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Penny Dreadful

 (2,500)
8.22014X-RayTV-MA
Some of literature's most terrifying characters, including Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, and iconic figures from the novel Dracula are lurking in the darkest corners of Victorian London. PENNY DREADFUL is a frightening psychological thriller that weaves together these classic horror origin stories into a new adult drama.
Starring
Josh HartnettTimothy DaltonEva Green
Genres
SuspenseHorrorDrama
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English

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  1. 1. Night Work
    May 11, 2014
    53min
    TV-MA
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    London 1891. Sir Malcolm and Vanessa begin their search. Series premiere.
  2. 2. Seance
    May 18, 2014
    56min
    TV-MA
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Vanessa and Sir Malcolm encounter Dorian Gray. Ethan befriends Brona Croft.
  3. 3. Resurrection
    May 25, 2014
    48min
    TV-MA
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Dr. Frankenstein is confronted by his past. Vanessa has a vision of Mina.
  4. 4. Demimonde
    June 1, 2014
    59min
    TV-MA
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Vanessa grows infatuated. Van Helsing comes to work with Dr. Frankenstein.
  5. 5. Closer than Sisters
    June 8, 2014
    55min
    TV-MA
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Vanessa recalls the events that ultimately lead to Mina's disappearance.
  6. 6. What Death Can Join Together
    June 15, 2014
    50min
    TV-MA
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Vanessa's latest vision leads Sir Malcolm, Ethan and Sembene on a search.
  7. 7. Possession
    June 22, 2014
    59min
    TV-MA
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Sir Malcolm, Ethan and Sembene do everything they can to save Vanessa.
  8. 8. Grand Guignol
    June 29, 2014
    56min
    TV-MA
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Vanessa and Sir Malcolm confront their worst nightmares. Season finale.

Bonus (2)

  1. Bonus: Trailer
    February 14, 2014
    2min
    TV-MA
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Check out the trailer for Showtime's highly-anticipated original series Penny Dreadful.
  2. Bonus: About
    April 4, 2014
    4min
    TV-MA
    Audio languages
    English
    Get a behind the scenes look at the new Showtime Original Series Penny Dreadful.

More details

Supporting actors
Reeve CarneyRory KinnearBillie PiperDanny SapaniHarry Treadaway
Producers
John LoganPippa HarrisSam Mendes
Season year
2014
Network
Showtime
Content advisory
Smokingsubstance usealcohol usenudityfoul languagesexual contentviolence
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

2500 global ratings

  1. 82% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 11% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 3% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

DGMaysReviewed in the United States on October 26, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent Adult Entertainment!
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Thoroughly enjoyed this three-season series. I rarely write reviews for films, only if they truly impressed me. This did. From the moment each episode began, we were captivated with the creativity of the stories, the beautiful filming, excellent actors/acting, and the music. So well blended together, the settings & filming were absolutely wonderful. Even the opening credits were enjoyable & perfectly edited together; such visuals are rarely done so well.

Make no mistake, this is clearly entertainment for mature viewers. It is graphic: violence, gore, and sexual situations make this more appropriate for a sophisticated audience. It all flows together; the excellent characters, and a finely crafted & very interesting plot, evolve so perfectly. As each episode drew to its conclusion, we couldn't wait to see how the writer was going to weave together such an expanding, complex plot.

Even with a great story, amazing settings, and moving, beautiful music, without the perfect cast it wouldn't come off. Each actor, starting with Eva Green, Billie Piper, and Timothy Dalton, populate a turn-of-the-century diverse group of people we come to understand & get quite vested in. People from such disparate backgrounds, being seamlessly blended together, each bringing much needed contributions to the whole.

I could continue on, but see for yourself. Again, if blood bothers you, if easily scared by things that go "... bump in the night," then you might want to watch the Hallmark channel. This amazing series will take the viewer on a pulse-pounding rollercoaster ride through the dark o' night. Buckle-up and prepare for a superior journey!!
18 people found this helpful
M. M. JoyceReviewed in the United States on April 6, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Penny Dreadful is Designer Depravity
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I learned of this series from an alert sent by Amazon. The only name I recognized was Timothy Dalton. I read some of the reviews and it sounded interesting, as I love classic horror movies and characters. I finally ordered the complete series, but it was lost in shipment. I decided to let it go, but it kept coming to mind. So I ordered the series by individual series sets. Wow. I was not prepared for this. I loved Deadwood, Dexter, and Rome, and thought I would not be shocked. Well, Penny Dreadful is dreadful to be sure, but incredible. The sets are amazing, the acting is superb, the script is eloquent and profane, and the cinematography is a work of art. Because of that, I managed to get through the first two episodes, thinking the depravity and overabundance of sex and blood would diminish. It did not. It increased. I decided to overlook these ridiculous aspects and just savor the beauty of the art, and I am glad that I did. This is an amazing series. Do not know how they managed it all. And Timothy Dalton does his best acting ever. He carries this series. I am glad that I purchased the entire series at one time. I am still hoping for less gratuitous sex and overdoing the blood, but I am adjusting.
7 people found this helpful
susan t.Reviewed in the United States on March 29, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
This should be at the Top of your List of Things to Watch
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A phenomenal series with incredible actors and dialog along with a fantastic musical score. John Logan (writer/producer of award-winning plays, films and television) has outdone himself with this story of men and women who have as many secrets and flaws as the creatures they interact with.

