I long for a good horror TV series. I loved American Horror Story (Season 2) but the ending pissed me off greatly and put off watching the other seasons. Having seen giant billboards (here in the UK) with the rather dapper Timothy Dalton and seeing the name Penny Dreadful I decided to give it a shot.
Why would I care about the name Penny Dreadful? Because there’s a long lasting legacy behind those old cheap magazines. They were like a print precursor to things like Tales from the Crypt and such like. Here’s a quote from the Wikipedia page:
“A penny dreadful […] was a type of British fiction publication in the 19th century that usually featured lurid serial stories appearing in parts over a number of weeks, each part costing one (old) penny. The term, however, soon came to encompass a variety of publications that featured cheap sensational fiction, such as story papers and booklet “libraries”. The penny dreadfuls were printed on cheap pulp paper and were aimed primarily at working class adolescents.”
Anyway, the TV show combines horror and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen rather well I think. From IMDb:
“Explorer Sir Malcolm Murray, American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, and others unite to combat supernatural threats in Victorian London.”
This first episode combines some good gore, a bit of (non-explicit) rumpy pumpy and some good action sequences.
The people of Victorian London seem to think that good ol’ Jack the Ripper is back and committing some hideous crimes, but Sir Malc knows otherwise.
It turns out that it’s something to do with (non-sparkly) vampire type creatures and opium dens. Deep in the bowels of said opium den is the first big action sequence with Ethan mowing them down with some nice head shots. Only near the end do we get the (blindingly obvious) reveal on who the next team member is. The mysterious ‘Doctor’.
It’s certainly shaping up to be a good show. Production values are high. Victorian London looks dark and dirty and the people grimy (apart from the toffs). The blood and gore is pretty good too with it ranging from short dissection scenes to all out dismemberment (see above). In short: I’m in. Show me more.