The final season of Peaky Blinders had no shortage of evil characters, with a twist even emerging that Tommy’s physician, Dr. Michael Holford, is a Nazi sympathizer and a puppet for Oswald Mosley. The Shelby foes were so formidable that by the end of the series, Tommy hadn’t quite sorted out the mess, Luckily, there’ll be a TV movie, to sum up, the events.
The Season 6 villains have indeed left a lasting legacy but how many of them do fans adore the most? Throughout the series, dozens of evil individuals have been pitted against the Shelby family. However, not all of them have been outstanding. Only a select few stand out, according to Reddit.
Laura McKee AKA Captain Swing
The IRA member shows up later in the series to taunt Tommy and boast about ordering the murders of several of his associates. Discombobulated-Put5 feels Laura qualifies as one of the best villains simply because “she orchestrated the murder of our beloved Polly.”
Aunt Polly’s demeanor has always placed her among the toughest and most likable Peaky Blinders characters and when Laura orchestrates her murder, she scores high baddie points. Additionally, Polly is the person that Tommy values the most and by taking her out, Laura deals the Peaky Blinders leader a major blow. It’s something the IRA member is aware of, hence she gleefully goes on to boast about “taking away his crutch.”
A member of The Economic League, Hughes happens to be a double agent, working for both The Crown and the Russians. About him, AlbionsSeed says, “Hughes displayed arrogant pride for committing his crimes with no consequence to himself and an utter lack of regret.”
From threats to weird facial expressions, there is no stereotypical villain mannerism Hughes doesn’t have. His hypocrisy makes him easier to hate too. As a priest, he shouldn’t be engaging in criminal acts or pedophilia but he does so without any remorse. Most importantly, he deserves to be lauded for managing to cause the protagonist serious bodily harm. Many other villains fail to land even a punch on Tommy but because of Hughes’ actions, the protagonist ends up spending 3 months in hospital.
The leader of the New York-based, Changretta crime family shows up in Birmingham to hunt down the Blinders after they kill two of his family members. Redditor jchrist98 notes that “He was the only villain who managed to kill a Shelby.”
Since Polly is more of a Gray than a Shelby, the Redditor’s comment still stands as accurate. The antagonist impresses as soon as he is introduced to the show by personally meeting Tommy, mocking him, and prophesizing doom. And the source of that doom is none other than him. Thanks to him, viewers get to see some of the show’s best action scenes.
Starting as an officer of the Royal Irish Constabulary, Campbell is tasked by one of the real-life Peaky Blinders characters, Winston Churchill, to recover a cache of stolen government weapons. During his mission, he develops a personal vendetta against Tommy “PlatinumKH describes the lawman perfectly, writing, “He had well-explained motives for why he was on the scene,” adding, “he was ruthless (despite his old age) and manipulative.”
Among all the show’s antagonists, Campbell has the best character development. His only goal at first is to serve Churchill but he soon becomes fascinated by the man that is Tommy Shelby. Their arcs are brilliantly intertwined too. The person he thought would be his greatest informant ends up being Tommy’s lover. As such, jealousy and more zeal kick in. Campbell’s career growth is impressive too as, by the time he dies, he has risen to the rank of Major.
Many baddies have a thing or two that fans like about them but hje1967 notes that Mosley is “without any redeeming qualities.” The fascist MP for Smethwick clashes with Tommy soon after the Birmingham crime boss joins politics.
Foes generally don’t get to last long when targeted by Shelbys but Mosley dodges assassination attempts with ease, making him a constant headache. He is not only elitist but racist too, constantly making pronouncements that come off as uncomfortable, even to the viewer. Additionally, he is a great schemer, something he demonstrates by corrupting Tommy’s doctor, who in turn makes the crime boss believes he has a terminal illness.
The Camden Town crime boss is a major player in the horseracing and alcohol industries. ColonelNugget has” an idea of what makes him the perfect villain, writing, “He’s in it for himself, and though he does like Tommy, he wouldn’t risk his ass for him.”
In the “Lord of Betrayal,” Alfie masters the art of pretending to be people’s friends only to turn against them. It’s a move he pulls against Tommy time and time again. And of all the villains, Alfie is the best conversationalist. Alfie’s best Peaky Blinders quotes easily top those of other characters in the BBC drama. But what truly makes Alfie an outstanding antagonist is the performance by the actor. Tomy Hardy rarely has a bad day in the office and Alfie benefits greatly from that.
The Birmingham Boys’ leader’s rivalry with the Shelbys starts when he realizes they are fixing races on his tracks. Redditor Geass says that even though “He was such a small blip on Tommy’s path, he was “definitely a crucial one to jump-start everything.”
As per the Redditor’s remarks, Kimber doesn’t last long but he does leave a mark. Full of arrogance, he doesn’t respect anyone and demands to be given everything he wants, including Tommy’s lover Grace. He talks in an unintentionally comic manner too, hence contributing to some of the best quotes by the minor characters on Peaky Blinders. Kimber also treats fans to one of the best fight scenes on the show when he leads his gang in a street war against the Blinders.
Known as the “king of the racecourse gangs,” the British-Italian gang leader sees Tommy and Alfie as business rivals. Redditor.InfiniteMartian889 feels “Darby Sabini is very underrated.” I-Like-The-Tuna-Here adds, “He could turn from likable to batsh*t crazy at a moment’s notice.
Sabini’s relentlessness is what distinguishes him from the villains. He never stops making attempts at Tommy’s life. And when that fails, he makes plans with Alfie to ruin his business and make him incur losses. Sabini is shown to be an expert at confrontations too, and as such, he contributes to some of the tensest scenes.
Introduced as a cousin of the Selbys, Michael soon starts working against them, mostly because of bad influence from his wife, Gina. Deep_Highlight5528 thinks Michael is “a selfish individual who doesn’t know his place.”
Michael places himself on the “hate list” by plotting a coup de tat against Tommy yet he is not a Shelby. He isn’t qualified enough for the job either. Losing millions of Shelby Company Limited’s money by not selling the 1929 Wall Street crash is already a big enough sin. But Michael goes even further by attempting Tommy’s life. The complications to Michael’s arc make him more interesting as a villain too. Since he is Polly’s son, killing him becomes difficult.
The Season 5 secondary antagonist is a member of the Glasgow razor gang and leader of the Billy Boys. JoeLondon979 concludes that he “is merciless, with his aggression almost leveling that of Arthur’s at his maddest.”
Jimmy is more muscle than brains and by starting with a bang, Jimmy immediately gets fans hooked on him. Not only does he murder Bonnie Gold but he also makes the Shelbys freak out by sending serious threats, such as the scarecrow in Tommy’s yard. And like Mosley, he is known for discrimination, though his hatred is against Catholics and gypsies.