Debuting on January 10, Taboo is a visceral, brutish and bloody tale of early-19th century intrigue that is very dark, very dense, truly novel and very much worth watching.
Created by Tom Hardy, his father Edward and Steven Knight, the eight-part FX series starring the Mad Max: Fury Road actor takes you on a journey of curse men, hidden and maybe even forgotten history and a reveals a new way of seeing the Old World.
With the once rich, powerful and toxic British East India Company as his nemesis, Hardy’s once thought-dead and now-scarred James Keziah Delaney returns to London from abroad in 1814 to take over his deceased father’s shipping business. Part of the inheritance comes with family secrets, a half sister (Oona Chaplin) and a strategic piece of land called Nootka Sound that everyone wants and Delaney refuses to give up – and, with an excellent Jonathan Pryce as East India Company chair Sir Stuart Strange, that’s just Taboo‘s setup.
Now some might see this latest collaboration between Hardy and Peaky Blinders creator and Locke director Knight as slow going. However, as I say in my video review above, I found it very true to its time with the pacing of what would be the 19th century novel equivalent of a thriller — plus, from what I saw, the history and the plotting certainly come in heaving waves that require fast reactions and sure footing.
Or, to put it another way, you’re a long way here from Jane Austen, baby.
Click on the video above to see more of my take on the Ridley Scott-EP’d Taboo. It’s forbidden fruit you’ll want to bite into.