Sky to Unleash Gangs of London

A violent British drama series about homicidal hoodlums will premiere next month on Sky TV.

Gangs of London (SoHo, 9.30 Sundays from July 20) went to air two months ago on Sky Atlantic amid headlines about its brutal depiction of the international gangs that run the city of 8.9 million people.

The nine-part series bears the bloody signature of Gareth Evans and Matt Flannery, who made the visceral Raid movies, and was dubbed “a thrilling dose of capital punishment” by The Guardian.

Although the violence is explicit and extreme, it is not – quite – mindless. Its victims’ fear is palpable. Sometimes, so is its perpetrators’. It is almost a living, breathing being in some scenes … The violence is not integral to the story – they have chosen to include it, especially in such a form – but it is not shorn of all context or consequences. Overall, Gangs of London promises to be a wild and wildly polished ride.

Variety reports the mob saga, about the vacuum that’s created when the head of one crime family is assassinated, was Sky Atlantic’s second-biggest original drama launch ever and Sky’s most binged show this year.

The series received glowing reviews in the British press on launch, with multiple four- and five-star reviews. Empire called it “intensely cinematic in a way that is rare for British TV,” adding “the British gangster thriller has never seen anything like this before.” GQ said it is “a strong early contender to be the best show of the summer.” The Metro said it had “more than a touch of Quentin Tarantino”; The Times said it was “outrageously thrilling drama”; and Esquire said it was “the channel’s biggest series since Game of Thrones.”

In an interview with the trade paper, producer Thomas Benski describes the series as escapism. “Gangs exists in a slightly heightened reality — a signature of the filmmakers we work with. Hopefully we’ll provide a very intense distraction for a big audience.” 

But not everyone thought it was Peaky Blinders brilliant, with the Independent calling it “an unholy combination of EastEnders and The Raid that never quite gels …

“There’s a lot to love about the fantastical and immaculately choreographed violence, but Sky’s buzzy crime thriller otherwise tends to wallow in giggle-inducing melodrama.”

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