It should be no surprise to anyone that Victorian London was a rather unpleasant place in many ways. From Jack the Ripper slicing up Whitechapel to the slums made famous by Dickens, for many a Londoner the chance of death lurking behind the next corner was a higher than they — or you — would like. Writers like Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, Robert Louis Stevenson, and H. G. Wells all tapped into this palpable unease and published their greatest works: Dracula, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and War of the Worlds within the same 10-year span.
John Logan, creator of Penny Dreadful, has too tapped into the air of terror that permeated the streets and alleys of 19th-Century London. He’s sutured together a new narrative of Urban Gothic Horror, Penny Dreadful, taking parts from The Picture of Dorian Gray, Frankenstein, Dracula, and other classics. The new whole Logan’s created, it’s far more terrifying than the sum of its parts.
Penny Dreadful premieres Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Watch the first episode online here.