8.2/10
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198 user 58 critic

Penny Dreadful 

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Explorer Sir Malcolm Murray, American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, scientist Victor Frankenstein, and medium Vanessa Ives unite to combat supernatural threats in Victorian London.

Creator:

John Logan
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Popularity
294 ( 46)

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3   2   1  
2016   2015   2014  
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 15 wins & 83 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Reeve Carney ...  Dorian Gray 27 episodes, 2014-2016
Timothy Dalton ...  Sir Malcolm Murray 27 episodes, 2014-2016
Eva Green ...  Vanessa Ives 27 episodes, 2014-2016
Rory Kinnear ...  John Clare / ... 27 episodes, 2014-2016
Billie Piper ...  Lily / ... 27 episodes, 2014-2016
Harry Treadaway ...  Dr. Victor Frankenstein 27 episodes, 2014-2016
Josh Hartnett ...  Ethan Chandler 27 episodes, 2014-2016
Danny Sapani ...  Sembene 18 episodes, 2014-2015
Simon Russell Beale ...  Ferdinand Lyle 14 episodes, 2014-2016
Douglas Hodge ...  Bartholomew Rusk 13 episodes, 2015-2016
Sarah Greene ...  Hecate Poole 13 episodes, 2015-2016
Helen McCrory ...  Madame Kali 12 episodes, 2014-2015
Jack Hickey ...  Junior Inspector 11 episodes, 2015-2016
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Storyline

Explorer Sir Malcolm Murray, American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, scientist Victor Frankenstein, and medium Vanessa Ives unite to combat supernatural threats in Victorian London.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There is some thing within us all. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site | See more »

Country:

USA | Ireland | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 April 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dom grozy See more »

Filming Locations:

Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby Atmos (season 3)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hecate Poole, the witch who pursues Ethan Chandler in seasons two and three, shares her name with the ancient Greek goddess of witchcraft and the moon. This link to the goddess Hecate fits the character perfectly, as it reflects her status as a Nightcomer witch, and her infatuation with Ethan, the "Wolf of God", who transforms into a wolf when the moon is full. See more »

Crazy Credits

Season 3 episode "The Blessed Dark" had a different opening title sequence and used a somber theme song to match the mood of the finale. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Strikes the perfect balance between Gothic art-house horror and gory B-movie action; visuals look great
11 May 2014 | by gogoschka-1See all my reviews

Well, I'm trying to write a completely spoiler-free review here, but I guess it's safe to announce that 'Penny Dreadful' looks positively gorgeous. Great production design and cinematography: by the time we get to see Victorian London as night descends upon the city and the fog starts creeping through those narrow cobblestone alleys, nearly every frame looks like a beautiful, Gothic painting (and not once did I spot a fake looking CG-background). As far as the actors are concerned, they portray their obscure, troubled characters with a certain kind of "theatre" intensity that fits the story and the turn-of-the-century setting very well.

Story-wise I don't want to give away anything – but of course, there are unholy things lurking in the shadows that need to be fought (and they look rather convincing: the make-up effects are another strong point of this show). Like the iconic "Hammer Horror" films of old (usually starring either Christopher Lee or Peter Cushing – or both), 'Penny Dreadful' draws its setting, characters and general inspiration mainly from some famously dark tales written by Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde (and to a lesser extent from sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories). And just like the Hammer films - who may seem rather tame now but were shockingly violent for their time - this show is neither for purists of said literary works nor for the faint of heart.

While some scenes are genuinely scary in a tension building, "old school" kind of way, we also get blood soaked action sequences that will probably put off some viewers, but seem entirely appropriate given the show's title (in the 19th century a "penny dreadful" used to be a booklet of cheap, sensational fiction printed on pulp paper which could be purchased for - wait for it: a penny).

My overall verdict: 'Penny Dreadful' dishes out a hefty mix of gory violence, classic horror creatures, sex and action, but it never forgets to build atmosphere. The B-movie elements are undeniably there, but they're deliberate (the title says it all), and this is by no means a cheap affair. Beautifully crafted and with a great cast, I strongly recommend this show to anyone who likes the old "Hammer Horror" movies as well as films in the vein of Tim Burton's 'Sweeney Todd' and 'Sleepy Hollow'.

But not just for the fans of "Goth Horror" is this well worth checking out; I would say that after 'True Detective' and perhaps 'Fargo' this is one of the most promising new TV-shows of 2014.

Favorite Films: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054200841/

Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/

Favorite Low-Budget and B-movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054808375/

Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/


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