BBC – PEAKY BLINDERS – 2013 – SERIES 1
Birmingham 1919. Great
Britain is just coming out of the First World War’s
butchery and slaughter and has to face three main problems: the rebellion or
upheaval in Ireland,
the discontentment of the people after the war and their leaning towards Marxism,
communism and a violent revolution. Finally all kinds of trafficking people who
try to build businesses on the basis of some more or less, rather more than
less, criminal activities with the rivalry between or among gangs and families,
and among these gangs and families there are the gypsies. A super cop is moved
from Ireland to Birmingham to clean up
the plate after an important shipment of weapons and ammunitions were stolen.
The series describe the bleak and
gruesome living conditions of the working class and their direct members who
organize the various services like the circulation of alcohol and tobacco, the
various fights in illegal or irregular boxing rings, the betting on horses and
other things with bookmakers. The cops are complacent, very corrupted or let’s
say blind and they want some kind of peaceful service even if violence is
everywhere around. The new cop sent by London
is not exactly what they would call a pacifying element.
The series is well done,
extremely well acted and quite suspenseful. It shows how among the families who
exploit the bleak situation there are rivalries that are warlike more than fair
play. Everything is good to get what the others have, to increase your
territory and your influence by getting rid of others, of competitors. Competition
in other words is always to the death.
There is in other words no ethics
anywhere and even the communists who are self-sacrificing are not really better
because their objective is to force society in one direction rather than the
other by using the discontentment of many to turn them into their most of the
time unarmed infantry.
The series gives some depth to
the plot by having a female operative from Ireland brought into Birmingham and the
territory of one family, the Shelby’s, and both the new cop (quite older than
her) and the main young brother of the Shelby’s fall in love with her. She is
the traitor among the Shelby’s and she in fact betrays both the cop who she
does not like at all though or because he is her superior officer and the young
Thomas Shelby since she manages to reveal to the cop where the stolen weapons
are, bringing the two main gangs to a confrontation that could have been a blood
bath, and that was the very calculation of the cop. Could have been and was not
because of some unforeseen development.
The Irish problem is never really
taken into any deep consideration. It is only a circumstantial though dangerous
element that is in no way either justified or exposed. It is a looming drama behind
the scene hardly visible on the stage. The Irish Republican Army does not strut
around in plain daylight in Birmingham.
Quite interesting altogether,
even if it is maybe slightly bleaker than what it was in reality. But who
really knows or remembers?
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU