Peaky Blinders has been one of the few shows in association with the BBC that has been such an enormous hit in the United States while it was still on television. Most recently, Peaky Blinders premiered its sixth and final season. Still, one crucial character was missing as Aunt Polly wasn’t featured throughout the season, as she was portrayed by Helen McCrory, who passed away of cancer in 2021. Below we’ve detailed Helen McCrory and her Peaky Blinders impact, on the cast and crew, as well as viewers at home, across the world as Netflix has first rights to the worldwide distribution of the series.
While not entirely based on actual events as most viewers thought or would have liked, Peaky Blinders has been built around historically accurate information, such as the physical and financial state of the regions of the world shown throughout the show.
The Peaky Blinders were indeed a real gang that operated in the Birmingham area’s underworld but didn’t operate anywhere near the level that the Peaky Blinders that we know as the Shelby family had but very clearly inspired the actions portrayed throughout the BBC show. While Peaky Blinders overall as a show had an impact of its own, Helen McCrory and her Peaky Blinders impact were on another level compared to most character portrayals in period dramas.
Helen McCrory, while noted for her run on Peaky Blinders and the impact it had on the cast, crew, and viewers has also been noted with the Order grade within the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, a highly honorary title from the British Empire for those that have contributed to the arts of theater, or another way of honoring the British Empire.
As Helen McCrory has had an impact on theater and television, outside of her Peaky Blinders impact, she has also had significant and notable features in films like Harry Potter. In Harry Potter, Helen McCrory was set to play Bellatrix Lestrange but was replaced by Helen Bonham Carter as Helen McCrory was pregnant. Still, she returned to a new role as the mother of Draco Malfoy.
While the actress didn’t play the role she was initially signed on to play, it would be strange to see Helen Bonham Carter and Helen McCrory in swapped roles if Helen Bonham Carter had even been selected for the role of Narcissa Malfoy if Helen McCrory was in the role of Bellatrix Lestrange.
Helen McCrory and Her Peaky Blinders Impact
Helen McCrory was immediately one of the most notable characters in Peaky Blinders, outside of the incredibly violent and twisted Arthur and Tommy Shelby, so her Peaky Blinders impact has been long-lasting as she’s been a favorite from day one. From her first appearance in Peaky Blinders, as the always loving but pissed and overly aware Aunt Polly to the entire Shelby family. As each season of Peaky Blinders progressed and the situations that the entire family was put in, usually due to the actions of Tommy or his enemies, Polly had always faced whatever evil head-on, equally as often when it came to handing out what’s due to Tommy Shelby himself. In a recent interview, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight and actor for Tommy Shelby, Cillian Murphy, stated the influence and impact that Helen McCrory brought to the character of Polly and the rest of Peaky Blinders, as well as its cast and crew.
Peaky Blinders Season 6 Fueled by Helen McCrory
Peaky Blinders Season 6, the first season of Peaky Blinders since the pandemic slowed down productions worldwide, was released in 2022, compared to Peaky Blinders Season 5 premiere from August to September 2019. The seasons of Peaky Blinders one to five featured Helen McCrory as one of the main characters, and when she passed before production was finished, parts of the season had to be altered to adjust to the new storyline.
The beginning scenes of Peaky Blinders Season 6 already showcased the impact of Polly in Peaky Blinders, portrayed by Helen McCrory. Tommy opened up a body bag that was brought to his manor, and the look on Cillian Murphy’s face was nothing short of true horror and pain as the reality of the loss of McCrory was realized and fueled the character of Tommy Shelby’s actions from that point forward.
Overall, Peaky Blinders Season 6 was fueled by the impact of Helen McCrory as she was the mother of the entire Shelby family and the Peaky Blinders, even when she didn’t want to be. Still, the season was fueled with even more reckless action by Tommy than usual as he was fighting more groups of enemies than ever before in the final season, which included Polly’s own son Michael.Peaky Blinders Season 6