There is not a bad scene here; every actor excels in each scene and each scene adds layers to the story which takes you back and forth from current to past. The myriad complexities that make up the flaws and strengths of each person as they grapple with who they were and who they must become to fight the evils that surround them and try to consume them, physically and spiritually, is phenomenal to behold.

I can't say enough about the actors that are in this series - everyone plays their part to perfection with special note to Eva Green who excel as the marred and often abhorrent heroine and Rory Kinnear as Frankenstein's monster, who is at once soft and cerebral and terrifying and cruel.

If you like stories that include the realm of mystical - if you liked those stories as a child that included the scary and unbelievable which you knew weren't real but you looked under the bed anyway before you crawled into it - then this series is for you.
4 people found this helpful
Jack E. LevicReviewed in the United States on June 6, 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
OFTEN OVERLY GORY BUT ALSO BEAUTIFUL AND ENCHANTING IN SOME STRANGE WAY
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Be warned, PENNY DREADFUL is not for the easily offended or weak of heart. This is serious stuff here so be prepared for a journey into the dark side of Victorian London and down into the depths and despair of a world that is neither here nor there.

I found the first two episodes of PENNY DREADFUL to be so gory, bloody and disturbing that I thought I had had enough. Thankfully, I watched another episode and realized "dreadful" can sometimes be beautiful. There is a lot to dislike in PENNY DREADFUL. It can be over the top gruesome with its otherworldly demons or are they people lost in a power struggle between good and evil? Then the story turns to a tender if ill-fated love story between two doomed people. But then we are jarred back into the realm of demons and creatures and an unknown world. Creator John Logan must have had a few bad nightmares to create such havoc and mayhem in one series.

A very fine cast is headed by Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton and Eva Green. Hartnett shows a talent we haven't seen in the past and Dalton is actually growing more seductive and serene as the years have passed. The former James Bond means business in PENNY DREADFUL as Sir Malcolm Murray searching for his daughter now in the hands of some sort of demon. Eva Green lights up the Victorian era with her style. Unfortunately, her stint as a woman possessed by the devil goes way overboard (through no fault of her own).

Dr. Victor Frankenstein must pay a moral price for his first creation he abandoned and who now seeks revenge. Reeve Carney gives a heartfelt portray of the handsome and mysterious Dorian Gray (who charms the cast members of both sexes into his bed). Of course, there are a lot of literary references here that might be lost to many viewers. Just why is Gray obsessed with one hidden painting that we never see? I know the story but will most people get the connection?

PENNY DREADFUL is set in violent 1881 England where misery, poverty and violence reigned. A series of macabre crime stories were published and called PENNY DREADFUL. The disheartened public was crazy for the books amidst the fears of Jack the Ripper in their streets.
This series is not for most people. You need a strong stomach to get through this very creative . Some views may find parts to be disgusting and offensive yet there is a tenderness to some of the scenes and people just try to survive in a terrible time. The series gets sexually explicit at times so be prepared for anything. Love still shines through at times. But let's be clear, this series can be awfully confusing at times. Just what is happening and who these otherworldly creatures are can be hard to understand at times.

I have a feeling most people will either love this series or absolutely hate PENNY DREADFUL. There won't be much in between. As for me, I am read for Season Two.
2 people found this helpful
MacloudReviewed in the United States on November 3, 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars
" If you love gothic romance
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If there is a television series I have been more impacted by than A&E's "Penny Dreadful," I would have to travel all the way back to "Deadwood." If you love gothic romance, Victorian England, the iconic creatures and legends of the penny dreadfuls themselves, inspired, vibrant writing, directing, production; this is a must visit world. After the pilot episode, I was expecting quality campyness from what followed, what I found instead is authentic moments of brilliance, grounded in consistent, ever richer excellence. Eva Green's riveting performance leads the feature film cast, into depths of character and breadth of storytelling rarely attempted, let alone perfectly realized in any medium. The first season erupts with kinetic energy, paces with adult measure and sophistication, yet builds towards a climax of startling satisfaction and surprise.

