Tom Hardy in Taboo! A Worthy Watch!

Tom Hardy in Taboo! A Worthy Watch!

Taboo: An Outstanding TV Series starring Tom Hardy!

Yes, it’s time to vote for the Emmy’s. This go around, I engaged in binge watching of a  fascinating, psycho-thriller set in 1814 London entitled: “Taboo”. The scintillating star Tom Hardy acted, co-wrote, and co-produced this intriguing series about a man who leaves London, travels through Africa, and returns back to England upon the death of his father, a once wealthy sea merchant.

Tom Hardy, the star of “The Drop” [2014], “Revenant” [2015], and the tour de force, “Legend”, where he plays both Kray twins [London gangsters] has achieved a level of acting perfection not seen since Sir Lawrence Olivier. He is simply: “Terrific”, “Spellbinding”, and ‘Enthralling”. I don’t write these adjectives without some serious consideration and admiration for Hardy’s incredible versatility, having played a dour Soviet secret police in the 2015 film, “Child 44” to acting as the manically frenetic lead character, Max Rockatansky, in the “Mad Max : Fury Road”, the 2016 Academy Award Winner.

Other actors in Taboo who deserve serious consideration are: Johnathan Pryce who plays Sir Stuart Strange, Director of the almighty corrupt East India Company;  Oona Chaplin [ Zilpha], Hardy’s step-sister with whom he had an incestuous relationship as well as Jefferson Hill [her jealous, self-destructive husband].

The main story line goes something like this. The East India Company tries to steal Hardy’s contract for an island off the American west coast called, “Nootka Sound”. This island is the portal to the rich opium, tea, and gun powder trade between the United States and the British East India Company. This rapacious transnational corporation does everything in its immense power to retrieve the land deed away from Hardy and his family members.

This TV show was created and written by the inimitable team of Ridley Scott, Tom Hardy, Chip Hardy [Tom’s father] and Steven Knight [Legend].

The story itself is a bit bogged down in twists and turns that are, at times, confusing and somewhat irrational. The ending has a denouement that needs far more elaboration and credibility than I can offer in this short blog. However, the theme of this TV series distributed by BBC One/FX Entertainment revolves around three basic universal premises: revenge, imperial imperatives and world injustices.

I see this film as a metaphor for the once great British Empire which underwrote the egregiously venal East India Company. The film illustrates how this supposed jewel of the British Empire raped, stole, and killed all peoples in all countries on its way to financial/political self-aggrandizement. Such acts include the purposeful drowning of 120 African slaves.

Looming in the shadows of this series is the 1812 War between England and its upstart former colony, the United States of America. The co-creators/ writers: Steve Knight, Tom and Chip Hardy are depicting the lengths to which a ruthless Anglo-Saxon empire, like England [ruled by a mad King George] will go to in order to attain world dominance.

The moral undertone was clear. “Taboo” is not only about the hidden secrets of familial incest. This TV series underscored the ruthless, forbidden practices which a nascent empire like Pax Americana would traverse in order to maintain its tenuous hegemony over a world in the distant future.

There was no question that there were several parallel undertones between our mad, power hungry American leaders: Clintons, Bush Jr, Obama  and even Trump— and the portrayal of a whimsical, ruthless King George, played by Mark Gatiss.  “Taboo” underscores the Royals’ major concerns revolving around its insatiable appetite for revenge and self-aggrandizement, tainted with heavy doses of sadism and madness.


This is a dark and eerie TV series, not suited for everyone. It is not action-packed. Yet, Tom Hardy’s stellar performance bracketed by an equally talented supporting cast deserves some hours away from the nightly news. For certain, this TV series should receive a slate of Emmy Awards.

The following dialogue was memorable:

Atticus [Stephen Graham]: “I thought the gunpowder was for the Americans.”

Delaney [Tom Hardy]: “We are Americans. Set sail for the Azores!”

 

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23 thoughts on “Tom Hardy in Taboo! A Worthy Watch!

  1. Carl

    Yes i’m with you ; it’s totally worth an Emmy!

  2. Chia Cha

    1820 s were most strange time in history, time when capitalist class (source who created working class) got material evidence for own existence (Rail Road)… Meaning entering real space. When we are going to have new decade like that for something so different to happen again.

