Peaky Blinders: A Gritty Tale of Gangsters, Family, and Power

Peaky Blinders

Peaky Blinders is a British period crime drama television series that has captured the hearts and minds of viewers around the world. The show is set in Birmingham, England, in the aftermath of World War I, and follows the exploits of the Shelby family, who are involved in various criminal activities, including bootlegging, gambling, and protection rackets.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at Peaky Blinders and explore some of the key themes and elements that make it such a compelling show.

The Historical Context

Peaky Blinders is set in the years following World War I, a time of great social and economic upheaval in Britain. The country was still reeling from the impact of the war, and the show does an excellent job of capturing the mood of the time. It explores the themes of poverty, unemployment, and political unrest, all of which were prevalent in post-war Britain.

The Characters

At the heart of Peaky Blinders are the Shelby family, led by the charismatic and ruthless Thomas Shelby, played by Cillian Murphy. The show does an excellent job of developing its characters, and each member of the family has their own unique personality and backstory. From the fiercely loyal Polly Gray (Helen McCrory) to the hot-headed Arthur Shelby (Paul Anderson), each character brings something different to the table.

The Gangster Lifestyle

Peaky Blinders is a show about gangsters, and as such, it portrays a lifestyle that is violent, dangerous, and often glamorous. The characters are involved in all sorts of criminal activities, from smuggling whiskey to fixing horse races. The show doesn’t shy away from the brutality of this world, and viewers are often left reeling from the graphic violence that is depicted on screen.

The Soundtrack

One of the most distinctive elements of Peaky Blinders is its soundtrack. The show features a mix of contemporary and period music, with artists like Nick Cave, Arctic Monkeys, and PJ Harvey all contributing to the score. The music adds to the show’s gritty, atmospheric feel and has become a defining feature of the series.

The Cinematography

Peaky Blinders is a visually stunning show, with a cinematic style that is both immersive and atmospheric. The use of lighting and camera work creates a world that is both gritty and beautiful, and the show’s creators pay close attention to detail, from the costumes to the sets.

Family Dynamics

At its core, Peaky Blinders is a show about family, and the relationships between the Shelby clan are a key element of the series. From the complex bond between Tommy and his siblings to the loyalty of the family’s extended members, the show explores the idea of what it means to be part of a family, even when that family is involved in criminal activities.

Political Themes

Peaky Blinders also delves into the political landscape of post-war Britain, with the rise of communism and the tension between the working class and the aristocracy playing a significant role in the series. The show explores the idea of power and who holds it, whether it’s the government, the police, or the gangsters themselves.

Strong Female Characters

The women of Peaky Blinders are not just side characters or love interests; they are fully realized characters with their own storylines and agency. From Polly Gray’s rise to power within the Shelby family to Ada Shelby’s involvement in the communist movement, the show presents a diverse range of female characters who are just as capable and complex as the men.

Exploration of Mental Health

Peaky Blinders also delves into the mental health struggles of its characters, particularly those of Tommy Shelby. The show portrays his PTSD from World War I and the toll it takes on him, as well as his struggles with addiction and the effects of trauma on his psyche.

Exploration of Religion

Religion is also a prominent theme in Peaky Blinders, with the Shelby family being Catholic and the tension between their faith and their criminal activities playing a role in the series. The show explores the idea of redemption and whether it’s possible for those involved in such a violent world to find forgiveness.


Peaky Blinders is a multi-layered series that explores a wide range of themes and ideas. From its exploration of family dynamics and mental health to its portrayal of post-war Britain and the gangster lifestyle, the show is a complex and compelling look at a world few of us will ever experience firsthand.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Peaky Blinders:

Q. When was Peaky Blinders first released?

Peaky Blinders premiered on BBC Two in the UK in 12 September 2013.

Q. How many seasons of Peaky Blinders are there?

There are six seasons of Peaky Blinders, with a seventh and final season expected to be released in the future.

Q. Who are the main characters in Peaky Blinders?

The main characters in Peaky Blinders include Thomas Shelby (played by Cillian Murphy), Polly Gray (played by Helen McCrory), Arthur Shelby (played by Paul Anderson), Ada Shelby (played by Sophie Rundle), and John Shelby (played by Joe Cole), among others.

Q. Where is Peaky Blinders set?

Peaky Blinders is set in Birmingham, England, in the aftermath of World War I.

Q. Is Peaky Blinders historically accurate?

While Peaky Blinders is set in a historical context, it is not entirely historically accurate. The show takes some creative liberties with the events and characters depicted on screen.

Q. What is the significance of the show’s title?

The title “Peaky Blinders” refers to a real-life gang from Birmingham, England, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The gang was known for wearing distinctive caps with razor blades sewn into the peak, which they would use as weapons.

Q. What is the age rating for Peaky Blinders?

Peaky Blinders is rated TV-MA, which stands for “Mature Audiences.” The show contains graphic violence, strong language, and adult themes.

Q. Has Peaky Blinders won any awards?

Yes, Peaky Blinders has won several awards, including Best Drama Series at the BAFTA Television Awards and Best International Program at the Canadian Screen Awards.

Q. What is the cultural impact of Peaky Blinders?

Peaky Blinders has had a significant cultural impact, particularly in fashion. The show’s stylish costumes, particularly the iconic peaked caps worn by the gang, have become popular among fans, with many fashion brands now offering Peaky Blinders-inspired clothing lines.

Q. Who created Peaky Blinders?

Peaky Blinders was created by Steven Knight, who also serves as the show’s writer and executive producer.

Q. Is Peaky Blinders based on a true story?

While Peaky Blinders is inspired by the real-life Peaky Blinders gang, the show’s characters and plotlines are entirely fictional.

Q. What is the music like in Peaky Blinders?

The music in Peaky Blinders is a mix of contemporary and period songs, with a particular emphasis on post-punk and rock music. The show’s soundtrack has been praised for its eclectic and evocative selection of songs.

Q. Who has starred in Peaky Blinders?

Peaky Blinders has featured a range of well-known actors, including Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, Tom Hardy, Sam Neill, and Adrien Brody, among others.

Q. Where can I watch Peaky Blinders?

Peaky Blinders is available to stream on Netflix in many countries. It is also available on BBC iPlayer in the UK and other select streaming services in other regions.

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