Now that I have finished work on my new SF novel, a break is due and time to catch up with some good recent genre televison shows. While I wait for new Defiance and Continuum, I go back to the horror shlock fair for more Penny Dreadful.
So last time, it was set up as a fairly ludicrous set up of a gothic splatter show inspired by Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comicbook or the mostly unpopular movie version. We have in this show set in 19th century times featuring famous gothic or horror literary characters including Dorian Grey, Frankenstein and his monster, Sir Malcolm Murray-father of Mina from Dracula, along with a number of other eccentric and heroic characters. The first season was mostly focused on the search for Mina, but throughout the show slipped off to delve into the lives and events of some of the main characters, primarily Vanessa Ives played by Eva Green. The series had continually pushed her through many crazed and outlandishly wild scenes of mania, hysteria, posession and horrors she must have seriously needed a good relaxing holiday before filming this next season.
The show featured some very suitable actors, some very well known such as Timothy Dalton as Sir Malcolm and Eva Green, Josh Hartnett as a handsome American traveller, and Billy Piper as a dying prostitute.
While it was always a very entertaining show with stunning set design, costumes and locations; it did seem to possibly need some stronger narrative direction to move it along. As this was not a version of Dracula but an amalgamation of the tales of various known genre characters, it was going to be fairly confused in some ways.
So here with the second season, things start up just about where they were left, but things seem more subdued as the tone changes slightly and to begin with other character take the lead. The early focus is on Victor and his monster, known as John Clare who soon continues his desire to gain a human life and fit in among others as much as might be possible. Frankenstein soon reveals that he has found a female body to be a companion for the monster, but the intention could soon change. This body revived back to life a short while later, is a reborn Billy Piper but her memory is gone from her.
Likewise, Dorian Gray also moves along in similar ways as expected from his known classic tale, with some new twists added in. What we wait to see is the new path taken by Eva Green’s Miss Ives this time. Her new path is slow to build but we seen her soon linked to some wicked new witch ladies. It all gets very bloody and disgusting reliably, and it does seem that this time this will be the main narrative plot as Miss Ives battles this coven and faces their evil plans.