Five things to expect from the new BBC First series Taboo

Brought to our screens by producer Ridley Scott, writer and co-creator Stephen Knight of Peaky Blinders fame (read our interview HERE), actor Tom Hardy and his father Edward “Chips” Hardy, the new eight part series Taboo takes us back to 1814, where Hardy’s character James Keziah Delaney returns to his hometown after the death of his father to lay his claim to a plot of land left to him in the will. The only catch is that he had long been presumed dead – and may very well have been at some point. So the question becomes – what happened to him, and why did he really come back?

The series premiered on BBC One in the U.K. earlier in the year to great acclaim, and has also screened in the USA on FX. And now it’s Australia’s turn, with the series set to premiere tonight on BBC First (with a simulcast on Showcase). So what can you expect from the series? We got a taste of the show in a special screening in Sydney earlier this month – top hats in tow – and here are five things you can expect from the series.

1. Tom Hardy fans should be excited: you get a lot of Tom Hardy in the series.

He’s not just the producer, Hardy is the star – and this is no bit part. You can expect him in almost every scene as he brilliantly embodies the mysterious James Delaney. And don’t always expect him to be wearing a top hat, either…

2. A stand out extended cast of familiar and new faces join Tom Hardy in the series.

A brilliant Oona Chaplin plays Hardy’s sister, with whom he shares a mysterious relationship with. Is there a romantic element? Are they actually related? Then you have Jonathan Pryce from Game of Thrones as the Chairman of the East India Company – seemingly the man tasked with keeping the land out of Delaney’s hands – Mark Gatiss from Sherlock, Michael Kelly from House of Cards and even Tom Hollander help make up the ensemble.

3. Not unlike Game of Thrones, an ambiguous mystical element sits in the background of the series.

Though we spend our time an oft-seen England, we are left to ponder a world beyond our eyes. One where people come back from the dead, and can communicate with each other at a distance. It’s sure to become more prominent as the series continues, but the mix of realism and fantasy bodes well for the series. I for one am excited to see where it all leads…

4. Stellar production values sit at its heart…

…creating an all-encompassing world of Britain in the early 1800s, from the sets to the costumes and the special effects. Some stunning cinematography and a great score from Max Richter help give the series a strong cinematic feel, too.

5. A proven team behind the series.

The creators of Taboo have a proven track record of delivering compelling, multi-season television. Whether it be co-creator and writer Stephen Knight’s work on Peaky Blinders, or Ridley Scott’s work in… seemingly everything… it’s safe to say they’re not going to deliver a dud here. And from the intriguing first episode, it’s clear they’re not wasting the trust they’ve gained from both the viewing public and the networks who have given them airspace. They’ve engineered a series that hooks you from the word go, leaving you with plenty of questions and a storyline that will keep you guessing as the series continues.

Taboo premieres on Foxtel’s BBC First tonight at 8.30pm and it will also screen on Showcase after the premiere of Game of Thrones.

Image Credit: BBC


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.