Peaky Blinders boss Anthony Byrne details major change to BBC series: ‘It made sense’

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Peaky Blinders fans will be familiar with Nick Cave and The Bad Seed’s Red Right Hand as the theme of the BBC hit series. After using the song ever since the drama began in 2013, the tune was notably missing from series five and director Anthony Byrne has revealed why he decided it was time for a change.

The track has been used throughout the seasons to signal the beginning of a new episode. 

Peaky Blinders has also used many cover versions of the tune by artists such as the Arctic Monkeys, Iggy Pop and Jarvis Cocker. 

But in series five, Red Right Hand could only be heard at the start of the first episode and was missing from the rest of the series. 

Director Anthony explained why and said: “I just personally felt it was being overused and I think if you overuse anything it loses its power.”

Read more:  Peaky Blinders cast: Who is Captain Swing star Charlene McKenna?

“I felt it had been firmly established, its association with the show is cemented it’s not going anywhere and I used it once at the opening for episode one,” he continued. 

“I think it was season four where whenever they’d use it they were using cover versions as well.

“So it just felt it had been diluted and it had been overused.

“I took it back to the Nick Cave version to open the season but I wanted to strike out in a different direction musically and I wanted to establish a different kind of musical language.”

“It just made sense to not use it or to use it over the end titles because then it becomes generic and I didn’t think the end titles should be generic,” Anthony shared. 

“I wanted them to still feel part of the experience of watching the show.”

Anthony also discussed another major change that occurred during the fifth series. 

“We removed the front titles from series five because I didn’t want people to be distracted by people’s names,” he explained. 

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“If you’re a fan of the show you know who everybody is and all the actors in the show are largely well known so they don’t need to have their names at the front.”

“I’d rather you were watching Tommy walking through the field and be completely engaged in that rather than [reading names],” he revealed in a live interview with Digital Spy.

Elsewhere, an eagle-eyed fan spotted a huge plot hole with Freddie Thorne (Iddo Goldberg) and Ada Shelby’s (Sophie Rundle) return to Birmingham in season one. 

Fans will remember the couple returned to the city in season one, episode four after fleeing to London for safety. 

On a Peaky Blinders forum, the fan said: “When Freddie and Ada return to Birmingham from London they are seen on a boat called Kennet. 

“This is a wide boat, almost twice the width of a seven-foot narrowboat, which could not have made its way from London to Birmingham in 1919, 1920 as all of the locks were narrow locks at that time.”

The fan notes narrow locks were seven-foot wide at this time. 

Peaky Blinders season 1-5 are available to stream on Netflix and BBC iPlayer now.

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