'Peaky Blinders' Season 5: Three main factors that contributed to making Steven Knight's show a cult classic
The show could have easily been a drag with the periodical drama aspect, yet it managed to pull through with its sheer cult following.
Things go very wrong with periodical dramas especially if it is based on a historical event or a historical figure. Fortunately, BBC One's 'Peaky Blinders' has managed to do away with all the unnecessary virtues of periodical dramas and has become renowned as a cult classic. Let's not confuse cult classics with fan favorites though since cult classics usually pull in this mass of people who practically become part of the cult with their fandom. That is precisely what happened with creator Steven Knight's show, and it is this one cult where you will find famed personalities, such as David Beckham, and the late Leonard Cohen and David Bowie, spend all their fortune to establish themselves as the rightful followers.
There are reasons, why in spite of being a periodical drama rather grave in tone, and serious in approach, 'Peaky Blinders' has managed to draw so many fans. Let's take a look at the top three reasons how the show just has the perfect ingredients of a cult classic.
1. Interesting yet strange characters
You would probably never set foot in the Eden Club if you come across a drunkard who is practically enjoying shooting people at random. Yet, you cannot help but wonder about the man from a distance. Such is the charm of the characters in the story. For the most part, you have these massive, rowdy men, clothed in trench coats and blinding caps who are just as violent as they can get, and then there are these women who are way ahead of their times almost spearheading every conspiracy carried out by the men.
Knight did not discriminate between the bravery of his male characters and the subtle boldness of his female characters. No one is like them, and yet, everyone wants to be like them. That is the most compulsory ingredient of a cult classic, and 'Peaky Blinders' has more than enough of it.
2. An enduring small audience
This might not be the case of 'Peaky Blinders' after its venture into Netflix, where Season 4 saw a huge influx of audience from all over the world, but the show went relatively unnoticed when it had first aired on BBC Two almost five years ago. However, over the course of its run, the show began to pull in a massive audience, and these audiences were head over heels for everything that the show had to offer. Yet, long before the show would go global, it acquired for itself some pretty important fans such as David Bowie and Leonard Cohen both of whom have dedicated their songs to the show- Bowie's 'Lazarus' was just the perfect rendition when in Season 2, Thomas was coming in and out of his consciousness, and Cohen's 'You Want it Darker' which is now serving as the opening theme for the BBC series 'Black Earth Rising'.
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Also, let's not forget that David Beckham and his family are practically morphing into the peaky blinders.
3. That one cult theme
Every cult classic has that one theme song which is so uniquely their's that if played in some other situation the song would probably lose all of its charm. Nick Cave's 'Red Right Hand' came out in 1994, and almost a decade later the lucid track found a concrete shape in Knight's show. The song plays at the beginning of every episode where the camera focuses mostly on Thomas and later puts him in the middle of a frame, making him look like the ruler of Birmingham. The song, while defining Thomas, has largely defined the basic idea of the show; think about the line, "He'll appear out of nowhere but/ He ain't what he seems/ You'll see him in your head..." That is what the peaky blinders are infamous for- appearing out of nowhere, looking like gentlemen who you admire only your head, and in the end, destroy what took you a lifetime to achieve."
'Peaky Blinders' hasn't announced an official date yet, but it is set to return in May.