The Watch List: Penny Dreadful

By Sara Da Silva

Penny Dreadful, created by John Logan (Skyfall), successfully pulls together numerous 19th century horror stories in a twisted and delightfully gory manner. Potentially making it one of the best horror series on television. The show is not particularly plot-orientated, but rather focuses on the intricacy and development of the wide variety of characters, many of whom we recognise. Victor Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and Mina Harker are just a few of the superbly complex characters that are introduced in this 8-episode series.

The main plot line follows Sir Malcolm Murray, an African explorer, in his quest to find his kidnapped daughter Mina. As this quest is one involving forces of the supernatural, Murray acquires the help of a series of surprising heroes. First of all is Vanessa Ives, played by the enchanting Eva Green, lends her special abilities, that border on clairvoyance, in order to help find her childhood friend. Ethan Chandler, portrayed by Josh Hartnett, who shares a scary resemblance to Brad Pitt, is an American sharpshooter hired for his bravery, willingness for violence and his quick draw. Lastly, Harry Treadaway plays Victor Frankenstein, whom all of you should know. But, if for some reason you are unfamiliar with the 1818 novel, Frankenstein is an eccentric scientist whose fascination with science and death leads him to discover a way to bring back life.

In addition to these brilliantly written characters, Brona Croft, played by Bille Piper, and Caliban (AKA Frankenstein’s monster), played by Rory Kinnear, add an extra special something to the already incredible cast. If the concept of the show isn’t enough to entice you, then surely the magnificence of this cast is.

If I tried to explain to you exactly what makes this show so brilliant, it would probably take you the same amount of time to read this article as it would to watch all 8 episodes. In simple, the acting is hypnotic, the music and lighting is superb and the characters are unbelievably intriguing. It is the perfect combination of intensity and thrill. And, if you’re a fan of the Victorian dialogue, as I am, then you’ll be captivated by the beauty that is Penny Dreadful.

In truth however, the finale of the show lacked the intensity and gore that the other episodes thrived in. Yet, the series in its entirety is well worth the watch. I’d even go so far to say that I’ve found a new show to add to my list of favourites.



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