Penny Dreadful (TV series)

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Penny Dreadful
Penny Dreadful title card.jpg
Genre
Created byJohn Logan
Written byJohn Logan
Directed by
Starring
Composer(s)Abel Korzeniowski
Country of origin
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)James Flynn
Morgan O'Sullivan
Editor(s)Bernat Vilaplana
Jaume Marti
Location(s)Dublin, Ireland
CinematographyXani Gimenez
Production company(s)
  • Neal Street Productions
  • Desert Wolf Productions
Broadcast
Original channelShowtime
Original runMay 11, 2014 (2014-05-11) – present
External links
Official website
Production website
 
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Penny Dreadful
Penny Dreadful title card.jpg
Genre
Created byJohn Logan
Written byJohn Logan
Directed by
Starring
Composer(s)Abel Korzeniowski
Country of origin
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)James Flynn
Morgan O'Sullivan
Editor(s)Bernat Vilaplana
Jaume Marti
Location(s)Dublin, Ireland
CinematographyXani Gimenez
Production company(s)
  • Neal Street Productions
  • Desert Wolf Productions
Broadcast
Original channelShowtime
Original runMay 11, 2014 (2014-05-11) – present
External links
Official website
Production website

Penny Dreadful is a horror TV series created for Showtime by John Logan and executive produced by Logan and Sam Mendes.

The show was originally pitched to several US and UK channels, and eventually landed with Showtime,[1] with Sky Atlantic as co-producer. It premiered at the South by Southwest film festival on March 9 and began airing on television on April 28, 2014 on Showtime OnDemand.[2] The show premiered on the Showtime channel on May 11, 2014.[3][4] The first two episodes of the series were both available on demand before the respective episodes were broadcast over the air.[2]

The title refers to the penny dreadfuls, a type of 19th century cheap British fiction publication with lurid and sensational subject matter. The series draws upon many public domain characters from 19th century Irish and British fiction, including Dorian Gray from Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, Mina Harker from Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Victor Frankenstein and his monster from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

On June 4, 2014, Showtime renewed Penny Dreadful for a ten-episode second season to air in 2015.[5]

Cast[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Select supporting cast[edit]

Production and development[edit]

In January 2013, it was announced that Showtime had made a series commitment for the project. Logan and Mendes previously wrote and directed Skyfall respectively. Production began in London in the second half of 2013. Showtime president David Nevins stated that the tone of the ensemble series will be "very realistic and very grounded, not Bela Lugosi. All exist in human form in turn-of-century London." Logan, a lifelong fan of literary monsters, wrote the project on spec and will script every episode of the series. It was intended that Mendes would direct episodes, but scheduling prevented this.[15][16]

In May 2013, Juan Antonio Bayona announced that he would be working on the series as director, with production commencing in September 2013.[17] Bayona directed the first two episodes of the first season, which will consist of eight episodes.[16] Episodes 3 and 4 will be directed by Irish director Dearbhla Walsh,[18] episodes 5 & 6 by Coky Giedroyc[19][20] and episodes 7 & 8 by James Hawes.[21]

In March 2013, it was announced that the series would be filmed in the United Kingdom; eyeing the new UK tax credit for high-end TV productions that offers a 25% rebate.[22] However, it was reported in August that production would instead take place in Bray's Ardmore Studios and other locations around Dublin, Ireland, because of the country's section 481 tax incentives. Filming began on 7 October and lasted 5 months.[23] Reports indicate that the change was made as no stage space of a sufficient caliber was available due to the filming of major motion pictures in London.[24]

In December 2013, Showtime announced its first-ever production blog for a series with the launch of The Penny Dreadful Production Blog. The venue gives viewers an online, behind-the-scenes look at the series' production from its early stages of filming in Ireland through the end of the first season, featuring interviews with cast and crew. The blog has its own website and the videos will also be released on YouTube.[25]

On February 14, 2014, Showtime released the first official full-length trailer for the series.[26]

