Find yourself once again immersed in the dark, sexy, suave world of the Peaky Blinders, the English gangster family who in series two are attempting to expand their successful, Birmingham-based business North and South, with the aim to take London as their own. Now well into the Roaring Twenties, this series is set two years after the first and starts – very literally – with a bang. And if you’re dying to know what happened after last season’s cliff-hanger, you don’t have to wait too long before the answer is revealed.
In this season, we see our old favourites return, some new faces popping up to create chaos, and we even say goodbye to some characters we’d grown to love, including Freddie Thorn, whose funeral is in the opening scenes of the first episode. Returning is, of course, Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy), who – with Grace no where to be seen – is focused on expanding his empire while his brother, Arthur (Paul Anderson), struggles with mental illness. Meanwhile, Polly (Helen McCrory) is determined to find the children who were taken from her, and even Major Campbell (Sam Neill) makes a return, using Tommy as means to carry out his dirty work. New characters on the scene include Solomons, leader of a rival race track gang played by Hollywood heartthrob Tom Hardy, and May Carleton (Charlotte Riley), a racehorse trainer who Tommy takes a liking to.
As always, there is plenty of violence, intrigue, double crossing and hidden agendas, mixed with a little bit of sex and quite a bit of blood. While there’s no denying how stunning this show is visually, thanks to the fabulous historical costuming, sets, and cinematography, I have to say I couldn’t get quite as involved in this season as I could in the last. The convoluted plot lines had me questioning what was really going on, and I was never quite sure of who was working for who – who was an ally and who was a foe. That’s not to say I couldn’t enjoy the relationships between the characters, however this season revolves a lot more about the business side of things, rather than the affairs of the heart.
This season is once again backed by an exceedingly well-timed, modern soundtrack featuring the likes of Nick Cave and the Arctic Monkeys, and there is plenty of action and fight-scenes to keep you entertained. I just found that I couldn’t always follow what was going on, which can be hugely distracting from what is otherwise a very well constructed and directed series. I found myself having to rewind scenes to try and understand the twisting story lines, and sometimes my thoughts would simply drift and I would be taken out of the action, only to come back more confused then ever.
If you are someone who really likes to concentrate and get involved in their drama shows, then Peaky Blinders is the one for you. Its mysterious and complex plot will keep you on your toes, while the characters and design will provide a feast for the eyes. And trust me – this season’s climax will have you closer to the edge of your seat than you’ve ever been before. Talk about suspenseful!