I have been transfixed by Penny Dreadful since season one and for those of you who have not yet dipped your toe in the water, let me give you a gentle push.
Penny Dreadful takes in characters from the literary classics such as Dracula, Frankenstein and Dorian Grey, lifts them from the pages and puts them in new, exciting and slightly twisted stories.
Set in Victorian London, the dark cinematography adds to the ghoulish, eerie and keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat feel throughout each season. The best comparison of the atmosphere created is to say; it’s like walking through an empty park alone at night, knowing you are being followed but not daring to look behind you.
One of my favourite characters is the lonely Victor Frankenstein, the delectable Harry Treadaway. After creating and discarding his first few monsters, he decides to make himself a wife.
The monster Lily is played by Billie Piper, who has since evolved from a sweet little wifey to the wannabe leader of an all-female killing army. She’s so hell bent on taking revenge on the men of London who have ever treated a woman badly. (Ed – Two divorces will do that to a girl!)
Phase one of their attack sees them cut off their victims’ right hand and deliver it to the dining table. You end up feeling a little sorry for Victor, who is left all alone, literally peering through windows trying to catch a glimpse of her and mourning for his lost love.
Lily currently resides with none other than Dorian Grey played by Reeve Carney. While they unite and revel in their immortality, we must not forget that Dorian has previously shown an interest in various other characters such as Vanessa Ives and Mr Chandler.
True to the original imagining of the character, Dorian is selfish and somewhat cruel, with a mission to enjoy life and cure his everlasting boredom.
Dracula begins to make an appearance in Season three, where he disguises himself as a taxidermist in a museum during the day. But his real, more sinister aim is to make one of the central characters, Miss Vanessa Ives, his bride. At any cost.
Vanessa Ives is played by Eva Green, who is simply magnificent. This beautiful woman switches between Victorian Lady to manically possessed beast throughout each season and it is quite an astonishing change, given the contrasts. Throughout the various episodes leading up to this point we have seen Vanessa as a clairvoyant, seductress and a hospital patient.
From the beginning she has been the victim of a curse which basically brands her evil and all the monsters know it, and want to harness her powers; however they can.
Luckily for Vanessa she has some true friends who are desperate to save her.
Enter Mr Chandler, who lives with the curse of being a werewolf, and now needs to race back from the Wild West to London to stop Dracula getting his considerable teeth into Miss Ives. Even with the help of his friends Sir Malcolm the explorer, and Kaetenay a powerful apache Indian, we are left wondering if they will make it and save the world from darkness and doom.
The third season is the best yet, with captivating story lines and outstanding performances. So get drawn in – but not too close to the monsters! – and prepare to be dazzled, frightened, intrigued, and spooked. But mostly, prepare to get addicted to this show.
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