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Penny Dreadful S01E02: "Séance"


Art is dead. No wait, art is death. Dang, that still sounds wrong. Point is, when it comes to art on TV, no genre brings it harder than horror. Think about it: When was the last time you saw memorably sweeping, strange, or gorgeous cinematography on TV? Was it perhaps on Breaking Bad or American Horror Story or The Walking Dead or The Returned? Audiences just seem more accepting of artistic or esoteric visuals when they come coupled with the guarantee of violence or the threat of death. Indescribable beauty is the next-door neighbor of subconscious horror; words and reason apply to neither. So it's no surprise that Penny Dreadful, in addition to being one of the scariest new TV series in recent memory, is also one of the most gorgeous. But, you know, in a disgusting way.

There's a good chance that the beauty is necessary to offset some of the abject ugliness of the subject matter. Take the undeniably sexy AND horrifying photography scene between Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney) and his hired nude model, the consumptive prostitute Brona Croft (Billie Piper). From the classical music to the set decoration to the extremely attractive actors, the scenario ignited the parts of our brains that appreciate beauty. And then Brona coughed up BLOOD and Dorian remarked, "I've never f**ked a dying creature before." Um, that is HORROR. Yet there's no jarring disconnect. The two elements work in tandem; without horror, beauty would be boring, and without beauty, the horror would be distasteful. That's called teamwork.

But "Séance" was really about THE SCENE. The titular séance scene—which, for 10 glorious minutes, treated us to a prolonged bout of straight-up insanity—was what we old-timey vaudevillians might call a show-stopper. A real humdinger, even. Man, that scene. Last week we learned that Vanessa is not only a clairvoyant, but that she's plagued by some kind of demon, so she probably should have thought twice before attending an elegant party which included a séance. After the possibly fraudulent medium Madame Kali went all demonic, she immediately outed Vanessa as being a medium as well; then SHE was suddenly possessed and yammering evil things. That was not a surprise, we know how horror works. But the surprise was when she became possessed by a spirit claiming to be Sir Malcolm's dead son. Or something? It honestly was not clear; everything was so esoteric and borderline incomprehensible (in a good and scary way!) that I'm not 100 percent positive of what we learned. Just that Sir Malcom's guilt over his son's death may have been rooted in some very lurid secrets, and the son's spirit was not about to let it go. And again with the beauty-meets-horror trope: Eva Green hissing the "C" word at well-appointed onlookers? Perfect.


"Séance" was only Penny Dreadful's second episode, but we're already getting a much clearer picture about what its game is. The cold open mirrored the pilot's, in that it showed another person getting murdered by the Jack the Ripper copycat (?). Just a simple, hauntingly filmed scene in which a prostitute was menaced by fog itself, only to be attacked by an unseen force. This storyline didn't progress much this week (other than Sir Malcolm offering detectives his services), so it seems as though Penny Dreadful will be drawing it out at a very leisurely pace. 

In fact, that pace applies to other plotlines as well. Surprisingly, the pilot's entry-point and ostensible hero Ethan was sidelined to a supporting character in "Séance"; he mostly showed up to demonstrate that, after declining to work for Sir Malcolm, he'd become a dock-dwelling hobo. But his meet-cute interactions with Brona in a salty pub helped us get to know the both of them. Her introduction, in turn, led to our first encounter with Dorian Gray, who is exactly as beautiful and cynical as you'd expect. His later interaction with Vanessa at the séance posited him as her all-knowing counterpart, sussing out her thoughts, intentions, and instincts only a clairvoyant or a bored immortal could.

And then we come to the Frankenstein storyline, which until its final seconds lacked the immediate suspense of the other threads but compensated with touching, almost heartwarming pathos. The "monster" (now named Proteus, after a highly fortunate page-flip through a Shakespeare book) has only been alive mere days, but by episode's end he'd already learned to talk and behave like a regular guy. The scenes in which Dr. Frankenstein taught his creation how to eat, and then also had to get him to stop following his maker around like a puppy dog, were undeniably compelling. We've all seen the Frankenstein lore done so many ways that Penny Dreadful faced quite a task in doing something interesting with this very tired series of events, so the decision to go full humanistic was really inspired. Eventually, Frankenstein even allowed Proteus to roam the streets of London, and it became clear that he had begun to remember things about his old life in a way that verged on heartbreaking. 

