“This place is under new management, by order of the Peaky Blinders.”
With its smouldering and glamorous depiction of post-war gangsters in a time of great moral and economic upheaval, it is safe to say that Peaky Blinders has become a cultural phenomenon.
It’s picked up countless awards—including several BAFTAs—since its premiere in 2013 and is currently in its fifth series: averaging 5-6 million viewers.
It is such a hit, series six is already in the works and the creator hinted that series seven wasn’t far behind. There was even a Peaky Blinders Festival for superfans (like Liam Gallagher) in Birmingham this weekend, where fans had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of the Peaky Blinders and become a Shelby for a day.
But what is it about Peaky Blinders that has resonated so deeply with the British public? Luckily, I have compiled a list of the best moments of the show so far to give you a taste of the BBC drama’s allure.
So, if you’re planning to watch the show or aren’t completely caught up yet, please be advised that there are *SPOILERS AHEAD*.
S04E04 – Alfie vs Aberama Gold
Although the sinister backdrop of gang operations does allow room for some serious drama and violence, what Peaky Blinders does is go against expectations.
For example, they managed to achieve the impossible and make someone like Tom Hardy look unattractive. Hardy’s character, the leader of a rival gang, provides a lot of deadpan moments in the series that, whilst hilarious, don’t feel forced in the slightest.
Take this moment in series four for example, when Hardy’s character Alfie gets straight into the one-liners moments after apparently coming back from the dead—a moment fans dubbed one of the best lines of 2017.
S02E04 – When Arthur Shelby Takes Over the Eden Club
The older brother of the main character Thomas Shelby, in series two we see Arthur descend into further trouble with the violent and erratic takeover of the Eden Club; proving to everyone that he is indeed ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’.
Although the Shelbys’ ownership of the Eden Club was short-lived (they lost it in the very next episode), it did include the most iconic line of the whole show, when Arthur told the terrified Eden Club punters that the club was ‘under new management, by order of the Peaky Blinders’. This line, three years on, is still quoted today and is undoubtedly the scene that put Peaky Blinders on the map.
S03E2/3 – The Death of Grace Shelby
With the murder, scheming and treachery that comes with being Thomas Shelby, it might be hard to see that he has a human side to him. His relationship with Grace, however, gripped audiences across the first three series, showing us the softer side of the Peaky Blinder—especially when he later married Grace and had a child with her.
It is made clear in the show that Thomas didn’t have the easiest of upbringings, so seeing him settle into a family unit with Grace gave a glimmer of hope of a brighter and happier future for our protagonist.
So, when Grace met her maker by a bullet meant for her husband, it was not only a completely blindsided twist—it was also completely gut-wrenching and devastating to watch.
S05E01 – The Return of Grace
Following on from her death, the first Mrs Shelby made a surprise reappearance in this series’ premiere as she returned to her husband as a hallucination.
It was a bittersweet moment as she cradled Thomas in her arms and declared to him: “After all this time, our love still remains”.
It was clear from this scene that the pain from Grace’s death had never left him, whilst also giving us an insight into his troubled state of mind. With his vision of Grace telling him to listen to the voices in his head, it is clear that the leader of the Peaky Blinders was losing his sense of reality and, in a heartbreaking revelation, was now a broken man.
S01E06 – When Tommy Shelby shoots Billy Kimber
Series one of Peaky Blinders introduced us to not only the Shelby dynasty but also their simultaneous friend and foe, Billy Kimber. Tommy and Billy experience a power struggle throughout the first series, and it seems as if the episode ends with the Shelbys moving away from a life of crime and instead take over Billy’s racecourses.
Instead, we see that the Shelbys’ bloodlust and desire for power are too much for them to give up, as Tommy withstands a bullet to the chest to ultimately kill his competitor in one fatal swoop—cementing the Peaky Blinders’ reputation as the most fearsome gang in Birmingham.
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With Youth Discount currently offering 10% off at GB posters, now is the time to show your loyalty to the most notorious gang in Birmingham.