Penny Dreadful - What Death Can Join Together
Ireland / UK / USA 2014
James Flynn, Morgan O'Sullivan, Pippa Harris (executive), John Logan (executive), Sam Mendes (executive), Chris W. King (supervising) for Desert Wolf Productions, Neal Street Productions/Showtime, Sky, Netflix
directed by Coky Giedroyc
starring Reeve Carney, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Billie Piper, Josh Hartnett, Harry Treadaway, Rory Kinnear, Danny Sapani, David Warner, Olly Alexander, Olivia Llewellyn, Hannah Tointon, Joe McAvera, Gavin Fowler, Robert Nairne
written and created by John Logan, Frankenstein created by Mary W. Shelley, Dorian Gray created by Oscar Wilde, Van Helsing created by Bram Stoker, music by Abel Korzeniowski, special effects by Team FX, visual effects by Take 5 Productions, Mr. X
Penny Dreadful (TV-series), Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, Van Helsing
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Frankenstein's (Harry Treadaway) creature (Rory Kinnear) develops soft
feelings for an actress at the theatre he works at but is ultimately
scorned, which only makes him want a companion of his own all the more.
Ives (Eva Green) is asked out by Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), and Sir
Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) her companion, gives his consent all too
easily - and soon enough, Vanessa and Dorian end up in bed together -
until she hears a mysterious voice (from the netherworld?) that makes her
leave rather aprubtly.
After the big row they had two
episodes ago that ended with prostitute Brona (Billie Piper)
breaking down on her own in the streets to die, she and her boyfriend,
sharpshooter Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) are only too eager to make up
again (leaving this narrative thread without any consequence whatsoever)
when Ethan's called away to Sir Malcolm.
Sir Malcolm has heard about a
"plague ship" that has only just come into harbour, and for some
reason he suspects his daughter Mina (Olivia Llewellyn) on her, which is
why he wants to board the ship with Ethan and his right hand man Sembene
(Danny Sapani). Why he was so eager though to not include Vanessa, who has
a psychich link to Mina, in the expedition is never explained. On the
ship, our heroes are attacked by vampires but come away unharmed. But upon
their retreat, Murray catches a glimpse of Mina being dragged away by the
head vampire ...
In the meantime, Frankenstein meets up with Van Helsing
(David Warner) who tells him a bit about the creatures they're up against
(basically that they're vampires), but before he can give him any clues
how to fight vampires, he's brutally slaughtered by Frankenstein's
creature, venting his frustration about Frankenstein failing to build him
There are some good parts in this episode, especially
our heroes' battle on the plague ship is tense and exciting, and the
entirety of David Warner's scenes are fascinating - but especially after last
episode's coherent story, this one feels awfully disjointed,
especially since some narrative threads (like the one with Brona and
Ethan) have little narrative relevance, or (like the date between Vanessa
and Dorian Gray) are so terribly mundane (especially since we're dealing
with one of the most extravagant characters of Victorian literature) that
one at points really asks oneself if the good parts of the episode are
really that good to sit through all that tosh. The answer is of course,
they do for now, but patience starts to run thin ...