But then came the final scene. Guys, what ON EARTH? We'd just gotten to know and love Proteus, so it stung especially hard when he was ripped apart before our eyes, his tattered remains sloughing onto the floor to reveal a bloodied ghoul standing in his place: "Your first born has returned, father." WOW. Absolutely insane. And wonderful. And shocking. And, guess what? Beautiful. I have no idea what this means (was there a previous Frankenstein's monster? But the ghoul looked like a vampire? Can Proteus be brought back to life?) or where this storyline is going, and that's my absolute favorite part about it. This was a major rug-pulling, and Penny Dreadful handled it expertly.


Despite the shocks and thrills of that last moment, not to mention those of the slashing in the cold open or even the bizarre tour de force of the séance, Penny Dreadful still boasts a very slow and measured pace. But rather than the meandering wheel-spinning exhibited by other freshman series that don't seem to know where they're headed, Penny Dreadful REEKS of confidence. It knows exactly where it's going and it trusts that we'll appreciate the slow doling out of information. This series does not over-explain things, and that makes it scarier. But it also drives up suspense to truly delightful levels. I can only speculate that these characters will eventually form a team of supernatural cops (Vanessa and Dorian Gray in particular need to put their beautiful heads together), and it's all the more audacious that Penny Dreadful could conceivably delay that inevitable team-up all season. For now these are damaged, real individuals and their journey to a status quo won't be quick, and shouldn't be. But with the level of craftsmanship and writing on display here (to say nothing of the actual visual beauty), it's a journey I'm really looking forward to. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go throw my ouija board into a tar pit.


QUESTIONS:

... What exactly IS Frankenstein's "first born"?

... Have you ever been possessed by a spirit during a séance, and did you also follow that up by sleeping with a random stranger in the street?

... Will Brona be "cured" via supernatural means?

... Would Doctor Who approve of Brona's accent?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/22/2016

Season 3 : Episode 4

Next Episode

AIRS ON 5/29/2016

Season 3 : Episode 5

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Please keep reviewing this show!
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I'm umming and ahhing about this show. It doesn't exactly grip me but it has elements that are sometimes intriguing, shocking, vivid and certainly unpredictable. I preferred the first episode to this one, mainly because the seance scene in this one was SO LONG, it went on and on beyond all reason. I might keep watching but I'm not exactly enthusiastic about it.
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Frankenstein's first born is apparently Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The one the firstborn killed was a new and improved, passive, less emotionally and physically damaged Frankenstein. Frankenstein V.2.0
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Hey Price, why have you stopped reviewing this show? There is no review on episodes 3 and 4, this worries me cuz if there's suddenly no reviews does that mean the show has such low ratings that means it might be , God forbid, canceled?
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Awesome! Thank you for telling me
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it won't be cancelled any time soon. Its not that bad. its ok really. I think they may be going a little too mashup crazy though. Dracula was just boring. PE is more interesting, but it could use more action. Dracula's action in the first two episodes made me watch it for a while, but its fizzled out. PE should drop Dorian Grey and focus more on its three original characters. Its starting to come off like a boring version of the League of Extraordinary Gentleman.
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My gosh! What a beautiful episode! I mean wow!!! The time and delicate care that goes into this show, especially this episode, is astounding! All the scenes with Dorian were just so artistic and articulate that I found myself watching them over and over again. And mind you, I usually DONT watch episodes over. I believe my absolute favorite scene (even as short as it was) was the encounter between Vanessa and Dorian. The scene leading up to the perfectly dramatic (and not overly dramatic) first encounter between them in the ballroom was just...I, I really don't have the words to describe it! The camera work, music, and overall production of that scene was just..just...like I said, no words. The halt in the ambient sounds as she sensed Dorian. The way Dorian's slow patient walk toward her echoed in the silence of just their locked on presence to one another, as if no one else in the room existed. The smooth way he unraveled her skepticism and accurately defined her feelings, showing her vulnerability for the first time in the show. I LOVED the way he slowly went for her hand. Vanessa hesitating, slightly and unsurely by pulling her hand back, after Dorian initially touched it then seductively grabbing it anyways, not giving her the chance to pull away. Sweet mother that was hot!! Eva Green demonstrated her amazing acting ability during her possessed moment was priceless of course. Four ex-bonds together in one show (Eva, Timothy, Sam Mendes, and John Logan) = beauty and practically perfect in casting, production, and every way imaginable. Watching each episode over again solidify's that. My gosh!!!
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I was watching this episode and chatting with a friend telling her about the humanistic Frankenstein storyline and she decided to watch it because of this and then the ending happened...Should I tell her what happens to Proteus? LOL.
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LOL! Would you tell what happens to the awesome new character Oberyn Martell on Game of Thrones? - Of course not! ;-)
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In the end, she watched it and I am happy to say she wasn't too crushed about it. XD She really loves the show!
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"When was the last time you saw memorably sweeping, strange, or gorgeous cinematography on TV?" Hannibal, FTW
I'm so intrigued by this series! Not just creepy, but straight up HORROR. The anticipation (the cold open) is worse than the actual killing!
I kinda eyerolled through the Proteus scenes initially. But I really liked their take on the Frankenstein monster. Just as I was getting to like Proteus, he's killed. Horrifically! Damn you, show! *sniffs*
I love, love, love the performances! Sir Malcolm, Vanessa, Dorian, and the wonderful Mr. Lyles are admirably played by their actors. I like Brona fine, I just wish she would get all the marbles out of her mouth!