Here is a unique take on Frankenstein, both creator and creation, capable of moving you to tears and haunting your heart, a Van Helsing to captivate you, undead creatures shudderingly unnerving and free of cliche, a Dorian Grey worthy of his painting in the closet, all orbiting Timothy Dalton's grounded, agonizing performance as Sir Malcolm Murray, an aging explorer, searching for his kidnapped daughter, Mina. The character is clearly a career pinnacle for this actor, whom I had clearly underestimated.

A complex and delicious mash up of the very cream of the Gothic Thriller genre, with cast and creative team clearly striving to create enduring work, not simply the riddle of the week, "Penny Dreadful" will reward those drawn to the dark side, with a well of soul who's bottom cannot be glimpsed with even a piercing gaze. Provided your not feint of heart, make the time, "Penny Dreadful" is just the opposite.
2 people found this helpful
AlexandraReviewed in the United States on May 13, 2016
3.0 out of 5 stars
Don't Judge the Series Based on the First Season
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I must preface this review with the fact that I did continue onto season 2 (and really like the second season) despite the flaws of the first season.
The first season of Penny Dreadful is intriguing, but I was completely baffled by a show that has violence, possession, etc... and still manages to be boring. The story, characters and acting is all good, but I couldn't help but feel that it would have been much more entertaining if it had been compressed into maybe three episodes. Most of the time I felt like nothing was going on, and the plots that were in play I felt like I knew how they were going to turn out, and the final confrontation felt extremely anti-climatic. If you are interested in this series I would recommend starting with the second season, which is far more intriguing than the first season.
What made me continue onto the second season was Eva Green's haunting portrayal of Vanessa Ives, she was the only reason I kept going, and I'm glad that I did. All of the characters have great potential in this first season, but none of them do anything beyond what the audience already knows from the classic fairy tales. Dr. Frankenstein makes a monster, Wolfman kills people, Vampires drink blood, Dr. Van Helsing knows stuff. If you have no knowledge of classic horror you might be more intrigued with the first season, but for those who already know the basics you will probably be board and should just move to the second season where the original content starts to happen.

In conclusion, the first season is really a very very long introduction to each of the characters and the acult world that they fight, or are part of. For those who know classic horror already, just skip to the second season. For those who don't you still could probably just skip to the second season.
4 people found this helpful
Adam BaehrReviewed in the United States on February 4, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Bloodborne Equivilent Of A Macabre Horror Masterpiece.
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Enticing, Satiable and Intriguing are the first words that come into my mind after watching the first season of this show. I absolutely love this show. I mean I generally enjoy anything horror with a Victorian setting but this just blew it out of the water. I will start with the story which takes place in 1890's London and delves into a story about a man trying to find his daughter along with numerous other side plots which all are very fascinating. I will move onto the acting which in my opinion is what this show is all about. I mean I have never seen a show that has had so many relatable characters as this show. I honestly couldn't pick a favorite. I mean you have Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, Reeve Carney, Harry Treadaway, Rory Kinnear, Danny Sapani and Timothy Dalton who is a Beast. I couldn't have picked better actors and actresses who evoke so much emotion in the scenes that it creates such a palpable atmosphere. The action is Superbly crafted being as it was created by John Logan who is the writer known for the recent 007 movies as well as Gladiator and The Last Samurai. The executive producer is Sam Mendes who is the director of the past two 007 films as well as Jarhead. The action is on point with very gruesome and in your face fight scenes that are very visceral and extremely chaotic. I will now move onto the cinematography and the location which was shot expertly and they filmed in both London and Ireland which I was happy to see because the aesthetic is certainly there without a doubt. I will close by saying this is a Phenomenal show which I pray continues for many seasons to come and the third season is coming out in May,2016. I plan on watching the second season tomorrow so I will post my review for that as soon as I finish it. Penny Dreadful isn't a show that you want to miss and if you love dark and Victorian London settings with many famous characters then you will certainly be in for an entertaining ride.
One person found this helpful
G. RidgewayReviewed in the United States on October 15, 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars
Surprisingly very good!
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I have to admit that I went into this with some reservation, although the premise sounded good and I am a big fan of the main actors in the show. It also sounded very much like it could quickly turn into a revisioning of the League of extrodinary gentlemen, which I really did not like. But I was taken off guard and surprised how quickly the show ramped out and how good it was. The acting is very well done and I was especially impressed with the acting during the seance scene in the second episode and the show continued to deliver as it went on.
I am excited to see what the second season has to offer, and I highly reccomend this show to anyone who likes horror, and especially those who love the old classic horror tales. Uniquely imagined and executed! Top notch show!
3 people found this helpful
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