If you’re a fan of Tom Hardy and Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders, Locke, Eastern Promises) — and really, who isn’t? — you should be watching their new series, Taboo. And, if the dark, gritty mystery isn’t your usual thing, great actors (Jonathan Pryce, Oona Chaplin, Michael Kelly, Franka Potente, Leo Bill, David Hayman) and a little naked appreciation of the human form must at least make you curious. Hardy, himself admits the first three episodes are a “slow burn”, but promises things are going to go wild and crazy; there have been hints of that already.
I wanted to create a bit of a chocolate box. You open up in a fairy tale kind of Grimm story, almost like a horror story. It starts like that and the introduction is slow. It’s a slow burn, so we wanted to offer a lot that gets tied up by subsequent episodes. It really starts to take off in four and five. In six it goes off again to another angle and then seven and eight goes off in a completely different angle. We even incorporate the Western into there, sort of Peckinpah meets Barry Lyndon, which makes sort of early English Gangs of New York territory.
It will start to open up in a very different way. So the first three are a little bit tough, but stick with it because it opens up and diversifies once the machinations of the game of chess starts to play, and we’ve introduced all the characters and get to know them. The world gets a lot wider.
This is an introduction season in many ways to a group who are known as the Legion of the Damned, who you’re not really aware of yet. They don’t really start to form until halfway through and how we start to play off America, The East India Company, and the Crown together.”
Speaking of opening other worlds, last night’s episode featured an amusing cameo by a certain Sherlock regular, who took on a multi-episode stint as the Prince Regent (aka George IV). If I hadn’t just watched the Sherlock finale, I’m not sure I’d have caught on right away.
Recognize him under the bloated, snaggle-toothed disguise?
Yes, that really is Mark Gatiss (aka Mycroft) hamming it up. What? Did I say hamming it up?
He was actually quite delightful and amusing; I look forward to seeing more of the indulgent Prince Regent. Speaking of seeing more, episode 2 featured quite a bit of Tom Hardy’s James Delaney here, there and everywhere in his top hat and cape … and also, an interesting scene with his character experience flashback visions, where he wore much, much less.
You’re lucky there was a loin cloth because I didn’t want one”. [Hardy]
To further your
enjoyment analysis of that scene, here is naked Delaney sawing,
digging into the floorboards,
and, deep in thought.
I trust you, like me, will pore over these moments, searching for clues to the series’ central mystery (was he involved in running the slave ship he almost drowned on?).
Taboo airs on FX, Tuesdays at 10 pm ET.