An anthology series centering on different characters and locations, including a house with a murderous past, an insane asylum, a witch coven, a freak show, a hotel, a possessed farmhouse, a cult, and the apocalypse.
Adventurer James Keziah Delaney returns to London during the War of 1812 to rebuild his late father's shipping empire. However, both the government and his biggest competitor want his inheritance at any cost - even murder.
Dracula acts more as a permeating force throughout the series, than actually being a physical threat. The same goes for about three quarters of the book.
Dr. Seward uses a phonograph, which was a novelty when the original book was published.
"Children of the night, what music they make" is a reference to the original Dracula (1930) starring Béla Lugosi, as the Count says "what sweet music they make" in the book.
The characters Dracula, Professor Van Helsing, Mina Harker (née Murray), Dr. Seward, and Renfield all have a role in Penny Dreadful. Jonathan Harker is only mentioned.
Major differences and liberties taken from the original book:
Dr. Seward is American in this show. The only American in the original, was a Texas man called Quincey Morris.
Renfield is Dr. Seward's secretary in the series. In the book, he's an assistant to a real estate agent that gets touched by the evil of Dracula and goes insane in the process, leaving him with a constant lust for the blood of small living creatures.
Rather than fully fledged vampires, the Dracula of the series seems to be more reliant on an army of vampiric minions, similar to Renfield. In the first season, the party of heroes is attacked by more "traditional" fang sporting vampires.
In the book, there are only five vampires: Dracula, his three brides, and Lucy Westenra. While Mina Harker is portrayed as a vampire in multiple films and series, including this show and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2004), she's never fully turned into a vampire in the novel.
Professor Van Helsing only plays a small role in this show. In the book, he leads the "pack of hounds after the fox", as the human protagonists travel far and wide in pursuit of The Count.
Epic Horror and Mystery Drama: Penny Dreadful makes Supernatural look like kindergarten
This review is based on the pilot of the show. This show is great. It's designed for the viewers who like horror genre. It's kind of hard core and sophisticated version of Supernatural. It has elements of psychology, anatomy and history as well to draw the attention of specific viewers. Vanessa Ives character seems like supernatural female version of Sherlock Holmes. The setting of this show in the Victorian era makes it more likable. It has all the basic characters of horror themes shows like vampires etc. Super stars like Eva Green and Josh Hartnett presence as main characters also gives this show an edge over the other show of the horror genre. All the main cast is also versatile and their characters are well designed. It has a Gothic vibe going all over the series. There's no reason that this show is not gonna be a big hit. Some critics are already considering it for the best new TV series of 2014.
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