Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Penny Dreadful Season 3 Suspect List



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."

Interesting!

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.

Mr. Hyde


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?


He's Tarzan!

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.


Sherlock Holmes



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.)


Allan Quartermain 



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.



Dr. Moreau 



Another doctor?

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.


Count Orlock

 
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.


Dr. Caligari


Another Doctor!  

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.


Captain Nemo


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.


Notable Others



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!















Monday, July 6, 2015

Penny Dreadful - And They Were Enemies



"So We Walk Alone."

Penny Dreadful concluded it's second season and I like Miss Ives I am feeling bereft.

I will miss our intrepid demon fighters.  It will be a long lonely wait until season three arrives.  Like many of out characters I feel as though I should be walking the wilderness alone with my haunted thoughts.

Is this the punishment they deserve?

Why the self banishment?

For Vanessa, she feels as though the darkness that follows her is a curse she must bear alone.  Mr. Clare did extend his hand to find that distant shore together but Vanessa turned it aside.  I can only think she did so because a heart filled with that much faith in man, God and poetry should not be tainted by her presence.


As in the book, "Frankenstein," the creature has chosen isolation in the distant reaches of the Arctic.  There, he will find no warmth from humanity, the sun or God's creations.  He will be entirely alone without the temptation to connect with his own creator, the love he thought he had or the fetid masses he clung to for companionship.



 As for Ethan, his penance must be served by extradition.  It's not exactly what he had in mind when he turned himself into Rusk.  I think he felt he deserved to pay for his sins and was willing to confess his part in the Mariner's Inn massacre.  He only wished for a quick trip to the rope.

That wish was denied by the greater horror of returning home.    

Ethan must have felt a quick death would prevent him from turning again.  Now, Rusk better hope there isn't a full moon between London and New York.  In choosing extradition, are we to think Rusk has some insight into the nature of Ethan and that of his family?  He did hint at his belief in magic when he first started investigating the subway crime.  Perhaps he won't be too surprised at the fate that awaits Ethan and Ethan will get what he deserves.

Victor's isolation comes at the end of a needle.

His heroin addled stupor will disconnect him from everything and wash his soul of the sins born of his own hand.  



When Victor was in the Witch's "Family room" the spirit of Caliban leaned into him and whispered,

 "Did we ask for this life?"

Victor's greatest sin is his usurpation of  God's power in giving life.  It is compounded by his lack of responsibility for it.   When he shot Lily in Dorian's ballroom it wasn't out of ridding the world of his monstrous creation.  Rather, it was in a fit of jealously on how she preferred 
Dorian to him.  I think he felt the same of Dorian.

How ironic that he can create life but wholly unable to take one here.


Sir Malcolm's banishment come from his responsibility to the man that served him.

 
I was sad to see Sembene go.  His stoic nature was usually the antidote for the high strung antics of his cast mates.   Still, I don't see how he was going to survive Ethan's attack like many viewers would have preferred.

So, Sir Malcolm is off to Africa to bury his friend in the soil he grew up in.  Given what we know of Sembene's sins I wonder if that soil will have him.

Malcolm will eventually make his way back to London.  I can't see he and Vanessa staying apart too long.  Better to share their private hell's together again than alone.

Hmm, waxing ironic again, it's sad that Caliban's words from the previous episode about choosing damnation is better than being alone is right where he finds himself again.

Maybe his banishment is more pure in that he will be utterly alone and damned.  Come back soon Caliban you left Lavinia alive.

As for Miss Ives

 It must have been awfully tempting to risk damnation.  


Everything she wanted was so perilously close.  

 
Just one kiss away.  

   

Instead, her banishment consists of her self exile from God.


How bereft she must be to turn her back on God.  I think, as she alluded to earlier in the episode, she feels her soul is hers alone.  Not even God can lay a claim on it.

I don't see how that can be true but it is the way she feels right now and it will be interesting to see how she will be able to carry on in life feeling this way.

Caliban couldn't rescue Vanessa as I had hoped.  Maybe he will return to save her soul.

So let's wrap up.

What I didn't Like


This new race of the damned or the dead that will begin with Dorian and Brona.  The whole Dorian story line never really fused with the rest of the show.  We came close when Dorian threw his Ball and everyone finally came together.  Alas, it did not stay that way.  

Sadly, we spent too mush time with Dorian and Brona to finish this last episode.  This seems to be the set up for next year's plot line and I felt it detracted from the rest of the episode.  I'd rather of spent more time with Vanessa battling Madame Kali and Lucifer.


What I did Like


"Know your master!"

Vanessa really is set apart isn't she?  Perhaps she really doesn't need God.  Can she really live on with a soul that isn't part of Heaven or Hell?

Is she truly the only citizen of the demimonde she lives in?



You had to love how she crushed Lucifer's plans.  His defeat revealed how hollow his promises truly are.




Our little Scorpion lives to fight another day.  Is she so powerful that she turned the tables on Lucifer and possessed him instead?

 

Thank goodness Mr. Lyle made out alive.  He may own the deepest soul of them all.


Hecate lived to see another day also.  It looks as though she will return for next season.  I'm fine with that.  Maybe she will travel to America in search of "Mr. Talbot."  Mark that down as a prediction.

