Peaky Blinders mural of the character Thomas Shelby played by actor Cillian Murphy promoting the final series of the popular BBC drama by street artist Akse P19 in Digbeth on 23rd February 2022 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Peaky Blinders is a British crime drama television series created by Steven Knight, that premiered on BBC Two on 12 September 2013. The series is primarily set in Birmingham, England, and follows the exploits of the Shelby crime family in the aftermath of World War I. Akse P-19 is an artist known for his photo-realistic portraits. (photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)
Movies - TV
How Peaky Blinders Takes Advantage Of History’s Inherent ‘Chaos’
When a show is based on real events, it’s easy to forget where history ends and the story begins. This is true of “Peaky Blinders,” which although based on a real gang and gravitating around historical events, is heavily embellished with fiction. In a conversation with Den of Geek, series creator Steven Knight revealed the method behind the show’s “mythological sheen.”
Knight explained that much of “[his] research wherever possible is looking at real characters, not significant players in historical events but people who were around at the time and to see the true stories of these people.” This gives the show its sometimes surreal relationship to realism, with dialogue and settings based on real life overlaid with dreamlike symbolism.
Knight also pointed out that history is more chaotic than historians portray it, and that “you see within that chaos a pattern that you might want to take advantage of…” In the chaos of history, Knight uses the fictional Shelby family as his entry point into the real-life reality of hardscrabble people who carved out their own corner of the world in the early 1900s.