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Image / Editorial

Penny Dreadful


by Jeanne Sutton
21st May 2014
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The schlocky supernatural television show set amid Victorian London’s underworld you didn’t know you needed…

Two things we like: Eva Green and supernatural thrillers. One thing that delivers on these fronts: Sky Atlantic’s latest television series, Penny Dreadful.

Deriving it’s name from the cheap pulp fiction that dominated Victorian England, Penny Dreadful is an exercise in the fantastical from the lofty Sam Mendes and Skyfall writer John Logan that tells the story of a mismatched group of intrepid types battling paranormal creatures in a gaslight-lit London. Timothy Dalton is the explorer Sir Malcolm Murray, desperately seeking his daughter who was taken by vampires. Josh Hartnett returns to our radars as Ethan Chandler, an actor with vampire slaying potential. Eva Green, the queen of Gallic gothic cool is the jewel in the crown as Vanessa Ives, a medium with a lethal gaze and attitude to burn. The pilot is gory and upsetting in subject matter; a mother and child meet a nasty end in the opening scenes for example, but we think this might be the most arresting show of the summer. With the moody will-it-won’t-it weather we’re getting this might be exactly what we need. Ambitious from the outset, the show demands our attention with character exposition and long conversations. Case in point – episode two is set mostly during a seance. Also this moody London is peppered with cameos from some of literatures most famous characters. Expect eternal youth Dorian Gray and Dracula to pop by.

In a world of Dexters and Hannibals, we’re actually welcoming the creepy spiders emanating from crucifixes and the over-arching theme of pure, unadulterated spook. Also, can all the fashion houses take note of the above images? Sexy Victorian medium needs to feature in A/W 14…

Jeanne Sutton @jeannedesutun