Ah, I know what I will do during this off season from Penny Dreadful!

Ferdinand Lyle confessed he was in need of friend.   I'd love to shopping with him and pick out some silken finery.  ;)

(While we're there, we can pick up some sensible shoes Miss Poole!)

The Best Part of Them All

 
My favorite part of the episode was the time shared between Vanessa and her Mr. Clare.  I have to admit it became rather dusty in the room when they spoke.  Lyle may have the deepest soul but these two certainly possess the souls most adrift.

In this scene, they cried out for each other and we wept along with them.  Will they ever find peace?
And lastly, the most gut wrenching part was when Caliban imparted to Vanessa, "No matter how far you have walked from God he is still waiting ahead."
Hopefully next season we can walk that path together and find out.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Penny Dreadful - And Hell Itself My Only Foe



"True evil is above all, seductive.

When the Devil knocks at your door He doesn't have cloven hooves.

He's beautiful and offers you your hearts desire in whispered airs.

Like a Siren beckoning you to her ruinous shore.

(And what do you do when that sirens sings?)

You save your soul or give it to her

(But then you're damned.)

But you're not alone."


Oh Caliban, if only you paid heed to your own words.

Well, perhaps he did.  He does look rather alone now doesn't he? The Siren's song from "One true friend" proved too much for Caliban to resist and now he finds himself cast upon the rocky shores of his own personal house of horrors.

It seems Mr. Lyle wasn't the only one to have their treachery revealed.  Lavinia Putney proved to be just as venal and wicked as the rest of her family.


She had me fooled also.  The Devil here is indeed beautiful.  She seemed so honest and fragile.  But beneath that lovely exterior lies a blackened heart.  She "whispered" what Caliban wanted to hear.  A certain loneliness, a generous heart and a crippling defect masked her true nature.  In the end, Caliban's faith in humanity did him in.  He may have murderous intent towards Victor but for the most part he is a lover of humanity.

This is not how I thought it would play out for "Mr Clare."  Who is going to come to his rescue now?  Despite his hatred for his "Creator" I can see Victor reaching out to his monster.  Same with Miss Ives.  She closely identified with John Clare.  Now both are otherwise occupied.  Brona?  She did want to water their garden with the blood of humanity but she seems rather involved now too.

Caliban will have to make his own escape and I'm afraid it will be ugly.  (At least I hope so.)  He'd better hurry because I have a scenario where he comes to the rescue of Vanessa.  The trailer for the season finale is a little spoilery but there remains hope for my vision.  Wouldn't everyone love to see Caliban storm the Witches castle?  I think it would be epic.

Caliban is not alone in being pulled to the rocky shore by a Siren's call.



Vanessa was lured by a slightly different call. Hers was not of weakness or misplaced faith such as Caliban's.  Instead, Vanessa came to the lion's den in order to rescue the man that has served as a father figure and trusted ally.

Vanessa will not see Sir Malcolm suffer.  And much like Sir Malcolm she decides to take on this mission alone.

At first glance this would seem quite foolhardy.  Perhaps this was part of the Siren's call she could not resist.  Like Caliban she did not want to be alone despite the risk at being damned.   Her solitude would cured if she were just successful in rescuing Sir Malcolm.

A tall order indeed!


She goes where angels dare not tread.

How cordial the rapprochement was between Madame Kali and Miss Ives.  Despite their wicked barbs towards each other they seemed to have a certain commonality.  It was like two fencers feeling each other out.  Looking for a weakness or entry point to begin the fray.


Vanessa was aghast but not intimidated by Kali's house of dolls.  She seemed genuinely curious about Madame Kali's craft.

That was until...


"Murderer."

Oh, man.  I really wanted that doll's eyes to open.  Who didn't???!!!!  But when it actually spoke I nearly fell off my couch.

"Murderer."

 What a bonus.  Thank you Penny Dreadful.  Is this the Devil at Vanessa's psychological door?  As Caliban noted the Devil is always beautiful.  Vanessa is certainly beautiful.   But is this what Vanessa wanted to hear with "whispered airs?"

Perhaps.  What better way to face your foe then on common ground.  I think Lucifer meant to call Vanessa out on her greatest sin.  As Mr. Chandler told her a couple of episodes ago, once you've take a life you've lost your soul.  Or more succinctly.

"Welcome to the darkness."


 Can her soul be saved?

Vanessa looked upon her branded flesh before she left the manse.  Later, Madame Kali took pleasure in reminding her of her torture.

If you can carry the mark of the Devil can you carry the mark of God?

Despite this being inflicted by hateful people was it willed and carried out by the hidden hand of God?  Does this allow her to kill in the name of God and by his hand?

Very Old Testament. 

But not out of the realm of possibility.  In the Old Testament God was quite wrathful.  He and Lucifer go way back so why not taste the hand of God Almighty?

Not the "emaciated Galilean God" Hecate thinks him to be!



Sorry, but I'm going to have to cut this entry short here  I have plenty more to write about.

Like this


 And this.


 Annnd this.


Let's not forget this.

 And, cover your eyes kids...


Are they covered?


Ahem, this.


 But I don't want this to be as late as last week.  So I will have to add on to this post later.

Friday?

I hope so. 

Please, I don't want anyone to be mad a me!