We’re studying the opening ten minutes of Peaky Blinders.
We’re on scene 11.
We’re back on the train with C.I Campbell as he studies his ‘Top Secret’ files.
This scene lasts 01.21.
As before in C.I. Campbell’s introductory scene – it’s all visual.
The opening shot is of an image of a man in military uniform.
It’s the man we’ve just been watching rouse his workers to strike in the previous scene.
Campbell turns the page, revealing his name: Freddie Thorne.
Next, we’re close on:
Special Branch consider Freddie a “Communist Agitator” and a “Bolshevik.”
Next, C.I. Campbell holds up Thomas’s photo, so the two are side by side. Comrades, brothers in arms, but also this photo symbolizes one of the series grand themes, and one of societies greatest battles of ideas – communism versus capitalism.
Finally, the Chief Inspector holds his files tightly, takes a deep breath, and closes his eyes, as if relaxing before the battle. The calm before the storm?
Summing up then, what do we learn from this scene?
1. Freddie is on C.I. Campbell’s ‘Top Secret’ target list.
2. Freddie is considered a political threat – a communist agitator.
2. As C.I. Campbell holds the images of Thomas and Freddie side by side it hints at a grand theme: Capitalism versus Communism.
Click here for the final scene in the opening 10 minutes, and see how, at exactly 10 minutes, the writer and director places our hero, Thomas Shelby, centre screen.