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I have to say, that is actually killing me, that we don't know who is playing Dracula. I've googled and googled to no avail. And there are promotional photos of Jonathan and who I'm assuming is Quincey, but no names of the actors.

Damn this spoiler heavy world that has gotten me used to knowing every little thing about a project before it airs. :(
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On IMDB 'the vampire' is a newbie actor called Robert Nairne and he is credited for 7 eps so I am guessing that is 'dracula'? Not sure though since they killed the first 'creature' in the premiere and are now looking for a second one...
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wasnt there a bunch of vamps in the first ep?
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I think there is ONE (or two since they killed one, the one with the Egyptian hieroglyphics) proper main vampire that they call 'beast' or 'master' and the other bunch of infected blood drinkers (like the Fenton guy and I believe Mina too) serve the master.... I think the slaves drink blood but cannot infect others? not sure... A very different take on vampirism... Not like The Vampire Diaries at all...
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What is with this show ruining everything I love and keeping me in its clutches? I don't think I can escape it now, espeically after that last scene.
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Seance saved the show for me. Based on the pilot I likely was not going to be coming back. I believe she was possessed by both entities. The Ahnet and Sir Malcolm's son. The deity should be powerful enough to command the son to take over to mess with her unknowing opponent and Im not aware of any one spirit only rules. First Frank I'm willing to bet money is the ripper copy cat. Love where this show is going since nobody could get The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen right this is an apt substitute.
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So the first-born is the Ripper copycat?
I miss Proteus already. His scenes were sooo beautiful.
Never been to a séance, but maybe I should catch up on that. ;)
Hopefully Brona gets cured. I love Billy Piper!

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It's funny, I was thinking that Ethan had something to do with the murders, but I think you're right. That scene with him outside the crime scene was misdirection. Either, he thinks he knows something about the murders, or it just reminded him of something in his past.

My guess is that like in the book Frankensteins monster is obsessed with having a mate. I didn't clue in the first time I watched the episode when the detective said that pieces of the body were missing. But an arm, organs, and pieces of the reproductive system could point to him trying to recreate Frankensteins work, and could explain why he has suddenly shown up - needing his "father" to help him finish.
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I didn't read the book,, but that's a very good thought. He would obviously need his "father's" machine to revive her.
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Yup, I think I like it. Why can't all TV shows be beautifully shot?
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btw, as far as the first born, im assuming Victor has done this before and i guess after some point they turn bad?

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the scene with Proteus following Victor around in the warehouse was sooo touching and cute! And then the scene with him outside looking at everything just really touched my heart. I screamed at the end when he was split in half. I was soo sad!!
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I forgot to mention that these are the best lines ever:

"They're not for the faint hearted!" "My heart's never fainted!
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"Would Doctor Who approve of Brona's accent?" Oh Price you hand me in stitches remembering Tennant going "No, don't do that. Don't" LOL

"Have you ever been possessed by a spirit during a séance, and did you also follow that up by sleeping with a random stranger in the street?" Well, haven't attended any séances that I remember... but sleeping with random manly stranger after a funeral... Yes!

