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Penny Dreadful S01E01: "Night Work"


Does a cable network even exist if it doesn't have its own original supernatural horror prestige drama? AMC's The Walking Dead out-rates most shows on network television; FX's American Horror Story forced a nation of DVR viewers to once again gather 'round the water cooler; MTV has Teen Wolf; WGN just unveiled the gnarly Salem; HBO's True Blood is still hanging in there despite having basically invented the model; and HLN's Nancy Grace continues to thrill and chill all these years later. It's frankly shocking that a premium cable channel like Showtime didn't already have a hit supernatural horror serial of its own. Sure, Dexter and the network's Masters of Horror anthology dabbled in the dark arts, but those were nothing compared to Penny Dreadful, Showtime's new full-blooded assault on an increasingly crowded field.

If we're being real, Showtime's original programming has always positioned the network as HBO's far more lurid, far lower-quality rival (portions of Homeland notwithstanding), but Penny Dreadful could go a long way to change all that. Boasting a terrific cast, expensive production values, and prestigious filmmakers (namely, producer Sam Mendes, writer John Logan, and director J.A. Bayona), on paper the series is already unimpeachable. But add to that some truly terrifying scares, stomach-churningly disgusting violence, surprising twists, #butts, and the grossest vampires on TV and this Victorian Monster Squad is pretty much a must-watch after only a single episode. Full disclosure: I've seen the second episode and it's even better than the first. We have a winner here, friends.

"Night Work" was very much more a set-up-slash-introduction than a proper episode of television. That's worth mentioning right up front, because Penny Dreadful's first episode was not entirely satisfying narratively, but it still an enthralling entry into this world. Set in 1800s London and taking its name from the cheap, unsavory horror publications of the day, Penny Dreadful tells the tale of Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett), an American carnival gunslinger who's recruited for a clandestine mission by Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), the mysterious attaché to wealthy explorer Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton). As we learned in the premiere, Murray's daughter has been abducted and, as he says, he'd "murder the world" to get her back. Since Chandler is a destitute alcoholic with few to no scruples, he agreed to the job only to learn within minutes what exactly he'll be dealing with: vampires. But not the handsome, romantic poets of most vampire lore. These are more feral, Nosferatu types with a monstrous leader who sleeps in a pile of eviscerated corpses. Oh, and he's seven feet tall with piranha teeth, an exoskeleton, and Egyptian hieroglyphics carved into his bones. Sorry, The CW lineup, but THESE are the kinds of vampires TV needs more of.


After that rollicking showdown, "Night Work" slowed a bit to continue its introductions. Among the series' other characters are an inscrutably accented Egyptologist (Simon Russell Beale) with an amazing haircut and a handsome young doctor who studies the area "between life and death." It miiiiiiiight constitute a spoiler to reveal the young doctor's name, seeing as it's the last line of the episode, but let's just say the entire premise of Penny Dreadful involves the intersections of characters with highly familiar names. For instance, the name of Malcolm's missing daughter will be familiar to Bram Stoker readers, and in Episode 2 we're introduced to a strikingly beautiful young man with a macabre art collection. But where stories of similarly improbable mash-ups often err on the side of camp or easy cliché, Penny Dreadful takes its time by shading in each person as a grounded individual, allowing us to fully understand what makes that person tick. Chandler wants to forge a life of actual worth, the clairvoyant Vanessa is plagued by an unexplained curse of her own (which involves spiders erupting from her wall-mounted crucifix), and the young doctor has a strong emotional attachment to his, uh, research.

Another thread that ran through "Night Work" was a string of brutal murders that plagued the poorest districts of London. After a mother and daughter were brutally murdered (in the opening moments of the show), citizens began to fear that Jack the Ripper had returned. But from what we saw onscreen, it's clear that there's a supernatural force behind these murders and it's even clearer that Penny Dreadful will be stretching out this particular whodunnit for a while. That's consistent with Penny Dreadful's borderline audacious non-rushed tone. Refreshingly show-not-tell, Penny Dreadful is often short on explanation and long on atmosphere and suggestive imagery. This might be frustrating to viewers who've grown accustomed to five twists an episode, but this sort of slow-burn suspense is what helps elevate Penny Dreadful above our expectations. Same goes for the cast, who uniformly rises to the occasion. Eva Green has been great for a while now, but Josh Hartnett (who I'd almost completely forgotten about) brings just the right kind of no-nonsense swagger to a typically standard reluctant-hero role. And have I mentioned this thing is gorgeous? From its fog-shrouded cobblestone streets to its lavish mahogany sitting rooms, Penny Dreadful looks expensive. And the monsters. Oh, the monsters.

