Created by: Steven Knight
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Sam Claflin, Finn Cole, Sophie Rundle
IMDB Rating: 8.8/10
Series five of Steven Knight’s crime family saga finds the world thrown into turmoil by the financial crash of 1929. Opportunity and misfortune are everywhere. When Tommy Shelby MP (Cillian Murphy) is approached by a charismatic politician with a bold vision for Britain, he realises that his response will affect not just his family’s future but that of the entire nation.
The highly anticipated fifth season of Peaky Blinders comes back swinging. In six episodes, the Shelby family throw us back into the fire, with deception, manipulation, and plenty of shocking twists that will leave you gasping for the very air you breathe. This season introduces us to a new rival faction in the Billy Boys, who make quite the impression in their introduction, and a political rival in the enigmatic Oswald Mosely. Both factions bring an additional air of chaos to the Shelby family, and the chaotic pace of this series is a strong reflection of the struggles our characters face this season.
We kick things off with the wall street crash, effectively impacting the companies venture in the States. It is this event that kick starts this rapid cycle of chaos in an ever-changing world, and the effectiveness of this show lies in the way our characters react to such changes. Some learn to adapt, others look to capitalise, while a select few struggle to keep up with the demands of change. It provides a fascinating insight into members of the Shelby family as this new world opens the door for new opportunities, and new threats.
The biggest threat to Tommy’s throne comes in the form of Oswald Mosely. Sam Claflin was a welcome addition to the cast, and his portrayal of the dangerously charismatic Oswald Mosely proved to be a brilliant foil to Tommy Shelby. The chemistry between Claflin and Murphy was evident every time they shared the screen as you could feel the dynamic power play between the characters at every precise moment. Oswald Mosely’s story is far from over, and while the fifth season saw the development of his movement, I’m sure the following seasons will showcase the depths of his influence in this world. It seems that Tommy Shelby has truly met his match in Mosely, yet while many may believe Mosely to be the man he can’t beat, it’s clear that the biggest threat to Tommy Shelby is himself.
This season did a phenomenal job of exposing the cracks in the Shelby family’s armour. The conflict between Michael and Tommy is at breaking point, and with Michael’s ambitions and his wife, Gina’s, influence threatening to upheave the very foundations of Shelby business limited, the Shelby family appear to be on the brink of a civil war.
It’s not just the physical cracks we witness as Tommy’s own psychological frame of mind seems to be breaking at the seams. In a series that dazzles viewers with its stylish visuals, the choice to have Grace represent Tommy’s psychological downfall was incredibly effective and haunting as each iteration of her ghost pulls Tommy further and further away from reality, calling him to his very own doom. It’s rare to see Tommy so unhinged, and as control slips from his cunning hands, her presence becomes stronger, pulling him towards his own end.
In the end, this season signifies Tommy’s sharp fall from grace. This is the first time we see Tommy without a response or a cunning plan to his failings, and for a man who for so long has been one step ahead of everyone, this is a dangerous, if not fatal descent as this fall coincides with the changes within Tommy. His battles in this series stem from a place of moral consciousness as his motives change. Tommy’s internal crisis will no doubt be a major factor in the seasons to come. Time will tell if Tommy can climb out of this hell he’s created for himself, but that journey will be faced with the most sinister foes Tommy will ever face as threats from within and without look to capitalise on his failings.
What did you think of series 5?
Any theories/predictions for the next series?