Oops! Am I sharing too much?
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is it asking too much to want you to share more?
...that might only be funnier in my head, but I still had to roll the dice & throw it out there, y'know? :P
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;-)
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And on this episode of Dreadful Penny:
- A monster is born
- Making a porn album, picture by picture
- Victorian entertainment at its best: double séances
- And last but not least: The return of the prodigal... monster!
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where is the review?! I'm sad. There is an issue with mulitple links, articles and reviews. The pages are suddenly blank.
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Let me just recall one scene: Vanessa Ives first encounter with Dorian Gray -

Holy shit, what crazy level of sexiness was that??

I mean, he set the standard before in his intermezzo with Brona Croft, which was sexy in an edgy way. - But what the hell, Vanessa and Dorian, these two, laying eyes on each other for the first time? That was a whole different level...

It was like trying to tame a wild creature, like divining somebody - some thing - to the core, like being shattered in sight of both exceptional beauty and uniqueness. Seeing Dorian not only touch but to take hold of Vanessa's hand driven by necessity, was intensely sultry and breathtaking. Hearing him scrutinize her very soul with his gently teasing voice left me with a madly pounding heart.

The camera was making love to her cheek bones, catching fire in her eyes, drowning in his knowing smile and getting entangled in a strand of his hair.
It was pure pleasure and utterly poetic.

This show will be ridiculously amazing, eye opening and heart breaking in so many ways!

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The way she stepped back from him. Lowered her eyes and swallowed. AWESOME. We've only seen her for two episodes, but this is the first time we've seen her be anything but totally fierce.

I mean she stared down a crazy vamp, but actually stepped back from Gray.
LOVED IT.


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You give me goosebumps with this video... Oh boy...
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I know! Magnificent acting, right?
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1/ What exactly IS Frankenstein's "first born"?
Probably THE creature we know from the novel. If that's not the case, I'm very much intrigued. Well, whoever/whatever he is, that guy sure knows how to make an entrance.

2/Have you ever been possessed by a spirit during a séance, and did you also follow that up by sleeping with a random stranger in the street?
Nope, but sometimes I do feel the need to scream insults during an awkward family reunion, does that count?

3/Will Brona be "cured" via supernatural means?
I guess she could be. But if there's one thing we learnt in this episode is that the show is not afraid to make its characters very likeable and then kill them in the most ruthless, gruesome ways (RIP Proteus)! So I can't tell but I like being kept in the dark and I love the character already.

4/ Would Doctor Who approve of Brona's accent?
Well, who cares? Ethan Chandler seems to be very much into it and that's all that matters doesn't it?

All in all, such a fantastic episode! Also Eva Green is everything I wanna marry her!!
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1. Frankenstein's original monster, from the novel.
2. a) Yes. b) No i wish.
3. Maybe.
4. Doctor Who? Who knows, but Tennant has had some over the top accents as well.

This was an amazing episode. I'm always cautious starting a new series, but i'm sold now. The ending was great. Also we found out by the hieroglyphs, that there is an apocalyptic conspiracy going on, that is connected to the vampires.
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First, I thought the seance was about his daughter, who they've been searching for (and then during the seance apparently found out was dead). But, I could have been wrong. Like you said, it wasn't exactly clear.

Second, I thought Frank's first born was the original monster from the novel. The strength needed to tear someone apart like that (and the strength which the monster supposedly had) would back up that guess.

Third, every time I sleep with some random person on the street is immediately following a seance, so yes.

Lastly...does anyone else think it's like they're just throwing every single literary monster, creature, and "other" in (for example Dorian Gray as an "other") from the 18th through 19th centuries and the world of Penny Dreadful will be a bit crowded? Though the twist on the standard vampire is definitely intriguing. A vampiric creature born of Egyptian magics and/or mythology? Interesting...
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Ist a Little bit like Anne Rice's Vampire mythology. I like it!
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I think that it's pretty clear the creature at the end is the original Frankenstein monster. The misdirection here was in making us think that Proteus was Victor's first creature. Victor does seem a bit young, however, to have already succeeded once at creating life.

I am most interested in Ethan's possible connection to the murders. In the credits, the fanged creature whose mouth we see seems to have fur; that implies a werewolf of some kind. But it is also possible that Ethan is some kind of Jekyll and Hyde creature. His appearance at the murder scene in the first episode, his waking up disheveled in this episode, and his running from the US for legal reasons all seem to indicate that he has a role in what is going on. At the beginning of the last episode, the figure that appears from out of the mist seems to be wearing clothes, specifically a long coat, so that would not fit with a typical werewolf. Whatever it was, it seems that its appearance alone was enough to terrify the prostitute it murdered. So, it's physical aspect is probably pretty monstrous.

