Tom Hardy’s complex character takes on the superpowers of the day in a bid to rebuild his family empire and redeem himself amid the politics of 19th century Britain, writes
thought he heard dead people singing to him from the river,” he says.
“Then he goes away to Africa, where he was healed, if you like. Those things he had were interpreted not as an illness but powers, and when he comes back he’s much more at ease with himself.”
Delaney returns home after the death of his father to rebuild his family’s shipping empire, but both the government and his biggest competitor want his inheritance at any cost.
“He decides to take on the biggest powers on Earth at that time: the British Crown, the East India Company and the fledgling United States,” Knight says. “It’s quite a task and he knows it, but he pursues it with single- mindedness.”
Knight is writing season two of Taboo, which has been renewed by the BBC and America’s FX channel.
“The great thing about doing TV rather than film is it gives you time to set up a character of a certain sort, and to see if you can bring him around,” he says.
“Initially people think he’s there for revenge for his father but it’s a much bigger picture than that. He has global ambitions. He’s got a plan and the plan is the thing that propels him.
“It’s an exploration of do you take your demons with you or can you escape?”