Showtime’s original Penny Dreadful series — not to be confused with the more recent instalment with Natalie Dormer — had a three-season run from 2016-2018. It borrowed its premise from the Alan Moore graphic novel League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, wherein characters from famous English literature serve as protagonists and antagonists.
Produced and written by John Logan, the Victorian-set gothic horror show starred Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, and Timothy Dalton.The show followed Vanessa Ives (Green), a powerful psychic medium wanted by the devil, as she and her crew — gunslinger Ethan “Wolfman” Chandler (Hartnett), explorer Sir Malcolm Murray (Sir Timothy Dalton), and scientist Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) — chased after the various dark forces plaguing London in the 1800s.
Deceased actress Helen McCrory played season two antagonist Madam Kali/Evelyn Poole in an unforgettable performance. I made sure to the point that out on Twitter.
I know people acknowledge #HelenMcCrory for her role in Harry Potter and Peaky Blinders, but she ATE on Penny Dreadful season 2.
She is one of my favorite big bad’s of the show pic.twitter.com/jIlIkGmTXp
— Valerie Complex (@ValerieComplex) April 17, 2021
I wish her character could have had more to do in the series, but it ended abruptly after season three. And I’m still upset about it!
The show ended abruptly with no warning to fans. According to Deadline, Logan announced that season three would be the end of the series. I swore up and down that this was a lie. Who ends a show without making an initial announcement that it’s over? Penny Dreadful had too many characters with backstories left open-ended for his reasoning to hold any truth.
Shazad Latif as Doctor Jekyll was introduced in season three, as Lilly (Billie Piper), a Bride of Frankenstein-esque character, was building an army of vengeful women to take revenge against the men of London, and Ferdinand Lyle (Simon Russell Beale) headed to Egypt. Fans speculated this would segue into an appearance of the Mummy.
In addition, Catriona Hartigan (Perdita Weeks), an original character for the show that had roots in the H.G. Wells novel The Time Machine, was Vanessa Ives’ new confidant. And at the end of it all, Vanessa gets turned into a damn vampire by Dracula! You don’t leave that many loose ends and say that’s what you always wanted to do. John Logan, I don’t believe you, and I’m still bitter.
Any Penny Dreadful fans out there just as upset as I am? Four years later, and I am still in disbelief!