An anthology series centering on different characters and locations, including a house with a murderous past, an insane asylum, a witch coven, a freak show, a hotel, a possessed farmhouse, a cult, and the apocalypse.
Adventurer James Keziah Delaney returns to London during the War of 1812 to rebuild his late father's shipping empire. However, both the government and his biggest competitor want his inheritance at any cost - even murder.
Dracula acts more as a permeating force throughout the series, than actually being a physical threat. The same goes for about three quarters of the book.
Dr. Seward uses a phonograph, which was a novelty when the original book was published.
"Children of the night, what music they make" is a reference to the original Dracula (1930) starring Béla Lugosi, as the Count says "what sweet music they make" in the book.
The characters Dracula, Professor Van Helsing, Mina Harker (née Murray), Dr. Seward, and Renfield all have a role in Penny Dreadful. Jonathan Harker is only mentioned.
Major differences and liberties taken from the original book:
Dr. Seward is American in this show. The only American in the original, was a Texas man called Quincey Morris.
Renfield is Dr. Seward's secretary in the series. In the book, he's an assistant to a real estate agent that gets touched by the evil of Dracula and goes insane in the process, leaving him with a constant lust for the blood of small living creatures.
Rather than fully fledged vampires, the Dracula of the series seems to be more reliant on an army of vampiric minions, similar to Renfield. In the first season, the party of heroes is attacked by more "traditional" fang sporting vampires.
In the book, there are only five vampires: Dracula, his three brides, and Lucy Westenra. While Mina Harker is portrayed as a vampire in multiple films and series, including this show and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2004), she's never fully turned into a vampire in the novel.
Professor Van Helsing only plays a small role in this show. In the book, he leads the "pack of hounds after the fox", as the human protagonists travel far and wide in pursuit of The Count.
Well I'll try and not reveal much however Penny Dreadful is most certainly one of the best series on our screens at the moment. It is somewhat of a slow burner at times however it absolutely burns with a restrained ferocity very much like it's actors and characters. There's a palpable energy in every performance as there is a lot of meat to each character. Everyone is an anit-hero and personally I find all the performances very engaging. Timothy Dalton radiates a commanding and duplicitous presence that matches Eva Green's which is hard to do. Even more surprising is Josh Harnett and Harry Treadaway keeping toe to toe with them both also. Billy Piper's just warming up too. I'm a veteran Horror fan and rarely have I seen such quality in feature length movies. I just watched the last in the current series and it was emotional, the trick to the P Team is that the monsters are center stage and they are very human. Rory Kinnear induces both horror and extreme pathos that very much surprises. Logan has crafted something special, something very well thought out and acted and executed in every aspect with care. The script is the only one on screen at the moment that reminds me of The Game of Thrones in the fact that every line of dialogue is loaded with meaning, coupled with the Victorian setting means that everyone is hiding something and every word is crafted. Very unusual and highly recommended, nothing is as it seems in Penny Dreadful and the characters are all the more relatable for their failings and apparent monstrousity.
65 of 100 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this