Peaky Blinders Episode 1

Cillian Peaky

A gangster family epic set in 1919 Birmingham, Peaky Blinders centres on a gang who sew razor blades in the peaks of their caps, and their fierce boss Tommy Shelby, who means to move up in the world.

Finally…the miniseries I have been waiting since last year is on the telly 🙂 This will be my second per-episode review of an ongoing miniseries (the first was Sherlock)

Those who have been to my blog so often definitely know that I bloody love Cillian Murphy and Peaky Blinders is his second miniseries on telly (his first was The Way we Live Now, I haven’t got the series yet and Cillian was not the main character). In Peaky Blinders, Cillian is the main character, he played as a ruthless gang leader by the name of Thomas Shelby.

Before seeing the first episode, I already realized that this is an ambitious series. The producers played episode 1 and 2 in Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Let’s begin my review

Episode one: When a crate of guns goes missing, Thomas sees an opportunity to move up in the world.

Before I begin summarizing the story of the first episode, I think it’s better for you all to know the main characters (These are copy-pasted from Peaky Blinders official site)

Peaky Blinders Cast

Thomas Shelby

Returning war hero and the brains behind infamous gang, the Peaky Blinders. Although the second eldest, Tommy is a natural leader and the most ambitious of the feared Peaky Blinders. The Great War made him a decorated hero, but left him emotionally introverted with a secret drug habit. He loves his family and is determined to make their lives better and their business legitimate at any cost. Crime pays well, but business pays better.

Aunt Polly

The matriarch of the Peaky Blinders. Aunt Polly looked after the children since they were young, then looked after the family business while the boys were fighting in WWI. She’s a tough pragmatist who long ago made peace with family’s criminal activities and is now the voice of caution to Tommy’s grand schemes for expansion.

Arthur Shelby

The bulldog of the Shelby family and Peaky Blinders.The eldest brother, Arthur is more brawn than brains. He feels that he should be the head of the family business, but he can’t command the necessary authority.

Chief Inspector Campbell

A puritanical policeman who’ll stop at nothing to get the job done. Drafted in from Northern Ireland to clean up Birmingham, Campbell is a big, brutish man, completely committed to his job and wily enough to get it done. Being in the police means he didn’t go to war, which sticks in his throat, but now he’s at Churchill’s command with a new division of tough recruits.

Grace Burgess

A young Irish woman with a secret past. Grace has come over from Ireland in mysterious circumstances, but she still knows where her loyalties lie. Fearless and charming, she is the new barmaid at The Garrison pub, which is where the Shelby brothers drink.

The plot:

First episode begins with Thomas Shelby visiting a Chinese witch who blows dust on a horse and claiming that the horse will win the race. Arthur Shelby was furious with what Thomas has done however Thomas has his reason and tells Arthur that he will do the thinking for the gang. Meanwhile, in another place Freddie Thorne is busy sharing his opinion about the country. He is a known communist.

Freddie tells Thomas that a copper from Belfast is coming to town. This copper (that’s how the Shelby family calls policemen) is Chief Inspector Campbell. His presence worries the Shelby and Arthur holds a family meeting. Aunt Polly can sense that Thomas is hiding something from the family. Thomas tells her privately that his men had robbed accidentally robbed a crate full of guns and ammunitions. Aunt Polly knows that the guns will bring trouble to their family and asks Thomas to get rid of it.

We can immediately see that the guns are the triggers that will create the whole story of Peaky Blinders…but the guns are not the only problem. A beautiful woman works at Garrison Pub has caught Thomas’ attention. But the girl is not an ordinary woman.

Spoiler (blacken the text if you want to read it) Grace is a spy, she is working for Campbell. However, we can see that she has a bit of crush on Thomas. She doesn’t admit it but there’s something about the way she talks about Thomas. I think she will have heart torn between duty and love.

This first episode ends with a nice twist that can make viewers interested to see the second episode.

1919 Birmingham
1919 Birmingham

For a miniseries on telly, Peaky Blinders has an amazing cinematography. I like it’s a bit greenish tone. The setting looks great, it doesn’t feel like a fake civilization. The scenery really takes us to the past. The sound effect is also cool…it feels more like a movie rather than a miniseries. And…I LOVE the music!! The music fits the scene well. I would love to have both the soundtrack and the DVD. The cast is also wonderful, they all played brilliantly.

I have to admit that I was a bit distracted by Cillian Murphy, I kept on pausing the video every time he shows up (it’s a classic fangirl symptom 😉 )…I have to watch it twice to finally enjoy the story. The accent (people said it’s Brummie) they used is a bit difficult to understand, I don’t know whether the accent is accurate or not, the only thing I know is that it’s not like Dublin’s or Cork’s Irish accent. I have to listen to it seriously to understand some words, I can catch most of it but there are some words that escape my understanding.

I honestly think that Peaky Blinders is a promising miniseries…I look forward to see the second episode. For those who are blessed to live in England…do watch Peaky Blinders every Thursday at 9 pm on BBC2.

