Taboo Poster

Taboo (2017)

Drama | Thriller 
Rayting:   8.4/10 121K votes
Country: UK
Language: English

Adventurer James Keziah Delaney returns to London during the War of 1812 to rebuild his late father's shipping empire. However, both the government and his biggest competitor want his inheritance at any cost even murder.

Episode Guide

Season 1

February 25, 2017Episode 8 Episode 8
February 18, 2017Episode 7 Episode 7
February 11, 2017Episode 6 Episode 6
February 4, 2017Episode 5 Episode 5
January 28, 2017Episode 4 Episode 4
January 21, 2017Episode 3 Episode 3
January 14, 2017Episode 2 Episode 2
January 7, 2017Episode 1 Episode 1

Best Taboo Episodes

Top 20 (Ranked)

February 25, 2017star9.2 4231 votesS1E8 Episode 8
February 18, 2017star8.9 3442 votesS1E7 Episode 7
January 28, 2017star8.8 3865 votesS1E4 Episode 4
February 11, 2017star8.8 3319 votesS1E6 Episode 6
January 7, 2017star8.6 5971 votesS1E1 Episode 1
January 14, 2017star8.4 4434 votesS1E2 Episode 2
February 4, 2017star8.4 3338 votesS1E5 Episode 5
January 21, 2017star8.3 3772 votesS1E3 Episode 3

Taboo Trailer

User Reviews

gogoschka-1 25 February 2017

Imagine a man with the shaman-like charisma and borderline madness of Jim Morrison (at least as he was depicted in Oliver Stone's film 'The Doors') but equipped with the vicious fighting skills of Wolverine. Add to that the intellect and strategic talents of Francis Underwood from 'House of Cards' as well as a - very large - dose of trauma induced mental problems (especially mother issues; well: some sister issues as well) – and you've almost got James Keziah Delaney (Tom Hardy), the central character of the new show 'Taboo'. And let me tell you: he just so happens to be one of the most compelling and original protagonists I've seen in a TV-show since Ian McShane blessed us with the character of Al Swearengen in 'Deadwood' (ok, there was that other guy from that cooking show, you know: 'Baking Bread' or something like that - he was pretty singular too).

'Taboo' is certainly not an easy show to describe - it's simply too unique for that - but let me have a go at it anyway. As with all my reviews, this is supposed to give you an overall impression of the show, so you won't find any plot details here, although some very minor spoilers are possible. Please bear in mind that I'm a hopeless screen junkie who has long lost the ability to properly use language unless it's in the context of film, so forgive me for constantly referencing other films and TV-shows in order to describe this series. If this grave condition of mine bothers you, you might want to stop reading now.

Still here? OK: imagine the dark, brooding atmosphere of 'True Detective' (I'm talking about the first season, of course) and transfer that mood to the city of London in 1814, at a time when the war between Britain and America is still going on but slowly nearing its end. Now further imagine that time period (candlelit rooms, horse carriages riding over cobblestones, fog rising from the river Thames and creeping through dark streets and busy docks) captured through the breathtakingly beautiful cinematography we usually find in a Ridley Scott film. Are you with me so far? Good. Because now that we've established the tone, mood and look of this show, we can explore the world of James Delaney a little further.

The end of the Anglo-American war is in sight, and as peace negotiations between the warring parties are secretly taking place, there's a third major player involved who is scheming to protect its influence: the East India Company, one of the first - and perhaps most powerful - corporations in history. It's this fascinating time of upheaval and secret battles for power in and around the New World which provides the backdrop for 'Taboo', and the show does an amazing job at transporting the audience to that era. This series features some of the best production design I've ever seen in a show (or a feature film, actually); everything looks lived-in and genuine; whether it be ships, houses, clothes or landscapes; every grimy cobble stone in every dimly lit alley virtually oozes authenticity.

When we first meet Delaney, he makes an entrance worthy of the Count of Monte Cristo. In case you don't know the story, that's the guy who was framed for a crime he didn't commit and then locked away for so long everybody eventually thought he was dead - only to return one day, rich beyond imagination, and with an elaborate plan on how to take revenge on everyone that had wronged him. This theme of a guy returning from the dead

RaoulDuke1 28 February 2017

The first season of this show is excellently written and directed. Tom Hardy does an outstanding job. The historical material is an educator's dream, but the content is a school teacher's nightmare! Every taboo is broken, and in pre-Victorian England, that's a lot of taboos!

