'Blade Runner Set in Birmingham'? Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders [Clips]
The gritty drama kicks off on BBC 2 in September
BBC 2 are pulling out all the stops for their upcoming drama, Peaky Blinders, which tells the story of illegal trade in guns, protection and betting in post World War I Birmingham and the titular gang’s attempt to control them.
Peaky Blinders hits TVs this September
The show represents Cillian Murphy’s first major TV role after carving out a solid reputation in film acting. Director Otto Bathurst says his show is “like Blade Runner set in Birmingham in 1919.” We don’t know whether to laugh, cry or rock back and forth with excitement, as that’s quite the statement to make.
Murphy plays Thomas Shelby, leader of the renown and powerful local gang, the Peaky Blinders, named after the razorblades they conceal in their hats. Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Iddo Goldberg, Charlie Creed-Miles, Annabelle Wallis, Joe Cole, Sophie Rundle, and poet Benjamin Zephaniah also star also star in the ambitious drama.
"We spent a lot of time getting the clothes and haircuts right so that they look cool, just like they do on GoodFellas. I’m creating a mythology,” says Bathurst. “People forget that it was a powerhouse, a world manufacturing city more important than Detroit or Chicago,’ says writer Steve Knight. “We’re putting our city back on the map.”
Knight, who also wrote Dirty Pretty Things, added: "The story I want to tell is based on family legend and historical fact. It is a fiction woven into a factual landscape which is breathtakingly dramatic and cinematic, but which for very English reasons has been consigned to historical text books." (Daily Mail)
Can the BBC 2 drama rival the likes of Boardwalk Empire for the serialized gangster crown? Fighting over the U.K’s ‘second city’ might not seem as glamorous as the tension between New York and Atlantic City during the prohibition era. But with an all-star cast and an interesting plot, this could just be the surprise of the Autumn TV schedule. The first episode is set to premiere at the BFI Southbank on August 21st 2013.