'Peaky Blinders' creator Steven Knight defends show's violence after star calls it 'disgusting'

Tom Beasley
Cillian Murphy plays crime family boss Tommy Shelby in BBC series 'Peaky Blinders'. (Credit: BBC)

Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight has defended his show’s use of violence after star Helen McCrory described the show’s brutal moments as “gratuitous”.

Knight told the Daily Mirror that violence is “inevitable” in his story of a notorious crime family in 1920s Birmingham, but said he always strives to depict the consequences of these crimes.

Ahead of the premiere of the show’s fifth series on the BBC next week, star Helen McCrory said she was forced to look away when watching some of the more bloody scenes.

Read more: Peaky Blinders accused of glorifying violence

McCrory, who has played Shelby family matriarch Polly since the show began in 2013, said the new series features “disgustingly violent” scenes, but added that those moments are necessary to the story.

Knight agrees and the 59-year-old screenwriter has said the antics of the show’s criminal gang are always discussed in terms of consequences.

Actress Helen McCrory poses for photographers after appearing at the 2019 BAFTA Television Awards in London, Sunday, May 12, 2019.(Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP)

He said: “It’s about gangsters so inevitably there are depictions of violence.

“But I always try to show the consequences of that violence, rather than the characters dusting themselves off and they’re fine again.”

Read more: American Peaky Blinders fans need subtitles

Knight added that he finds violence depicted as “easy” to be the worst kind of bloodletting in films and TV shows.

He said: “I think it is important to show that any act of violence has huge ­consequences.

“Sometimes those consequences last a whole lifetime. Sometimes we show those ­consequences a series later.”

Sam Claflin joins the cast of 'Peaky Blinders' in series five as fascist MP Oswald Mosley. (Credit: BBC)

Peaky Blinders stars Cillian Murphy as crime family leader Tommy Shelby, with Adrien Brody, Tom Hardy and Aidan Gillen among the supporting ensemble.

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Among the new additions for the fifth series is Hunger Games actor Sam Claflin as the notorious fascist MP Oswald Mosley.

Mosley’s influence will be felt as he approaches Tommy, who has now been elected as an MP, with his vision for the future of Britain.

Peaky Blinders will air on BBC One from 25 August, with the second episode of the series just a day later on 26 August.