Taboo is a TV-series that you don’t completely understand and yet can’t stop watching.
Taboo follows the life and adventures of James Keziah Delaney, played by the always incredible Tom Hardy, a man who comes back from the dead to accomplish a very complex revenge plot. Many and different are his targets, from the East India Company to the English Monarchy, as well the new born United States. To do so, the puppet-master J. K. Delaney will push any kind of leverage that may fit for his purpose. Taboo, set in XIX century, deals with a lot of pressing and, sometimes, scandalous themes, like slave trade, the conflict, military, economic and political, between England and U.S., incestuous relationships, homosexuality and prostitution, religion and superstition, corruption and espionage. Although these topics are well related with and in the historical context in which the TV-series is set, they are so many: even the smallest distraction could ruin the comprehension of Delaney’s scheme.
The cinematography of Mark Patten is amazing, doing justice to the incredible costumes of Joanna Eatwell and settings of Mike Britton: Taboo is one of the few products that really gives the idea of how the normal life was in 1814 in London. Never seen so much mud and filth before. Impressive also the actors’ performances, from Oona Chaplin’s Zilpha to Jessie Buckley’s Lorna, as well Jonathan Pryce’s (Sir Stuart Strange), David Hayman’s (man Friday Brace), Tom Hollander’s (the chemist Cholmondeley) and Edward Hogg’s (Godfrey). Tom Hardy confirms to be one of the greatest actors of our times, although his J. Delaney is strongly influenced by Mad Max’s grunts, John Fitzgerald’s violence and cruelty, Alfie Solomon’s plotting ability.
Taboo, created by Steven Knight (Allied), Tom Hardy and his father, Edward “Chips” Hardy, is produced and distributed by BBC One and FX. Let’s eagerly wait for the second season: will James Delaney manage to leave the Old World for the New? In the meanwhile, don’t lose the first one!