Showtime’s new original series “Penny Dreadful” premieres tomorrow (May 11th), and if you’re hesitant about starting or haven’t heard of the show at all, we have a few reasons why you should tune in.
What is “Penny Dreadful”?
Let’s start off with the official show synopsis, for those of you unacquainted with the premise.
Some of literature’s most terrifying characters, including Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, and iconic figures from the novel Dracula are lurking in the darkest corners of Victorian London. “Penny Dreadful” is a frightening psychological thriller that weaves together these classic horror origin stories into a new adult drama.
But this isn’t just another rehash of Dracula, so if you were expecting something like NBC’s show then you’ll be in for a surprise. As a Showtime production, the network allows “Penny Dreadful” to be far gorier, intricate and intense than anything you’ll find on cable television.
Why should I watch?
We’re glad you asked! At first this writer was hesitant to start another show with such similar prospects as NBC’s “Dracula” and “Grimm,” but “Penny Dreadful” is a completely unique, addictive and creative show that sets it apart from the rest of its predecessors.
For those of you who miss seeing Billie Piper on “Doctor Who,” you may want to tune in for this fact alone! Piper plays Brona Croft and gets more screen time in the second episode of the season, so that fact alone might make you want to tune in for the first two weeks, and by that time you’ll be hooked – we promise. Oh, and one of the show’s lead characters, Sir Malcom Murray is portrayed by Timothy Dalton, who was also in “Doctor Who” as Rassilon, founder of Time Lord civilization in “The End of Time” parts 1 and 2.
Creative use of mythology and history
When you start the show, you might think that this is going to be just another vampire story but “Penny Dreadful” is far from it. While “Penny Dreadful” uses familiar mythologies like Frankenstein and Dracula, they also manage to pull in Egyptian mythology and Jack the Ripper into the mix. It’s a fantastic combination of fiction and history that will blow your mind.
It’s a pretty period piece.
Did we mention that “Penny Dreadful” takes place in 1891? Which makes it one of our favorite period piece shows we’ve seen, since there’s a perfect balance of gas lamps and electric lights. We know, that’s a weird thing to have a “perfect balance” of but we kind of love how London is still in the dark ages but slowly coming into the new world of electric conveniences. That is, after all, a big part of Frankenstein’s story!
It keeps you guessing
Having seen the first two episodes, we can definitely tell you that “Penny Dreadful” is not going where you think it is. There are cliffhangers that make our hearts stop, and moments that get us gasping just when we thought our favorite characters were in a safe environment. Seriously, trust us when we tell you that by the end of the second episode you will be hooked.
You can watch “Penny Dreadful” for free!
The series premiere officially airs on Showtime Sunday, May 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, but you can actually watch it right now without a Showtime subscription. To catch the series premiere, head over to Showtime’s website and click the “watch the series premiere for free now” link. Be aware that you must be over the age of 17 in order to watch.