It’s been a year since Cillian Murphy last graced our screens as Thomas Shelby – depraved, enigmatic gang leader of the Brummie Peaky Blinders mob. And now, after a long-anticipated wait, season four of the cult TV show is about to air. Tomorrow night, the Shelby gang will make a brutal return, promising more blood, buzz cuts, tears and a glut of gang-fuelled drama. Here’s why you should be cancelling your plans to catch this brooding, visceral drama…
1. Cillian Murphy
Need we say more? Seriously, what's not to love about Cillian Murphy? He's hot, he can act (and we mean really act; who else can glide effortlessly from vicious thug to bona fide heartthrob?), and despite being cast as the eternal villain, you can't help but fall for his intense, penetrating stares, chiseled cheekbones and raspy Irish accent. And when he plays squalid Peaky Blinders gangster Thomas Shelby, we guarantee you’ll become totally transfixed.
2. The Outfits
Everything about Peaky Blinders is incredible, but the costumes are a particularly big draw. Fans of vintage clothing will love the sharp suits and glamorous gowns, featuring everything from overcoats and three-piece suits to elaborate furs and flapper dresses. Ada and Aunt Polly seriously know how to dress the part, but it’s the terrifying razor-primed peaks that take the lead as the stars of the show.
3. It’s Really, Really Good
As mega fans we may be slightly biased, but it’s not just us who think the Shelbys are the bees knees. Critics have dubbed Peaky Blinders as one of the best box sets in history, and one of the BBC’s “most intelligent, stylish and engrossing dramas”. Look forward to an intensely gripping, dramatic plot courtesy of the brilliantly talented Steven Knight – best known for his screenwriting on films like Dirty Pretty Things, Eastern Promises and the fiercely original Locke – with plenty of twists and turns that will leave you reeling after every episode.
4. The Set
Set in 1920s Birmingham, Peaky Blinders captures the real grit and gloom of the industrial era with stunning cinematography. There’s a mysterious darkness which exudes from almost every scene, with illicit warehouses, smoke-filled drinking dens and sultry, low-lit townhouses lining the murky, cobbled streets. But amidst the foggy Victorian slums and vicious gangster brawls, Peaky Blinders manages to find a strange, seductive beauty that’s as glamorous as it is gloomy, and sets the scene perfectly for the Shelby’s shady goings on.
5. The Soundtrack
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds kick off the Shelby’s debauched criminal activities right from the off with the haunting classic Red Right Hand, and the blisteringly cool soundtrack just gets better and better from there. Despite not fitting authentically with the era, who are we to argue when Tommy Shelby struts through the smoggy streets to the sounds of Johnny Cash, Radiohead and Bowie?
6. It’s Seriously Gripping
Slick, smart and grotesquely violent, Peaky Blinders is guaranteed to have you hooked from the start with the perfect mix of drama, tension, grit and provocative glamour. Cillian Murphy enthralls in every scene and, without giving too much away (for those who are yet to indulge), this Brummie Boardwalk Empire turns the tension up all the way to eleven with enough guns, gangsters, family feuds and star-crossed lovers to rival even the most epic of mobster movies.
7. The Stellar Cast
With a line-up that reads like a who’s who of the acting world, you’d expect to see the stellar cast of Peaky Blinders on a film poster rather than on the small screen, with everyone from Sam Neil, Helen McCroy, Tom Hardy and Paddy Considine making an appearance. This season, the production team have upped the ante once again, welcoming Oscar-winner Adrien Brody as Italian mobster, Luca Changretta, to the grisly Birmingham streets.
8. You Can Binge Watch On Netflix
If you’re yet to get your Peaky Blinders fix, you can binge watch the first two series on Netflix now. The sofa beckons…
9. It’s Based On A True Story
The series is loosely based on a criminal gang who terrorised the streets of Birmingham during the late 19th and early 20th-centuries. They were called the ‘Peaky Blinders’ as they used to stitch razor blades into their trademark flat caps to brutally attack their victims. During the first two series, there are also references to real-life events – season one is set in 1919 shortly after the first world war; the second season begins two years later; and the third two years after that, with Winston Churchill popping up occasionally in the first and second series.