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Now "Resurrection," that's an episode!

What helps is that a good part of the episode is the Creature's tale. While we don't have all the facts in yet, the christened Caliban is generally a sympathetic character. The one thing that doesn't seem to quite jibe is how he became so violent. One suspects there is a part of his story yet untold about what happened at the theater. He received nothing but kindness after his beating, but yet he turns extraordinarily violent against his "brother," insisting that he was sparing him pain. Caliban seems to have a pretty happy life after a rough start, so one gets the impression something recent has soured him after the kindness shown to him by Vincent Brand.



And Alun Armstrong is the best part of the episode, effortlessly conveying a drunken humanity as the actor who gives the Creature his name of Caliban, and takes him in despite his disfigurement. He rivals the blind hermit befriending the Monster from Bride of Frankenstein. Hopefully we'll see Armstrong again. Even it's a flashback showing him dying a horrible death that makes Caliban re-feel pain.


As for the rest of Caliban's tale, writer/creator John Logan expertly writes the narrative. He captures the essence of both the original novel and a creature who has learned his language from reading books of poetry. It's also a great performance by Rory Kinnear, along with some requisite nudity.

Speaking of requisite nudity... what's up with Billie Piper? It's Showtime, for pete's sake. If she doesn't want to do nudity, she shouldn't take a blatantly "nude role." Taking on such a role that so far has required nudity in two out of two episodes, and then bringing in a body double, seems kind of pointless. Not that I want to see Billie Piper nude. Heaven forbid! :) And the same for Josh Hartnett. It just seems like an odd career choice for Ms. Piper. The character herself is still no great shakes. She's the best-looking consumption sufferer ever, who two of the main characters want to have sex with, and something to give Ethan a motivation for rejoining the Society.



WARNING! No stars' faces will be seen atop naked bodies during the following sex scene.

The rest of the cast gets equal time, except for Reeve Carney who is missing in action for the second of three episodes. Granted, there isn't really much for Dorian Gray to do in this episode, but sheesh. You got eight episodes, and we're almost halfway through. What's he doing in the series?

Josh Hartnett probably gets the lion's share (wolf's share?) of the attention outside of the Frankenstein dynamic. He's the required "voice of humanity" in the group that otherwise seems content to follow Malcolm's orders without question. (What was Sembene's loss that brutalized him?) We learn a bit more about his past slaughtering Indians, and hints that he's either empathic with animals or has some wolf blood of his own. Some kind of Indian curse, maybe?



Kevin Costner, eat your heart out!

Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, and Danny Sapani are... there. Nothing earth-shattering, but none of them are overlooked and they each have their moments. Sembene gets to go out on a mission this time and draw a knife.

The plot moves on. We find out about the "Master," and get introduced to a partial-vampire teenager who is auditioning for the Renfield role. Creepy performance by Olly Alexander, and presumably the Master is Dracula. No mention of the Ripper murders this week.



Puberty often brings on skin problems.

Overall, I'd consider this the best episode of the series so far. Mostly for the Caliban scenes, which presented a neatly alternative take on the Frankenstein story. Lots of nice quotes (check the episode page), and overall an excellent episode.
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Great episode, if not a bit oddly paced. I adored young Victor and his stoic examination of death. Romantic poetry (especially Woodsworth) should be required reading for all children.

I really like the way Logan is slyly using POV and flashbacks to tell this story. Every scene becomes more layered if you pay attention to who's point of view we are observing. Caliban's birth, is definitely shown through Victor's prospective. His screaming and grabbing and flailing reflects Victor's horror at his creation. But in the scenes with Caliban alone and with Brand, where he reflects on himself as an abandoned child, his innocence and benevolence is clearly reminiscent of Proteus.

In fact each of the characters has had their natures hinted at or contradicted in this way. (Though Sembene the least of so far, unfortunately.)

I think this is important because this show has multiple characters keeping things from each other. We are guessing at the plot, the secrets and the meanings of the relationships between them, but unlike a straightforward drama I don't believe we can accept everything we see in front of the camera as cut and clear fact. I don't mean that the stuff we see isn't true. I just think a lot of it is tainted in such a way to reveal something about the observer (POV character) as much as the observed (other characters in the scene).

P.S I watched the previous episode again. At the beginning when the prostitute is killed whatever is killing her is close to her eye level as she is sitting down. But if it was a werewolf wouldn't there be wolf tracks in the blood?

Also how come no one thought it was odd that wolves were wandering around the zoo?

