I finished watching arguably the best British drama in decades, Peaky Blinders (2013–2022). For me it should be the gold standard for future British television. The high bar other productions measure themselves against.
The shows strength hangs entirely on Steven Knight’s writing. Its power is in the myths he creates. Mythologising that goes beyond simple dramatisation, and into the wider cultural mind. A shiny example of John Ford’s maxim, from his western The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), “when the legend becomes fact, print the legend”.
While the thirty-sixth episode is supposed to the last we see of the Shelby clan, I’m not convinced it’s the end. There’s too much story left to be told, much more mythology to be created.
Knight has said in interview, he has a vision of Sir Thomas Shelby standing on the steps of the House of Lords, as waves of bombers fill the sky above him, all heading off to fight Hitler’s Germany.
That’s too good an image not to be used. And the final episode leaves way too many loose ends for this to be it. There’s Duke and Finn, Tommy’s infant son and Ada as an MP. I for one want to see Sir Tommy take on and foul Mosley’s ambitions.