“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.

“Penny Dreadful” will be the show that you wished you watched live on Showtime. While Ryan Murphy is setting the mainstream stage for TV horror, “Penny Dreadful” was the side show that was frequently outperforming what you might find on FX. The makeup was better than most films and the story hit that sweet Victorian junk lit spot for me. These were mature tales about the greatest monsters working in an all-too real setting. Plus, it has to be my favorite TV use of Dracula ever.

Sadly, the show ended with the fanfare given to a favorite dying before its time. While following cult successes always ends in heartbreak, be glad for the time you spent with Ethan, Vanessa and The Creature. Hell, I’m going to miss Hecate too. The only downside is that I must be one of the only fans that didn’t enjoy “Penny Dreadful” becoming the Eva Green show. This series works as an ensemble piece and when it hit that on the nose, it was perfect. 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.


  • Featurettes
  • Character Profiles
  • Video Blogs
  • Bonus Episodes


  • 1.78:1 1080p transfer
  • Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Dolby Atmos


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