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Has anyone else pegged that the Sir Malcolm Murray character is famous explorer, translator of the Kama Sutra , founder of the Hellfire Club and first whitefella into Mecca - Sir Richard Burton?
see http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/burton_sir_richard.shtml

Burton scandalised London society in the Victorian era with his celebrated Hellfire orgies (an odd mixture of bi-sexual romps & mild SM) along with his publications of Asian & Africa.n sexual & social mores.

Unfortunately his wife seems to have been a typical scandalised Victorian who spent a deal of their marriage haranguing him finally burning Burton's unique collection of Asian, ME & African manuscripts at his death.

It is that conflict in Burton's personal life, the tussle between the prudish & the prurient which appears to be at the heart of the 'Penny Dreadful' story.

The unconventional sex and fetishes represent the demonic side while the famed explorer and member of the Royal Geographic Society are the forces of 'good' which the Burton/Murray character is escaping from.

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Damn this show and 'Salem' have reset the game plan for how to do a horror program. The answer seems to be write great stories that take place in the past in specific times in history, fill the stories with talented casts creating characters both real and thoughtfully imagined, and stop doing what we've already scene on television over and over and over again when telling these stories. So far, I'll give 'Salem' the ever-so-slight-slight edge but the stories being told in this one have been completely heartbreaking amidst the blood and gore and it is settling in nicely. I loved the story in this episode and it was two new faces on this show that told it exceptionally well. Really liked Eva Green's 'Morgana' on Starz's 'Camelot' (one of the very few good things about that dog of a show) glad she found a better cable show to get a part on.
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Another great episode. At least we got a hint of why Vanessa screwed that random in the street last week, she becomes 'irresistible'. I'm thinking Ethan was blessed or cursed by the Indians due to wolfs being an animal of worship. At least they didn't make caliban a black and white case, he's nuts completely out of his mind but hey. During the scene Frankenstein and caliban were talking down in the lair I couldn't stop looking at poor proteus. I missed Dorian in this episode I want more Dorian.
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I'd wager Ethan is a werewolf...
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Or maybe a skinwalker.
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Im pretty sure that Proteus had a greater character depth than Caliban. Disappointed to see him torn apart like that. Will Proteus make a comeback, I hope he does!!!!
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My favourite quote: "Who doesn't love a lost cause?"

Really well made show, can't wait for the rest of Caliban's story...
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the guy playing caliban wow i'm really speachless it was soo good, and the way he spoke it was perfect,so romantic. im inlove
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Rory Kinnear, son of Roy Kinnear.

I haven't seen him in a whole lot, but he was pretty good in "The National Anthem" episode of Black Mirror a couple of years ago.
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thanks i'll check it out!
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Anyone else who sorely missed Dorian Gray in this episode? I certainly did ...
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I did, though I am starting to crush on Harnett a bit (to my dismay). Dorian's back in the next ep though, dripping with soft words and seduction as he is so often inclined to do...
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:) Happy to crush on both... Each of them has their own charm, though I still prefer the dandy to the cowboy...
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Not really, because I'm not sure how he's connected to everyone else yet. Like Brona, and Caliban to a lesser degree, he seems rather extraneous at this point.
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I don't know about that - and I don't mind either - but he surely does give the scenery an exquisite flavour, though, which is well received by my superficial and more sensual perception ...

Maybe it is not only the role he has to play in the bigger picture, but the connection he has with our extraordinary league in the making: Through Brona he is linked to Ethan and he clearly has a thing for Vanessa. And who knows, an immortal on your side - even such a cocky one - might come in handy, once the enemy is lining up.

Anyway, I enjoy his performance!
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I still don't get how a Dracula character could be connected to Amonet & Amon-Ra, don't forget the main plot is egyptian-themed. You know...Amonet & Amon-Ra never being together in egyptian drawings, because that'd bring complete darkness to the world.

Maybe Vanessa Ives has the spirit of Amonet inside? And it's Amon-Ra looking forward to meeting her again? Pffft, who knows? The vampires are there because they've been around forever, hence the vampire "overlord" that we saw in the first episode with the egyptian carvings on his sub-skin.