Like I hinted at earlier, there was a glaring lack of a satisfying ending to "Night Work," and that pretty much guarantees this series will work better in marathon form. Yes, there was a surprise reveal in the closing few minutes, but it was nothing compared to the straight-up insane ending of Episode 2. I realize we're not talking about that episode yet, but if you're considering giving Penny Dreadful a shot, consider reserving judgment until after you've seen next week's second effort. All in all, "Night Work" gave us a pretty fantastic taste of what to expect from this series, and it's a relief to know that Showtime is finally producing the original supernatural horror serial it was was always capable of. YOUR MOVE, HGTV.


QUESTIONS:

... What did you think about "Night Work"? Will you be back for Episode 2?

... Did you find Penny Dreadful scary? Emotional? Boring?

... Have you ever slept on a pile of dismembered corpses?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 7/5/2015

Season 2 : Episode 10

Next Episode

AIRS ON 5/1/2016

Season 3 : Episode 1

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  • Yes I will!
  • As you said, not all that much to say about this episode and still it was exciting, beautiful and well-acted. We'll have to wait for more episodes to measure it to those adjectives you gave.
  • Yes, I like doing so every night. Has to be a fresh pile, of course. Who'd want to sleep on a pile of dismembered corpses you have already slept on the night before?
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Only just got around to watching Episode 2 but OMG. OMG. OMFG& That ending! I'm almost bursting at the seams to talk about it. Biting my lip until the review.

What is there to say about Episode 1? It's terrific. JUST WATCH IT. NOW.
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I have seen both episodes also and was enthralled with the visual. Scary yes, gory and gross, yes but oh so crazy good. It really was time for Showtime to put out something this good. The richness of the characters and the stories that go along with them is awesome. I am really loving how they are intertwining the monster stories together. Also yes the ending of the second episode shocked me and made me sad. I set looking through my fingers most of the time and jumped more than once. This show is awesome folks but it is not for the faint of heart or for children. I loved both episodes and I am really looking forward for the next episode. So I can jump at the boogie man stories again.....be very afraid of what goes bump in the night.........
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way 2 many spiders 4 me!
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Yay Price you're recapping not one but two of my favorite shows!
To answer your questions :
1/ Honestly I drawn to it the second I heard Eva Green was part of the cast. Love her and she didn't disappoint me ! I'm hooked and I'll definitely be back for episode 2,3,4, etc...
2/ I found it scary, gory, very emotional but somehow intensely poetic because of that. I already love Vanessa Ives who just seems so myterious! She's enticing to watch. For some reason, Sir Malcolm and Ethan's character sort of failed to completely"impress" me but I guess we have to learn more about them, their backstory to be fully invested in them. Can't wait to find out more about their motivations and what makes them tick in the future.
The last scene has to be my favorite moment though. The nameless (sort of) doctor and his creature's encounter was amazing. I also loved the doctor's speech earlier this episode.
An in all, the acting was superb so were the photography and the story! Looking forward to episode 2.
3/ No. After having seen this episode I can definitely say I never will!
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Price, please do some photo recaps. We deserve that. Please.
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I have to admit, even though I was anxiously awaiting this show and expecting it to blow my socks off, I found the pilot less than stellar. It was beautiful to look at no doubt, but I felt it was overly talky with no real hook or emotional oomph.

However, when Proteus arrived at the end, that few moments of awareness in his eyes made the rest of the episode worth while and got me to watch Ep 2.

Episode 2 was AHHMAAZING!!! Why they plodded along in episode 1, is beyond me. Proteus is fantastic. Every emotion that crosses his face kicks you in the gut. Eva was amazing (no surprise) and thoroughly creeped me the f*ck out during the seance. And Dorian.... good lord, I swear I was leaning into the TV by the end of every one of his scenes. If ever it was possible for an actor to look through the tv screen and right into your eyes this man is it.

So I'm in. Hopefully it only gets better.
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What did you think about "Night Work"? Will you be back for Episode 2?
Totally agreed with all of your points about the 1st episode! Loving the slow burn and the ease of introductions. I don't need to and don't want to know absolutely everything about them just yet. I watched Episodes 1 & 2 back to back and Episode 2 was even better than Episode 1. So much creep factor and I loved it! Can't wait to read your review, Price!!

