Peaky Blinders review: Dark Knight's Tom Hardy is a sinister new foil to Cillian Murphy's Shelby

The Hollywood actor reunited with his Dark Knight and Inception co-star to deliver a fine performance

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The Independent Culture

Peaky Blinders continues to gently unfold as Tommy Shelby presses ahead with his London expansion plans. But this week sees the hotly anticipated arrival of Dark Knight Rises star Tom Hardy as the Brummy gangster's would-be brother-in-arms Alfie Solomons.

When the pair meet, predictably in deepest darkest Camden, Cillian Murphy and Hardy burn with suppressed violence as they attempt to reach a deal in the only way such men can: with a gun pointed squarely at someone’s head.

The actors, who have worked together both on Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and Inception, are equally matched on the small screen.


Hardy is impressive as the initially charismatic yet sinister North London don. His depiction is layered with an edge of unpredictability that is common to the telly stereotype gangster.

Although Solomons was merely introduced in this episode we shall be seeing far more of him as he is set to join forces with the Peaky Blinders crew in a turf war with the Italians. Undoubtedly, there will be further face offs with Tommy to look forward to.

There’s never a dull moment for the head of the Shelby family. But even though there is a lot going on (not to mention Arthur's PTSD and Polly’s adoption subplot) the drama is paced intelligently so the viewer doesn't feel overloaded.

Although, having said this, Tommy seems to make a rather implausible recovery (aided by whisky and tea) after getting beaten to a pulp last week.

Peaky Blinders is is setting the bar very high for British drama. Cinematically, each episode is a work of an art, and the scripting remains tight and punchy despite confusing plotlines and multi-layered characters. No wonder Hollywood's darlings are flocking to the small screen.