    1. Embrey

      Now we have technolological class (Silicon Valley) who create nothing concrete but are inventing tools that all capitalists have to have to stay efficient in order to compete. This business efficiency has led to the cost of labor being the only variable. Hence H1B visas, attempt to normalize illegal immigration, etc.
      Once anybody drops a EMP the entire system will collapse. That explains bunkers, heightened security and armored redoubts.

      1. Embrey

        Maybe we should all be Somali pirates.

      2. Chia Cha

        Ah that means you are 100% depended on capitalists. Just what they wanted. US capitalsits are smartest on whole world. They have set them self in such way. that you must choose, between guillotines and whole country breaking down without them. Not even Hong Kong capitalists evolved so much. Look how adapteble to them self they are.
        Lucky for them so they respect kings and monarchies, they know from where they came so they can try save them self on time. But i have big doubts they are not so greedy.
        http://www.breitbart.com/economics/2017/05/08/warren-buffett-says-globalization-left-american-workers-roadkill/

        1. Embrey

          I guess we will all join your commune. That will be so much better.

          1. Chia Cha

            Israelis are smart, they have real start up incubators for small capitalists. But they are producing them in planned fasion and on industrial scale with full support of whole community. They have to or they would go down. Communism can work only in space, or on space ship because if one worker in one department goes hungry or becomes exploited, whole spacecraft goes down together with dear leader, while in NK today dear leader does not need to care. He stands on earh no matter what. He have lots of pork. There are always common sense solutions, but if you have interest of state and economy (private and public) united, you cannot do anything. Same how you cannot do anything when state and religion are one.

          2. Embrey

            Bunch of crap. I am a capitalist. I determine what the big companies want and I buy it before they can. Then I sell it to them. Legally. I have no boss. I see no cronies. I have my wit and I do fine.

          3. Chia Cha

            We need democratic consumer communes. Making pre-orders. Yes. That is best start. Onwed by and controlled by all members. Technically that would be not easy. But that is only way out. In capitalism that is impossible because such pool is always privatelly owned, and one person can buy all items or resources before, take provision for him self, and later sell it to consumer making price of items even bigger. Therefore ownership limitation, again set democratically, on network owned and controlled by all members is must. Relistically until that is achieved, some kind of on-line democratic hybrid between social.sm and fedualism could work. Democratically elected feudal owerlods as substitution for bureocracy enforcing law developed through pre-orders and democratic wealth formulas.

          4. Anoka Shiva

            The Zioist Israelis are very smart ! The problem for the rest of us is that they want to control and eventually take over the whole pie !! cf “9/11” !!!

    2. Fivi Zogbi

      Chia, I try really hard not to read what you write because you’re so blinded and single-minded in your obsessive hatred of capitalism. I now think you simple do not understand what capitalism is.

      The self-motivated individual who picks up objects and is creative enough to put them together so as to make them desirable to someone else, then is able to sell it. He is then both capitalist and worker. Your diatribe of capitalism creating and mercilessly exploiting workers is absurs. Only lazy, unimaginative workers lacking creative problem solving are workers. They become parasites on capitalists.

      1. Chia Cha

        Capitalism. And capital is what majority needs but minorty have owns. What majority needs is set by minority who owns capital. Because you are on “higher” level, then workers, that is not important for us consumers who are majority. Without cosnumers there are no economy. In new age after big war, and radiation, people will start using my app, I am developing, and rich people will not allowed, because how much more then others you will have will be measured not by money but by measured statistics of your interaction with others on-line. Personal wealth as reward to you effort will be compared to your given resources before, and are going to be democratically approved by us consumers, like licence, not selable and measured in %.

        1. Embrey

          Chia’s app: Starve to death . com

  3. Luke in Texas

    The choices on Netflix are staggering. Why then do I keep watching Family Guy and American Dad over and over again. Ironically its the sheer volume of choices that is fostering the realization that film drama is a quaint and antiquated conceit. Well maybe not, who knows. My personal recommendation — “Globesman” on Documentary Now. I did like The Revenant though.

    1. Fivi Zogbi

      Luke, I know what you mean. There are so many choices and yet they’re basically only minor variations on redundant themes. NetFix is proof there’s nothing new under the sun so I cancelled my cheap subscription out of frustrated disgust. Occasionally I regret not being able to watch a rare jewel as this appears to be. But I’ll be damned before I fall back into the entrapment net of Netflix. I’ll pay more to be an indepdent consumer; temptation does not work on me! Regrets? Yup, I have few. Anywhere else I can watch this?

