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.
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2020   2017   Unknown  
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 9 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »





Series cast summary:
Tom Hardy ...  James Keziah Delaney 9 episodes, 2017
David Hayman ...  Brace 8 episodes, 2017
Jonathan Pryce ...  Sir Stuart Strange 8 episodes, 2017
Oona Chaplin ...  Zilpha Geary 8 episodes, 2017
Richard Dixon ...  Pettifer 8 episodes, 2017
Leo Bill ...  Wilton 8 episodes, 2017
Edward Hogg ...  Godfrey 8 episodes, 2017
Ruby-May Martinwood Ruby-May Martinwood ...  Winter 7 episodes, 2017
Jessie Buckley ...  Lorna Bow 7 episodes, 2017
Stephen Graham ...  Atticus 7 episodes, 2017
Franka Potente ...  Helga 7 episodes, 2017
James Greaves James Greaves ...  Strange's Clerk 7 episodes, 2017
Michael Kelly ...  Dumbarton 7 episodes, 2017
Louis Ashbourne Serkis ...  Robert 6 episodes, 2017
Jefferson Hall ...  Thorne Geary 6 episodes, 2017
Jason Watkins ...  Solomon Coop 6 episodes, 2017
Danny Ligairi ...  Martinez 6 episodes, 2017
Scroobius Pip ...  French Bill 6 episodes, 2017
Tallulah Haddon ...  Pearl 6 episodes, 2017
Tom Hollander ...  Cholmondeley 5 episodes, 2017
Nicholas Woodeson ...  Robert Thoyt 5 episodes, 2017
Mark Gatiss ...  Prince Regent 5 episodes, 2017
Lewin Lloyd ...  Temple 4 episodes, 2017
Edward Fox ...  Horace Delaney 4 episodes, 2017
Lucian Msamati ...  George Chichester 4 episodes, 2017
Fiona Skinner ...  Brighton 4 episodes, 2017
Rob Parker Rob Parker ...  Cole 3 episodes, 2017
Christopher Fairbank ...  Ibbotson 3 episodes, 2017
Marina Hands ...  Countess Musgrove 3 episodes, 2017
Evelyn Van Marle Evelyn Van Marle ...  Mudlark Girl 2 episodes, 2017
Alfie Mackay Alfie Mackay ...  Mudlark Boy 2 episodes, 2017
Donovan Louie Donovan Louie ...  The Malay 2 episodes, 2017
Larrington Walker ...  Street Beggar 2 episodes, 2017
David Houston David Houston ...  Ship's Captain 2 episodes, 2017
Brian Nickels ...  Luis 2 episodes, 2017
Daniel Tuite ...  Palace Servant 2 episodes, 2017
James Oliver Wheatley ...  Tower Guard 2 episodes, 2017
Jordan Long ...  Walsall 2 episodes, 2017
Tom Godwin Tom Godwin ...  Surgeon 2 episodes, 2017
The Hanover Band The Hanover Band ...  Concert Musicians 2 episodes, 2017
Jak Ford-Lane ...  Junior Clerk 2 episodes, 2017
Raj Ghatak ...  Musgrove's Butler 2 episodes, 2017


James Keziah Delaney returns to 1814 London after 10 years in Africa to discover that he has been left a mysterious legacy by his father. Driven to wage war on those who have wronged him, Delaney finds himself in a face-off against the East India Company, whilst playing a dangerous game between two warring nations, Britain and America.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Reference to the United States as the "free fifteen" is anachronistic. The show is set in 1812-13; already by 1803 there were 17 states (the original 13, plus Vermont, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio) See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: Krusty the Clown (2018) See more »

User Reviews

"I have a use for this series"
22 May 2017 | by timdaldrupSee all my reviews

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.

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Release Date:

10 January 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Taboo See more »

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16:9 HD
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