Peaky Blinders

A Liverpool dockside was transported back to the early 20th century for a forthcoming television gangster saga.

The six-part drama series, called Peaky Blinders, has started shooting at the city’s Stanley Dock.

It boasts a cast including Inception actor Cillian Murphy, Jurassic Park star Sam Neill and Harry Potter actress Helen McCrory.Camera crews, a horse and cart and a vintage car arrived on set this week as Liverpool held onto its claim as one of the UK’s most acclaimed filming locations.

The cast of the BBC drama also features The Tudors actress Annabelle Wallis, actor Iddo Goldberg, who appeared in Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, and Wild Bill star Charlie Creed-Miles.

Series creator Steven Knight said: “The story I want to tell is based on family legend and historical fact.

“It is a fiction woven into a factual landscape which is breathtakingly dramatic and cinematic but which for very English reasons has been consigned to historical text books.”

The story begins in 1919 in the slum neighbourhoods of post war Birmingham – a city where some scenes were also filmed.

It is set in the days after World War I when returning soldiers, revolutionaries and criminal gangs all fight for survival.

Guns smuggled home from the trenches find their way on to the streets and become lethal currency.

And as Churchill mobilises his special branch forces, illegal bookmakers make fortunes in speak-easy betting shops.

It centres on the fierce Shelby family, who are headed up by actor Damian Lewis’s wife Helen McCrory, who plays matriarch Aunt Polly Gray.

Named the Peaky Blinders for their practise of sewing razor blades into the peaks of their caps, they make their money from off track betting, protection and robbery.

Their boss Tommy Shelby, who is played by Cillian Murphy, is the most ruthless brother in the family.

But his leadership is put to the test when Belfast police chief Campbell, played by The Piano actor Sam Neill, is sent to clean up the city.

Annabelle Wallis, who also starred in the Snow White and the Huntsman, plays Grace Burgess who arrives with a mysterious past and a secret.

Ben Stephenson, controller BBC drama commissioning, said: “Building on BBC Two’s reputation for world-class drama Peaky Blinders is a phenomenally authored drama series shedding light on a piece of hidden British history.

“Authentic, bloody and utterly compelling, Peaky Blinders welcomes Steven Knight and Otto Bathurst and adds another boldly crafted drama to our roster of upcoming shows.”

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