Mob saga “Gangs of London” has given Sky Atlantic, British pay-TV operator Sky’s premium drama channel, its second-biggest original drama launch ever. The seven-day cumulative audience for the opening episode was 2.23 million.

Gareth Evans’ series, produced by Pulse Films and “Chernobyl” producer Sister Pictures, is also Sky’s most binged show this year with 997,000 choosing to watch to the ninth and final episode of the season within two weeks, and which has increased to 1.26 million in its third week. There have been more than 16.6 million downloads across the series so far.

The series received glowing reviews in the British press on launch, with multiple four- and five-star reviews. Empire called it “intensely cinematic in a way that is rare for British TV,” adding “the British gangster thriller has never seen anything like this before.” GQ said it is “a strong early contender to be the best show of the summer.” The Metro said it had “more than a touch of Quentin Tarantino”; The Times said it was “outrageously thrilling drama”; and Esquire said it was “the channel’s biggest series since ‘Game of Thrones’.”

Cameron Roach, director of drama and Sky Studios, said the series, which he described as an “epic saga, with family at its heart and visceral action-packed fight sequences,” had “taken audiences on an immersive journey into the underbelly of London’s modern-day criminal underworld.”

Roach added: “The record-breaking results are testament to Sky’s ongoing commitment to innovation and championing the very best of bold, British drama.”

Other successes for Sky Atlantic’s original drama slate include “Save Me Too,” “Britannia” and “Chernobyl” – which won 10 Emmy Awards and saw viewing increase over the course of the series with the final episode achieving an audience of more than 4 million, becoming Sky Atlantic’s most watched original drama ever.

Click here for Variety‘s interview with Pulse Films’ Thomas Benski about the series.