This TV show explores a part of history that is often glossed over. I definitely tried to research a little more about the war of 1812 while watching it. Some quite interesting things happened in that war. The British burned down Washington D.C.!

If I had one critique of this show, it would be that the color scheme is a little monotonous. I think they should take off the 19th century filter.

I definitely am looking forward to the next season. I really hope that the intricate plot development continues and becomes more historically interesting. It will be difficult, however, to live up to this outstanding first season. Please, give it a watch! Though not with children -

Mercedes-S280-W140 29 January 2017


Without revealing to much I just want to say this: Acting is very entertaining and believable. Story is surprising and keeps you on your toes. It's definitely not for the faint of hart, seeing there's some blood and gore. The series is called Taboo and this really comes alive thanks to some good acting from Tom Hardy and Oona Chaplin.

And last but not least it's got ASS (Action, Suspense and a Strong story)!!

There's nothing more to say, just watch it and be pleasantly surprised. I was!

gamertaboo 20 February 2017

Obviously it's not hard to see why, with Tom Hardy leading...

This show is so amazing it's hard to find the words. It's like one huge elaborate puzzle, and only Tom Hardy knows the way to the finish. And we all just get to sit back and watch him take us there. Though I don't want to diminish any of the other actors, as literally each one of them are all doing a very superb job. Taboo literally has the best all around acting in a television show that I've ever seen. At the end of every episode, it is unbearable to think that I have to wait another week to see what happens next.

The time period for this show, for me personally, sets the entire mood. It REALLY gives off a sort of Old London, Jack the Ripper feel while watching it. I'm not sure how else to describe the mood of the show, but that feels right.

Tom Hardy's character commands the screen. When he's on, you don't want to miss a single word or grunt. Taboo also has some great dark humor to release stress build-up at crucial times.

I apologize if I'm being vague, but I don't want to spoil a single thing. If you are looking for a show to watch, look no further.

rockstarmanav 28 January 2017

There can't be a better start to 2017. After the first episode I am sure most of them viewers are hooked. Why won't they? Taboo is a cinematic experience. Everything is so detailed the costumes, the sets, the locations , the music, the characters. You can't expect more from a TV series.

There's nobody else who can play James Delaney better than Tom Hardy. And who wouldn't want to see Tom hardy every Saturday, eh? The guy can deliver some mad roles. Based in 1800s Taboo shows the dark tales of James Delaney the protagonist of the English series. Best part of the series is the mystery and suspense it has orchestrated.

bdewiyah 8 July 2019

Its so original that we need the second season ASAP PLZZZZ

gornasa 1 March 2017

Apparently Tom Hardy lost a few million on this one. I find it hard to believe. Perhaps the person who did the calculations only took into account how the show did on its mother channel on TV in the UK. But that's just the beginning of its story, I would say, because there is streaming and DVDs and foreign sales... A lot of people prefer to stream stuff because it's more convenient. A fixed TV time isn't always a good time to watch something. I'm pretty sure Hardy knew what he was doing, and anyway, it's just not freakin' possible that this show isn't gonna do amazingly well around the world. NO WAY.

It's a period show and not everyone is into those, but if you are, man, what a story. I have so much respect for Tom for being a great actor who just can't make a bad movie - and now he also created 'Taboo'? What a talent this guy has! You gotta love his approach to acting and storytelling and you can see he is only after the best quality in everything he does. 'Taboo' is yet another example of this.

The story line is very intriguing, it's cooking slowly but keeps you hooked, and all the characters are great and very colourful. There is so much attention to detail here, especially when it comes to historical accuracy, but not only that. It's easy to watch a show and say 'it's amazing', but take the time to stop and think about how much work went into designing this, and into the filming. It's not just the clothes and the places and mannerisms, etc., but the many different characters too, each of whom has their own story and personality. And then there's the whole main story and the many twists and turns, with James Delaney always being on top of things, always having an ace up his sleeve. How does one simply write such a show 'just like that'? We watch it and enjoy it, but the work - the work! Think about it every step of the way and you will truly be amazed at what Hardy achieved here. You'll see a perfectionist behind every frame.

I like all the actors playing all the different parts, they make it seem like this is happening for real. It's uncanny. And of course, Tom Hardy himself, the cursed James Delaney, who you know is a very bad man but you still want him to succeed. Hardy has outdone himself for sure, and hats off to him for always getting better and better, and doing it so easily. You can't take your eyes off the screen watching this. You just can't.

