LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 03:  Steven Knight attends the Premiere of BBC Two's drama "Peaky Blinders" episode one, series three at BFI Southbank on May 3, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Peaky Blinders Creator Steven Knight Had A Very Personal Goal For The Series
Most fans know that Steven Knight’s “Peaky Blinders” is inspired by a real-life street gang, but for Knight, the inspiration was more real than that. Born in Birmingham, Knight has family ties to 20th-century Birmingham gangs and used this real-life history to tell an authentic story about a mafia family's rags-to-riches tale while mythologizing the family history shared by his parents.
Knight recalled that as a child his parents would tell him stories of their lives and their families. He learned that his great uncles were part of the Sheldon gang, his mom worked for a bookmaker at just nine years old, and that his dad once delivered a message to a gangster only to see “…a table covered in money, and guns…” as Knight recounted.
Not only did this personal history influence the show’s story, but it also gave Knight insight into how gangsters were perceived. As Knight said, “I think it was … to be in charge of one’s own destiny is what played the biggest role… People who were gangsters seemed to be in control…” which informed the show’s underlying message: That we’re all in charge of our own destinies.