Great show! But I am having problems figuring out some of the accents.
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The one thing I'm wondering about Ethan is if he did murder the prostitute wouldn't he be covered in blood when he woke up on the beach?

I think there is a chance there is another level to this. I still suspect he is a werewolf (or maybe I just really want him to be) but perhaps he's not actually the one doing the killing, but he knows who is.
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And you seems right about Ethan too . There has been lots of odd focus and angle through the scenes since the pilote . Potential foreshadowing and hints ... He could at least easily become a suspect for the police and public , once involved with the rest of the "LXG" gang :p .

Either way , one particular scene , with the crowd at the murder scene was giving off a vibe ... With the gossiping women and the way they gauged him suspiciously , doesnt feel gratuiteous .
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Spot on . It also explains Victor's odd "bohemian" setting rather than the classic version of a castle atop a village we grew with . Of course i chalked it up to just a different version of the tale and the show doing its own thing , but now it's clear it wasnt his first successful attempt .
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Gosh, that final scene broke my heart!
I mean, I love that a real Frankenstein's "monster" came to the scene (now I understand why he wasn't even a little scared when Proteus first came alive and why he said everyone had sins) but still, broke my heart
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Ok, first of all, Billie's accent totally took me by surprised. I wasn't expecting that. I think Tennant's scottish accent would have a nice partner there, yeah.

Also, I almost cried when Proteus was killed.
I am most certainly looking forward to EVERY EPISODE that is to come.
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It's actually an Irish accent.
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I know. That's why it took me by surprise. David Tennant's accent is scottish, not Billie's, I wasn't saying that.
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Ok. Misunderstanding.
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amazing show: I was a bit skeptical after episode 1, but episode 2 left me speechless.
seance scene: never was a fan of Eva Green - I am now...
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I think the first-born is the person to whom Proteus' brain belonged, and he literally ripped through the new person that Victor formed.

Like in Dollhouse, Proteus is Echo and the firsti-born is Caroline.
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Eva Green, man... that's really all I have to say. She's frenetic.
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Frankenstein's firstborn is the unnamed Creature from the novel. He's vengeful and spiteful after Frankenstein abandoned him for his hideous form, and has vowed to destroy his father's happiness at every turn as punishment. More or less.
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Am I the only one wondering if the Creature is also the one dismembering random Londoners?
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You may not be the only one...some others simply may not bother to reply so far
That said, I'm still running on the assumption that the murders may be Ethan.
I can't say for sure it's not Victor's pissed off hippy goth, but at the same time, I can't see a legitimate motivation for "Adam" to be the ripper copycat that the show is building up to.

I reckon the motivations of Vic's original creation would be much more personal in nature in an attempt to truly hurt his creator on a much deeper level than simple random violence around town

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  • Yep that was fun... the seance was brilliant and frankly Eva Green is fantastic in this show... The seance scene itself was a tour de force for any actress and she nailed it... No wonder Dorian is so taken... good casting for that role whoever that actor is... He has the right mix of yummy looks (and hair, did you see the hair?) and potential for total debauchery (please let us see some more of the latter, this is cable after all).
  • Dalton is brilliant as Sir Malcolm particularly THAT voice (though I have flashes of Chuck's 'Volkoff') and the restrained acting which fits very well with the character.
  • Until the first born was back, the plot around Frankenstein was totally boring. I personally think Frankenstein is a totally overrated and passe story, definitely not the right type of source material for horror TV (just my opinion obvs) but maybe Penny Dreadful will do something interesting? The actor playing the doctor is great but watching a bubbling adult learn to speak gets old fast so, sorry Proteus but I won't miss you.
  • Even less interesting is rogue daddy's boy Chandler drinking in taverns and meeting the odd prostitute. She was mildly tolerable in Dorian's performance but for the rest she was an uninteresting character and I am afraid Billie Piper was totally miscast there even with all the layers of make up.
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I'm willing to bet that the "first born" is the original Monster of the novel. In the novel, the creature left and lived on its own for some time, eventually learning about human culture and how to speak, and then returned to its creator, and killed Frankenstein's wife. I imagine that Proteus will serve in the place of Frankenstein's wife, driving him to hunt down his creation like in the book.
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Could not have said it better myself.
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Two main leads are the best for me, Dalton and Green, considering she's French her English accent is fantastic, her acting at the Séance in the 2nd episode was chilling! Hope they tone down Billie Piper's Nirish accent, it's horrific!
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So everyone here LIKED that atrocious seance scene? I couldn't stand it, and was literally groaning at my television for it to end. After Price had mentioned how great this episode was last week, I had high hopes, but the whole thing was marred for me by tons of hammy over acting and forced pathos. It all went on far too long and didn't result in anything nearly cool enough. After the hauntingly intense seances seen in comics like Swamp Thing and The Invisibles from which Penny Dreadful obviously takes a lot of its inspiration, I was expecting greatness. I came away with a laughable scene that was made all the worse by the stupid alleyway sex scene that followed.

