THE PLOT THUS FAR
Some of literature’s most terrifying characters, including Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, and iconic figures from the novel Dracula are lurking in the darkest corners of Victorian London. Penny Dreadful is a frightening psychological thriller that weaves together these classic horror origin stories into a new adult drama.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
“Penny Dreadful” took a few episodes to grow on me. However, when it did…I was hooked in a way that “Hannibal” has failed to grab me. Mixing a new take on the Hammer style with literary reassessment, we find a series that wants to examine the rise of horror in a time following the Ripper murders. Supernatural concerns mix with a changing world, as views of humanity start to slip. It’s brutal and it’s true to form in a way that I see very few modern horror programs tackling.
Late Victorian era Horror is such a ripe field to play. Watching as Frankenstein changes throughout the series to how the Allan Quatermain character plays with a mature landscape is exciting. Dorian Gray doesn’t get a ton of material to do, but it works out. Plus, you’ve got the lovely Billie Piper showing up in a supporting role. The show is an embarrassment of riches that will lead literary horror nerds to dig through all the possible annotations and sly references stuck throughout the series. I can’t wait to see what they do in the second season, as I can see their audience expanding. Hopefully, they get Sam Mendes back to work on a few episodes.
The Blu-Ray comes with a ton of featurettes and the first two episodes of Ray Donovan as the special features. I love including episodes of other series on a disc, as it allows people to sample other Showtime material. The A/V Quality is sharp with a quality 1080p transfer. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is unparalleled and it stands as the strongest of the Showtime series. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: 10/14/2014