      1. Luke in Texas

        Documentary Now was on cartoon network or comedy central or something, maybe IFC. Yeah, but its brilliant for the most part (some misses). Fred Armisen deserves an Emmy or something for the Globesman spoof. I lied somewhat about being completely disenchanted by drama though. Love Fargo. A lot of the historical stuff on Netflix has extremely high production values and look gorgeous. Otoh, you never know how accurate they are, and they seemed designed mostly to titillate (eg Versailles) which I get, just don’t like being pandered to.

        Oh, on Netflix, The Crown is fantastic, once again mostly for how it looks, its gorgeous. But John Lithgow and his clownish depiction of Winston Churchill nearly ruins it.

  4. Chia Cha

    Boston is city which had big walls, for defence, only americans hates determining organisation of space so much to have none of it today, every inch gone. USA had to stay under crown. German settlers who rebelled are guilty for everything. High taxations, high walls, public squares are best invention ever. Amount of Non defined space determines class position of any object, like halls. But in public space, such things in USA are forbidden. Can I invent public square and file it under US patent. They will not be able to show me evidence such thing exist in USA. Not even British have squares, Trafalgar “square” also have roads between “square” and houses, and that is not square. British never had civil class revolution also. There is hope because Alamo has not been demolished.

    1. Embrey

      The Alamo is now a UN property.

  5. Chia Cha

    Ok, let s go to Maddison Wisconsin. We see here something what could be first public square in colonies. What you need to do. You need to remove roads, around that “square”. For state capital, to have function, there cannot be roads between buildings and “square” . You can demolish state capital or not. But it is impossible in american mind to have such “lost” space… Capitalists are afraid of public squares because they know such places are where guillotines would be set to work. Muslims also does not have squares, orthodox people also, Chinese also. https://www.google.hr/maps/place/Madison,+Wisconsin,+Sjedinjene+Dr%C5%BEave/@43.0739312,-89.3855256,894a,35y,315.27h/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x8806536d3a2019ff:0x4e0cfcb5ba484198!8m2!3d43.0730517!4d-89.4012302

    1. Chia Cha

      This is public square in Heidelberg (Germans had civil revolution of 1848 and they were liberated by Napoleon in 1805. to put them on more civil version of future capitalism). English had also public squares before capitalism, but lack of civil revolution created later version of capitalism which abolished all public squares. Spain also did not have civil revolution, therefore South American capitalism later also abolished public squares. But because over there capitalism was totally free market their version of capitalism was so free that they were unable to destroy all public squares. In Caracas people are protesting on roads, like in Ferguson. https://www.google.de/maps/place/69123+Heidelberg/@49.4119606,8.7103834,3a,75y,69.75h,80.07t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1s-qxcHr7t8KWY%2FWLxF8cZayhI%2FAAAAAAAAP2k%2Fth79ENPosuYqyjq_9DIbbVZKSKRyy8-NQCLIB!2e4!3e11!6s%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com%2F-qxcHr7t8KWY%2FWLxF8cZayhI%2FAAAAAAAAP2k%2Fth79ENPosuYqyjq_9DIbbVZKSKRyy8-NQCLIB%2Fw203-h100-k-no-pi0.97648877-ya83.49695-ro-5.0217996-fo100%2F!7i5376!8i2688!4m5!3m4!1s0x4797c6fbb04d42bd:0x1c1ffd3ff5a4c640!8m2!3d49.4160136!4d8.6171786

      1. Chia Cha

        Free capitalism is worst version of capitalism, unable to even destroy public squares to protect it self. Mexico in Mexico – US war, like today, was 100% free market capitalism. Totally dependent on world markets, no industry (as dangerous for empowerment of others), they said we have money it is better for our security to be able to import cannons then to produce them. They were rentiers, meaning totally free market. Free market is no market, meaning closed market.

  6. F D

    Changing the subject, Dr. Pieczenik, because of your family background and first hand personal history of France, I am looking forward to your thoughts on Macron winning and what unbridled immigration means for France’s futire.

  7. del stead

    I was so pleased you enjoyed Taboo I I was totally hooked and Tom Hardy’s performance reinforced my belief he’s one of the greatest actors around but I must mention Stephen Graham who played Atticus in the series as he is in my opinion also one of the best actors I’ve had pleasure watching..his performances are the most visceral I’ve seen and brings a rare reality to the screen,Dr p please watch when available the drama series “little boy blue” where Stephen Graham plays the leading detective in the true story about a young boy shot dead by gangsters in Liverpool..

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