If you’ve been watching Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, you’re privy to the deliciously evil sex and violence that its characters are embedded in. Fans should be happy to hear that 2015 is going to be even more lust-filled and bloodied, as Showtime has renewed Penny Dreadful for Season 2, and what’s more, they’ve extended the episode order from eight to ten. I think I’ll start a Cinema Blend office pool over what other literary characters will make their way into the show, with my pick being Cthulhu.
I love this decision, as Penny Dreadful is one of the more unique series on TV, but it’s also objectively a smart move for Showtime. Big ratings on cable networks aren’t the most common thing in the world, but this literary horror mash-up is an unmitigated success. According to the press release, Penny Dreadful is attracting an average of 4.8 million viewers a week, though they point out that over 3.6 million of the third episode’s totals watched it either on Showtime On Demand or the website Showtime Anytime. Even so, that’s the biggest audience than they’ve had for any other series on their auxiliary platforms, and it’s also higher than what Hannibal averages, despite that horror series being on a standard network.
Only having just aired its fourth episode, Penny Dreadful is waist-deep in a handful of crisscrossing storylines that are only getting more twisted. At the heart of things is explorer Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton), who is trying to find his daughter Mina Harker, who may or may not be in the hands of vampires. Sir Malcolm is assisted by the spiritualist Vanessa (Eva Green) and the American sharpshooter Ethan (Josh Hartnett), both of whom are hiding secrets. There’s Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway), who is helping Sir Malcolm with vampire autopsies, and his monster, who does effects work for a Guignol theater. And finally, there’s the consumption-ridden and emotional Brona Croft (Billie Piper) and the vice-adoring Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), who is keeping himself young by surrounding himself in sin.
Penny Dreadful was created by the Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan (Skyfall) and executive-produced by Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty). A solid group of directors have offered their talents for these episodes, and that list will only get bigger next year.
For those interested in seeing what kind of mayhem is coming next week, check out the preview below.
There’s no lack of same-sex smooching on this show, is there? Catch Penny Dreadful on Showtime on Sunday nights, before something catches you.