Peaky Blinders ended its fifth season on September 22nd this year. The British Drama series was focusing on historical fiction and action, which has gained quite a popularity. Nonetheless, did you know that there was a gang called Peaky Blinders?
The chasm between real and reel? Or a wise decision?
Unlike the series that takes place during World War I and continues in World War II the real-life, Peaky Blinders had left their trace till then.
Though, from a business point of view, the long run of the show outranks the short-lived history of the gang.
The infamous gang was active in the 1890s. The group emerged in the poverty-ridden streets of Birmingham, England.
Since unemployment was at its peak, the suffering men and boys took to petty crimes. Thus, they formed a gang. This gang was widely known for crimes like robbery, violence, political influence, and the control of gambling. Like organized structure, Peaky Blinders had a hierarchy in the gang.
Though the series Peaky Blinders has been dramatized for entertainment purposes through intense crimes and manipulations.
The inspired series depicts the life of the Shelby family as the gang. But in reality, Peaky Blinders had no such family at its head.
In fact, the timeline of the two doesn’t match at all. As the 1890s were the active years of the real gang, who vanished from the limelight during the first world war due to gang competition. While the show spans the journey from 1919-1940, additionally, the show would conclude with the first air raid siren in Birmingham.
Steven Knight, creator of the show, heard of the myth-like gang from his parents. Thus like a child’s mind perceives a story as glamorous, bright, and satisfactory, he made the story twist and turn according to the entertainment industry.
‘Peaky Blinders’: what does it actually mean?
The gang sure has an intriguing name. ‘Peaky Blinders’ is believed to be derived from the gang members sewing razor blades into the peaks of their caps. Then, this came into use while fighting. Rumour has it that they utilized the blade to blind their opponents in a fight.
However, it is not possible. Clearly, the gang was poor, and thus, they could not afford expensive things like razor blades. The hazardous weapons was sure a luxury at that time.
Instead, the name is derived from their prim and proper dressing. The signature feature of Peaky Blinders’ is their peaked caps. Alongside that, they outfitted themselves in: tailored jackets, lapel overcoats, button waistcoats, silk scarves, bell-bottom trousers, leather boots. Interestingly, blinder was a slang term used for those dressed in astonishingly dazzling clothes.
Are the characters inspired by real life?
About the characters that play the main part, Tommy Shelby is purely fictional. Even then, Cillian Murphy beautifully portrays the character.
Still, Billy Kimber of the Birmingham Boys is a real-life gangster. He appeared as an antagonist on the season 1 and was played by Charlie-Creed Miles. He died at the end of the first season, but essentially, he gave competition to Tommy Shelby.
Also, Oswald Mosley, the fascist politician, a real-life figure, also appeared as the devil in the latest season. Clearly, he plays a good antagonist keeping Tommy Shelby on his toes.
Actually, there are two more seasons of the series sketched out. It remains to be seen what else would be invented to spice up the drama. And what all may be inspired from the real like Peaky Blinders.