I am going to close my post with Cillian still looking gorgeous even with blood on his face 😉

Bloody Murphy

Peaky Blinders Episode two> Here

10 Reasons Why You Should Watch Peaky Blinders


  1. Oooh this looks very good Nov! I might check this out when it’s out on iTunes or better yet, Netflix. I like Cillian’s look here and I also like Helen McCrory who was in BBC’s The Jury a long time ago w/ Gerry when he just started out.

    1. It is good…well so far 🙂
      Although the gangster is supposed to be brutal but they hardly shown that, we can only see their power to make people scared.

      I think this one will lead to a potential complicated love story 😉

      1. I watched it and enjoyed it. The visuals are really impressive. A real sense of time and place. This isn’t a polite show, it’s all grime and filth and degradation and the sense of revolution! I found the acting really good and the accents were easy to get.

        1. Totally agree! The visual is very impressive, I also like the way make it a bit greenish.

          I guess that’s why the show is aired at 9.

          Hahaha of course it’s easy for you, you already speak in accent 😉

  2. Another one I really want to watch. I don’t think I’ve heard that accent before. I find some of the British accents not that easy.
    I should be able to watch this on British TV.
    Haha. Stopping the epsiode to look at his face. I think I’ve never done that before. Or? 🙂

    1. Hahaha I did that stopping thing because I want to capture it and share it on twitter or instagram…and also to find the best one for this post. BUT I have to admit that I ALWAYS watch Cillian’s movies twice, first for admiring his look and his acting, second for enjoying the story 🙂 (well, except for In Time).

      I haven’t heard that accent too…it sounds like Irish but not quite the same. The one who played Arthur Shelby has thicker accent than Cilli, that makes listening to him a bit difficult.

      I hope you can watch it because I have a feeling you’ll like it. There’s an element of war involves here.

  3. Getting the meaning across in spite of the accent is a problem with pieces in settings like this. It can wear the viewer out.

    As to the challenge, would Cillian go for anything less?

    1. Most viewers…maybe but not me 🙂
      I always enjoy different accent, it fascinates me.

      So far, Cillian hasn’t awed me yet…that’s why I haven’t written how great his performance in PB, but I know he will have his moment where he shines (or maybe I am so used to his great performance and that makes the setting bar higher)

      1. Well, it’s possible he’s just not getting into the role, but I don’t really see it. Give it time.

        Accents drive me nuts. Every time I spend time with someone who has a strong one, I start to imitate them. Only I’m fighting it, so the imitation is off. I’ve had more than one person ask if I was making fun of them, and have on several occasions gotten dragged into a conversation about my own accent. It’s annoying.

        1. Well…he shines on episode 2 🙂

          I love accent!!! Still wishing I can do a British accent one day. I am good recognizing accent but terrible in imitating it.

  4. Due to the accents I couldn’t understand many words but the overall story of the first episode is easy to follow and promising. Yeah the music soundtrack is really good. My suspicions about the new barmaid was correct! The ending surprised me. And of course Cillian did a great job!

    1. Even a native English speaker finds the accent difficult 😉

      I am glad you think the same as I am. The soundtrack is really earcatching, it becomes better when I heard it through earphones.
      We can see clearly that there’s a spark between Thomas and Grace, I bet that would make her job more difficult.

      The ending is so unpredictable, I hope they keep making interesting ending in every episodes.

      Horay for Cillian 🙂

      1. One of the reasons why I like watching shows on DVD is the subtitles especially when they talk with heavy accents. I get to “hear’ so much more, even background chatter that’s not meant to be heard. I have to get used to these British series with so few episodes. Well I guess they are calling this a mini-series. 🙂

        1. Actually….British never make long series like US and I like that (same as Japan). The series with the longest episode I know is Doctor Who, 12 episodes per series. Most sitcom only has 6 episodes per series (they call it series not season)

  5. After I saw your post on episode 2 I nipped over here to check out this one first.. and then I went onto BBC’s iPlayer to see if they have the episodes there.. and they do! 😀 So I’m checking it out right now. Haha, England is full of weird and wonderful accents.. and the further north you go, they harder they get to understand, and its true that even some English don’t understand other English people from different areas ^^ It’s interesting though, accents! I have a mixed one myself, due to having lived in a few places, including another country. I’ve been told I have a “continental” accent 😀

    1. Would love to know what you think of the series 🙂

      British is like Indonesians, we have so many traditional languages and that makes them speak our national language (Bahasa Indonesia) in different accents.
      I am having less difficulty on second episode…I am fortunate because I can cope with accents quite fast 🙂

      Continental accent? That sounds cool.

  6. With such a star studded cast this has to be one of the best dramas around, I wouldn’t mind watching this one myself and thank you Miss. Novia for such a detailed and superbly written posting, I love it 🙂

    Have a really nice weekend
    with many hugs and kisses 🙂

    Andro xxxx

      1. Thank you my sweet and lovely friend,
        yes I should watch this drama, and maybe
        I will watch it soon and get back to you on
        what I thought about it 🙂

        I hope that your weekend has been lovely 🙂

        Andro xxxx

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