Penny Dreadful: Season 1, Episode 1

Night Work (28 Apr. 2014)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Drama, Horror
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 1,817 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 26 critic

London 1891. As the police investigate a series of gruesome murders, renowned explorer Sir Malcolm Murray and the strangely beautiful Vanessa Ives know there's something darker at play. In ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dorian Gray (credit only)
The Creature (credit only)
Brona Croft (credit only)
Aoife Byrne ...
Karla Lyons ...
7 Year Old Girl
Colonel Brewster


London 1891. As the police investigate a series of gruesome murders, renowned explorer Sir Malcolm Murray and the strangely beautiful Vanessa Ives know there's something darker at play. In search of someone close to them who has been lost, they recruit American sharp-shooter Ethan Chandler and Dr. Victor Frankenstein to help them on their journey. Written by G

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Drama | Horror


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Release Date:

28 April 2014 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


In this episode Vanessa Ives offers Ethan Chandler employment which she refers to as "night work". The episodes title is derived from the job description in this conversation. See more »


Dr. Victor Frankenstein: I've only one other question: why me?
Sir Malcolm: Because you were unafraid to pull back the skin and look beneath.
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Written by Abel Korzeniowski
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User Reviews

Another show feeding off classic literature villains, and characters, in hopes that it can find a way to stand out amongst the rest.
26 May 2014 | by ( – See all my reviews

The sole reason I had interest in this show was Eva Green. She has this weird draw reminiscent of Angelina Jolie before Brad Pitt, and she seems like Kaya Scodelario if she ever honed her appeal and made it possible to transcend it into her art form. But, like with Scodelario, while her appeal maybe strong, and certainly will keep you watching from beginning to end, once the spell is broken you are left with a feeling that you perhaps were more hypnotized than enjoying yourself. A feeling Penny Dreadful I think gave me.

Topic 1: A Violent Crime

What seems to be a side plot for the show is a case which seemingly is to make those of London believe Jack the Ripper is back. For, some likely otherworldly being, has ripped a mother and daughter apart in such a way it looks like a scene from an American horror movie. A cop pukes on sight, and seemingly this story is something which will haunt future episodes, but will only be introduced for now.

Topic 2: A Science Experiment

Which leads us to creeping just a bit more toward the main story by talking about a young man our lead, Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton), has an interest in. Said young man is a scientist of sorts. One fascinated with the boundary between life and death, and he gives one long convoluted speech on the topic. Which, unless you are really into existentialism, assuming that is the right word, said speech may likely bore you to the point of wanting to find something else to watch. But, regardless of that, this young man is very talented and very much needed in Sir Malcolm's pursuit.

Of which he also seeks the help of one Ferdinand Lyle (Simon Russell Beale), an Egyptologist who reminds me of Jim Broadbent's more eccentric roles, in terms of the way Lyle behaves. But, sadly, Lyle is far to enamored with Sir Malcolm's person to have him visit, get what he wants, and go. So he delays the gratification for he wants a sit down meal, among other things.

But while Sir Malcolm waits, the young man finds himself upon an immense discovery. Using a dead body, of someone who seemingly was close to him, he decides to try to revive them. So, with a flash of lighting, said body is gone to a corner and the young man goes up to this thing he reanimated and introduces himself. He says his name is Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway).

Topic 3: The Fool and a Lady

Making the only thing left to talk about being the main story. Sir Malcolm has lost his daughter, partly due to Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) in some manner. So, for an untold amount of time, Sir Malcolm, an adventurer of the African continent, has been going through the underbelly of London to try to find his daughter. Enter Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) who is an American gunslinger seemingly more so into the theatrics than being a killer. Well, at least until Vanessa offers him a job to assist her with Sir Malcolm's quest. A quest which leads them to a den of vampires who seemingly have no interest in messing with Vanessa, but would have no problem killing both Sir Malcolm and Ethan. Alas though, all they find are more and more vampires and not Sir Malcolm's daughter Mina (Olivia Llewellyn).

However, upon the night comes Mina in what seems to be vampire form. Leading us to believe the help of Lyle and the future Dr. Frankenstein are requested to save his daughter. For while being in the underbelly of London, Sir Malcolm, and co., kill a vampire and as it is dissected by Frankenstein, they discover Egyptian carvings underneath their skin, perhaps hints which can lead to something which can help. And I should perhaps note that while I am using the word "vampire," the show itself doesn't name these creatures this at this point in the show.

Considering though that we already have Frankenstein's monster and vampires in our midst though, perhaps this is but the start. For Vanessa surely is something otherworldly, for even a vampire would dare not fight her, and when she prays spiders appear. Making for a strange show which holds a vaguely interesting mystery, but perhaps too much dialog which can easily drown a person's interest. But, being that this is but the first episode, perhaps this show should be given a 2nd chance. But, as of this moment, I really don't find this appealing enough to really be followed for an overview/ review series. Though I may eventual binge watch this when there is nothing else to watch, with the sole reason likely being Eva Green.

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GREAT episode! miss_potter1011
8.2 is low rating for what this show is... miss_potter1011
lame dialogues rahul_capri
Deal with the Devil for eternal youth, aye? mddwbsst
Worst episode they have ever had mikessummeroflove
The Cut-Wife aka Joan Clayton Question... xB11
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