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
(million)
1"Night Work"J. A. BayonaJohn LoganMay 11, 2014 (2014-05-11)0.87[27]
The episode opens in Victorian England in 1891 with the brutal abduction of a woman and her daughter and later they're discovered dismembered. Meanwhile, the enigmatic Vanessa Ives enlists the skilled marksman/con man Ethan Chandler to do some "night work". She introduces him to Sir Malcolm Murray, father of the recently-abducted Mina Harker. The trio infiltrate a vampire nest in search of Mina. They find and kill a vicious vampire, later enlisting Victor Frankenstein to examine it. The autopsy reveals hieroglyphs etched beneath its skin, which are later found to be from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Ethan, overwhelmed by the new world opening before him, takes his payment and leaves Vanessa and Malcolm's service, but is later tempted to return. In his laboratory, Frankenstein brings life to a dead body. 
2"Séance"J. A. BayonaJohn LoganMay 18, 2014 (2014-05-18)0.72[28]
Sir Malcolm offers his assistance with the "Ripper" case, proclaiming that they should be looking for a beast, not a man. Ethan befriends Brona Croft, a sickly prostitute, who later has an erotic encounter with the seductive and charming Dorian Gray. Vanessa and Malcolm attend Ferdinand Lyle's party. There, Vanessa meets Dorian, and the two are deeply drawn to one another. The guests take part in a séance, where Vanessa is possessed by evil spirits, who accuse Malcolm of leaving his son to die. The next day, Ferdinand studies the other photographed hieroglyphics and discovers that they are a resurrection spell invoking Amunet and Amun-Ra, who will bring about the apocalypse if united. He concludes that Vanessa is being hunted by them. Victor's newly animated creation chooses a name – Proteus. They become close friends, but their time together is cut short when Proteus is murdered by Victor's "firstborn", an earlier creation. 
3"Resurrection"Dearbhla WalshJohn LoganMay 25, 2014 (2014-05-25)0.73[29]
Victor is forced to listen to the story of his first creation. He was abandoned by Victor after his creation, and wandered the streets until an actor took pity on him and gave him a job in the Grand Guignol theatre. Lonely, the creature demands that Victor give him a mate. Ethan joins Vanessa and Malcolm's company once again. Vanessa's visions of Mina lead the group to the London Zoo, where they encounter and capture Fenton, a vampire thrall. Malcolm reveals his suspicion that Mina is being used as bait to lure a greater prize – Vanessa. 
4"Demimonde"Dearbhla WalshJohn LoganJune 1, 2014 (2014-06-01)0.73[30]
Vanessa grows increasingly infatuated with Dorian. Victor and Professor Van Helsing study Fenton's blood, hoping to manufacture a cure. Malcolm and Victor come face to face with the master vampire; Fenton is killed in the ensuing conflict. Concluding that he allowed himself to be captured, Malcolm and Vanessa discuss the probability that Mina is too far gone to save. Brona ends her relationship with Ethan, citing her terminal illness. Heartbroken, Ethan drowns his sorrows with Dorian, culminating in a sexual encounter. 
5"Closer Than Sisters"Coky GiedroycJohn LoganJune 8, 2014 (2014-06-08)0.79[31]
Vanessa, through a letter to Mina, relates their backstory. The Ives and Murray families were neighbors and friends, to the point where Vanessa and Mina were closer than sisters and it was accepted as a foregone conclusion that Vanessa would marry Mina's frail brother Peter. As a young girl, Vanessa caught Malcolm and her mother having an affair; although she kept the secret, she says the experience led to her embracing her dark side, culminating in her seducing Mina's fiancé the night before their wedding. The families severed ties after this, the strain of which caused Vanessa's clairvoyance and mediumship to manifest. She was committed to an asylum, an experience which left her mostly catatonic. Vanessa recovered with the assistance of an evil spirit that took Malcolm's form. Some time later, Vanessa encountered Mina, who forgave her for her transgression, but revealed that she had already been kidnapped by the master vampire. This inspired Vanessa to seek out Malcolm and begin their search. 
6"What Death Can Join Together"Coky GiedroycJohn LoganJune 15, 2014 (2014-06-15)0.68[32]
Malcolm, Ethan and Sembene track the vampires to a quarantined ship and learn that Mina is closer than they thought. Not trusting Vanessa, Malcolm encourages her to spend the evening with Dorian, but she cuts it short when the spirit haunting her rears its head. Brona reconciles with Ethan, but her condition worsens. Van Helsing attempts to pass on to Frankenstein what he knows of vampires, but is killed by Caliban. 
7"Possession"[33]James HawesJohn LoganJune 22, 2014 (2014-06-22)TBA
8"Grand Guignol"[34]James HawesJohn LoganJune 29, 2014 (2014-06-29)TBA

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Penny Dreadful has received positive reviews from critics, with a Metacritic rating of 71 out of 100 based on 37 reviews.[35] It holds a 79 percent "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 7.4 out of 10, based on 52 reviews.[36]

Ratings[edit]

