Penny Dreadful, a new Showtime horror series, premieres in May. Set in Victorian London, it stars Josh Hartnett (where has he been?) as American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, Eva Green as the mysterious Vanessa Ives and Timothy Dalton as an explorer named Sir Malcolm. The trio is joined by a cavalcade of characters from literature; including Dorian Grey (Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark’s Reeve Carney), Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) and his monster (Rory Kinnear), and characters from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. If that wasn’t enough, the series also stars Billie Piper (Doctor Who) as an Irish immigrant with tuberculosis. The show’s website refers to her character as “erotically alive,” whatever that means.
Over the past few months, Showtime has released posters, stills, teasers and a full length trailer (seen above) for the series. While all the teasers have been creepy, enthralling and sexy (the trailer in particular features a lot of sex), “they don’t give away much about the plot.” Showtime has set up a blog for the series that includes behind the scenes images, videos and articles. But still, any mention of plot is scant. Character descriptions on the “Penny Dreadful” website state that Vanessa Ives is “a force to be reckoned with,” ladies man Ethan has “demons inside him that cannot be fully banished” and Sir Malcolm is embarking on the toughest journey of his life. From the looks of stills that have been released, all three characters will be working together. On what, who knows? Maybe Sir Malcolm’s journey brings them together. There is plenty of potential for stories involving all the literary characters as well. But what stories?
Showtime is probably keeping mum to increase excitement for the show. I am already curious enough to give the show a shot just to see how all the bits and pieces fit together (or don’t). A short plot synopsis wouldn’t hurt though.
Penny Dreadful premieres on Showtime Sunday, May 11 at 10 PM. The first season will be 8 episodes long.