Peaky Blinders emotional goodbye to Helen McCory’s Aunt Polly

The first episode of the final series of Peaky Blinders aired on Sunday - the series explains Aunt Polly's death and pays tribute to Helen McCory.

Tributes paid to Peaky Blinders legend Helen McCory and explain Aunt Polly’s death  

The first episode of the final series of the hit UK series Peaky Blinders aired on Sunday. But the popular show was missing one of its key members – Aunt Polly – played by Helen McCory – the British actress who died last year from cancer at the age of 52. 

The first episode of series 6 paid tribute to the character and actress. McCory played the Shelby family matriarch Polly Gray also known as ‘Aunt Pol’ – her absence was written into the plotline as the series opener. 

The series opens up with the news Aunt Polly had been murdered and her on-screen family are seen at her funeral. Her on-screen son Michael Gray vows revenge for her death. The series then skips ahead four years following Aunt Polly’s funeral. 

The closing credits paid tribute to Polly Gray actress Helen at closing credits – dedicating the show to “the memory of Helen McCrory OBE”.

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Peaky Blinders reviews

The Independent says “McCory’s absence leaves a chasm” and that, as the mother of the cast, she “will be missed terribly.” 

The Times review of the opener says the episode handled the death of the show’s “linchpin” and in turn paid tribute to the late actress, “with class, something McCory had in bucket loads.” 

In the Telegraph’s review, they agree the tribute was a “classy curtain-raiser” noting “in normal circumstances, 60 minutes of Peaky’s sweltering, lads’ mag machismo is ended with a burst of music 

“However, on this occasion, the credits rolled to the softest of chirrups, following a tribute to Helen McCrory. For a moment, the world stopped. A minute’s silence, not a minute’s applause. As it should be.”

The Guardian gave the episode a four out of five and said: “What we are witnessing here is the succession of the title of Peaky’s Queen of Swagger from Helen McCrory’s Aunt Polly to Taylor-Joy’s Gina Gray.”

The Metro gave the episode a four-and-a-half stars and described Taylor-Joy as “simply stunning as her character goes up against Tommy with no fear whatsoever.” 

Peaky Blinder’s Helen McCory – ‘huge loss’ 

At the premiere last week, the show’s creator Steven Knight described the loss of the actress as a tragedy. 

“After she’d gone we knew she wanted this thing to continue and we hope we have continued in a respectful and appropriate way and moving forward she will always be part of Peaky.”

Peaky Blinders bids emotional farewell to Helen McCrory’s Aunt Polly as heartbreaking funeral scenes air
Peaky Blinders bids emotional farewell to Helen McCrory’s Aunt Polly (RIP HELEN)

Peaky Blinders season 6 – Peaky Blinders movie and ballet 

The final series opens with the news of Polly Gray’s death and her funeral. It then skips ahead four years, where Tommy Shelby is living off the coast of Newfoundland and is determined to flood the US with opium  – his latest business venture. 

The first episode of series 6 drew 3.8 million viewers on Sunday and it will undoubtedly prove to be a BBC iPlayer hit as well. 

Whilst this is the last series of the TV show – there is a planned Peaky Blinders film which is due to start shooting within the next few years. The show has also spawned a ballet, which will open in Birmingham in September. 





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