Did you find Penny Dreadful scary? Emotional? Boring?
It was scary, creepy, and definitely emotional. I don't freak out about little spiders (big spiders, yessss), but the use of insects, period, is a real nice touch and definitely adds to the macabre. The real emotion came at the end of the episode and it was all parts sad, elated, sweet, and insane. More complex moments like this, puhlease!!

Have you ever slept on a pile of dismembered corpses?
Can't say that I have. Not sure it'd be real comfortable...
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Amazing! I was hooked after the first minutes. We do have a winner here...! Thank god this season needed one...! ^^
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Oh thaaaat endiing!!! It was amazing. I understand John Logan (the creator) is gay and i believe the ending scene was a mixture between a very tense, very dark, very scary moment and a very sweet very romantic experience between two...beings that completely lets loose on what the writer is all about. And i loved it.
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Finally! My number 1 most anticipated new show of 2014. And i was not disappointed.
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Isn't it amazing how clean Victorian London apparently was? I expected to see the roads covered in horse shit but no...
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It still looked pretty dirty to me in some places. They're not going to be able to make everything realistic/true to the time. Hell, even Game of Thrones isn't complete in its realism.
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Well they are both fiction, but I wouldve thought they could have made the Victorian environment more realistic post-production CGI maybe?
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I went into this completely cold, I hadn't seen anything about it before, and watched it on a whim, and damn was it worth it.

This is the kind of supernatural drama that TV needs more of, slick, mysterious, and exciting. I can't wait for the second episode.
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am I the only one who thought that josh hartnett was very...meh? also, this review made me miss price's AHS recaps even more. if you read the comments price, just want you to know that your recaps were the highlight of my office's week
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Saw the second episode and I must say I'm in all the way. This is one very interesting series. If you guys want to know a bit of a teaser without spoiling too much then go ahead and ask for it through the reply. I know you guys will surely love the second episode!
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THAT is how a seance should go!! It was awesome :)
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DEFINITELY. All throughout the entire scene I was just staring at my monitor and just reveled at how Eva Green was so amazing at that scene and Timothy Dalton was just relishing at the energy Green was sending out.
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I'm trying to figure out which character is my favorite. Victor or the creature? ::shrug:: Victor's cool & all but I'm really pulling for his creature
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There is something about a good story. In a book the setting and the way the author speaks of it, it puts your there, on the street in the house. You can visualize it, taste it, smell it. Very few shows can pull this off. But I have to say that Penny Dreadful deftly accomplishes this task. It sucks you into it's ambience. You feel like you are walking the streets of "London" (Dublin), The use of the city is fantastic. The few shots in London like the British Museum to see the archaeologist. The King's Inn in Dublin, The Castle, it all sucks you in and this is only pilot. With the darkness of the content and the show itself, it makes you wonder where they are going to take us.

The acting is superb. Eva Green is one of my all time favorite actresses. I have admired her talent ever since I first saw her in a play in Paris when I was in my final year of undergrad. I saw her on stage and just thought, Wow. I have seen her in most of the things that she has been in from Dreamers to that weird movie with Daniel Craig where the animals talk and are somehow connected to the people. When she was cast as Vesper Lynd I was very happy for her. Sadly she is typecast in dark roles. Not that she doesn't bring it on herself. The woman is a natural blonde of Swedish descent and dies her hair dark. But she plays dark so well. She was one of the only good things in Starz's awful adaptation of Camelot (mostly because of who they chose for Arthur). But she as Vanessa Ives is fantastic. She plays parts like this so well. Characters that have a sense of mystery and regality to them that just comes natural to her. Ives is a mystery character, she is a lynchpin, she is somehow related to all of this, the changing of Mina, the catalyst that sent Sir Murray on his quest. And she feels bad about it. You don't sit in a room reciting Ave Maria (the catholic dogmatic prayer not the song) over and over again without something weighing on your idea of a soul. She also has a mystery about her. The spiders. Either the or Orkin man took few years off or something evil is attracted to her. She also perplexed and perhaps frightened the vampire. It stopped its rampage when it came face to face with her. So is she more than just a diviner. Her story is the story of Penny Dreadful and the rest of the characters are just dancing around her.

