“We all have our demons.”
ABOUT THE SERIES – Some of literature’s most terrifying characters, including Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, and iconic figures from the novel Dracula are lurking in the darkest corners of Victorian London. PENNY DREADFUL is a frightening psychological thriller that weaves together these classic horror origin stories into a new adult drama.
How could I not be intrigued by a series sharing the same name as my blog? Watching the debut episode was much like imagining the unholy combination of Sherlock Holmes, The Matrix and Dexter. Not surprising considering Penny Dreadful is a Showtime offering. Be warned though Penny Dreadful is not for the faint of heart and deservedly has an “R” rating. Bleak, gruesome and downright creepy, it is a macabre affair to watch.
The episode opens in a clearly seedy part of London in 1891, a young woman awakens in the night she covers her daughter and leaves the room only to be suddenly dragged through the window by an unseen force. A woman is praying with the devotion of true zealot, a spider crawls along the crucifix and onto the woman’s hand. I would like to mention I watched that part from between my fingers…spiders *shudder*. Before I could run screaming from the room the scene ends and Vanessa Ives, the praying woman, takes in a Wild West Show evaluating the actor’s impressive aptitude with a six-shooter. She approaches him and offers him a job as a hired gun, Ethan Chandler accepts and so begins his initiation into the supernatural.
Vanessa takes Ethan to an opium den, where they rendezvous with a Sir Malcolm Murray. He is searching for his missing daughter, the circumstances of her disappearance are suspicious. Beneath the opium den they come across creatures that could only be vampires and a number of dismembered bodies none of whom is their quarry. It is clear that a monster is loose in London.
Showtime’s Penny Dreadful is a true chimera of supernatural creatures and phenomena complete with the most famous of mad scientists and Dorian Gray to boot. The casting and set design is first rate in keeping with a Showtime production. The only question is whether they can continue to merge these horror origin stories into a compelling cohesive whole but they are off to a strong and promising start.