License to Kill actor Timothy Dalton hasn’t had a big TV gig since he popped up on Chuck several seasons ago. Whether by choice or circumstance, he hasn’t worked nearly as frequently in recent years (unless you count Toy Story stuff), but that’s all about to change. He just found a new project in Showtime’s new series, Penny Dreadful, which is headed to the subscription cable network sometime in 2014.
Penny Dreadful’s title stems from a type of British fiction published in the 19th century that often featured horror tropes. Accordingly, the network is describing the series as a “frightening psychological thriller” that will fittingly be set in Victorian London. The series will reimagine London as a place filled with some of the most horrific and fanciful characters from literature in the time period, including Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and more.
Dalton has joined the series as Sir Malcolm, an African explorer who has grown tough over the years and who will be involved in a “deeply personal quest” within the series. He’s joining actor Josh Hartnett and actress Eva Green, who were already cast to work on the project Last month, Harnett is signed on to play an American in London who is very charming. We’ll have to wait and see if he can maintain his composure when the city becomes a “waking nightmare” for the character. Green will play Vanessa Ives in the series, and her character is the most intriguing so far, being described as a woman who has plenty of “secret knowledge” at her disposal.
Hartnett may no longer be the teen heartthrob he once was, but Penny Dreadful has some pretty big cast and crew members involved with the show. Skyfall writer John Logan is writing the series and executive producing with Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris, making the connections to the James Bond franchise numerous, with Logan writing for the series, Mendes directing Skyfall, Green appearing as a Bond girl in Casino Royale, and Dalton actually playing Bond for a period of time. The first two episodes of the series will also be helmed by Juan Antonio Bayona, who recently directed The Impossible, a film about the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.
Showtime has a lot of new projects on its plate right now, with Trending Down, The Vatican and The Affair all going to pilot. Penny Dreadful is a little different in that the program has already earned a series order of eight episodes. Production is set to begin in October for a premiere sometime next year. Some of Showtime’s new pilots are bound to join the new series in the lineup, and we’ll keep you posted as the subscription cable network continues to add new shows to the lineup.
It’s impossible to know exactly how good the show might be before we’ve seen any footage, but this level of shared competence both behind and in front of the camera certainly could lead to brilliance.