Sir Murray is and interesting man. He is the prototypical hero/adventurer. He is the stuff that all of the good stories are made of. He is that idea of what a man was, if there was ever such a man. He is direct, he is efficient. He has stared death in the face and laughed. He is what you want as a protagonist. He likely is comfortable in the jungles of the Congo rather than on the couch at the King's Inn. He has failed though. His current failure leads him to his current quest, which is Mina. Mina, Ives and Sir Murray are linked by an event of which we do not know the details yet that left Mina in her current state. She is now a child of the night, a vampire. And likely this is the ultimate quest for Sir Murray, this is a quest that could very well result with the loss of his life, his fortune, his everything in order to save Mina.

Chandler is the wild card. Seriously. He is a man with a history, and likely he is running away from that history as most men comfortable with violence do. He hides himself in costume or at the bottom of a bottle or at the bottom of a random woman's bodice. He has seen things, he has seen violence and death and has been the cause for a lot of it. He regrets his past as does Ives, which likely will put them on a path towards each other. A path which will be heated, but a path that could lead to their self destruction. Chandler is however an expert as his craft no matter how much he might dislike it. It is who he is, he is a warrior and he will join this marry band of misfits in their quest and he will likely see that despite his past, he hasn't seen nothing yet. Because he is about to go down that rabbit hole, take the red pill or whatever and commit to a cause that he is likely not ready for. I think that is what his hesitation was when he was at the house. He has a nice gig, he is away from his past and he is not sure if he wants to jump into something he might not be able to jump out of.

The Doctor, who shall remain nameless is interesting. His passion for his work comes from something that we haven't seen yet. It is a fanatical passion that was likely set forth from a traumatic loss. Which makes him near, well kind of manic in his pursuit. To sit their and disparage other scientists work, when he should full well know that most of that all is linked is cheap. It is something fanatics do in order to further their motivation. He will join the quest because it deals with his field. He seeks that knowledge of what lies between life and death and nothing epitomizes that more than Vampires.

Speaking of which, I must thank the runners of this show. This is how vampires should be. They should be in the dark, they should be ravenous near animals with familiars out in the world leading unsuspecting prey back to them to feast on. This is how monsters should be portrayed. Not glittery little twenty somethings masquerading as tweens that have a serious case of paedophilia. Or sex crazed morons that deal with Maenads and were panthers. Just honest to goodness monsters in dark settings. Linking them to the Egyptians was fantastic, I welcome the lore and the interpretations of the Book of the Dead.

Overall it was a good introductory pilot. We got to see some of the characters, we got to see what to expect from them and we got to see some monsters. The only complaint I would have was that whomever was doing the language teaching should have worked with Dalton and extras more. I am not sure if they were trying to mimic victorian era British trying to speak Arabic, but it was just bad.

But overall it was fantastic. I can't wait to see their stories. Plus Eva Green. mmmm.
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Gosh @Mate, it looks like you were really inspired by the show, LOL! Good for you!
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then you will surely love the second episode! There is a great scene with Eva on it. It just shows how great of an actress she is and Timothy Dalton just feeds off on her scene...
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Great analysis Mate, but do you always have to bring up the were panthers when referring to True Blood? Seriously, I'm trying to forget that garbage, just like I'm trying to forget a lot of other shit from that show.

Eva Green is something isn't she? Not just Camelot, she made Dark Shadows and the new 300 bearable, and she's going to kill it on the new Sin City movie. Definitely disagree with the fuck below who said her acting was awful. It is a strange, yet compelling character, and her she does some really great stuff on the next episode.

I'm also quite pleased with Hartnett, as I usually can't stand him. He's proved himself a few times though, it's not like he's Michael Rapaport.

The guy playing Doctor Fra...the nameless doctor was amazing, especially that speech about the scientists, even though I didn't agree with it.

It was a good pilot. I liked it because it reminded me a lot of AHS. Just kidding, I liked it because it shows how abysmal AHS really is.
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Yes. Yes I am going to bring up werepanthers in every critique of Teuw Blood. Someone in the background of the show thought that was a good idea. Just like from now on in my critique of AHS I am going to mention last season and how that was more of a fashion show with exposition than a plotted out story with any sense of its own reality.

Green did make Dark Shadows barely watchable. But just barely. I didn't mind 300. Her and Sullivan made the movie for me. The rest was just kind of blah. However I can understand the person below that diasagrees with us. She has as I mentioned from Hollywood and through her own choices been typecast, you really have to see her early stuff in order to see the diffierence. For me she does naturally what Angelina Jolie tries so hard to do.