I wonder why there are only 8 episodes in this season. I was expecting something around 20 because this became my new favorite show. Now it looks like there might not even be season 2? If there's a petition to keep this show alive, just tell me where to put my signature. I'll sign with both hands and feet.

Clive_W 11 May 2020

As my title has indicated, Tom Hardy's "Taboo" is a beautiful slow burn, as the story builds through each episode I was hooked on how Hardy's character would react to certain situations and was never left disappointed, without spoiling the story itself there are some wonderfully tense and sad moment's throughout. The cast were amazing throughout the whole show, the story so gripping, the sets were down right amazing and overall production couldn't have been better! I can't wait for a second season to see what will happen next.

timdaldrup 22 May 2017

Finally I came to see this Gothic gem from the BBC and I am not disappointed - quite the contrary is the case.

In 'Taboo' the set up of the world and the creation of a very dark and at the same time tender atmosphere as well as the nicely arranged spectrum of taboo-motifs (like sexual transgression, the grotesque and strange, overwhelming violence etc.) kept me from being bothered by the fact that I didn't feel one jot more sympathy for its main character than for its antagonists. James K. Delaney is an intriguing mysterious character attracting us in a depraved way. But he is also an individual of extreme moral reprehensibility we eventually cannot go along with.

The series makes very good use of Gothic- and Dark Romanticism writers' style to build up the gloomy atmosphere of a depressed 1814 England still anguished by the loss of the great colony. It is no coincidence when Delaney claims at some point in the series:"The ravens told me". We find lots of Poe here either in theme or characters. Madness wanders through the world of 'Taboo' and at least at the dip of the hem this madness is always caused by the East India Company, the Crown or Delaney. Curiously all the characters except Delaney himself are appearing so vulnerably and fragile that their indulgence (to be helpless and lost in this made up society) arises a counter-part to the unforgiveness of the room they live in.

'Taboo' also declares the downfall of the classic adventure genre. There is no space for nostalgic explorers or discoverers in the plot lines, Delaney is a broken man as he returns from Africa, even if he is not willing to admit this. It's rather a farewell to the exotic, the story takes place after the alleged adventure and mainly stays at the well-known. Interestingly the series manages it to combine some accounts on slavery shifting the story to an international level (not many historic series/ movies do this, they mostly remain in the domestic frame).

Further the actors do a very nice job. Particularly Tom Hardy, Jonathan Price and the reoccurring Mark Gatiss play exceptionally good. However I have to say that there was no huge character development, which I wished to see. The characters are not uni-dimensional, but they do not alter in their facets. The series tries to offset this flaw with new secrets and confessions in every episode pretending these to be a change, whilst it is actually only about the introduction of new information. A very common writing technique, I think.

Overall I can highly recommend 'Taboo', especially for fans of Gothic, Grotesque and the 19th century England.

jdtt34 24 January 2017

The name says it all and is the best show on TV. So many great lines, "they're my rocks now". The dark and foreboding tone is intoxicating. A mix of history with a poetic twist and family intrigue. Sex, violence, politics, crime, corruption, witchcraft, spies, it is unyielding! The story line defies logic. It is the best written and acted show I have seen in some time. The writing is superb. I am hooked. Hope this gets renewed and not just a one season show. We don't watch primetime and always look for something "smart". This show is just that. It draws you in with the history angle but the back story and the current situation make you root for James Delaney. As his life went awry from the start, his experiences in life have molded him into the person he is today. A man who is completely undone, yet cunning and smart. A planner. A doer. A man who is determined to get what is his at all costs and make others pay. Thank you!

Supermanfan-13 30 December 2020

Tom Hardy is one of the best actors on the planet...period. Besides maybe Leonardo DiCaprio he's my favorite actor and one of the handful of actors where I'd watch the movie/show knowing nothing more than that their in it! Taboo is another great performance for Hardy. It is thrilling from start to finish and can't wait until they finally make Season 2!

Naxxos 29 January 2017

This show is easily some of Tom Hardy's best work.

The first episode grabbed me in the first minute and never let go. The sets and costume/makeup are superb. It's dirty, dank and wonderfully dark. There are just enough supernatural fantasy elements to make it interesting and mysterious, but not so much to be over the top.

The acting is superb, especially Tom Hardy's character. His characteristic grunts and other non verbal communications play so well with his role.

The British East India company is historically intriguing, and lives up to the intrigue in this show. It's interesting to see such a portrayal, one of the primary players in the foundation of modern capitalism as an antagonist in this show.

Very enjoyable show.

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