After all, we all know Dracula comes from Transylvania, not Egypt. Plus he comes from a different era.
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Vlad did a lot of fighting against Muslim nations. Maybe somehow, that's where Egypt comes in?
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I loved this episode, so many layers. I suspect Caliban is bitter because something happened with that actress. Or mean treatment from theater people. I like the Caliban story, since Frankenstein is my favorite monster. I suspect Josh Hartnett is a werewolf...when that young girl was killed in the park the dark thing in the fog I think was a werewolf, and I believe it was probably Hartnett....would be really cool if he was one...This show is so full of rich stories and I am really loving it..the vampire story is gross though....
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One thing I forgot to mention. I do fear our Mrs.Croft will end up the bride of Caliban since apparently we won't be using Frankenstein for the monsters. Unless they change Dorian Gray somehow I'm baffled as to what some hedonist kept alive by a curse painting has to do with this. I really hope he's not there just to add classic lituature street cred.
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Did Caliban specify a female companion? He seemed fascinated by the female actress. But that doesn't preclude him being bisexual, I suppose.

And Victor's interest in Proteus seemed a bit more than fatherly...
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Ooops, yes, Caliban did specify "a woman."
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Is it just me or is Penny Dreadful shaping up into one of those shows that we'll still be talking about after its finished forever? Yes, Walter White, I'm looking at you!
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Another 'Breaking Bad'? Another show that has us rewatching each episode and debating the dynamics of the characters, their drive, etc? To have characters where, , long after 'Penny Dreadful' has gone to TV Show heaven, I see the actors and think 'Vanessa Ives' before Eva Green; just as I look at a photo of Bryan Cranston but automatically think 'Walter White' first? Oh God, I hope so...... :)
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This show is one of those shows that engross you so well that when the hour is up you can't believe it has only been an hour.

Caliban was a fantastic addition to the cast of characters. Utterly well cast and the actor was superb. Getting his name from the antagonist of the Tempest was superb. That was well done. He is a tragic character and really encompasses Mary Shelley's vision of the monster. Well done.

Vanessa is being tracked, by those above and below. The Master wants her, possibly for his master. And though she seems competent and confident thus far. I have to wonder what they are going to send after her. What temptations they are going to send her way. How is she going to respond with the knowledge that Sir Malcolm is using her as bate. If something wants her this bad, does that sound like a good idea. At what point in time does his quest for Mina and her anger at the situation going to override his good sense.

When the majority of the cast is together, great things happen. The scene where they all agreed was great.
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It was a shockingly quick hour for me so yeah it was good but I'm going to need a few more to shake Seance as the best episode. I like that Dracula will be pretty much just a powerful vamp and not some god like he was in Bram Stokers book. With the Egyptian death gods being the source of vampirizm, nice nod to my Ann Rice days, wonder if Drac and Ah-Net and Ah-Rah will be in the same room that would be fun.
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Thank you for your review! Great work!

I wonder if Caliban is the "Ripper" and/or is some Phantom of the Opera stuff going to explain why he becomes so violent.

I thought the creature that was chained up was some type of werewolf due to the prior wolf scene, it eating body (?) parts, the growly sounds it made and then it going into the moonlight. But after reading your review I realized it was more likely a vampire type creature.

I want to know more about who is luring them with the hopes of capturing Vanessa (why her and are the plans).

I thought this episode was great and liked knowing Caliban's backstory (at least the parts that we learned). Did Victor abandon him because he wouldn't stop screaming?
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Mate is right. Victor Frankenstein is a huge moron when it comes to human, non-scientific stuff.
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I doubt Caliban is the "Ripper". Mostly because his violence is directed mostly towards Frankenstein.

It looked like the vampire creature was eating the monkeys.

Well if we are to follow the various plots of the various literature that is behind these characters. The Master is Vlad, He is the one that went after Mina and stole her away from Harker. As for what they want her for. If she is in fact a conduit for the other side then maybe they want to use her as a devil to demon mobile phone.

Victor likely abandoned him because he was simply afraid. The underlying message was that death is not serene. In his naivety he thought that the opposite of death, birth would be serene. And anyone with any knowledge of obstetrics could tell you that isn't the case at all. I think the shock of the screaming was too much for him and he ran because of it.
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Thanks for answering my musings! They were all real questions except for the Victor leaving Caliban due to the screaming but it also made me think of how he would react to birthing and a baby;-) Great insight into the death is not serene and him seeing if the opposite (life/birth/creation) would be serene. Yeah, he should of witness a "regular birth" and newborns (and babies in general….or a toddler having a temper tantrum).
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A toddler having a temper tantrum is a great idea! Actually it's a very good idea for every potential daddy... Witnessing it definitely deals with overpopulation in a single generation!
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I was so bored I decided to quit watching.
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Very scary episode.

It got kind of meta in the theatre. Didn't Vincent Brand refer to Shelly, the author of Frankenstein, when talking about Penny Dreadfuls?

