Capitalizing on our fascination with the supernatural and the macabre, Showtime's Penny Dreadful presents a world where some of fiction's most frightening characters - like Dracula, Dr. Frankenstein, and his creation - mingle with the equally curious and frightening residents of an alternate Victorian London.
Other than its initial pretense of folding well-known literary characters into one story, much of what's happening in Penny Dreadful is shrouded in mystery. The few trailers and character descriptions have shed a little light on what we can expect from the series, created by Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan (Gladiator, Skyfall), but what brings these outcasts together is yet unknown.
Even with its mysterious premise, Penny Dreadful's cast alone makes the series worthy of being on your radar. Eva Green (Casino Royale, 300: Rise of an Empire) appears to be at the center of it all as Vanessa Ives, a powerful medium haunted by the spirits she channels. Timothy Dalton (License to Kill, Hot Fuzz) is Sir Malcolm Murray, a famed explorer looking for a way to reunite with his departed loved ones, and Josh Hartnett (Sin City, 30 Days of Night) is an American sharp shooter, running from a dubious past of his own, enlisted to help in Murray's quest.
The latest featurette (above) is a behind the scenes look that gives a bit more information about these characters' motivations, but still leaves much of what Penny Dreadful is all about in the dark.
What is apparent, from this featurette and the trailers, is that Showtime has an extremely creepy - and at times kinky - new series on their hands. With shows like FX's American Horror Story proving popular, there's likely already an audience hungry for more horror-infused television with a mature edge. And again, the interesting cast the series has assembled will surely give powerful, impactful performances, raising the caliber of the series above past attempts at literary mashups like Van Helsing or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (the movie).
Also appearing in Penny Dreadful are Billie Piper (Doctor Who) and Danny Sapani (Misfits), giving this already impressive cast even more depth. Joining them as two of the series' well-known, literary characters are Harry Treadaway (The Lone Ranger) as Dr. Victor Frankenstein and Reeve Carney (The Tempest) as Dorian Gray.
Is Penny Dreadful one of the new TV series you're looking forward to? Has this new behind the scenes featurette piqued your interest? Let us know in the comments below!
Penny Dreadful premieres May 11th, 2014 on Showtime.