Please se don't mention Rapaport. We can just go along and block out that last season of Justified ever happened. Hart net has good movies, he was great in Black Hawk Down, 30 days of Night and probably a couple of others. . But he did ad hear to the squinting is acting thing for way too long. And likely could act circles around Rapaport, though so could most child and animal actors.

Dr. F's speech was great. It will be interesting to see if he can stand toe to toe with Dalton and Green.

This is is what AHS could have been right up until that stupid song in season two where Murphy realized that most people don't want horror they just want a show. Season 3 is the bastard child of that moment.
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Oh, so you can bring up the werepanthers but I can't bring up Michael Rapaport? The werepanthers were in the books the series was based on, but it was Alan Ball who thought it would be a good idea to make them be...well you know. He actually said that was his favorite part of season 4, and this is the genius who a lot of people think is the success behind Banshee, but they are dead wrong. Thankfully he's only an executive producer on Banshee, so he won't destroy that show.

I notice you are going hard on Michael Pitt's portrayal of Mason Verger. It could be worse, he could've been played by Michael Rapaport. By the way, I'm going to mention Rapaport every time I critique Justified, because somebody in the background of that show thought it was a good idea to cast him.
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Touché Sam. Touché. However I do agree with you on your use of Rapaport in your critique of Justified. I am not sure what the hell the casting directors were thinking or not thinking because that was the single dumbest thing that the show has done. It ruined their brand. Not ruined to the point of what Sutter did with SOA and not killing Clay mind you. But dropped the quality of show way down in a era with a lot of quality shows.

Michael Pitt is a good actor. I will give him that, even though he plays a variation of the same character in nearly ever show/movie he is in. Save for the aforementioned Dreamers with Eva Green. But I think he is a good actor despite my not particularly liking him in certain roles. Most notably Jimmy in Boardwalk Empire.
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Timothy Dalton, enough said. Hmmm, I suppose I could add one word--- Awesome!
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Watched it last week and LOVED it!
Great review! I eagerly anticipate episode 2
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I'm so happy you're the one recapping this, Price Peterson!
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I'm glad that you liked the second episode. Now I have something to look forward to. See the pilot didn't completely wow me. It was a typical introductory pilot, but lacked sharpness and didn't clearly present what the show is actually about.
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they said it would be a slow burn and I actually liked it. I guess not knowing where the series will take us is a great way to experience the show. But I tell you, the second episode is pure goodness as to what Price has said.
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I couldnt even make it past the credits. Effing spiders, man! There was too many, I can't cope.....
And I really wanted to watch this!
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Eva Green... man, Eva Green.

I'll watch anything she does (full disclosure: I already did!)

I'm really glad she finally got a vehicle that will bring her above that dumb 'Bond girl' tagline she carried around for years (although Casino Royale was one of the best Bond of all time.)
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True words. Eva Green is sublime. I always just lament that she doesn't work that much in front of the camera, which means we don't get to see her that often. Since she began her career, she has only had about one title to her name every year, which is much less than the at least 2-3 projects that most actors do every year. Though this year appears to be an exception with her already having five projects announced. Maybe she works a lot on the stage, I don't know.
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Decent start. I would've liked a little more of what's going on with Vanessa. Something like, 'Wth's going on with Vanessa?'

Josh Hartnett was good. Timothy Dalton looked badass...and ooold.

Guess that's it for now. I'm not an impatient viewer, but I think they should've led with more for their first week. True Blood somehow managed to do that their first episode.
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Interesting pilot. Well rounded characters. Creepy monsters. Has potential. Gorgeous to look at. Different time period but the esthetics remind me a little of Carnivale. Will keep watching.
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Well, that was certainly a Penny's worth of Dreadful.

It looks like we've got both Dracula and Frankenstein. But is Dalton's character Harker or Van Helsing?

If they could tone down the dramatic music a bit, that would be nice.

Proper Vampires. Yes, we've been needing that for a long time now. Since True Blood season 2, I'd say.

