Peaky Blinders Season 1: A Riveting & Superb Journey into Birmingham’s Underworld (2023)

peaky blinders season 1
Peaky Blinders Season 1

Peaky Blinders Season 1

Peaky Blinders, a British television that transports its audience back to the gritty streets of post-World War I, Birmingham, England. 

I loved the first season. I did not know what to expect because I’d read and seen nothing about Peaky Blinders before finding it on Netflix.

The first thing that blew my mind was the attention to detail. The costumes, the setting, housing interiors, factory interiors, just done in intricate detail.

Set in the 1920s, the Peaky Blinders Season 1 revolves around the Shelby family, led by the cunning and ruthless Thomas Shelby, masterfully portrayed by Cillian Murphy.

Before we continue, I don’t think there was a single actor who wasn’t believable or didn’t deliver during the entire season. This show is pure quality, as is the Nick Cave theme tune and other tracks, again, brilliantly used.


As the head of the Peaky Blinders gang, Thomas is joined by his brothers Arthur (Paul Anderson) and John (Joe Cole), as well as their fierce and calculating Aunt Polly (Helen McCrory).

[This talented cast may be familiar to you. Cillian Murphy appeared in Inception and Batman Begins), Paul Anderson in The Revenant and Sherlock Holmes, Joe Cole (not the footballer) in Green Room and A Prayer Before Dawn, and Helen McCrory in the Harry Potter series.]

Meticulous Production

While the series certainly doesn’t shy away from violence (guns, fists, headbutts, kicking, knives, more), it delves deep into the characters’ motivations and personal struggles. 

The show’s stunning level of detail stems from its meticulous production design, costumes, and soundtrack (which includes an eclectic mix of contemporary and period-appropriate music). 

The creators have gone to great lengths to recreate the atmosphere of 1920s Birmingham, from the grimy streets and smoky pubs to the elaborate attire worn by the characters. 

This attention to detail provides an immersive experience for the audience, further drawing them into the world of the Peaky Blinders.


The show’s location in Birmingham, a city not typically featured in period dramas, offers a fresh perspective on post-WWI England. I’ve read a lot about WWI, but know little about what happened afterwards in cities outside London.

This setting allows for a unique exploration of the social and political issues of the time, including the impact of the war on returning soldiers, the rise of organized crime, and the struggle for power among various factions.

Peaky Blinders Season 1 is a captivating introduction to the Shelby family’s tumultuous world with intricate characters, richly detailed world-building, and engaging storyline makes it a highly watchable series. 


If you like this, maybe you’ll like Sopranos and Breaking Bad. Both All have complex characters, multilayered plot lines, and themes of power, loyalty and family.

The Sopranos

The Sopranos ran from 1999 to 2007 and was a quality series from HBO and was created by David Chase and follows the life of Tony Soprano (played by the late James Gandolfini), a New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster who is also a family man.

The series explores the complexities of Tony’s personal and professional life, as he balances his responsibilities as a father and husband with his role as the boss of the Soprano crime family. The show also delves into the lives of the other members of the Soprano family, as well as Tony’s associates and enemies in the criminal underworld.

The ending of the last season never sat right with me. Never enjoy going on the Internet to find out what it was I just watched or an explanation of the ending, a character, etc.

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad ran from 2008 to 2013 and was about Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who turns to producing and selling methamphetamine after being diagnosed with cancer.

The series follows Walter’s transformation from a mild-mannered teacher to a ruthless drug kingpin, as he navigates the dangerous world of drug production and distribution. Along the way, he forms alliances and rivalries with other drug dealers and law enforcement officials, and struggles to keep his criminal activities hidden from his family and friends. Didn’t like the ending to this either!

Equally, all three have a unique style and tone, great dialogue, drama, sexual tension and doing the deed (Sopranos, Peaky Blinders), extreme violence, and characters (regardless of the way they do things) you champion.

Check out for book and TV series reviews and our reviews on other Netflix series including Band of Brothers.