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Penny Dreadful

Penny Dreadful

Photo Credit:  Jonathan Hession / Showtime
  • Premiered: 
    May 11, 2014
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Showtime
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Drama
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Created by John Logan 
  • Subject Matter: Horror
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  • Season 1
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  • Season 1 [Blu-ray]
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  • Season 2
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  • Season 2 [Blu-ray]
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  • Season 3
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  • Season 3 [Blu-ray]
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Plot Synopsis

Set in London in 1891, PENNY DREADFUL centers on some of literature's most famously terrifying characters -- including Dr. Frankenstein and his creature, Dorian Gray and iconic figures from the novel "Dracula." As the police investigate a series of gruesome murders, renowned explorer Sir Malcolm Murray and the strangely beautiful Vanessa Ives know there's something darker at play. In search of someone close to them who has been lost, they recruit American sharp-shooter Ethan Chandler and Dr. Victor Frankenstein to help them on their journey. In pursuit of answers, Vanessa and Sir Malcolm attend a party at the home of Egyptologist Sir Ferdinand Lyle, where they encounter the mysteriously beautiful Dorian Gray. The party takes a turn, however, when renowned medium Madame Kali hosts a seance. Meanwhile, Ethan befriends Brona Croft, a young Irish immigrant. PENNY DREADFUL then continues to weave together these classic horror origin stories as the characters grapple with their monstrous alienation. PENNY DREADFUL returned for its 10-episode second season on Sunday, May 3 2015 at 10pm ET/PT on Showtime, as Vanessa and Ethan form a deeper bond; meanwhile, the group -- including Sir Malcolm, Dr. Frankenstein an Sembene -- unite to banish the evil forces that threaten to destroy them. Also, Dorian Gray, the Creature and Brona are all waging wars of their own. Patti LuPone guest stars as a mysterious character of great importance in Vanessa's past. Additional guest stars include Douglas Hodge as a Scotland Yard investigator; Sarah Greene as Poole's powerful daughter, Hecate; and Jonny Beauchamp as a man with a singular past. Earlier in the day (Noon-8pm), Showtime aired an encore of the entire first season of this series. Season 3 of PENNY DREADFUL premiered on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 10pm ET/PT on Showtime. This season Patti LuPone, who guest starred last season as the Cut-Wife, returns as a series regular in the new role of Dr. Seward, an American therapist who treats Vanessa with an unconventional new approach. Wes Studi joins as a series regular as Kaetenay, an intense, enigmatic Native American with a deep connection to Ethan who also becomes an ally to Sir Malcolm. The third season also adds Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Henry Jekyll (Shazad Latif). Other guest stars include Christian Camargo as Dr. Alexander Sweet, a zoologist who strikes up an unlikely friendship with Vanessa; Sam Barnett as Dr. Seward's mysterious young secretary; and Jessica Barden as Justine, a young acolyte to Lily and Dorian Gray and Perdita Weeks as Catriona Hartdegan, a scholar with expert knowledge of the supernatural. Simon Russell Beale returns as Dr. Ferdinand Lyle. Rory Kinnear (as The Creature) and Harry Treadaway (as Dr. Frankenstein) also star.
On Thursday, November 1, 2018 Showtime announced the next chapter of the PENNY DREADFUL saga with PENNY DREADFUL: CITY OF ANGELS. John Logan, creator, writer and executive producer of the series PENNY DREADFUL, will continue in those same roles. Joining him as an executive producer will be Michael Aguilar. Production is expected to begin in 2019.

A spiritual descendant of the PENNY DREADFUL story set in Victorian-era London, the next chapter opens in 1938 Los Angeles, a time and place deeply infused with Mexican-American folklore and social tension. Rooted in the conflict between characters connected to the deity Santa Muerte and others allied with the Devil, PENNY DREADFUL: CITY OF ANGELS will explore an exciting mix of the supernatural and the combustible reality of that period, creating new occult myths and moral dilemmas within a genuine historical backdrop. This chapter is a bold new vision that will employ all new characters and storylines. "PENNY DREADFUL: CITY OF ANGELS will have a social consciousness and historical awareness that we chose not to explore in the PENNY DREADFUL London storylines," Logan said. "We will now be grappling with specific historical and real world political, religious, social and racial issues. In 1938, Los Angeles was facing some hard questions about its future and its soul. Our characters must do the same. There are no easy answers. There are only powerful questions and arresting moral challenges. As always in the world of PENNY DREADFUL, there are no heroes or villains in this world, only protagonists and antagonists; complicated and conflicted characters living on the fulcrum of moral choice."


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Desert Wolf Productions
  • Produced by Neal Street Productions


  • - London UK