“Darkness will soon be upon us. I have seen it. Beasts will feed. Evil will overcome the Earth. And all our days will come to an end.”
At the end of the second season of Showtime/Sky’s gothic horror series Penny Dreadful – and what an ending it was – things were in a pretty sorry state for our heroes, the informal league of extraordinary gentlemen (and women) comprising Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett), Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) and Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway). As series creator (and seemingly tireless writer) John Logan admits, “Last season, our family of characters was torn apart; the bonds between them shaken or severed. They were scattered to distant corners of the globe.”
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Hunted by witches and their master, and in love with Ethan, Vanessa begins the third series alone and unloved, her body going as much to rack and ruin as the neglected house she once shared with Sir Malcolm. “[Once] deeply religious,” says series creator John Logan, “Vanessa Ives has left her faith behind. With no God to bring her strength and solace, she must find help elsewhere, lest the dark forces consume her soul forever. She turns to Dr. Seward, an American therapist who treats her with an unconventional new approach. Meanwhile, Vanessa’s heart is opened in an unlikely new romance.”
Also having a dark night of the soul is Ethan, whose past crimes brought on by his lycanthropic nature are weighing heavily on him. Having managed to evade (and kill) trackers sent from America by his father, Ethan sees his killing of Sir Malcolm’s valet and confidante, Sembene (Danny Sapani) as the last straw: he turns himself into Inspector Rusk (Douglas Hodge), intending to be punished by the English courts, only to discover that he is being extradited to the U.S. to face justice there; as Logan puts it: “finally forced to confront the sins of his past in the American West.”
Sir Malcolm, meanwhile, is heading to darkest Africa to bury Sembene in his homeland, having regained his senses following the love spell placed on him by Evelyn Poole (Helen McCrory), a more deserving victim of Ethan’s bestial alter ego.
Finally, poor Victor is sinking deeper into his morphine addiction, following his confrontation with Brona Croft (Billie Piper), aka “Lily”, the former prostitute he resurrected as a potential bride for Caliban, aka “The Creature” (Rory Kinnear), before falling for her himself – and then attempting to kill her and her new lover, Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), who have vowed to make a world of immortals like themselves – with or without Victor’s help.
Where all this leaves poor Caliban, after escaping his freak show prison (by murdering its heartless proprietors and leaving their blind daughter to fend for herself), is anybody’s guess – although we know he, too, has left London, apparently for the colder climes of the North Pole, “emerging from the shadows,” as Logan puts it, “to reunite his family at any cost.”
All of which begs the question: whatever is to become of our tragic heroes, and their equally troubled foes? “This season they’ll confront new enemies and new challenges, which will force them to come together again,” teases Logan. “But while they are grappling with their individual demons, something wicked this way comes… an ominous pall portends an evil far beyond any imagination. One that threatens to suffocate the light and consume all in its path.”
“Beware the fog,” he adds, ominously.
To whom could Logan be referring? Even if we knew (which we do), we wouldn’t spoil the deliciously dreadful delights to come. What we can do, before the broadcast of Season 3’s first episode (on Showtime on May 1, and two days later on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV) to give actress Sarah Greene (Hecate) and two of the new season’s brand new cast members – the exotically-named Shazad Latif, who joins the cast as an estranged university friend of Victor’s, and Samuel Barnett, who plays Dr. Seward’s assistant – a penny for their thoughts.
Click here to read our interview… and for a chance to win the Penny Dreadful book SIGNED by Sarah Greene, Samuel Barnett and Shazad Latif!