The scene in the Zoo was very intense. I wonder, does it mean that Ethan is a werewolf, or is he just very good with animals. It is clear that he is older than he looks.

I want to know more about Sir Malcom's black manservant (Sembene?).
There seems to be a story there.

One has to wonder how the staff chooses which shows to review.
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in the opening credits they show pictures that seem to be related to the characters just before the actors name portraying them appear. In Chandlers (Hartnetts) case it is the maw of a wolf so I guess he is the Wolfman:-) I dont think he is the new Ripper since he woke up fully clothed after the attack of the prostitute. But I guess he is afraid he could be and not remember it.
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You mean this?



I think one of us has misunderstood something.
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nah, I didnt watch the opening credits again so I had it wrong:-) watched it again now and can go more into Detail. tell me what you think, ok? here it goes: when all the actors names are done with and we get the rest of the Crew there are the following pics (in the order as seen):

The (now dead) Vamp boy
an attacking spider
Vanessa smoking
an Orchid with blood dripping from the leaves (remember the Scene with Dorian and the Orchid?)
a snake
Sir Malcolm
The maws of a wolf
Chandler
bloody Hands and a surgeon's "weapons"
Frankenstein
Cutting open the one master Vampire creature
Sir Malcolms african man-servant
Cup full of blood
Brona and Dorian
Spider in its net catching something
the Creature
falling Cup with blood, broken on the floor
lots and lots of bats flying into the light

My guess is: Dorian is the Spider and since last episode i think we know that for sure:-) (Is there no one to resist his charms?? That was so hot a scene)
And the bats flying is in my mind the appearing of the new world order as the Creature put it. "Meet your master."
I like that they Play with the Pictures. What do you think, how could we Interpret them in other ways?
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No, you're right. I should have looked further.
It's actually a pretty fantastic credit sequence.
"Come into my parlour, said the spider to the fly."
I think Dorian is my favourite character. I'm not sure about the immortality, but I think I could get used to his lifestyle. Hedonism rules.
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Are Werewolf and Wolfman different creatures or different names for the same?
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Uh, didn't think about that:-) I said Wolfman because of that 50ies movie. It means the same creature! Somehow Penny Dreadful is a mixture of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and old movies in my mind so I tend to mix it up when I talk about it. I am looking Forward to all the stories of the characters they will come up with! Do you like the series so far?
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I'm loving it. Taking all the classic monsters and putting them together in their original setting, it's brilliant.
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Again, I imagine that the Memorial Day interfered with some staff reviewers.
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I find it odd that there's no review up from Price yet, I'm hoping tv.com still plan to review it! Regardless, at least view got you're reviews to discuss the series.

This was undoubtedly another great episode, but the way in which it was told was not to my personal taste. Frankenstein's monster, or Caliban as he was named, was instantly one of the series' most compelling characters after his surprising arrival at the end of last week's episode. There were so many questions and possibilities regarding his character, and the series made the bizarre choice (at least in my opinion) to give us all this information immediately following his attack on Proteus, mostly through exposition filled flashbacks at that.

Price applauded the series contentment to be take things slow in response to 'Séance', and I agreed, but this episode did the exact opposite my giving us far too much information on Frankenstein's monster. You're right Gislef in that there is likely to be something we've missed due to his violent tendencies, but I really don't look forward to revisiting his past the same way it was presented in this episode. There's little mystery left to him now, which is a shame, despite his character motivation looking like it'll provide entertaining storylines in the future.

I also wasn't so easily convinced that Frankenstein's monster was able to teach himself how to read and talk, and found myself thinking as to where exactly Victor left him... If it was the same laboratory then why would Caliban need to find him again? And if it was a different one is doesn't make sense that Victor would abandon is, with all his tools and research still there. It's nit-picking, I know, but I guess my displeasure with the episode's format made me more critical of everything.

I would have preferred if the episode had spent more time delving into the other characters to be honest, or if it had occurred later in the season, perhaps as an episode based entirely around Caliban's story rather than awkwardly interact with present storylines unrelated to his own. As you mentioned Dorian Gray wasn't in the episode, Brona only appeared in a completely unnecessary sex scene, while little more information was given to us about Malcolm, Vanessa, and especially Sembene, so there definitely was potential to separate the two major plots that were shown in this episode.
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Caliban said that he looked out the window and watched "villagers," so presumably it wasn't London. Victor then moved to London and started up again.
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It's probably the Memorial day weekend, and the fact TV.com isn't open on Mondays.
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Fair point, I don't live in the US, thanks for letting me know.
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