The cast of Showtime’s upcoming spinoff Penny Dreadful: City of Angels continues to grow, this time by adding Rory Kinnear in the role of a German pediatrician. Kinnear is the first member of the new cast to also have played a prominent role in all three seasons of the original Penny Dreadful. He was, of course, the poetry-loving Monster created by Harry Treadaway’s Dr. Victor Frankenstein, who went on to choose the name John Clare, which makes sense given the somewhat negative connotations associated with something like “The Monster.” Kinnear’s character lived a tortured existence, one that saw him as a threat and sometimes ally to not only Victor, but also the rest of the cast.
That series ended abruptly at the end of season 3, so Showtime’s announcement that the series would live on — through a spiritual successor — in City of Angels, bringing back creator and writer John Logan, was a welcome way to keep the series alive. In addition to changing things up from a Victorian-era London to 1938 Los Angeles, the series has also amassed an impressive cast so far, as Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) and Nathan Lane (Modern Family) join Daniel Zovatto, Jessica Garza, and Johnathan Nieves, for a noir-ish take on the Penny Dreadful mythos with plenty of Mexican-American folklore and the looming threat of World War II.
Kinnear, who has worked with Logan on Bond films like Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre, is a prolific actor with dozens of film and television credits to his name. In City of Angels, he’ll be playing the role of Dr. Peter Craft, “a successful German pediatrician and the head of the German-American Bund, an organization he hopes will keep the United States isolated from the growing threat of war in Europe.” And considering he’s a returning cast member of the larger Penny Dreadful series, his casting was followed by a comment by Logan.
"It’s no secret that Rory is one of my favorite actors on the planet, and working with him in the original series was inspiring,” said Logan. “So much so that I wrote this part for him, and I’m thrilled he’ll be joining us in the City of Angels.”
It will be interesting to see whether Dr. Peter Craft, and City of Angels in general, connects with the characters and events of the original series. It wouldn’t be too outlandish to think Showtime would like to build a Penny Dreadful universe, one that spans eras and the globe as well, so perhaps there’ll be a reference or two to poor John Clare when Penny Dreadful: City of Angels premieres.
Penny Dreadful: City of Angels is expected to begin production in 2019.