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Cillian Murphy and Sam Neill head BBC crime drama Peaky Blinders

Peaky Blinders

Story by Jack Foley

CILLIAN Murphy and Sam Neill head the cast of a new BBC2 crime drama called Peaky Blinders this autumn.

Created by Steven Knight, and featuring music from Nick Cave, this original six-part series stars Murphy in his first major TV role.

Set in the lawless streets of post-war Birmingham on the cusp of the 1920s, Peaky Blinders shows a Britain that is a tumultuous mix of despair and hedonism, a nation cleaned out by the extravagances of the Great War.

Murphy is Thomas Shelby, leader of the most feared and powerful local gang, the Peaky Blinders. Named for their practise of sewing razor blades into the peaks of their caps, they make money from illegal betting, protection and the black market.

But when a crate of guns goes missing from an arms factory, their battle-hardened leader recognises an opportunity to move up in the world.

As rival gangs, Communist revolutionaries and IRA Fenians descend on Small Heath in pursuit of the weapons, and Winston Churchill despatches a ruthless police chief from Belfast (Neill) to impose order on an increasingly lawless city and recover the guns.

With Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Iddo Goldberg, Charlie Creed-Miles, Annabelle Wallis, Joe Cole, Sophie Rundle, and acclaimed poet Benjamin Zephaniah completing the stellar cast, Peaky Blinders is set to bring a fresh new cinematic world to the small screen.

This is the first TV drama by series creator Steven Knight who says: “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.”

Directed by Otto Bathurst (Black Mirror, Criminal Justice) [Episodes 1-3] and Tom Harper (Misfits, This is England ’86, The Scouting Book for Boys) [Episodes 4-6] and produced by Katie Swinden (Luther, Spooks), Peaky Blinders is a co-production from Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Productions with support of the Yorkshire Content Fund.

Peaky Blinders is distributed by Endemol Worldwide Distribution. It also features music from Nick Cave, whose Red Right Hand provides the title track, Jack White and Mercury Music Prize Nominee Sam Lee.

View character posters