I very much enjoyed the rest of the episode, but when I saw the title, I was expecting chills not annoyance.
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Yup. Loved it.
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Well, I'm not going to try to convince you to like something you didn't, but we learned more about the plot and central theme of the show in that five minutes than in the rest of the two episodes combined. What you call hammy over acting, I call Eva's "demon" openly and excessively mocking Sir Malcolm and the possibly fraudulent Madame Kali. But I guess tomatoe, tomato right?

Also Logan has spoken frequently about his inspirations for Penny Dreadful, and I don't think Swamp Thing or The Invisibles are among his literary sources.
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Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
I mean it's awesome, but nooooooooo.
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Aww man. You're killing me smalls.
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Ha ha. Sorry.
But it's part of my healing process.
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So far so good.I think the new killer could be Mr. Hyde the evil alter ego of Dr. Jekyll .
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Interesting possibility... Hyde could be behind some of the murders that indicate knowledge of surgery (as I believe was the case with the ripper too)
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It was a fantastic follow up to a great pilot. Eva Green's performance was flawless. Even Proteus' acting was fantastic. I for one prefer the slow build of the story.
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I think Billie Piper's character comes from that part of Ulster known as Wapping... Rest of it is brilliant, but she's a major miscast.
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Well apart from the accent I think she was OK. She's not Eva Green of course... but heck there is only one Eva Green LOL!
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Agreed, she was painful to watch... I haven't seen much of her acting but overall she seems to lack range / subtlety as an actor
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This is my kind of horror! I didn't know what to expect, so I sort of expected this show to be just gory and silly. I'm so happy my expectations were wrong.
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All chance for some subtitles for Billy Piper that Irish accent is horrible.
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If anything, I think it's brilliant. She is so good (the accent), it's scary.
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I'm Irish born and raised and her accent is really really awful, she's attempting to do a Northern Irish accent and if I live here and can't follow some of what she's saying something is horribly wrong.
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I believe you Ripley - you rightly know more on this than I would since it is your native tongue. But is response to your link, I can only agree with the comment I read on the page:

"Well, there’s only one way to find out how bad her accent is and by god it’s not by hearing more than one muttered word of it – it’s by reading a series of unimaginative tweets about it!"

I mean srsly. How many of those people would know the accent if it hit them in the face? For all we know none of the twatters are even Irish.
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You are Irish born. But do you know your Irish accents?? I have met people who sound like her! And yes, I could barely understand them.
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http://www.dailyedge.ie/billie-piper-irish-accent-penny-dreadful-1476106-May2014/
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Your right and I'm wrong. Yes iv lived in Ireland my entire life listening to actual irish people speaking on a daily basis but you met a few irish people and you couldn't understand them and you cant understand her so it must be the same thing. She's an English actress doing a terrible job at a difficult accent. To me its like listening to chalk on a blackboard every time she speaks. If any other Irish people hear that accent they'd say exactly the same thing. Its ok to be wrong sometimes the world wont come to an end.
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Is it the accent or the cadence? Because she is talking really fast, which I think is half the problem.
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http://www.dailyedge.ie/billie-piper-irish-accent-penny-dreadful-1476106-May2014/. Just to confirm I'm not the only Irish person to notice
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Its basically everything about it, the accent how she's stressing particular parts of words. I watched it with a group and there were howls of laughter every time she opened her mouth. Irish accents are really hard to capture very few people actually get it right. Her's is about as bad as it gets though which is why I commented, if I cant follow what she's saying what hope has anyone else.
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I think I know what you mean - it is actually perfection. Which is why I understand about every 3rd word.
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That cliffhanger. That's why I watch television.

