anderson ... Arthur Shelby
Ned Dennehy ... Charlie Strong
Joe Cole ... John Shelby
Aimee-Ffion Edwards ... Esme Shelby (as Aimeé-Ffion Edwards)
Helen McCrory ... Aunt Polly
Kunjue Li ... Chin
Annabelle Wallis ... Grace Burgess
Tony Pitts ... Sergeant Moss
Ian Peck ... Curly
Kevin Metcalfe Kevin Metcalfe ... Scudboat
Sophie Rundle ... Ada Shelby
Iddo Goldberg ... Freddie Thorne


Tommy and the Peaky Blinders prepare for a big operation, that quickly becomes way trickier than they thought.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

30 September 2014 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


At the end of the episode, Tommy (Cillian Murphy), flips a coin to make a decision. In The Dark Knight (2008), he plays Dr. Johnathan Crane, aka Scarecow. Also starring in the movie is Aaron Eckhart, playing Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face, who flips a coin to decide whether or not he's going to kill certain people. See more »


Tommy Shelby: After today, there'll be no need for prayers. We'll be set.
See more »


Love is Blindness
Written by U2
Performed by Jack White
See more »

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User Reviews

Season 1: Heavy on style, decent on narrative, light on substance
14 November 2014 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

There was a certain amount of hype when this show first aired the other year, but I let it go past me at the time, even though I had intended to give it a try. Seeing the show return for a second season made me more inclined to give it a go, plus some friends had said it was really good. The series focuses on inner-city Birmingham just after the turn of the century, where the Shelby family control several areas, through their gang known as the Peaky Blinders (because they keep razor blades across the rim of their caps, to slash and blind others. In the season we see the gang try to grow into something larger and with added legitimacy, at the same time as other gangs and the police threaten their survival.

The opening scene sees the lead brother of the gang (Tom) slowly riding his horse through the rough streets of post-WWI Birmingham, getting no trouble from anyone, before getting slow-motion red powder blown in the horse's face as part of a betting scheme. It is a scene that tells us a lot; in terms of the narrative, it tells us that this fellow is not to be messed with and that even the police don't cross him; however it is not really in terms of the story that it is most telling. Actually the scene works as a microcosm for the whole season. You see it is clear that money has been spent, the locations are well done, the style is heavy, the mix of time periods (in terms of music, slickness etc) is happening but it is fine with it, and generally it engages – but mostly because of these qualities. Reading comments about how this British show is great because it lacks American gloss, is not only nationalistic but also a ridiculous thing to say about a show that looks like it is about 3 paces from being the new Guy Richie film.

I quite liked the season for what it did, but I am quite surprised to hear and read people praising it as one of the best shows they have ever seen. I find this surprising because the show really is quite unremarkable in terms of substance and story. The structure and direction feels all very familiar; it is very professionally and stylishly delivery, and I do think that this is what makes it come across as better than it is – if it had to stand up on only the strength of characters, dialogue and events, then probably it would not fare so well. The plot itself is okay because it has forward motion to support the delivery, but below the surface there is really not too much to talk about. Characters are thinly drawn and events unfold with a certain lack of spark or impact, and while I was not bored, I was surprised that there was not more character to the piece.

This feeling was perhaps added to by me previously watching the final season of Boardwalk Empire; a show that is similarly mounted with class and resources but yet I always felt that it lacked heart. Well, compared to Peaky Blinders, Boardwalk looks much deeper than it did when I watched it, just by contrast. There isn't really one thing at fault here, because the focus on style and slickness is everywhere – from the haircuts and attitudes feeling very modern, the music, and so on, all of them push this to the fore. The cast follow suit – plenty of famous faces and names looking good, but few have much beyond this. The accents are surprisingly variable – and as someone born in Belfast who lived or worked in Birmingham for the past 15 years, I had more than enough to chuckle at.

That said, it does somehow manage to work by virtue of having a very strong base of style, high production values, and slickness. It builds a decent amount of plot on top of that, and then leaves the substance out almost totally. I guess doing the latter might have undercut the regular superficiality of it; for me though it was quite enjoyable but too much about this side of things and with very little else to it.

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