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“Penny Dreadful” Brings Something New to the Horror Genre

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Fans of the classic horror genre are looking forward to “Penny Dreadful,” a new series on Showtime set to premiere on May 11th. The series takes famous monsters from classic literature and weaves them into Victorian London, but with surprisingly modern circumstances! David Nevins, president of Showtime, said the tone of the series will be “very realistic and very grounded, not Bela Lugosi. All exist in human form in turn-of-century London.”

The show was created by John Logan and executive produced by Logan and Sam Mendes. The pair previously worked together on the James Bond flick, “Skyfall.”

Logan, who calls himself a “monster-geek,” said, ” I started thinking about themes and why almost 200 years after [Mary Shelley's Frankenstein] was written, we’re still reading Frankenstein. I think it’s because the monsters break my heart. Growing up as a gay man before it was socially acceptable, I knew what it was to feel different, alienated and not like everyone else.”

Showtime has managed to cast some great talent for “Dreadful” including; Timothy Dalton, Josh Hartnett, Eva Green and Billie Piper. Showtime committed to the project back in early 2013 and has taken a modern approach to getting the word out. In December 2013, Showtime announced that “Dreadful” would have a website dedicated to a production blog that followed the cast and crew, filming in Ireland, from the first day of production to the end of the first season. It’s a fun blog with lots of historic details along with show info and don’t miss the series’ website!

The trailers for the show are pretty cool, especially the most recent one. Rather than just the standard look ahead, they give viewers a head start on who the characters are. Dalton plays Sir Malcom, a former explorer who is lonely after giving everything to his career in Africa. He is determined to “right the wrongs of his past, but his toughest journey lies ahead.” Hartnett is Ethan Chandler, the ladies man who is hiding something from his past. The beautiful Eva Green plays medium Vanessa Ives, “a seductive and formidable beauty full of secrets and danger.”

For the horror fan, plain old curiosity about the next two characters will bring them to “Penny Dreadful.” Reeve Carney takes on the role of the ever youthful Dorian Gray. Showtime’s description relies on the classic Gray with an interesting twist. “A recklessly abandoned sensualist, he has a devil-may-care attitude that borders on dangerous,” it says. “Nothing seems to faze him, nor are any risks too great. In fact, he is unnaturally drawn to them.” Making the show even more compelling is the hotness factor, and Carney is as hot as they come!

Playing the literary and film favorite, Dr. Viktor Frankenstein, is handsome English actor Harry Treadaway. Frankenstein is portrayed as he often is; tender and loving, a die hard (so to speak) romantic who is obsessed with “researching what makes something live,” writes Showtime. “But, his research pays off in shocking ways with devastating consequences.” There’s also mention of “iconic figures from the novel Dracula lurking in Victorian London.”

The final trailer leads me to believe that as the first season progresses, the characters will have to work together. But, will Gray and Frankenstein survive season one or will fresh blood be required in the second season?

Photo: Showtime

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