The subtle trick Showtime's "Penny Dreadful is that it is far less about the blood, gore and the specter of gruesome death than the sharp pain and exhilarating pleasure of living, and the terror of feeling alone even in close company. Read our review in the May Picks section.
This one turned me on to both Paule Milne, the author whose work I now look for on BBC productions, and Miranda Richardson, who is a wonder as a mother terrified after her children are kidnapped. And I've always like Frederick Forrest. A bit more background on the plot: What happens when old comrades in a violent (the bombing) radical 60's group (think Beider-Meinhof or Weather Underground) come back into your life as a now contented middle class mother whose radical youth is way in the past (or so she thinks). To keep her silent because one of them is running for a high political seat, or is it because one of them is a powerful industrial force, or is it because the government hasn't forgotten about your activities and wants some information--anyway, off go her kids and people close to her get killed. Time to panic? I'd say so. Her ex-husband isn't much help. Along comes alcoholic, disillusioned Fredrick Forrest. Can he save the day? What the h is going on? The plot keeps you involved the whole time.
I've missed taping the first episode but have the last four or five. Even now I like watching it once in a while. Why it's not on DVD is beyond me.
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