The series debuted to 872,000 viewers (1.44 million including re-runs). This number does not include the 900,000 viewers who previewed the series on Showtime on Demand and the Showtime app.[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sam Mendes to direct vampire TV series? | The List
  2. ^ a b "Penny Dreadful: On Demand". Showtime.com. Retrieved May 16, 2014. 
  3. ^ Reiher, Andrea (January 16, 2014). "'Penny Dreadful,' 'Nurse Jackie' and 'Californication' get premiere dates". Zap2It. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ SXSW Schedule: Penny Dreadful
  5. ^ Miller, Thomas. "Showtime Renews Penny Dreadful". Seat42f.Com. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Goldberg, Leslie (July 30, 2013). "Eva Green, Josh Hartnett to Star in Showtime's Penny Dreadful". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 31, 2013. 
  7. ^ "PENNY DREADFUL: SIR MALCOLM MURRAY". Production Blog. SHO. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  8. ^ Timothy Dalton Joins Showtime's 'Penny Dreadful'
  9. ^ "Night Work". https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_GMZBirzYAY. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
  10. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (September 9, 2013). "Showtime Horror Drama Penny Dreadful Casts its Frankenstein". Retrieved September 9, 2013. 
  11. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (August 26, 2013). "Spider-Man's Reeve Carney Nabs Key Role in Showtime's Penny Dreadful (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c "Penny Dreadful: A New Narrative". 
  13. ^ Rigby, Sam (August 20, 2013). "Billie Piper cast in Showtime's Penny Dreadful". RTE.ie. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c Rigby, Sam (September 16, 2013). "Penny Dreadful: Helen McCrory, Simon Russell Beale join cast". Digital Spy. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  15. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 12, 2013). "It's Official: Showtime Lands Horror Drama From 'Skyfall's John Logan & Sam Mendes". deadline.com. Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Chitwood, Adam (June 18, 2013). "Juan Antonio Bayona to Direct Sam Mendes and John Logan’s Showtime Horror Series PENNY DREADFUL". collider.com. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  17. ^ Connelly, Brendon (June 13, 2013). "The Orphanage's JA Bayona To Direct Sam Mendes And John Logan's Penny Dreadful". bleedingcool.com. Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  18. ^ Prediction: Penny Dreadful will be the best series of 2014
  19. ^ PJ Dillon, Director of Photography
  20. ^ pj dillon: latest news
  21. ^ Owen McPolin News
  22. ^ Curtis, Chris (25 March 2013). "Tax breaks to bring Showtime's Penny Dreadful to UK". screendaily.com. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  23. ^ Cronin, Kevin (August 20, 2013). "Penny Dreadful, Set to Film in Ireland, Adds Billie Piper to Cast". IFTN. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  24. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (September 30, 2013). "Hollywood Pics Pack UK Soundstages As Space Crunch Starts To Squeeze". Deadline.com. Retrieved October 12, 2013. 
  25. ^ Showtime Launches 'Penny Dreadful' Production Blog
  26. ^ Showtime Releases Full-Length Trailer for 'Penny Dreadful' (Video)
  27. ^ The Futon Critic Staff (May 13, 2014). "Sunday's Cable Ratings & Broadcast Finals: "Good Wife," "Game of Thrones" Top Viewers, Demos". The Futon Critic. Retrieved May 14, 2014. 
  28. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 20, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Game of Thrones' Wins Night + 'Silicon Valley', 'Real Housewives of Atlanta', 'River Monsters', 'Married to Medicine' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 21, 2014. 
  29. ^ Bibel, Sara (May 28, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: NBA Playoffs Win Night, 'Mad Men', 'Devious Maids', 'Total Divas', 'Married to Medicine', 'Turn' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  30. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (June 3, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Game of Thrones' Wins Night + NHL Conference Finals, 'Real Housewives of Atlanta: Kandi's Wedding', 'Silicon Valley' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  31. ^ Bibel, Sara (June 10, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Game of Thrones' Wins Night, 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians', 'Devious Maids', 'Veep', 'Turn' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
  32. ^ Yanan, Travis (June 18, 2014). "Sunday's Cable Ratings & Broadcast Finals: NBA Finals Go Out on Top for ABC". The Futon Critic. Retrieved June 18, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Penny Dreadful: Possession". Showtime.com. Retrieved May 2, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Penny Dreadful: Grand Guignol". Showtime.com. Retrieved May 2, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Penny Dreadful : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Penny Dreadful : Season 1 (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
  37. ^ http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/05/12/penny-dreadful-premiere-ratings/

External links[edit]