Penny Dreadful was for three seasons one of the most popular shows Showtime ever aired. Then, without warning at the end of the third season, Penny Dreadful came to an abrupt – and for the audience somewhat shocking – end without the highly anticipated Season 4. But is there a chance of a sequel in the future?
Penny Dreadful did something no modern horror show has done as effectively. It brought back the classic monsters of 19th-century fiction and mid-20th century B movies. But Penny Dreadful modernized the concepts with hyper violence, sexuality, stylishness, and production values 1950s directors could have only dreamed of having.
Because of all of this, Penny Dreadful developed a devoted following on Showtime during the three years that it aired. Even now, a virtual cult of Penny Dreadful fans scour the Internet trying to find out if the show will ever come back to fulfill the promise of season four despite all obstacles.
Yes, it does seem that Eva Green has moved on from the show in an attempt to build a larger film career through movies like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Of course, given that the movie wasn’t the huge box office smash Green and Director Tim Burton were hoping for, perhaps she would be open to the idea of a return to the Penny Dreadful franchise.
As noted by Deadline, it’s also quite true Eva Green’s character Vanessa Ives died rather dramatically in the closing scenes of episode three, but in a show with vampires, witches, and werewolves, bringing someone back from the dead really shouldn’t present too much of a problem. Particularly given that Doctor Frankenstein himself is on the show and makes a habit of resurrecting his recently deceased costars.
Of course, show creator John Logan had himself suggested in interviews about the end of the series that he viewed Penny Dreadful as Vanessa Ives’ story and that with the character dead, it was finished. But in later interviews on this topic, Logan has indicated that he wouldn’t necessarily be entirely opposed to a sequel for Penny Dreadful that focused on the other still existing characters, plus some new ones. Of course, the show would have to go in new directions.
Entirely new antagonists and dangers would have to be introduced to the Penny Dreadful sequel/spinoff, just as they were introduced in season one, two and three of the original series. However – and as many fans have noticed – it seemed very much like the show was already establishing the groundwork for season four before it suddenly ended.
For instance, the dual characters of Doctor Jekyll/Mister Hyde were being set up quite nicely in season three of Penny Dreadful for a follow-up in Season 4 that would explore this split personality. The fact that Mister Lyle was going off to Egypt is a blatant hint that season for would have included one or two walking mummies as well.
One indication of the continuing interest that fans of the show have in seeing it return can be seen in the fact that Titan is releasing a new Penny Dreadful comic book that takes up where Season 3 of Penny Dreadful left off. Whether the stories in this comic book will really precisely follow the story arc that would have been laid out by the series itself is an open question.
But if Penny Dreadful does return for a sequel, the producers and writers can always pretend that the comic book didn’t happen and leave it out of canon – just like Star Wars did with the “Legends” stories.
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