According to the Guardians’s 25 hidden TV gems list.
“For me, it has always stood out for its truly remarkable writing and the kind of dialogue no other British drama has come near since; every sentence a meticulous, filigreed spoonful. The delicious, meaty ensemble performances surround Macfadyen as he presides over his grizzly archive: Jerome Flynn as human knuckle DS Bennet Drake, MyAnna Buring’s steely brothel madam Long Susan and Adam Rothenberg’s sexy, liquor-soaked forensic genius, Homer Jackson. In later series, add to that the rousing performance of Lydia Wilson as music hall proprietress Mimi Morton and you have a Victorian A-Team of sorts, delivering justice by their own means.
The men fight demons but the women do not simper nearby. They run businesses and commit murders and have as much agency as the male counterparts. I defy you to find another period drama that evens the gender scales so admirably.
While it may have suffered from launching too close to the visually flashier Peaky Blinders, it’s hard to recall the last time a British drama stretched its imaginative wings like this one does. If you crave poetry and invention with your crime capers, five seasons await.”