Penny Dreadful, Showtime’s spooky new thriller, is set in Victorian era England. The show utilizes characters from classic thrillers such as Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dorian Grey as subplots in a greater story. These scary figures lurk in the shadows of the world of Penny Dreadful to give viewers a great fright!
The reviews for Penny Dreadful are fantastic. AV Club calls it a “Feast for horror fans.” While the Hollywood Reporter says Penny Dreadful is, “A creative use of classic horror characters in a familiar setting more roughly realized with a set of all-new, mostly intriguing characters mixes in. Well done, so far.”
The series debut, titled Night Work, finds recognized explorer Sir Malcolm Murray, played by Timothy Dalton, in a dramatic search for his daughter Mina Harker, played by Olivia Llwellyn, who had been snatched and turned into a vampire.
Penny Dreadful character Vanessa Ives, played by Eva Green is a psychic who informs Murray that he must find “a gentleman who’s comfortable with firearms and not hesitant to engage in dangerous endeavors.”
That’s when Murray zones in on troubled Ethan Chandler, played by Josh Hartnett. Ethan is part of a sharpshooting troupe who is planning to leave for Paris. However he has some time for a little bit of Night Work.
After asking about the nature of the job, Chandler accepts.
In an alley behind an opium den in the dark world of Penny Dreadful, Malcolm meets Ethan. “Do not be amazed at anything you see and don’t hesitate.” says Malcolm. During the very next scene, the duo are slaying vampires in a bloodbath of a fight. Malcolm, after killing one such monster, brings the bloodied carcass to Dr. Victor Frankenstein, played by Harry Treadaway.
Dr. Frankenstein reluctantly performs a necropsy after seeing the gnarly victim and the imprints beneath its surface. Symbols from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, fact uncovered by Ferdinand Lyle, played by Simon Russell Beale.
Later, Ethan comes to collect his bounty for the previous completed job. He is confused yet seemingly intrigued by what he just saw. Vanessa explains, “A half world between what we know and what we fear. A place in the shadows, rarely seen but deeply felt.”
Now we are left to wonder is Ethan will continue to Paris with his performance troupe, or will he stay to see what other creepy crawlies lie in the underworld of the Penny Dreadful setting.
Penny Dreadful broke records for Showtime, topping the series debut of Homeland in viewership. A good start for Showtime’s Penny Dreadful indeed.
[Video courtesy of Showtime]
[Image courtesy of New York Times]