Peaky Blinders is a gangster family epic set in Birmingham, England in 1919, just after the First World War. The story centres on the Romani/Irish Peaky Blinders gang and their ambitious and highly cunning boss Tommy Shelby (played by Cillian Murphy). The gang comes to the attention of Chief Inspector Major Chester Campbell (played by Sam Neill), a detective in the Royal Irish Constabulary sent over by Winston Churchill from Belfast, where he had been sent to clean up the city of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), communists, gangs and common criminals. Winston Churchill (played by Andy Nyman in series 1 and Richard McCabe in series 2) charged him with suppressing disorder and uprising in Birmingham and recovering a stolen cache of arms meant to be shipped to Libya.
The second series is set two years after the first and sees the Shelby family expand their criminal organization in the “South and North [of London] while maintaining a stronghold in their Birmingham heartland.” It begins in 1921 and ends with a climax at Epsom racecourse on Derby Day in June 1922.
Series three is set two years after Series two, in 1924. It follows Tommy and his family as they enter an even more dangerous world as they once again expand, this time, internationally. Internet-based film and TV news company Screen Rant said
The season revolves around the notion of social classes and empires, and how they rise and fall with a startling sort of predictability. As the show suggests, over time, empires become too big, too corrupt, and too complicated to sustain themselves and eventually, they collapse. … The series expresses its fears of expansion by teaching Tommy a powerful lesson about the other sharks skulking around in criminal waters – especially when those criminals are the ones involved in governmental plots with massive geopolitical implications. Essentially, Peaky Blinders embarked on a fish out of water story by moving outside its own comfort zone and taking the risk of expanding too much and too quickly. There are times when that risk appears to have paid off.
Series three also added such talents as: Paddy Considine as Father John Hughes; Alexander Siddig as Ruben Oliver, a painter whom Polly enlists to paint her portrait; Gaite Jansen as Russian Grand Duchess Tatiana Petrovna; and Kate Phillips as Linda Shelby, wife of Arthur.