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It isn’t often TV audiences get to travel back to Victorian London, and when we do, the context is more often than not a drama that Jane Austen either wrote or could easily have written without anyone thinking different. Showtime is changing that up with Penny Dreadful, a horror series that will bring some of literature’s most popular antagonists to the small screen for their first TV mash-up. And as you can see from the first full main cast picture above, it doesn’t look like anybody in Victorian London was a fan of using bright colors to balance the dreary blacks and greys that define their wardrobes. I guess it was a while longer before ironic T-shirts became the norm.
All the way on the left of the image, via EOnline, we have Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett), an American sharpshooter who winds up in London helping out Sir Malcom Murray (Timothy Dalton), an explorer with a dark past whose travels have given him priceless treasures but no loved ones to enjoy them with. We’re not quite sure what their goal together will be, but both will be in close proximity to Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), a mysterious clairvoyant with secrets of her own. Is it worth noting that Vanessa and Sir Malcolm are the only two wearing red in the photo? Maybe. Malcolm wears an altogether different shade of red in the poster below.
To the right of Sir Malcolm is his sentry Sembene, whose dedication to his leader is unwavering. And if you don’t believe me, why don’t you ask him where he got those scars? But maybe not while he’s holding the knife he’s clutching in this poster. (You can find the rest of the character posters here.)
Our remaining photogenic characters include the inventor with a “heart of blood” Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway), the unpredictable risk taker Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), and Ethan’s erotic mate Brona Croft (Billie Piper). Other characters we don’t see above include the Creature (Rory Kinnear), Madame Kali (Helen McCrory) and Mina Harker (Olivia Llewellyn), to name a few.
Created by Skyfall screenwriter John Logan and produced by Skyfall director Sam Mendes, Penny Dreadful will be creeping around the dingy alleyways of Showtime on the way to its premiere on Sunday, May 11. Get under the show’s skin in the behind the scenes video below, followed by the trailer.