For Penny Dreadful fans, the May premiere of season 3 still feels a long way away. The gothic horror drama’s previous season ended with some triumph for our heroes, but also a few cliffhangers over the fate of the characters, especially werewolf Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) and Frankenstein’s wayward creation Lily (Billie Piper).
The first trailer for the upcoming season was packed with action, featuring glimpses of returning characters Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton), Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), John Clare/The Creature (Rory Kinnear) and the aforementioned Ethan and Lily. The eternally haunted clairvoyant Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) appeared to be in dire straits, confronting an unseen foe from the confines of a padded cell.
The new Penny Dreadful teaser promo shows that, possibly through the help of therapist Dr. Seward (Patti LuPone), Vanessa has found a new strength in fighting the darkness. Despite the glimpses of mysterious new characters and disturbing violence the trailer reveals, a disheveled Vanessa has powerful words about moving forward.
“We name things so they don’t frighten us… Satan… Evil… For too long I’ve been afraid. Now… I’m not frightened.”
The promo also reveals an emotional reunion between Vanessa and Ethan, which is great news for fans of the strongly bonded couple whose lives have been way too dark and complicated for a traditional romance. After Ethan turned himself in to authorities at the end of season 2, for the brutal murders he committed when transformed into a werewolf, it wasn’t clear if these two would ever see each other again.
Ethan’s wilder side makes a very strong appearance in the second promo, showing he’s still ready to do major damage in his feral form — while still attempting to spare innocent lives. The trailer also shows Dorian and Lily at a strange gathering, likely with their future protege Justine (Jessica Barden). Whatever the young woman has been through in her life, Lily promises her: “We shall have revenge.”
Both teasers also give us a peek at Dr. Jekyll (Shazad Latif), meeting with Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway). Season 3 additionally welcomes newcomers Christian Camargo as zoologist Dr. Alexander Sweet, who becomes a friend to Vanessa; Wes Studi as Native American Kaetenay, who has connections to both Ethan and Sir Malcolm; Sam Barnett as a mysterious young secretary to Vanessa’s therapist Dr. Seward; and Perdita Weeks as Catriona Hartdegan, a scholar with expert knowledge of the supernatural. Sarah Greene will also return as Evelyn Poole’s sinister daughter Hecate.
The new season of Penny Dreadful looks to be the best of both worlds. Our favorite characters will still feature prominently, but new heroes and villains — all with equally shadowy motives at the moment — arrive to keep the suspense and danger level high. The Showtime drama has always been good at balancing a mix of genres and classic characters, and season 3 so far promises to be another enticing blend.
Season 3 of Penny Dreadful premieres on May 1, at 10/9c on Showtime.