‘Slow-burning, stylish brilliance: Peaky Blinders returns in all its glory’
BBC Two, 9pm
Not for nothing is the triumphant return of writer Steven Knight’s Birmingham gangland saga entitled The Noose, however it is death by a very different hand that estranged clan chief Tommy Shelby (the excellent Cillian Murphy, above, centre) is seeking to avoid, following the arrival of a mysterious Christmas card. By the end of the last series, it was tempting to think that the show had run out of steam, that the Shelbys had grown too sleek and pampered, dispersed to their rural retreats. Now, in the face of an all-out assault and despite lush Polly’s reluctance, Tommy calls a family meeting to underline how vital it is for everyone to reunite: “We’re not the Peaky Blinders unless we’re together.” Tension brings out the best in this drama and this episode is one of the most compelling to date. Slow-burning, stylish Brummie brilliance. With Adrien Brody.