Taboo: Season 1 (2017)

Season 1

Critics Consensus

After a sluggish start, Taboo takes hold as a mysterious, dark, and often brutal period drama with plenty of promise as a series -- most notably evident in Tom Hardy's exceptionally watchable performance.



Critic Ratings: 67


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1617

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Air date: Jan 10, 2017

In the series premiere, James Delaney returns to London to follow his father's legacy following a ten-year stint in Africa.

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Air date: Jan 17, 2017

An unexpected arrival looms and threatens James' plans as he assembles his league of the damned.

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Air date: Jan 24, 2017

James takes radical action to protect himself from his enemies.

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Air date: Jan 31, 2017

James protects his business by any means necessary after being blacklisted.

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Air date: Feb 7, 2017

James gets blackmailed into taking on a dangerous mission as animosity grows between the Crown and Company.

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Air date: Feb 14, 2017

War is declared on James while a family revelation rocks him to the core.

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Air date: Feb 21, 2017

James faces a betrayal that jeopardizes his freedom and gives his enemies a big opportunity.

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Air date: Feb 28, 2017

In the season finale, James plans his escape while Prince Regent makes a final push to destroy him.

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Taboo: Season 1 Videos

Taboo: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Presumed-dead James Delaney reappears in London in 1814, to find his father dead and England at war with France and the US. Due to inherit his father's shipping empire, his resurfacing threatens his half-sister Zilpha and the political ambitions of the East India Company.

News & Interviews for Taboo: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Taboo Season 1

All Critics (67) | Top Critics (29)

If you like your historical fiction grim and your cobblestones dirt-caked, if you don't mind looking into some of humanity's bleaker facets, this one's for you.

Jan 5, 2017 | Full Review…

Hardy may want to mix in a romantic comedy sometime soon, if only for his own sanity. But for now, he's got demons to work out and it's an exorcism worth watching.

Jan 10, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Hardy's great - as always - but the story at times can be as turgid as the Thames in winter.

Jan 10, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Hardy, always an admirably committed actor, has the magnetism to elevate even the silliest moments, making this an intriguing, if sometimes oppressively moody trip into a sinister underworld.

Jan 10, 2017 | Full Review…

Three episodes deep, there's an appetite for more, but not a ravenous one.

Jan 10, 2017 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's definitely a Tom Hardy vehicle, but it's got a hell of an ensemble supporting him.

Jan 9, 2017 | Full Review…

Freshly unique, gloriously offensive, and delightfully vicious with superb costume design, an unbelievably talented cast, and a riveting story that thrives on reeling its audience in.

Aug 30, 2019 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Not even often-stunning performances... can dig Taboo out of its messy, overwrought darkness.

Oct 19, 2018 | Full Review…

The Hardys have created a period piece with a grim, noir feel, and ballsy execution. There are plenty of betrayals, murders, conspiracies and a clash of primitive and modern western values.

Aug 24, 2018 | Full Review…

The actor, also the creator of the series, has a hypnotic presence halfway between a rhinoceros and a peacock. [Full Review in Spanish]

Jul 10, 2018 | Full Review…

... an amazing Tom Hardy in one of his usual genius performances... [Full review in Spanish]

Jan 16, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

For not giving up on historical dramas, even if not perfecting the genre, Tom Hardy's Taboo deserves your attention. Give it some.

Dec 26, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Taboo: Season 1

  • Jul 31, 2020
    I really liked this series, it had memorable characters and a plot which was interesting. If you like historical dramas this is a must watch.
  • Jul 20, 2020
    What a waste of such beautiful aesthetic visuals. This is a mish mash of tired tropes.. white stoic tough guy who always gets what he wants.. indigenous peoples of North America and Africa are shown as savages but hey, at least they can add some exoticism to the white guy and give him special powers so he can wreak havoc while getting what he wants. Oh wait, he's actually half indigenous despite being played by Tom Hardy, lol. Unnecessary incest side story with an undeveloped weak female character who exists to have access to her body fought over by men.. a weak effeminate gay man/trans woman exploited by our tough guy too. I am willing to put up with all the usual unnecessary gore and weird sex scenes that seem to be the trend in historical-ish shows lately if the story and characters are actually interesting and engaging and there is at least a little bit of effort put towards setting a reasonably historically accurate scene.. but this fails in all those areas.. they didn't even develop the main character much, he was rather dull.
  • Jun 13, 2020
    Taboo is a top-tier historical drama. Its atmospheric and gritty portrayal of 19th century London is a sight to behold, and its cast is well up to the challenge of portraying 19th century characters. The star is of course Tom Hardy as James Keziah Delaney, a rugged antihero who is perhaps not the most original character, but a compelling lead to the show. Even minor characters, like Franka Potente as brothel madam Helga, do a lot with little screen time. The plot revolves around a piece of land Delaney owns which the East India Trading Company wishes to acquire, and this conflict is well-written and plays out in an entertaining manner. Delaney's ability to recover from pretty much any injury is perhaps a bit silly, and pushes this more into escapism than pure realism, but he can also do dark magic, so suffice it to say the show was never meant to be realistic to begin with. There is one character, Lorna Bow (played by Jessie Buckley) who never has much to do, and seems like she could have been written out, but otherwise there are few glaring flaws to be found. Even if there is never a Season 2, the first season has closure, and works as a standalone series. Highly recommended for dark historical drama fans.
  • May 10, 2020
    Tom Hardy is best reason to see this. It's not bad, but there is something missing in all of it...
  • May 08, 2020
    Great performance, dense and brilliant Thomas Hardy
  • May 07, 2020
    Excellent. S1 of 'Taboo' is a treat. A few of the episodes can drag out a tad, but by and large it all makes for a very fine viewing. Tom Hardy is excellent as the superbly named James Keziah Delaney. He is by far the best thing about this show, but that's not to say he's the only pulling the strings. Jessie Buckley (Lorna), Oona Chaplin (Zilpha), Stephen Graham (Atticus), Tom Hollander (George) and Jonathan Pryce (Stuart) all give their own terrific performances. Steven Knight does a grand job with the writing, as do the whole team behind this in truth. Three years+ on, still waiting for the second series; which has been commissioned, with Tom Hardy stating within the last twelve months that it will return. Here's hoping!
  • Apr 24, 2020
    10/10 for acting, 10/10 for cinematography, 10/10 for writing.
  • Apr 21, 2020
    Absolutely brillant. Dark and haunting. Love it
  • Apr 07, 2020
    Very good story with an excellent Tom Hardy.
  • Mar 31, 2020
    Unique show, unique twists, phenomenally acted, superb casting, seriously, only 8 episodes, it's a must see. Production value of this period piece is also of great quality. I happen to stumble onto the show on Hulu/fx without knowing and I finished the whole season in a single sitting. Hoping for another season.

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