Birmingham, 1919. Thomas Shelby is a war veteran, and head of feared gang, the Peaky Blinders. Named for their practice of sewing razor blades into the peaks of their caps, they make money from illegal betting, protection and the black market.
When he comes into possession of a crate of guns from the local arms factory, Thomas sees an opportunity to increase the gang’s power and move up in the world. Meanwhile, tough Belfast copper Chief Inspector Campbell arrives in town, tasked with the recovery of the guns by none other than Winston Churchill. Will Thomas listen to the Peaky Blinders’ family matriarch, Aunt Polly, who instructs him to ditch the weapons rather than take on the police?
At the same time Thomas incurs the wrath of his older brother, Arthur, when he stages ‘the powder trick’: a magic spell which will encourage the locals to bet on a horse. It’s the first step in fixing a race, but Thomas did it without the permission of Billy Kimber, the kingpin who runs the racetracks.
Thomas’s younger sister Ada, meanwhile, is secretly having a relationship with his former best friend and the man who saved his life in the trenches, Freddie Thorne. Freddie is a Marxist, encouraging workers to strike over their recent cuts in pay.
Like Thomas and the Peaky Blinders, Freddie and the Communists are on Chief Inspector Campbell’s list of suspects: organisations he intends to decapitate in his ruthless search for the missing guns.
Confirmed for BBC Two on 12 September at 9.00pm to 10.00pm
Thursday 12 September