Taboo (UK)


Taboo has been for quite a time on my radar, but after finally watching the series, it entirely surpassed my expectations. There is a whole set of reasons why it did, and in this review, I will state those.

The story begins with the return of the presumed dead James Keziah Delaney (Tom Hardy), who merely arrives for the funeral of his late father, and with his appearance shocks whole London. His unexpected arrival also turns him into the legitimate successor of his father’s shipping empire and having that in mind he plans to rebuild it into full glory. Too bad this won’t be that easy, and this inheritance turns out to be more of a curse considering all the powerful enemies that it attracts, the powerful East India Corporate, and the crown itself, in an arduous period where the war between Britain and the States is near the end.

The start of the story can be seen as somewhat slow, but we learn fast that this isn’t the case at all with the entire series, there’s always this intensity and tension that surrounds the ambitious and rageful James Delaney, like the mist which doesn’t let you see through. What also adds to this uneasiness feeling are all the schemes from all those different groups that want each other’s throat. And this is one of the shows that makes you always question yourself whats going to happen through great character writing, interesting plots, secrets, and fights between the most ruthless and powerful people in London in the late 19th century.

When it comes to characters there were so many different and compelling ones, which makes it very hard to start somewhere, but let’s take the easy ride and start with our main protagonist who adds a lot of charisma and makes the show highly watchable and that’s none other than James Keziah Delaney who is played by Tom Hardy(who also co-wrote the story) and I would say this is one of the most skilled acts that I ever saw of him, the way of how he gives life to James with all his unthinkable madness but yet at times possessing a sharper mind than everyone else, a tragic soul who still hasn’t atoned enough in building his empire and crushing each one of his enemies, while attracting dubious people around him with his shaman charms. He is a character which you don’t know if you should sympathize with him or be disgusted. Beside him, there is a variation of unique characters, what especially caught my eye was Sir Stuart Strange who embodies the evil persona of a monopoly in a very realistic way, who forces his will on others, using every tool he has. Also, the cast for the crown was excellent, from the port loving, and narcissistic prince regent George to his cunning secretary was perfectly arranged. The support characters also did a first-rate performance with giving their finishing touch to the story line and never looking superficial or generic as for example one of the henchmen of Delaney who at first seems just like a brute but in the next scene he pulls out a book in which he writes all he knows and that makes him look less than a character for a story and much more of a unique guy with his own interests, and each character is able to show us those natural traits.

Taboo easily became one of my favorite series of this year, it wasn’t predictable, and I was each episode tapping in the dark eager to know what’s going to happen next from the first episode to the very last moment of the season finale. Blood, magic, obsession, madness, intrigue, and passion are the pillars of Taboo.

44 thoughts on “Taboo (UK)

  1. Tom Hardy is always throughly watchable in everything he does. I caught a few episodes of this when it was on and enjoyed it. From what I saw, they seemed to blend modern sensiblities with historic values in a refreshing way. Thanks for the reminder, I will try and catch up on this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This show has been on my own radar for quite a while as well now, and I can’t wait to get started on it. I am a huge Tom Hardy fan and I think that he is getting better with every performance. He is truly talented actor. This was a great review, glad you enjoyed the series, and I’m looking forward to it even more now 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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