Compelling gangster drama Peaky Blinders, starring Cillian Murphy, was the first production to benefit from investment through Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund, ensuring the bulk of the production was filmed in Yorkshire. The highly cinematic BBC 2 drama has been lauded for its captivating performances, authentic costume & set design, atmospheric soundtrack and beautifully shot scenes, set against a backdrop of stunning period Yorkshire locations. It won ‘Best Drama’ at the Royal Television Society Awards in March 2014 and was voted third by audiences in the Radio Times annual Best TV shows poll. Peaky Blinders is a co-production between Caryn Mandabach Productions & Tiger Aspect, Screen Yorkshire and BBC.
Peaky Blinders was backed by Screen Yorkshire through the Yorkshire Content Fund, bringing major economic benefits to the region. The production not only employed crew and facilities, but also the services of a range of local enterprises who supplied an eclectic range of goods and services to ensure the authenticity of sets representing the period just after the First World War.
Peaky Blinders is set in 1919 in the lawless slum neighbourhoods of post war Birmingham, where Thomas Shelby’s (Cillian Murphy) family lead the most feared and powerful local gang, the Peaky Blinders. With Communists, rival gangs and a crate of stolen guns mixed into the volatile brew, Winston Churchill dispatches a brutal Belfast policeman (Sam Neill) to bring order at any cost.
Created by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Dirty Pretty Things) Peaky Blinders is directed by Otto Bathurst (Black Mirror, Criminal Justice) and Tom Harper (Scouting Book For Boys, This Is England ’86) and stars Cillian Murphy, Sam Neill and Helen McCrory.
Peaky Blinders hired production offices and studio space at Studio 81 on Kirkstall Road in leeds, it also filmed at locations including Leeds City Varieties, Bolton Abbey, Skipton, Undercliffe Cemetery Bradford, Peel Park Bradford, Leeds Town Hall, Ilkley Winter Gardens, Newby Hall & Gardens, Salts Mill, Saltaire, Brooke’s Mill, Huddersfield, Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, Braimes Pressings, Leeds, North Light Film Studios, Dalton Mill, St.Chad’s Church and Bolton Abbey, Skipton. The Vintage Carriages Trust, which owns Ingrow Museum of Rail Travel, provided carriages and a steam locomotive.
“To realise 1919 Birmingham was always going to be a massive challenge. The Birmingham we needed to recreate, due to a combination of the war and town planners, doesn’t exist anymore. We decided that Yorkshire was the best place to base the drama ‘Peaky Blinders’. A combination of fantastic period locations, great crew and support from Screen Yorkshire and the local council. Most of our filming was in Leeds and supplemented by shooting a couple of key locations in Liverpool and Birmingham.” Frith Tiplady, Executive Producer, Tiger Aspect Productions
‘’a cracking, multi-layered yarn that packs more into five minutes than Doc Martin manages in a series. It has both style and substance…On the basis of five episodes of six, this has been an excellent commission.’’ Serena Davies, The Telegraph
‘’some truly powerful drama and great acting. Everything is now in place to deliver a fantastic finale to what has been a very strong series for the BBC.” Tom French, Den Of Geek
”Steven Knight has clearly looked across the Atlantic Ocean to HBO for inspiration, setting his tale of Brummie gangsters in a vivid, darkly compelling world and adding a modern soundtrack, sharp haircuts and an inescapable sense that this way trouble lies….one of the most enjoyable things I’ve seen in some time.” Sarah Hughes, The Independent
”Peaky Blinders was a fantastic political thriller that deserves a second series” Metro
‘’a compelling grand guignol spectacle, which looked wonderful – all grimy browns, smoky blacks and ash falling like snow – and was acted with mesmeric conviction particularly by Murphy, Neill and Wallis.’’ Sarah Crompton, The Telegraph