In a recent interview the brains behind Penny Dreadful revealed he would be adding a new literary character to the cast.
John Logan told EW and others, "I can tell you this—and this is such a tease, and I am sorry for it—but after two years I am finally adding another famous literary character. It's been fun going into another writer's brain and bringing one of those great characters back into our world."
So who could this new literary character be?
Penny Dreadful is set in the Victorian era but characters such as Dr. Frankenstein and his Creature are actually from the earliest part of the nineteenth century so I think we have a little leeway.
Let's take a look at some viable subjects and the probability of seeing them.
This is the first character I thought of and apparently it is an internet favorite. Can you imagine the lewd and lascivious Mr. Hyde terrorizing the darkened streets of staid Victorian London? But what of his counterpart Dr Jekyll? Do we really need another doctor on the show when we already have Victor Frankenstein?
Maybe it's just what the doctor ordered.
With Victor's downward spiral into addiction perhaps another scientific mind will give him the perspective he needs to snap out of it. A like minded individual in which to share personal secrets and resolve the ravages of his inner demons. Of course, the kicker would be no one has greater demons than Dr. Jekyll. Hence our love for Mr. Hyde.
Probability - High - He fits right in.
John Clayton, Viscount Greystoke
Who is the Viscount Greystoke?
Tarzan you say? In Penny Dreadful? Why not? This would be the man returned from the wild and trying to assimilate himself to Victorian England. Civilization will make him feel caged and the cobblestone jungle that is London will seem strange and foreboding. (Now we're talking.)
Greystoke will yearn to return to Africa but his wildness will come to the attention of Sir Malcolm. Sir Malcolm will try to make him his protege and tame the feral urges that make Greystoke a foreigner in his own land. Perhaps Greystoke will evolve be the son Malcolm lost in Africa.
Probability - Low - Interesting idea but a stretch.
Griffin, The Invisible Man
Here's a chap that fits right at home with the Victorian age.
Griffin is a scientist that has been exploring optics and has been researching a way to make the human body invisible. He uses his own "refractive index" so that the surrounding air neither absorbs nor reflect the light around him. However, he is unable to reverse the process and now has gone slightly mad. He's vowed a "reign of terror" against humanity whom he somehow blames for his plight.
So who does he meet in the world of Penny Dreadful?
Victor Frankenstein would be the logical choice as a fellow scientist and researcher that tend to skirt the boundaries of ethical research. But, I think rather it is the creature, Caliban, that he will be drawn too.
Imagine the delicious irony of their relationship. Caliban, whose face he seeks to hide from humanity and Griffin whose face he would dearly love to be seen again.
Probability - Even - He does fit in, he's a little crazy and there's the Caliban angle.
Yes, the great detective himself also a denizen of Victorian times.
Only this iteration of Holmes will be the one abandoned by Watson and Mrs Hudson due to his intractable desire for opium. His addiction so severe even the Baker Street irregulars will have nothing to do with him.
Holmes wanders the streets of London scarcely acknowledging the world around him. His capacity for deduction ebbing away with each given day. Perhaps he'll notice a scrap of newspaper announcing the solution to the Mariner's Inn massacre. His interest piqued, he seeks out known associates of Mr. Chandler and ends up at the door of Vanessa Ives.
Miss Ives introduces him to Victor in hopes the two fecund minds will resurrect each other. Her reasoning would be quite, "elementary."
Probability - Even to Low- Penny Dreadful would have to face the competition of several other Sherlocks on the big and small screens. (I'd love it though.)
One of the great adventurers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Allan Quartermain is an explorer of unparalleled renown. He prefers his adoptive Africa over the perils of sullied civilization especially his native England.
In his pursuit of adventure, I can see Quartermain coming across the path of another well known explorer, Sir Malcolm Murray. Intrigued by Malcolm's adventures and sense of high risk, he seeks Murray out and as providence will have it, he find Sir Malcolm as he buries his trusted sidekick, Sembene.
Sir Malcolm convinces Quartermain to return to return to London as the adventure in Africa will pale against that found in the supernatural environs that London has become.
Probability - Even to High - The thirst for adventure will be too much for Quartermain to resist. You may wish for the safer jungles of the old continent dear Allan.
What are his qualifications for Penny Dreadful? A complete lack of empathy, human experimentation and a total disregard for the ethics governing science and medicine.
Hmm, he seems like a natural.
Moreau is a famed physiologist whose propensity for vivisection has disturbed London in many quarters of society. He leaves a trail of bodies and horror in his wake. I can see attending one the "cultured" symposiums at Dorian Grey's abode. There, he is introduced to Dorian's friend, Lily.
Moreau quickly deduces Lily is not what she outwardly seems to be and is entranced her seemingly "undead" nature. For her part, Lily conscripts Moreau into her dream of a ghoulish race of beings to rid the earth of humanity. Together with Dorian Grey, they endeavor to water their garden with the blood of mankind.
Probability - Moderate to High - Moreau will gain as much experience as he can before he flees London for an island where he can pursue his own experimintation.
We've done vampires you say?
Please, there is never enough of the blood sucking undead to go around. Besides, Dracula is a bit too famous. ( A little too cultured also.) This denizen of the dark barely holds on to his humanity and is quite feral. (Although if you have seen the movie he does have a snappy taste in hats.)
Orlock arrives in London aboard the Demeter. He immediately sets up residence and preys upon the unsuspecting. When the exsanguinated become prolific, it comes to the attention of Sir Malcolm and Miss Ives. Fearing the worst, they gird themselves for battle against the creature that took Mina and whom they thought they defeated.
When they find the Count, instead of killing him Vanessa turns him with an enchantment.
He now works for them.
Probability - Low - Yeah, you're right we've done vampires. Too bad, he'd make a good henchman.
I guess the turn of the century and the earliest part of the twentieth century had a thing against the men of medicine.
Trust issues anyone?
This story is reminiscent of the tale of Dr. Frankenstein and his creature. The manipulative Caligari is a hypnotist that has the poor Cesare under his thrall. By day he is a director of an insane asylum. I can see dozens if not hundreds of Londoners bewitched by the demimonde that is unseen to them and haunted to the point of insanity. Instead of helping these people, Caligari enslaves them to do his bidding by night.
Brought to the point of madness herself, Vanessa looks to the asylum for help. After discovering the horrors that lie within she enlists the aid of Sir Malcolm and Caliban to destroy this evil edifice.
Probability - Moderate to Low - Good grief another mad doctor.
Since I delved into the club of Extraordinary Gentleman already, we might as well add this famed figure as well.
I'm imagining a scenario where the Nautilus steams right up the Thames river revealing Captain Nemo and his incredible machine to all. Instantly, Nemo becomes the toast of London. Thousands throng to see his amazing invention. Even the Royal Navy offers him a honorary captaincy.
Unbeknownst to all, Nemo is a horrible cynic and a misanthrope by nature. He's secretly planning to bring down the English government from within and destroy it's Navy by subversive means.
The great adventurer that is Sir Malcolm and inquisitive Dorian Grey join forces once they divine Nemo's true intentions. Together, they seek to undo the great harm Nemo has enacted.
Probability - Low to Moderate - I love the part about the Nautilus steaming up the Thames but it doesn't seem quite supernatural enough.
Doc Savage would be a viable candidate but he is even further into the future. He and Ethan Chandler would make a great duo. Others such as Jack the Ripper, Edgar Alan Poe, Aleister Crowley and John Carter are either real figures or too far to the science fiction end of the scale. While the real figures are often subjects of literature, I have the feeling fictional characters are more the realm of Penny Dreadful.
If you have a suggestion of your own please add it to the comments section below and we can discuss them together!