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Your review is basically my exact thoughts on the series so far Price. It does 'boast a slow and measured pace', but never feels tedious. It 'does not over-explain things', but as you said, 'It knows exactly where it's going and it trusts that we'll appreciate the slow doling out of information.' I too, think 'that these characters will eventually form a team of supernatural cops', but again, as you eloquently put, 'their journey to a status quo won't be quick, and shouldn't be... [yet] it's a journey I'm really looking forward to.'
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Billi Piper's over-acting is killing it for me. He accent is terrible and pronunciation is ghastly and her moving about, twisting and shouldering, is distracting. I literally skip her scenes. Pity, as I have been, like many here, hooked onto this show with the first few minutes. There are SO many secrets in these dirty streets and filthy houses. I can't want for them to come clashing.
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I realize it is not good for TV enjoyment - but her accent is exactly right for an Irishwoman of her class living in London. I had a long coverrastion with a linguist and she nailed it. But it is too much for me to understand it.
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She's not a bad actress at all, I trust her intentions are to the point, but she just feels so terribly over-the-top :/ .. Could be just me :)
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I know. SHe went for realism. What an Irish accent sounds like in media in this age is nothing what it sounded like in that ti,e. I do wish she back off the realism a bit, however
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This show has me hooked. The ending, with Proteus's ribcage being cracked open from behind and then him being split like lasagna was shocking to watch. Like, it was super cool, but horrible. I felt heartbroken for Victor. I really liked what they did there- it was very unpredictable. Usually, when watching the first couple of episodes of these dramas, you would think that they set up those two characters to go on a journey all season long. But then, they were like nope! And they outright cracked one of them open like a lobster (I can't get over that image). And then it turns out his story is with someone else entirely? I can't wait to see how the plot with his first creation (so is that the 'Frankenstein's monster' we know?) progresses.

(Also, I can't believe Price didn't mention Hannibal in the series with most beautiful cinematography).
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Staff
OMG you're right! That was one of the shows I was most thinking of.
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Amen. Hannibal would have been #1 on my list for horrific beauty
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Okay so so far in Penny Dreadful we've got the following:

Frankenstein
Dracula (Mina Murry)
Dorian Gray

And I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest an American Werewolf in London.

So what else is this wonderful show going to bring us?
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Forgot the mummy. Pretty sure that is in there somewhere,
[POSSIBLE SPOILER]

I was thinking Frankenstein was the copycat killer.... otherwise where else is he getting his body parts... However you probably nailed it with the werewolf. The show is far from what I was expecting but it sure is entertaining regardless.
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There was that talk of curses in the first episode but shouldn't Ethan have woken up naked? I guess that might give things away too early if it is the case, but wouldn't that would be something to fill your nightmares - a dead shot werewolf with a gun :-)
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I am more than happy to admit I am already completely and utterly hooked. I honestly can't wait for more. :) BEST show around right now.
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proteus was never frankenstein's monster from the book since he was too nice, his real monster was his first creation.
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Another great episode. I already love Dorian and Brona. Eva Green is stunning. She deserves a Emmy for the Seance's scene.
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The show seems to be strongly hinting that the ostensible "Ripper murders" were actually committed by Ethan. I suppose he'll end up being the werewolf of the crew.

Supporting details:
-Malcolm notes that the killings don't fit the Ripper's MO (prostitutes).
-The bodies were torn apart and looked as if they had been ravaged by an animal; Malcolm again notes to the inspector that he should change his approach and search for a "beast", not a man.
-Ethan stumbled upon the crowds overlooking the murder scenes, and seemed unsettled. He seemed especially perturbed when the two women were discussing what ought to be done to the killer.
-Ethan receives a message from his brother telling him to come back to the States, and that his (unspecified) transgressions can be smoothed over through bribery of a US Marshal. This suggests that people have been showing up around him sans entrails for a while.
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WOW that end scene was .............. ahahhhhh just ahhhhhhh. Dorian grey is just beautiful and perfect as we would expect, his interaction with venessa made me think that there's a deeper connection that they don't know about yet, hopefully we get more of them together they are stunning. The séance was cool, I don't know why she banged the hell out of that stranger and not Dorian concidering he followed her. I'm loving this show.
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In one hand we have the basic and teenager shows like Vampire diaries, in the other we get the complex and mixed stories. But with penny first episode we finally get the simple but also adult show with elaborate script, like the original stories from the great writer who create this characters.
Unfortunately, this second Penny episode sinks in a complex plot and disconnected writing. This show could have been great, but now I beleave is doomed :(
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