Peaky Blinders' Steven Knight and Stephen Graham team up for new illegal boxing drama

Peaky Blinders' Steven Knight and Stephen Graham team up for new illegal boxing drama

THE CREATOR of Peaky Blinders and Steven Knight and actor Stephen Graham have teamed up for a new period drama set in the world of illegal boxing in Victoria London.

A Thousand Blows (working title) is a 12-part series written by Knight that will air on Disney+ which will follow best friends Hezekiah and Alec, both from Jamaica, as they are thrust into the vibrant and violent East End in the 1880s following the industrial revolution.

Drawn into the criminal underbelly of the thriving boxing scene, Hezekiah meets Mary Carr, leader of The Forty Elephants — the notorious all-female London gang — as they battle for survival on the streets. As Hezekiah sharpens his new skills, he comes up against Sugar Goodson, a seasoned and dangerous boxer (played by Graham), and the two are soon locked into an intense rivalry that spills out way beyond the ring.

The show is written by Knight, with Graham also executive producing.

Also executive producing are Damian Keogh and Kate Lewis for The Story Collective, launched last year with backing from Endeavor Content, and Tom Miller and Sam Myer for Water & Power Productions, behind the recent Sony Classics feature The Phantom of the Open, starring Mark Rylance and Sally Hawkins.

“I’m really thrilled to be working on this project with Stephen as well as the very talented production team and group of writers,” said Knight.

“I always love to delve into untold history, and this is a story that really deserves to be told. We are recreating an amazing world and telling a remarkable true story.”

“To be able to work with Steve again and the talented team of writers we have for this project is truly wonderful, and to tell the story of these incredible characters during this period of time in London is a joy,” said Graham, who earlier this year landed his first BAFTA film nomination, for the acclaimed one-shot kitchen drama Boiling Point, Matriarch’s debut production.

“Aside from having the privilege of bringing the role of Sugar Goodson to life, I am also extremely proud that Matriarch is co-producing this show whilst helping to create opportunities for people in front of and behind the camera, instilling the ethos of providing training within production that otherwise would be difficult for some to pursue as a career,” he continued. “‘Don’t count the days… Make the days count’ — Muhammad Ali.”