BINGE-WATCHING: PENNY DREADFUL (TV SERIES) S1, S2 & S3

Monday, February 06, 2017

Some of literature’s most terrifying characters, including Dr. Victor Frankenstein and his monster from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Dorian Gray from Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dr. Henry Jekyll from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and iconic figures from Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula — Mina Harker, Abraham Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, Renfield, and Count Dracula — are lurking in the darkest corner of Victorian London. Penny Dreadful is a frightening psychological thriller that weaves together these classic horror origin stories into a new adult drama.

The series was created for Showtime and Sky by John Logan, who also acts as executive producer alongside Sam Mendes. It was originally pitched to several US and UK channels, and eventually landed with Showtime, with Sky Atlantic as co-producer. Penny Dreadful premiered at the South by Southwest film festival on March 9 and began airing on television on April 28, 2014, on Showtime on Demand. It premiered on Showtime on May 11, 2014, the first in an eight-episode season. After the third-season finale on June 19, 2016, series creator John Logan announced that Penny Dreadful had ended as the main story had reached its conclusion.

The title refers to the penny dreadfuls, a type of 19th-century British fiction publication with lurid and sensational subject matter.



The TV series stars: Reeve Carney as Dorian Gray, a charismatic man who is ageless and immortal.

Timothy Dalton as Sir Malcolm Murray, a hardened explorer of the African continent, on a deeply personal quest to save the remaining members of his family.

Eva Green as Vanessa Ives, an enigmatic, quietly driven heroine who proves herself a force to be reckoned with as she battles powerful, relentless forces from the underworld.



Rory Kinnear as the Creature, a creation Frankenstein abruptly abandoned, who, not given a name, variously uses the aliases Caliban and John Clare.

Billie Piper as Brona Croft/Lily Frankenstein, an Irish immigrant seeking to escape her brutal, violent past.

Danny Sapani as Sembene, a mysterious long-time ally of Sir Malcolm (seasons 1-2).

Harry Treadaway as Dr. Victor Frankenstein, an arrogant, reclusive young doctor whose ambition and research involve transcending the barrier between life and death.

Josh Hartnett as Ethan Chandler (born Ethan Lawrence Talbot), a charming, brash and daring American man of action with uncanny marksmanship, who detests violence, and is more complicated than he likes to admit.



Helen McCrory as Evelyn Poole, a professional spiritualist known by the alias Madame Kali who is secretly the leader of a powerful coven of witches called “Nightcomers” (season 2, recurring season 1).

Simon Russell Beale as Ferdinand Lyle, an eccentric Egyptologist (season 2, recurring seasons 1 and 3).

Patti LuPone as Dr. Florence Seward, an alienist or early psychotherapist treating Vanessa’s depression (season 3; LuPone previously guest-starred as Joan Clayton in season 2).

Wes Studi as Kaetenay, an Apache with a connection to Ethan, who becomes an ally to Sir Malcolm (season 3).

The first season of Penny Dreadful received positive reviews from critics, with a Metacritic rating of 70 out of 100 based on 37 reviews. It holds a 79 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 7.4 out of 10, based on 56 reviews, with the site’s consensuses stating, “Skillfully shot and superbly acted, Penny Dreadful is perplexing in a good way — even if it’s a bit silly at times.” The first season was described “as riotous as it is ridiculous, taking the macabre to new heights (or depths)” by The Guardian reviewer Ben Hewitt.



The second season also received positive reviews from critics. On Metacritic, it has a score of 77 out of 100 based on 14 reviews, indicating “generally favorable reviews”. On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a 100 percent rating with an average score of 7.6 out of 10 based on 19 reviews, with the site’s consensus stating, “Penny Dreadful’s second season maintains the show’s intense, bloody drama, utilizing a vast array of fascinating characters and locales to tell a unique story.”



The third and final season received very positive reviews from critics. On Metacritic, it has a score of 83 out of 100 based on 9 reviews, indicating “universal acclaim”. On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a 100 percent rating with an average score of 8.1 out of 10 based on 11 reviews, with the site’s consensuses stating, “Penny Dreadful is back for a beautifully bloody third season of ever-expanding mysteries and Gothic horrors.” Ben Travers of Indiewire gave it a “B+” grade and wrote, “Season 3’s American-set storyline breaks things up nicely with some classic western elements mixed in with the show’s established creature horrors, and the aesthetics of the production have never looked better.” Source.



The cast and crew of Penny Dreadful discuss the end of the series. Of course, only watch this video after you’ve seen the final episode.



Watch Penny Dreadful (TV Series) Season 1, 2 & 3 online.

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