I don’t usually like watching horror or occult-themed shows or movies, and definitely not alone. However, in keeping my mind occupied there is a certain show I can’t seem to turn away from when it’s on the screen that falls within these genres. Truthfully, I go searching for it to catch up on episodes I’ve missed. The show is Penny Dreadful and airs on Showtime Networks. Eva Green a former “Bond girl” and former teen heartthrob Josh Hartnett play lead characters. The main cast is rounded out by Timothy Dalton’s role as an adventuring, aristocratic Victorian gentleman, which he plays as brilliantly as he once played James Bond; and while I’m not as familiar with each member of the supporting cast, they each play their parts brilliantly.
After watching a shocking episode on Sunday night, it disappointed me to learn online last night that it was the unexpected series finale. The show was in its third season. The blurb on the Showtime Network website describes the series’ concept as, “Some of literature’s most terrifying characters, including Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, Dorian Gray, and iconic figures from the novel Dracula are lurking in the darkest corners of Victorian London. They are joined by a core of original characters in a complex, frightening new narrative. Penny Dreadful is a psychological thriller filled with dark mystery and suspense, where personal demons from the past can be stronger than vampires, evil spirits and immortal beasts.”
As terrifying as some as the plot lines are, they fascinated me and made it impossible for me to turn away. I find it believable that within each of us lurks a primal beast just below the surface of our skins. Not to mention the myriad unknown creatures living in the darkest corners of the world and the immeasurable powers they might wield, what some might characterize as supernatural. It frightens and intrigues me to think that we might only see and exist in a small fraction of reality, and that there is a constant battle between the forces of good and evil; not in a religious sense but in relation to the negative and positive energies that fuel the universe and how they emerge. How do we decide which of those pulls to yield to and to what extent we can resist temptation from each pole?
A more intriguing question is whether it is even possible to withstand such powers alone; or if we must, as the show suggests, rely on the strength of others to carry us through darkness. And greater still, is this unending struggle the reason love, in all its forms, is capable of pushing beyond so many perilous situations, especially when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to receive it? Maybe I’m seeing more symbolism than what’s actually present in this chilling dramatic series, but each time the darkness rises up it is one form of light or another that breaks it down. If anyone watched this show, I’d be curious to know if you agree with me.
Penny Dreadful – Remember Us Better Than We Are