6 top Netflix shows for Peaky Blinders fans
British crime dramas are, as you know, often pretty classy affairs. We know how to make a good whodunit in this country – and our police procedurals are usually top drawer as well. But when it comes to dramas seen from the criminal’s perspective? Gangster fare? We usually fall down somewhat and import those kinds of shows in from the States. Think The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire…
But that all changed the evening that Steven Knight’s mean and moody Midlands-set Peaky Blinders – his tale of the exploits of the notorious Black Country gang known as the Peaky Blinders, named for their propensity for stashing face-slashing razor blades in their peaked caps – first debuted on BBC Two back in 2013 and rocked British television.
Set in the aftermath of the Great War, the action follows the shell-shocked but hugely ambitious figure of Thomas Shelby (a perma-glowering Cillian Murphy) as he fights to make his family enterprise a criminal force to be reckoned with.
Stylish and violent gangster dramas set in 1920s Birmingham are a rare thing. But that doesn’t mean that fans of Peaky Blinders can’t seek solace in relatively similar TV entertainment when their favourite crime drama isn’t on.
We scoured the streaming service Netflix for half a dozen shows we just know that Shelby family fans will love. Here are six of the best shows like Peaky Blinders.
6 top Netflix UK shows like Peaky Blinders:
Godless might well be set a good three decades before and 7,000 miles away from the Peaky Blinders action, but there are plenty of parallels between the two programmes. Both are grim, uncompromising and often quite shockingly violent. Of course, the majority of main characters in both are male but, as with Steven Knight’s series, strong women prop this western series up too.
Voted by many critics as one of the TV shows of the year, Godless stars Jack O’Connell, Jeff Daniels, Michelle Dockery and Scoot McNairy, with Hollywood legend Steven Soderbergh on board as producer – all but guaranteeing quality.
IMDb rating: 8.5
Suburra: Blood on Rome
Director Stefano Silloma was given the reins to the Sicario sequel when Denis Villeneuve stepped down before filming began on 2018’s Day of the Soldado. The Italian was – quite rightly – trusted with the franchise because of his excellent work on the 2015 movie Suburra.
Sicario’s producers weren’t the only ones impressed with Sollima’s film based on the novel of the same name by Giancarlo De Cataldo and Carlo Bonini. Not long after its release, Netflix commissioned a prequel series based on the film that delves deep into the crooked world of shady dealings in the Italian capital. Cue organised crime groups, politicians and even figures within the Vatican working – and falling out – with each other.
There’s a lot going on here, so you need to pay attention. Luckily for us, Suburra: Blood on Rome makes it an easy task. A third and final series is currently in the works and may arrive on Netflix at the end of 2020. The first two are available to enjoy with subtitles now.
IMDb rating: 8.0
This story of a hulking antihero from Native American stock who stomps about in colonial times arguing the toss about American borders might sound more Taboo than Peaky Blinders, but bear with us here. With both of those British shows featuring a gruff n’ tough Tom Hardy and being set in the past, they’re actually not too dissimilar. Besides, we think there’s enough machismo and intrigue in this Canadian drama starring Jason Momoa to more than satisfy fans of the Brum crimer.
IMDb rating: 7.2
Eight episodes of this 2019 Spanish crime drama await aficionados of high-class gangster fare. Peaky Blinders fans will have to abandon their beloved post-World War One Birmingham though, in favour of Barcelona in 1960, an altogether more glamorous locale and era.
Tense, gripping, dramatic and anchored by two fine central performances from Javier Rey as drug kingpin Malpica and Adriana Ugarte as our eponymous ‘H’ (pronounced ‘hache’ in Spanish), this is grown-up and highly involving drama. This quality series richly deserves to sit at the top table with the likes of Money Heist and High Seas, dining out as the very best of Iberian TV.
IMDb rating: 6.2
Dogs of Berlin
Neo-Nazis, the Lebanese mob, Turkish nationalists, football hooligans, the Berlin mafia… They’re all involved here in this grim ‘n’ gritty German crimer. Who killed Germany’s divisive football star Orkan Erdem (a thinly-disguised version of Mesut Özil)? This eight-part thriller has corrupt copper Kurt Grimmer (Felix Kramer) and Erol Birkan (Fahri Yardim), a by-the-book police type of Turkish origin, investigate.
Dogs of Berlin is unapologetically macho, with football, violence and a cast of leather jacket-wearing dodgy geezers with guns filling the screen at all times. The real star of the show is the city itself, though – rarely do we get to see the German capital on screen outside of the context of a talky spy thriller or World War Two drama. Here, it revels in its role as a cosmopolitan metropolis with a dark and seedy underbelly.
IMDb rating: 7.5
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
On the surface, this Australian series about a glamorous private detective might not seem particularly well suited as a recommendation to a Blinderphile. But if you set aside the violence and glum faces, there’s plenty of overlap and plenty more besides to enjoy.
The first similarity? Well, it’s set in the same time period. There’s plenty of murdering afoot in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries too. The Babadook’s Essie Davis is the eponymous character, a flapper who knows a bad guy when she sees one. And how to go about catching one.
It may be a little more restrained than Peaky Blinders, but this is damn fine entertainment nonetheless.
IMDb rating: 8.4
Hooked on any shows like Peaky Blinders? Let us know in the comments below…