Please watch the spoilers, Price. We didn't need to know who shows up in the next episode. I, for one, would rather find out when I watch it.
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"It looks like we've got both Dracula and Frankenstein. But is Dalton's character Harker or Van Helsing?"
To answer your question, he's neither. Malcolm Murray is Mina Murray's father.
Mina Murray is Johnathan Harkers' fiancee in Dracula but since they introduced Mina as the blonde vampire in this episode here, I'm taking a guess that her & John's wedding is either off, or, in this world, the engagement simply never happened in the first place
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I was hooked from the trailers to be honest. However, the first episode didn't disappoint on any level. I think I'll be watching Miss Vine and her spiders from behind a cushion though as I'm a serious arachnophobic on a grand scale (even money spiders send me hurtling out of the room). :$
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Thank god for Timothy Dalton. I found this premiere a tad bit dull, but Dalton seriously livens up any scene he's in. That voice, man. THAT VOICE.
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Enjoyed the heck out of this pilot, I normally don't watch horror but this started rather promising.
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  • Not sure what genre True Blood invented but this ain't part of it (thank the lord)... True Blood's uniqueness, if it has one, is in the great ratings it got from a mix of oversexualised nudity and light horror and a total disrespect of the horror genres it hijacks using some of the sloppiest writing ever
  • Otherwise, great review and I'll definitely be back for at least ep 2... It looked good and it was fun to watch with the 'historical' vignettes of London in the 19th century, the poverty, the fair, the opium den etc. and the vaguely sketched story kept you guessing even if grounded on well known stories and characters (Jack the Ripper, vampires etc.). I enjoyed for example the hint at how Mina was taken, somehow due to Malcolm and Vanessa's wrong doings / mistakes which explain his willingness to murder the world and Vanessa's determination and devout faith.

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It was so good! I am a big old chicken when it comes to horror, so I was worried I wouldn't be able to watch this, but I think they did it just right. I watched the first 5 minutes or so through my fingers, but then they got on with introducing the characters and I got a better idea what the show would be like and before I knew it the hour was over.

I liked it a lot and I will definitely be back for more. It was scary and creepy, but not so scary (or gory) that I can't watch.
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For me it was impressive more than fantastic.
The quality of the settings, costumes, make ups, special effects, the atmosphere, everything is kind of mind blowing. It is truly like watching a movie and a better one than most actually. Acting also is top of the class.
But I was not completely convinced by Chandler and Murray's exchange, nor by the young doctor's achievement (not to reveal his name or the achievement in question).
Eva Green's character is by far the most interesting thing at that point. The scenes of her praying have an ethereal beauty. And she is intense but in a much more subtle and layered way than the male characters who seemed a bit blunt or obvious to me.
I will definitely watch the next episode though. This is such an ambitious show that it will probably take a little time to become really amazing.
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My only reservation to making this show a regular on my timetable is Eva Green, I really can't stand her affected overtly plummy voice. Other than her, I thought it was a richly presented, quite well-acted and suitably scary episode with a great cast.
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That's too bad, seeing as Ms. Green's 2 biggest talents have yet to appear in the series. I'm hoping they'll be showing up very soon though.
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True Blood having invented the model? Sorry: surely that's Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Charmed with the old WB network. Get your tv history straight, there's a good lad.
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Price is specifying his argument to cable TV horror shows, not all horror TV shows.
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If you're going to argue about tv history you really should be using better examples, especially when many of said examples came decades before Buffy and Charmed were ever even thought about.
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What are your examples then??
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Night Stalker and Dark Shadows are much better models.
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Heck, just about any non-anthology tv horror series of the last 40 years fits the bill for the most part. Then again, I've heard plenty of rumors that Penny Dreadful might turn into something of an anthology series itself if success continues.
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loved it and I am still undecided as to who is the creepiest........the 7 foot tall piranha toothed vampire or Miss Vine with her spiders. I will definitely be back for more
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I love it and I'm very much looking forward to the next episode!
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i have to say I loved it!! I loved the tone, the pace, all the actors, and the cinematography it's worthy of a film (as is the case for a lot of shows lately but still...)
It has an American Horror Story feel to it which can only be a compliment.
I love the time period it's set in and there is obviously a lot of effort put in to portray it convincingly.
I was sold from the trailers to be honest but the premiere sealed the deal.
&3
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i do not see how could comparing this show to American Horror Story could possibly be anything but a typo, as they have nothing in common. American Horror Story is a carnival-esque parade of self important pretentious posers, trying too hard to be the IT "girl". I have nothing against people liking American Horror Story, because "It's an acquired taste" said the dog and licked his #*&ss
SPOILER - not at all like American Horror Story.
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a 'penny dreadful' was a type of Victorian publication, stories were sold in several parts over a number of weeks, costing a penny each....hence the name!! Many stories that we have come to know such as Frankenstein and Dorian grey started out in this format... Which I suspect is what inspired the premise of this show!! AWESOME first episode, can't wait to watch more!!
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Nancy Grace is infinitely more terrifying. (*shudders)
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But it a way worse way because she is real and people actually, somehow listen to her. Plus I am pretty sure she feasts on the souls of those unlucky enough to appear on her show.
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And then this as the camera goes off:



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I did find myself concerned that Chandler shot into the audience at one point during his show. As the crowd didn't seem to mind I chalked it up to late 19th Century sensibilities.
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The girl's hat he shot at was the girl he was humping in the next scene.
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Yup, 19th Century sensibilities...
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I loved it!!!!!!!!! This looks to me like it's going to be awesome
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I'm a bit too scared to watch this. :P
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Well, grab your thickest blankey and hold hands with everyone and we'll see it through or die trying together because this was one delightfully fun ride to begin a series with!
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I'll try to manage. :)
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Having slept in my share of dismembered body piles, I can tell you it's not all it's cracked up to be. You wake up every time with a crick in the neck, the smell is atrocious, and don't get me started on the rats. At least all that decomposing flesh keeps you nice warm.
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It's hard to bring a lady back there at bar-time as well.
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L O V E it !!!!!
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Cant seem to find any balanced comments on here... I actually found it boring just seemed to drag on with no coherent direction. enjoyed the setting and atmosphere being created but there was no story grab and very little that pulled you in to even start caring about the characters as people vs. caricatures / set design pieces. then again i did watch the show without having read any summaries or hints about what it would be about - so as not to be biased by preconceptions/expectations and to allow the show to speak for itself not what i wanted it to be. You say it gets better so i will give the second episode a go - hoping less insects :)
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apologies there are some balanced comments
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I am actually glad to read fanboy enthusiasm by staff. Its why I usually stick to the Community posts instead of staff. I mean - I don't really read about shows i don't like, so when I enjoy something, I want to read something that is equally enthusiastic.

Just my preference. I respect you like more balanced journalism.
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glad to generate thought! i agree - liking something and passion is a great thing - why would we bother reading bland script?
Still see the value in not ignoring its flaws - especially when other tv shows are on the line, and when people are reading to decide whether to watch.

Enthusiasm and balance are not mutual exclusive - in my opinion - guess we might have to disagree :)

And you would have missed some awesome Revolution reviews in season 1 (unless you liked it from the start...) - hilarious.

[wow, you really implied a train of reasoning and thought that was not intended - just surprised]
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Why would you assume it wasn't intended?
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Solid premiere. I love the cast and look forward to more episodes.
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Can't wait to see more!
And quite a cast:)
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I think im gonna have a new favourite, that was awesome, i need more!
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me too!!!
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This show visually slapped me across the face it as brilliant. It was dark which is great. That poor baby I can't even believe ................. Ok so I found dr frankinsine, Dorian grey was mentioned as was Mena, but who or what is Vanessa. I can't wait until next weeks episode
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I never really noticed they only called him "Doctor" throughout the whole ep. They did a nice job of the big reveal at the end.
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I know I only got the hint because of his whole life and death is my river speak and his secret passage but I wasn't sure, and then at the end when I saw that body jacked up to the wires I'm like ahhhhhhh he's dr frankinsine, I was screaming at the tv when the fuse was shorting out I was going dud e the body, the body the body.
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Ha! I had a hint when early on he was talking about how much better the electricity runs in the US. But I forgot all about it until he started down the stairs to the lab. I jumped up too and said! AHH! The DOCTOR!"
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Yeah - I didn't want to say the name incase, you know, SPOILERS.

Actually Doctor Who would fit right in with this gang.
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Doctor who? LOL that OTHER Doctor you mean LOL!
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It does pay to listen to Literary and History class in school because you would remember the names. I love the feel of a good production value. It does not short change on scary elements and gory stuff. I don't like about is the presentation of the story is all over the place but it's the pilot so I can let that one slip. Sounds and acting is really good but I just hope they did not cast Josh in it I guess they could have gotten someone in the line of Hugh Dancy for a more believable acting but it's good for a premier.
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