Peaky Blinders is, without a doubt, one of the most beloved and popular TV shows of these last few years. After spending so much time hanging in the streets of Birmingham with the Shelbys, it is, unfortunately, finally time to say goodbye to our favorite family of criminals, as Season 6 has marked the end of this small-screen journey — although creator Steven Knight has also confirmed that the series will ultimately wrap up with the airing of a feature film, which is currently slated to start filming in 2023.
To fill this unbearable void and ease your pain regarding this inevitable loss, we’ve assembled a list of the period dramas you should definitely watch if you love Peaky Blinders.
SAS: Rogue Heroes
If you’re looking for a new show from Steven Knight, check out SAS: Rogue Heroes, a new TV series you won’t want to miss if you loved following the life of Tommy Shelby and his family. Starring Connor Swindells, Jack O’Connell, Alfie Allen, Sofia Boutella, and Dominic West, SAS: Rogue Heroes is based on the true events that led to the creation of the SAS (Special Air Service) during the Western Desert Campaign of WWII. Indeed, Officer David Stirling’s goal is to recruit some of the best, atypical and unruly soldiers to take the enemy down in North Africa.
This first season is composed of six wild, brilliantly well-written episodes (the incredible acting of this equally incredibly talented cast does not hurt at all), and you will surely find yourself craving for more once you finish it. The great news is, Knight wants more seasons, and SAS: Rogue Heroes was such a hit that it has already been renewed for a Season 2 by the BBC, which will begin filming in 2023. After all, what else can you expect from the mastermind who brought us Peaky Blinders?
Ripper Street is one of the most criminally underrated series on this list. This story is set in the East End of London in 1889, as the city is still traumatized by the crimes of Jack the Ripper. The series follows the different investigations of Scotland Yard’s Inspector Edmund Reid and his team. The show stars Matthew Macfadyen (Pride and Prejudice, Succession) in the role of Inspector Reid, Adam Rothenberg (Ozark) as Captain Homer Jackson, and Jerome Flynn (Game of Thrones) as Detective Sergeant Bennet Drake. The incredible MyAnna Buring (The Witcher) plays the role of ‘’Long’’ Susan Hart, who first appears as the madam of her own brothel. Hart is a perfect example of how to write someone complex, questionable, flawed, and essential, especially one who always seems to be one step ahead of the police.
This BBC series has everything to look for in a period crime drama. It’s dark, gloomy, creepy, and the red wire following Reid’s heartbreaking past brings even more depth and tension to the story. Bonus point for Dominik Scherrer’s heartbreaking score that you will certainly listen to on repeat after watching Ripper Street.
The Prohibition era of the 1920s is the perfect background for a crime period drama. Gangsters, politicians, mobsters. Secrets, dirty money, corruption: Boardwalk Empire will surely bring you a bit of comfort after you finish Peaky Blinders. This HBO series follows the story of Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Steve Buscemi), a politician and the crime boss of Atlantic City, New Jersey. With a pilot episode directed by Martin Scorsese, Boardwalk Empire set the tone for crime mob period dramas for years to come. Clocking in at a total of five seasons with dozens of awards nominations and wins, including many Emmys and Golden Globes, Boardwalk Empire was one of the most popular TV shows in the early 2010s. You should definitely add it to your watch list if you haven’t already done so.
Tom Hardy and Ridley Scott teaming up for a BBC miniseries? That’s all the marketing that was needed for Taboo. Hardy portrays adventurer James Keziah Delaney, who comes back to London in 1814 after his father dies. The latter has left a very interesting inheritance to his son: a piece of land in Canada. However, this isn’t just any land to inherit; this one is highly coveted and will cost a fortune, especially once the war with America is over — and since James was presumed dead, his comeback represents a threat to a lot of dangerous people.
Also created by Knight, the man behind Peaky Blinders, this BBC show will surely keep you on the edge of your seat. If you find yourself addicted to this first season, the good news is that Taboo Season 2 is meant to hit our screens again very soon (even if we don’t have a lot of updates on it yet; from what we know, talks were had, and a second season seems to be in development. But with Hardy and Knight’s busy schedules, it is hard to be sure of a release date just yet.).
The Frankenstein Chronicles
The Frankenstein Chronicles is a very loose adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic novel, but it is no less a gripping story. Set in London during the 19th Century, Sean Bean portrays Inspector John Marlott, who is in charge to investigate a series of horrifying murders in London: the first victim was a little girl found by the Thames, whose body seems to have been reassembled. This gothic horror BBC series is as morbid as it is fascinating. Bean is absolutely remarkable, and the last episode of the first season will surely leave you breathless. Fortunately enough, an even more haunting and jaw-dropping second season of six episodes was released in 2017, to the delight of the fans.
Miss Scarlet and The Duke
Miss Scarlet and The Duke is the most light-hearted series on this list, thanks to the relationship between the two protagonists. The series, which is set in Victorian London, follows the lead character of Eliza Scarlet (Kate Phillips), who takes over her late father’s business and becomes a detective. Of course, at that time, women did not have many opportunities to earn their own money, and especially couldn’t join the police. However, Eliza refuses to give up on her dream to become the best detective in London. Her only masculine support is Inspector William Wellington, or “Duke,” (Stuart Martin) a notoriously heavy drinker and womanizer, who doesn’t take Eliza seriously (at least at the beginning). A second season is now available on PBS and Season 3 will start airing in January 2023.
Based on the 1994 novel by Caleb Carr, The Alienist is an American crime period drama set in 1896 in New York. Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Daniel Brühl), a criminal psychologist, John Moore (Luke Evans), a newspaper illustrator, and Sara Howard (Dakota Fanning), a secretary who wants to become a police detective, team up to resolve a series of horrible murders. The atmosphere, the actors’ performances, the plot — everything in this show is absolutely addicting. The first season is composed of 10 episodes, and Season 2 is actually based on the follow-up novel written by Carr called The Angel of Darkness and was released in 2020. The Alienist was a hit with the public and nominated in multiple categories at the Emmy Awards at the Golden Globes.
The last pick on this list falls more under the genre of fantasy period drama but is no less compelling. Carnival Row is a Prime Video series starring Orlando Bloom in the role of Inspector Rycroft Philostrate and Cara Delevingne as a fairy named Vignette Stonemoss. Similar to the London Victorian era, Carnival Row mostly takes place in The Burgue, where mythical creatures struggle to survive amongst humans. Philostrate and Vignette, who were once lovers, meet again after many years apart. Together, they face an increasingly intolerant and bigoted society, as The Burgue is prey to one of its yet most dangerous threats. The mix between fantasy, realism, and history definitely makes this show stand out in this list, but it’s absolutely worth a watch if you’re into fantasy and crazy about crime period dramas. Carnival Row‘s second and final season will start airing February 17, 2023, exclusively on Prime Video.