Season One
Genre Period Drama
Created by Tom Hardy, Chips Hardy
and Steven Knight
Written by Steven Knight, Chips Hard, Emily Ballou
Directed by Kristoffer Nyholm
Anders Engström
Starring Taboo/Full Cast & Crew
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original Language(s) English
Producer(s) Taboo/Full Cast & Crew
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Scott Free Productions
Hardy Son & Baker
Distributor Sonar Entertainment
Original network(s) BBC One (UK) ; FX (US)
Previous none
Next Season Two

Season One of BBC and FX period drama Taboo, premiered on January 7th, 2017 on BBC One in the United Kingdom and on January 10th, 2017 on FX in the United States.


Set in 1814, the first season follows James Keziah Delaney (Hardy), a man who has been to the ends of the earth and comes back irrevocably changed. Believed to be long dead, he returns home to London from Africa to inherit what is left of his father’s shipping empire and rebuild a life for himself. But his father’s legacy is a poisoned chalice, and with enemies lurking in every dark corner, James must navigate increasingly complex territories to avoid his own death sentence. Encircled by conspiracy, murder, and betrayal, a dark family mystery unfolds in a combustible tale of love and treachery.


Main castEdit

Recurring castEdit

Episodes Edit

No. Image Title Writer Director Airdate
1 Taboo-Still-S1E01-08-Funeral-James "Episode 1" Steven Knight Kristoffer Nyholm January 7, 2017 (UK)
January 10, 2017 (US)
James Delaney returns to 1814 London after 10 years in Africa to claim a mysterious legacy left to him by his father.
2 Taboo-Still-S1E02-02-Atticus-And-James "Episode 2" Steven Knight Kristoffer Nyholm January 14, 2017 (UK)
January 17, 2017 (US)
As James Delaney assembles his league of the damned; an unexpected arrival threatens to disrupt his plans.
3 Taboo-Still-S1E03-02-Lorna-Theatre-Royal "Episode 3" Steven Knight Kristoffer Nyholm January 21, 2017 (UK)
January 24, 2017 (US)
James Delaney decides to take radical action in order to safeguard himself from those intent on his demise.
4 Taboo-Still-S1E04-09-Lorna-And-Zilpha "Episode 4" Steven Knight
& Emily Ballou
Kristoffer Nyholm January 28, 2017 (UK)
January 31, 2017 (US)
Blacklisted, James Delaney sets out to protect his business by any means necessary.
5 Taboo-Still-S1E05-06-Dumbarton-Mask "Episode 5" Steven Knight
& Ben Hervey
Anders Engström February 4, 2017 (UK)
February 7, 2017 (US)
James Delaney is blackmailed into a dangerous mission, whilst animosity between the Crown and Company escalates to a new level.
6 Taboo-Still-S1E06-08-Cholera-hearse "Episode 6" Chips Hardy &
Steven Knight
Anders Engström February 11, 2017 (UK)
February 14, 2017 (US)
War is declared on James while a family revelation rocks him to the core.
7 Taboo-Still-S1E07-08-BBC-James-Chained "Episode 7" Steven Knight Anders Engström February 18, 2017 (UK)
February 21, 2017 (US)
James faces a betrayal that jeopardizes his freedom and gives his enemies a big opportunity.
8 Taboo-Still-S1E08-03-James-Gun "Episode 8" Steven Knight Anders Engström February 25, 2017 (UK)
February 28, 2017 (US)
James plans his escape while Prince Regent makes a final push to destroy him.

Gallery Edit

Main article: Son of Horace 1814

Promotional VideosEdit



  • Tom Hardy revealed that he wanted to film some scenes fully nude but was forced to put on a loin cloth, explaining, "You're lucky there was a loin cloth because I didn't want one. It's not a period drama until someone gets naked and covers themselves in blood. You can't have naughtiness like Game of Thrones on the BBC." Even so, Hardy did film some scenes with full frontal nudity and some of these filming pictures were leaked in the media but all such scenes were cut from the final edit of the show. [1]
  • The first season cost 10 million pounds. [2]
  • Tom Hardy 'earned over £500K' from Taboo - despite supernatural thriller making a loss of £2million. The Georgian period drama was a highly-anticipated release this year, but failed to win over many critics. [3]
  • Marks the acting debut of ex professional rugby player Danny Ligairi. [2]
  • Oona Chaplin, Jonathan Pryce, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Mark Gatiss, Lucian Msamati, Tim Plester and Nicholas Blane all had roles on the HBO series, "Game of Thrones" (2011) as Talisa Meagyr (Chaplin), the High Sparrow (Pryce), Mace Tyrell (Ashton-Griffiths), Tycho Nestoris (Gatiss), Salladhor Saan (Msamati), Black Walda Rivers (Plester) and Spice-Qarth Council Member respectively. [2]
  • 'Taboo' airs first in the UK every Saturday on BBC One then follows in North America on Tuesdays. [2]
  • Jonathan Pryce, Stephen Graham and Tom Hollander all appeared in many films of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. [2]
  • The language spoken by Tom Hardy is Twi. It originates from the West African country of Ghana and a dialect of the Akan people. Twi is still widely spoken and arguably the most spoken native language in Ghana. [2] The program was advised on the language by Naomi Fletcher, Anthnoy Dwomo and Akwasi Amponsah from The Cultural Group. [4]
  • BBC One drama Taboo was the big winner at the 2017 RTS Craft and Design Awards, nominated in six categories, including Costume Design, Drama, Make-Up Design, Drama, Music, Original Title, Production Design, Drama, Sound, Drama and Design, Trails & Packaging. [5]
  • The Scott Free London and Hardy, Son and Baker-produced series won for Costume Design in a Drama (Joanna Eatwell), Make-Up Design in a Drama (Erika Okvist, Jan Archibald, and Audrey Doyle) and Sound in a Drama. [6]

Supernatural themes Edit

  • In several scenes there are glimpses of ghostly images. At the end of the first episode, during the meeting between James Delaney and the East India Company, a womanly figure resembling his mother can be spotted on the left side behind the couch, where John Pettifer and Benjamin Wilton are sitting. [7] In episode two, while sitting naked on the below deck of the ship, an image of a man resembling Horace Delaney can be spotted in the background. [8] Once again, a ghostly figure is partially visible behind Ibbotson in the sixth episode, when the man, terrified by symbols carved in wood beams in the gunpowder's factory, fled to confess to a priest.
  • In the course of the series, James Delaney was often seen in the act of carrying out rituals that foreshadowed a strong occult and supernatural connotation. During an interview, Tom Hardy has denied the supernatural component as real, by stating it was the way that the authors have chosen to tell their story, and cope with James Delaney's post-traumatic stress once returned from Africa. [9]


  1. Tom Hardy on Taboo's nude scenes
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Taboo on
  3. Mirror, Tom Hardy 'earned over £500K' from Taboo
  4. - 13 burning question we have after the first episode of Taboo
  5. RTS announces nominations for Craft & Design Awards 2017
  6. Taboo leads the way at RTS Craft awards — Broadcast
  7. A ghostly woman figure is visible behind Pettifer
  8. A ghostly figure spotted on the below deck of the ship
  9. TABOO: Tom Hardy explains the supernatural side of the period drama
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