Penny Dreadful Season 3 (DVD TV series review)

October 26, 2017 | By | Reply More

Before I start, please look at the cover pictured below. On first sight, it looks like a skull with an extended jaw. Look again and it’s a picture of a woman, probably Eva Green as Vanessa Ives, holding her head on her knees. A warning that nothing is ever what it seems.

Having the members of the team spread out, whether by choice or default, things are not good for any of them around the world. Only Vanessa Ives (actress Eva Green) stayed in London is finally seeing a shrink, Dr. Sewell (actress Patti Lupone) and you have to end up wondering who is seeing who, not to mention her creepy receptionist with an unusual taste for insects. Chandler (actor Josh Hartnett) on his way to his trial and execution in America is involuntarily rescued. In India, Sir Malcolm Murray (actor Timothy Dalton) meets a Native American shaman Kaetenay (actor Wes Studi) who alerts him to Chandler’s predicament and wants his aid to rescue him. Frankenstein (actor Harry Treadaway) aligns himself with Dr. Jekyll (actor Shazad Latif) and gets access to the asylum’s guests. Jekyll is having problems with a drug that can return people to sanity but it doesn’t last. Frankenstein’s creature (actor Rory Kinnear) is wandering the Arctic and finally gets his memory back and returns to London to seek his original family. Dorian Grey (Reeve Carney) and Lily (Billy Piper) rescue a sacrifice woman in a spectacular fashion from a witnessed murder as a member of her new recruits. Oh and Dracula has come to London but who he is would be telling. In fact, much of this final season is spoiler.

Members of this team are spread around the world for much of this final season and there are big jumps before they get together one more time, like the plague infecting London that seems to be missing from Bedlam Asylum which does confuse matters. Having said that, there is an exceptional guest cast, including actor Brian Cox.

The tour de force is the fourth episode ‘A Blade Of Grass’ where we see Vanessa back when she was first in the asylum and her night time carer will come as a big surprise. Brilliant acting.

In many respects, the last episode tends to peter out a little although there’s so much to take in, I watched it a second time. Considering how Vanessa Ives is trying to avoid the Dragon, when it comes down to it, she is more susceptible than she thought and her roles is downplayed which is a pity but so much else is going on that something had to be squeezed. You would think she would have fought more considering how much she was resisting in earlier episodes. More than that is spoiler, however most get some finality and if they ever choose to do a fourth season, there is enough left over to continue.

As always the settings are superbly realised and amazing that it was all filmed in Ireland and Spain.

There are half an hour of extras spread over the 3 DVDs and a warning to only watch them after watching the series. Objectively, I don’t think there are too many reveals that you wouldn’t have gotten once past the half-way mark. Some of the reveals of what some of the cast really look like, especially Samuel Barnett who plays Renfield, will raise an eyebrow. Also, the Natural History Museum aka The Dead Zoo is actually a real place in Dublin.

In many respects, I didn’t want ‘Penny Dreadful’ to end. It plays a lot with this Victorian period and even when you recognise certain characters and expect certain things, don’t expect them to play out as expected. Hence, there are a lot of surprises. A lot of the information given, especially in the last episode, will make you want to re-evaluate events from the previous seasons making this series a superb melodrama.

GF Willmetts

October 2017

(pub: Sky Showtime. 3 DVDs 462 minutes 9 * 51 minute episodes. Price: £10.80 (UK) if you know where to look. ASIN G11421955V)

cast: Reeve Carney, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Rory Kinnear, Patti Lupone, Billie Piper, Wes Studi, Harry Treadaway and Josh Hartnett

check out website: www.sho.com

Category: Horror, TV

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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