Peaky Blinders: If you like the epic gangster drama, you’ll love... Boardwalk Empire, Penny Dreadful and Taboo

Looking for TV shows like Peaky Blinders? Here are seven similar series to watch if you’re hooked on the Birmingham-set crime family drama starring Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby.

Peaky Blinders has gained a cult following since it premiered on the BBC six years ago, going from word-of-mouth hit to pop culture phenomenon as it traced the saga of a Birmingham crime family. 

Starring Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby, the leader of a criminal gang in the lawless streets of 1920s Birmingham, the show garnered an army of famous fans including Julia Roberts and Samuel L. Jackson.

But if you’ve already finished binge-watching the first four seasons and you're up to date with Peaky Blinders season 5, here are seven similar shows to watch now - from US dramas like Boardwalk Empire and Sons of Anarchy, to homegrown hits like Penny Dreadful and Taboo.

Peaky Blinders seasons 1-4 are available to stream on BBC iPlayer and Netflix now, under the Players & Apps tab on BT TV. Season 5 continues Sundays at 9pm on BBC One.

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Boardwalk Empire

boardwalk empire

How can I watch it?

All five seasons of Boardwalk Empire are available to buy on Amazon Prime Video now.

What’s it about?

Boardwalk Empire is an American period crime drama set largely in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In the show, a politician plays both sides of the law, conspiring with gangsters during the Prohibition era of the 1920s.

How’s it similar to Peaky Blinders?

When Peaky Blinders arrived on our screens back in 2013, David Stubbs from The Guardian wrote that it was “Britain's answer to Boardwalk Empire." As he points out: “Both are set immediately after the First World War in a gangland in which the future is up for grabs; and both feature a returning soldier shattered and embittered by his war experiences.”

Penny Dreadful

penny dreadful

How can I watch it?

Penny Dreadful seasons 1-3 are available to buy on Amazon Prime Video now.

What’s it about?

Penny Dreadful is a British-American horror drama set in Victorian London in 1891. It follows Explorer Sir Malcolm Murray, American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, scientist Victor Frankenstein, and medium Vanessa Ives, who unite to combat supernatural threats.

How’s it similar to Peaky Blinders?

Penny Dreadful and Peaky Blinders are so similar in style that one TV fan revealed on Reddit that he watched the whole first season of Penny Dreadful thinking it was Peaky Blinders.

In another parallel, Penny Dreadful also stars Helen McCory - Polly Gray in Peaky Blinders.

Taboo

taboo

How can I watch it?

Taboo season 1 is available to buy on Amazon Prime Video now.

What’s it about?

Set in 1814, Taboo follows James Keziah Delaney, a man who has been to the ends of the earth and comes back irrevocably changed. Believed to be long dead, he returns home to London from Africa to inherit what is left of his father's shipping empire and rebuild a life for himself.

How’s it similar to Peaky Blinders?

Taboo was co-created by Stephen Knight, who created Peaky Blinders. He worked alongside Tom Hardy - Alfie Solomons in Peaky Blinders - and Hardy's father, Edward, to bring the gritty period drama to the small screen.

Both shows demonstrate a different way of doing English period drama, or, as Sarah Hughes from The Guardian writes: "There are historical dramas, and then there are historical dramas written by Steven Knight." 

Ripper Street

Ripper Street

How can I watch it?

All five seasons of Ripper Street are streaming on Prime Video now. Prime membership required.

What’s it about?

Ripper Street is a British TV series set in Whitechapel in the East End of London, in the aftermath of the infamous Jack the Ripper murders. 

The action centres around the notorious H Division - the police precinct from hell - which is charged with keeping order in the area’s chaotic streets.

How’s it similar to Peaky Blinders?

Both are British period crime dramas set in England roughly 30 years apart. Simon Brew writes on Den of Geek that Peaky Blinders and Ripper Street show an ambition for serious drama from the BBC, where both were commissioned.

In another parallel, Ripper Street's Anthony Byrne has taken over directing duties for Peaky Blinders season 5.

Godless

godless

How can I watch it?

Godless season 1 is streaming on Netflix now. Subscription required.

What’s it about?

Godless is an American western drama set in the 1880s American West. Here, a ruthless outlaw is in search of a former member of his gang, who’s found a new life in a quiet town populated only by women.

How’s it similar to Peaky Blinders?

As Steve Charnock from deadgoodbooks.co.uk writes, Godless might be set a good three decades before and 7,000 miles away from the Peaky Blinders action - but there are still plenty of parallels between the two programmes. 

“Both are grim, uncompromising and often quite shockingly violent. The majority of main characters in both are male but, as with Steven Knight’s series, strong women prop this western series up too," he writes.

Animal Kingdom

animal kingdom

How can I watch it?

The first three seasons of Animal Kingdom are available to stream on Prime Video now. Prime membership required. 

What’s it about?

Animal Kingdom is an American crime drama that centers on a Southern California family, whose excessive lifestyle is fuelled by their criminal activities. Sound familiar?

How’s it similar to Peaky Blinders?

Animal Kingdom is the "American Peaky Blinders" according to Sean Hutchinson from Inverse.com. He compares the family dynamics of the two shows, writing: “These dramas highlight the fact that everybody has secrets, even family members who outwardly love each other. But it’s what’s inside that counts, even in the case of family ties.” 

There's another connection in that Animal Kingdom is fronted by Finn Cole - the young British actor who plays Michael Gray in Peaky Blinders.

Sons of Anarchy

sons of anarchy

How can I watch it?

All seven seasons of Sons of Anarchy are available to stream on Netflix. Subscription required.

What’s it about?

Sons of Anarchy is an American crime drama that follows the lives of a close-knit outlaw motorcycle club operating in a fictional town in California.

How’s it similar to Peaky Blinders?

Peaky Blinders is described as the "same as Sons of Anarchy in a different era" by Clara McGrath from geeks.media, with Maggie Panos from PopSugar agreeing: “[Peaky Blinders] is essentially Sons of Anarchy, if Sons of Anarchy took place in post-WWI England and featured horses instead of motorcycles.”

Watch the trailer for Peaky Blinders series 5

Peaky Blinders seasons 1-4 are available to stream on BBC iPlayer and Netflix now, under the Players & Apps tab on BT TV.

Season 5 continues Sundays at 9pm on BBC One.

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