We’re studying the opening 10 minutes of Steven Knight’s historical crime drama Peaky Blinders.
In scene 9, when we’re first introduced to the series main antagonist Chief Inspector Campbell (check this post) there is ONE interesting thing Steven Knight subtly sneaks in.
This is a cops and robbers story.
Yet we see on Thomas Shelby’s file the words Honoured for Gallantry.
Our main antagonist – Chief Inspector Campbell – is hunting not just a gangster, a racketeer and armed robber but a war hero.
In his Detective Crime Thriller audio class John Truby calls this sub-genre Criminal as Hero.
But where a writer twists a genre in a new and original way, John Truby calls this transcending the genre. In fact Truby says this is a ‘must’ in order to write an original screenplay.
This is where Peaky Blinders is successful – it transcends the genre.
Our story is not a simple cops and robbers story but a battle between a Police Chief and a War Hero.
Or, to take it one step further, between The King and his subject.
Read this post to see how Thomas Shelby’s story is The Rise of a King.